Biblical teaching on the effects of alcoholism and the Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition Act 1989 (PART 8)
Document prepared by Scholars of 5 Theological Institutions (Oriental Theological Seminary, Clark Theological College, Trinity Theological College, Baptist Theological College, Shalom Bible Seminary) under the initiative of the Nagaland Baptist Church Council
(From previous issue)
[dropcap]R[/dropcap]esolutions on Liquor Prohibition
01. 4th Annual Conference, Nagaland Youth Front, NBCC HQs, Kohima
14-16 October 1988
3. Resolved to request all the Association to do anti-liquor follow-up work till Nagaland is declared dry state.
02. North East India Pastors Conference, Kohima, 17 to 21 April 1989
2. We fully support the efforts of the NBCC to make Nagaland a Dry State. We express our appreciation to the Nagaland Government for steps taken so far towards this ultimate objective and further urge the Government to expedite actions for legislations to declare Nagaland a Dry State
03. 53th NBCC Annual Session, January 12-14, 1990, Khonoma
3. During the struggle for 25 years for total prohibition of liquor in our land, we could see the leading hands of God. We re-affirm our stand and resolve to continue to fight till our total demand is fulfilled.
04. 57th NBCC Annual Council, January 21-23, 1994, Akuvuto, Dimapur
5. That NBCC will fully involve in the implementation of the Liquor Total Prohibition Act to eradicate the evils of Liquor. Further NBCC strongly opposes against any move to reopen liquor shops on naga soil.
05 16th NBCC Triennial Convention, Tuensang, 30 January – 1st February 2004
RESOLUTION:1. Acknowledging the dormancy and tardiness of the church in helping the proper implementation of the liquor Prohibition Act, the council resolved to reaffirm its stand so as to strengthen the hands of the Government with regard to the said Act with the following strategies:
a) Conduct seminars to enable our people to understand better the serious issue of addiction faced by a newly emerging traditional society like the Nagas. The church understands the economic compulsions that are often cited in argument against prohibition. While extra revenues will be saved by lifting prohibition, the church cannot lightly overlook the special weaknesses and susceptibilities of our people at this juncture of transition crisis to turn to addictive substances to avoid tackling their problems.
b) To widen the scope of the work of counselling and rehabilitation of alcoholics already done by various churches and association. The council recognises the need to better train those handling this highly demanding and complex field of healing.
c) We urge the Government to implement its law of Liquor Prohibition Act in action and in spirit.
06 74th Annual Session, Rotomi, Zunheboto, 4- 6 February 2011
7. The Total prohibition Act Passed by the government of Nagaland in 1989 (and assured its stand in 2010), NBCC will continue to reiterate it’s strive for stringent implementation of the Total prohibition Act in all the district headquarters and reaffirm its stand in any form of Substances Abuses. All the local churches are directed to make appropriate plans to help alcoholics to abstain from alcoholism.
07 77th NBCC Annual Meeting, Zunpha, Tseminyu February, 2014
As NBCC step on to the 25 years of its involvement in the Liquor Prohibition activities in the state, the startling effect which is causing the entire equilibrium of an individual and the Naga society will be addressed through:
1. Insisting the State Government to sensibly execute the policies of the Nagaland Total Liquor Prohibition Act-1989 in all the Districts.
2. Articulating to its members the effect of alcoholism and the need for preventive information through leaflets/banners/billboards/publications and display, conduct seminars, workshops, counselling and Home visitation of the effected.
3. The Women Ministry will organize a fasting and prayer for those who are engaged in bootlegging alcohol and the alcoholics.
5. NBCC will continue to appeal to stablish Counseling and Rehabilitation Centres for the Alcoholics. The Church bodies and other NGO’s should cooperate and support such a program.
The Church has not naively believed that getting the Total Prohibition Act passed in the Assembly alone will resolve the alcohol related issues. The Church is as realistic on this matter as the Government and those who are against prohibition. Nor is it the position of the Church that the Government is the only party to blame for the ineffectiveness of the Act.
Alcohol’s fatal attractiveness and the destructive consequences of its abuse need no elaboration. All who care for the healthy growth of our society know them. And the Church fully understands that the Government has many other highly pressing problems to attend to besides its difficult responsibility of implementing the Prohibition Act. The Church is also aware that a young, fragile society like ours, destabilized by the relentless impacts of changes coming from outside, becomes extra vulnerable to the quick but false solutions to problems that alcohol and drugs give which lead to widespread substance abuse and addiction. Yet, the carefully considered response of the Church to the cruel crisis is that she cannot treat alcohol lightly as its notorious power to destroy if it is misused is an established scientific fact too serious to be underestimated. Therefore, the popular accusation that, because of issues of pride and prejudice, the Church is mindlessly and irresponsibly against the Government, and she does not understand the users, is unfair and incorrect.
Nagas should understand from what industrially produced and marketed alcohol beverages have done to the traumatized, embittered, numerically small, ethnic peoples in the Americas and Australia and realize that alcohol is in reality a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) in societies uprooted by changes beyond their control. Can anyone dispute the established statistics behind this statement and insist we should knowingly choose the easy road to disaster?
The Church is agonized by the fact that it is doing too little to serve and help those effected by alcohol abuse to recover, although it humbly maintains its care and concern for them is known to God and something left to the public to judge fairly. The Church has nothing to prove, nothing to defend, nothing to justify. To do that would be human but irrelevant.
What is more important is to address the challenge to serve and help the users more effectively by way of establishing counseling and rehabilitation facilities and schemes, and in other ways. Here the Church can sincerely say its members and workers have started to understand the enormity of what needs to be done, not just with regard to alcohol and the issues related to it but the wider crisis of our society of which alcohol is only a part.
The earnest prayer of NBCC is that more Christians will accept to live out the way, the truth, and the life Christ showed us so that our solutions to our problems will take us forward and up, instead of weakening and destroying us. With this vision and conviction for the Church and our society, NBCC appeals to the Government and all who care for the survival and sound growth of our society to look at the issue of the prohibition in its totality and act for the real good of our society. The Church sees this to be its responsibility despite its all too well-known serious limitations because what she cannot and must not do is to choose a path to walk on which we do not need God.… (Concluded)