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Comments about ‘Liquor suit seeks to muzzle LDS Church’

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Published: Wednesday, Nov. 2 2011 7:50 a.m. MDT

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wazzup
Cottonwood Heights, UT

You can legislate what legislators think and why? Remind me again who is crazy here?

Flashback
Kearns, UT

So all you lovers of Constitutional rights want to deny the LDS church theirs? Hypocrites.

jdd
WEST JORDAN, UT

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.

majmajor
Layton, UT

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.

ToBeReadOutLoud
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.

stanfunky
Salt Lake City, UT

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging
the 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.

3grandslams
Iowa City, IA

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.

UtahResident
Lehi, UT

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.

ToBeReadOutLoud
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

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.

Paul in MD
Montgomery Village, MD

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" of Atheism.

georgeman
Kearns, UT

@ The Atheist
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.

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 killed.

Double standard!!

JohnnyJingle
SOUTH JORDAN, UT

Only in Utah is alcohol considered a "moral" issue.

ClarkKent
Bountiful, Utah

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 ...

georgeman
Kearns, UT

@ Pagan 12:29am

I 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.

Kami
Bountiful, Utah

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.

georgeman
Kearns, UT

@ ToBeReadOutLoud

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

Don'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!!

Tibi001
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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

JoeBlow
Miami Area, Fl

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 organization.

ted001
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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.

RodsA
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

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.

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