Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Alcohol opposition in Georgia: Not with a bang but a whimper

The state of Georgia held elections yesterday. On the ballot in many counties and municipalities was a referendum on approving Sunday sales of alcohol. I think one can safely conclude that religious opposition to Sunday alcohol sales in my state died a quiet death yesterday. Nary a whimper.

In my area thirty-nine cities and counties had this on the ballot. In thirty-eight of them the voters approved of Sunday sales. In just one did voters vote against the proposal. Results from downstate, more rural and small town areas, may have been somewhat different that here in the metro Atlanta area.

The margin of approval ranged from 57 percent to 91 percent with almost all areas reporting greater than a 20 percentage point margin. Wasn't close.

The Georgia Baptist Convention used to be the big dog in the state but no longer, at least on this question. For the most part the GBC sat out the referenda. I received one perfunctory letter from the GBC. Some pastors may have preached against it.

It looks to me like most churches and pastors considered this a personal freedom matter. If a citizen wants to buy alcohol on Sunday, they should have that choice.

I voted against Sunday sales in my county but the measure passed by 16 percentage points.


Anonymous said...

Since a great many Baptists drink, its obvious they want to be able to buy it on Sunday too. Wonder what the next ballot initiative will be.

Anonymous said...

From Joseph Patrick...

William, this reminds me of the time in Oklahoma when liquor by the drink was a state wide referendum. The BGCO was opposed, but in our city at that time we heard almost nothing from the pulpits. Do we no longer think alcohol a problem? Then what is?

William Thornton said...

Joseph, the issue was amending the Sunday blue laws to allow sales after 12:30 pm. It's tough to come up with an argument that my neighbor shouldn't be allowed to buy alcohol on Sunday afternoon because I don't drink.

David R. Brumbelow said...

David R. Brumbelow

Strong Tower said...

Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a or a new moon or a Sabbath day things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.

"In just one did voters vote against the proposal."

Well, then, it would seem that only one got it wrong.

D.R. Randle said...

I think most people realize that one way or another people who want to drink are going to be able to drink when they want to. They could still buy it the day before or even by going to a bar on Sunday. This was more about a few Christians taking a hard line on alcohol.