Is underage drinking a sin?

I understand that it is okay to drink alcohol as long as it is not in excess, but is it a sin no matter what if you are under 21? (because it is a law in the US)

I apologize i do not have an answer to your question, however i must say that is a good question!!! I am looking forward to the answer!

i don’t think it’s necessarily a sin in itself but it can cause you to sin quite easily.

the drinking laws are there for a rason; medical and scientific evidence has shown effects of alcohol on people below certain ages to be more detrimental. i wouldn’t break the civil law eaither, if we are interested in being faithful to God also. not relaly a good patern to be starting

Of course it is a sin. As Catholics we are to obey the law of the land unless it is unjust. This law is of course not unjust. When you disrespect this law, you are showing that it is in your character to disrespect authority. And ultimately you will disrespect the Authority of the Church and God himself. Not to mention the damage you can do to your family and reputation.

Risking penal punishment to get drunk.:shrug: Why is this even a question?

The law doesn’t apply to consumption of alcohol, it applies to the purchase of alcohol.

Oh come on ALL questions should be asked. Also the original question said nothing about getting drunk AT ALL….

Actually, to clarify my post. The law applies to the purchase and public consumption of alcohol (in most cases). If someone who is underage consumes alcohol in a non-public environment and didn’t purchase it themselves, then they are not breaking the law. I believe the public consumption part applies to public drunkenness as well. However, someone who has a glass of wine at home with dinner is not breaking the law.

For some individual state laws:

While this act did not outlaw the consumption of alcoholic beverages by those under 21 years of age, seven states and Washington D.C. extended its provisions into an outright ban. These states are: Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. The minimum drinking age is a state law. However, most states still permit “underage” consumption of alcohol in some circumstances. In some states, no restriction on private consumption is made, while in others, consumption is only allowed in specific locations, in the presence of consenting and supervising family members as in the states of California, Colorado, Maryland, Montana, New York, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The act also does not seek to criminalize alcohol consumption during religious occasions; (e.g. communion wines, Kiddush).

??? Someone should tell that to the police that hand out underage consumption tickets:shrug:

The CCC addresses this issue. Actually it addresses most issues. I am many people do not seek it out.

This is addressed in the section of the 4th commandment.

Duties of civil authorities

2235 Those who exercise authority should do so as a service. "Whoever would be great among you must be your servant."41 The exercise of authority is measured morally in terms of its divine origin, its reasonable nature and its specific object. No one can command or establish what is contrary to the dignity of persons and the natural law.

2236 The exercise of authority is meant to give outward expression to a just hierarchy of values in order to facilitate the exercise of freedom and responsibility by all. Those in authority should practice distributive justice wisely, taking account of the needs and contribution of each, with a view to harmony and peace. They should take care that the regulations and measures they adopt are not a source of temptation by setting personal interest against that of the community.42

2237 Political authorities are obliged to respect the fundamental rights of the human person. They will dispense justice humanely by respecting the rights of everyone, especially of families and the disadvantaged.

The political rights attached to citizenship can and should be granted according to the requirements of the common good. They cannot be suspended by public authorities without legitimate and proportionate reasons. Political rights are meant to be exercised for the common good of the nation and the human community.

The duties of citizens

2238 Those subject to authority should regard those in authority as representatives of God, who has made them stewards of his gifts:43 "Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution. . . . Live as free men, yet without using your freedom as a pretext for evil; but live as servants of God."44 Their loyal collaboration includes the right, and at times the duty, to voice their just criticisms of that which seems harmful to the dignity of persons and to the good of the community.

2239 It is the duty of citizens to contribute along with the civil authorities to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom. The love and service of one’s country follow from the duty of gratitude and belong to the order of charity. Submission to legitimate authorities and service of the common good require citizens to fulfill their roles in the life of the political community.

2240 Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one’s country:

Pay to all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.45
[Christians] reside in their own nations, but as resident aliens. They participate in all things as citizens and endure all things as foreigners. . . . They obey the established laws and their way of life surpasses the laws. . . . So noble is the position to which God has assigned them that they are not allowed to desert it.46

The Apostle exhorts us to offer prayers and thanksgiving for kings and all who exercise authority, "that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way."47

2242 The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel. Refusing obedience to civil authorities, when their demands are contrary to those of an upright conscience, finds its justification in the distinction between serving God and serving the political community. "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s."48 “We must obey God rather than men”:49

Specifically 2238

Read my second post. Purchase or public consumption are covered under the law. If an underage person is publicly drunk, then that goes along with public consumption.

However, if a 15 year old has a glass of wine at home with their parents with dinner and goes out with this friends later and doesn’t show any signs of drunkenness, the police shouldn’t have any case.

No one is talking about drinking with parents here.:rolleyes:

In every state I have lived drunk or not when a party gets busted consumption tickets are given out.

and most of those people are drinking to get drunk as well ;). Parties are a different animal. The police aren’t going to be doing alcohol tests on 100 kids to see which are drunk. You’re there, then you’re busted if they catch you. If you’re sitting in a house/apartment having a couple beers with friends, then the police aren’t going to bother you.

Plus the OP specifically says

I understand that it is okay to drink alcohol as long as it is not in excess, but is it a sin no matter what if you are under 21? (because it is a law in the US)

So, the answer to his question is

  1. If you are drinking in a private location
  2. Without the intent to get drunk
  3. Not in the states of Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.
  4. Only under supervision of an adult in California, Colorado, Maryland, Montana, New York, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming

Then you are not breaking the law and not sinning :thumbsup:

Given that the law doesn’t recognize Transubstantion, and that religious exemptions are rapidly disappearing from the law books in the name of “diversity,” you seem to be saying that the Cup at Mass shouldn’t be given to anyone under 21.


Never mind

No way it isn’t a sin, the church is not bound to the laws of any country.

The Church is not bound true. But you might want to reference the CCC quoted above.

If what you are saying is true then one could break all sorts of laws with no spiritual implications.

As Catholics we are bound to follow just laws. This has always been the case. You can get into really dicey territory here. Like age of consent for marriage etc. Think about the implications of your position.

If you all want to make the case for high schoolers to morally drink, then I guess nothing the Law or the Church says will make a difference. All I know is there are a lot of underage drinking confessions at the ol youth retreats.

according to the new advent encyclopaedia, unjust and useless laws are not real laws,(altough i have not read that, hust that phrase, so if its wrong please tell me). and well, if they forbid that, i think it would fall under unjust law.

Could you please back that up? I was kind enough to post the relevant section of the Catechism that specifically addresses this issue. The Church has spoken. I would be surprised if the Catholic Encyclopedia goes beyond what the CCC does. BUt even if it did only one is really the voice of the Church.

An unjust law would be if it were illegal to attend Mass. Then, you could break it.

People are being fast and loose with “unjust” It does not just mean a law I don’t like. We MUST pay taxes even though those taxes may go to things we may not think are just. Scripture and the Church have addressed this issue. It may just be one people dont like to hear.

Truly, there is nothing new under the sun.

So if the United States told us we all needed to cut out our eyes and kill our first born we should because the United States told us to. I refuse to bow down to a man made organization that has let me down when the only thing that saved my life is the church that jesus founded in 500 years the untied states will not be here but jesus and his church will be

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