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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Lane Myer
Salt Lake City, UT

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. "

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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?

Lane Myer
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

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EXCEPT that it is against the law. Read our state constitution.

Those who are complaining have a good reason to. Right?

Billy Pilgrim
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Separation of church and state in Utah?

Is this a joke?

How do you have separation of church and state in a theocracy?

Joggle
Clearfield, UT

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 anti-trust laws_Fox_News.

gramma b
Orem, UT

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.

My Humble Opinion
Sandy, UT

@ 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 unamerican.

Joggle
Clearfield, UT

@gramma b

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

The UHA doesn't get to do the same? I think there is something very wrong with this picture!

Californian#1@94131
San Francisco, CA

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.

Doctor
Tucson, AZ

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.

CreamOfWeber
OGDEN, UT

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.

christoph
Brigham City, UT

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.

Darrel
Eagle Mountain, UT

@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.

ouisc
Farmington, UT

Alcohol has killed or maimed much less people than religeon has.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

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.

Joggle
Clearfield, UT

@My Humble Opinion

Perhaps 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.

My Humble Opinion
Sandy, UT

@ 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.

The Vanka
Provo, UT

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 your enemies!

poeticnurse
Midlothian, TX

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.

als Atheist
Provo, UT

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.

My Humble Opinion
Sandy, UT

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.

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