A while back I posted a piece entitled, On the Sometimes Touchy Subject of Drinking Wine. I have since happened to run across this witty speech delivered by Rep. Noah S. "Soggy" Sweat on the floor of the Mississippi state legislature in 1952. The speech concerned the prohibition of liquor, which was still the law in Mississippi at the time. Efforts to change the law met with a great deal of controversy. The speech illustrates the point of my previous post.
My friends, I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at this particular time. However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy. On the contrary, I will take a stand on any issue at any time, regardless of how fraught with controversy it might be. You have asked me how I feel about whiskey. All right, here is how I feel about whiskey:
If when you say whiskey you mean the devil's brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster, that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, and despair, and shame and helplessness, and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it.
But, if when you say whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips, and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer; if you mean the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman's step on a frosty, crispy morning; if you mean the drink which enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life's great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows; if you mean that drink...then certainly I am for it.
This is my stand. I will not retreat from it. I will not compromise.Very true, Rep. Sweat. It is not the thing itself, but the use that is made of it that is the issue.