First, let me start this post by saying I’m not much of a drinker anymore. I used to, like most folks I suspect, get pretty tanked in my younger days, but that was then and this is now. Now, with that said, I believe it’s time to press the cities, counties, and states to repeal all of the so-called “blue” laws and I’m also going to tell you why.
First, as I pointed out here in the case of Connections Church, these laws actually reflect a bias towards certain Christian denominations. Many others have no prohibition against alcohol. But, in the case of Georgia and our laws toward liquor sales on Sunday, they ignore denominations that that have a different sabbath, such as Seventh Day Adventists who’s sabbath (IIRC) is from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday.
Not only that, but they don’t seem to do anything. People who want to drink at home just buy on Saturday. Plus, since alcohol sales are legal in many restaurants on Sundays, it doesn’t even stop people from having a beer on Sunday. Arguments have been made of increased instances of DUI with increased opportunities for drinking, but there haven’t been a dramatic increase in DUI’s in any of the local news outlets.
Here’s the thing. Alcohol is legal. Is it safe? Well, that’s a debate that well surpasses this blog post. But it is legal. However, name another legal product with governmental restrictions on when you can purchase something. What about laws preventing you from buying a car on Tuesdays? And Sunday alcohol sales make just as much sense.
However, Albany’s set of laws when taken in conjunction with the state laws, makes Albany particularly heinous. Albany’s blue laws regulate who and what can be in the proximity of any church. These laws are at the heart of Connections difficulties in moving to a location that fits their needs and will eliminate a vacant space for Village Green’s owner. These laws accomplish nothing except hurting business.
Let’s compare and contrast two different examples. First, Connections Church’s difficulties are already documented, and I suspect they’ll continue. But compare it to the Chili’s in Lee County next to Walmart. When the County Commission was hearing the case regarding Chili’s liquor license, members of Byne Memorial Church were present to remind the Commission of their blue laws, and that the Chili’s would be to close to Byne. The Commission agreed that Byne was correct…then promptly voted to reduce the distance required.
You know what? Nothing happened. Byne still has their worship service every Sunday morning. Chili’s still cooks their food and serves the public. It didn’t stop a thing, and the Lee County Commission did something to help business in their county. Meanwhile, the City of Albany still is hung up on this distance barrier. Let me ask this: What does it do?
I ask because I know plenty of church goers who still drink occasionally. I know a few who are raging drunks. And I know total non-drinkers who never set foot inside the Church. It doesn’t stop people from even drinking near churches, since home owners with in this “No Alcohol Zone” are still free to drink as much as they like. So what does it actually do?
Maybe it’s just me, but it’s time to remove some of these do-nothing laws that only hurt businesses, to say nothing of hurting another church like Connections Church! Let’s bring back personal responsibility and get rid of blue laws that actually accomplish nothing.