In seminary I had a prof who was a teetotaler; he taught that Christians shouldn’t drink alcohol. I found most of his arguments absurd (especially the suggestion that Jesus turned the water into grape juice), but his strongest argument was that drinking brought dangers in the modern world that didn’t exist centuries ago, especially drunk driving. Thousands of lives are lost every year because people drink too much and gets behind the wheel.
Drinking at home is the most obvious solution -- perhaps in bed to avoid any drunk walking accidents -- but what if you just want to go to a bar?
There are many simple solutions to this challenge, designating an alcohol free driver being one of the many. Another is walking to the bar instead of driving -- though not everyone has a bar within walking distance of home.
Fortunately, we do. We walked to the bar at the Pizza Pit.
Our son, Bret, came with us -- which turned out to be quite appropriate. Our neighborhood bar is inside a family restaurant. The sign on the door makes it clear: “Welcome to the Pizza Pit! This is a family restaurant . We ask that you be respectful of others. No foul language, please. We’ll give you ONE warning. The second warning and we will shut the TVs off. Please don’t ruin it for everyone. Thank you for your business.” So we went as a family. And we watched our language.
Bret put some money in the jukebox and we listened to Florence and the Machine. We sat at the bar where Josh quickly took our order. We’d had pizza at the place shortly after moving to Fresno, but since we’d already had dinner at home that night, we just had some Cheetos to go with our drinks.
Mindy and Bret had Redd’s Apple Ale, and I had some fairly local hard root beer. It was a slow night, and we talked with Josh about why that might be. It was cold; perhaps people were staying in. Perhaps people were doing their Christmas shopping.
Josh said he works only occasionally at this Pizza Pit. Usually he works at the other location in the Tower District. In addition to tending bar, he’s an artist and has displayed his work at the other Pizza Pit location, which participates in the downtown ArtHop.
Joey, one of the owners, came in. He told us that Pizza Pit has been around for twenty years, but the current family ownership has been running the place for the last seven years.
We asked Joey if he’d answer our questions about what makes for a good bar and what makes for a good church and he said, “Good people”.
Josh said, “I was going to say the same thing.”
Joey said the Pizza Pit was a neighborhood place, and neighbors made the place. He made sure we knew that they’re primarily a pizza place that happens to have a bar so people can have a beer with their pizza if they want. But the place is kid friendly, with video and prize-dispensing games. Joey said they often have events for Little League Teams and birthday parties.
As for what makes for a good church, Joey said he’s not religious. He said he’s known a lot of hypocritical people in church. “If you’re in a religion, you have to be loyal to it, not two faced.”
We enjoyed our drinks and then walked home. No drunk driving risk at all after we each had our one drink. So even the best argument that seminary teacher offered doesn’t hold water (let alone hard cider), and in the world of Uber and robot cars, even less so.