So I have to ask….has the ban on Sunday alcohol sales in Georgia finally outlived its purpose?
Do any of us even remember what the purpose was?
The ban is part of what is referred to as a blue law. Blue laws were basically passed to enforce religious standards….in the case of the state of Georgia it was mainly passed to help folks observe Sunday as a day for worship and rest.
Originally the laws included a ban on shopping along with Sunday sales of alcohol. Eventually the shopping ban was lifted, but the alcohol ban seemed firmly entrenched in the Georgia code as well as in our sweet little old traditional minds.
Apparently God isn’t offended by shopping and eating out.
Now, I don’t normally have an issue with traditions. I observe a few of them myself, but when it comes to a point where you are making others observe your traditions or religious practices as a matter of law…..no…..it’s just not right.
As you might have heard Governor Nathan deal signed into law SB-10 last April providing the opportunity for cities and counties across the state to allow citizens to speak their minds at the polls regarding Sunday sales.
Last November over 100 different cities and counties voted on the issue and the majority spoke proclaiming while religious views should be tolerated they should NOT dictate what every citizen should have the right to do or not do.
In my neck of the woods, however things have run at a much slower pace. We have politicians who wanted to “study” the issue. We also have politicians who firmly believe in keeping the Sabbath holy and are firm in their convictions we should follow their example no matter what.
This article from the Douglas County Sentinel advises four [county] commissioners [recently] spoke in a manner indicating they support the alcohol votes, but one was adamantly opposed.
“We are talking about taverns, Taco Mac, places like that all over the county,” said District 4 Commissioner Ann Jones-Guider. “It will affect our police, our jail. There will be broken families. How will it look when people leave the church and go to a tavern to have a beer? I don’t think this is a pro-family rule to put on the ballot. I don’t want us to be like Atlanta and Fulton Industrial Boulevard.”
You know….I visit Taco Mac quite frequently. It’s a great addition to the restaurants we have in Douglasville. Yes, they have a great selection of beer. Yes, lots of people go there due to the selection of beer. They also go there to have dinner. I guess the Commissioner doesn’t frequent Taco Mac or “places like that” or she would notice there are many families with children of all ages who frequent Taco Mac…..I’ve seen little league teams there having their victory dinners. Sometimes I even go on Sunday and see folks enjoying a meal after church….and yes, I see friends who I know attend local churches and they enjoy a beer or two…even on Sunday.
The Sentinel article continues….Sunday retail sales have been approved in Villa Rica, Austell, Hiram and other areas surrounding Douglas County. The Douglasville City Council will vote May 7 on whether this will be put on the ballot. Due to this, some commissioners view alcohol sales as an economic development issue.
“This will give our businesses a level playing field,” said District 2 Commissioner Kelly Robinson.
Guider sees it differently.
“We are supposed to keep the Sabbath,” Guider said. “We have ‘in God we trust’ on our car tags. If we are going to trust him, we need to obey him. Who are we praying to if we aren’t going to trust and obey?”
If I’m not mistaken “in God we trust” is an option with car tags….not a requirement.
Hmmm….that’s interesting. I can choose to have 'in God we trust' on my car tag, or I can opt to not have it, but I can’t pick up a bottle of wine at the store on a Sunday and go home to enjoy it along with my dinner like I can any other night of the week.
This Sentinel article quotes District 3 Douglas County Commissioner Mike Mulcare, who favors putting the measure before the voters. “I have nothing against Subway and Wendy’s. I frequent those restaurants, but they are not the quality restaurants where you take family or celebrate a birth or a wedding.”
Richard Segal is the administrator of a Facebook group called “Douglasville and Douglas County for Sunday alcohol sales. The group can be found here. Though the group is mainly focused on Sunday retail sales, Segal supports restaurant alcohol sales in the county as well.
Mulcare said he has seen people in his district sit down in a restaurant only to leave after learning they could not be served a beer. “This is an example of government intrusion into a business decision,” Mulcare said. “This is us governing how a business operates.”
It’s at this point I think I should interject that Mr. Mulcare and Mr. Segal don’t drink. “It’s not about me being for or against it,” Mulcare said. “It’s about the people being for or against it. I don’t feel they elected me to decide for them.”
Gee….a politician that GETS it.