Blue Laws and Sunday Alcohol Sales Updated

posted at 11:45 am on February 16, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

In the state of Georgia, the next chapter is playing out in a divisive story which has been going on in many states since the end of prohibition. Lawmakers are looking to roll back some of the blue laws which have remained on the books for generations, specifically the restrictions on selling alcoholic beverages on Sundays. The efforts, however, are facing stiff resistance from some Christian conservatives.

The latest attempt at Sunday alcohol sales legislation in the state Senate appears to be in trouble.

Opposition, especially from Christian conservatives, could prevent a Senate vote this year on a bill that would give Georgia communities a vote whether to allow Sunday beer, wine and liquor sales at stores.

Only a few weeks after giving it a strong chance of passing, Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers said Monday that he’s not sure it will reach the Senate floor this session.

At Outside the Beltway, Doug Mataconis finds the idea not only “silly” but contrary to libertarian, small government principles.

Here’s an idea. If you don’t like the idea of buying beer, wine, or liquor on Sundays, then don’t buy beer, wine, or alcohol on Sundays. There is no rational basis for religious conservatives to force their own ideas of how Sunday’s should be spent on the rest of society.

This is one reason why focusing solely on national politics when it comes to issues about how closely allied libertarians/fiscal conservatives should be with social conservatives is a mistake. The power of social conservatives to implement their agenda at the national level is actually pretty limited…

At the state and local level, though, the ability of social conservatives to use the force of the state to enforce their vision of the “moral” society is far more prevalent.

I’m not sure that this is a situation where we need to pit social conservatives against fiscal conservatives, nor the religious right against secular activists. It’s really more a question of consistency.

Christian limits on Sunday activity aren’t quite as rigorous as, for example, some Jewish laws regarding work of any kind on the Sabbath. If you don’t want to return to prohibition and bar the sale of alcohol entirely, there doesn’t seem to be much of an argument in saying you only want it sold on six out of seven days. Further, it’s a rather pointless law to begin with, as most drinkers can and will simply buy a bit more on shopping day and make sure they’re stocked up for the football game on Sunday in advance.

Less clear is whether or not total sales would actually increase, spurring small business activity, with the lifting of such a ban. And that’s for precisely the same reason mentioned above: people simply stock up rather than running out to buy a small supply seven days per week.

Perhaps the bigger question for us to tackle is that of states which currently restrict all sales to state owned and operated stores. These are the ones which seem to impose the greatest inconvenience on shoppers. Further, such systems fly in the face of free market principles. Surely private business owners would find ways to deliver the products more cheaply and create more jobs than the state government could ever manage.

UPDATE: From more readers in the comments than I could list here, another pressing question. From the perspective of the liquor store owners, is six days per week actually better for business, as it allows them to make the same sales in six days without incurring the overhead costs of running on Sundays? Is the government actually doing them a favor by not allowing others to cut into their sales by running on a day when they are closed? Not sure how that addresses the free market principle of the issue, but it’s a valid question.


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From the perspective of the liquor store owners, is six days per week actually better for business, as it allows them to make the same sales in six days without incurring the overhead costs of running on Sundays?

I shall now demonstrate the principle of reductio ad absurdum:

Hey, if being closed for 1 day is good, why not close them for 6 days, and let the be open only from 8 to noon on Mondays. Think of the savings!

I R A Darth Aggie on February 16, 2011 at 1:31 PM

In areas where Christian conservatism is predominate, the voters will likely determine that such laws remain, elsewhere they will not. It really doesn’t matter what the rest the country thinks. I’m a Christian who grew up in rural MO where such laws exist(existed?). At this point in my life I believe these laws to be unnecessarily restrictive, but I don’t live there anymore, so it isn’t in my power to vote yea or nay.

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Something is missing from this comment thread, but I just can’t put my finger on what it is…

Jazz Shaw on February 16, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Palin!

IU_Conservative on February 16, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Palin!

IU_Conservative on February 16, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Nooooo… that’s not it…

Jazz Shaw on February 16, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Here’s an idea. If you don’t like the idea of buying beer, wine, or liquor on Sundays, then don’t buy beer, wine, or alcohol on Sundays. There is no rational basis for religious conservatives to force their own ideas of how Sunday’s should be spent on the rest of society.

Um, no… historic American Libertarianism believes in local control (states’ rights). No, the feds shouldn’t impose such restrictions, but local communities should be able to.

That said… I have no idea what advantage Christians get out of restricting alcohol sales on Sunday. Alcohol is permitted in scripture, just not drunkenness.

mankai on February 16, 2011 at 1:43 PM

So private citizens can’t put up a cross on public land because of “separation of church and state”, but the states can enforce religious rules? How’s that work again?

mojo on February 16, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Oh, and I updated the post with the comment made by many of you over how six day sales might help business owners.

Jazz Shaw on February 16, 2011 at 1:25 PM

I wouldn’t mind seeing someone give the argument for these blue laws and why they are beneficial. Putting the localism aspect aside (Your county wants to be dry? Fine. I won’t move there), what is the moral argument against Sunday sales? Why do proponents of alcohol blue laws back them? Is it because of a desire to keep the Sabboth dry? Or is it based on the view that drinking is immoral and banning/restricting Sunday sales is one way to try to uphold some reminant of prohibition?

darii on February 16, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Sunday’s should be spent on the rest of society.

Um, no… historic American Libertarianism believes in local control (states’ rights). No, the feds shouldn’t impose such restrictions, but local communities should be able to.

That said… I have no idea what advantage Christians get out of restricting alcohol sales on Sunday. Alcohol is permitted in scripture, just not drunkenness.

mankai on February 16, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Agreed on all points.

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 1:47 PM

My state finally allowed liquor stores to sell on Sunday. However, you still can’t buy a new car…

chewydog on February 16, 2011 at 1:47 PM

From the perspective of the liquor store owners, is six days per week actually better for business, as it allows them to make the same sales in six days without incurring the overhead costs of running on Sundays? Is the government actually doing them a favor by not allowing others to cut into their sales by running on a day when they are closed? Not sure how that addresses the free market principle of the issue, but it’s a valid question.

Let’s get rid of the law and let the business owners decide. Never, ever consider a law or regulation a favor.

SaintGeorgeGentile on February 16, 2011 at 1:48 PM

That said… I have no idea what advantage Christians get out of restricting alcohol sales on Sunday. Alcohol is permitted in scripture, just not drunkenness.

mankai on February 16, 2011 at 1:43 PM

I don’t know how far it goes, but a buddy who is Evangelical claims that Jesus did not make wine out of water, nor was wine His blood at the last supper…that it was non-alcoholic, more like grape juice, and that alcohol is forbidden in Christianity.

Because in Catholicism, at least, we believe it HAS to be wine…not grape juice…that is part of the Eucharist.

JetBoy on February 16, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Don’t know if it was addressed in the comments, but there’s yet another issue at hand, which is related to your update. Blue laws (I live in Maryland, where we have blue laws, too) help the small liquor store owners compete against the warehouses and grocery stores. Said small stores don’t have to be open on Sunday. The bigger stores are open on Sundays as it is, and revoking blue laws would allow them to sell on Sundays, at no additional cost, forcing the little stores to open if they wanted to compete.

Blue laws are actually supported by many liquor store owners where they are implemented, as it levels the playing field somewhat. Honestly, I’m a little torn about this. I am very much a libertarian, and think the government should damn well stay out of our business. But I certainly appreciate the position of the “little guys.” I think they can find other ways to compete (greater selection, special orders, personal service, etc.), but they certainly have to work much harder for the same dollar than the bigger general-purpose stores.

nukemhill on February 16, 2011 at 1:53 PM

I don’t know how far it goes, but a buddy who is Evangelical claims that Jesus did not make wine out of water, nor was wine His blood at the last supper…that it was non-alcoholic, more like grape juice, and that alcohol is forbidden in Christianity.

Because in Catholicism, at least, we believe it HAS to be wine…not grape juice…that is part of the Eucharist.

JetBoy on February 16, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Yeah, I never really got the whole “Jesus didn’t drink wine” argument. If the wine steward in the Gospel thought it was the best wine evah, it would not have been grape juice.

darii on February 16, 2011 at 1:55 PM

mankai on February 16, 2011 at 1:43 PM

I don’t know how far it goes, but a buddy who is Evangelical claims that Jesus did not make wine out of water, nor was wine His blood at the last supper…that it was non-alcoholic, more like grape juice, and that alcohol is forbidden in Christianity.

Because in Catholicism, at least, we believe it HAS to be wine…not grape juice…that is part of the Eucharist.

JetBoy on February 16, 2011 at 1:48 PM

I’ve heard preachers to to say the same thing and it doesn’t make a lick of sense. Grape juice wasn’t widely used until it became pasteurized in the 19th century, so, in Jesus time, controlled fermentation was the only way to ensure a reliable, drinkable quantity of the stuff. I love my Christian brothers, but sometimes they try too hard to be smarter than God instead of simply taking God’s word as His word.

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 1:56 PM

I don’t know how far it goes, but a buddy who is Evangelical claims that Jesus did not make wine out of water, nor was wine His blood at the last supper…that it was non-alcoholic, more like grape juice, and that alcohol is forbidden in Christianity.

I heard this same schpeil (spelling?) from an evangelical. I don’t know where they get this absurdity. Their claim is that alcohol content was lower than today and wine was about the equivalent of grape juice. Of course, this ignores all of the incidents of drunkeness in the bible, which belies the idea that wine did not contain alcohol back then. Or, were they supposed to be drinking gin and tonics back then? The wine had no alcohol but they distilled some quality moonshine?

It’s a very selective and interpretive reading of the bible, which is odd coming from people who claim to interpret the bible literally (i.e., the earth is only 6,000 years old). But, these are teh same people who think Huckabee is conservative, so, their judgment is suspect in my book.

Monkeytoe on February 16, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Monkeytoe on February 16, 2011 at 1:57 PM

FYI, I believe it’s spelled “speil.” :)

And anyone who thinks teh Huckabee is a “troo conservative” are definitely suspect.

darii on February 16, 2011 at 2:01 PM

darii on February 16, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Oops. “Spiel”

darii on February 16, 2011 at 2:02 PM

“A buddy who is Evangelical claims that Jesus did not make wine out of water, nor was wine His blood at the last supper…that it was non-alcoholic, more like grape juice, and that alcohol is forbidden in Christianity.”

This is a very small, minority view not generally accepted among evengelicals. An entire year’s worth of grapes were harvested over a short period of time and stored. Just what does your buddy think would happen to stored grape juice after about six weeks?

tommyboy on February 16, 2011 at 2:03 PM

It’s a very selective and interpretive reading of the bible, which is odd coming from people who claim to interpret the bible literally (i.e., the earth is only 6,000 years old). But, these are teh same people who think Huckabee is conservative, so, their judgment is suspect in my book.

Monkeytoe on February 16, 2011 at 1:57 PM

I agree and I’m one of those “young earth” bible literalists. I figure, either have the courage of your convictions and go “all in” or don’t bother pretending. Also, I have no illusions about Huckabee being conservative.

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 2:06 PM

JetBoy on February 16, 2011 at 1:48 PM

EVEN if someone wanted to argue the use of grape juice by the Lord (not supported by the Greek – btw), the rest of scripture is clear.

Not only wine, but “strong drink” is allowed for certain purposes.

mankai on February 16, 2011 at 2:09 PM

As a Georgian, this is maddening, and it was one issue from which I strongly diverged from Sonny Perdue. It is indeed inconsistent with conservatism to prevent local communities from being able to decide.

Buy Danish on February 16, 2011 at 2:15 PM

The main harm of restricting Sunday alcohol sales is to the hospitality industry. Restaurants and hotels will get less business if they do not sell alcohol, as potential customers will just go on down the road to a “wet” county.

Adjoran on February 16, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Excerpt from a recent short study (FYI):

Strong drink and wine have their place. Though kings and other leaders must use them very carefully, they have a wonderful purpose. God created and ordained them, and He in this place inspired reasons for their use. Strong drink – fermented or distilled beverages other than wine – is to cheer those who are discouraged due to poverty or misery (31:7). Wine – the fermented juice of the grape – is also to cheer men whose hearts are heavy.

King Lemuel’s mother gave inspired advice to her royal son (31:1-2). She first warned him about the danger of women, for men in authority are the objects of whorish women more than other men (31:3). She then warned him about the danger of intoxication from wine or strong drink, which would impair his memory and judgment as a king (31:4-5). Wine, she taught, was more the province of his poor working class citizens (31:6-7).

Wine is always and only the fermented juice of the grape used as a beverage. Contrary to what modern Pharisee teetotalers say, wine has never been the name for nonalcoholic grape juice. Honest Bible study will reveal this simple lesson. Men teaching otherwise are lying in order to promote manmade rules over men (Matt 15:1-20). Connected in this proverb with strong drink, wine is obviously the alcoholic beverage made from grapes.

mankai on February 16, 2011 at 2:21 PM

The ONLY people that care about such a ban are ALCOHOLICS!

They get too drunk to remember to stock up!

Freddy on February 16, 2011 at 2:22 PM

We have actually seen the following short sentence as a wall-text:—

“Thou shalt not drink wine”

as though this was a general command demanding universal obedience.

But it is taken from the Minor Prophets, where it forms part of Divine threatening of judgment:

“Thou shalt eat, but not be satisfied;…
Thou shalt take hold, but shalt not deliver…
Thou shalt sow, but thou shalt not reap;
Thou shalt tread olives, but thou shalt not anoint thee with oil;
And sweet wine, but shalt not drink wine (Micah 6:15; compare Zeph 1:13).

Not only are these words thus wrested from their proper context and meaning; but, by so doing, they are set in flat contradiction to Amos 9:14, where exactly the opposite prophecy is given by way of blessing:

“They shall plant vineyards
And drink the wine thereof.”

-Excerpt from “How to Enjoy the Bible” (Section: The Context is Always Essential to the Interpretation of Words)

For the record, I rarely drink.

mankai on February 16, 2011 at 2:30 PM

You should be allowed to sell anything any damned day of the week that you want to.

Period.

If some stores don’t want to open on Sunday, they’re free not to. Let their competitors take the business if they do open.

Good Lt on February 16, 2011 at 2:31 PM

Or Freddy, they are such casual drinkers that they never have any around the house. And if the desire strikes on Sunday, the desire just passes unfulfilled.

Here in MN, car dealers are against any change that would allow them to sell cars on Sunday as well.

MTinMN on February 16, 2011 at 2:31 PM

For the record, I rarely drink.

mankai on February 16, 2011 at 2:30 PM

If we’re issuing mea culpas, I’m rarely sober…

Yeah, others said it too…that it’s not widespread amongst the Protestants, but some just argue about the alcohol content. Again, I always go back to the Greek as well…but at least the dude I know won’t budge.

JetBoy on February 16, 2011 at 2:45 PM

The main harm of restricting Sunday alcohol sales is to the hospitality industry. Restaurants and hotels will get less business if they do not sell alcohol, as potential customers will just go on down the road to a “wet” county.

Adjoran on February 16, 2011 at 2:18 PM

I don’t know about elsewhere, but here in Conn. Bars/restaurants can still serve booze on Sundays. There are towns tho that limit that too, next door it’s limited to 10pm on Sunday.

That’s one reason I liked going to school at Maryland…you could buy beer at least at the gas stations until 2am anyday.

JetBoy on February 16, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Yeah, others said it too…that it’s not widespread amongst the Protestants, but some just argue about the alcohol content. Again, I always go back to the Greek as well…but at least the dude I know won’t budge.

JetBoy on February 16, 2011 at 2:45 PM

I don’t know how wide spread it is but I can tell you it’s been around a long time. I had an argument with a Baptist minister when I was in high school around 1962 who argued that the Bible should be taken literally and then turned right around and tried to tell me that Jesus never made wine. Where I grew up, Kentucky, this was a wide spread belief not only in the Evangelical groups but in the Baptist community as well. Pure rationalization to support their point of view.

Oldnuke on February 16, 2011 at 3:21 PM

I’ve always wondered about people who claim that it is a sin to use natural substances (i.e., things like marijuana). FTR, I don’t use marijuana (at least not in a long, long time). But, I wouldn’t perceive it’s moderate use as a sin. God created it. Much like wine – fermentation is a natural process.

If the argument is that God created this thing just to test us and then punish us if we used something that he created that we would like, that seems like an awfully passive-agressive and manipulative god to me. Hardly the sort of all-powerful, omnipotent, loving and merciful God that I believe in.

Instead, the god who creates fun things simply to tempt you into using them so he can punish you is more like one of the greek gods, who are just bored and like playing with humans.

Monkeytoe on February 16, 2011 at 3:36 PM

JetBoy on February 16, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Ask you buddy how he interprets the parable of the wine skins if the grape juice didn’t ferment while in them. The wine was alcoholic but its percent alcohol content was lower than that found in modern wines. Modern wine making has selected for yeast that can survive in a higher level of alcohol than those used as recently as a 100 years ago.

chemman on February 16, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Monkeytoe on February 16, 2011 at 3:36 PM

The operative verse would be “all things are lawful, but not all things are expedient” The basic Christian view is that if you are doing something harmful to your body or a relationship then that makes it a sin. As a believer I’ll stick to worrying about myself and not what others, especially those who are not believers, do.

chemman on February 16, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Monkeytoe on February 16, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Actually it was lower around 3.5% verse 5 – 6% now days. The only difference is how fast you get drunk not whether you can get drunk. Remember the fermentation process produces toxic byproducts, alcohol, that eventually kill the yeast used to make the wine. As I stated above Wineries have been selecting for yeast that are more tolerant of higher alcohol concentrations and are able to make stronger wines now days.

chemman on February 16, 2011 at 3:59 PM

The operative verse would be “all things are lawful, but not all things are expedient” The basic Christian view is that if you are doing something harmful to your body or a relationship then that makes it a sin.

yes, that goes to moderation. Despite what some would claim, smoking one joint, or eating one hallucenegenic mushroom, or drinking a couple of glasses of wine (which research shows is actually good for you) is not going to do anything harmful to your body.

And, let’s face it, tons of stuff even the most ardent believer would admit is “harmful” to the body (suntans, for instance) are not considered sins, so a bit of illogic there.

But again, why did God make something that obviously makes people feel good, but that is a sin. Your response does nothing to dispel the idea of a passive-agressive, tricky god. “I’m going to create something that tastes heavenly and makes you feel really good, but if you use it, you are going to suffer eternal damnation.”

Monkeytoe on February 16, 2011 at 4:01 PM

As luck would have it, I know a couple of liquor store owners and a couple of car dealers. They DO NOT want what’s left of the blue laws in Texas repealed. They like having Sunday off and know they would eventually be forced to open on Sunday (by market forces of competition).

stvnscott on February 16, 2011 at 4:01 PM

chemman on February 16, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Yes, I understand that, but as you noted above, it still does not support the idea that Jesus forbid drinking alchohol. In fact, it refutes it.

Monkeytoe on February 16, 2011 at 4:02 PM

help the small liquor store owners compete against the warehouses and grocery stores. Said small stores don’t have to be open on Sunday. The bigger stores are open on Sundays as it is, and revoking blue laws would allow them to sell on Sundays, at no additional cost, forcing the little stores to open if they wanted to compete.

Blue laws are actually supported by many liquor store owners where they are implemented, as it levels the playing field somewhat. Honestly, I’m a little torn about this. I am very much a libertarian, and think the government should damn well stay out of our business.

nukemhill on February 16, 2011 at 1:53 PM

This is actually the reason most of the liquor store owners are giving here in Georgia.

Oh, and if you are trying to appeal to people in Georgia best not to quote someone from DC calling us “silly.” Unless you want the opposite to happen.

Branch Rickey on February 16, 2011 at 4:07 PM

Blue laws are actually supported by many liquor store owners where they are implemented, as it levels the playing field somewhat. Honestly, I’m a little torn about this. I am very much a libertarian, and think the government should damn well stay out of our business.

Again, demonstrating that every law/regulation creates rent-seekers. Is it gov’t’s business to “level the playing field” between a bigger business and a smaller business? that’s like saying that the gov’t should create some laws to make it easier for mom and pop stores to compete with WalMart. That becomes the gov’t trying to pick and chose who wins in the marketplace.

I understand the predicament though when it comes to laws already in place that business owners relied upon when investing in a business. Pulling the rug out from under them now seems to be unfair. But that is the exact problem with creating laws like this in teh first place.

Monkeytoe on February 16, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Blue Laws have been on the way out for decades.

maverick muse on February 16, 2011 at 5:16 PM

I live in a dry county in Alabama, and I’m fine with that. The two largest cities in this county allow alcohol sales, but not on Sunday. We voted, more than once, and that’s good enough for me.
And if you don’t live here, it’s none of your business.

Squiggy on February 16, 2011 at 1:10 PM
__________________________

Squiggy….If you don’t want to drink on Sunday…THEN DON’T. Pretty simple, isn’t it?

But, please don’t think you have the right to tell me I have to conform to your ‘religious’ beliefs, because I don’t.

Why don’t you just mind your own business, and I’ll mind mine. Do you have a problem with that concept? I await your answer.

alwyr on February 16, 2011 at 5:33 PM

This is more important than what’s going on in WI?

Interesting story choice.

AnninCA on February 16, 2011 at 5:34 PM

Sentiment from a Gilda McCarty of Acworth GA.

If people want to drink on Sunday let them buy it on Saturday. Remember the 4th Commandment “Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it Holy” that is a law. Wheather you are a believer or not.

So I guess members of the CC don’t trust the people of Georgia to keep it illegal to buy alcohol the day after the sabbath.

Gene Splicer on February 16, 2011 at 5:37 PM

Bob McDonnell, the Catholic, Conservative, Republican, Governor of Virginia has been and continues to be fighting to sell the Commonwealth ABC stores. Real conservatives believe in less government more freedom
Dennis of Virginia Beach

Dennis227 on February 16, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Blue laws are actually supported by many liquor store owners where they are implemented, as it levels the playing field somewhat.

And where it is stated that they have to open on Sunday?

Gene Splicer on February 16, 2011 at 5:41 PM

Bob McDonnell, the Catholic, Conservative, Republican, Governor of Virginia has been and continues to be fighting to sell the Commonwealth ABC stores. Real conservatives believe in less government more freedom

I live in VA and remember when the blue laws were upheld by vote. It was only overturned by a court case that deemed them unconstitutional.

Gene Splicer on February 16, 2011 at 5:45 PM

I live in a dry county in Alabama, and I’m fine with that. The two largest cities in this county allow alcohol sales, but not on Sunday. We voted, more than once, and that’s good enough for me.
And if you don’t live here, it’s none of your business.
Squiggy on February 16, 2011 at 1:10 PM

I grew up in a dry county in Alabama. My hometown just voted to allow alcohol sales 2-3 (?) years ago. When I was in high school, there were bootleggers around. One of them even had a drive through window in his house. Ah…memories…not that I frequented it, but I heard about it and there would be gossip from time to time when the police raided. Rumor had it that the police would tip him off before they made the obligatory raid. I did go once while in college, mainly just to see the drive through window. We left with a bottle of Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill and Tickle Pink. Yeah, classy.. But Ahh… Good times… I feel the urge to break into Sweet Home Alabama!

The only time blue laws really annoy me is when I’m fixing a nice Sunday meal and my recipe calls for wine and I don’t have any on hand. Very frustrating.

Here in Middle Tennessee the battle is over allowing wine sales in grocery stores. It has nothing to do with religion, but I wish they’d allow it. Then I could get some 2 buck Chuck. Yes, I have very fine taste in wine. ;)

pannw on February 16, 2011 at 7:27 PM

Didn’t Jesus make his own wine?

profitsbeard on February 16, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Ahhh… State rights. A topic we Southerners love. Let us drink on Saturdays, go to church on Sundays(and pretend we didn’t drink on Saturday), say prayers whenever and wherever we want to and leave us alone!:)

AWARD on February 16, 2011 at 9:14 PM

Here in Middle Tennessee the battle is over allowing wine sales in grocery stores. It has nothing to do with religion, but I wish they’d allow it. Then I could get some 2 buck Chuck. Yes, I have very fine taste in wine. ;)
pannw on February 16, 2011 at 7:27 PM

Two buck Chuck is now three buck Chuck, try Crane Lake wine.

SC.Charlie on February 16, 2011 at 9:16 PM

Not sure how that addresses the free market principle of the issue, but it’s a valid question.

No its not. The liquor store can make the same decision as chick-fil-a, either open on Sunday or not. Whether they do or not has nothing to do with the law or lack of same.

Sheesh!!!

E9RET on February 16, 2011 at 10:20 PM

So, what does a good conservative support? The free-market principals of allowing any store that wants to sell wine? or, the “fair” principal that the liquor stores invested and built their businesses based on the rules and changing the rules now will harm them?

This also demonstrates how every gov’t law/regulation creates rent-seekers who end up profitting from the law/regulation, so no matter how dumb, ineffective or inefficient such law/regulation is, you can’t get rid of it.

Why not create a law that says only specially licensed stores can sell toilet paper?

Monkeytoe on February 16, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Sure you can get rid of it… The Business that profitted from a bad regulation can either change their business to still cater to their clients (more selection, Convenience, other benefits) to compete in the free market, or go out of business.

Continued government intervention in the market because “it has always been that way” is a BAD BAD excuse.

These small stores do not have to go out of business, most will because most will refuse to change, carry the same selection as the local market, continue to provide bad customer service (they get away with it now because they are a defacto monopoly), and then whine that the law caused them to go out of business.

Small Lines, Bigger Selection, Chilled, etc, are all things a small store can do that large chains cant. I dont want to wait in line with people buying 1 or 2weeks worth of food to buy a case of beer or a bottle of wine.

the_ancient on February 17, 2011 at 6:14 AM

Sure you can get rid of it… The Business that profitted from a bad regulation can either change their business to still cater to their clients (more selection, Convenience, other benefits) to compete in the free market, or go out of business.

The problem with this is, at least in NY, they are not going to change the laws for the liquor stores. So, the grocery stores will be able to sell wine, but the liquor stores still will not be able to sell any kind of food.

B/c wine is a huge part of a liquor store’s business, that will kill the liquor stores.

If they were changing the laws both ways, I would agree with you. Let teh liquor stores sell food and become full-blown convenience stores on top of selling liquor and then it would not matter.

But, changing the rules at this point is unfair to those who invested in and built up the liquor stores in teh first place based on teh rules the gov’t set.

But again, to me this demonstrates the idiocy of making so many laws and regulations in the first place. It distorts the market and creates rent seekers. And, usually, the regulations/rules accomplish very little. I’m not really sure what the point was in teh first instance of not allowing liquor and food to be sold in the same store.

Monkeytoe on February 17, 2011 at 8:05 AM

I don’t know how far it goes, but a buddy who is Evangelical claims that Jesus did not make wine out of water, nor was wine His blood at the last supper…that it was non-alcoholic, more like grape juice, and that alcohol is forbidden in Christianity.

Because in Catholicism, at least, we believe it HAS to be wine…not grape juice…that is part of the Eucharist.

JetBoy on February 16, 2011 at 1:48 PM

I grew up in an evangelical tradition (in Texas) where a lot of people bought the “Grape Juice” line, and have now moved to an area in Tennessee where pretty much everyone does. And I think I understand what’s behind it, though I can’t prove my theory.

Here in TN, there is a VERY STRONG Scotch Irish contingent. Culturally, drinking was very often overdone, and very often led to abuse. As a consequence, my friends here in TN can’t really seem to get their heads around the notion of having “a beer” with pizza or “a glass of wine” after dinner. They see alcohol as ALWAYS leading, inexorably to abuse, because they’ve seen it end that way (and heard stories of it ending that way) so many times.

So before they ever pick up the Bible, it’s a given to them that alcohol is a terrible, terrible thing, that leads to abuse and degradation. As a result, when they hear Jesus talk of turning water to wine, or Paul telling Timothy to add a little wine to his water, they just KNOW it can’t be WINE wine. So it must be grape juice. Has to be.

I finally concluded a few years ago that if I’m going to live here, my choices were:
1. Not go to a church that is in every other way wonderful;
2. Continue to have my occasional beer in private, and hope no one asks me whether I drink; or
3. Give up one of life’s little pleasures for the greater joy of getting along with my Christian brothers & sisters.

So I’m now a tea-totaler. A bonus of this status is that I can make the case that wine in the Bible IS wine, and that moderate drink (not to the point of drunkenness) is not a sin, without anyone being able to say that I’m just defending my own behavior.

RegularJoe on February 17, 2011 at 9:21 AM

SC.Charlie on February 16, 2011 at 9:16 PM

Thanks for the info and recommendation. I’ll see if I can find it. :)

pannw on February 17, 2011 at 9:38 AM

Living in South Carolina and it’s Blue Laws is a lesson in frustration. Having moved here from Tampa, FL 5 yrs ago was a painful adjustment.

You can’t buy alcohol on Sundays except in a few cities such as Columbia, so what does everyone do? Yep, they’ll drive 30 mins to an hour to purchase their chosen adult beverages for the day and depriving their home county of those sales.

Wait, it gets better.

In counties such as Orangeburg, stores don’t open on Sundays until 1:30 PM. Malls, Home Depots, Kmarts, Office Max, etc are locked up tight until the magic hour. What, my soul will burn in Hell if I try to buy a pair of shoes on a Sunday morning? Forget about doing any yard work on Sun AM if something breaks because you won’t get it fixed or buy new. Car won’t start and need a new battery or maybe a starter? Tough kittens. Mechanics and Auto Parts stores sleep in on Sundays.

At first it was funny walking into a large Walmart and although you can buy food, they actually rope off the rest of the store with bright yellow tape preventing anybody from trying to buy a DVD or something. Now the humor has worn off and it’s just plain stupid.

Renee on February 17, 2011 at 9:48 AM

You prescribe to the “truce” appeasement to the bigot bullies? I am not a liberal for I can think for myself; no nanny state. I am not a progressive because I believe in God; at the very minimum the right of others to believe in God. I am not a Libertarian since I don’t want all drugs legal; my children are not expendable. I am not a Republican because I believe in Western Culture; America’s volunteer military is not expendable. I am a conservative for the interest of the nation should be the strong foundation of the family; patriotism.

Daddy may not be in a pew or home on Sunday but you know he isn’t sitting on a bar stool. Believing in free markets does not give license to ignore history. Tell me, would it be a net plus or gain for children to grow up knowing why liquor is not sold on Sunday’s? As for consistency, the world is on fire but let’s talk of fire water. Do Georgia and all municipalities have a treasury surplus and 100% high school graduation rates? Hardly. Good to see consistency in voting present.

FeFe on February 17, 2011 at 5:30 PM

I live in Bergen county whis has Blue Laws for many non-food items like clothes, hard goods, etc. In Paramus NJ (which is the #1 top grossing zip code – 07652 – in the US at over $4 billion per year) they are even more strict. You can’t even buy light bulbs or batteries.

ArmchairEnergist on February 17, 2011 at 7:22 PM

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