Law Observance: Shall the People of the United States Uphold the Constitution?

By W. Durant C. | Go to book overview
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Bishop James Cannon Jr. Chairman, Board of Temperance and Social Service, Methodist Episcopal Church South

THE 18th Amendment was adopted after years of effort by the American people to reduce to a minimum admittedly great evils arising from the traffic in intoxicants.

The purpose of the 18th Amendment is "to promote the general welfare" by restricting the activities of individual citizens in the manufacture, sale, transportation, exportation and importation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes.

Intoxication is that condition in which a citizen has lost control of his physical, intellectual and moral powers, in short, of himself.

The purpose of the 18th Amendment, therefore, is to promote the general welfare by prohibiting a traffic which experience has demonstrated causes millions of citizens to lose control of themselves, to become not only unfitted to perform properly the duties which they owe to the state, to society at large, to their families, but to become a public menace, indeed, a public nuisance.

Because of its indisputably damning record, the abolition of the traffic was demanded by the present-day social conscience of the American people. This social conscience declares the rights and duties of organized society, brushing aside justly, without hesitation, any claim of any individual to perform any action or enjoy any privilege, which action or indulgence is a menace to the physical, economic and moral welfare of community life.

The social conscience of today absolutely refuses to recognize anything as private life which affects the general welfare and orders that all opportunities for indulgence of

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Law Observance: Shall the People of the United States Uphold the Constitution?
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