Ye Simple Souls Who Stray – Wine, Oil, Refreshment

The headline intrigued me:

Rising Utah liquor sales fueled by more non-Mormons, tourism

How naïve I have been! To think that all this time, I believed that the Mormons were the ones buying up the booze!

I must continue reading!

In Mormon dominated Utah where alcohol is frowned upon, liquor sales keep climbing each year.

I paused to check the byline! Right out of the gate, the writer has skillfully blended adverbs and a subordinate clause to the point  that I am unable to discern the intended meaning. Is alcohol frowned upon by Utah? Or by the Mormons?

With my head still spinning by this challenging information, I continued reading.

State residents bought nearly $428 million in alcohol last year to set another record, continuing a two-decade trend likely fueled a steady influx of new out-of-state residents and a thriving tourism sector.

I pondered and reread the following…

“…A steady influx of new out-of-state residents….”

Are the residents relocating from out-of-state? Are they buying up liquor in Utah, only to return to their out-of-state residences? Or are they purchasing property in Utah so they can be considered a resident, but continuing to live elsewhere so they can still be considered out-of-state?

My head was spinning.

I checked the byline again. Was this author perhaps one of the high school students recently in the news for having his article removed from the school paper? Perhaps he had found a new rag to write for?

Then, at once, all of these thoughts were superseded by a different quandary: How do they know that the potable purchaser’s piety is of the “Mormon” persuasion?

I will admit to ignorance here. I have never been a patron of the Utah State Liquor Stores. As the article states, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints instructs its members to avoid drinking alcohol. As a faithful member, I do not know the manner of becoming a vendee of this establishment.

I assume they ask to see one’s identification at the check-out line. I could guess that, from a government-issued ID, they could count the number of out-of-state verses in-state driver’s licenses to determine that statistic.

But what about religious preference? Do they ask for this information too?

I double-checked my Utah State Driver’s License. The closest thing I could find to a religious declaration was the spot for organ-donation.

So how are the shopkeepers determining the religious statistic? Are Latter-day Saints presenting their church-issued “Temple Recommend” as a testimony that they have obtained to the age of accountability?

Or, thinking more conspiratorially, is the state drivers license bureau inter-connected with the church’s membership record database? I’m sure that the National Security Agency must know!

Believing I was on the trail of a much bigger, serious discovery, I reviewed the rest of the article. It presented a mundane recitation of how the liquor agency spends its money, and what the most popular beverages are. Unfortunately, it did not answer my question or explain how they can be confident in their consumer’s convictions.

A scientific investigation should be launched immediately! Volunteers of all persuasions and residences are needed to make undercover purchases from the state.

Come to think of it, the results of this investigation could give a whole new meaning to the concept of being baptized-by-the-spirit.


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