There is a new video out from the 2009 World Dwarf Games in Belfast, mostly from the end of Games party. Special thanks to the person that alerted us that this video was out there. Funny how the reality show always seems to miss filming these parts of events like this ;-) As a result, some Little People, Big World viewers have made the observation that Jeremy, Zach and their friends seem like such innocent young guys who would rather build forts with dad than get into "trouble" like is so common for other people their age.
Just in case anyone is wondering, the drinking age in Ireland is 18 years old. Jeremy and Zach Roloff were 19 at the time so all is good from that standpoint.
However, we can always anticipate what the discussion will center on any time there is something, be it comments, stories, or in this case pictures/video that links Jeremy Roloff and alcohol. So for people that don't know the backstory, this is it:
In the book by the Roloff Family: "Little Family, Big Values" there is a chapter where Jeremy is quoted talking about his devotion to God. There is this rather now infamous quote attributed to Jeremy Roloff:
"To me, having faith in God means that your life is different from other people's lives. You aren't better than they are, but you are different because God is living inside you. My faith in God keeps me from doing some of the negative things so many kids do -- drinking, drugs, and other things. My friends and I like to have fun and enjoy life, but we do it in ways we know show that we have faith in God and in ways that we know please him." -- Jeremy Roloff
However, even before that statement from Jeremy, fans had noticed comments between Jeremy and his friends on various social media sites where they discussed their drinking antics (the most famous story being when Jeremy and a friend commonly referred to as "Rempel" were 15, stole Matt's vodka, replaced it with Sprite and -- according to them -- proceeded in their drunkeness to accidentally set the side of the Roloff barn on fire with firecrackers...), referred to bring the "drink" and the "stuff" (in quotes). Some of Jeremy's friends had pictures of them with booze and other drunk pictures. In general, I think it's fair to say that most people familiar with Jeremy (off the show) and his friends would say that they never gave the impression of being squeaky clean kids that were so unlike the majority of kids -- as Jeremy claimed in the book.
Due to that statement -- it became an issue between fans. Anytime people would see the above mentioned things, a segment of people would say Jeremy and the Roloffs are liars and anyone that believed him was very naive. That faction of people said it was a line and a lie to appeal to the religious Christian market because that can be a gold mine in book sales. Adoring Christian fans of Jeremy and the Roloffs would get very offended and annoyed at the accusation that Jeremy was lying and was using God to lie; Jeremy said that he and his friends didn't drink and didn't do that "other stuff", so he didn't because Roloffs don't lie and Jeremy loves Jesus.
Even at this specific event - the 2009 World Dwarf Games in Belfast, Ireland. Some people posted saying they attended and Jeremy was doing shots with them at the party. Some Roloff fans warned others not to believe internet posters as they can claim anything and said they felt it was a lie (you can watch the video and decide what you believe about "the shots" issue).
For the record, I think it's worth noting that several different people have reported mentioning this issue to many different friends of Jeremy, saying that he's a liar and a hypocrite. The general response is not "How dare you accuse Jeremy of drinking"...but rather "So what? What teenager doesn't drink and smoke, etc" -- I believe a lot of Jeremy's friends used to be forthcoming about it because most of the Roloffs friends never paid any attention to the Roloffs PR -- so I don't think most of them were aware that Jeremy was telling everybody that they were so unlike most teenagers and it was due to their faith in God. We have heard from a few people more recently who say they've asked Jeremy in person about some of those things and Jeremy maintains his public image -- that he and his friends are really good kids that don't drink and don't "smoke" and Jeremy reportedly says he prays for people that gossip and tell these lies about him.
So that's why this issue always gets so much attention. It's not because people are shocked that a teenager drinks and parties or that they're shocked Jeremy is like that too -- it's because Jeremy is on record denying that he does and says he doesn't because he is pleasing God by not drinking and not engaging in those "other things" that are common for people his age.
So with no further delay, the video from Belfast!