01 July 2009

Utah reverses prior alcohol law.

I've never been to Utah although it's on my list of places that I would like to visit. From what I heard over the years, its a beautiful place to see although it has some quirky laws that are a result of the dominance of the LDS (Mormon) Church in the state. The governor of Utah, Jon Huntsman, has successfully repealed a 40 year old law that required bar patrons to complete a complicated process of membership forms and fees in order to get a drink. Huntsman, himself a Mormon, seems to have been motivated by a desire to increase tourism to the state.

This is a small victory against a theocratic system of government, masquerading as a democracy, which has imposed its religious beliefs upon its citizens (the article reports that 80 % of state lawmakers are LDS members.) It seems incredible that such a law would exist into the 21st century, but the LDS dominance of the Utah government has resulted in laws crafted for the "good" of its members, not the freedom of its citizens.

One troubling aspect of the repeal of the law is that the identification of bar patrons who appear to be under 35 will now be electronically scanned and saved in state databases. Ostensibly, this is being done so that state authorities can examine the records later on to see if any laws have been broken. The purpose of the original law was to shield LDS members from the evil of alcohol. This new scanning of identification could be a simple way for the LDS dominated legislature, working through the LDS dominated state police, to keep an eye on younger LDS members that may dare to venture from the flock.

1 comment:

  1. There is a good review of "The Evolution of God" by Robert Wright in the New York Times book review this week. Go to the nyt site and do a search for "no smiting". Buddhism gets props for having renounced the specialness of monotheism, and that is the next predicted evolutionary step for the Abrahamic faiths.