Council urged to rethink decision on allowing bars, pubs and breweries in downtown

Published 9:25 am Wednesday, October 10, 2018

To the Editor:
How may we preserve the wholesome atmosphere provided by our Elizabethton downtown community? Today a pleasant stroll among the shops and restaurants may be enjoyed by young and old alike. Will that remain once pubs and breweries take up residence on our main streets?
Have you strolled the downtown streets of Johnson City recently? These are the streets where many Elizabethton and other area residents used to frequent for shopping and pleasant window shopping. The experience has changed dramatically. The antique stores are gone — all of them. There are no more clothing stores or fine jewelry stores or photography studios. The Hands-On Museum has re-located far from downtown. Beautiful windows are rare. Indeed, many windows now appear demonic and give a sinister feeling to what used to be a lovely downtown.
What happened? Bars, pubs, and breweries came in. And when they did, the entire atmosphere changed. Do we in Elizabethton want to sacrifice the wholesomeness of our community to the allure of alcohol? Here in Carter County we can rightly boast of spectacular natural beauty, fresh air, clean water, abundant recreational activities, and lots of opportunity for wholesome family fun. Why would we pollute our environment with more purveyors of alcoholic beverages? The collateral damage of such a decision is catastrophic! Think of the families affected by misspent incomes, dads who are not at home with their children, the health consequences of drinking alcohol, the altered thinking, the increased need for police surveillance, the debauchery, the misbehavior, and the destruction that often accompany this lifestyle.
Have you been to a Johnson City Cardinals game recently? Few spectators are watching the game, and few are able to do so. It seems the vast majority are too busy going to the concession stand for another beer rather than paying attention to the baseball game. No longer is the outing suitable for our young athletes who are eager to learn the sport. It is almost impossible to watch the game for all the extraneous activity, most of which involves drinking beer. What a shame it will be if we lose the wholesome atmosphere at our Elizabethton Twins games!
The Bible says it best.
Proverbs 20:1 (KJV)
1. Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
Proverbs 23:29-35 (KJV)
29. Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
30. They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
31. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
32. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
33. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
34. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
35. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.
Please do not let dollar signs blind you to the realities of allowing bars, pubs, and breweries into our sweet and relatively safe community. The damage will be enormous and very difficult to undo. It is so hard to regain wholesomeness! Let’s preserve it instead!
Soli Deo Gloria!

Sincerely yours,
Julia F. Seward

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