This letter is a response to “Party Time?” in the Family Counselor section of the April Lutheran Witness.
The answer to the son should have been an emphatic NO in large print. Just to be sure I was rational in my thinking, I called the local police department and also the local Alcohol Information Center here in Pewaukee. Both assured me that the legal drinking age is the same in all 50 states, namely, 21. Then I asked about the father serving beer to his son and underage friends of his son in his home. Again, I was assured: To serve beer to underage friends in his home would be illegal; in fact, they added that a father may serve a beer to his underage son—only in his own home. If someone were to report drinking in the father’s home, not only would the father be arrested, but also any underage member at the party, plus any parent who knowingly allowed his underage son to drink in the friend’s home would also be arrested. All would be in violation of a Federal as well as a state law.
The father’s responsibility was to tell his son no to any beer party in his home, and at the same time remind his own son that any alcohol consumption on his part is illegal.
I feel strongly that you must print a correction to the article as soon as possible. It gives a false impression as to what might be accepted practice. Many people, parents as well as underage drinkers, could be seriously hurt, not realizing the legality involved.
I served as chaplain of the DePaul Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Hospital in Milwaukee for 20 years. The last seven years I was assigned to the Adolescent Unit. I know a little about underage users looking for any possible loophole to use drugs and alcohol. Let’s not give them one by suggesting that drinking in a buddy’s home is legal.
Chaplain Ed Eggert
Send letters to “Letters,”
c/o The Lutheran Witness,
1333 S. Kirkwood Road,
St. Louis, MO 63122-7295;
or send them via e-mail to Lutheran.Witness@LCMS.org.