At least this is what some people in Georgia including Governor Sonny Perdue would have you believe. And that is what I would have believed years ago as well.
I grew up in a household where both parents had grown up Southern Baptist. Not a drop of alcohol was to be found in our home. And so I grew up believing that drinking beer or wine was a sin. I never really questioned this perspective until I got older and started to re-read the Bible and began questioning some of the things that I had always been taught.
There are, in fact, numerous mentions of alcohol in the Bible, many of which are positive mentions. Jesus turned water into wine (not Welch’s grape juice) and even used wine during his Last Supper as a sacrament for his followers to remember him.
A few years ago I had a conversation with my grandmother and this topic came up. My grandmother had always been very vocal about the evils of alcohol and I wanted to understand why. I’m not sure how I had never known this, but her father had been an alcoholic and had physically abused his family. Being in the rural South with a strong Christian cultural milieu, the interpretation of alcoholism and abuse became a Christian one, hence the “alcohol is of the devil”.
Unfortunately, this cultural preference has become ingrained in many Christian cultures and churches over the years to the point that many Christians have difficulty separating the essentials of their faith from cultural preferences that really have no basis in the Bible.
In a pluralistic society, there are certainly difficulties and hard questions when we talk about legislating certain beliefs. While I disagree with those who say that we can never legislate morality (in fact that is the only thing we can legislate), it is even more disturbing to push a policy agenda based upon a supposed Christian belief that is in actuality nothing more than a tradition.
I can certainly see why most non-Christians in Georgia would be disturbed by blue laws. Hopefully, more Christians will become disturbed by blue laws as well. There is nothing Christian about blue laws or abstaining from alcohol.