Recently the Church made a statement regarding the over regulated liquor laws in the state of Utah. (Here is an article reporting commentary on the subject)
Here is the church talking again about laws of the land. After Edgar's post on the church's efforts in a couple of states with the defining marriage initiatives, I took pause to consider our discussion from that blog a little further. In my opinion the church's statement starts out with a phrase that at the very least clarifies their position if not justifies their reasoning for getting into what some perceive as political issues. It reads:
One of the functions of religious leaders in a democracy is to add their moral voice to issues of public importance. This is why churches take positions on social issues.
Simple and clear and I agree with the statement. But as I was listening to the radio last night I heard a discussion on this topic of liquor laws addressed and the host said something that I agreed with. He called out Utahan's that seem okay with wanting to over regulate drinking but not want the government to get in the way of their "guns". The comparison being made because both alcohol and guns are responsible for deaths of innocent people. The defense by Utahan's here is that "guns don't kill people, people kill people". Yeah, yeah, we get it. But alcohol doesn't kill people either, it is the people who drink then commit crimes while intoxicated that hurt people and in some cases kill people.
While many wouldn't disagree with the position that both guns and alcohol are bad or have a negative effects, the method of thinking here is that guns and alcohol are both inanimate objects that in and of themselves don't commit crime. So why are Utahan's okay with one thing and not another based on the same philosophical principle? It is in the abuse of these things that crimes are and have been committed. So why is it that it is okay to over regulate alcohol consumption but let every loony get a gun? I don't own a gun, nor do I condone hunting for sport. But I also believe that people have the right to own a gun. Therefore, I should, by principle alone, believe that people should have the right to drink and not have to be so over regulated and over taxed that, in effect, prohibits the exercise of their freedoms to do so.
In writing this topic I realized one important part of the chruches statement that correlated with the same sex issue that I think applied back to the beer and guns topic. They say: " The focus of the Church’s involvement is specifically same-sex marriage and its consequences. The Church does not object to rights (already established in California) regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the family or the constitutional rights of churches and their adherents to administer and practice their religion free from government interference."
In the end the church seems to be very much into preserving personal liberties and preserving constitutional rights when they are morally correct. To that I say, Amen.