“If we sell more alcohol people are going to die.”

That’s what Tom Rush, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Social Circle, said yesterday as the House Regulated Industries Committee passed a bill that would allow local communities to decide whether to permit the sale of alcohol on Sundays [Source: 3/13/2008 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer article “Sunday sales at grocery stores clears House panel”].

Another preacher, speaking for the Georgia Christian Coalition, asked the question “Will our communities be healthier and safer if we make more alcohol available?” My answer to that question…no more than they are right now. To repeat something that has been said over and over again, it’s legal to go to a sports bar and buy alcohol on Sundays. It’s legal to go to Turner Field, the Georgia Dome, or Philips Arena and buy alcohol on Sundays. But it’s illegal for me to walk into Kroger and buy a six pack of Mike’s Hard Lemonade on a Sunday? That seems, to me, to be the most inconsistent policy I’ve ever seen.

And what exactly does the Christian Coalition have with people voting on this issue? My position is that if the Christian Coalition is so adamantly against the sale of alcohol on Sunday, then they need to raise the money and put a campaign out on the field that encourages people to vote no. But what they shouldn’t do is stand in the way of each local community having local control over this local issue.

43 comments

  1. Jas says:

    It’s simple.

    Like the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Wahhabists in Saudi Arabia, they want a theocracy.

    When you think about, if they wanted to make a rational arguement they would be pushing prohibition legislation. But they’re not.

    Funny that yesterday the guy they interviewed on TV was wearing a “No Alcohol” sticker, yet didn’t get up and oppose legislation that would allow alcohol in limos.

  2. Burdell says:

    The revealing statement was made last year in the Senate RI&U Committee, when one of the pastors said “If this goes to a popular vote, we’ll lose.”

    Clearest declaration I ever heard that the Senate doesn’t give a flying flip about what the people of Georgia want.

    Either that, or they just admitted that pastors have less influence with the wider public than, say, grocery stores. Maybe if they’d spend time preaching God’s word instead of lobbying for inconsistent secular legislation, that wouldn’t be the case.

  3. Harry says:

    There’s nothing wrong with government regulating and limiting certain socially dangerous and destructive activities. They do it all the time. We need to minimize alcohol consumption by all mean possible. The “industry” is fighting a losing battle on this, in the long run. Maybe they’ll get even more controls, not fewer. The tobacco lobby was fighting to protect their equally-destructive substance and look what is happening. These alcohol industry folks would be well advised to leave it alone.

  4. Jas says:

    Harry – here’s where your logic fails. Throughout the last 100 years of our government tobacco regulation has gotten progressively stricter. Conversely, however, regulation of alcohol has continuously declined.

  5. CobbGOPer says:

    This is really getting ridiculous. As another poster on a related thread pointed out, in committee hearings last year on Sunday sales a pastor basically said “if we let this go to a popular vote, we’ll lose.”

    Indeed. So while they essentially concede that a majority of Georgians are or would be in favor of Sunday sales (a point only further proven by the online petition which now has nearly 50,000 names on it) they continue to deny it to us because obviously we aren’t responsible enough to handle being able to make such a decision on our own.

    And of course, even if the legislature comes around and passes a bill to allow Sunday sales, or at least to allow for local approval (or disapproval) of Sunday sales, the Governor has said he’ll veto it no matter what.

    So I guess it doesn’t really matter that it’s still alive in the General Assembly. It’s DOA if it ever get’s to Sonny’s desk.

    So thanks, Sonny, you useless excuse for a Governor, and even more useless excuse for a Republican. We can’t wait to send you back to your feed store.

    Isakson for Governor – 2010!

  6. Romegaguy says:

    I think our communities were safer (at least for the day) by having the “ministers” at the State Capitol instead of fleecing old people and molesting children.

  7. rjhatl says:

    Bah.

    First, if the Christian Coalition doesn’t support people drinking alcohol, then they should work through Georgia churches to make sure that churchgoers aren’t drinking.

    Second, the idea that allowing package alcohol sales on Sundays will cause more alcohol to be sold might be a little silly. I’m sure there’ll be an increase of some amount, but I also think that many of the sales that are made on other days of the week will just shift to Sunday.

    Third, their argument sounds awfully similar to the one they kept trotting out to oppose the legalization of high-gravity (high alcohol) beers in Georgia several years ago. They got the local media to run stories talking about “high octane beer” and how everyone would be drunk beyond belief and ramming their cars into trees right and left if beer with more than 5% alcohol content was sold in GA. Well, here we are now several years later- “high octane” beer is legal, and I note that civilization hasn’t ended.

    This is nothing but another example of Georgia Republicans turning their backs on the idea that their party supports getting government off of the back of responsible citizens.

  8. ksuowls81 says:

    What do you mean “Georgia Republicans”. It is Georgia Republicans who are sponsoring this bill. There is only one Georgia Republican who is going to veto this bill and that is Sonny Purdue. You don’t have to lump all republican’s into a heap whenever ONE republican says something. Believe it our not many politician’s (republican or democrat) have a mind and they will vote the way they want to vote.

  9. Romegaguy says:

    If the Christian Coalition types are against people drinking alcohol maybe they need to have the bible re-written to remove the accounts of Jesus’ first miracle …

  10. CobbGOPer says:

    This is becoming all about the Governor. Seriously, if Republican legislators have the cojones to tack it onto the Gwinnett stadium sunday sales bill, it means they’re willing to take the risk and listen to the will of the people.

    It will fail because of one person: Sonny.

    Typical of the way he’s run the state, a complete attitude of “I know what’s best for the state, even if you think (or have facts proving) otherwise, and I’m going to do what I want despite your opinion.”

    Again, I say:
    Isakson for Governor – 2010!

  11. Rick Day says:

    Have I posted lately how much I detest Christer ™ biddy hens meddling in my society?

    You people ain’t listening to me. Oh noooo, not that wacko jacko rick!

    Everything I’ve posted over the past three years on here has come to fruition INCLUDING McKinney’s Green run.

    Ready to start practicing the phrase “Madame President” yet?

    Clean it up, lemmings, or Democrats for the next 40 years will be feeding the hogs at the trough.

    Makes me wanna bytch slap the back of a bald head! :::coughericcough:::::

    ::::sakes head in sad amusement::::::

  12. AubieTurtle says:

    “Comrades,” he said, “I trust that every animal here appreciates the sacrifice that Comrade Napoleon has made in taking this extra labour upon himself. Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is a pleasure! On the contrary, it is a deep and heavy responsibility. No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be? Suppose you had decided to follow Snowball, with his moonshine of windmills–Snowball, who, as we now know, was no better than a criminal?”

  13. TPSoCal says:

    Argh. I don’t really give a rat’s behind if they sell alcohol on Sundays or not. I prefer not because I think alcohol is bad, but whatever. My concern and I do NOT understand where the pastors are on this, but what about all the “spas” along I-75 between Macon and Valdosta? I had to attend a funeral in Valdosta and my Aunt and I drove down from Atlanta. I was disgusted by all the billboards advertising porn stores and brothels disguised as “spas”. I am sorry, but I was outraged! Yick.

  14. TPSoCal says:

    Sorry to continue my rant, but what is the deal with all these small towns allowing this junk in their town. How can they operate in the open like that, in Cordeal, Tifton & Lake Park. Where’s the law? Surely that many people don’t need “massages” without funny business.

    Just sayin’

  15. bowersville says:

    How can they operate in the open? No foresight by the local boards by not having zoning laws and ordinances in place preventing “spas” and “nudie” bars. Once they are there, you can’t legally go retro on them.

    “massages” and the funny business.

    A law enforcement issue. I don’t know about down there but along the I-85N corridor, they’ve been busted for funny business, but they sprout right back with new ownership.

  16. bowersville says:

    If memory serves me, I think I recall the officials in Cordele went retro with ordinances and would not issue permits and that case went to the GaSupremes, where the local officials were over ruled.

    Maybe someone down there will correct me if I’m wrong.

  17. Joe Fleming says:

    It’s okay to drink at a baseball game on Sunday in Gwinnett County, but not buy a beer in Gwinnett and drink it at home watching a baseball game on Sunday?

    The logic escapes me.

    It’s okay to go to a sports bar on Sunday and order up a beer, but we won’t allow local communities to decide for themselves whether or not consumers can buy a beer on Sunday at their local grocery or convenience store?

    Government should not favor one sector of business to the economic disadvantage of another (retail).

  18. gatormathis says:

    Seems like the retro made laws were about the “Butt-nekkid” place in Cordele. The widening of the I-75 exit took care of that location.

    I think the Supreme Court case mentioned was actually on zoning or some other faction on the opening of the plastic pekker shop near Cordele.

    The “masage parlor” is at that same exit, but I don’t remember much flack going on about it except maybe one time it was referred to in a “letter to the editor” in the local paper.

    If you want to buy drink legally down here on Sunday, you have to go out to the State Park where you will find the Lake Blackshear Resort, and the Cypress Grill in that area.

    When traveling down the road, and looking up at those huge billboards around Macon, sporting phone numbers in big print, try to remenmber this.

    Always call ahead and try to find out which one has the best Chinese Buffet to go along with their massage, and you can do “one-stop” shopping that way.

    Funny. I’m having a hard time deciding which signs disgust me most…………

    ………those that advertise massages and “adult novelties”…………..

    …………or “Diesel $3.99″………..

  19. TPSoCal says:

    jsm,

    That’s just mean. And, not factually correct. Have you ever seen a smoker forced to not smoke for an extended period of time? Trust me, it ain’t pretty. Also, the danger of a smoker going postal far exceeds the danger of second hand smoke. 🙂

    gatormathis

    Tough decision indeed.

  20. ikester8 says:

    This is clearly a case of “Baptists and bootleggers” teaming up to restrict alcohol sales, and in a more subtle sense than the Prohibition days the phrase refers to. In this case the bootleggers are those still permitted to sell alcohol on Sunday. I would imagine that the restauranteurs are opposed as well as the bluenoses.

  21. Just the Facts Please says:

    Sonny Perdue (as a state senator) voted for local option for Sunday Sales in restaurants in 1996.

    I guess that vote didn’t count.

    Just the Facts

  22. liberator says:

    What is wrong with Spas and Nudie Bars? They employ many people and bring tourism and other economic activity to towns. Long live capitalism between consenting adults. Prostitution should be legal anyway.

  23. bowersville says:

    I’ll tell you what’s the matter with the spas and nudie bars. It’s those detestable orange signs with yellow writing every 2 miles.

    It gives tourist and travelers the impression that a community is only about the adult industry trade.

    It is about capitalism, but damn, those prominent over barring orange signs? How much money are you denying the rest of us.

  24. bowersville says:

    liberator, please re-read TPSoCal’ remarks. That is the typical response to the obnoxious orange signs with yellow writing. How much have these adult industry’s signs stole from the rest of us with those orange signs? Tell me.

  25. liberator says:

    Bowersville read the Supreme Courts ruling in the 1995 case of LiquorMart V Rhode Island where they ruled that legal businesses clearly have a free-speech right to advertise their wares even if some prudes find the message offensive. These places have as much right to advertise as Calvin Klein,Hooters,and Ace Hardware.

  26. TPSoCal says:

    liberator,

    I am confused. If that was the ruling, then why can’t cigarette companies advertise anywhere. I am aware they made some settlement with states AG’s and took their advetrisments out of mags. Why can’t a community have a right to restrict adult advertising. Plus, my issue with spa’s is not the legal services, but the illegal services. This seems to be happening in th epen and no one is doing anything about it. I just think it reflects poorly on the state. That’s all.

  27. bowersville says:

    Thanks for making my point liberator. It’s all about you making money and to heck with everyone else.

  28. liberator says:

    tpsocal Communities don’t have rights,only individuals have rights. This is a First Amendment issue regarding commercial speech. Cigarette companies could advertise,but they have been blackmailed by the nanny state not to. Bowersville it’s about supply demand economics period. A willing buyer and seller. That’s what Americana is all about!

  29. Romegaguy says:

    Since GOPeach isnt on here to babble mindlessly let me channel her for this topic…

    [i feel her presence]

    “SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU VOTE TO ALLOW VOTERS TO DECIDE TO VIOLATE GOD’S LAWS REGARDING NOT KEEPING THE SABBATH HOLY AND ALLOW ALCOHOL SALES ON THIS HOLY DAY? GOD SMOTE DOWN THE DOME AND WORLD CONGRESS CENTER BECAUSE THEY ALLOW SUNDAY SALES OF ALCOHOL. WHO OR WHAT IS NEXT? BAIN CAPITOL!!! MIKE HUCKABEE”

    whew. I am spent

  30. jsm says:

    TPSoCal,

    This is ludicrous, but I couldn’t help but bring it up:

    Let’s Make Smokers History
    http://www.takimag.com/sniperstower/article/lets_make_smokers_history/

    “A study in The Journal of Public Economics finds smoking bans lead to increased highway deaths as drinkers are forced to drive further to different jurisdiction or to find bars with outdoor seating.

    “‘The increased miles driven by drivers who wish to smoke and drink offsets any reduction in driving from smokers choosing to stay home after a ban, resulting in increased alcohol-related accidents,’ the study says.”

    Where’s Stacy Reece when we need him? 🙂

  31. jsm says:

    Oops. I forgot this additional quote from an anti-smoking activist in the previously mentioned article:

    “Adams added: ‘a well-enforced national smoking ban would get rid of the drunken driving increases.’”

  32. Icarus says:

    Sure Jace,

    You finally get around to watching “Animal House”, and now you’re the expert on sophisticated early 20’s lifestyles?

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