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Mocktail ban mocks students

Drinking mocktails is not a sin.   |   Courtesy of Adam Washington


Horton’s second floor, Mosaic, will open its doors to host their annual Mosaic Masquerade this Saturday, April 8. While the formal event still has the community drumming their fingers in eager anticipation, there will be one timeless item missing from the snack table this year. The nectarous mocktail did not have time to take a final bow before Student Development made the controversial decision to ban it from the evening festivities, due to its representation of the alcoholic beverage, which is both against contract and unwelcome on Biola’s campus. Do these sugary drinks deserve time behind bars or were they falsely accused?

up to the student

For those who are curious, a mocktail is nothing more than a mixture of fruit juice and soda. If you are in an especially austere mood, you may even serve it in a cute, little martini glass. But let us not stray into the realm of festive glassware.

The mocktail does in fact “replace” the cocktail for those who are underage or living on Biola’s dry campus. However, while it may represent a twist on an alcoholic drink, it does not spawn the evils of alcohol any more than a bowl of gummy bears may produce gluttony, especially when placed within the context of a light social gathering where even un-choreographed dancing takes place. If these drinks were presented at a middle school party, then that might be a different story, not to mention a little odd. These mocktails are offered at Masquerade to a group of adult college students — those of which have been educated on the illegality of underage drinking and fully understand the consequences.

The desire to protect underage students is admirable, but when you ban a cup of orange juice mixed with Sprite, it becomes excessive. There comes a point where it is up to the student to act as an individual and to choose to follow Christ in their own hearts.

simply a clever name

There are several instances where alcohol — most often wine — is mentioned in the Bible. In the gospel of John, Jesus turned water into wine. In 1 Timothy, Paul suggests a small glass of wine to help the stomach. Clearly, alcohol itself is not sinful — only the abuse of it produced by the sin in our own hearts. If the goal was to portray drunkenness by drinking the mocktails, then that would be a problem.

But clearly, that is not the goal.

In fact, the whole point of the name mocktail emphasizes the fact that students are not drinking alcohol. Mocktails were not offered at the masquerade as a means to perpetuate the temptation of underage drinking, but rather to emphasize the fact that students can have fun without alcohol.

By consuming mocktails, students are not attempting to create the illusion of illegal drinking. The mocktail was simply a clever name for a minor-friendly party drink. For Christians, the aim is to follow God’s desires and plans. It seems clear the consumption of a mocktail would not prevent students from doing so.

Your Turn.  Post a Comment

  1. jerry

    "But let us not stray into the realm of festive glassware."

    i am amused
    :) April 6, 2017

  2. Steph

    Context is everything. If no pictures were taken and mocktails were only consumed by those in attendance that might be a different conversation.

    But what image does it portray to outsiders (non-Christians, family members, donors) when it looks like a cocktail, wine, beer etc? If they aren't there to smell or taste the lack of alcohol, what does an outsider think is going on? Not that alcohol is wrong but if Biola is a dry school but has images everywhere that contradict that image... it might be confusing to some. April 6, 2017

  3. Taylor

    Good points, Steph.

    However, I'm pretty sure it is in fact the case that the event's "mocktails" were "only consumed by those in attendance". But even if people got their friends to bring them some "mocktails" back from the event, is that a problem?

    But if the problem is that pictures of the event "might be confusing to some"... I fail to see the problem. April 6, 2017

  4. John Kruckenberg

    Legalism at its finest. April 7, 2017

  5. Kyle


    I attend a college group in Seattle where Pot is legal for 21+. So once a semester we throw a "Bibles and Blunts" party - it's the best! You seem like you'd be the type of person who would enjoy it. The blunts are filled with a legal-but-tasty herb-mix that's as harmless as tea leaves, and you can't get high. We don't care what people think even if pictures start floating around online of us smoking a joint while holding our bibles - I mean, heck, the Bible doesn't condemn pot, let alone herbs! Christian college students need to feel cool too! So we don't care what the skeptics think, and you guys at Biola shouldn't care either! Nor should you care that you look like a huge jerk for smearing your Campus Leadership by writing a juvenile opinion article! Don't listen to anyone! Be a whiney jerk! Drink "Mocktails!" Take Pictures! You're the best, you know best, and no one can tell you what to do! Keep sticking it to the man with arm-chair criticism, Hannah! And if you're ever in Seattle, hit us up for Blunts and Bibles, I've got a HUGE blunt with your name on it!

    A very sarcastic alumni that thinks you're capable of greater things than writing whiney opinion pieces. April 7, 2017

  6. Caitlin

    "Mocktails were not offered at the masquerade as a means to perpetuate the temptation of underage drinking, but rather to emphasize the fact that students can have fun without alcohol."

    I think this sums up the idea of Mocktails very well! It's a very well-written article. April 7, 2017

  7. John Drebinger

    @Kyle if you going to sarcastically critique a student who's working on their craft you might do her the courtesy of seeing your full name, especially since you're criticizing her for "arm chair criticism" while doing the same behind a digital wall of anonymity.

    @Hannah, thoughtful piece wanted you to know that a few alumni friends sent it my way and we're all shaking our heads while sharing a sad chuckle. If you ever want a referral or some freelance writing work send me a connection request on LinkedIn

    Cheers! April 8, 2017

  8. John Drebinger

    Also to the genius student who came up with the drink names and visual display happy to help you find work too lol April 8, 2017

  9. Staci Bell

    You've got to be kidding me...

    This is one of the most ridiculous things I've read about so far today. Banning mocktails? While you're at it, you might as well separate men and women in the classrooms and require uniforms. Oh and make the dormitories completely separate as different men and women's halls and open/closed hours are not enough to separate the two from sexual mishaps.

    Mocktails.... ohmyword.... April 8, 2017

  10. Jonathan Hensley

    Why is consumption of ALCOHOL the primary portrayal Christians are so worried about when it comes to how they are perceived by the public?

    I for one would much rather see Christians concerned with how we are portrayed when it comes to feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, and sharing the Gospel. Not whether or not we have a drink.

    In fact, Biola banning mocktails plays into the stereotypical portrayal that many secular people have of Christians: that we are joyless, souless buffoons who can’t take a joke; and then hypocritically chastise secular culture for being too PC.

    And unfortunately, that seems to be a stereotype that American Evangelicals have wrought onto themselves, and continue to wrought with stupid decisions like banning mocktails. April 9, 2017

  11. Kyle Donn

    @John Drebinger - I remember a guy with your name who "stepped down" from the office of ASG President just a few years ago. Your criticism is interesting when I think about that scenario. And your offer to give this girl a referral also seems interesting. Sorry for not including my last name, I didn't forget this time. I'm over here in Seattle, not sitting in an armchair, promise. May 1, 2017

  12. The One and Only Austin James Ranson, That's Right

    @kyle donn that's a low blow, buddy... @john drebinger stepping down is completely unrelated to this piece. Pretty classless move IMO. Pretty sure you're better than that... but then again it's been a while since I last saw you. Although you must be writing from 2012 as you used that same "armchair critic" line in another piece if I remember correctly...

    Also what the hell are the two of you doing on these articles anyway? We literally graduated FIVE years ago.
    May 24, 2017

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