Ray W.G. Bayley: “No drinking at all is safest option”

One of our founding members, Rev. Ray W.G. Bayley, had the following letter published in The Cap Times. You can view the original online post at The Cap Times Web site.


May 17, 2013

Dear Editor: This is not written to judge the church leader who faces charges related to operating an automobile while under the influence of alcohol. The courts will do that. I do express sympathy for family of the innocent victim whose life was prematurely snuffed out. Nothing can reverse that tragedy.

I do speak to the multitudes of people who repeatedly expose themselves to similar situations, assuring themselves that their drinking will have no effect on their ability to drive safely. Numerous studies have confirmed that there is measurable effect on driving ability with only one or two drinks.

A common misconception is that moderate drinking is the solution for alcohol problems. I submit that, instead, moderate drinking is their cause. It is a safe assumption that nobody ever intends to drink without control. Oh, yes, some on occasion decide to get drunk — but never to lose control of their drinking. But 10 percent of people who drink become alcoholics, and another 20 percent to 30 percent experience some sort of problem as a result of drinking, ranging from a relationship-destroyiing comment to a death-causing crash. These occur despite all intentions and expectations of “moderate” use.

It is quite fair to ask the question: In light of the dangers of drinking, can any or all of the enjoyments justify its practice? It is for each person to choose. Which is easier, to make one decision or to make 10,000d decisions? The abstention from alcohol requires one decision — to abstain. One. The person who chooses to drink “moderately” faces many decisions.

The very first effect of drinking is upon judgment. The person who has had 10 drinks obviously has poor judgment but it began with the first. The one who has had one drink is no longer the same person.

My message is to consider all the facts, think and decide. It is never too soon to choose abstinence; it can be too late.

Ray W.G. Bayley

Read more at The Cap Times Web site