|Source: Anti-Saloon League Museum|
Isn’t this the same dynamic we see vis-à-vis the Anglican Covenant? The divisions we see in the Anglican Communion are indeed both real and serious, and many believe, naïvely, I think, that the Covenant will magically resolve those divisions. Others, who are not true believers in the power of the Covenant, are willing to give it a try. How bad could it be, after all?
Too few people thought through, in a level-headed fashion, what the effect of the extreme measure that was prohibition was likely to be. Likewise, proponents of the Anglican Covenant have not made a realistic evaluation of the probable fruits of its widespread adoption.
The effects of prohibition were largely predictable, but it was adopted because hardly anyone made either the civil-liberties argument for the right to drink or the argument that banning alcohol was unlikely to extinguish the demand for it. Likewise, the argument that Anglican churches should be self-governing seems to have become politically incorrect, and a surprising number of people seem to hold to the magical thinking that the adoption of the Covenant will somehow—we never get a clear explanation of how—resolve the differences among Communion churches.
Hardly anyone today argues that prohibition was anything other than a colossal mistake. There is an object lesson for the Anglican Communion here.
Postscript: According to Prohibition nearly all Protestant churches supported prohibition, particularly the Methodists and the Baptists. Notable exceptions were the Episcopalians and the Lutherans.