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Clergy urge ‘no’ vote

Henry Brown, pastor of the House of Prayer by Faith "God's Hospital" church, prepares to speak to reporters while standing with other pastors and congregants from around the city in front of the government center Monday. Brown and other clergy are encouraging voters to vote against a proposed Sunday Sales referendum on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Henry Brown, pastor of the House of Prayer by Faith "God's Hospital" church, prepares to speak to reporters while standing with other pastors and congregants from around the city in front of the government center Monday. Brown and other clergy are encouraging voters to vote against a proposed Sunday Sales referendum on the Nov. 8 ballot.

ALBANY — A group of more than a dozen clergy urged voters to kill a measure that would allow business owners to sell packaged alcohol on Sundays.

Spokesman Henry Brown, the pastor of Prayer by Faith (God’s Hospital) Church, said at the news conference at the Government Center that many pastors believe the community is only hindered by increasing the availability of alcohol and that adding another day of sales would further erode Albany’s culture.

“It is my belief that 60, 70 or 80 percent of crime committed in our community, in our state, and in our country are drug and alcohol related,” Brown said. “Alcohol is a major contributor to crime, especially domestic crimes and violent crime.”

The group said Monday that alcohol also contributes to longterm physical and emotional health problems and is a major contributor to the decay of the nuclear family.

Voters within the city of Albany will decide whether local retail businesses can sell alcohol by the package on Sundays. Restaurants can already sell alcohol by the drink on Sundays.

A study done earlier this year and released last month by the University of California Riverside contends there is a direct correlation between alcohol use and violent crimes.

According to UC’s website, researchers found a correlation between the density of alcohol outlets and violent crime rates among teens and young adults ages 13 to 24.

“These results suggest that alcohol control can be an important tool in violence prevention,” sociologist Robert Parker, one of the authors of the study, said in a statement on the website. “Policies designed to reduce outlet density can provide relief from violence in and around these neighborhood outlets. And banning or reducing the sales of single-serve, ready-to-consume containers of alcohol can have an additional impact on preventing violence.”

Brown stopped short of saying that alcohol consumption was a sin, but said that the Bible urges responsible use.

“The Bible says to do all things in moderation, so I don’t think it’s necessarily a sin, but some people lose control and leads to violence, crime and poverty,” Brown said.

Brown also took a shot at the Albany City Commission, which allowed the referendum to move forward to the voters.

“They could’ve stopped this before it ever got to the ballot, but by voting to put this on the voters, really, it’s a vote to increase crime,” Brown said.

Comments

waltspecht 2 years, 5 months ago

Are we to really believe folks aren't capable of buying enough alcohol on Saturday to last until Sunday? The problem drinkers know where to buy it on Sunday anyway. Allowing Sunday retail alochol sales won't affect anything other than leveling the playing field among retailers. Doing away with an old, relegion based law that has no place in a supposed seperation of Church and State. For if it is not Christian based, why doesn't it address Saturday sales? Now if the Pastors really mean what they say, go for the dry County one of them thought would be a better solution. Or how about going back to Prohibition?

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Engineer 2 years, 5 months ago

Actually waltspecht, you can already buy alcohol by the drink at several restaurants in the area on Sunday. Frankly, I'd rather somebody buy their alcohol and take it home to drink rather than to drink & buy their alcohol at a restaurant, then drive home. There really is no legitimate reason to ban the purchase of a legally purchased product for only one day of the week.

PS: Looks like the reply button is fixed. :)

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Somebody 2 years, 5 months ago

If you buy enough alcohol on Saturday, then why would there be a need to sale alcohol on Sunday? It won't increase revenue because any amount that you buy Saturday would equal the amount you would have bought on Sunday.

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Engineer 2 years, 5 months ago

Not everybody does their shopping on Saturday. Not to mention a lot of folks go shopping on Sunday (not to mention the folks that work on Saturdays). Just from that group, you have a good sized potential group of customers that are displaced or not being served.

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supersquawker 2 years, 5 months ago

Somebody, the problem is that you THINK you've bought enough alcohol on Saturday but then when Sunday afternoon rolls around you realize you drank it all up and there's no way to get some more. See, you're wrong.

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DRTexas 2 years, 5 months ago

Supersquawker, You may be more right than you think. An alcoholic will not be able to stock up on Saturday. They may drink Sat. and Suns. liquor on Saturday night leading to "violence, crime, and poverty". See. They should HAVE to wait til Sunday to buy Sunday's liquor.

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supersquawker 2 years, 5 months ago

All liquor stores: Please do not allow Clergy to purchase alcohol on Sunday after this referendum is approved. Thank You.

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billybob 2 years, 5 months ago

If it ain't criminal on Saturday, it shouldn't be criminal on Sunday. That's just common sense. These ministers have to have something to hold a press conference about to try and be relevant.

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 5 months ago

It's a free county. We have every right to vote on this issue. I would rather us vote on issues than let the commission make the final decisions. The churches in this town is one of the reasons why Albany cannot be a progressive city because they have issues with everything and try to stop many things the people want.

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TrixibelleBento 2 years, 5 months ago

I don't buy liquor very often, but I feel this is a "freedom" issue. I'm FREE to buy liquor on Saturday. I'm FREE to buy no liquor at all. I think I should be FREE to buy liquor on Sunday. That's why I voted yes.

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tommybeall 2 years, 5 months ago

Issues like this should be a non-issue.. This is negative energy for the city and helps keep it from stepping into the 21st century.. go figure.

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truthsayer 2 years, 5 months ago

Seems to me this ole boy needs to worry about his ''flock''. People are more than able to decide for theirselves what to vote on and don't need no self righteous person to tell them.

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