Booze sales on Sunday?

19 01 2007

Last week I was starting to get really excited about the Georgia legislature doing something right to bring us out of the dark ages. If you don’t know, it’s currently illegal to buy beer, wine, or liquor on Sundays in Georgia. Apparently, this is supposed to cut down on drunk driving on Sundays, but really it’s just a thinly veiled law passed by so called ‘conservative Christians’ to force people to be religious on the Sabbath. Lately legislation has been proposed to allow beer and wine sales in grocery and convenience stores on Sundays after noon. I personally believe it should also cover liquor but I’m willing to take any progress I can get.

Sonny Perdue, our esteemed governor, made the dumbest comment I’ve ever read yesterday. You can read most of it in the news blog below, but the AJC reported that Sonny said that not buying alcohol on Saturday was “poor time management.” I’d give you the link to that stupidity, but the AJC makes you log in to read articles and they love that spam.

Read about it on 11Alive’s news blog here.

Here’s the scoop: anyone over 21 can buy alcohol of any kind by the glass at the drinking establishment or restaurant of their choice on Sunday. So what we have is instead of allowing people to buy booze and take it home to get drunk, we tell people they must go out and pay restaurant prices for booze to get drunk and then drive home. I remember when the law was passed when I was in high school and my economics teacher was just as confused over that point as I am now.

Also, all Christians don’t believe it’s ‘against the rules’ to drink on the Sabbath. (On a side note, what about Seventh Day Adventists who consider the Sabbath to be on Saturday or Jews who start observing on Friday at dark?) Some of us consider a glass of wine and fellowship with family to be the ultimate celebration of our values.

Georgia is one of the 3 states in the country with these so-called “blue laws” that are left over from the age of Prohibition. When I consider the reasoning, I can’t see too many negatives to allowing alcohol sales on Sundays. Here are my positives:

* Disallowing alcohol sales on Sunday causes an overwhelming amount of people to be in the grocery stores on Saturdays.
* Sunday, people who live near the borders drive to other states to buy booze, therefore denying Georgia of the liquor tax on sales and cost GA businesses that are near the border money.
* Liquor store owners and purveyors of fine wines lose business and money because they aren’t able to open on Sundays.
* Grocery stores are forced to close off sections of the store that stock beer and wine (grocery stores and gas stations can’t get liquor licenses in GA) starting at 11:30 Saturday night.
* The mad rush of speeders and drunk drivers at 10:30 to make it to the store before the cut-off time is CRAZY!
* 68% of Georgians and 80% of metro-Atlantans want this law to be revoked.
* Restaurants can sell any kind of booze on Sunday.

So, Mr. Sonny Perdue, if you or one of your aides stumbled over this from some random search engine, I just want you to know that I am one of your staunch supporters. I drove three hours in the rain to get to my home voting location to make sure Mark Taylor didn’t beat you last election. I consider myself a conservative Christian and a centerist Republican but this is against everything I believe about conservative economic policies to freedom of the individual to choose their own life’s course.

I believe this is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard you say and it’s going to draw more negative nation-wide press than the ‘flag flap’ did. Stating that you had the last vote and you would veto what the general vote concurred on is bad politics and is going to make Georgia look even worse in the eyes of the nation. Georgians do not need a baby-sitter or a moral hero to save us from the sins of libation. Grown ups can make grown up decisions and not everyone is a Christian or a Christian who believes that alcohol is a sin. Don’t Republicans have a bad enough name right now to keep you from throwing this bullheaded nonsense out there? I can appreciate a strong leader with morals, but this is over stepping the bounds and ignoring your constituency.

Mr. Governor, here’s my Sonny-do list: let adults make their own decisions. We don’t need you to act like a Democrat and over-legislate our lives.

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