That Synod notes the right of adult persons to enjoy alcohol in moderation, and the legitimate enterprise of making and supplying alcohol to responsible adults.
Synod however regrets;
i. the increasing practice of binge drinking in society, particularly among young persons,
ii. the scourge on society of alcohol-fuelled violence and property damage,
iii. the high levels of injuries suffered by police officers while attempting to quell late night pub brawls,
iv. the knock-on effects of alcohol abuse which are felt by our hospitals,
v. the carnage on our roads often caused by speeding drunk drivers,
vi. the alcohol-led physical assaults on many women and children in their own homes, and
vii. the practice of specifically targeting teenagers in some advertising of alcohol campaigns, which is directly contributing to the establishment of a binge drinking culture among young people.
Synod calls on all State and Territory governments to consider a range of drinking laws designed to address the problems brought on by alcohol abuse, and encourages our law makers to consider research which highlights the relationship between crime and extended liquor trading hours, when determining their response to community calls for an immediate cutback in licensing hours. Synod also encourages our politicians to examine other initiatives to limit the curse on society brought on by alcohol abuse.
Synod further requests the Primate to write to the Premiers and Chief Ministers of Australia, Leaders of the Opposition and Police Commissioners to encourage them to pursue this matter vigorously and to assure them of our support as they do so.
In light of this, Synod recalls the biblical teaching
a. that “everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving” (1 Timothy 4:4, cf John 2:1-11, Psalm 104:15);
b. that drunkenness is always to be avoided (1 Cor 6:10, Eph 5:18);
c. that civil rulers and church leaders must take special care in any consumption of alcohol (Prov 31:4-5, 1 Tim 3:3);
d. that Christians should avoid causing others to stumble by what they drink (Rom 14:21).
Synod also notes the Personal Behaviour section of our code of conduct Faithfulness in Service and particularly items 6.5, 6.6 and 6.16 which relate to the consumption of alcohol.
Synod therefore encourages Christian pastors and other leaders and teachers to proclaim scriptural truths concerning the use of alcohol and to set a godly example in regards to any personal use of alcohol. Synod especially encourages all Anglican church youth leaders to diligently teach their teenagers about the dangers of binge drinking culture, and to set a godly example to them in all things including refraining from excessive alcohol consumption.
The Revd Zac Veron moved, The Revd Jim Ramsay seconding, 23 Sept 10