It IS unconstitutional. The church is welcome to make its' views known to our
legislators, just like anybody else. Including me. I refuse to accept that they
should get preferential hearing on issues such as this. Freedom of for me means
It's about time. Loosen up on liquor sales and a lot of people will
be much happier. More business for stores and restaurants, more tax dollars for
the government. The Church needs to worry about its people, not everyone else.
Why should the church not have any influence? That is a narrow and naive view. I
want it things only when they are in my favor. I know what half a the
addlepated will say "seperation of church and state" but this is not
what it implies.
This is one of the stupidest lawsuits I've ever seen. But, I don't think it's
surprising, considering its source.
Yeah, this is exactly what we need. More liquor. More DUI's. More escape from
reality. More liver disease. MORE! MORE! MORE!
This lawsuit is right on. Utah has embarassing liquor laws, that are based upon
personal phobias and misinformation, generated from personal religeous beliefs.
Utah generates the strangest, most inconsistent liquor laws, based upon
lawmaker's statements that could easily be applied to non-alcoholic industries
as well. But aren't.I don't know what this lawsuit will bring--the
State of Utah likes the control of alcohol, because it brings the state great
revenue. But who knows what will happen when a Federal judge recognizes that
our laws are based on unrealistic, personal phobias that are quoted in our
No we will be a part of stopping _ALL liquer sales in Utah, keep your
demogathery inszide your head please
It's about time some one took them to court! What happened to free agency that
they preach? If you people the chance to make a choice, you are taking away
their free agency.
Oops...left out a word....If you deny people the chance to make a choice, you
take away their free agency.
It really is strange that the opinions of a group that does not believe in
consuming liquor at all should have anything of value to add to the regulations
governing the consumption of alcohol.That would be like considering
the opinion of vegetarians on how to cook and serve meat.
Good luck enforcing that one. Can you keep legislators from asking the First
Presidency their views on liquor laws? Sure. But most of these guys are LDS
anyway...are you going to pass a law that they have to step out into the foyer
whenever there's a word of wisdom talk at church?And sorry to burst
your bubble Hutterite, but there's nothing in the constitution about freedom
from religion. You might just have to learn to accept some religious
interference in your life. I have to put up with plenty of atheist interference
in mine - why should you be any different?
The LDS authorities (not many of my local acquaintances, who don't seem to care
much and sometimes come over for a sip) may have influenced the selection
available to me, but they've never had any influence on my attitude toward a
tall cold one. Given that, is influencing the selection supposed to make me
feel more positive towards them? If it is, may I suggest maybe that's not
working very well? I have a momma, I don't need government in that role.
No matter what my views are on alcohol consumption I do believe the Mormon
church should stay out of this debate. It is bad for the LDS church and the
state of Utah to take the church's view on drinking into consideration when
making the laws that effect everyone living in the state. And it is of course
unconstitutional. Prohibition created a culture of heavy drinkers, speak easys
and organized crime. I should think we all would have learned better.Limiting access to booze does not sway anyone from it. Never has. The church
should remain a church and stay out of politics.
I live in Washington State. Costco sponsored an initiative last year that would
have ended the states monopoly at the state liquor stores. Bars can sell hard
liquor in Washington but all other sales must be through the state liquor
stores. Costco wants to sell liquor at their stores. They have spent $22 Million
to get this initiative passed this time (it failed last year).Mormons comprise less than 5% of this states population yet state liquor
stores exist here.Does the LDS church have freedom of speech?
Yup.Does the LDS church have the same rights as anyone else? Nope, the
church is not a person and does not vote.This law suit seeks to deny
the LDS church their first amendment rights.If this were in sports
San Diego State would have sought to ban Jimmer from playing last year because
BYU was simply too powerful with the Jimmer. These clowns always
seek to change the rules when they see that they cannot win.
@USAlover: Considering the 64 DUI arrests over the weekend I'd say the liquor
laws are hardly doing their job. Just like criminals with guns, if a drinker
wants a drink he's going to get one... no matter what the law says. These laws
aren't stopping any drunks, they are only making it harder for average folks to
have a drink or two.Want to know why SLC has a shortage of good (and
I mean REALLY good) restaurants? Because they can't get liquor licenses. Alcohol
sales are a HUGE part of a restaurant's income. Putting restrictions on it only
@ ouiscIs it also "embarrassing" to you that Utah has the
LOWEST DUI rate in the nation? Is it embarrassing to you that people in Utah
insist on drinking and then driving? Is it embarrassing to you that liquor in
abundance produces social ills and costs that are bourne by all the taxpayers,
not just the drinkers? Does it embarrass you that the funds from the sale of
liquor as controlled by the State all go towards funding education? Are these
facts also "phobia's" in your view? Cannot anyone who really wants a
drink actualy get enough to get drunk fairly easily, just not by using the
neighborhood grocery store as a "supplier" like they do in so many
States that have a huge problem with DUI's, speaking of hard liquor only, as
beer is readily available everywhere every day of the week? Would you rather we
were like Nevada?
It seems right for legislatures to NOT actively solicit input from the LDS
Church or any other. But at the same time one cannot deny a church's right (or
anyone else's right, for that matter) to make it's input known. You know, free
speech and all of that.
I think this will just backfire on them. Everyone knows the LDS church's views
already so this lawsuit is likely to make some politicians react in a less
compromise-ready sort of way, regardless of the outcome.
There is no constitutional right to consume alcohol. The regulation of alcohol
is one of the legitimate "police" functions of state and local
governments. All states regulate alcohol to one degree or another. This is so
because the consumption of alcohol has negative effects on all of society, even
those who do not drink. And, there are jurisdictions in the US with laws as
strict as, or stricter than, Utah's, especially in the South, where there are
large groups of non-drinkers who are not Mormon.Legislators are free
to consider the views of anyone, and all citizens and groups are free to express
those views. All law is based on someone's set of values, and most of those
values had their roots, at least initially, in religion. The
foregoing are some of the reasons why this lawsuit is so stupid. Another reason
is that it is trying to state an antitrust claim against legislation, which is
just dumb. It honestly makes one wonder whether overconsumption of alcohol led
to the drafting of the complaint.
@toosmartforyou"Is it also "embarrassing" to you that
Utah has the LOWEST DUI rate in the nation? "That's because
Utah has a large percentage of the population that don't drink such as myself.
But here's the important question. These laws that make getting alcohol more
difficult... are they going to stop alcoholics from getting drunk? Or are they
just an annoyance for the casual drinker who just wants a drink or two? In other
words... are these laws really leading to the lowest DUI rate or is the fact
half the state is LDS pretty much guaranteeing the lowest DUI rate in the nation
regardless of the laws? Utah is, by about 3%, the lowest state in the nation for
smoking rates but it doesn't seem to be any harder to buy cigarettes here than
in Maryland. Regardless of cigarette access Utah is always going to be the
lowest rate of smoking because of the massive LDS population. I think that
applies, to some extent at least, to alcohol too. Having the lowest DUI rates is
great but I'm not convinced that the laws have as much impact as some think.
Having trax run later would help though.
The LDS church or any other religious organization should be banned from
lobbying or imposing their beliefs on any legislator. It is difficult enough for
each legislator to consider the impact of legislation on all of their
constituents and include the various minority views. Obviously they will be
influenced by their own religious beliefs but their job is to consider all views
equally. Besides, having the LDS church influence the drinking laws is a bit
like having the blind lead the sighted on a hike. I went into culture shock when
I moved to Florida to go to college and discovered that the liquor stores had
drive-up windows and cold beer. You could even order a mixed drink at the
drive-up as long as you were not the driver. The amazing thing was that Florida
had a lower rate of DUI's than Utah and drivers acted more responsibly than they
did in Utah. Maybe it was because they were allowed to act like adults and make
their own responsible decisions without being hovered over.
Some of you are clearly ignorant of the efforts by the LDS Church over the past
five or so years to ease liquor laws. Even going so far as to say, through a
spokesperson, that the Church does not oppose the responsible consumption of
alcoholic beverages by informed adults (you can look it up).My guess
is that for some of you it isn't really a liquor issue as much as it is an LDS
Church issue. Even if there were a bar on every corner with booze flowing
freely, your dander would get up if President Monson said "Good
I know that Utah has the lowest number of drinkers per capita in the nation.
However, I question that Utah has the lowest rate of DUI's in the nation. Where
did you get that information. When I lived in Florida in the early 70's ,
Florida had a lower rate of DUI's than Utah according to the national alcoholic
beverage association statistics.
Private sector , free enterprise time.
I'm asking this as a serious question cause I am not sure. Did the LDS Church
actually make up these liquor laws or did the elected officials make up the laws
and where influenced by their personal religious views? There is a big
difference and I really don't know much about the subject.
We should probably start requiring LDS people to sustain religious leaders
online. Then, gather the names and prohibit them from voting on anything
related to liquor, gambling, pornography, gay rights, prostitution, abortion,
and probably many other issues. LDS people should also probably not be allowed
to vote if a non-LDS person is running for office. Baptists probably
should be prohibited from voting over similar measures in Southern states, as
well as Catholics in Massachusetts. 7th-Day Adventists in Loma Linda,
California should also be denied their voices in such matters.Why
should any of these groups have any influence over the government of communities
in which they live and raise their families? In fact, if you belong to any
church whatsoever, you should just butt out and let everyone else establish all
community living standards for you.Clearly, we need to move toward a
government of the minority, by the minority, and for the minority.
Religious speech is protected. Religious practices are protected. Using religion
to influence government policy is called *theocracy*. If you love your religion
that much and think that the church knows what is best I invite you to examine
the lives of people in Iran. Religions, like all other institutions,
have their own agenda. I guarantee you that agenda is not freedom and equality
There is nothing wrong with allowing the State Legislators to hear the opinion
of the leaders of any Church within the state. That is part of their job.. to
listen to the people of the State. Church leaders, whether Catholic, Baptist,
Muslim, or LDS respresent the peoples of Utah. These same legislators also ask
the opinion of business leaders and other influencial people. The legislators
then determine how to vote on the varied proposals before them. This is common
practice in every state. It is one way that the voice of the people is heard.
It is not unconstitutional.To create a law saying any of these
organizations can not voice their opinion however would be unconstitutional. I
trust the courts will throw this lawsuit out of court and not waste time on it.
I think the alcohol law the state are dumb however the LDS Church has as much
rights to be heard as the Restaurant, Club, and Hospitality Association that is
trying to deny them the same rights in the suit.
Since approximately fifty-eight percent of the population in Utah are members of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it stands to reason that those
elected by the majority to represent them in the legislature are going to be
responsive to their constituency. The Constitution of the United States works
only if our representatives hear and represent the majority view while
protecting the constitutional rights of all.Those pursuing this law
suit need instead to concentrate their efforts on the passage of a
constitutional amendment that makes free-flowing alcohol consumption a protect
right. Otherwise, let legislators represent the majority view. After all, we
believe in a government of the people, by the people and for the people. And,
as one of the people, I would like to see alcohol consumption ended entirely.
But I don't get my way any more than these folks do.
I support any legislation against alcohol consumption. If good, high moral,
christian legislators want to vote the views of the majority of their voters
then so be it. Don't call them "the" LDS church when they exercise
their moral rights to protect and build up a better society. I was hit buy three
drunk farm laborers in California June 19th. They all had multiple DUI's. My
truck killed two of them, as they hit me head on with the drivers side of their
Cavalier. The third ran to Mexico as he was the owner of the car. I took three
drunks off the roads of California, lost my income, my ability to walk, and had
to move back to Utah to live with family. So, tell me why you oppose stricter
drinking laws? They are not strict enough. Do not blame the LDS church for your
bad habits and choices. If you do not like the liquor laws then find another
place to live. I will always be a victim and a statistic a sounding voice
against alcohol the rest of my life, whats left of it.
To DeltaFoxTrot - what a bunch of hogwash. Using religion to CONTROL government
is called "theocracy." Allowing everyone, including sports clubs,
insurance groups, unions, corporate lobbyists, the NRA, Mothers Against Drunk
Drivers, Loggers, Environmentalists, Evolutionists, the American Medical
Association, and yes, even Religions to have whatever influence they can legally
wield on our government is called a Democratic Republic. If you don't like how
your representatives represent you, convince others to your thinking and vote
them out.Follow your conscience, express your voice, engage in the
debate, and let the voters decide. Engage the courts if you think the will of
the majority is unconstitutional.Your desire to silence all other
significant voices in the formation of our society, when you are in the
minority, is much closer to a theocratic philosophy, even if your theology
doesn't include a God.
Drinking alcohol is not a moral issue, unless it is abused. But that is true
with a lot of things. The LDS church chooses to ask their members to abstain and
this is fine, but there is no reason for the LDS church to try to make it
difficult for the population in general to drink.Jesus did make
alcoholic wine. Some LDS doubt this, but when he made the wine from water, the
lord of the feast, asked why the best wind was put out second, and not first. He
said, when people are well DRUNK, then the lesser (good) wine is set out, but he
said, you have put out the best wind out second. Therefore they were not talking
about non alcoholic wine in the new testament. Their wind had alcohol.Later in the New testament, it says bishops shall not be 'given to strong
drink', i.e. drink (much) alcohol. This would never be said about bishops if
the church back then didn't allow drinking of alcohol, because it would have
been understood to apply to all people of the church.
'SALT LAKE CITY A trade group for bars and restaurants is asking a federal
judge to block Utah legislators from considering input from the LDS Church when
drafting future liquor laws.' - Article And when the LDS church
starts PRODUCING it's own form of liquor, I can understand it's input. However, since they do NOT factaully have any input except 'it's against our
doctorine', I fail to see any facts that would contribute to the debate. Also, we have EVIDENCE that the relaxing liquor laws have NO EFFECT on
Utah's mentality in regards to alchohol consumption: *'Utah DUI
arrests DECLINE despite looser liquor law' - By BROCK VERGAKIS - AP - Published
by SL Tribune - 10/11/10 Opening Utahs bars to the public didnt
result in an increase in drunk driving arrests. Keep your faith. It
is yours. Allow others the freedom to do as THEY wish.
First, I don't drink. Second, I can't tell from this article how much or how the
LDS church influences the law. Are they helping to draft language? The church
will always have its hands in our laws in Utah. That's part of the problem of
having a church that believes it communicates directly with god. They feel they
have better judgment than others despite their rather imperfect track record.The laws are absurd and they serve little purpose except to make getting
a drink inconvenient. They remind me of the security screening at the
airport...more for show than for actual safety.Trying to eliminate
"daily drink specials" is clearly not the purview of the state
legislature. It is also clearly over-reaching to limit liquor licenses based on
population. Those who drink will drink. Having four more restaurants that serve
alcohol won't cause anyone else to start drinking.
@gramma b: I see you've never lived in the South. There may be dry counties, but
the South is the home of good old fashioned moonshine. All the Baptists over
there who say they don't drink... you can find them pounding PBR at the race
track, in the stands at a football game or with a cooler on the fishing boat.
They dress up nice and go to service on Sunday, but they enjoy themselves the
rest of the time. Believe me, I lived there for 27 years.
Linus | 4:05 p.m. Nov. 1, 2011 Bountiful, UT Since approximately
fifty-eight percent of the population in Utah are members of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints.@Linus -- that statistic includes
inactive members of the church. I'd guess that significantly less than 50% of
the population in Utah are active LDS and that number is dropping. Another 2 -
3 generations LDS will be way down there in the minority. The power and control
of a religious institution over State politicians will then have been lost.
I was at the meet the candidates night last thursday here in Pleasant Grove. PG
is in great need of a greater commercial tax base. We have the land for it.
Zoned correctly and available cheap... We have a larger population base than
neighboring American Fork or Lindon and yet we cannot attract a couple of nice
sit-down restaurants due to no available liquor licenses. The candidates were
excited to outdo each other in either how they were going to go fix this issue
one way or another with no concept of how the DABC works in Utah. It was comical
really... only a couple of the candidates knew anything about what the
challenges were to dealing with this. Funny but I would bet my left foot each
and every one of those running is a good LDS church member. All desperate to
help get more licenses... As a LDS church member I think the DABC policies are
too stringent. We need more agency... what happened to raise them up the way
they will go and when they are old they will not depart from it or whatever...
Seems like regulate so we can avoid temptation works better?
@LDSRichard - I feel for your loss. I've had two family members killed by drunk
driving. However, more people are killed by over-eating every year than
alcohol...should we make that illegal as well? Will we make it illegal to feed
your children unhealthy foods and portions a crime? Consuming
alcohol in and of itself is not "immoral" or dangerous. It's the abuse
of the alcohol. Why is it that the very people who want to make alcohol illegal
are the ones who refuse to want to put any limits on firearms?I
believe in tough drunk-driving laws. I believe in education. I do not believe
that laws that are primary for show are the answer. Even if drinking
is immoral, you can't and shouldn't legislate morality. It just doesn't work.
My concern would be what FACTUAL information would the LDS church provide on
this subject? Factual. Not theological.
Heres the thing about liquor laws (or almost any law for that matter). They are
in place because someone did something stupid and caused harm to another. Maybe
no one is arguing that point but when one entity has information to create any
law shouldnt that come into play? Do we not consider ALL the facts before making
a choice? Do we also not consider the moral consequences ? In reality what
should be happening is that the legislators should be required to ask more
religious groups and more MADD groups, and other groups(who support the freedom
to drink) while considering these laws. We are supposed to be a government of
the people that means ALL groups should get a say. Limiting this actually goes
against the consitution.
The LDS church is free to influence the legislators on Sunday, but as a
religious institution they should not get preferential input on bills.
Why should the LDS church have special access to legislators? I can't call my
state senator(John Valentine) and have a meeting about liquor laws before the
legislative session starts. Heck, I can't even get a form letter from his office
when I write in about an issue. Do you think he would treat Pres Monson the same
way? I would eat my own face if he did. However, I think this speaks to a bigger
problem in politics. The rich and or powerfull(think lobbyists for large
companies and just plain old rich guys) have a much easier time pushing their
agenda on the rest of us than the average man does and the LDS church falls into
the catagory of both rich and powerfull.
They want a judge to "block Utah legislators from considering input from
the LDS Church."This would be an effective denial of free
speech.Exactly where do they feel the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints crosses the line in exerting "too much
influence?"Do they threaten the lawmakers' good standing in the
Church? Do they promise to increase or decrease political funding? Or do they
just say, "We feel this is or is not a good idea?"Think of
it this way. What if a single person has no official power of her own, but
expresses an opinion that almost everyone chooses to agree with? Would that
mean that she exercises excessive influence?If so, perhaps all
popular, wise, educated, experienced, intelligent, thoughtful, and/or inspired
individuals need to be muzzled to keep us from listening to anyone we choose to
respect.Perhaps the next step is to muzzle God's influence by
outlawing prayer or forbidding us from referring to our better judgment when
voting, lest their be something in the better judgment section of our brains
that exercises excessive influence.
The Church likes to legislate morality. It should pay taxes for the privilege.
@ DSB 3:40 p.m.Thanks for hitting the nail on the head about what
is the real issue here. Somehow people seem to think that the views of the
majority about community standards and many other kinds of legislation ought to
be ignored just because their views are influenced by their faith.Liquor laws are one of the ways we as a people decide what kind of community
we want to be. I've been in plenty of places in the US where there's a bar on
almost every corner and drunkards ambling unsteadily around every street. If
that's the kind of community you want to live in, you ought to move to one of
these locations; you'll find plenty of people who share your opinions and you
can have the community standards you want. In the meantime we in Utah will
choose to have different standards.
How come many posters are saying it is ok for the church to chime in on alcohol,
but these same posters say the church should not get involved in the immigration
debate?Many hypocrites are posting here.
I attended a VIP get together at Abravanel Hall the other night where they
served alcohol. The event was sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints Foundation. Free wine was served, both red and white.
Prodicus is a perfect example of a Utahn wearing blinders. As if my safe,
family-centered community, with it's liberal liquor laws, has a bar on every
corner and drunks stumbling around. You think Utahns have better community
standards than anywhere else? Come on.
First time I voted was in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the voting age was
21. The issue--liquor by the drink. The good citizens who lived in Virginia were
leaving the state to enjoy dinner out with a glass of their favorite alcoholic
beverage elsewhere, since we didn't allow it sold other than at state stores
Monday through Saturday (Blue Laws). Where I lived, people went to the really
fine establishments in D.C. The revenues, of course, from the fine meals (and we
did have nice restaurants), theaters, and other activities available were going
to other places, instead of our state. That was the backstory of the issue. I
was a thoughtful, voting, LDS woman. I voted with my conscience. It's a secret
ballot, but I am sure the hospitality businesses in Virginia did better later
The fact that so many people (on these forums and elsewhere) are so bent about
the possibility of not being able to get their precious alcohol tells you a lot
about what a dangerous vice alcohol is.
The issue, according to the article, is whether or not the Church, which is both
a constituent of the Utah State Legislature, and which represents the strongly
held beliefs of more than half of Utahns, may express itself to the
legislature.I cannot see why anyone would reason that it should not
be so. People who oppose the Church may join with like-minded individuals and
elect representatives who share their views, thereby limiting any perceived
influence the Church may have. If that is so, the contrary may happen as well
(if you forbid one, you must forbid the other).Churches, just like
large, secular organizations (such as The Sierra Club or the National Rifle
Association), ought to be given access to those who potentially represent them
and their members. If any such organization is able to persuade the members of
their group to support or oppose whatever law, either through direct election or
through election of representatives, more's the power to them. Limiting one group's access to government must inevitably lead to all groups'
The LDS Church happens to have a whole lot of members in Utah, and, oh, yes,
it's where the headquarters are. So? Just because some people say something or
hold an office who happen to be LDS (or Catholic or Druids, for goodness' sake!)
doesn't mean they represent that group. When I speak, I don't represent my
religion, or left-handed people, or anything else, unless I was chosen to speak
as that group's specific representative. Please, before assuming that "The
LDS (Mormon) Church" is doing, saying, weighing in, or deciding on
something, be sure that is really what is happening, and not that the
person/people doing it don't just happen to be members of it. After all, if they
were all left-handed, would you say it was a left-handed pressure group?
Churches all over this land speak out on moral issues all the time. Barring the
LDS Church its opinion is wrong on so many levels. The subject of no drinking
is no different. If those who drink would live in a vacuum, then that is one
thing. Since they have to live with non-drinkers then all who have an opinion
are guaranteed the opportunity to opine. Unfortunately, there is a health and
safety issue for all, especially when drinking is followed by driving.
As fr alchol and its evils there are many. However, there are 18-20 year olds
that are dying for their country and are not allowed to drink. They are
however, allowed to vote. This is a national age limit. This age limit was
decided upon by members of congress and was decided solely on the data that
accidents involving this age group almost always involved drinking and speed.
They still get their alchol and we still have the problem. Yet, nothing has
changed in the 25 years since it was placed into effect. It is well
known that many drink to excess that many can not drink just one drink. I
believe that we have made it too easy across this country for anyone to get
alchol anytime they want it. In fact there was a time when DUIs were more
prevalent after 2:00am. Why because this is how late bars across this country
are open. Now with the advent of alchol being sold in grocery stores (Walmart,
Sams Club, convient stores, etc.) people are DUI at all hours of the day. Ask
the families of loved ones killed by a drunk driver what their feelings are.
Many will tell you they want stricter laws to make it more difficult to get the
alchol. They want the bars to be forced to close earlier. They want anyone
that sells alchol to stop selling alchol at least one hour before they close.
They also want stricter laws for those who have more than one DUI. Some states
are even allowing Insurance Companies to have lower rates for those who have
never been convicted of a DUI. Ask the families that have an alcholic father,
son, mother, daughter, etc. what they feel and the answers are the same. In
fact, there are teenagers today that are alcholics before they even get out of
middle school. Tougher laws are needed and the data I've mentioned is every
where on the internet. I agree with the laws of Utah to make it harder for
others to get it. Still they will get it if they want. They will still drink
and drive. There will still be alcholics but it is up to the common man to try
and reduce the threat. Our failure will destroy the society in which we live.
Bill in Nebraska wrote:"Our failure [to regulate alcohol] will
destroy the society in which we live."Oh, No! The destruction
of society argument...again!The gays getting married will destroy
society.Loosening alcohol laws will destroy society.Removing crosses
from the side of the freeway will destroy society.Failing to pay off the
national debt will destroy society.yada, yada...When you
religious people are done crying wolf, please let us know so we can get down to
the business of actually solving important problems.Until then, all
you do is undermine your own credibility with your fear-mongering and
I love when I hear people who move to Utah and love how family friendly and safe
it is then complain they can't find beer or porn. There's a reason why its so
pleasant here.Just as any lobby, the LDS church is well within its
rights of free speech to chime in on legislation.
When my wife moved here from Pittsburgh she was surprised to see beer selling in
grocery stores, convenience stores, and so on. I didnt realize that there were
places with laws stricter than Utah, but I knew Utah had very low rates of death
by drunk driving and was always proud that I lived in a State where we put life
above getting tourist dollars. I looked up Pittsburgh stats and they had even
lower rates of death by automobile accident. Some people are always
angry whenever the LDS Church does anything, builds anything, or speaks on
anything, so it's difficult to do anything good in Utah (even if the LDS Church
isn't involved at all). Some people scream that Mormons (the Church is all of
us) should only be involved in moral issues, but saving lives and helping
prevent other drunken mistakes are certainly moral issues. I say let them
speak, let everyone speak on the issue before letting a few, who might put
dollars and profit over life, decide for all of us.
This is clearly a P.R. stunt because the result the Hospitality Association
would have the Court reach would itself be unconstitutional since it clearly
limits free speech of the Church, a violation of the First Amendment. Meanwhile,
the claim obviously could not implicate the free exercise clause, so it has to
go to the establishment clause. The Church is not a state actor, so it can't be
precluded from lobbying. At best, the Hospitality Association may claim that
Legislators violate the establishment clause when they listen to the LDS Church,
but that is too far attenuated from the Constitution to have merit and is open
to claims that such a position is (1) unconstitutionally non-justiciable, (2)
imposes an unconstitutional religious test, (3) unconstitutionally restricts
free speech, and (4) unconstitutionally targets a religion, a violation of the
free exercise clause. The only reasonable conclusion is that the Hospitality
Association is attempting to bully the LDS Church into being silent because,
legally, their case is an embarrassment.
@Christy- I'm certainly not saying Utah legislation is perfect (one glance
through the smog in our valleys tells me there are ways our community standards
need improving) or that every place with looser liquor laws is a slum.What I am saying: the fundamental idea of democracy is that people get to
collectively choose what kind of society to be. Those who get worked up about
liquor laws infringing on their "right" to do whatever they darn well
please are really claiming that the wishes of the majority should be ignored and
we should all have to live with lowest-common-denominator standards.If you and most folks in Beaverton prefer liberal liquor laws, fine for you.
But if you move to a place where most people disagree, don't expect to foist
that policy on everybody else.The Founders came up with a very short
and very appropriate list of cases where the individual's interests should trump
the majority (the Bill of Rights) and a short list of Federal powers for making
universal laws. In all other cases- liquor expressly included per section 2 of
the 21st amendment- states and communities should choose what to become.
Christy - you make me laugh. I lived in Portland for 8 years, and although
Beaverton was indeed a nice suburb of Portland, the liberal laws forcing
everyone to live among the lowest legal standards of humanity certainly created
a very unfavorable climate in many areas for family-oriented people. Even though I loved Portland and really did not initially like the idea of
moving to Utah, my experience has been that Utah's community standards are far,
far more wholesome than those in the Portland area. But, if an unrestrained
proliferation of strip clubs, pornography stores, and available liquor is your
vision of ideal community standards, you should vote to make sure they remain
legal and plentiful in your community. Power should be in the people
who live in the community, and my neighbors and I should not be ashamed to use
our voices to influence the standards of our community. Neither should any
organization, such as the church, that also resides in the community. Anyone
who disagrees should have a voice as well. Engage in the debate and let the
This is right on...I do not drink alcohol, I am a Mormon, but Utah follows the
laws of the United States Government...Why do Utahan's think separation from
church and state does not apply to us?
I like Utah's liquor law that prohibits the sale of alcohol on election day
until after 8 p.m. That's why we have such great leaders here and representing
us in Washington, D.C. If other states would adopt the same law, we
would have more decent national leaders. Half the people who vote don't know
anything about politics, the Constitution, or current events. Add on being
intoxicated, and we end up with a President Obama, a Nancy Pelosi, etc.
@Prodicus 10:08 - I regret that I have but one Recommendation to give for your
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has an obligation to make its
position known on any moral issue. Consumption of alcoholic beverages is a moral
issue. Therefore the Church has an obligation to make its position clear. Taking
a position is not the same as taking away a person's agency.
Strict liquor laws have done nothing to reduce the number of DUIs. That is a
fallacy. The church has every right to make its opinion known as does any
citizen or group in this state. It does not have the right however to act as if
part of the legislature. If you wish to do that, then you must have fair
representation by all the faiths here, not just the dominant one. What is naive is the fact that some of this mentality is hurting the state.
You also want to get DUIs down? Add a small surcharge to the increased alcohol
sale and put more cops on the road... and that will lower other crime as
well.... Then again.. the police reports seem to indicate that a lot of the DUIs
are upstanding members of the church and community.
'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has an obligation to make its
position known on any moral issue.' - savage sam | 11:28 p.m. Nov. 1, 2011 And what EXACTLY constitutes a 'moral' issue. That's
right. Anything the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
says is a moral issue. Would you like an example? What I
choose to drink, when I am over 21 years of age and NOT a member of the LDS
church, is not a moral issue. Want another example? If
I am not a member of the LDS church... why is my marriage a 'moral'
issue to someone who is not in said, marriage?
Privatize Utah liquor sales.
If the LDS Church lost its right to lobby, then, by reasonable inference, other
lobby groups, such as the UEA, UPEA, and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
would have to forfeit their voices in the political process. Who wants that!
Does the LDS have the right to influence legislation, The statute for separation
of Church and State was made when religion began to interfere with school
teachings, and in the ways people think. Such as Darwin's law of Evolution, or
life in space. What happened was Churches complained, and threatened teachers
for teaching it, on the other hand what we have done, and this was many years
ago is, remove school prayer, and the Pledge of allegiance. When one went the
other did too, can't have one without the other. Churches should only be
involved with their church and their parishioner's. They should not be allowed
to influence the business practices of a state, or tell people what they can or
can not do, enough is on their plate. Liquor is not the business of the church,
nor the state, except to monitor the license's it issues, and those that sell it
adhere to the laws applied. Liquor should be sold to business's directly,
outside state run. If this states lawmakers can't make decision's, without
outside influence (LDS church or any church, lobbyist's), we have a problem.I guess that can go with our current Federal government as well.
The Church sure is making it hard for a lobbyist to earn a decent living.
Atheist,actually your comparison of asking a vegetarian how to cook meet
would be more along the lines of asking a non-drinker how to mix their drink.
But asking the opinion of people about liquor laws? I guess if I don't have a
license to drive I can't express an opinion on speeding laws. If your logic is
followed out, only women would have a say in abortion laws (which frankly makes
sense to me since only women can have babies), only doctors would have a say in
medical care laws, only construction workers would have a say in building and
code laws... or maybe only lawyers would have a say in any law.
The LDS church or any other religious organization should be banned from
lobbying or imposing their beliefs on any legislator? Really. Should we ban any
group from lobbying for laws that are of concern to them? How about banning gun
lobbyist from being able to influence laws?I thought that was the
whole idea of lobbying in the first place.
I never cease to be amazed at the anti-LDS comments on articles like this one.
It makes me think I'm reading an article in the SL Tribune or the Washington
Post or New York Times! Why are "liberals" interested in reading a
paper that's markedly conservative in the first place?
Could we get some better reporting? Any group that wants to tell anyone that
they don't have a right to participate in democracy, is a despicable group. I
want to know who they are, so I can be sure not to patronize them.
What's keeping some of these "Good" resturants from coming to Utah,
but not serve alcohol as they do in other places? If what they serve really is
that good, people will come whether there is alcohol served or not.
I have to agree with Gramma b, there is no constitutional right to consume
alcohol, but there is a constitutional right for peoples voices to be heard
irrespective of their religious beliefs. One could argue that it is not
constitutional for people to refuse input because of their religious beliefs.
Hey, Utah;Try a little perspective on for size. In Oregon, where I
lived until 6 years ago, the State controls all liquor consumption by routing
all liquor through state stores. Bars and restaurants pay the same price as a
private citizen, so the drink in the bar costs 4X what it would cost at home.In Texas, where I live now, there are still "Blue Laws" which
allow Dry Cities and even Dry Counties, where you cannot buy liquor at all, but
have to drive to the next town or county. (Beer and wine are excepted, but you
can't buy them after 10:00 PM or on Sunday).These are the result of
the values of the community, as is the discussion in Utah. In neither Oregon or
Texas is the LDS Church at the core of the debate. In Oregon, the State wants
all the revenue. In Texas, deep seated Christian values drive policy. In Utah
the LDS Church reflects much of the state's culture, and their right to free
speech allows them to wield influence on the regulations governing the populace.
You can legislate what legislators think and why? Remind me again who is crazy
So all you lovers of Constitutional rights want to deny the LDS church theirs?
This frivilous lawsuit needs to be thrown out. Hasn't the lawyer read the First
Amendment which guarantees freedom of speech to all, including those with
another point of view? Churches have just as much right to weigh in on issues
as the liquor industry, gays, unions, and everyone else. It is alarming that
anyone would seek to get a court to deny a basic constitutional right to anyone
just because they disagree with them. They also need to read the
21st Amendment which give states ultimate control over liquor laws. If one
doesn't like Utah liquor laws, they should vote for legislators who embrace
their point of view, rather than seek to get the courts to revoke the free
speech rights of a group with which they disagree.
This is an attempt of a group's (liquor business associations) attempt to deny
another's group's (LDS Church) 1st Amendment rights because the first group's
disagreement. Just because someone represents a church, he or she doesn't lose
the freedom of speech.Utah doesn't have that weird of liquor laws.
Kentucky has dry counties (prohibition). The county that Jack Daniels is
produced is dry... In PA, you can't buy beer in a convenience store. There are
special "drive through" beer stores, and everything else is sold in a
liquor store.Religion is part of all of the above local culture and
morals, which are translated into laws. Deal with it.
As a tax-exempt religious organization, isn't the LDS church prohibited from
political activity?The Church is free to do whatever they want with
liquor laws...if they start paying taxes.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment ofreligion,
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridgingthe freedom of
speech..."So you cannot make a law specific to the LDS Church,
prohibiting them from lobbying for/against laws, or muzzle their freedom of
speech. This lawsuit will get tossed in the first 5 minutes.
Drinking is a social issue with social repercussions. The Church has every right
allowed by the Constitution to have a voice on this issue since they are a
member of society. To force them to be silent is a direct affront to free
speech. The Constitution doesn't guarantee speech only if it agrees
with your opinion. The hospitality board has thrown in the
seperation issue (not part of the constitution) hoping the public hasn't read
the constitution. Won't fly in Utah.
To all those who say that the LDS Church and mormons should butt out of the
crafting of alcohol laws because they don't drink and they don't produce
alcohol, I will agree to that if you agree to the following that uses the same
logic: We allow only murderers to create our laws on killing. We
allow only burglars and thieves to create our laws on stealing. We allow
only gangs to create our laws on vandalism. We allow only con artists to
create our laws on scams. We allow only parents of students to vote on
school bonds.It is totally ridiculous to not allow some one a voice
on an issue just because they don't do a particular activity associated with
that issue. Just because some one doesn't participate in an activity doesn't
mean that they are not affected by it.
I think Utah's low DUI rate and safe suburban communities exist because of the
populace, not because of the existence of stricter liquor laws. There are a lot
of Mormons who don't drink. I highly doubt making alcohol more readily
available at clubs or restaurants will drive those non-drinkers to drink or
become alcoholics.What looser liquor laws *would* do is increase the
state's tourism revenue. Every person who comes to SLC or Park City is not
Mormon and might enjoy having a glass of wine with dinner, but limiting liquor
licenses limits where and when they can get that glass of wine.Do
you want your personal moral beliefs to harm Utah's income? As a student who has
to pay 10% more in tuition every year, I certainly don't. I don't drink, but I
don't like being broke, either.
Every state regulates alcohol sales. Every state also asks representatives of
large groups of people what they think of possible legislation. Utah
legislators asking LDS church representatives their opinion is considered
business as usual.Just because Utah's legislators can't come up with
sensible liquor laws doesn't mean it's the LDS church's fault. The church isn't
writing the legislation.On another note, the Constitutional clause
governing separation of church and state says "Congress shall make no law
respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise
thereof." This leaves government open to recognize that there is religion
in the public square.Acknowledging that there is religion, and that
people hold certain ideas about how their government should govern because of
their religious beliefs does not violate the concept of separation of church and
state. Banning religious groups from voicing their opinions actually does
violate that, by using law to restrict input to those groups who hold no
religious beliefs. That would, in essence, establish the "religion"
@ The AtheistIt really is strange that the opinions of a group that does
not believe in consuming liquor at all should have anything of value to add to
the regulations governing the consumption of alcohol.That would be
like considering the opinion of vegetarians on how to cook and serve meat. Kind of like the way a group of Atheists (from another state)who don't
believe in God have an issue with crosses for Highway Patrol officers who were
Only in Utah is alcohol considered a "moral" issue.
Perhaps the LDS church should get involved in legislating the overconsumption of
food, particularly when children are involved -- that would do a lot more
Utahans good than legislating the sale and consumption of alcohol. But then,
that would also require a good look in the mirror ...
@ Pagan 12:29amI was waiting for you to make this a gay marriage
debate. The LDS Church has every right to determine what it
considers a moral issue just as much as you have the right to determine what is
not, whether it is drinking alcohol, gay marriage, pornography, etc...You just don't like anything the LDS Church says or does and can't wait to
weigh in against them on every article that involves them.
ToBeReadOutLoud | 8:24 a.m. Nov. 2, 2011 SALT LAKE CITY, UT As a
tax-exempt religious organization, isn't the LDS church prohibited from
political activity?The Church is free to do whatever they want with
liquor laws...if they start paying taxes.@ToBeRedOutLoud, not you
are not correct. The church may not endorse any particular political candidate
(although if you carefully read DN, which is owned by the church, one could
argue that an endorsement for a Presidential candidate is clearly occurring
here). The church may address its views on political and other issues without
losing its tax exempt status.
@ ToBeReadOutLoudAs a tax-exempt religious organization, isn't the
LDS church prohibited from political activity?The Church is free to
do whatever they want with liquor laws...if they start paying taxesDon't the members of the LDS Church pay taxes? The UHA can't tell
the LDS Church what to do until they start paying tithing!!
A message to the church of the Latter day Saints of Jesus Christ: Jesus Christ
drank wine. Just read the bible. It's in it. Yupp, it is
Here is where the difference is.It is one thing to be morally
opposed to alcohol and have that message ingrained in church messages.It is very different situation when Law Makers feel the need to take specific
written legislation and run it past church leadership for approval.Does one not think that a church official may say something like "I am
opposed to what is written, but if you changed it to read this, we would not be
opposed"The latter is unreasonable influence for a tax exempt
georgeman, you're totally missing the point.I am an individual taxpayer,
but my employer pays taxes too.Your church is a religious
organization exempt from paying taxes, but they want to guide legislation.
Therein lies the source of the lawsuit.
I've never completely understood all this phobia over liquor. Didn't Jesus have
a glass of wine at the last supper? Europeans have better health than Americans
because they have a shot of liquor only with food. It is a natural blood
thinner. This is probably one of these cultural things. I do think that
any entity that doesn't pay taxes should not be lobbying lawmakers.
DeltaFoxtrot and ouisc what planet are you living on? 62% of this state is LDS.
They are speaking for the majority of the people in this state. I would
daresay that the Catholics are for limiting alcohol also, as I would assume the
Baptismts, the Lutherans, etc. Are you ignorant of the rights of people or
organizations to lobby for thing? Are you totally ignorant of the facts behind
alcoholic use? Do you advocate that more alcohol should be available so we can
have more drunks driving and more families being put through the horrors of
alcoholic parents or their children becoming alcoholics. This lawsuit should be
thrown and the group bringing it should be billed for any court costs for
frivolous lawsuits. To say that a group should not be afforded their
constitutional rights is ludicrous and undemocratic. No where in
our constitution does it say separation of Church and state. That was the
wording in a Supreme Court members opinion and is not fact, not is it law. You
and other of your stance need to study the constitution before you make such
silly irrational statements.
I feel we should quit eating at restaurants that belong to this organization and
let them know how we feel about their ridiculous lawsuit. That would be as
insane as what this group is trying accomplish. Insanity breeds insanity. Those that claim that we have stupid rules need to study facts before
Ya know, I just can't see how so many faithful don't seem to grasp the concept
of separtion of church and state when the whole point is to keep government from
dictating how to worship or what to believe. This is to the benefit of all
religions. Commonsense and logic tells you that it is also just as logical, and
benficial to ALL of us, to not have religion dictate to government. Can you say
'Middle East'? We are first and foremost Americans. Country first. Not religion
first. That would be a Theocracy, not a Democracy. I don't seem to ever have
seen any government entity dictating to any religious group what they can choose
to believe or prevent them from doing so. Nothing or no one can make anyone
change their beliefs except a personal evolution. Yet the faithful seem to think
that their religious freedom is being taken away because they can't dictate to
government to pass laws on what to believe or how to worship. Completely
Cougar Blue: "No where in our constitution does it say separation of
Church and state. That was the wording in a Supreme Court members opinion and is
not fact, not is it law. You and other of your stance need to study the
constitution before you make such silly irrational statements. "-------Actually, YOU need to read about it. It was written by
Thomas Jefferson when he explained the first amendment. (BTW, who
was the instigator behind the first ten amendments to the constitution, or bill
of rights? Go find out.)
Article 1 Section 4 (of the Utah State Constitution):"... There
shall be no union of Church and State, nor shall any church dominate the State
or interfere with its functions..."-----------------The constitution of Utah is much stronger than the US constitution as regards
to the separation of church and state.Do you think that the control
of liquor is a state function? Does the church have a right to interfere with
that function per our state constitution?I say no.
The LDS people settled in the Salt Lake Valley when it was still part of Mexico.
They irrigated it, farmed it and built it up. The fought the Utah war. To
this day they are the majority of the population.It's ours, we built
it and we still own most it. If the booze lobby doesn't like it let them whine,
and ignore them.
'@ Pagan 12:29am I was waiting for you to make this a gay marriage
debate.' - georgeman | 9:18 a.m. Nov. 2, 2011 And since I have not,
what does that make you look like? The LDS church has every right to
dictate to it's followers. I am not a member of the LDS church. Please, stay out of my life. I am over 21, I have served
in the US military, and I don't think a religion I do not belong too should have
a say over what I do with my life. The facts, do not support the
doctorine. *'Utah DUI arrests DECLINE despite looser liquor law' -
By BROCK VERGAKIS - AP - Published by SL Tribune - 10/11/10 'Opening
Utahs bars to the public didnt result in an increase in drunk driving
arrests.' And moderator, I was not the one who resorted
to directed personal attacks instead of the story.
CougarBlue | 10:11 a.m. Nov. 2, 2011 Heber City, UT DeltaFoxtrot and
ouisc what planet are you living on? 62% of this state is LDS. They are speaking
for the majority of the people in this state.@CougarBlue. That
statistic includes inactives and you should well know about the high percentage
of inactives in this State, many of whom do not agree with the church's position
on many issues. So .. I think it is reasonable to state that less than 50% of
the people in this State are active LDS.
For a long time I was somewhat sympathetic to the Utah Hospitality Association's
quest to allow more liquer licenses because I wanted businesses to be free to
grow and prosper with minimal government interference. With this attempt to
muzzle the LDS church on liquer laws I have the feeling that the Association is
getting out of hand. Therefore, I am going to encourage my representatives to
go slow on allowing any expansion of liquer licenses.Am I being
reasonable? Probably not! BUT I don't like the Associations attitude or the way
it wants to "play ball". UHA don't ever try to limit my speech or
anyone elses speach.
@ClarkKent: Even if tthe percentage of active LDS members is or will be below
50%, it is still more than any other group in the state. To ignore the beliefs
of a large portion of the population would be irresponsible. And, by the way,
many who are not LDS choose to live in Utah for the family-friendly environment
and want to keep it that way.
This is all about greed. The tavern owners don't care what happens to the
people. A very good friend of mine was hit by a drunken driver and killed. No
matter how hard his wife tried to keep the family together she had real problems
with the children. The people that fed the other driver booze didn't step
forward to help the family. The LDS church did render assistance. A few years
before that I was a heavy drinker at times and to this day I cannot understand
why I never got a ticket for DUI and I never hit anyone. Someone was watching
Seems some are saying: "cant legislate morality, can't tell us what to
smoke, not to hit, who to sleep with or marry (how many, what age, what gender),
or how fast to drive, or not to steal, lie, or murder (ten commandments are
religious, so religious persons cant speak on this, violates our right of
separation) but...since we're not religious!! Wellll ; ) we CAN tell you, who
to marry and to tax Churches (but Churches cant buy public property) and you may
scream hatred at Mormons and disrupt weddings on Temple square but Mormons cant
speak freely on issues, or even read from pioneer journals on the Mormon trail
(because the journals dont contain the sanitized Agnostic version of history);
and no crosses for public servants (Arlington cemetery next?)actually, religious
people should stop speaking entirely and let us get on with the 'important
issues' (like? : ) : ))...pipe down or we'll tax you more (take provisions you
give to the poor and donate to foreign banks, CEO bonuses, and our big
controlling government (so they can use it for just causes, such as promoting
homosexuality, etc)) it's OUR right, right?" Because we
reject the Founders' Christian principles...: ): )
Sounds like the UHA is having a hard time accepting that they are not the only
pebble on the beach. They are looking for advantage in the market place by
trying to stifle a legitimate player in the process. I fully understand that
they may feel their business is hampered by the particular public that makes up
their market place. But seeking unfair advantage by excluding a rightful player
is not the answer. Are they going to seek to single out and exclude every
member of the public that opposes drinking? As has been pointed out, the church
is not the only ones in opposition. This in no way is a seperation of church
and state issue. Underhanded business practices is what this smacks of. I hope
this effort gets laughed out of court. That's what it deserves.
I don't drink, never have, but I've had to pay quite a bit to support the habit
in others. Whether it's due to the unsightly beer canisters and bottles that one
can find all over the "wild" outdoors from inebriated hikers who have
no qualms about littering, or from the busted out windshield that I once
discovered on my own car, because some kids were drinking in a parking lot and
decided to throw their containers at my car, I would say the more we can limit
and enforce responsible drinking the better. The problem with those
entangled in the misuse of this legal drug is that the consequences come with a
high price: Abuse, drunk driving, promiscuity due to the weakening of sensible
inhibitions, and just the wanton disregard for civic decency, broken homes...
we'd be best suited to avoid it altogether.
@BobPPerhaps Utah via the LDS Church should secede from the U.S.
That way they can have the theocracy they seem to prefer in this state and
control everything. However, Utah wanted to receive the benefits the federal
government has to offer so it gave up the right to be a theocracy and is instead
a democratic republic. Perhaps Utah should isolate itself from the rest of the
U.S., but that would mean giving up federal government perks, huh? The LDS
church may be dominant, but it doesn't represent all the people. Unfortunately,
many people's voices get drowned out here because of the power and influence the
church wields and because its practically impossible to separate the Church from
the State even when the state constitution says it must. Considering the state
constitution says there should be a separation of Church and State....I think
this association has good reason and standing to pursue this. Tough or stupid
liquor laws only give the church and its members a false feeling they are
preventing something when in actuality it changes nothing.
One must hope that the time never comes when religious denominations "butt
out" or their good influence nuetered and their advise muzzled.
Pagan 12:29 AM...If I am not a member of the LDS church...why
is my marriage a 'moral' issue to someone who is not in said, marriage? You did make it an issue!I appreciate the diversity you
bring, I respect that you have a different view than I. I applaud your service
to this country.The LDS Church is not trying to say what you have to
do with your life. They are merely taking a stance on issues that they have
strong beliefs about. No different than anyone else who takes a stance about
their own beliefs.Every church in this country has that right, every
citizen in this country has that right. This is also not a case of
separation of church & state as others are saying. No laws are
being run through church leaders before being passed, that is just not
happening. Legislators may be influenced as by any other lobbyist, but the stamp
of approval does not come from the LDS Church before a law is enacted. The
majority community values are being expressed in the laws, there is a
On the table or under the table, the church will have a strong voice in this
It seems to me that the churches in Utah have been getting involed in more
issues that they shouldn't be. I believe that they need to keep to the business
of spreading the world of the Lord and less in the politic. If they keep getting
involed in some isssues, then they should be held accountable.
Lets go to Rome and complain about the Catholic influence, or to the south and
complain about the Baptist influence, or Saudi Arabia and the Muslim influence.
If you want to drink go live in Wyoming or Nevada. They will let you drink
yourself to death if you want too. But dont complain about the Mormon influence
in the Mormon capital of the world.
georgeman: "No laws are being run through church leaders before being
passed, that is just not happening. Legislators may be influenced as by any
other lobbyist, but the stamp of approval does not come from the LDS Church
before a law is enacted. The majority community values are being expressed in
the laws, there is a difference. "---------------Do
you know this for a fact? Or is this what you want to believe?It
has been reported that the LDS church looks over ALL legislation regarding
liquor in this state. They also look over many more bills before they are
passed.Why do you think that the LDS church has a full time lobbyist
at the state capital?And...before each session starts, all lawmakers
are invited to the LDS corp headquarters for a lunch and talk. Demos meet
openly with them but Repubs have a closed door meeting. It looks funny and
against the state constitution, doesn't it?
JP71 | 12:41 p.m. Nov. 2, 2011 Ogden, UT Lets go to Rome and
complain about the Catholic influence, or to the south and complain about the
Baptist influence, or Saudi Arabia and the Muslim influence. If you want to
drink go live in Wyoming or Nevada. They will let you drink yourself to death if
you want too. But dont complain about the Mormon influence in the Mormon capital
of the world.------------------EXCEPT that it is against
the law. Read our state constitution. Those who are complaining
have a good reason to. Right?
Separation of church and state in Utah?Is this a joke?How do you have separation of church and state in a theocracy?
The complaints about the LDS Church are ligitimate when both sides are not being
heard: "We know the church will never butt out," Wynn said, "but
if they are going to be involved in it, at least talk to us and get our side of
the liquor issue in this state. They are only getting one side. Nobody will talk
to us."THAT says it all.While I must grudgingly
agree that the LDS Church has the right to voice their opinion and represent a
group view....I think it hugely unfair and biased to hear only one side.Deseret News failed to include this: The lawsuit also contends that a
pair of church lobbyists had "warned" lawmakers that "there would
be repercussions" if they disagreed with the church's position on the
legislation. And...The association has no paid lobbyist and board members were
shut out of conversations about the bill with both legislators -- including
Valentine -- and the governor. Association attorneys say eliminating discount
pricing for alcohol amounts to price-fixing that harms both consumers and
businesses. They contend such limits on competition in liquor sales and
distribution places an unfair restraint on trade that violates federal
Really, people, read the article. This lawsuit is so fundamentally ridiculous
that the Utah Hospitality Association and its lawyer should be forced to pay the
State for the time spend in responding to it. It is dumber than a box of rocks.
@ Joggle: I'm glad you mentioned that we are part of a democratic republic. What
I take from that is that the people have the right to freedom of speech and the
right to petition their government, which rights the first ammendment grants us.
I don't agree with your opinion, but I do believe you have the right to express
it. The LDS church has that same right. The church does have a vested interest
in the welfare of the state of Utah. Alcohol affects people whether they drink
it or not. It can and does break up families (no, not EVERY family). The church
believes families are crucial to our society and wants to protect them. Trying
to restrict the rights of any organization to voice its opinion is simply
@gramma bPerhaps many of you and others should step outside your
boxes and read other sources to get the whole story! There is nothing dumb about
the fact that the UHA is left out of discussions, but the LDS Church isn't. That
is a clear case of bias exercised by Utah's legislature."Before
each general session, GOP and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate sit
down separately with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints special
affairs committee, a group made up of church general authorities, church public
relations officials and their lobbyists, to discuss any items on the minds of
both legislators and church leaders". Deseret News 1/19/08The
UHA doesn't get to do the same? I think there is something very wrong with this
On any public issue, isn't it important and necessary to hear the voices of all
individuals or institutions with an interest in public health, safety, crime,
morality, or impacts on the family, education, or the workplace?Who
gets to choose which churches are allowed to speak and which aren't? You can't
just single out and muzzle the one with the big foot or the one you don't like.
The Southern Baptist and Seventh Day Adventist churches also frown on booze;
should we shut them up too? PTAs, MADD, and automobile associations are
outspoken about responsible drinking. Medical researchers keep finding reasons
for people to be prudent with alcohol. Police, paramedics, and hospitals have a
"big foot" in the community, and they have to deal with the immediate
consequences of problem drinking. Can we kick them all out of the discussion?
How soon before someone demands that because it carries a big foot, the Catholic
Church ought to "butt out" of discussions of abortion?We
either have a representative government where everyone is allowed to express
their opinion and all groups are allowed to speak for their people--or we don't.
The key issue folks are missing is not that the UHA wants to limit LDS
influence, but that the LDS church should not have defacto veto power. Through
its members and its public statements the LDS church willl always be influential
in Utah. But when legislators are crafting laws about trade they should do so
based on the facts. More restaurants serving alcohol will not lead to more
drinkers, it will lead to more restaurants and tax revenue. The profit on
alcohol is higher then on food and most business models won't work without that
profit. Of course you can go to the Mayan or SpaghettiMama's.
Good. It's about time the LDS church removes their nose from issues it has no
stake in. They don't drink... they shouldn't get to tell the rest of
us how we should drink.
If there is anyone out there in favor of driving drunk or underage drinking,
will you please raise your right arm. Many religions (and common sense)
frown on driving under the influence and people drinking too young-----no
arguments from anybody on this-----fine---we all agree.
@Doctor" More restaurants serving alcohol will not lead to more
drinkers, it will lead to more restaurants and tax revenue. "==========Exactly! I don't drink, not because of limited
availability, but because I choose not too. These laws do little to influence
the amount of alcohol consumed.
Alcohol has killed or maimed much less people than religeon has.
Re: ". . . it is against the law. Read our state constitution."If you've got proof of that, it's way past time you came forward with
it.As we all know, the Utah constitution's prohibition on a church
interfering with government was never intended, has never been interpreted, and
could never be constitutionally enforced to require Church members to check
their beliefs and principles at the capital door.Additionally, the
misery and carnage inflicted on innocent Utahns by the "hospitality
industry" is at least as much a moral, as a legal issue. Use of the laws
to control and de-incentivize that misery and carnage, is both a legal and a
moral imperative.If anyone out there sees this lawsuit as anything
other than a desperate and ethically questionable lobbying tactic, I'd like to
talk to them about buying a very nice bridge property in Brooklyn.
@My Humble OpinionPerhaps you missed my above post. I AGREE that the
LDS Church has a right to have their heard on legislation. I also agree trying
to restrict the rights of any organization to voice its opinion is simply
unamerican. That includes the LDS Church. Should the LDS Church have so much
influence that the governor and the legislature NOT hear the other side? I'm fully aware of the social ills excessive drinking can cause in
society and that the church supports families. People need to stop assuming that
supporters of more liberal alcohol laws aren't aware of those things or think
they are unimportant. However, prohibition or making access difficult has never
prevented or discouraged people from drinking. Education, counciling, and stiff
penalties are much more affective than prohibition or laws that stop nothing.
Like someone suggested above. The low DUI rate in Utah is because of the LDS
culture and not because of silly Utah drinking laws. If somebody wants to drink
in excess in Utah there is absolutely no law currently existing that will stop
or prevent that from happening.
@ Doctor: "More restaurants serving alcohol will not lead to more drinkers,
it will lead to more restaurants and tax revenue. The profit on alcohol is
higher then on food and most business models won't work without that
profit." Have you ever been to a restaurant that didn't serve
alcohol? Me too. I guess that does mean that there are less drinkers when there
are less licenses. While we both know if someone REALLY wants a drink they will
go where they need to go to get it, you can't deny that some drinkers eat at
restaurants that don't serve alcohol and therefore don't drink that evening when
they might otherwise have done so.
Joggle,You get my vote for best post:Joggle | 1:28 p.m.
Nov. 2, 2011 "Perhaps many of you and others should step
outside your boxes and read other sources to get the whole story! There
is nothing dumb about the fact that the UHA is left out of discussions,
but the LDS Church isn't. That is a clear case of bias exercised by
Utah's legislature. "Before each general session, GOP and
Democratic leaders in the House and Senate sit down separately with The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints special affairs committee, a
group made up of church general authorities, church public relations
officials and their lobbyists, to discuss any items on the minds of both
legislators and church leaders". Deseret News 1/19/08(Cue Hallelujah Chorus here)... Amen! and Amen!We are not
advocating rampant drunkenness. We are not selling babies to drug lords. We are
just opposed to the PREFERENTIAL treatment being given the LDS Church by
legislators!Please stop demonizing those who do not see the world
through your eyes! I know it is hard, but please TRY to do as Jesus taught: LOVE
Here in Texas many churches are involved at the state and local levels of
legislature. No one complains about that taking place. In the legislatures
people will vote their conscience, be they Baptist, Catholic, Seventh Day
Adventist or what ever. If you don't like they way they vote vote them out and
put in someone you approve of.
Jim of Mesa, Az wrote:"I have to agree with Gramma b, there is
no constitutional right to consume alcohol."The 9th Amendment
contradicts you: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights,
shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the
people."The "right to consume alcohol" is retained by
the people, regardless of Prohibition or desired theocratic tyranny.UtahResident of Lehi, UT wrote:"...I will agree ...if you
agree to the following that uses the same logic:"We allow only
murderers to create our laws on killing.We allow only burglars and thieves
to create our laws on stealing.We allow only gangs to create our laws on
vandalism.We allow only con artists to create our laws on scams.We
allow only parents of students to vote on school bonds."Drinking alcohol is not illegal. Your comparison with illegal activities
(killing, burglary, vandalism, fraud) is fallacious as well as intellectually
indolent.So is your analog with voting on school bonds. School bonds
are paid by taxes on all citizens. Alcohol consumption is not a debt, nor does
it create a tax on all citizens.Please restrain your overzealousness
to let logic in.
Joggle: Perhaps I misunderstood you comment. I also agree that ALL people have a
right to be heard. I believe the Utah Hospitality Association has had their
voice heard in the past e.g. when the liquor laws were changed back when
Huntsman was governor. I admit I don't know enough of the recent history as to
why they are being ignored now, but it seems to me everyone should have a right
to be heard. I don't care to have an argument over which laws are effective and
which ones aren't. However, as for your comment "people need to stop
assuming that supporters of more liberal alcohol laws aren't aware of those
things or think they are unimportant"; If you read all the comments on
here, many people do seem to be unaware or don't care. My main issue here is
regarding the point that the article was trying to make, which is that people
(including MANY on this article) are trying to silence the church. Like I said
before, I believe everyone has the right to voice their opinion.
If it bothers you so much, why don't they move to nevada?
There is a reason we have liquor laws - liquor makes people dangerous. My
neighbors little girl was shot and killed right in front of my house by a youth
who was drunk and playing with a rifle. Never mind drunk driving! We need more
strict laws to protect all of us people from these people, not less!
Of course, let the liquor lobby use their influence, but muzzle MADD,
parent-teacher groups and the LDS church. What could be more fair then that?
Mayhem Mike, this is primarily and LDS newspaper, but not dedicated to any
particular readership. I've been reading it for a few years now, am LDS, most
certainly not conservative--or rarely so--as you could infer from my posts. If
you're offended because I'm reading it anyway, perhaps your offense level is set
too low--just a suggestion here, but maybe it needs to be raised a bit. I hope
the readers of this paper will continue to be the varied and interesting group
who show up on these boards--including you--because that's why I read the
articles and the comments.
@abinadi"My neighbors little girl was shot and killed right in front
of my house by a youth who was drunk and playing with a rifle."That heartbreaking example raises an interesting dynamic because it involves
two things...1. alcohol - liberals/libertarians want more freedom to be
able to access it while conservatives believe it should be regulated2.
firearms - liberals want those to be more regulated, conservatives/libertarians
want those to be readily availableSo which is it, was the child a
victim of lax rules on alcohol? Lax rules on firearms? Lax rules on both? Or
should you blame the person in which case you shouldn't blame alcohol or
guns?I have a feeling a lot of people have inconsistent stances as
to whether they consider people innocent victims of alcohol or innocent victims
Every community has the right and responsibility to regulate alcohol
consumption. Community stake holders in commerce, public health, education and
faith-based organizations need to input before laws are passed. We ban those
under 21 years of age from buying alcohol because various societies (Community
standards are different in various locales, e.g. Nevada has only two counties
that outlaw prostitution.) have mandated it. Because the LDS legislators have
specific views does not invalidate their perspective in formulating regulations.
Liquor lobbyists should not have unbalanced influence in legislative matters.
In Nevada, if the casino industry doesn't approve of certain legislation, will
it not have an uphill battle? Won't the legislators consult with that industry
before trying to craft a bill? This happens all the time throughout the US.
Major players in each state are consulted. If you want to pass a bill, you need
to get buy in from those players. In Utah, the LDS Church is a major player.
If a legislator wants to ignore that, then they risk losing the vote of LDS
"The Church" I assume, refers here to the people who lead it, not the
LDS Church as a body. That would be people in a lot of places besides Utah, with
government decisions more immediately important to their own lives, don't you
think? I would immagine that, however, since the leaders live in Utah and are
her citizens, they have a right as voters to say something and the ability to
make themselves heard, not to mention the verbal talent of making themselves
understood and the intelligence of knowledge of the facts to support their
position. This is known as being able to make a logical argument for one's
opinion. It's something my junior history teacher in high school taught us: it's
not what side you take that counts, but whether you have the facts to back up
your opinion. If other groups disagree, let them say so just as succinctly and
in as logical a manner, so that we have groups with facts, not emotions,
speaking their truths. I have family in Utah, and, having lived there and
enjoyed my time there, wish to see this done in an adult manner.
Just read liquor laws by State, and Utah wasnt listed among the best (most
stringent). So if Mormons cant speak on this because they are religious,
hopefully they allow MADD or some other organization to help slow those seeking
gain (for life?).Those arguing that "we cant legislate
morality, cant tell us what to smoke, who to marry (number, age, gender), how to
drive, not to steal, lie, or murder (ten commandments violate our right of
separation) often also argue that "we CAN tell you who to marry and what
property the religious may buy, and that you may scream hatred at Mormons and
disrupt weddings but Mormons cant speak freely on issues, or even read from
pioneer journals on the Mormon trail (because the journals dont contain the
approved regime version of history); and no Christmas trees (even Egypt allows
Christmas in parks etc) or crosses for public servants (Arlington cemetery
next?) and religious people should pipe down or we'll tax you more (take
provisions you give to the poor and donate to foreign banks, CEO bonuses, and
our big controlling government (so they can afford to promote homosexuality by
marriage)... : ) : ) funny but unfair logic ; )
ToBeReadOutLoud: You say the Church should be able to say what they want as
soon as they start paying taxes. Well, we Mormons do pay taxes on the same tax
rate schedule everyone else does. So, I guess we Mormons have a right to say
what we want. Right?Just remember this: The Church has no voice of
its own. Its voice comes from the unified belief sustained by all its taxed
Yea alcohol is bad, very bad. Drunk people killing other people! Just like
people with guns killing other people! Take those away right? Yea... if you
want to point at a drug that does 10 times more harm than alcohol, about 100
times more harm than marijuana, then look no further than Utah's most popular
narcotic of choice, one that knows no religious or cultural boundaries, it's
called prescription drugs! You want to ban a substance that does more harm than
alcohol, ban them! But that would be crazy, why punish the people who use pain
meds as prescribed, right?!? Can we assume that some do use the drugs as they
should? Can we make the same assumption about all narcotics? Some cliche's
come to mind, babies and bathwater, and sledge hammers.
Interesting set of comments here. Some cry "free agency" but forget
that agency requires responsibility to work correctly. Yes, people should have
the opportunity to exercise their agency. When they use that agency incorrectly
and that results in harm to others, then you have taken that agency too far. You
do not have to be a member of the LDS faith to recognize the issues with over
consumption of alcohol. I am not a member of this faith but feel that alcohol
sales should be regulated. The more drunks you can keep off the road the better.
This is not a hard topic to understand. Please don't confuse agency with
freedom. The more agency you have the more responsible you should be.
There is a difference between individual tax-paying Mormons having their say at
the ballot box, and the 'Church' politicking for a certain side of an issue, in
actual Sacrament meetings, as was the case with Prop 8. Sure, they
can make a statement about an issue. But that's where it needs to end. No
legislating, no funding legislation. If they want to be an active political
player, they need their tax exempt status stripped.
DSB | 10:16 p.m. Nov. 1, 2011 Cedar Hills, UT...although
Beaverton was indeed a nice suburb of Portland, the liberal laws forcing
everyone to live among the lowest legal standards of humanity certainly created
a very unfavorable climate in many areas for family-oriented people. ===========Really? 'The lowest legal standards of humanity'?
Daily drink specials at some restaurant constitutes 'the lowest legal standards
of humanity'? The many LDS Church members who live here in Beaverton would
probably disagree with you. I certainly do.You also wrote,
"...if an unrestrained proliferation of strip clubs, pornography stores,
and available liquor is your vision of ideal community standards, you should
vote to make sure they remain legal and plentiful in your community."Again, Beaverton, my community, is not teeming with 'an unrestrained
proliferation of strip clubs, pornography stores, and available liquor(?)', and
no, that would not be my vision of an ideal community.Utah doesn't
have a monopoly on 'wholesome' communities. And I'd question anyone who broadly
painted their community as entirely 'wholesome', anyway.Doesn't Utah
have the highest rate of online porn subscriptions? Aren't
antidepressants prescribed in Utah more often than in any other state?
"little separation of church and state""Congress
shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the
free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech,..."One word for this idiotic lawsuit....REALLY?
I think it pretty obvious most people on this board are for the current laws and
want the LDS church to lobby in their favor. Do you people even know what would
happen if we allowed bars to set their own prices or allow more bars? What if we
allowed the private companies to run liquor stores? Do you really think we would
be worse off. I know alcohol is an inconvenience for most of you and most of you
would rather see it gone. If you call yourself a true Conservative that believes
in limited government you're a complete hypocrite if you believe in government
run liquor stores. Most of you aren't true conservatives and you love to
regulate social issues.On another note is you believe the word of
wisdom never said you can't drink beer you are ignorant. The
revelation suggests that barley-based mild drinks (such as beer) may be
permissible. As recently as 1901, Apostles Brigham Young, Jr. and John Henry
Smith argued that the revelation did not prohibit beer. However, LDS Church
leaders now teach that consumption of any form of alcohol, including beer,
violates the Word of Wisdom
@als Atheist,You are the one that is showing his ignorance and lack
of logic. I was using the insane ideas to showcase the fact that you do not
have to participate in an activity to have a vested interest in allowing or
prohibiting that activity. I don't ski but that shouldn't exclude me from the
political process if a bill were introduced that would affect the ski resorts.
Free speech is guaranteed to all!
There has been alcoholism in my family. It is a tough addiction to overcome.
Alcoholism splits up families, those drinking have no logic and do illogical
things. There are BEHAVIORAL laws regarding alcohol - why not educate more
about alcohol as well as determining, for the good of families and the
community, what amount of alcohol consumption is allowable? By the records and
experiences of those affected, there should BE no alcohol. really, what earthly
good is it? It wasn't good for my family. But I digress - this isn't about
allowing alcohol - this is a lawsuit to silence a Church voice who speaks on
behalf of families like mine - the less alcohol (or none) the better for all.
Thank you, LDS church, for being a voice of reason.
In my experience Utah already has some of the worst drivers I have ever
encountered anywhere and there have been some horrendous accidents along the
Wasatch front. Imagine how much worse it would be with more alcohol
consumption! Why would anyone oppose the LDS church concerns?
The Church in Utah will NEVER butt out of the law making process in Utah, be
they laws about liqour or be they about the height of the trees lining state
street. The Church is so entrenched that they only need to whisper and the
entire Legislature will feel the gust. What is more importamnt is to remove the
Church's tax free status. Then they can openly meddle all they want, they do it
UtahResident wrote to me:"You are the one that is showing his
ignorance and lack of logic. I was using the insane ideas to showcase the fact
that you do not have to participate in an activity to have a vested interest in
allowing or prohibiting that activity. I don't ski but that shouldn't exclude me
from the political process if a bill were introduced that would affect the ski
resorts. Free speech is guaranteed to all!"You fail to show
where my comments are "ignorant" or contain fallacious logic.We are not talking about the general concept of free speech. We are talking
about the Utah Legislature deliberately and systematically scheduling meetings
with LDS Church officials to get their "approval" and opinions on
legislation, while NOT doing the same with other organizations or
individuals.That is an inappropriate "establishment" of
religion in the legislative process.Moreover, in law one must have
"legal standing" - demonstrated sufficient connection to and harm from
a proposed law or action.What "legal standing" does the
LDS Church have regarding liquor laws? They do not sell liquor (openly), nor is
it clear how the LDS Church is harmed by liquor laws.
"You can't single out a religion and say, 'Everyone else gets to lobby the
legislature but you.'"so the church *does* meddle in politics?
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not get preferential
treatment on this topic. It is the pro-liquor loby that is seeking to silence
their openents.The LDS Church has the right to speak on any issue it
deems worth speaking on. This suit is a direct violation of the 1st Admendment.
All groups have the right to speak on any legislation. Courts can not and
should not ban groups of people from speaking on legislation.
The gvernment has an obligation to protect those who suffer from others
consequences.The free agency argument in this case is rubbish. By
that argument laws against drunk driving should be extinquished.The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has full right to participate in
discussions on liquor laws. This is in many ways a rubbish suit, since the
Church does not advocate for candidates, its participation in the legislative
process is already way less than that of the people who brought the suit.
gramma b reminded me that there are several counties in Texas, Kentucky and
other states where no liquor sale is legal. To claim that liquor regulation is
just the province of the LDS Church is hogwash. Prohibition did not pass
because of LDS views, and so this group just is trying to silence the field.It is very desturbing when a group of lobbyists seeks to prevent other
people from speaking. It also tells you how much some people hate
the LDS church that they as liberals will side with industry lobbyists.
I challenge any of you out there to find one law passed by the legislature in
the past 50 years that was written and passed by the Church. Just name one.
You can't because there isn't one. There is legislation that the church has
supported, but you name me one that the church twisted arms to pass.
Hey Christy - I just Googled "strip clubs in Beaverton, OR" and there
are 6 of them just in Beaverton. I had friends in college that went to Portland
to run the circuit of strip clubs in the area. Maybe your LDS friends there
don't mind, but I'll take DSB's community to raise my family any day over one
that thinks 6 strip clubs is a tolerable standard.
Hey Christy - I challenge your view of community standards. Free flowing
alcohol is not a family-oriented value. According to a quick search, Beaverton
has 6 strip clubs all by itself. Although your LDS neighbors might find that
acceptable within a family-oriented community, I think Utahns have the right to
set different standards. Personally, I think greater restrictions to alcohol
and exhibitionism than exist in the Portland area do make for better community
These comments reinforce what non LDS go through in Utah. Don't get me wrong,
love the state and love the people. I left because Utah was bland. Upscale
restaurants serving alcohol won't cheapen your state but hey, what was the name
of the buffet there? Chukarama? That's fine eatin!
So many people here are saying that the LDS views should be ignored or
completely denied. I am a member of the church myself and am obviously against
drinking but that doesn't mean people shouldn't be allowed to live as they
choose. That being said, I just want to say a few things:1. Those who are
upset about the drinking laws in this state, just remember that you chose to
live here where you knew it is a predominantly a Mormon society. 2. If
they want to "muzzle" the LDS church, isn't that unconstitutional?
Shouldn't everyone have a voice? Shouldn't their say carry as much weight as
everyone else's? I understand that you guys are upset because you feel like you
haven't had a voice but isn't putting a muzzle on the church just turning things
around (even though the church never put a muzzle on you)?
@Lane Myer,Can you please direct me to those reports?
Since their members don't drink, they shouldn't be involved in the discussion or
decisions. They should allow the rest of the adults in the state, to be adults.
They shouldn't try to push their beliefs on those who are not their members.
Re Flashback: We have been here before. 1968:"Liquor by the
drink, the proposal to license private establishments to dispense wine and
alcohol, made its appearance as an initiative on the November ballot. Proponents
argued that less stringent liquor laws would boost tourism; but, with LDS Church
opposition to the measure, it was defeated by a vote of 320,000 to
97,000".A bright side to 1968 was that Calvin L. Rampton (D)
won his second term as governor.Source: Allan Kent Powell, utah dot
edu Google it.
@Dirty Hippee,I see what you are saying but even though I don't
drink alcohol the consumption of it still effects me. I know that most people
who drink aren't irresponsible and don't get drunk but there are those who do
and I have to drive on the same streets as those who are drunk. People who are
drunk go out into public sometimes and I am part of the public. I think that my
point of views should be expressed as well since I am effected as well.
When will they learn, the Mormons own Utah, and the church is the decider on
Say what you will, the church itself doesn't decide these issues but it's
members, who are acting on what they believe is right, do. It's not my fault
that most of the politicians in Utah are LDS.
I personally think the Word of Wisdom is about as nonsensical and clearly
non-revelatory as they come - just read it again word for word and tell me you
think an intelligent God actually spoke those words. I think it reads a little
(actually a lot) like someone copied the common health societies circulating in
the U.S. at that time.But, the LDS Church has every right to have
it's voice heard on this and every other issue as much but no more than any
other group or individual. If the majority impinges on the rights of the
minority then the usual recourse is through our court system. But every person
has a right to vote and raise their voice regarding political issues.