Every reformation has its mistakes and nonsense. But when the nonsense is left to grow, it chokes and strangles healthy, organic change. It is time today to expose some of this nonsense that has accompanied the politics behind the Georgia Beer Jobs Bill, SB 63. I am both a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ and a partner of an independent and locally owned brewery seeking to redeem beer culture.
What is currently happening with the politics behind SB 63 is morally reprehensible due to the leadership of the opposition hiding behind piety and moralism. By that I mean false piety and moralism that uses religious language to manipulate and bind both people and policy.
I respect politicians who disagree with me, who are honest enough to stand for an opposing argument. But few things are more disgusting than using false piety to manipulate and justify one’s own immorality and conflicts of interest. Yet this is what is happening with the leadership in Georgia politics today.
What will SB63 do?
Prepare yourself, this is really radical stuff- you will actually be able to purchase the beer you drink while at a brewery. You could also buy a whopping 12 pack of packaged beer to take home from the brewery. This would allow you an introduction to the brewery and allow the brewery to expand its brand to potential customers. What a concept! A small business actually allowed to sell some of its product to consumers! Yes, it’s free market legislation and it evidently scares Republican leadership.
So, how did it get so messed up? Moralism, fear, and shame. We have this system because the failed experiment with Prohibition, rooted in moralism, fear, and shame, has left a long and tragic trail of tears upon our state. Legislate morality and you not only squash freedom by shaming and scaring people, you create monsters who profit and hide behind moralism and false piety. The monsters are now attempting to crush SB 63 and keep it from ever seeing the light of day.
Crony Capitalism hiding behind moralism
If you follow the money you will find an oligarchy at work. Millions of dollars in campaign donations from every organization associated with macro beer (macro breweries- Bud/Miller/Coors, distributors, distributor lobbyists, families who own, operate, profit from Georgia beer distribution). Let me be clear, some of these organizations and families are partners of mine. I consider my distribution partners to be good people who honestly want to see my business thrive. If I were in their position as a family and business man, I wouldn’t be advocating for change either, they are simply protecting what is theirs. I don't blame them for wanting to keep the laws unchanged. They are also not elected to represent the people, the politicians are, and our politicians don’t seem to want to listen. Rather they seem to prefer obstruction and manipulation.
Our Lt. Gov, Casey Cagle, is firmly in the pocket of the oligarchs. Or should I say, he has received $130,756.57 from their pockets. But beyond that, he is also a chief offender of hiding behind moralism. Just a quick glance on his Facebook page and you will find Scripture verses scattered between his own political agenda. As a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ I find this reprehensible both to God and the people he has been elected to serve. It shows disregard to both. On his page he quotes a passage of Scripture regarding the power of the Holy Spirit. Is he honestly seeking the power of the Holy Spirit, or is he protecting his cronies and the oligarchs who fund his campaigns? That is disgusting and Christians should not be manipulated, they should be outraged. Shame on you Casey Cagle. If you want to take money from oligarchs, fine, fess up. But don’t hide behind a false piety and drag God’s good word and name into your agenda. Ironically, Cagle also quotes 2 Tim. 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” I would encourage the Lt. Gov. to stop the politics of fear, shame, and guilt and get onboard with sound common sense legislation that is overwhelming supported by the good people he represents.
here we stand
Let’s put SB 63 aside for a moment and let’s be outraged by this behavior. It must end. Not just for the sake of a bill I support, but for the sake of God and his people. We can’t allow this hypocrisy to continue. Stand up to the bullies, tell them to stop manipulating you and stop trying to manipulate God. We the people must stand and end this corruption. Call your leaders and demand honesty and accountability.