In last week’s perspective regarding the legalization of alcohol by drink, the story mentioned that no voice or opinion either for or against the vote had been heard, leaving the assumption that no one had an opinion. I do have an opinion, and after voicing it to each pastor and congregation in a personal letter on two separate occasions, I have found that not every clergy and congregation shares my opinion.
With little response, it appears that I am left standing alone; however, according to my convictions, I am willing to do so.
Being born and raised in the county, getting out as much as possible, and knowing a lot of people throughout county, I do hear what people are saying. For those that say that no one is talking, they aren’t getting out and listening.
The people are talking, and to sum up a lot of the opinion, I would say that people fear the loss of safety they have by being a dry county. Once voted in – speaking for the people – there is no restriction as to what can come into our county. In agreement with them, it is proven that it is a lot harder to remove something after it is here, than to stop it from happening. People feel that it is a safe place, and some people like not having everything that comes with taking “... a progressive step for the future of Henry County.”
For example, Holiday World in Santa Claus, Ind., was able to revitalize their appearance to the public by getting back to the original intent of the amusement park, the family. Today, people drive past other parks because Holiday World caters to the family and the families feel safe while there. The vote to allow alcohol at the Country Club was horrific to some. I was told that they – similar to above – would drive past many golf courses to come to Henry County because they did not allow drinking. It was a place they could bring their kids.
I know many are saying, “It is happening anyway, and we are not going to stop it from happening.” We realize this fact and are not naïve, but feel that by legalizing alcohol sales that there is a perception that money is more important than family. As I am 100 percent in favor of getting our county back in shape in order to sustain itself economically, but I feel that there are better ways to accomplish this. Family is what we rely on for comfort and love when we get to the bottom of the bottle and our problems are still there.
By pushing the quality of family more than money, we may attract more business and people that will feel safe when stopping by. As I have already said, we will never get the opportunity to try to be family oriented if this local option vote passes.
According to the Kentucky League on Alcohol and Gambling Problems, “As alcohol outlets increase, so do the problems that comes with it.”
“Some of these problems,” the League goes on to say, “are DUIs, divorce, and funerals for accident victims of the less fortunate.” These problems will cost the county more money, which leads me to say that this is not a progressive step forward.
This is not an attack on alcohol as you would expect from a Baptist preacher; however, it is an attack on making it legal. Alcohol can be useful when it is not abused, but when it becomes legal, there is fine line between useful and abuse.