Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Your Thoughts: Alcohol Sales on Sunday?

(This post inspired by a prospective 2010 Georgia gubernatorial candidate shopping for votes)

In Georgia, it is illegal to sell alcohol in grocery stores or liquor stores. I learned today that in some states, retail sales or other commerce are also restricted, to certain degrees.

I don't think it's morally wrong to drink alcohol, unless you cannot control yourself and your drinking leads to drunkenness. Then it's wrong for you. I believe it is wrong to drink in front of someone who struggles with alcoholic tendencies. Personally though, I never really developed much of a compulsion to have alcoholic drinks on a regular basis, so no habits or compulsions of mine are at stake here.

Alcohol seems to be a rather peculiar thing to single out. While drunkenness is a sin, there are other vices that are not banned on Sundays. Materialistic people can still go shopping on Sundays. Smokers and people who play lottery (puzzling people that they are) can continue their habits. "Gentlemens'" clubs can remain open. While I'm at it, I'll just list the text of Galatians 5:19-21:

19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Yep, drunkenness sure is in that list. So are fits of rage, so perhaps some of us should not drive on Sundays, watch C-SPAN, or watch football. So is envy, so maybe it should be illegal for you to look at your neighbor's house or driveway on Sundays.

My point is that it doesn't really make sense for a government that claims (or is supposed to claim?) neutrality in religious affairs to, well, enact religious restrictions. It doesn't even enact them all, or even enact them well - while you can't buy yourself a 6 pack at Publix after church, you can go to a restaurant and order up a cold one. I believe people here usually stock up on beer on Saturdays before big football games anyways. (I wouldn't know though, nobody I know really does the beer thing, so don't quote me on that)

Of course, I am but a young man, who could be totally off his rocker in regard to this topic. What is your opinion on puzzling and incomplete Sunday commerce restrictions?

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2 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Alan

    The "blue laws" are a vestige of days gone by, when it wasn't all that controversial for the government to be pro-Christianity. Although, I'm not sure what real benefit churches gained from those laws. If you ask me, it would be more beneficial to your typical church's Sunday morning attendance if they prohibited alcohol sale on Saturday night.

  • Headmistress, zookeeper

    In some states it's illegal for car lots to sell cars on Sunday.
    when we lived in Colorado there were blue laws, and the possibility of opening up Sunday sales of liquor came up fairly often.

    The biggest lobby opposed to changing the laws was independent liquor store owners. They LIKED having Sundays off and they were concerned that they couldn't afford to keep up with the big buys if Sunday closings weren't mandatory.