Hypocrisy over the Chick-Fil-A debate
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Although the 21st Amendment repealed the prohibition of alcohol on the federal level,
that Amendment also specifically prohibits the selling or production of
alcohol in violation of state laws. Some states after the repeal passed
laws granting counties and municipalities, either by popular vote or
ordinance, the ability to decide for themselves whether to allow
Many dry communities do not prohibit the mere consumption of alcohol,
which could potentially cause a loss of profits and taxes from the sale
of alcohol to their residents in "wet" (non-prohibition) areas. The
rationale for maintaining prohibition on the local level often is
religious in nature, as many Protestant Christian denominations discourage the consumption of alcohol by their followers (see Christianity and alcohol, sumptuary law, and Baptists and Bootleggers).
While state law does not allow for dry counties, similar laws designed
to restrict the sale and consumption of alcohol also are common in the
mostly LDS (Mormon) state of Utah.
Utah state law prohibits local jurisdictions from exercising control
over liquor laws. An additional, more pragmatic intent of these laws
often is to reduce alcohol consumption in that particular county (and
the potential health, safety, and public order issues that can accompany
it) by limiting the ease of acquiring it.
Sumptuary laws (from Latin sumptuariae leges) are laws that attempt to regulate habits of consumption. Black's Law Dictionary
defines them as "Laws made for the purpose of restraining luxury or
extravagance, particularly against inordinate expenditures in the matter
of apparel, food, furniture, etc." Traditionally, they were laws that regulated and reinforced social hierarchies and morals through restrictions on clothing, food, and luxury expenditures.
Throughout history, societies have used sumptuary laws for a variety
of purposes. They attempted to regulate the balance of trade by limiting
the market for expensive imported goods. They were also an easy way to
identify social rank and privilege and often were used for social discrimination.
This frequently meant preventing commoners from imitating the appearance of aristocrats and sometimes also to stigmatize disfavored groups. In the Late Middle Ages, sumptuary laws were instituted as a way for the nobility to cap the conspicuous consumption of the prosperous bourgeoisie of medieval cities, and they continued to be used for these purposes well into the 17th century.
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