Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Let My People Vote

Dear [Georgia State] Senator -

Although I do not live in your District, I’m writing to express my support for the Sunday alcohol sales bill that will be coming before the Senate Rules Committee on which you sit.

I consider myself an evangelical Christian. In fact, I am a “ruling elder” in an Atlanta-area megachurch that teaches the full inspiration of the Bible, the absolute authority of Christ, and the bad news that some people are going to end up in Hell.

Nevertheless, I do not appreciate other evangelical Christians who have loudly protested in this debate that there is something inherently sinful about alcohol sales on the Sabbath. They do not speak for me, and their arguments are nonsensical, I’m sorry to say. To wit:

  • The Bible does not condemn alcohol use, simply its misuse. Alcohol is, in fact, expected for certain religious rituals and recommended for certain health ailments.

  • My evangelical brothers and sisters who support the alcohol ban mistakenly think their personal conviction not to drink is somehow a command of God applicable to all people.

  • These people inconsistently extend that conviction when they imply that Monday-Saturday sales are OK, but Sunday sales are not. What basis other than opinion do they have for this position?

  • Those same brothers and sisters also inconsistently apply their Sabbath convictions to the question of retail channels. If they are going to oppose Sunday sales in grocery stores, they should also oppose Sunday sales in every commercial establishment.

I do believe morality should be legislated; for example, we have a law against murder. But this is not an issue of morality, but rather of preference. As such, the citizens of each community ought to be able to vote on their preferences. It would be unconscionable for the Rules Committee to decide otherwise by failing to advance the bill.

I ask you to eschew politics (in the cynical sense of the word) and, instead, to do the politic thing (in the best sense of the word). Please let the people vote.


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