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

Patriot

February 16th, 2011
11:37 am

This demands an act of civil disobedience. If this measure fails, everyone who supports the sale of liquor on Sunday should go out in front of their house on Sunday and sell whatever beer, wine, or liquor they have. A nice 19 day sit-in at the capitol seemed to work for the Egyptians. Maybe we could get a complete house cleaning with such a move. Bottom line is that in 2011 we should not have to BEG our elected officials for our FREEDOMS BACK.

LA

February 16th, 2011
11:38 am

“hey everybody, back in 2010 I used to post under the name paleo-neo-Carlinist.’

You must be under the false impression that most people care about who you post as.

“so, why don’t we all just wish LA/Nothing is Free’

NIF comments over on Bookman’s blog, hack. If you had half the intelligence of a carrot, you’d know that. But, since you don’t, you continue to pretend that you are somehow smarter than everyone else even though you haven’t written one…..single….intelligent…….comment.

Atlanta Native

February 16th, 2011
11:38 am

Still waiting to hear a rebuttal for my three points. Paul speaks of moderation, but not temperance.

LA

February 16th, 2011
11:39 am

“Still waiting to hear a rebuttal for my three points.’

Like I said, they were spot on.

Joe the Plutocrat

February 16th, 2011
11:42 am

Patriot, funny you should mention. was not the home of a Grant Park/SE Atlanta resident raided last year by APD for operating a “liquor store” out of his living room? and the worst part? he wasn’t charging a premium? maybe a couple buck mark-up on a case of beer or a bottle of liquor. he bought it legally (and paid state/city sales tax), but somehow, when he turned around and held a “booze only” yard sale, he was viewed as a ‘criminal’?

Bill from Lake Sinclair

February 16th, 2011
11:43 am

Joe the Plutocrat

If one is going to ignore someone else, they simply ignore them. Instead, you continue to throw gas on the fire by name calling and other childish put downs. No one cares about your “adult table” because most people couldn’t care less about what you have to say. You haven’t contributed one single thing to the conversation.

jconservative

February 16th, 2011
11:44 am

The Gospel According to John, Chapter 2 (King James Version)

“[6] And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.
[7] Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.[8] And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
[9] When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
[10] And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.
[11] This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.”

Just noting for those interested in such things.

beachwriter

February 16th, 2011
11:45 am

Shopper nailed it: “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.”

That’s all that needs to be said on this subject.

LA

February 16th, 2011
11:47 am

“Just noting for those interested in such things.”

Yep, no argument here!

kevin

February 16th, 2011
11:49 am

LA,

Your Koran quote was two lines out of book that contains over 6000 verses. So, yeah, I’d say pulling 2 lines out of many thousand, is taking something out of context.

To further illustrate the point, here is anotherquote from the Koran:

” “Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden (paradise) whose width is that of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for the righteous – Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity or in adversity, who restrain (their) anger and pardon (all) men – for God loves those who do good.” Chapter 3, Verses 133-134″

Like the Bible, The Koran is diverse in it’s content, suggestions and otherwise–containing violent verses, loving verses, normative verses, etc.

I have to go now, but in the interim I suggest you take a clas in hermeneutics–you can start by googling the word “hermeneutics” to discern it’s meaning.

Brian

February 16th, 2011
12:02 pm

God has said for us to do or not do certain things in life. In Genesis, we took it upon ourselves to make our own choices. He has allowed that freedom of choice even to this day. This is to show us that when we make the wrong choices, we suffer from that choice and to show us that we should have listened to Him. Who is anybody that thinks they are mightier than Him? Who thinks it right to override the Almighty and his decision to allow us to make our own choices? Maybe we should bring back witch hunting or The Inquisition. If America should endure such a theocratic enslavement from the Christians, then why not allow Sharia law, or any and all others, to also become US law? Where does it stop? I say it should have stopped before it started and it’s time for US law to back up to where it was supposed to be. Freedom. … The “religious leaders” are supposed to take care of their flock, not oppress their neighbors and countrymen. When they take away the freedom of choice from Americans that has already been given to us from above, then they are in direct opposition to what He has already ordained and therefore become more like His enemy, Satan. They should go back into their cloisters and concentrate on the people that seek them / Him and leave others to their own decisions. .. G’day. B~)

Preacherskid

February 16th, 2011
12:06 pm

Just read the latest article on this issue. Looks like the Republicans met for about an hour and they’re still split on the issue. Some think it should go to referendum and let the people decide and others feel it’s the responsibility for the General Assembly to decide and not have it go to referendum.

Joe the Plutocrat

February 16th, 2011
12:06 pm

Bill from Lake Sinclair, you obviously care about what I have to say. Thanks for caring. did you learn how to care from watching Barney?

Joe the Plutocrat

February 16th, 2011
12:10 pm

jconservative, dispassionate and accurate as always. now, if you really want to do some research, see if you can find the Bible passage in which Jesus mentions the lobbyists who represent independent liquor store owners. might possibly be found in the “wolves in sheeps clothing” verse.

Preacherskid

February 16th, 2011
12:15 pm

jconservative

February 16th, 2011
11:44 am

I like it. I find it humorous that the very people who oppose the bill do so by invoking some christian doctrine or principle that doesn’t exist. There is no biblical basis for the argument and it shouldn’t matter anyway. This isn’t about God or religion it’s about freedom.

Preacherskid

Bubba

February 16th, 2011
12:15 pm

According to the NPR article, alcohol is one of the ingredients used in making Coca-Cola. So I guess the sale of Coke on Sundays should be prohibited.

Joe the Plutocrat

February 16th, 2011
12:16 pm

Bill from Lake Sinclair, please refrain from using words like “no one cares” or “most people”. you do not speak for others. in fact, doing so, you assume the position of the “Christian conservatives’ who apparently ’speak’ for all Georgians when it comes to liquors sales on Sundays. in the future, you would do well to use words like “I don’t care” (speak in the first person – it’s what therapists call “taking ownership of feelings”). when you claim to speak for or represent others, you are “projecting” (another shrinkism). as I said, in many ways, you are being like a nanny-state politician.

jconservative

February 16th, 2011
12:35 pm

I actually do not care when people sell or buy alcoholic beverages.

I really object to someone wanting the Government to make that decision for me and my fellow citizens. We need less, not more, Government.

Carlosgvv

February 16th, 2011
12:40 pm

LA – Europe seems to be on the verge of losing all patience with their imported Muslims. Im thinking this powder keg will explode in a year or two and will make our illegal immigration problem look like a picnic. Do you agree?

LA

February 16th, 2011
1:12 pm

“Your Koran quote was two lines out of book that contains over 6000 verses. So, yeah, I’d say pulling 2 lines out of many thousand, is taking something out of context.”

Oh, so I was supposed to copy and paste the entire book? LOL

What did I take out of context?

“Like the Bible, The Koran is diverse in it’s content, suggestions and otherwise–containing violent verses, loving verses, normative verses, etc.”

The Koran was constructed 600 years after the Bible. The Koran is smaller than the New Testament and copies and twists Biblical text.

Care to debate that?

LA

February 16th, 2011
1:13 pm

“Bill from Lake Sinclair, you obviously care about what I have to say. Thanks for caring. did you learn how to care from watching Barney?’

You really suck at debate, Plutocrat. I mean seriously, all you do is name call and try to belittle anyone who questions your motives.

I’m sure your stuffed animals love you, though.

LA

February 16th, 2011
1:14 pm

“might possibly be found in the “wolves in sheeps clothing” verse.’

And what verse would that be?

LA

February 16th, 2011
1:15 pm

“According to the NPR ‘

NPR is about as relevant as Kieth Olberman.

LA

February 16th, 2011
1:18 pm

“please refrain from using words like “no one cares” or “most people”. you do not speak for others.’

Contradict much? Do you even read your own mindless rants?

“speak in the first person – it’s what therapists call “taking ownership of feelings”).’

And you should know all about therapy since you reside in an asylum. Also, why don’t you capitalize the first letter of the first word in each of your sentence like your 3rd grade teacher taught you to?

“when you claim to speak for or represent others, you are “projecting””

POT. MEET KETTLE.

Wow, pluto, you sure do know how to step in your own dung.

Bill from Lake Sinclair

February 16th, 2011
1:33 pm

Joe the Plutocrat

You don’t know me nor do you know what I stand for or support. You have spent all morning demeaning other bloggers, including me, and it makes you look really foolish. I have not projected anything on anyone. I merely called you out as a hypocrite. You resorted to name calling and then pretend to be something you’re not. It’s interesting that you mention therapy because you obviously need it. Oh, and if you’d passed 5th grade English, you’d know to capitalize certain words and not misspell other words. It seems LA already pointed that out but you’ve chosen to ignore common sense.

LA

February 16th, 2011
1:37 pm

“Europe seems to be on the verge of losing all patience with their imported Muslims. Im thinking this powder keg will explode in a year or two and will make our illegal immigration problem look like a picnic. Do you agree?’

Couldn’t agree more.

Exador

February 16th, 2011
1:52 pm

I want to know the names! I want to know who voted which way!

Carlosgvv

February 16th, 2011
2:16 pm

LA

Back in the bad old days when we were trading insults, I thought I was pretty sharp. After reading today’s posts aimed at you, I realize I was nothing more than a beginner. Some people are really vile!!!
You said California, Illinois and Michagan are going bankrupt. Will they go to Washington, hat in hand, to ask for bailout money? If so, what will Congress do? And will more states follow suit?

Preacherskid

February 16th, 2011
2:22 pm

Eric

February 16th, 2011
7:34 am
If the Lord’s Day is that important, why are all other businesses allowed to be open for profit 24/7? Also, what’s the harm in buying wine at a grocery store on Sunday? Didn’t Jesus pour wine at the wedding in Cana?

Eric, it wasn’t that long ago that businesses were not allowed to be open on Sunday. I remember when I was a kid that everything was closed on Sunday. Only certain businesses were allowed to be open like Pharmacies but you could only buy medication so if you had a prescription to fill you could buy it but you couldn’t buy a candy bar or add anything to the purchase. Those laws were done away with slowly but surely.

LA

February 16th, 2011
2:23 pm

Carlosgvv

Yeah, there are two-three vile people that come on these type of blogs just to throw bombs at religion. These people usually hang around Bookman’s because he tolerates that kind of stuff.

“Will they go to Washington, hat in hand, to ask for bailout money?’

Yep, and if a Republican president is in charge, he/she will tell them take a hike. These states that want to file for bankruptcy will be turned into territories and the people running them will be run out of town.

“If so, what will Congress do? ”

Hopefully they will give them the bird. Michigan may end up being saved but California and Illinois will go bankrupt.

Preacherskid

February 16th, 2011
2:24 pm

Blue laws began in the United States in the mid-1700s. These laws originally were meant to enforce Christian moral codes, such as attending church service and resting on Sunday. Restrictions set by blue laws in history range from the sale of washing machines to prohibiting travel and recreation. “Blue Laws: The History, Economics and Politics of Sunday-Closing Law,” by David Laband, notes that blue laws also protected the business interests of Christians by eliminating competition on their day of worship

LA

February 16th, 2011
2:24 pm

“Those laws were done away with slowly but surely.’

Can you please provide a link to those old laws? I don’t remember it being against the law to be opened on a Sunday.

LA

February 16th, 2011
2:25 pm

“Eric, it wasn’t that long ago that businesses were not allowed to be open on Sunday.”

Then

“Blue laws began in the United States in the mid-1700s. ”

You must be really old if you remember those laws.

Preacherskid

February 16th, 2011
2:29 pm

LA

February 16th, 2011
2:24 pm
“Those laws were done away with slowly but surely.’

Can you please provide a link to those old laws? I don’t remember it being against the law to be opened on a Sunday

No, I don’t have a list or anything but I personally experienced it. My father pastored 10 different baptist churches while I was a kid and I remember we used to make a point to go to town on Saturday to get groceries or anything else that we needed to do because you couldn’t do it on Sunday. That eventually changed and then I remember when it was a big deal because the county I grew up in wanted to sell alcohol period and not be a dry county. That changed, then it was voted on to allow sales of alcohol by the drink and that passed. Now this, is on the plate. It’s like Custers last stand. Desperately clinging to the one remnant of that time and attitude.

Preacherskid

February 16th, 2011
2:32 pm

LA

February 16th, 2011
2:25 pm
“Eric, it wasn’t that long ago that businesses were not allowed to be open on Sunday.”

I’m old enough to remember this (41)

Then

“Blue laws began in the United States in the mid-1700s. ” Wasn’t there for this thankfully. Just a little historical background on what blue laws are and why they exist in the first place.

You must be really old if you remember those laws.

Suckers

February 16th, 2011
2:45 pm

Religion is akin to employee of the month- it only distracts you from the BS going on around you.

LA

February 16th, 2011
2:47 pm

“No, I don’t have a list or anything but I personally experienced it.’

You experienced laws from the 1700’s?

LA

February 16th, 2011
2:48 pm

Preacherskid

My comment obviously went over your head.

LA

February 16th, 2011
2:49 pm

“it only distracts you from the BS going on around you.’

blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

Preacherskid

February 16th, 2011
2:57 pm

Suckers

February 16th, 2011
2:45 pm
Religion is akin to employee of the month- it only distracts you from the BS going on around you.

I don’t begrudge them their religious beliefs. I just don’t want them forced onto me. Allowing this bill to go to a referendum and be voted on by the people in no way changes anything for them. They’re not being forced to go buy alcohol on Sunday. They can still say “Hey, I’m christian and I don’t believe in drinking or buying booze on Sunday so I’m not going to.” but the way the law is now, I don’t have the freedom to say “Hey I’m christian or agnostic or whatever and I don’t believe it’s a sin to buy booze or drink on Sunday so I’m going to go buy some.”

Joe the Plutocrat

February 16th, 2011
2:59 pm

Bill from Lake Sinclair, at 11:43 AM, you accused me of “throwing gas on the fire” and “childish putdowns” but then admonished me for “not contributing one single thing” to the conversation. we can agree to disagree about the naure of my “putdowns” I like to use the word “infantile” but this does not mean my putdowns are infantile (childish). that aside, I would argue that “putdowns” are “contributions”. I would further add that I offered several posts in which I clearly stated my position and opinion. if you feel the need to defend other bloggers or if you feel inclined to attack me, I am OK with it. as I have noted, I am a grown-up; not a child. you’re correct, I don’t know you, so what? you don’t know me, yet you feel the authority to comment on my posts, as opposed to the subject of the blog (Sunday liquor sales in GA). as far as my “penmanship” and spelling, I plead guilty. I rarely use capital letters (comes from my rejection of the use of G when referring to theist deities – gods). as far as my “need” (your word) for therapy, what makes you think I am not a veteran of therapy? as far as your abilitity to ‘call out’ hypocrites, I suggest you re-read your posts. you ‘called me out’ for ‘not contributing a single thing’ and for poor spelling/grammar, but hypocrisy is something completely different.

Preacherskid

February 16th, 2011
3:10 pm

A father was asked by his son to explain the differences among various religions and denominations, and the best he could come up with was: “Jews don’t recognize the divinity of Jesus, Protestants don’t recognize the authority of the Pope, and Baptists don’t recognize each other in the liquor store.”

Carlosgvv

February 16th, 2011
3:11 pm

LA

Obama said we had to bail out those big firms in order to avert a world-wide depression. I have never really believed that. Do you think he was right, and would a similar doomsday argument be used for the bankrupt states?
a

Preacherskid

February 16th, 2011
3:12 pm

Why should you always invite two Baptists to go fishing?

Because if you invite just one he’ll drink all your beer!

Preacherskid

February 16th, 2011
3:13 pm

Don’t forget the main reason Baptists are opposed to drinkin’ — it might lead to dancin’!

Preacherskid

February 16th, 2011
3:22 pm

A man went to heaven and was being shown around by St. Peter.
As they went from cloud to cloud they came to various doors which
St. Peter would open. One showed a large group rolling on the floor
and talking in tongues. “Our Pentecostals” he said..
Next was a serious ritual. “Our Jewish persuasion” he replied.
Then another ritualistic service. “Our Catholics”.
At the next cloud, he didn’t open the door but instead put his
forefinger to his lips in the hush motion and they both tip toed
past.. Once past, the man asked what that was all about !?
“Those are the Baptists”, he explained. “They think they are the
only one’s here”.

Preacherskid

February 16th, 2011
3:24 pm

The pastor of a poor Baptist church passed away and the congregation
went into town to take up a collection for the funeral.
“Would you give $5 to bury the Baptist preacher?”
“Here’s $10,” said the atheist, “bury two of them.”

Preacherskid

February 16th, 2011
3:27 pm

A man walks into the woman’s section of a department store
and tells the sales clerk he wants to buy a bra for his wife.
“What type of bra?” asked the clerk.
“Type?” inquires the man, “there’s more than one type?”
“There are three types,” replies the clerk, “The Catholic
type, the Salvation Army type, and the Baptist type. Which
one do you need?”
Still confused the man asked, “What is the difference in
them?”
The clerk responds, “It is really very easy. The Catholic
type supports the masses, the Salvation Army type lifts up
the fallen and the Baptist type makes mountain’s out of mole
hills.”

LA

February 16th, 2011
4:11 pm

“Obama said we had to bail out those big firms in order to avert a world-wide depression. I have never really believed that. Do you think he was right, and would a similar doomsday argument be used for the bankrupt states?”

Obama has absolutely no idea how the economy works. Nothing Obama says can be taken as truth. GM should have gone bankrupt to get rid of the unions. Freddie & Fannie should have gone bankrupt. People should not have bought houses they couldn’t afforded.

LA

February 16th, 2011
4:13 pm

Preacherskid

Love the Baptist jokes. I got into an argument with one about the reformation and he said that the reformation was bad. I was like, uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, you do realize that if not for Martin Luther, you would be Catholic right?

Gotta love ignorance.