The group, at an earlier meeting, had decided to purchase a copy of the petition and to publish the signatures in the paper once it was public. TCAA Chairman Bob McIntosh said they originally decided to publish to get more people to think more about whether to sign the petition.
“You know, we’re not trying to hurt anybody, we’re not trying to embarrass anyone,” said McIntosh. “That’s their right [to sign the petition]. Wherever they stand, whatever they believe in, that’s their right.”
One TCAA member suggested that at least 140 people were in attendance at the church, where there was eventually only standing room.
Although Ronnie Sadler of TCAA said earlier that they would not take the petition to court and have it thrown out, the group formally voted not to pursue that action. Trigg County Judge-Executive Stan Humphries ordered a special election on the issue to be held on Tuesday, Sept. 29.
McIntosh said if the petition was thrown out, the Grow Trigg, the group trying to repeal prohibition in the county, would again seek more signatures, while the issue will go away if it comes to a vote and is defeated.
“People want to vote on this,” McIntosh said. “They’re tired of it, and they want to vote.”
According to McIntosh, there are more verses in the Bible against drinking than there are against blasphemy, lying, hypocrisy, pride and adultery. Documents were made available that list 75 verses that reportedly speak against alcohol.
Churches taking a stand against alcohol, McIntosh said, lead to the national prohibition of alcohol in the early 1900s.
“The result was prohibition, with its great benefits. But prohibition was repealed, and the church began to weaken its conviction against alcohol,” McIntosh said.
Sadler said the group’s publicity committee is planning to organize a phone drive and has ordered 250 more signs. He added that a county-wide rally is planned for Sunday, Sept. 13, at the Trigg County Recreation Complex.
The publicity committee, Sadler went on to say, is also asking all church pastors to talk about alcohol during their Sunday sermons on Sept. 20.
According to the Trigg County Clerk’s Office, the last date to register to vote for the referendum will be Monday, Aug. 31, and the last date to request an absentee ballot will be Tuesday, Sept. 22. The absentee voting machine will open in the clerk’s office on Friday, Sept. 11.
“Last Thursday (July 23), we replaced some of our large road signs,” Sadler said. “And by Saturday morning, one of them was missing in action.”
Sadler also called on volunteers to tell people about what they see as the evils of alcohol in the eight weeks prior to the election. He suggested that the group could set up a table at local events to tell voters their side of the story.
TCAA Ways and Means Committee Chairman Clarence Thomas asked for a liaison from each church represented to take information back to their church pastors regarding alcohol. He went on to say that efforts on underway to give voters rides to the polls on Sept. 29.
TCAA member Darren Grant said that he has spoken with representatives from such restaurants as O’Charley’s, Outback Steakhouse, Applebee’s and Olive Garden. According to him, an O’Charley’s representative said there would need to be a population of at least 35,000 before they would consider opening a restaurant.
Local businessman Jerry Mitchell talked about his personal experience with alcohol, about how he started drinking beer at age 9, and how he renounced alcohol at age 42. He said he wouldn’t drink any more alcoholic beverages if he was paid “a million dollars” to do so.
TCAA member Robert Papajeski said the group now has a website, which can be accessed at www.tcaa2009.com.
The group’s next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 13, at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, located at 3666 Blue Springs Road.
Grow Trigg hasn’t held a meeting since a date was set for the alcohol referendum on Thursday, July 23. However, the Grow Trigg website said the group will open their headquarters on Main Street in downtown Cadiz on Saturday.