Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 8, 1951

Liquor's Lying Labels

Leonard Mullens, Dallas, Texas

Have you ever glanced through some of our national magazines, and just concentrated on the advertisements? When you do, you will find that the liquor industry is spending millions of dollars a year for setting its wares before the public. It is revealing to notice some of the ways in which these products are hailed, with the idea "in mind of inducing more people to drink more of them.

One of the most prominent ads concerns itself with beer, and goes after this fashion: "I was curious... I tasted it ... and now I know why "Sudsies" is the beer that made Milwaukee famous." Perhaps some of the people of this city are proud of their beer; no doubt others are not proud of it. To say the least, though, beer has made Milwaukee famous. But let us look at the other side of that picture. In the Milwaukee Journal, Jan. 6, 1950, there appeared an article called "Alcoholism on the Rise." A few words quoted from this article are rather enlightening: "Excessive drinking "is costing an estimated $10,200,000 a year in Milwaukee county alone—$7,500,000 in lost wages, $4,500,000 for treatment and care of victims and support of their families." Again, we read, "There are now 84,000 alcoholics in the state, 25,000 of them in Milwaukee -county, with 17,000 of the state total (5,500 in the county) classified as chronic." But we quote again, "Arrests for drunkenness are on the increase, jumping 1440 per cent in the city of Milwaukee in nine years." Could this be the result of drinking the "beer that made Milwaukee famous?" Perhaps, after reading these things, it would be better to say "the beer that made Milwaukee INFAMOUS." There is an old saying that "chickens always come home to roost." The truth of Paul's inspired words are again demonstrated. We reap what we sow.

Another of liquor's lying labels is this one: "Beer belongs . . . enjoy it." And above such a lie will be found a picture of a home, or of a picnic out on a beautiful hillside, or of Americans celebrating some national holiday. And so we are to believe that beer belongs to these good things of life, according to this type of propaganda. Let us turn this picture around also, and look at its other side. Picture in your mind two boys, ages 12 and 15, as they walk to their homes, going along West Commerce in Dallas; Texas. A wildly driven automobile with three young men in it swings off the road, chases the two boys into the ditch, and runs over them, dragging one about thirty feet. Both boys were killed instantly. One of the boys in the car was 21, and his companions were 17. In a signed statement, the three youths said that they had been in a West Dallas tavern prior to the mishap. One of them stated, "I know I drank six, and may have drunk more (beers), but six was all I could count." He continued, "I think I was in the back seat—I'm not sure.

I do not know who was driving. All I remember was something bumping; I don't remember hitting anything. "Now, underneath this picture of a wild car, dragging a boy to death, and having slaughtered another, write the slogan, and get the true picture: "Beer belongs ... enjoy it."

Another of liquor's lying labels is the one about men of distinction. In these ads, the names and achievements of well-known Americans are used to advertise a certain whiskey, and the slogan sets the liquor forth as being "For men of distinction." Usually, this "man of distinction" will be pictured in his home, sitting in an easy chair, or behind an ornate desk, with perhaps his dog present at his feet, and with a glass of the amber beverage clutched in his well-manicured hand. The implication is: To be a man of distinction, just drink our whiskey. There is another side to this picture, as there was with the others. Turn it over now, and we will look on the reverse side, for a moment, and we can be assured that a moment's glance will be long enough. The time is June, 1950. Picture a little three-year old girl who has been raped, and left in the weeds in Tulsa, Okla. Picture also a drunken soldier standing over her with an empty whiskey bottle in his hand, and then tell the truth by printing under that picture: "ANOTHER MAN OF DISTINCTION, DRUNK ON OUR WHISKEY." This soldier admitted this outrage, and pleaded as his justification, "I don't remember too much about, it because I was drunk and whiskey gets the best of me."

How disgusting the whole whiskey and liquor business is. What lies and falsehoods are told by the distilleries! Another of these lying labels will do to bring these words to a close. About one brand of beer, it is proclaimed, "There is nothing like it... absolutely nothing!" And how true that statement is! To make a brute out of a human, to break and wreck countless homes, to bring sorrow, grief and despair to the hearts of many, to rob children of bread and clothes, to cause virtue to depart from women, to bring orphan children and widows into being, to cause murder, rape, adultery, uncleanness, "THERE IS NOTHING LIKE IT... ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!"

May God grant to us the courage to fight this evil, and to speak out against it in clarion tones!