Recently IHQ in London released an updated Position Statement on Alcohol:
“The Salvation Army encourages an alcohol-free lifestyle as a way of enhancing the well-being and health of all people. As a witness to this, Salvation Army soldiers choose to live an alcohol-free life.
The Salvation Army recognizes the harm alcohol causes in individuals, families and communities. It advocates for reducing the consumption of alcohol, and it offers its services to support and restore people negatively impacted by alcohol use.”
Even though it still does not endorse the use of alcohol and encourages its members to remain “alcohol-free”, the last paragraph seems to allot for it in some lifestyles. Is this just me reading into this revised position statement? Is the first paragraph for members and the last paragraph for those we serve and help? Is this, in someway, a means to make everyone happy? Can both ACTUALLY exist within the same position statement or is it contradictory? Being alcohol-free is of course not the same thing as “reducing the consumption of alcohol.
Other questions come to my mind.
Culturally speaking there are some places in our world where drinking alcohol at various ages is perfectly acceptable and does not, in general, lead to alcoholism. Is this position statement clarification meant to include these previously mentioned cultures and countries? Another thought comes to my mind – is this a cultural shift in the Army? Does this mean that little by little these Position Statements will change or are they set in stone (so to speak)? What happens in another generation? Will these position statements still be intact as they are now?
I am certainly not criticizing the Army today, I am just wondering what this means.
Could this indicate a larger shift in the Position Statements in the future?
Something more for the Army world to ponder today.