LETTERS / Beer And Wine In Newland: Beliefs and Beer

Published Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at 10:03 am

Dear Editor,

If I can, I’d like to weigh in on the upcoming vote for the restriction of beer and wine in our town limits. I’ve chosen to do so anonymously in order that my family is not judged for the position we hold on this matter. If I were a single adult without the responsibility of protecting the integrity of my family, the tone of this address and identity of who and where this is coming from would be proclaimed boldly. My apologies for the lack of transparency in this “social” society we live today.

I’m a citizen with deep convictions. I live my life with hopes that my neighbors do not think of me as judgmental, and that ultimately Christ is reflected in all I do. I want the same for my children. We pray with them every night and stress the importance of conviction and the decisions they make in life. Their beliefs are very strong, and I would hope they stand up for what is right or wrong. The issue of whether to restrict beer and wine seems to be very controversial so it must be infringing on local residents beliefs. At least, this is the way it’s being portrayed.

As a christian, I always vote for the man, woman, law, or initiatives that tend to line up with my beliefs. This usually puts me more toward the conservative side of the voting field but not always. In a world that is so politically correct and scared to speak in fear of offending someone, the establishment seems to be setting the rules for how we speak out about our convictions. For instance, the word progressive can’t be used today in some circles without it being considered a “bad word” or one that assumes the position of a liberal. Well, from this christian’s prospective, I believe that progress is a good thing and I’m not ashamed to say it. I want progress for my kids. I’d love to see our children graduate and come back to Avery after studying, & open businesses, or have a large company to work for. In fact, one of the key components to why we decided to relocate from Boone to Newland in 2012 is because we saw progress. A state of the art YMCA, which Boone didn’t offer for our family. A school system that was “progressing” in the direction we believed best for our children. A small town feel with updated sidewalks and lights in downtown. And a great date night that convinced us that we would buy a house in Newland, NC. Yes, a date night.

My spouse and I prayed fervently about where we should relocate with our young children. We fell in love with Newland even though it was a town where we knew no one. We wanted a change from the busyness of Boone, but still something in the high country that offered a great climate as well as promise for growth. We chose to go to dinner and walk around town to see whether this small town would be a good fit for our family. We made reservations at Fabio’s and enjoyed a great pasta dish, excellent service, and yes, a glass of wine with our dinner. We weren’t concerned with judgement because we knew no one in town and those we met seemed like the type of people who wouldn’t judge something so superficial. To some, this may not be so commonplace. It’s different from what they were accustomed to when growing up here, but none the less, it was one factor that encouraged us to invest thousands of dollars in our home and we looked forward to what direction Newland was headed.

When you invest in something, whether it’s a home or a business, everyone wants it to move forward. Increase in value. That’s what we want for the next generation. Increase in numbers, educated young adults, jobs, and yes, small successful businesses that rely on things like beer and wine. It’s difficult to deny people this when others are profiting on the sale of tobacco and all but encouraging our youth to use it. From the ball fields to the pews of our churches you can see the influence of tobacco, but no one seems to point out this small speck. We can point fingers all day, but what needs to be discussed is more than just personal beliefs, it’s livelihoods. It’s not always people who believe the same way you do but want to see progress none the less. How do you think people that are not in the church look at us when we’re so divided. Possibly hypocritical? Before I came to Christ, that’s the way I looked at the folks that snubbed their noses at me. It kept me away from the church for many years until I realized what grace was and I stopped judging the judgemental. Now I live my life not trying to live by laws but under the blood of Jesus Christ. Responsible adults don’t need someone to tell them not to do something, they need to live under conviction, not an iron fist. This feels all too familiar to me, and it’s this type of hypocrisy that turns people away from the church. Aren’t we trying to attract people by our faith and not cast them away? Can we please pause for a moment and think about what is best, not only for the town, but for the Church as well.

This is a great town to raise a family, and it should be a great town to start a business. If a growing population is what we want for Newland, than taking away jobs and increasing taxes is not a good start for growth. We don’t need decreasing numbers in our town, schools, and ultimately in our churches. This vote is a lose lose, and all it’s doing is creating division within our citizens. Let’s take the high road and act like adults here. If you want to clean up the town, you can start with tearing down burnt structures and removing camper trailers from downtown. That would be progress.

•A Concerned Citizen

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