We haven’t ever done a sponsored post before but when the Tony over at The Bourbon Newsletter sent me his story of how he went from teetotaler to tippler I thought it was too good to pass up. ~ D
Having grown up in the world of fundamentalism, I was 20 years old before I ever tasted alcohol. Now, I write about bourbon whiskey every week and thoroughly enjoy it without guilt or shame. To instill as much fear as possible into the flock, beer, wine and brown party liquor were used often in sermon illustrations. I just knew if I tried it, I’d be an instant alcoholic who would beat my wife and kids and die on the way home from a church service in which I did not respond to 15 verses of “Just As I Am.” I didn’t even have a wife and kids so I assumed I’d have to go and beat someone else’s wife and kids.
Then I went off to college and got a crash course in drinking. I hadn’t been taught to use it responsibly, or to view it as an agricultural product, or to see its significance in American history. I had never considered the role it played in the history of my home state, Kentucky. I’d only been preached to in that all-too-familiar black and white way: you can be either a teetotaler or a raging, wife beating, drunk-driving lunatic who hates God. Oh, and Jesus turned the water into Welch’s.
By the grace of God, after years of rebellion, I found an awesome church where I learned what grace is. We work hard to keep the Gospel in the center of everything we do, trying not to invent new standards for righteousness. I am a member of a great community group. We meet together to study the word, discuss the past week’s sermon and share in each other’s joys and griefs. We often have family meals together where you’re welcome to enjoy a beer or glass of wine with dinner and a fantastic Kentucky bourbon afterwards.
How do I feel about America’s Native Spirit? This famous speech given by Judge Noah Sweat in 1952 when asked his opinion on whiskey pretty much sums it up:
My friends, I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at this particular time. However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy. On the contrary, I will take a stand on any issue at any time, regardless of how fraught with controversy it might be. You have asked me how I feel about whiskey. All right, here is how I feel about whiskey:
If when you say whiskey you mean the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster, that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, and despair, and shame and helplessness, and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it.
But, if when you say whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips, and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer; if you mean the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman’s step on a frosty, crispy morning; if you mean the drink which enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life’s great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows; if you mean that drink, the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars, which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirm; to build highways and hospitals and schools, then certainly I am for it.
This is my stand. I will not retreat from it. I will not compromise.
A fellow ex-fundy and I have started The Bourbon Newsletter. We deliver current bourbon-related news and original content straight to your inbox each week. You’ll learn the ins and outs of how bourbon is made as well as some great American history. We’re thrilled to be living in the heart of Bourbon Country during the biggest bourbon boom since prohibition ended. We would love to share the juice with anyone with a taste for the best whiskey in the world! Check us out at thebourbonnewsletter.com and, if you like it, please subscribe.