We urgently need you to contact your state House member today.
House members are poised to vote on Monday, Dec. 19, on legislation that would allow gas stations, grocery stores, convenience stores, delicatessens, taverns, restaurants, and hotels to sell beer, and in many cases, wine and beer, for off-premises consumption.
Click here to find out the name, email and other contact information for your legislator. Send an email and/or call her/him to oppose this unneeded, dangerous legislation.
Scripture cautions us that alcohol needs to be regarded with great caution. Paul writes in Romans 14:21 that "it is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall"
This legislation is the opposite of what Pennsylvania needs. Instead of expanding access to as many as 10,000 new outlets, we believe the Commonwealth should tighten control of the sale of alcohol.
This proposal emerged after it became clear that support was lacking in the House Liquor Control Committee to send House Majority Leader Michael Turzai's plan to radically privatize the state's liquor system to the floor for a vote. It's clear proponents hope expanded wine and beer sales will hurt the state store system and will over time spur efforts to shut it down.
In the meantime, beer and wine will be available at gas stations across Pennsylvania, in grocery stores, delicatessens, and other food outlets. Seventy years of tight control of access to alcohol will be gone.
We've seen what increased access to alcohol has done in communities across the country. In some communities, beer and wine are sold on nearly every street corner. It's easy for young people to obtain alcohol to drink, then drive, and die in an alcohol-fueled accident. Alcohol addiction becomes a bigger threat to public health. And we all know the negative consequences in families affected by alcohol addiction.
The United Methodist Church has long supported tough controls on access to alcohol. We believe this proposal, and others to expand access and loosen control, is a bad idea that needs to be defeated. The church's position is scripturally and morally sound.
Your help is urgently needed. Please contact your legislator today. Let your legislator know of your concern.