Churches take aim at Sunday alcohol sales

Published 10:37 pm Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dallas County is in the heart of the Bible Belt, and the inclusion of Sunday alcohol sales on the Nov. 6 ballot has struck a nerve within that heart.

“We don’t think anything good comes from it. We don’t think it’s necessary,” said Cory Horton, pastor of Elkdale Baptist Church. “We talk a lot in our society about working together and compromising. Well I mean, if you can buy beer from Monday to Saturday, surely you can take one day off. Surely you can take a time out and let that day be set aside.”

Sunday is a day that has been traditionally been set aside as a day of worship and for rest. That tradition is something that Horton, the Selma Baptist Association and other area churches are hoping people recognize and remember.

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“I’m not saying tradition is always good, and I’m not saying all traditions should be kept, but this is a tradition that Sunday is church day,” Horton said. “How could the community not say that ‘We recognize that all of these faith families are meeting on Sunday’s. The Baptists, the Methodists, the Presbyterians, the Independents – they’re all meeting on Sunday’s and they’re servicing the community by empowering people with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ.”

Horton said residents don’t have to be in church on Sunday to respect what’s going on that day.

“This is a tradition that alcohol has not been sold on Sunday’s and the reason it’s been that way is it was respect for the faith community, for the churches that were gathering, for what that day represents, for the worship that’s taking place, just a day of respect for those things,” he said. “You might not be in church, you might be on the golf course or watching pro football with your buddies, it doesn’t mean that you can’t respect what’s going on that day.”

As far as the increase in tax dollars that Dallas County might see if the amendment for Sunday alcohol sales passes, Horton asked if it would be worth it.

“I don’t know much about history, but I know that every society who tried to pursue money as the ultimate goal never worked out,” he said. “How much actual dollars could it really affect, and then the overarching question is, is it really worth it?”

The church, he said, does not stand for the sale of alcohol on Sunday.

“We’re obviously against it,” he said. “The Selma Baptist Association is a group of churches that are speaking out against it. You’ve seen some signs around town, some banners and some bumper stickers.”

Horton said that as an association, they have been promoting the vote with literature, bumper stickers and banners.

“We obviously can’t afford to keep up with the marketing of a Budweiser company. They’ve obviously got more billboards and signs and things like that,” he said, but that’s not stopping him from getting the word out to the community.

“For me, it’s over the next two weeks or so that we’ll really start ramping up this conversation, because we want it to be fresh on their mind, and remember what’s going on and remember what’s at stake when you do go and vote,” Horton said. “For us, in our congregation, in this one church, we are just now starting to focus on – now we’ve talked about it, they’ve known about it – but we’re just now starting to rally as far as the issue.”