The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that alcoholism is a medical condition, not an aspect of moral character.
Here is what the Bible, a compilations of books that is considered the absolute authority on moral values by over 2 billion people on this planet and by well over 200 million people in this country says about Alcoholism: (statistic source below)
In the letters of Paul, the Holy Spirit, through Paul, says:
Nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Ok, that is the New Testament, what does the Old Testament say:
Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.
Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
Awake, you drunkards, and weep, and wail, all you drinkers of wine, because of the sweet wine, for it is cut off from your mouth.
Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing strong drink,
For they are like entangled thorns, like drunkards as they drink; they are consumed like stubble fully dried.
Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent.
Here is an excerpt from AA’s Big Book:
Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol– that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God AS WE UNDERSTOOD HIM.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God AS WE UNDERSTOOD HIM, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
It sounds to me like Step 6 sees alcoholism as a moral failing.
So how is it that the 9th Circuit Court can rule that it is not a moral failing?
Sites I consulted to find the above information:
Eighty-three percent of Americans identify themselves as Christians. Most of the rest, 13 percent, have no religion. That leaves just 4 percent as adherents of all non-Christian religions combined — Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and a smattering of individual mentions.
That’s quite different from the world at large: Fifty-two percent of the world’s population is non-Christian, compared to 4 percent in the United States; and one-third is Christian, compared to 83 percent in the United States. (These are rough comparisons, because the world figures, reported by the Encyclopedia Britannica, are for the full population, while the U.S. figures are among adults only.)
The stats may not line up directly because I quoted from the top of my head. I think ABC is a reasonable source and you can see that the numbers I quoted are quite close.
Also, I used the image above because I liked it. I do not endorse or reject the discussion in the article I found it in. Although, many Christians will know William Lane Craig who’s ideas are touched upon in the article.