A pastors coalition is condemning the Tennessee General Assembly’s approval of Sunday package liquor sales.
The Tennessee Senate joined the Tennessee House Wednesday to pass a bill approving liquor sales in the state on Sundays.
“The Bible Belt state of Tennessee had enjoyed a safe, sacred day of worship with liquor stores being closed on Sunday,” said Pastor Dale Walker, president of the Tennessee Pastors Network, in a press release. “This will now change radically. The Republican Super Majority in Tennessee has become the party of ‘Big Liquor,’ passing beer, wine and liquor sales in many new venues, including rural areas for the first time.
“Families and church vans will be even in more peril on the roadways now on Sunday,” Walker continued. “I have never had a liquor lobbyist or a liquor-loving politician join me at the grave to help comfort a family of the deceased who died from alcoholism or another tragedy brought on by alcohol. Pastors deal with alcohol ‘after the bottle is empty.’ Now, faith-based addiction ministries will be placed under more pressure from this despicable bill that will increase the need to help the addicted.”
Surprisingly, one Nashville liquor store owner told WSMV News 4 he is against Sunday sales.
Radnor Wine and Spirits owner Walt Johnson told the station he will open on Sundays, but will not necessarily make enough sales to justify the overhead costs.
“We’ll probably sell less because the grocery stores’ busiest day is Sunday,” said Johnson. “That’s taking more of our customers away. For some stores, it may be the death knell for them.”
State Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, was the Senate sponsor of SB2518, while Rep. Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, carried HB1540 in the House.
“The politicians who voted against this bill will have clean hands and a clear conscience,” Walker said. “The other politicians who voted for it will have the blood of the innocent on their hands with a trail of misery that always follows alcohol and wicked liquor. Many politicians are addicted to the power they have and will sell out Christian values for a check to their campaign coffers just to get re-elected.”
Once the bill is signed into law, liquor stores can immediately open seven days a week, WSMV says. The sale of wine in grocery stores will start Jan. 1, 2019.