Journal of the Central Texas Conference, Fourth Annual Session, Methodist Episcopal Church South Page: 63
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CENTRAL TEXAS CONFERENCE JOURNAL
The record of the last few years shows that prohibition has
proved the most effective measure for promoting temperance
that the world has ever attempted. In the last few decades
the people of the United States, in righteous indignation, have
driven the licensed saloon out of more than one-half of the
counties of the entire nation, and 51 per cent of the people
are now living in "dry" territory. For some time the enemy
contended that prohibition did not prohibit. that they sold
more liquor in "dry" territory than in "wet" territory. But
at last they have been pressed so far that they now confess
that it is ruining their trade. Last year thirty-one breweries
closed for want of patronage, and more than one million barrels
of beer less than the year before was drunk. During the fight
prohibition has reduced the amount of distilled liquor consumed
by the American people from four gallons annually per capita
to about one. A beer journal is responsible for the statement
that in wet territory the total amount drunk now averages
thirty gallons annually per capita, while in the dry State it
is only one and a half. As a means of preventing drink, prohi-
bition is overwhelmingly the greatest success of any measure
that has ever been attempted by the American people, and in
it lies the only hope of the solution of the liquor problem.
Being a successful temperance method, prohibition becomes
essentially a moral question. The Church is not concerned
about the politics involved, but preaches prohibition purely as
a moral question. This being the case, there is only one con-
sistent position for a Christian to take on this moral question,
and a Methodist misrepresents his Church when he either speaks
or votes for the saloon.
In as much as the press generally and some politicians are
vigorously contending that the temperance question is not the
leading question before the people of Texas today, we warn
our people against this subtile method of lulling them to sleep
on this all-important question. We assert that there is no
issue before the people of Texas or of the United States equal
in importance to the liquor problem, slaying as it does 300,000
annually in our nation, and corrupting society wherever it
touches it. Our members are citizens of a free land and have
the obligations of citizens resting upon them. Their obligations
to their God demand that they assume the duties of citizenship
and help to solve the problems of a Christian nation. No man
can be a good Methodist and refuse to assume this obligation.
The record of the past few years shows clearly that the
success of prohibition hangs on the election of officers of state
in sympathy with the cause. This being the case, we heartily
endorse the move to concentrate the votes of the Christian
citizenship upon one man in each race for office so as to insure
the success of the moral element in the coming elections and
ask our constituents to co-operate with such movements. We
believe that the question of state-wide prohibition should be
re-submitted to a vote of the people of Texas this coming
year because of the manifest frauds connected with the last
We heartily endorse the work of the Anti-Saloon League of
Texas. We believe it to be the one organization that offers to
the people hope of final victory to our cause. But we find that
criticisms that have appeared in public speech and in the
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Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Journal of the Central Texas Conference, Fourth Annual Session, Methodist Episcopal Church South, periodical, November 1913; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth49826/m1/63/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Archives of the Central Texas Conference United Methodist Church.