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Resolution On Alcohol, Drunk Driving, And The Minimum

WHEREAS, The use of alcohol as a beverage continues to be the number one drug problem in the United States, with one out of every three American families experiencing severe problems related to alcohol use; and

WHEREAS, The use of alcohol is a leading cause of death in this country, and

WHEREAS, Drunk driving alone caused up to 22,000 deaths and 650,000 injuries last year, being the number one cause of death for Americans under age 35; and

WHEREAS, The alcohol industry spends over one billion dollars per year hawking its wares, with many of its advertisements aimed specifically at young people and at those who are already heavy drinkers; and

WHEREAS, A number of state legislatures and the U.S. Congress are currently discussing whether to raise the legal minimum drinking age to 21, a measure which has saved a significant number of lives in states where already adopted.

Therefore, be it RESOLVED, That we, the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, June 12-14, 1984, affirm our steadfast opposition to the use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptist families and churches to work tirelessly and uncompromisingly to educate children, young people, and adults concerning the nature and consequences of alcohol use, pointing them toward a responsible Christian life style of abstinence from alcohol and all other mind-altering drugs; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we call upon Southern Baptists to minister faithfully to those individuals and families who suffer from the devastating effects of alcohol abuse; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptists in every state in involve themselves as citizens in supporting stringent laws to deter drinking and driving, and to ensure swift and certain punishment of those who do drink and drive; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we call upon the Federal Trade Commission to use its existing authority to ban alcohol advertisements in the broadcast media, especially advertising during athletic contests, as injurious to the health of the nation and to regulate strictly any advertising of alcoholic beverages in other media, and that this Convention urge Congress to put warning labels on all alcoholic beverage containers as Congress has done on tobacco and especially cigarettes; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we support wholeheartedly the establishment of a minimum national drinking age of 21, and that a telegram be sent to the Reagan administration expressing appreciation for its position in signing legislation withholding federal highway support of states not raising the legal drinking age to twenty-one; and

Be it finally RESOLVED, that we commend those Baptist state conventions, associations, and churches which labor earnestly and effectively to oppose the extension of liquor interests, and call Southern Baptists to an exemplary Christian lifestyle of abstinence from beverage alcohol and all other harmful drugs.