There are some religions that ban any and all consumption of alcohol. There are some that use alcohol as part of sacred ceremonies. I know while doing yard work on a hot summer day I've said a few prayers for an ice cold beer. If you ask me, God is on the side of the drinking man -- and I think I have proof.
First of all, I've personally consumed the good works of a few talented Trappist monks toiling away at monasteries in Belgium and France. Just taste a Chimay, an Orval, where the religious started brewing during the 11th Century, or one of the other brews from these craftsmen and tell me God is not pleased by the results.
Bourbon as we know it would not be the same drink without the handy work of Elijah Craig, an ordained Baptist minister. In addition to founding Georgetown College in Kentucky, running several businesses and serving as pastor of churches in South Carolina and Kentucky, he founded a distillery in 1789. Legend has it that a fire charred some barrels at Craig's distillery and created the circumstances under which corn whiskey was aged for the first time in charred oak barrels. Without the Rev. Craig, Bourbon might be nothing more than white lightning. There is a very fine Elijah Craig 18 Year Old Single Barrel Bourbon made by Heaven Hill that pays homage to the good preacher.
Want more proof? Just look at the number of mythical gods closely associated with alcohol:
Bacchus was the Roman god of wine.
Dionysus was credited by the Greeks with bringing wine to mankind. They still celebrate a three day festival in his honor each year in Athens.
Ninkasi was the Sumerian goddess of alcohol and known as the "Lady who fills the mouth."
Osiris was the Egyptian god of agriculture and two of its most important products: beer and wine.
Aegir was the Norse god of the sea and brewed beer in a kettle.
Spenta Armaiti was a Persian goddess charged with guarding the vineyards.
Mayahuel was the Aztec goddess of alcohol.
Mbaba-Mwanna-Warsea was an African goddess who produced rainbows to signal celebrations and was also the goddess of beer.
Then there are the Christian patron saints that keep those who make, serve and consume alcohol safe. There is a near legion of these fine folks:
Saint Luke (1st Century), Saint Barbara (d. 235 AD), Saint Medard of Noyon (470-560), Saint Adrian (b. 303), Saint Lawrence (d. 258), Augestine of Hippo (354-430), Nicholas of Myra -- also known as Santa Claus (4th Century), Saint Veronua, Boniface of Mainz (680-754), King Wenceslas (907-929), Arnold of Soissons (1040-1087) and Arnou of Oudenaarde (11th Century) are all recognized as Patron Saints of Brewers.
Wine, winemakers and vineyards have their protectors, including Vincent of Saragossa (d. 304), Urban of Langres (d. 390), Martin of Tours (316-397), Morand of Cluny, Goar of Aquitaine and Walter of Pontnoise (d. 1099).
Distillers have Louis IX of France (1214-1270), canonized for leading crusades.
Merchants selling beer and wine, vine growers and bartenders claim Amand of Maastricht (584-679).
Saint Brigid (475-525) was credited with turning dirty bath water at a leper colony into thirst quenching beer.
Saint Benedict (480-547) established the Benedictine order, whose rules include hospitality as a key element. This allowed monks to start brewing beer and selling it to locals and travelers.
Saint Columbanus converted Swiss pagans about to sacrifice a large kettle of beer by telling them God wanted them to enjoy the drink in his name.
Saint Arnold of Metz (580-640) is credited with saving countless lives during the plague by telling people to drink beer instead of impure water. It quenched many thirsts and sure beat the Black Death.
King Gambrinus is not an official saint of the Catholic church, but brewers claim him as their patron saint. It is said Gambrinus was king of Flanders and was the first to use hops and malted barley in beer. Historians argue that Gambrinus may actually have been Jan Primus (John I, 1251-1294) who was the Duke of Flanders, Brabant, Louvain and Antwerp. Others say he was Jean Sans Peur (John the Fearless, 1371-1419).
I know there have been a number of times I would have nominated a talented brewer, distiller or vintner for sainthood after trying one of their fine creations. Certainly those who turn grapes and grains into enjoyment for the masses deserve it.