Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Guy walks into a bar... or a restaurant? In Utah, now you'll know for sure...

This morning, as I watched the fat snowflakes fall and perused my Facebook feed, one of my exMormon friends shared this article about a new law in Utah.  Starting next month, every restaurant or bar in Utah has to display a sign indicating whether the establishment is licensed as a "bar" or a "restaurant".

This new sign rule is part of a massive overhaul of Utah's famously draconian liquor laws, which include the fall of the so-called Zion curtains, a euphemism for the rule that forced restaurants and bars that sold liquor to prepare mixed drinks out of public view.  Now, restaurants and bars can mix drinks publicly, but they must have a "buffer" where children are not allowed to be.  Actually, I don't think it's a bad idea to keep kids out of bar areas.  I do think forcing bartenders to mix drinks behind walls is a dumb idea and I'm glad Utah finally scrapped that rule.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised by the new laws, since Utah is chock full of Mormons and Mormons are not supposed to drink alcohol.  I think the signs are intended to help church going people avoid establishments that might put them at odds with their religious beliefs.  Hanging out on RfM has taught me that church members are always watching their own.  There have been plenty of stories about church members who have been caught shopping on Sunday or buying coffee, which is a forbidden substance to members of the LDS church.  Since church members tend to "return and report", I can see why knowing if a place is licensed as a bar or a restaurant might be useful to them.

I shared this news on my Facebook feed and a friend of mine who also isn't Mormon wondered if the Utah legislature didn't have more pressing items to address.  To people who aren't Mormon, it truly may seem silly to mandate restaurants and bars to clearly label what they are.  But if you've had any exposure to Mormons, you understand the rationale.  No one wants to be caught going into a bar by accident.  And if you do walk into an establishment that is clearly a bar and you are a member of the LDS church, it's a lot easier to bust you for breaking the rules, right?

It would be nice if we had fewer states that intertwine church bullshit with laws that affect everyone.  Utah is certainly not the only state where religion figures prominently within a state's legislative efforts.  I can think of a lot of southern states where church people have influenced state laws.  A lot of religious people defend these rules that affect everyone, claiming they are for the "common good".  But not everyone believes in specific religious teachings and it's not the government's place to enact laws that force non-believers into complying with church inspired rules.

I have never visited Utah.  I have heard it's a beautiful state and I have met many exMormons who are from there.  Maybe someday I'll visit... although I won't have the slightest compunction about walking into a bar and giving them some business.  The Mormon church can suck it, as far as I'm concerned.




2 comments:

  1. It's amazing how much stock the Mormons place in a supposed revelation (that came about as a result of Emma Smith being disgusted at having to clean up chewing tobacco messes in her parlor following any meeting of the brethren) that was originally expressly a "greeting" and expressly "not a commandment."

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