Thursday, September 24, 2009

WoW... a Loophole!

Last night (actually early this morning) all of the roommates were sitting in the front room talking about girls... you know... Brittany, Andrea, Harper, Emily, Joey, Becky and Nicole. Out of nowhere, Lance says, "Well, I better go to bed. I have to get drunk tomorrow."

Turns out Lance's cousin is in the police academy and tomorrow is the Field Sobriety Test day or something. Apparently the instructor asked the recruits to round up 6 or 7 guinea pigs to come in at 9 am, get drunk on free, government supplied alcohol (probably confiscated from minors), and then let the whole Academy class practice all of the field sobriety tests on them.

We asked Lance if he was serious and he said he was completely serious. He said, "I don't even think I'll feel guilty. I mean, it's for the greater good, right? I'm going to help train police officers so they can catch bad guys who are breaking the law. I think Heavenly Father might even be proud of me for doing this for His children." We all kind of laughed nervously and then Lance left to go to bed... but we kept talking about it for a while after he left. Is that actually a Word of Wisdom loophole?

Nick started to agree with Lance, but then I said, "There are plenty of people who don't consider 'drinking alcohol' to be a sin. Shouldn't they be the ones doing this whole training thing?" Then Jake said, "So instead of having an LDS person drinking, they should be trying to get other people to do it? Either way, they're encouraging other people to sin." Nick's argument was probably the best, though. He said, "The whole reason alcohol is against the Word of Wisdom is because it lowers our inhibitions and it makes us more likely to commit OTHER sins that we wouldn't have committed otherwise. Alcohol, by itself, isn't a big deal. It's the poor choices that often are made while under the influence that really get people into trouble."

Then someone else said that they'd heard you don't even have to confess Word of Wisdom stuff to your bishop. I'd never realized that... mostly because I've never had any issues with the Word of Wisdom. I'm not even sure if that's true. But if it IS true, does that mean that people who smoke and drink don't have to tell the bishop as part of the repentance process? That doesn't sound right. Especially because 'harmful drugs' are also included in there and it seems like shooting heroin into your veins is something you should probably talk to your bishop about... but maybe I'm wrong.

I know they ask you specifically in the Temple Recommend interview so I know it matters that much, at least.

It seems like in my last Temple Recommend interview, the bishop asked, "Do you try to obey the Word of Wisdom?" If I went with Lance this morning, drank a shot and a half of whiskey, got totally plastered, and then went in for my interview this Sunday, I could honestly answer 'yes' to that question. "Yes. I do try to obey the Word of Wisdom."

I might even be able to rationalize my way out of feeling guilty by convincing myself that the reason I got drunk was so that no other innocent soul had to.

Calvin

39 comments:

The Boob Nazi said...

Do you really not have to confess WoW sins? Interesting.

Alexis! said...

Interesting topic. He is doing it for the greater good though, so I think it's okay. Imagine how many lives could be saved because he's offering himself to teach that officer, that will in turn arrest many drunk drivers that could kill people? Honorable in my opinion!

JawnZ said...

Hm. rationalization is a slippery slope my friend. I am the king of rationalization, which I used the other day to go play blackjack with my best friend at the casino...was I "gambling" ?? not technically if you wanna define things. I also made sure I didn't have a problem by limiting myself, and rather than going to "win" I considered it cheaper than going bowling for an hour.


my current stance is this: if you can't directly look your bishop in the eye if he asks you about it and not feel guilty, you probably shouldn't be doing it. note that I said YOU shouldn't feel guilty. a LOT of the church is based upon individual bishops (i've heard case after case of complete OPPOSITE advice being given from one bishop to another), so it comes down to "do you feel that this is wrong, based upon the promptings of the holy ghost"

use logic to begin with, but in the end, open your heart and listen for the "still small voice" because logic can make you deaf.

Amy said...
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Nikki said...
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kelleidoscope said...

Try hard enough and you can find a way around anything..

Amy said...

Okay, well my opinion has changed since I was being blonde and read this post wrong the first time. I don't think Lance should drink to be tested for his COUSIN. I think there are plenty other willing men who can go be guinea pigs and get drunk for them. Lance doesn't NEED to for any reason, so I don't think he should. He's definitely trying to use a loop hole there.

Andee said...

I agree with Nikki 100%. I think this is a stupid conversation.

You can do ANYTHING by rationalizing. ANYTHING. That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Alcohol is Alcohol. it doesn't matter WHY you are drinking it..what matters it that it's against the Word of Wisdom. so duh. it's wrong.

worst post so far.

AngelaBeth said...

You totally have to tell the Bishop. And I quote The Miracle of Forgiveness: "To drink the forbidden alcoholic beverages is a sin for us who have made covenants with God and have been commanded to abstain...It should be...if violated, repented of as with other sins of major seriousness."

I'm totally not judging. We've all got our opinions and have all made our mistakes, but I do know that for above for a fact. My Bishop is really strict on all the Word of Wisdom stuff because it's all really addictive.

Anonymous said...

We're supposed to follow the WoW because we believe it's commanded by God...any reason secondary to that, frankly, isn't very important. That applies to the whole Word of Wisdom. People ask if we don't drink coffee because of the caffeine content. That's not it. Or if we don't smoke because it causes cancer. Still, not the main reason. The reason is the simple fact that it's a commandment.

I hate to sound like a nag, but the topic is one I feel strongly about. I hear people try to rationalize out of it all the time, and none of the arguments hold much water.

anna said...

i know you guys weren't REALLY thinking this could be a loophole...you were just hoping your readers might agree with lance so that you could go to LUMPY'S on friday and order a cecil deisel. (btw if you are going to drink, you might as well do it right.) it's kind of like those BYU students in the 90's who were going to vegas, getting married, having sex, and then going back to school...and getting it annulled after class on monday. do you really think that God has loop holes? have you guys truly been on missions or what the crap were you teaching? hello.

anna said...

but i do love your blog more and more every day

(B) said...

I'm sure that I'm going to have this opinion alone here, and others will no doubt condemn me for it, but whatev.

I respect what you believe, as well as your right to believe it. However, I don't get (Probably because I have no idea what the Word of Wisdom actually is, I'm Baptist), why alcohol is so bad. What's the real reason here? Is it because it causes you to make faulty decisions? Is it because it triggers addictions? Or is it just bad?

Now, from what I can tell, Mormons are seemingly unhypocritical, which I greatly admire in a religion. There's just a lot of things I don't understand regarding the reasoning behind some of your choices. Perhaps it's just because I'm ignorant (and that is certainly the case in this instance) on the subject matter.

Please explain this.

Alexis! said...

I think a lot of you are missing a very important point. If Lance doesn't do it, someone else will have to, so it is noble of him to. If God doesn't have loopholes in his word, why would he have exceptions for who drinks and who doesn't? I would imagine that he wouldn't want anyone to drink as stated, but would prefer someone with a pure heart and understanding of him to do the necessary consumption than someone that could possibly take advantage of the drink.

Kelly said...

I think this blog should be called "The Mormon Bachelor Pad where we rationalize our way right down to hell"

Catchy no?

Rachel said...

Um, I can't believe I'm actually commenting on this, but the question for the reccommend is "DO you live the WoW?" No try. Sorry, pups. Tell whoever said you don't have to confess stuff to get in a little earlier on Saturday nights so they don't sleep through church.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post you guys! Please ignore the ignorance of many of your commenter's. Again and again I am amazed with how much they miss the point.

Here we have a blog written by Mormon guys living in a real world. Do conversations and situations like this happen? Yes. All the time. Does that mean they belong on this blog? I think so.

Lance has made a decision. Good or bad, based on whatever information... We all live in the gray area, life is not black and white. Upon hearing Lances choice the other guys discuss it. (again very real) Not once does Calvin state anything as a fact, its all "someone said they heard this..." (again, happens all the time in Mormon conversations) I think this post portrays Mormon culture better than most.

I agree with Nikki, the "why" we live the word of wisdom is not important. I disagree with her and others that this is a stupid conversation and a poor post. Perhaps there are Mormons out there who have transcended actual real world applications of their faith as to ignore discussing Lances decision.

-Blazzer

Anonymous said...

Wait wait wait! So if 95% of the world was Mormon. Right? There would still be drunks, driving drunk and killing innocent people. Right? So, how would we train our Police to "police" our city's? If 95% of the population doesn't drink? If a Mormon were to volunteer he's going to Hell?

Not Mormon... confused on this issue.

-Jason-

Anonymous said...

Nephi cut the head off of Laban.

You self righteous sons of bishops!

Nikki said...
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Allie said...

That is a very interesting point about why drinking alcohol is considered a sin.

It is refreshing to hear people discuss religion in terms of recommendation and guidance- too often we are overly literal with interpreting the Word of God and I think it gets in the way of personal growth sometimes. Some people even use this literal-mindedness to justify doing bad things - like the people on C Street who used their religion to "moralize" being unfaithful and corrupt.

Needless to say, it is very nice to hear people thinking critically about their spirituality and not just following along mindlessly in the footsteps of tradition. It isn't easy to analyze yourself and your place in the world like that, so I appreciate all of your insights.

Thank you.

RuthAnne said...

This may be somewhat irrelevant, but I have a friend who was a cop and she needed to round up folks for the same test. Granted, the whole "someone else could do it" argument is there, but cops need to know how to recognize levels of intoxication in EVERYONE, including those who (like Lance) rarely if ever drink. Lance is doing a good deed, and fortunately for all of us, only one opinion really matters as to whether or not its also a sin.

The whole confess/not confess issue is a big gray area on the Word of Wisdom. If you need help stopping, you should probably confess. Trying something once, probably not. I had a bishop once once tell a girl that one drink was a mistake, not a sin, and to just not do it again.

Personally, I don't think violations of the WoW are wrong or evil, but rather something that could stand in the way of your spiritual progression. Just had to throw that out there for all the Mo-Mos who love equating drinking with theft, lies and murder. :)

samnhal said...

It seems like you put these kind of topics, just like the sex one to rial up all of the mormons who read your blog. Drinking, even for a 'good' sake is not trying to obey, it is blatantly disobeying. Rationalization is a slippery slope. As a mormon shouldn't you be thinking more like God will know I have done this instead of worrying of if you have to talk to your bishop about it? I totally agree with Nikki on this one actually.

Steven said...

Nobody HAS to confess anything to a bishop. It's not like they have a list printed out that is specific to sins worthy of bishop confession.
If you can sit across from the bishop AND stake president after getting plastered for the sake of "tests" and answer the questions without feeling guilt, then by all means go ahead!
I think talking to the bishop is an individual thing. Some people will need it to feel closure on the repentance process, others won't. And others (maybe in this situation Calvin) can rationalize themselves into trouble!!

Anonymous said...

Why do we follow these commandments... I know not, save the Lord commanded it!

Steven said...

RuthAnne makes a good point.
The question at hand for me is if Lance drinking to HONESTLY help the police with their tests.... or is he going to get drunk for HIM!
I guess in the end only he knows that.

Anonymous said...

As a non-Mormon police officer, let me just say this:

We ALWAYS have to beg for volunteers for this process. Sure, the 55-year-old bar fly who wants to get hammered on the gov't dime is an easy recruit. But, honestly, that man can drink enough liquor to drown a fish and barely appear intoxicated. That's why we need him as an example--to show that increased alcohol tolerance makes a HUGE difference during field sobriety tests.

But that very same reason is also why we need people like your friend. It's difficult to find a citizen nowadays who doesn't drink AT ALL. The only ones I've ever been able to find are all recovering alcoholics (and thus not good candidates for our training). We need a non-drinker to show what the TRUE effects of alcohol are--no tolerance built up, no coping mechanisms, no need for them to have practiced beating the field sobriety test, etc.

A man who drinks a 6-pack after work every day probably has practice walking to the grocery store to get another pack of beer. But that does NOT mean his reflexes aren't impaired, and that same man who can walk without stumbling to the grocery store would easily kill others on the road were he allowed to drive. Your friend, on the other hand, will walk/talk/act JUST like the amount he drank due to his inexperience with alcohol. It's a VERY valuable training tool for us, and he is doing his country a huge service for volunteering.

I don't know much about your religion, but there HAS to be an dispensation for service to the greater good.

Anonymous said...

Blazzer,

I LOVE your comments for the most part.
I still think this post is stupid. I also agree that they put posts like this on here because it "rials us up", which is why I'm pretty sure I'm done reading this blog.

It's kinda disappointing.
Nikki, I agree with you today.

Bethany said...

MBP. It looks like you guys have upset a lot of girls by having this post that doesn't talk about... um... well... girls.

Heaven forbid that Mormon guys talk about things other than women.

Now that I think about it, isn't the statistic something like, "4 out of 5 male thoughts are about sex"? If that's true, you guys owe your readers at least 10 more posts that have nothing to do with your sexual escapades.

Also, Samnhal... quit acting and bragging like you're gonna stop reading and just stop already. I doubt these guys would miss you.

Anonymous said...

Nephi chopped of Laban's head.

Nichola said...

a sin is a sin no matter what way you try rationalize it. Drinking is against the word of Wisdom. There are NO loopeholes.

Anonymous said...

Um, I'm not sure if the same anonymous posted this twice, but seriously,and everyone keeps igoring it. But Nephi did MURDER laban. Murdered him. no loopholes? hmph...

Melinda said...

So God commanded Nephi to kill Laban. Nephi DIDN'T want to. God told him he had to.

Lance was NOT COMMANDED by God to go drink alcohol for the greater good.

Is a whole nation going to fall and dwindle in unbelief because of Lance not drinking alcohol?

Besides is Lance a little TOO willing to do it? Is it for the greater good, or is it for him to finally have a way to sin without actually "sinning"?

Seriously, you're going to compare a college kid to a prophet in the scriptures?

Kelly said...

I agree with Melinda!

Nikki said...
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Brooke said...

I think you guys are forgetting, with the whole Nephi killing Laban thing, that God makes the rules. He can say "thou shalt not kill" one time and "thou shalt utterly destroy" another time, HE'S GOD!! Whatever God requires is right! End of story! It doesn't matter if it was self-defense or so a nation wouldn't dwindle in unbelief. Revelation people!!

And with the WoW stuff, yes we don't drink because of all the great reasons you guys have mentioned, but I don't think anyone has said what it actually says in D&C is the reason we have the word or wisdom. Which is, "In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days..."(D&C 89:4). The world is wicked, obviously, there are men and women out there that want to make it worse. By us consuming these things, we are opening up our souls to the corruptions of the world. I hope that makes sense. In the end your roommate is the only one who knows whether or not he is doing this for the right reason. Yes it is a sin for anyone to partake of WoW stuff, but we are held to a little higher standard because we know the truth and have made sacred covenants about it. I think that's worse then somone who doesn't know better. That's just my opinion.

Cindy said...

Bad news! You totally have to tell your Bishop. I worked at the Church Office Building and to work there you have to have a current temple recommend and one of my pals was going to loose her job because she couldn't stop drinking coffee. I think coffee is a lesser evil than alcohol. FYI I don't think alcohol is bad. Remember in the word of wisdom where it says barley drinks (beer) is good for the belly. It wasn't until prohibition that alcohol was "outlawed" in the church. I think that is more a cultural commandment, personally but I'll still follow it. American culture in the 20s is really what changed the churches interpretation. If the church grew in some other countries like Mexico and I think it would be WOW legal to smoke pot too.

Virgilicious said...

haha. okay first of all. you are funny. and second... you DEFINETLY have to confess your word of wisdom sins to the bishop. i have had to do it. thirdly, you justify things too much. you know what your saying is wrong... so why do you say it? also. even tho, yeah lance drinking in a police academy with a bunch of policmen probably wont make him commit any other sins right there, but what if he thinks it is so much fun and he wants to go get drunk all the time. drinking is fun... so i wouldn't be surprised. just sayin.

Virgilicious said...

oh and. about talking to your bishop about the word of wisdom.... maybe if it is stuff like coffee, caffiene or just a small small sip of alcohol... and you repent on your own, then you dont need to talk to the bishop. but if you get drunk or change your state of mind at all... you should go talk to the bishop. especially if you feel guilty.