RELIGION ROUNDTABLE

No, out of reverence and respect for God

When I was younger, I worked at a gas station in Sylacauga. Every Saturday at 1 minute after midnight we would put brown paper over the beer cooler because it was illegal to sell alcohol on Sundays.

At that time, people had reverence for the church and its grounds. What do I mean by that? I remember guys who played their music loud who, when they got close to the church, would turn it down until they passed by. If they were walking and had a beer in their hand, they would put it behind their back until they passed the church.

What does this have to do with selling alcohol on Sundays? It seemed that we were more God-conscious then. It was about respecting God and honoring him.

Unfortunately, the further we get away from reverencing and respecting God, the more things we try to do to fulfill our own fleshly desires. We use excuses about more revenue and money for the city or our business. What about the respect and the honor that is due our heavenly father? Sunday is only one day out of seven. Can we not give God the respect and honor He is due?

I have not even mentioned the problems that alcohol causes to our bodies and how it affects our communities. When we respect and honor God, He will bless and honor this nation again.

— Winfred Logan, Heart to Heart Ministries

Yes, because alcohol sales are not corrupting

Under Old Testament (Jewish) law, the Sabbath was to be kept holy, as a day of rest from the labors of the week. For Christians, the grace freely available through Jesus Christ (as spelled out in the New Testament) changes the way we look at the concept of Sabbath. For Christians, Jesus is our Sabbath — our rest — our reprieve. Sure, it is good to take a break from our labors, but being active (or working) on the Sabbath isn’t sinful.

I understand that this Christian approach doesn’t apply to everyone. But the attitudes toward alcohol (for many people — even in the Bible Belt) have relaxed since the days of Prohibition (1920-1933).

Sunday alcohol sales do not contribute to the delinquency of our citizens. People who, unfortunately, are prone to abuse alcohol will do so regardless of when they can purchase it.

We are told that “everything in moderation” is not a bad way to look at life. For those of us who may consume alcohol socially and responsibly, the option to purchase it on Sunday at a store or in restaurants is not life-changing. It all boils down to responsibility. Studies across the country have shown that Sunday sales do not contribute to substantially larger revenues for retailers.

Social norms call for people to be law-abiding citizens. Sunday alcohol sales aren’t going to corrupt society. They do make life more convenient for some, and they may help sales in restaurants that are open on Sundays. It’s 2018, not 1920.

— Robert Fowler, St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Jacksonville

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