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Teetertottertaler..Or However Ya Spell It

teetotaler (TEE toh tuh ler; tee TOH tuh ler [depending on whether you’re Southern or Yankee]) n. One who completely abstains from alcoholic beverages.

So I actually do know how to spell it.

I have decided, at great personal chagrin, to officially become a teetotaler. This will come as a shock to those who knew me in college and will hardly surprise anyone who knows me now or has known me growing up. But let me elaborate further:

I am labelling myself a “teetotaler” for the giggle factor.

No, really. I remember reading this word numerous times as a small child and giggling uncontrollably at the mental images it conjured. I remember repeating this word to my friends and them giggling just as uncontrollably. Never mind that we didn’t have a clue what the word meant, it just sounded pretty dang funny.

One has to admit that teetotalism is pretty dang funny in and of itself. I agree in principle with the concept; however, claiming Biblical basis for it is an entirely different matter. That discussion is probably neither here nor there at the moment, but suffice it to say that if I were to partake of my favorite fraternity drink from days of yore, these days it would mean no M.Div. for me. And all in the name of “avoiding any appearance of evil.”

I’m reminded strongly of similarly silly prohibitions against such things as dancing and requiring women to wear ankle-length dresses and long sleeves, simply to avoid temptation and the appearance of evil.

I wonder, though: aren’t we adults? Now, I can understand requiring this of Boyce students, but isn’t the average seminary student at least 25 years old on the younger end? Aren’t we mature enough to make wise decisions regarding alcohol? Never mind that most people I know on campus aren’t drinkers nor would they drink if they had the option. But those same people simply don’t seem to care. Beer, wine, etc., to people like us is just another thing to drink. We don’t have the mindset of frat boys and sorority chicks about it. We just…don’t…care. We like Coke and sweet tea better, anyway.

Now, as I work third shift and just got off, I need to get in bed. But I will soon be approaching a group of small children at my church to shout, “Ta-DAAA!!! I’m a teetotaler!!!” Can’t you just imagine the silly grins and uncontrollable giggles of those precious gifts of God?

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