South Carolina pastor and blogger Quinn Hooks has written an informative post spelling out the tragedy inflicted upon so many lives by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). FAS afflicts thousands of babies born in the United States each year. A survey by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services found that over half of all American women aged 15-44 admitted to having drunk alcohol during a pregnancy.
Regarding FAS, the Centers for Disease Control reports: “[FAS is] 100% preventable if a woman does not drink alcohol during pregnancy. There is no known safe amount of alcohol to drink while pregnant. There is also no safe time during pregnancy to drink and no safe kind of alcohol.” (see here) In spite of this fact, in one survey 41% of (uninformed?) physicians noted that they advised pregnant women merely to reduce alcohol consumption to no more than three drinks per day.
Nevertheless, no matter what deleterious effects the consumption of alcohol may have on their bodies and their babies, it is important for Christian women to understand and to celebrate their freedom in Christ to drink alcohol, even during pregnancies. The Bible says nothing about abstention from alcohol during pregnancy. Indeed, we know from the Bible that people drank wine at weddings (John 2:1-11), we know that such a wedding was a tradition in which Mary participated (since she appears prominently in the John 2 passage), and we know that Mary herself was pregnant with Jesus at the time of her own wedding feast (Matthew 1:18-25).
Q.E.D. the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy is a biblical and righteous practice, and is even a subtle portion of the Christmas narrative. Mothers who have abstained from alcohol during pregnancy probably need to repent of that abstention. I plan to confront my mother with this sin while home for Christmas. To all of you pregnant Christians out there, bottoms up!
Anybody who says otherwise is just a Fundamentalist legalist, and probably a Landmarker, too!