I want to commend Pastor Mark Ward of First Baptist Church in Tipton for speaking out publicly on a community issue. In today’s age of “tolerance” and moral relativism his actions are not as common as they used to be. Interestingly, this is the church where I grew up and attended from the age of 13 to 24.
Pastor Ward wrote a letter to the editor of the Tipton Tribune expressing his concern about a new convenience store (Casey’s) seeking a liquor license. Pastor Ward and others knew that if one store had such a license, others in town would soon seek one as well. (Tipton has a liquor store and several bars, but all are off limits to minors and they still carry a certain stigma to their entrance in the small town where everyone knows each other.) To their credit, Casey’s General Store corporate office responded in the paper saying, “We weren’t aware of the feelings about alcohol in the community. Ward’s letter changed our minds.” Casey’s then announced that they “appreciate the vital input of our customers” and “we are withdrawing our application for an alcohol permit.”
There may be differences of opinion on the matter of alcohol proliferation and use, but we applaud the actions of this local leader and how the business listened and respected those concerns.
By the way, speaking of legal drugs, I have been looking for a place to drop this finding. We all know of the dangers of illegal drugs. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a year ago found that more people die in America every year from abuse of legal prescription drugs than die from heroin and cocaine combined. In 2004, the most recent year for statistics, 20,044 overdose deaths from prescription drug abuse occured, 14,800 of which came from narcotic pain killers. Dr. Thomas Freiden, director of the CDC calls it an “epidemic” in America and notes that most people who die from a prescription overdose are taking someone else’s medicines.