Comments about ‘Liquor suit seeks to muzzle LDS Church’

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Published: Tuesday, Nov. 1 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

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The Atheist
Provo, UT

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.

nick humphrey
kent, WA

"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? =)

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

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.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

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.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

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.

Kearns, UT

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 standards.

Tucson, AZ

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!

Highland, UT

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)?

Highland, UT

@Lane Myer,

Can you please direct me to those reports?

Dirty Hippee
Bountiful, UT

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.

my slc
Newport Beach, CA

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.

Highland, UT

@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.

Phoenix, AZ

When will they learn, the Mormons own Utah, and the church is the decider on these issues.

Highland, UT

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.

One of Vai's Cousins
Nairobi, Kenya

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.

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