The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Georgia on my mind.

There are currently only three states in the good ol’ U. S. of A. that ban take-out sales of beer, wine, and liquor on Sundays. Ironically, I happen to live in one of them: Georgia. The other two are Connecticut and Indiana, but apparently there are repeal movements brewing in these states that look pretty promising. Can’t you just see the new GA license plates now? “Georgia, we’re ranked 47th in the country for SAT scores, and DEAD LAST for repealing prohibition. Yeee-haw!!”

I bring this up because apparently, via the AJC, the Sunday sales bill is dead in the water (again). Senate Republican leaders say it “lacks the support necessary among the majority caucus.”

So great. Connecticut and Indiana, you’re in the clear! We Georgians will happily assume the position of the most back-ass-ward state in the nation.

Not being from these parts, I was surprised when I moved here to learn that I couldn’t buy alcohol on Sundays. I remember once asking the manager at my local Publix if he would turn on the lights in the darkened wine aisle one Sunday afternoon so I could see which box to buy. He looked at me like I was one crazy carpet-bagger, let me tell you.

Some people think this assholiosity is a carryover from the Prohibition era in the early 20th century. But actually, Sunday alcohol sales bans in America date back all the way to the Puritans in the 17th century who created “blue laws” to regulate morality. Makes sense… I mean, they weren’t called Puritans for nothin’. Unlike the crazy kids today who “sext” each other digital pictures of their freshly shorn kibbles and bits. Or is that just my friends?

If you’re like me (God help you), you might be wondering why this is called a blue law. I thought maybe it was because not being able to get your drink on makes some people feel so blue, but that’s not it. Actually, there are a lot of different theories out there about the origin of the term “blue laws,” but most likely (according to Snopes.com) it is derived from an 18th century usage of the word “blue” as a disparaging reference to something perceived as “rigidly moral.” For example, a “bluenose” is one who advocates a rigorous moral code. Not coincidentally, adhering to said rigorous moral codes can often lead to “blue balls” which can then, in turn, spur a “blue streak” of immoral behaviors.

So here we are, hundreds of years later, clinging to this ancient notion of trying to control morality by prohibiting alcohol sales on the Sabbath.

What a f*#king joke.

Obviously, this is a ri-donk-u-lous idea. Come on… we live in a country where Dog the Bounty Hunter is a pop icon. Does anyone really think banning take-out liquor sales on Sunday is going to make us a more moral people? And isn’t it time that these three hold-out states join the 21st century and stop trying to impose narrow religious values on entire state populations? What about all the people for whom Sunday is not the Sabbath? For some of us, Sunday is Funday.

Back in the 1700s, violating blue laws was punishable by truly horrific things like public flogging, time in the stocks, and even having body parts burned or cut off. Lovely. Definitely something to think twice about before breaking the law.

Today, however, it’s just a hassle to not be able to buy booze on a Sunday. True story, one time my mom and grandma were visiting and we had ourselves a little multi-generational PARTAY one Saturday night… ended up drinking more than we thought we would. Next day when we needed some hair of the dog, we were plumb out of hooch. Called my neighbor/BFF Tammy and she was on her last bottle too (or so she said, b!tch) and couldn’t spare us a single drop. So I had to call my 80 year old in-laws and beg them for a bottle of wine. Sent my sweet husband over to their house to snag a bottle from their ever present case of Two Buck Chuck. Talk about embarrassing. Totally made me feel like Wimpy from the Popeye cartoon: “I will gladly pay you Monday for a bottle of your happy juice today.”

So yeah, I learned the hard way that I have to stock up the other 6 days of the week. Not always the easiest thing to remember, especially given the brain cells I keep killing off with my alcohol abuse. But seriously, that is not the point. The point is that religion and government are not good bedfellows. Period. Go thump your bibles far away from my moonshine distillery, por favor.

Now listen, because this is important. All evidence to the contrary, I am not a heathen. I am a Christian woman. I love Jesus and I strive in my daily life to follow his example in all things. Fortunately for me, I happen to know for a fact that Jesus liked to get his drink on.

The Reverend Doctor Allen Dwight Callahan, Associate Professor of New Testament at Harvard Divinity School and an ordained Baptist minister, argues in the film Portrait of a Radical: The Jesus Movement that Jesus loved to party. I’m paraphrasing here, but in a nutshell, he said that if you walked into a party in Jerusalem and were looking for Jesus, you would have had to look no further than the bar.

Jesus knew that he would do the most good in the world if he hung out with the people who needed some guidance. He ran with a tough crowd. He hand-selected fishermen and tax collectors to spread the Good News. Have you ever spent any time down by the docks or with an IRS agent? Avast ye, matey. Thars some rough skallawags. So why must these Christian fundamentalists continually try to dictate how I spend my free time, and what I can purchase, and when? If Jesus could throw down with the sinners, why can’t I?

I mean, come on… Jesus’ very own mama made him turn water into wine at that wedding feast at Cana (John 2:1-11). That was his very first public miracle! Pretty important, I’d say. Love of the libation clearly runs in his family. And yet, were Mary and Jesus any less holy?

You know what I say? The family that drinks together…

… oh nevermind. I lost my train of thought. Damn fetal alcohol syndrome!

Now I’m not advocating licentiousness or drunkeness here. I’m just saying that if I want to have a drink in the privacy of my own home on a Sunday, why the hell shouldn’t I? For goodness sake, I drink wine at 9:oo AM every Sunday morning in my own church! “Take this cup and drink from it. This is my blood which will be shed for all of you. Do this in memory of me.” Hello? Jesus wasn’t sharing a Caramel Macchiato. Duh.

Interestingly, the blue laws in Georgia allow me to go out to a restaurant and drink alcohol THERE on a Sunday. I just can’t buy my usual econo-sized box o’ wine at the grocery store that day. Why the good ladies of M.A.D.D. aren’t all over this, I’ll never know. Surely it is safer and more moral for us all to reduce the chances of drunk driving by making it legal for us to buy alcohol in a store and transport it home than having us go out to a restaurant for our daily buzz and then drive home. The insanity.

So my fellow Americans, especially if you are a resident of the grand state of Georgia, contact your local senator if you are tired of living this way. Tell your elected official that you want to support local business, drive the economy, and keep the church out of your grocery store. That’s right friends, we need to fight (boom boom)… for our right (boom boom)… to par-tay. And according to one comment I read over at Creative Loafing, “It’s not over. Senator Chip Rogers, a co-sponsor of SB-10 needs to hear from you. His office number is 404-463-1378. Politely call him and ask him to do everything within his power to bring this to the floor of the State Senate for a vote.”

More at http://www.facebook.com/sundaysales and on twitter @sundaysales .

And check out what my brilliant and witty go-to girlfriend over at Life Lessons Halfway Through has to say about this outrageous issue.

Cheers and Amen!

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris

12 Comments

  1. Oh Lawwwd have mercy!! Self righteous ‘tudes help no one and hurt everybody! Cheers & Amen!! Now I gotta go comment on your Box Tops….

  2. I didn’t even notice the darkened aisles in Publix the first time I naively tried to buy beer on Sunday. I got the Christian Death Stares in the checkout line when the clerk pulled the Buds from my hand and told me I was trying to break the law.

  3. “Self-righteous ‘tudes”, “Christian Death Stares”…come on ladies, give me a frickin’ break! I’m a Christian, and I’m all for Sunday alcohol sales. If you think it’s the fundamentalists that’s keeping this law imposed, you are way off. Who do you think benefits the most from this law?…THE RESTAURANTS! They’re the ones lobbying to keep the status quo. Do some investigating and find out for yourselves.

  4. As I sit here about to open a bottle of wine – which I wasn’t going to do until I read this post – I thank goodness I don’t live in GA. At least in Texas we can buy booze after noon on Sunday. But, just think how lucky you are not to live in Utah. My dear friend was out there for a job interview last week. After a very stressful day of interviews, she went out for a quiet dinner by herself, ordered her dinner and then asked about beer and wine – talk about the looks she got. NO booze sold in Salt Lake City restaurants. WTF???! Oh, and by the way my friend, we buy in bulk. My husband goes and stocks up on the booze and replenishes the stash when we are down to about 3-4 bottles. Think about it. You just never know when your gonna need your fix. Now, I must drink!

  5. I live in one of those rare municipalities in our great nation that actually has the ten commandments on display in the county courthouse. It is not in any way inconspicuous or just a small poster hanging somewhere between the community bullitin board and the public drinking fountain either…I mean that it is an elaborate, gothic shrine honoring the rules and regulations derived and delivered from the C.E.O himself…courtesy of the water taming middle man known as Moses…You might be familiar with the story. Anyhee-, the whole town seems to be just as proud of this controversial pairing of government and religion, as they are of their own ignorance. Incidently, my state just passed a law allowing concealed carry handgun permit holders to legally pack heat in a bar…just so long as they aren’t drinking alcohol while sporting their heater. I understand that the state law makers are also trying to revise the law pertainig to stopping at a red traffic signal-providing that the coast is clear…”step on it ma! we got just a few miniutes to get to the package store before another Sunday is upon us bygumtion! I reckon we might be just bound to make it since the redlights aint no matter. I too have to cross the state line to purchase hooch on the sabboth. It can be a real hassle during football season. Maybe I should just be grateful for the other six days when I can safely go in the shadiest of saloons with my pal Samuel Colt at my side knowing that my ride home wont be womperjawed by no dag-gum redlights. I mean if you wanna hang out with the dunkiest of po-dunks (technically while sober…if you can at all fathom that) you might as well have the option to use deadly force because you know what a drag the boys in the bar-room can be…raising cain and whatnot with all them fightin’ words and sacred allegiances to important issues lacking any middle ground-e.g. Ford or Chevrolet…some things are worth fighting for…Like my right to protect myself with deadly force-IF I CHOOSE to go slumming and expect to rub elbows with cut-throats and the most dysfunctional and aggressive sort of alcoholics. Thank goodness I might soon have the option to just roll through a red light on the way home -even on Sunday but god forbid I am able to purchase alcohol to safely consume at home on the lords day. That could be some real trouble.

    • And the WINNER for best comment EVER goes to… “Bubbles.” Lord have mercy, my face is all cramped up from laughing so damn hard. I need to forward this to my new girlfriend over at Southern Dysfunction. I believe she might be one of your neighbors.

  6. Oh Boy! A kindred spirit! Tell me sumthin, Bubbles. Are you a huntin’ man?

    • Bubbles...(some call me Bubba)

      February 22, 2011 at 9:25 pm

      Only on Sunday….Which I believe is not prohibited during a mandated “season” here in the land of the “bubbling crude”…Hunting is not allowed on Sunday in some states but I’m not dialed in as to the specifics or what is considered forbidden or acceptable to those who create/enforce wildlife laws or what “hunting”, (or gathering…) actually entails…In other words, It may be perfectly legal to engage in activities relevant to “The Hunt” on Sunday bloody Sunday- like setting out delicious treats to lure in your most dangerous game, possibly ensuring that Monday might be so much more rewarding than you ever imagined. Other activities relevant to hunting (minus the 7th days forbidden “money shot”) might also include, switching out last years memory card in you motion activated trail camera, pruning of the view obstructing foliage/branches from your latest tree stand/snipers nest, sharing some poppy-cock with your dearest uncle, spiritual advisor, Co. commissioner or mentor, and most definately monitoring the local emergency and police channels on your modified bandwidth scanner just in case you might miss something really, really good. Don’t underestimate the power of good old fashioned rubbernecking if you think you cant shake that “it just feels like a Sunday and my trigger fingers’ spirit desires so much to be set free” overtone. Sorry, I wandered a bit there…Back to your question of “Do I Hunt”…Answer- No I do not, but if I ever do embieb in what the majority of these assholes consider hunting/sportsmanship, I just hope I live somewhere that sells high gravity beer and some phenobarbitol on superior Sunday. Peace-B

  7. I moved to Colorado from California a few years ago and couldn’t understand why I couldn’t buy alcohol on Sundays (we can now). But worse than that-I can’t buy my wine at the grocery store! I was so used to going to Safeway buying dinner and wine at the same time I didn’t know what to do. I hadn’t been in a liquour store in years. People make fun of California all the time but there are some things they just do right- like buying wine!

  8. I live in NY and you can’t buy alcohol until after noon on Sunday.

    The stupidity of it was driven home when we went to buy beer and it was just after noon. Nope, we weren’t allowed to buy the beer because the clocks had chaned the night before, so now it was 11:00 AM. A week before it would have been fine…

  9. OMG, I went to a Commisioners meeting (here) in the county we live in Iris….we were there to FIGHT to keep our holiday pay and to FIGHT for the county to stop balancing the budget on the backs of the county employees, and would you even believe that they asked everyone to bow their heads in PRAYER? At a COUNTY GOVERMENT MEETING???????? I almost spat fire from my gay-catholic-lite-imma-f*ck-you-up-lips! First of all, these morons assumed that everyone there is a christian. HI people, let’s welcome the jews and the buddists to the mix and any other religion you FORGOT and just DISCRIMINATED against in the room. F*ucking awkward …as I was hoping to verbally disembowel and impale a commisioner for taking my raise for the fourth year in a row. Anyhoo, they also put xmas trees all over the place here in GOVERMENT buildings, another party foul of a federal law. Nobody has bothered to tell these turds that’s another discriminatory christain cartel getsure….where the hell did i move to? Why or why is it that they cannot understand that church and state MUST be separate???????????????????????????????????????????To me my faith is very private and sacred and doesn’t belong at my job or forced onto others!!!!!

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