Has Religious Right Again Killed Sunday Alcohol Sales?

It looks as if legislators under the Gold Dome are about to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory on the issue of Sunday sales of alcohol.

For the last few years, then-Gov. Sonny Perdue, a teetotaler, had stood in the way of efforts to simply allow voters at the local level to decide if they wanted to be able to buy alcoholic beverages at grocery and convenience stores on Sunday. His argument seems to have been that if Georgians wanted to drink alcohol on Sunday, they should plan ahead and buy on Saturday. During Perdue’s eight years in office, Republican legislators apparently saw no mileage to take a risk in upsetting a key constituency, the Religious Right, only to have Perdue veto such a measure.

But that was then, and this is now. Georgia’s new governor, Nathan Deal, has stated publicly he is inclined sign legislation allowing voters at the local level to decide whether to allow Sunday sales.

Two pieces of legislation — HB 69 and SB 10 — that would provide for local control on this issue have cleared their respective committees with little opposition. They await placement on the calendars of both chambers to come to the floor for vote. Until a few days ago, it appeared as if Sunday-sales was on the fast track to being passed.

A small glint of freedom appeared on the horizon; a flickering light that now appears illusory.

The Religious Right once again is flexing its muscles; determined to limit the personal choice Georgians should be allowed to make without the meddling of government nannies. Their complaint is that allowing a grown man or woman in Georgia to purchase a six-pack of beer on Sunday constitutes an unaccceptable “encroachment of the Lord’s day.” The contradiction that many such religious advocates object strongly to other meddling by the government gives them no pause.

Of course, opposition to the Sunday-sales measure does not end with those trying to force their morality and religious beliefs on others. Liquor store owners also have voiced opposition to the legislation, because they do want the competition they would face from supermarkets and convenience stores, if the Sunday-sales measure became law. Thus, their active opposition to the legislation.

The scenario that seems to be playing out is that House and Senate members with strong connections to certain liquor store owners are using the opposition of the Religious Right, and the resulting specter of primary challengers, to intimidate colleagues into opposing SB 10. At least in the Senate, in the absence of strong legislative leadership, this strategy appears to be working.

The Georgia Chamber of Commerce, which supports Sunday sales, recently made clear it was going to “score” a vote on legislative scorecards; a common step using votes to measure support for business interests in the state. Last week, however, word leaked out that Senate leadership and ranking members had met with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and asked them to step back.

Polls have shown repeatedly that Georgians want to decide this issue for themselves; with results ranging from 52 to 78 percent in favor of the measure. One specific poll conducted by the well-represented McLaughlin & Associates, for a lobbyist group supportive of Sunday sales, shows Republican voters in five Senate districts supportive of the legislation. In fact, voters in all five districts expressed the opinion they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supported Sunday sales over one who did not.

No matter what the polls say or what special interests groups want, this is an issue of personal choice, whereby Georgians should be allowed to decide what is best for their communities. Despite early support in the state Senate; intense lobbying by the Religious Right, coupled with a vacuum of determined leadership, may have killed the measure this session.

If constituents mount a determined push at this time, however, there may still be a chance to brace up the leadership in the Senate and secure passage. I’m just not sure I’d urge advocates of Sunday sales to hold their breath.

– by Bob Barr, The Barr Code

235 comments Add your comment

LA

February 16th, 2011
10:28 am

“it’s not some wild, crazy conspiracy.’

Unless you can prove it, which you can’t, it’s nothing but a conspiracy theory. Oh, and by the way, if you are an “intellect” like you claim, why do you not know when to capitalize the first letter at the beginning of your sentences?

Did they not teach you punctuation/grammar at “Harvard?” LOL

LA

February 16th, 2011
10:29 am

“Liberals on here taking swipes at the religious right have no business at all whining about blue laws either.’

Yep, especially when these bozo’s want to force government mandated health care down everyone’s throat.

Liberals = do as I say, not as I do.

Carlosgvv

February 16th, 2011
10:32 am

L

LA

I think all Christians were Catholic then. When did Luther revolt? Anyway, you’re right in that not all Christians think alike by any means. Not all Muslems think alike either, but the crazy ones will do anything to force them all to their way of thinking.

a

TinaTeach

February 16th, 2011
10:39 am

My ONLY issue with the ban on Sunday sales is the religious excuse. I’m sorry you don’t want me to buy liquor on the Lord’s day because it sullys it?

Well pardon me but not everyone believes Sunday is the Lord’s day. For us Jews it’s Saturday. So maybe we could put up a law that bans the selling of non-kosher food (like BACON) on Saturdays…. what did you say? That’s not fair? No pork for breakfast? Tough Cookies, we don’t want you dirtying the Lord’s day.

And how about Muslims? For them, the Lord’s day is Friday. Sooooo, no pork or non-blessed meats on Friday either…. what? You were gonna buy a ham roast for dinner tonight? Too bad….

You see how stupid that sounds? Christians want to put up an anti-sharia (sp?) law similair to Oklahoma’s but want beer banned on Sundays? Can the religious right look even more like a bunch of hypocrits?

As for the little liquor stores, they can stay closed and let the super markets do their thing. It would barely hurt them and super markets don’t stock the hard stuff anyway!

LA

February 16th, 2011
10:39 am

Carlosgvv

Totally agree with you. Nope, not all Muslims are the same but the Koran does state, and Muslims agree with this, that Israel is the enemy and that ALL infidels should either convert or die.

Fotini

February 16th, 2011
10:42 am

What makes no sense about this law is that people can still drink in a bar or restaurant and then DRIVE HOME on a Sunday. It would be much safer to go to a store and take alcohol home to drink. Nothing about the anti-Sunday-sales position makes any sense! I mean, do these people hear themselves talking? It’s crazy. Georgia needs to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century… heck, the 20th century, for that matter.

TinaTeach

February 16th, 2011
10:44 am

Well my comment got eaten or is in limbo-

The short summary- If Christians feel that buying liquor on the Lord’s day is to sully it then no buying of non-kosher or halil (non-blessed) meats on Friday or Saturday because that would sully what Muslims and Jews (respectively) think of as the Lord’s day. Sorry, no bacon or ham with your Dennys Grand Slam!

AlJerryza L'Uquire-uday

February 16th, 2011
10:45 am

Alluha Akbar!

Republican Atheist

February 16th, 2011
10:46 am

LA . Your intellectual dishonesty is as repugnant and as amusing as any liberals’. As for your pathetic, cowardly snidey about “taking a gun to church”. I have never been inside in a church whilst here in the USA. I value my CC permit, and anyway it is not for me. or any other righteous atheist to emulate smug churchy oppression by imposing my will on them in their places of collective, tithed delusion.

And its not “hatred” … its forthright, unremitting contempt. Based upon close to 2000 years of sexist, racist murderous oppression and the mental enslavement, not forgetting the literal enslavement just a few hundred years ago, of all who have been victims of grasping guilt peddling venal clergy. Hatred is both extremely foolish and corrosive to all who embrace it. I just enjoy gently pillorying those who have been duped by the Catholic imposed version – and its various (later) strands – of the Osiris-Dionysus saviour cult.

Joe the Plutocrat

February 16th, 2011
10:48 am

Nothing is Free, I mean LA. don’t tell me what I imply when I post something.

ozz

February 16th, 2011
10:48 am

I currently live in Florida (previously in Georgia) & I was under the impression that there are NO package sales in Georgia on Sunday. So I don’t understand the comment “Liquor store owners also have voiced opposition to the legislation, because they do want the competition they would face from supermarkets and convenience stores, if the Sunday-sales measure became law”.
Saying they don’t want the competition implies that they (the liquor stores) ARE already open on Sundays.

ls1z28chris

February 16th, 2011
10:50 am

Oh look, people fighting over left and right in the comments.

There isn’t much difference between the left and right in this country. Both sides want to restrict your liberty. One does it because they have an ancient book of myths and superstition that they think gives them divine mandate to tell you what to do. The other does it because they think they know how to live your life better than you.

I don’t care what the justification. If you’re infringing my liberties, you’re all in the same category to me. You’re all statist zombies.

MC

February 16th, 2011
10:51 am

And still there are those that wonder why Georgia has become the laughing stock of the entire nation.

LA

February 16th, 2011
10:54 am

“Nothing is Free, I mean LA. don’t tell me what I imply when I post something.”

Wow, paranoid AND delusional. Nice combo there, Gump. Oh, and I can and will post anything as a rebuttal to the garbage you spew.

Joe

February 16th, 2011
10:56 am

Let’s see now we have the Christian Coalition and the Taliban philosophically aligned.

What if

February 16th, 2011
10:57 am

Neither our local Republicans (not to be confused with ‘conservatives’) nor our do-it-my-way-or-else “christians” (small ‘c’ intended) want anything to do with democracy. Heaven forfend should the citizens of a supposed democracy actually be allowed to choose for themselves.
Someone above has noted, however, that such should include AS LONG AS IT HARMS NO OTHERS. I agree. It’s why I think motorcycle riders should wear helmets – it’s MY wallet that gets hit when they end up a vegetable for life. That same argument, however, should be used to SUPPORT Sunday sales – NOW, as it stands, one has to go to a bar on Sunday if they can’t plan ahead, get soused, and then go out ON THE ROAD to go kill some innocent on their way home. If they could buy their booze at the store, they could go get snookered at home.

LA

February 16th, 2011
10:58 am

“Your intellectual dishonesty is as repugnant and as amusing as any liberals’. As for your pathetic, cowardly snidey about “taking a gun to church”. ”

Wow, now we have TWO gals who are pretending to be highly intelligent. Who knew? Now, yes, when I read your comments, I came to the sarcastic conclusion that you are an angry individual who has a hateful view of Christianity.

“churchy oppression by imposing my will on them in their places of collective, tithed delusion. ”

Talk about “over the top” analysis.

“Based upon close to 2000 years of sexist, racist murderous oppression and the mental enslavement, not forgetting the literal enslavement just a few hundred years ago, of all who have been victims of grasping guilt peddling venal clergy. ‘

You don’t know your history, do you. Who sold their own people into slavery? Africa. What flag flew during the slave trade movement? British

You were saying?

“I just enjoy gently pillorying those who have been duped by the Catholic imposed version ‘

So you also don’t even understand that not all Christians aren’t Catholic.

MC

February 16th, 2011
10:59 am

Thank God for Arizona! Otherwise Georgia would be the most backward state in this nation bar none. Those low SAT scores must really mean something after all.

LA

February 16th, 2011
11:00 am

“And still there are those that wonder why Georgia has become the laughing stock of the entire nation.’

Mmmmm, GA isnt’ going bankrupt anytime soon. Illinois, Michigan and California are. If you want to laugh, laugh at them.

Georgia, along with other southern states, is attracting all kinds of businesses to move here. See: Kia, VW, Mercedes, Honda, BMW etc….

Oh, and Nissan moved their North American headquarters to Nashville. You know, AWAY from California.

LA

February 16th, 2011
11:01 am

“Thank God for Arizona!’

Yep, thanks to them, many other states are adopting their illegal immigration policies.

“Those low SAT scores must really mean something after all.”

SAT scores don’t have anything to do with IQ, ma’am.

Joe the Plutocrat

February 16th, 2011
11:03 am

LA, a few more comments ebfore I finished with you. I find it and amusing example of your (lack of) intellectial maturity for you to tell me what I “imply” when I post something, but you then use the (equally infantile) ‘your words not mine’ response to other bloggers. in addition, we are all impressed by your self-proclaimed ability to “run circles” around the rest of us. and finally, where did I link “intellect” with the Ivy League? as we all know, your patron Saint George W. Bush earned* an undergrad degree at Yale and a MBA at Harvard. *perhaps “received” is a better word. we also know, both Clintons have law degrees from Yale, and the current POTUS earned his BA at Columbia before graduating from Harvard Law. ditto the Kenndy’s (Harvard and Brown). no “ma’am” I do not equate the Ivy League with intellect. but don’t trust me. go to amconmag.com (the American Conservative online) and read Patrick Buchanan’s wonderful piece on “W’s” intellect (specifically as it relates to his take in U.S. History). and finally, there is no “intellectual value” in running circles around me. to be honest, it is equally childish – stand still and confront me face-to-face, with facts. as I see it, it’s actually something of an OCD behavior – maybe it’s time for your meds (liquor included).

LA

February 16th, 2011
11:04 am

“It’s why I think motorcycle riders should wear helmets”

Talk about hypocrisy. You just chastised Christians for wanting to impose their views and you just did the exact same thing. LOL

“it’s MY wallet that gets hit when they end up a vegetable for life. ‘

Wow, talk about asinine.

Well, since we’re playing that game. It’s because of your Obama vote that unemployment is 10%.

luangtom

February 16th, 2011
11:05 am

It is amazing that in this supposedly progressive age that we still have those that wish to impose their ideals upon the rest of society. The Right is intending to make their demands known again and in the same breath tell us to keep government out of religion. What gives? If they truly believe in what they are saying, why are they not demanding closure of the malls on Sundays? Why not demand that restaurants close on Sundays and tell people to stay at home with their families? Afterall, it is “God’s day” and no one should break the Sabboth.

If these so-called experts on Biblical matters truly followed what is written, they would question themselves in demanding that Sundays have no liquour sales. Why? Well, it is written that the seventh day is the day of rest as proclaimed by God. Saturday is the seventh day on my calendar…………

kevin

February 16th, 2011
11:06 am

It bothers me that loads of people choose to go to church each Sunday and worship a sky fairy, but I do not advoctate denying them the right to do so. By proxy, please do not deny me my right to purchase alcohol on Sunday. You do not have to buy it, just like I do not have to go to church. By the way, religious folks, e.g. monks, have a rich history in brewing beer and making wine.

Jere

February 16th, 2011
11:06 am

These politicians seem so sane and normal when you meet them one on one in the bar or in the hospitality suite with their wives or “others” drinking and lusting over the opposite sex and telling off color jokes.

But boy the piety reigns when it comes to the evils of someone else who is exercising his or her God given and constitutional right to not attend church being able to buy a six pack on Sunday morning while these pols are sleeping off their hangover in church impatiently waiting for the services to end so they can head off the the couch to watch football and have a beer.

LA

February 16th, 2011
11:09 am

“a few more comments ebfore I finished with you.’

Again with the bad grammar. Did “Harvard” really pass you?

“I find it and amusing example of your (lack of) intellectial maturity for you to tell me what I “imply” when I post something”

And I find it amusing that you continually misspell words and then have the audacity to claim to be smarter than me.

“where did I link “intellect” with the Ivy League?’

It’s called sarcastic assumption, low IQ. You obviously don’t get sarcasm.

“your patron Saint George W. Bush earned* an undergrad degree at Yale and a MBA at Harvard.

Only problem with your statement is, I didn’t vote for Bush.

“and the current POTUS earned his BA at Columbia before graduating from Harvard Law. ‘

Funny how Affirmative Action works, huh.

“but don’t trust me.”

Trust me, I don’t.

“stand still and confront me face-to-face, with facts. ”

I have, and continue to do so. I’ve yet to read any “facts” about your conspiracy theories on Christians and Big Government.

“it’s actually something of an OCD behavior’

No, actually it’s just fun to irritate the hell out of you.

kevin

February 16th, 2011
11:09 am

LA

February 16th, 2011
10:39 am

You really should refrain from speaking about what the Koran does and does not say. You clearly have no clue.

LA

February 16th, 2011
11:10 am

“It bothers me that loads of people choose to go to church each Sunday and worship a sky fairy”

Maybe you should make a citizens arrest and call up Al Gore for backup.

“By the way, religious folks, e.g. monks, have a rich history in brewing beer and making wine.’

Yeah, and they also have a rich history of child molestation.

KG

February 16th, 2011
11:10 am

LA – you suck, plain and simple. Your ignorant post make up a majority on this blog, questioning everyone else and their views on this subject. Why don’t you work on the fact that your a delusional, hypocritical god fearing moron and just let it be. Instead of judging everyones opinion on this subject why not go and seek help? How can you possibly make a valid point or ridicule anyones opinion when your constantly hoping the boogie man under your bed/GOD doesn’t come for you? Let us have a drink on sunday and just mind your own mental issues in your own home for the day. I can’t wait for your next post, you bad ass cyber bully!

Shopper

February 16th, 2011
11:12 am

It is nobody’s business which day of the week – or how often, or even for what legal item – I choose to do my shopping. Period.

If there is a God, he can judge me. He admonishes his religious followers not to do so.

KG

February 16th, 2011
11:12 am

LA – do you really want to compare the Koran and the most violent book ever written/Old Testament? You douche!

LA

February 16th, 2011
11:15 am

“You really should refrain from speaking about what the Koran does and does not say. You clearly have no clue.”

From the Koran

9:5 Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush.

LA

February 16th, 2011
11:17 am

“you suck, plain and simple. ‘

WOW!!!!!! What a great comeback.

Hey, KG, if you could actually read, you’d have read where I was in agreement as to the law no alcohol on Sunday is a stupid law.

Now, please continue to rant and scream about me being a “cyber bully.” LOL

LA

February 16th, 2011
11:19 am

“do you really want to compare the Koran and the most violent book ever written/Old Testament? ‘

Sure, why not.

“You douche!’

Ok, I can play that game.

Here goes: You troglodyte, you moron, you idiot, retard……………….

kevin

February 16th, 2011
11:19 am

LA

February 16th, 2011
11:10 am

Both your points made no sense. Well done.

LA

February 16th, 2011
11:15 am

That says nothing about Israel as you originally reported. Additionally, you can pick quotes from the Old Testament that are equally as violent (espeically when you pull them out of context like you’ve done here).

Joe the Plutocrat

February 16th, 2011
11:19 am

Republican Atheist, the United States needs more republican/conservative atheists (and fewer democrat/liberal atheists). and if it not too much trouble, feel free to ask LA what part of “I am finished with you” does he not understand?

LA

February 16th, 2011
11:20 am

“and if it not too much trouble, feel free to ask LA what part of “I am finished with you” does he not understand?”

You do realize that this is a blog and people read, not speak, about what they want to say, right?

You’re drowning here, Gump.

Preacherskid

February 16th, 2011
11:22 am

I encourage all of you who seem to be approaching this issue with some common sense to contact your state representative and senator and let them hear the voice of logic and reason on this issue and encourage them to allow this bill to come to a vote and to allow the citizens of the state to decide it’s fate. Don’t let the loud cries of the radical fringe be the only voice heard on this subject.

Preacherskid

LA

February 16th, 2011
11:22 am

“Both your points made no sense. Well done.’

Not my problem if you illiterate.

“Additionally, you can pick quotes from the Old Testament that are equally as violent (espeically when you pull them out of context like you’ve done here).”

Yep, but the only problem is Jews and Christians aren’t flying 747’s into buildings, stoning and raping women etc….

You were saying?

LA

February 16th, 2011
11:23 am

“the United States needs more republican/conservative atheists’

?

LA

February 16th, 2011
11:24 am

“espeically when you pull them out of context like you’ve done here’

So enlighten me, Gump. How did I take that verse out of context?

Self_Made

February 16th, 2011
11:25 am

And these same guys caving in to country preachers and liquor store owners are supposed to stand up to the Feds to roll back healthcare and give the government “back to the people”?

Yeah…riiiiight.

Left wingers wrote the book on hypocrisy

February 16th, 2011
11:27 am

Hey left wingers,

If you don’t like Georgia, MOVE!!!!!!! Please, take your pasty a$$es back up north with all the other skinny jeans wearing little freaks. I don’t see any of you screaming about how Obama has forced us all to buy government insurance.

Left wingers wrote the book on hypocrisy

February 16th, 2011
11:29 am

kevin

Come on dude, come up with a serious rebuttal to LA’s Koran posting. I looked up that same verse and it’s NOT taken out of context.

Carlosgvv

February 16th, 2011
11:30 am

LA

You are right about what the Koran says. The question is, will the time come when we will have to fight them to the death to preserve our way of life? That may sound far out, but so was 9/11 and fanatics never give up. Also, many Muslem countries put their children in Muslem schools and keep them there till they are 17 or 18. By the time they get out of these schools, they are brainwashed fanatics. This number is growing every day. I wonder if it’s just a matter of time till it’s them or us.

kevin

February 16th, 2011
11:31 am

LA

February 16th, 2011
11:22 am

I can read fine–it’s jsut the context of your comments made little sense. By the way, you wrote, “Not my problem if you illiterate.” — it seems, you’re illiterate.

“Yep, but the only problem is Jews and Christians aren’t flying 747’s into buildings, stoning and raping women etc”

Most muslims condone those behaviors. Though, if you believe Christians lack a history of violence, you’re wrong.

Also, I thought it’s worth mentioning that your posting tone is arrogant, condescending and obnoxious. Juxtaposed to your vapid posts and clear cursory knowledge, at best, of the subjects you discuss–you might want to tread a little lighter.

kevin

February 16th, 2011
11:33 am

That should have read, “Most muslims [don't] condone those behaviors.

LA

February 16th, 2011
11:33 am

“The question is, will the time come when we will have to fight them to the death to preserve our way of life?’

We already are. Even Europe is sick of Muslims.

“Also, many Muslem countries put their children in Muslem schools and keep them there till they are 17 or 18.’

Yep, and that is why Europe is now speaking out against them. Multiculturalism doesn’t work.

Joe the Plutocrat

February 16th, 2011
11:34 am

hey everybody, back in 2010 I used to post under the name paleo-neo-Carlinist. in response to the infantile behavior is some bloggers, I created what I call ‘the kids’ table’. unlike the grown up table, where spirited debate and INTELLECTUAL sparring is encouraged and appreciated; the kids table is for armpit farts, pea throwing, and the occassional “I laughed so hard, milk came out of my nose” banter. don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for the kids table, and of course as the saying goes, “in the land of the the blind, the one-eyed man is king”. so, why don’t we all just wish LA/Nothing is Free well as he hold’s court at the kids’ table and refrain from further “enabling” of his… I mean “her” childish ranting.

LA

February 16th, 2011
11:36 am

“it seems, you’re illiterate.”

Ma’am, I can read just fine.

“Most muslims condone those behaviors.’

No they don’t and you have NOTHING to back that up. NOT ONE THING.

“Though, if you believe Christians lack a history of violence, you’re wrong.’

Rephrase that question.

“Also, I thought it’s worth mentioning that your posting tone is arrogant, condescending and obnoxious.’

You must be under the false impression that I care what you think.

“Juxtaposed to your vapid posts and clear cursory knowledge, at best, of the subjects you discuss–you might want to tread a little lighter.”

Funny because you didn’t even respond with evidence that I took the Koran out of context. You may want to rethink your hack comments.