The United Methodist Church strongly protests the advertising of beer or any other alcoholic beverage at or near Olympics games and other sporting events. We consider it scandalous for any alcoholic beverage to be listed as a sponsor of the Olympics or any other national or international sports organization or event.
The Bible tells us that our bodies are “temples of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:13-20). Because we are created in God’s own image, we should strive to perfect our bodies in God’s image. United Methodism has a long history of passionate, committed action against alcohol use and abuse, and encouraging people to abstain from alcohol. Susannah Wesley in a letter to John Wesley urged piety with these words: “Take this rule: Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off the relish of spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself.” John Wesley in his sermon on the use of money advised: “Neither may we gain by hurting our neighbor in his body. Therefore we may not sell anything which tends to impair health. Such is, eminently, all that liquid fire commonly called ‘drams’ or spirituous liquor.”
Sports events receive great public attention and attract thousands of fans who attend or watch on television. Advertising of alcoholic beverages at these events is an attempt to increase the sale and consumption of alcohol by the viewing audience, many of whose members are underage. Abuse of alcoholic beverages contributes to many problems in society such as automobile accidents; violence, especially against women and children; risky behavior; and tragic deaths.
General Conference calls for these actions to be taken:
1. The General Board of Church and Society should provide advocacy, education, and resources about the harmful effects of alcohol marketing practices and engage United Methodists in action campaigns prioritizing public health. Further, that the General Board of Church and Society communicate with government leaders, public health organizations, elected officials, and sports organizations to achieve effective policies that protect public health and guard against predatory practices of the alcohol industry.
2. The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits continue its long-standing exclusion of alcohol manufacturers from its investment portfolio, and asks the board to challenge public media in its portfolio not to carry promotions of alcohol products;
3. All United Methodist agencies and related institutions should take into account the church’s Social Principles and alcohol concerns and, specifically, consider the role of alcohol producers and their advertising and marketing practices as a factor in any decision concerning purchasing food products manufactured by them;
4. All United Methodist general agencies communicate, interpret, and advocate for this concern with their affiliated institutions.
AMENDED AND READOPTED 2004, 2012
RESOLUTION #3041, 2008, 2012 BOOK OF RESOLUTIONS
RESOLUTION #82, 2004 BOOK OF RESOLUTIONS
RESOLUTION #72, 2000 BOOK OF RESOLUTIONS
See Social Principles, ¶ 162L.
From The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church - 2016. Copyright © 2016 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.