This is your chance to party all weekend longBy Sean Randall | 01/12/2011 10:50pm
Tuesday, Feb. 22 marks a big moment, and a first (at least in recent years): Tuscaloosa voters will decide whether the county will sell alcohol on Sunday.
Let me go ahead and make a bit of a disclaimer: I don’t drink. Yeah, I know. How do you have fun, what do you do with your life, you’ve made it five years in college without drinking, etc. I’ve heard it all many times before. I have my personal reasons for not drinking, which most of my friends know about by now, but they’re irrelevant for this discussion. The point of this is that I don’t really have any vested interest in adding another day of sales. I guess it would let me buy the occasional wine or vodka I use for cooking a different day of the week, but honestly, I don’t really care whether or not there’s another day to buy hard drinks when it comes to my drinking them.
That aside, there is absolutely no reason I can think of why we shouldn’t be voting yes to Sunday alcohol sales in Tuscaloosa, or any other city.
I mean, let’s just think about it for a second. Why is the law there?
Can’t really answer that easily, huh?
Seems to me that the biggest reason Sunday alcohol sales are banned in Tuscaloosa, and many other cities, is because religion, mainly Christianity, as practiced and preached by the people of long ago persuaded the public to deem the act of selling (and, by proxy, drinking) alcohol on Sunday a “bad thing.” They call it a sin most of the time.
Now, I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing to let your religion affect the way you vote, but it should be toned down in favor of considering Constitutional rights. Call me godless if you’d like (you’d be wrong), but I think the Constitution should be the main focus in our American government. And I’m not even saying that things that are sins can’t also be illegal. Murder’s a handy example of something that conveniently fits into both categories.
What I am saying is that there isn’t any really legitimate reason to keep that ban around. How exactly is selling alcohol on Sunday a sin? Because you’re supposed to rest on Sunday? That would suggest selling anything on Sunday is a sin. Is it because drinking on Sunday is a sin? Trust me when I say people can still find ways to drink on days they don’t buy alcohol. You can refrigerate the stuff, you know.
So, is there another reason? Safety? Again, people can still drink on Sunday, whether alcohol is sold or not, which means they can drink and drive on Sunday if they want. Which, on its own, is already illegal, covering the safety issue.
No reason for the ban. None that I can see. If you think drinking is morally wrong, then don’t. It is possible. If you think drinking is morally wrong for anyone, you’re going to have to reinstate the Prohibition before you can legalize that moral compunction.
So, with apparently no good reason to ban it, we can look at the reasons to drop the ban.
If we drop the ban, Tuscaloosa will almost certainly see an increase in revenue. Economic boosts in this trying economic time are good things. And I don’t think I need to explain how exactly increased revenue could help Tuscaloosa out. Who knows? Maybe we could afford bigger, more youth-popular bands than Kenny Chesney and Sugarland to come play at the new amphitheater.
I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. In fact, I expect some people will be a bit upset, the way someone always is when morals become involved in politics. But whatever outcome you’d prefer, whatever ideas or arguments this column may spark, if you want something to happen, you need to go out and vote. So, pre-register now before time runs out, and circle the date on your calendar. Feb. 22 may just change the nature of the Tuscaloosa weekend.
Sean Randall is the assistant lifestyles editor for The CW.