In Surprise Move, Evangelical Moody Bible Institute Drops Its Alcohol Ban -- Sightings (Martin Marty)
Protestant mores regarding the use of alcohol have never been uniform. Lutheran's drink beer. Scottish Presbyterians probably drink a bit of Scotch. Growing up Episcopalian I know that smoking and drinking was a mark of being part of that clan. But there has also been a strong temperance streak among many Protestants. My denomination was committed to such a vision and even produced Carrie Nation and her famous hatchet. Although in recent decades avoidance of alcohol has been mostly a conservative evangelical cause, it was once part of the liberal Protestant moral crusade (and a good way to part company from the wine-bibbing Papists!). Well, times are changing and once dray Evangelical institutions are loosening up on matters of alcohol. Most recently it is Moody Bible Institute. We may want to speculate on the exact reason for the lifting of the ban, but whatever the reason I expect that the change is only reflective of current practice. Drinking wine and beer is no longer the moral issue it once was! Martin Marty -- a Lutheran by the way -- and observer of all things religious offers his take in this edition of Sightings. What do you think of all of this?