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June 6, 2007

“Should parents throw teen drinking parties?”

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: "Should parents throw teen drinking parties?"
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2007 18:27:35 -0700 (PDT)
From: Scott Tibbs <tibbs1973@yahoo.com>
To: will.higgins@indystar.com

Mr. Higgins:

The inflammatory nature of the headline on indystar.com does nothing to promote reasonable discussion on the issue of whether it is OK to let teenagers drink under parental supervision.

Just as there is a significant leap from reasonable food intake to gorging oneself, there is a significant leap from moderate consumption of alcohol by teenagers to a "teen drinking party". No reasonable or responsible person believes that parents should throw a drinking party for teenagers.

The Indianapolis Star should be ashamed of itself for such sensationalism.

As to the issue itself, I believe that American culture's schizophrenic attitude toward alcohol encourages irresponsible and dangerous abuses of alcohol including binge drinking. We still have a cultural influence from Prohibition that drinking alcohol is in and of itself "sinful", despite the fact that Scripture is clear on the matter. Meanwhile, drinking is glorified in much of pop culture. Instead of being a beverage someone consumes as part of a normal diet, it is a "forbidden fruit".

Should parents allow teenagers to drink in a responsible way? Right now, the law states that anyone under 21 may not consume alcohol, so parents should obey the law. They should, however, teach teens (and pre-teens, for that matter) about the reasonable and responsible use of alcohol. Let them know that if they choose to imbibe, that they must do so responsibly.

Scott Tibbs