Why I am opposed to the sale of Alcoholic beverages in our community, even for off premises consumption:
Recently a great and well-meaning friend showed up at my house with a carload of yard signs relating to an upcoming election in our community regarding the legal sale of alcohol for off premises consumption. The sign is simple, to the point, and informative. “Vote against alcohol November 3”. He helped me place 3 of those signs in my yard and left 3 more for me to place in our church yard, which is prominently located on the corner of the busiest intersection in our little town.
Immediately I had a dilemma. The words “Against Alcohol” stand out much more than anything else on the sign. While I am totally opposed to the sale of alcohol here, I also realize that a great number of the people we hope to reach with the gospel of Jesus Christ have alcohol use as a regular part of their lives. The last thing we want to say to them is that we are opposed to them, to paint ourselves as the enemy of people who don’t agree with us. Unfortunately the church in general has developed a pretty good reputation of doing just that through the years and propagating a “holier than Thou” gospel. Thank God that He accepts and forgives and changes people who aren’t like Him or none of us would have a chance. Had he not done that for me, I wouldnt even care to be writing this article. My sign dilemma was diffused rather quickly as word began to get out about the upcoming election and concerned citizens quickly took all the signs I had and placed them in their yards! But still we wanted to make some kind of statement in our community.
There are many reasons why I believe legalizing the sale of alcohol in Redwater in not in the best interest of our town. The main reason is because of the adverse effects of alcohol on families. We are FOR Redwater, and are excited to see her grow! But I would submit to you that the main reason so many people want to live in Redwater now is because of how Redwater is, a family oriented family-friendly community. It doesn’t take much investigation into surrounding areas to see the change that takes place in communities like ours when alcohol sales are legalized. I personally see nothing good coming from it for the families in our community. I understand that there could be considerable revenue for the city, but people’s lives and family are worth more than money. Already Wal Mart is generating a considerable amount of additional revenue for our city and other businesses are rumored to be looking in our direction. There are better options than alcohol sales for us to increase our revenue, and they are certainly better for the welfare of our families.
I recently became aware that some weeks back there was an article in the paper that stated that there was no opposition to the alcohol sales proposal in Redwater. I would like to go on record as saying that that is certainly not true now. At the time most of us had no idea that it was even going to be on the November 3rd ballot. But people know now. Our mayor and my friend Robert Lorance told me on the phone a couple of weeks ago that he wants what the people of Redwater want. I’m for that too. BUT, know this, only the 599 people who are registered to vote and actually live inside city limits and can vote on this issue on November 3rd. It is anticipated that the results of this election will affect 32,000 people who live within a 10 mile radius of Redwater, so take your vote seriously. I can assure you that Wal Mart takes your vote seriously. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a war against Wal-mart. It is evidenced by the business we are all giving them that the convenience of their store has been greatly enjoyed by most of us. But today we learned that Wal-Mart has hired an outside company to solicit voters to support the alcohol measure in our city and the two others in our county, New Boston and Dekalb, who are facing this same ballot issue. What this means is they are helping people register to vote, in some places even going door to door in hopes of passing the measure. At least that is what we understand at this point. I find that very disturbing and even offensive to be honest. These are people who are not from here. They do not live here. They will not be affected at all by the outcome or the change that alcohol sales will likely bring to our community. They don’t stay up late on Friday and Saturday nights picking up the pieces, or invest hours every week teaching at the rehab, or counseling with broken wife or the alcoholic dad. Their concern is not first and foremost people, but they are actively pursuing voters to pass this measure for one reason alone,………. money. This is not about a major corporation just wanting the best for our community and our families. It is about another dollar, and they have enough of them to flex their muscles a little bit so they can get more and more of yours. That bothers me and in no way does it honor God. I understand that is the nature of business and I would expect no less from any major corporation, but this comes at the expense of community, and at a great cost to families, so I cannot afford to be silent on this issue.
Please believe me when I say we are For our town, and we want the best for Redwater. I urge you to ask your county law enforcement officials, or our EMT’s or Firefighters how they feel about the increased availability of alcohol. Or, just look at the statistics about alcohol related deaths among teens. More teens are killed each year by alcohol than all other illegal drugs combined. More importantly, numerous lives and families have been destroyed as a result of the abuses of alcohol. Alcohol is not going to make Redwater a better place to live. Let’s care about what’s best for people, and let’s keep Redwater Redwater.