This year for the first time one of our county fairs chose to sell beer during its session at the beginning of September. As could be expected there were numerous responses to this issue as Cambria County in central Pennsylvania placed itself on the cutting edge of making a family oriented event one in which beverage alcohol would be available. County fairs are rather numerous in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and have always had a strong emphasis on family with activities involving persons of all ages. The one thing held in common by them was the fact that no alcoholic beverages would be available and the consumption of such beverages was absolutely forbidden on the premises. But that is obviously changing. It may be that there are others such as Cambria County that are doing this as well, but at this point in time I know of none.
Kennywood Park in Pittsburgh just took the step to sell beer recently shortly before closing for the season. It also over time has prided itself on being "family oriented."
A legitimate question can be raised -- can such institutions really claim to be "family oriented" when alcoholic beverages are available for purchase and consumption of the same takes place on the premises?
Below is a letter that was sent to two local newspapers on the Cambria County Fair choice to sell beer. I do not know if the letters were published. I am taking the position that they were not until I hear otherwise. The one always called me to verify that I had written the letter and since I did not receive a call, I assume they did not publish it.
Letter is as follows:
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Cambria County Fair officials have made the choice to sell beverage alcohol at the fair this year. In an attempt to defend this action, one official said that they will have it under complete "control." He failed to elaborate on how they plan to control it after persons with the alcohol in their system leave the fairgrounds.
After 53 years in the ministry there is absolutely nothing positive that I can say about beverage alcohol. It has ruined more lives and destroyed more families than any other issue with which I have had to deal over those years. National statistics also are quite negative when it comes to destruction and loss of life caused by beverage alcohol.
A question for those Cambria County Fair officials: how would you like to conduct the funeral for an exceptional high school student who was cut down, along with his girl friend, by a character with alcohol in his system who was driving at about 85 MPH? He was driving with a suspended license due to previous conviction for drunken driving. To add great insult to injury an unscrupulous lawyer who had abandoned all ethical and moral standards in his practice got the killer off on a technicality!
Greed has a wide variety of ways in manifesting itself with end results summed up in words such as tragedy and disaster! It may seem we are getting away with something for a time and will come out on top in the end, only to discover too late in eternity the choice made was a very deadly mistake!
Still contending at www.crrange.com, blogging at http://cdharriger.blogspot.com and warning at www.crrange.com/USACoffin.html
Clayton D. Harriger, Pastor
The new wine fails, the vine languishes, all the merry-hearted sigh. The mirth of the tambourine ceases, the noise of the jubilant ends, the joy of the harp ceases. They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink is bitter to those who drink it. The city of confusion is broken down; every house is shut up, so that none may go in. There is a crying for wine in the streets, all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone. --- Isaiah 24:7-11