Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 14, 1961

Oklahoma's Crowning Glory

Jesse M. Kelley, Tulsa, Oklahoma

For the past two years both state and federal officials have been looking with growing alarm at Oklahoma's tremendous upsurge in crime. Oklahoma's citizenry has been looking on in apprehension as both state and various city officials have been frantically searching for a reason and an antidote. All categories of crime save one have skyrocketed far beyond the national average as well as what it was in Oklahoma two years ago. Various and sundry reasons were given by first one official, then another. No one seemed to be quite sure — until today.

In the Tulsa World of Friday morning, November 3, way back on page 16, the real reason for our plight is revealed by an official of Sooner (Oklahoma) Alcoholic-Narcotics Education. Mr. Rose McLennan, executive secretary of the organization, says "legalized liquor is responsible for the tremendous upsurge in crime in Oklahoma." Mr. McLennan compared 1958, the last full year of prohibition in Oklahoma, with 1960, the first full year of legalized liquor. His report revealed that between 1958 and 1960, the crime rate in the state rose 21.4 per cent, compared to 15 per cent for the nation as a whole. Let our Governor and those citizens (among whom are many members of the church) who worked and voted for legislation that legalized the stuff read the following statistics and see if they can still glow with their victory over common decency!

Murder increased 16.6 per cent compared to the national average of 10 per cent increase. More than six people were murdered that would not have been if decency had won the election in 1958. Forcible rape increased 27.7 per cent, compared to the national average of 5 per cent. Robbery, 45.1 per cent; national average, 23 per cent. Burglary, 29.2 per cent; national average 18 per cent. Auto thefts, 42.8 per cent; national average, 11 per cent. "Many of these crimes," said McLennan, "are undertaken by people under the influence of alcohol. We think it is a contributing factor."

In Oklahoma City the statistics reveal that drunkenness is up 27.8 per cent over what it was the last full year of prohibition; disorderly conduct up 15 per cent; minor assault up 47.1 per cent, and aggravated assault up 88.7 per cent!

This is the commentary for legalized liquor in Oklahoma! Governor Edmondson proudly boasts of, and takes credit for this great "advance" in our society. Many of my Oklahoma brethren, by their own admission, worked for it and voted for it. They will go to hell if they don't repent. But even then, what they gave their influence to will continue to blight our state in the form of rape, murder, drunkenness, robbery, etc.

These published statistics are not the hallucinatory visions of a "wild-eyed religious fanatic," but are the cold, sober facts of an official concerned only with truth about our disintegrating society. Yet, in the face of such facts some church members will continue to encourage its sale while parroting the carpings of political demagogues to the effect that it "is good for the state," and besides, "look at the revenue it brings in." Such a person is not my brother in-Christ; his fellowship is neither solicited nor desired!