Pastor against ETX alcohol petition | News
TYLER, TX (KLTV)-
Historically, in Smith County, people have been vocal with their opposition against alcohol sales. So far, for this new push by a group called Buy Local First, that hasn't been the case yet.
"There really hasn't been enough time for anybody to mount any organized opposition to it so...," said Bob Westbrook, Buy Local First committee member.
Westbrook says he did meet with some church leaders before the group decided to go public.
"Just simply to let them know that the Chamber was going to be responsible for collecting the data, but did not ask them for an opinion or anything. It was just more of a common courtesy," he said.
We contacted several church pastors about the issue. Many didn't want to comment and some were out of town. But the pastor at Rose Heights Church shared his story of how easier access to alcohol affected his childhood and others he's ministered.
"As a son of an alcoholic, I have seen the devastating affects of easy access to alcohol in my own family, and as a pastor I have knelt beside beds of young people who are dying of liver disease," said Rose Heights Church Pastor Doug Anderson. "I have seen the devastation of easy access to alcohol and I am totally against it."
Anderson says he's surprised by the lack of opposition.
"Well, certainly no one asked me until now, but if anyone had asked me and if any pastor had been asked it would surprise me that they would be nonchalant about the issue because they too have to deal with the affects of alcohol in marriages and in families and in lives," said Anderson. "So yeah, it would surprise me that pastors aren't standing up against it."
Anderson says the issue will more than likely make it to the election, but not for reasons he approves.
He says he's aware the committee says sales tax revenue will increase.
"So, it's all about the dollar after all, isn't it? Well, I contend that for every dollar that they make on alcohol, they'll spend a dollar-and-a-half for rehab and other programs to try to pick up the pieces the devastated lives," said Anderson.
He's asking people to consider the effects before signing off on the petition.
Buy Local First says the petitions will be available at 12 locations. They have 60 days to collect 7,800 signatures in the city of Tyler and 6,700 signatures in Smith County Precinct 2, which includes Noonday, Flint and Bullard.
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