Vail Daily column: Thanks, Utah, but seriously, cut it out
June 2, 2014
You want to see a theocracy-in-training?
Well look no further than about two hours west, where those wild and crazy Mormons are at it again.
Utah's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (run almost exclusively by Mormon teetotalers) has told the Snowbird Ski Resort that they can no longer serve beer at their Oktoberfest this August.
You read that correctly, no beer allowed at Oktoberfest. It's like the Vail Valley Foundation putting on the Birds of Prey downhill and not being allowed to use snow.
Chairman David Gladwell stated, "We're trying to send a signal that we are tightening up and we are reluctant to grant single-event permits to 'for-profit' organizations."
Yep, I'd call that a signal, and it also sounds like "nonprofits" can have keg parties with strippers as long as they sport magic underwear and don't make a profit, but either way it sure bodes well for Colorado.
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We can handle all the Osmonds and Romneys they, and the rest of the nation, can send our direction.
But it gets even more thrilling for the Beehive state that celebrates the Fourth of July on the third or fifth when Independence Day falls on Sunday.
A few years ago, a Harvard Business School study showed that Utah is No. 1 in online porn subscription rates.
Chowing down on a hypocrisy sandwich perhaps?
I'm not saying beer sales and porn are conversely related, but from a self-righteous point of view, I'm just sayin'.
Anyway, did you know that Utah bartenders must legally pour all mixed drinks behind a so-called "Zion curtain" so that children cannot see the process? And up until a year ago restaurants were required to serve food to customers before selling them alcohol, but they are still not allowed to have drink specials.
To help drive home their theocratic point about wanting "Sharia law — Mormon style," a Wasatch County high school just recently Photoshopped yearbook photos of the girls who showed too much skin. And it wasn't like a Lindsay Lohan lean over or a Kardashian backside, it was for things like an exposed shoulder or the slightest hint of cleavage.
They allow multiple wives but restrict booze, want prayer in schools but only to their particular deity, teach creationism but downplay the realities of science.
Their new state slogan might as well be: Welcome to "Utahnistan — please set your clocks back to the 14th century."
But lest you take this wrong, be fully aware that I have a number of friends that are of the Mormon persuasion, and they are just as nice and friendly as any of my other friends (twist that however you'd like).
The issue is, of course, the allowed intrusion of a particular supernatural belief system into the policies of a state government. No system of government can succeed when that is allowed, as it becomes open season on their beliefs from all those who might happen to feel otherwise.
This "Mocktoberfest" issue is only a small part of the Talibangelism of an entire state, and although Colorado stands to benefit tremendously from a financial standpoint, the rest of our nation can suffer greatly if these theocratic tendencies are allowed to continue.
Besides, I'm pretty sure Oktoberfests in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia can't sell beer, either.
Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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