Frightening and terrifying are mild words to describe the tragic existence of 5,000,000 alcoholics who are in helpless bondage to strong drink. This is a distressing situation, not only to be weighed in terms of a personal hell being endured by alcoholics alone, but more, by the anguish, suffering, shame and tears of those who are related to them. To that staggering number of alcoholics, however, must be added also the appalling number of some 2,000,000 others who are today problem drinkers, verging on alcoholism and whose indulgence is wrecking cars, ruining lives, and destroying homes. Who actually can estimate the moral damage that is resulting from a habit which the liquor industry in a thousand ways is endeavoring to call, “the American way of life?”
Reaction to this deplorable, distressing social problem finds expression in the question Cain once asked: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The liquor industry, society in general, and even the Church seem little shocked or alarmed at the many alcoholics existing in our society. There is a hardened unconcern on the part of the public which accepts the damage resulting from the liquor traffic and absorbs, without a protest, the consequent financial toll. And despite the havoc being wrought and the powerful forces promoting such liquor sale, efforts to stem this evil seem pitiful and inadequate. Is it not obvious that the public ought to be aroused and especially the Church if this nefarious traffic is ever to be controlled and its blight removed from the life of the nation?
The liquor industry speaks with fraudulent piety of temperance as the solution to drinking consequences; but meanwhile it moves heaven and earth to increase individual consumption and entice people to become ...1
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