During the last Georgia legislative session (back in February, to be precise), a bill came before committee which would lift the statewide ban on alcohol sales on Sunday. The bill failed. While in the state of Georgia we are finally allowed to purchase alcohol in bars and restaurants on Sunday, alas, we cannot go to our local grocery or liquor store to purchase something we can enjoy in the privacy of our own homes.
Now a new effort has begun to lift the ban, and grant the decision to allow alcohol sales to individual municipalities. While the original effort focused on lobbyist efforts, this one will focus more on publicity and public awareness. In a sense, that is one of the purposes of this post – to let readers know what has happened, and what they can do to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
According to Zak Koffler of the Young Democrats of Georgia, during the presentation of the bill earlier this year, “Members of our state legislature decided to pander to the religious extreme to gain support for their campaigns for higher office. Among those leaders are names that you will be hearing a lot of in the near future: David Shafer, Casey Cagle and Eric Johnson.” Indeed, Shafer, Johnson and Cagle are considering running for either the state governorship or lieutenant governorship in the future, and the money and influence of the powerful fundamentalist lobby is an important political consideration.
Some points for you to consider as you explore further:
- I am biased, and shamelessly so. In some articles I wrote elsewhere, I covered the details of why the ban makes little sense: the first one is here, the second here, and the final one here.
- Support for this bill is bi-partisan. Politicians on both sides of the aisle recognize that “safety” concerns are mostly bogeymen, that revenue from Sunday sales will help area businesses, national businesses, as well as government coffers, and that the ban on Sunday specifically is a direct violation of the separation of church and state.
- Everyone involved recognizes that religious extremists are not the only people who oppose the bill. Some other businesses do as well – but they are a small and not nearly as “persuasive” group. Also, and yeah this is kind of callous on my part, their losses would be minimal compared to the gains everywhere else.
- This is not an “attack” against religion. The truth is, this is a blow for personal freedoms. What you do on Sunday should be up to you: if you want to spend the day interacting with your God, then you should be allowed to do so. By the same token, if you want to get a six pack and watch the game at home then… you should be allowed to do so.