September 30, 2008

Aw, Come On: They Aren't Making 'Em Drink It, Are They?

It seems to me that Methodists rarely file suit against markets over having to stock alcohol on grocery shelves.

Perhaps I'm wrong about that.

Admittedly, passions ran higher among temperance true believers on both sides of the Atlantic in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. See Nation, Carrie, and the entire American temperance movement which went so far as to bring us a law that in turn begat the Mafia (speaking of unintended consequences).

As far as England is concerned, one of Jill Paton Walsh's Lord Peter/Harriet Vane mysteries is set in WW II, and makes the point that a small country town's main bomb shelter is under the pub, but the town's Methodists do not want to look at the barrels of wine stored underneath, and so they have a separate bomb shelter of their own.

Back to this side of the Atlantic:

(1) Are Mormons in Utah given special permission not to have to handle liquor if they work in casinos?

(2) How about Mormons in Utah itself?

The most absurd example I've ever seen of Islam stubbornness on the issue of alcohol has to do with a friend who was a nurse telling me that Muslim visitors refused to use hand sanitizers in the the areas of the hospital that required it. After all—it contains alcohol. (Where in the Koran does it forbid topical application of alcohol to kill germs?)

Seriously: Muslims must not get any concessions on this issue that devout Methodists do not. And given the fact that there have been Methodists in Britain for a long time, there have to be legal precedents that can be applied here.

Please do not bring all Mark Steyn's nightmares come true.

Posted by Attila Girl at September 30, 2008 07:25 PM | TrackBack

Back to this side of the Atlantic:

(1) Are Mormons* in Nevada given special permission not to have to handle liquor if they work in casinos?

(2) How about Mormons in Utah itself?
Here's the answers for you
1) No "permission" from any religious authority or leader is needed. Mormon doctrine is that alcohol consumption is prohibited by God for active believers. But merely touching/selling/serving it is not forbidden behavior. (This is true world-wide.)

2) Active, believing members of the LDS church do not drink alcohol, but they may work in, say, liquor stores or bars or the like (although it's a matter of cognitive dissonance for them to do so, of course).

So, your point about the double standard in fawning favor of radical Islamists is accurate.

(*more correctly, LDS, which is the common abbreviation for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, often referred to as the "Mormons.")

Posted by: pseudotsuga at October 1, 2008 09:37 AM

Not only that, but Marriot, of Marriot hotels, was (is?) a devout member of the Church. At one point, he consulted with the leadership about the appropriateness of his hotels selling alcohol and cigarettes to customers, given that he himself did not believe in their use. He was told that while it is against the precepts of the church to drink alcohol or to smoke tobacco, it was the responsibility of each individual to live the law, and it was certainly not incumbent on non-believers to follow it. Therefore, there was no problem with him selling these items in his hotels.

This was probably a good thing, else I would be in a lot of trouble. While I was in basic training, we would go out to the field for a week or more at a time. Each soldier was allowed to bring at most a single carton of cigarettes with them. Those who smoked usually finished off their cigarettes within two or three days. I used to bring a carton of my own, because by the end of the deployment, I was able to sell the cigarettes for $2 a pop. I would make a couple hundred dollars every time we went to the field. If the answer to Marriot had been different, then it might have gone hard with me when I talked to my bishop...


Posted by: David Harr at October 1, 2008 10:45 PM

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