“We are grown adults who can purchase it (alcoholic beverages) six other days of the week. I can even go to the strip club and purchase it while looking at naked women on Sunday. But I can’t go to Publix and purchase a bottle of wine to have with my lasagna.”
-- David Staples, L-Cobb County
Rep. Staples’ comments reflect a certain madness that resides in the Georgia General Assembly. While preaching personal responsibility, many legislators, mostly Republicans, want nothing of the sort, and this battle over Sunday alcohol sales is just such an issue. How do you make sense of it? You can buy a product six days a week, but not on Sunday. Why? For the answer, look to the names of the groups opposing Sunday alcohol sales: The Georgia Conservatives in Action and the Georgia Christian Coalition. Yes, we are a secular government, except when we don’t want to be. State Senate Republicans got together and voted secretly to keep the Sunday alcohol sales bill sequestered in the Rules Committee, never to see the light of day on the Senate floor.
While there is a House bill as well, the leadership there is just as timid. They say what’s the use of sending their bill to the Senate when all the Senate would do is score brownie points for shutting it down and casting the backlash at House members.
What’s most amazing about this display is the apparent distrust of the people of Georgia. All the bill would have done is allow cities and counties to hold referenda to let voters decide the fate of Sunday alcohol sales in their communities.
Fearing the measures would pass, those pressuring lawmakers hope to hold Sunday as sacred, whether others believe so or not. They are using the power of government to stifle individual freedom and force businesses to turn off one of their main profit centers.
Now lets watch lawmakers in a hypocritical comedy try to make their actions make sense.
-- Charles E. Richardson, for the Editorial Board