Letter to the editor: Respect beliefs but acknowledge reality

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I’m not from Owen County, nor Kentucky. I’m married to a former Owen County woman, and Kentuckian with deep roots in the state.
I was always puzzled by the concept of “dry” counties, although, I can appreciate and respect the religious and social mores a group of citizens believe when it comes to certain issues that affect a large swath of citizens.
The issue I have is the belief that it’s because of religion that the referendum on alcohol didn’t pass. I followed the issue closely because of my wife’s family, and reading about it in the News-Herald.
Apparently, not enough folks were concerned with either the positive or negative points about alcohol sales in the county. A minority of voters turned out, much like in some major elections each year nationwide.
The smaller, vocal minority on both sides deserves credit, since they are using the democratic system to get their particular points of views stated. This is what America is all about. There is no religious reason why the outcome was what it turned out to be.
I truly think, that in 2011, if everyone had a chance, they would realize that the adoption of liquor sales, even if they are strict, would increase commerce of local businesses, add to tax revenues, and perhaps even have Owen County be a destination to visit.
As an outsider, I find it very charming, and think it’s a true model of what Americana can and should look like.
Unfortunately, some of the comments I read were harsh and personal. At the end of the day, I think all residents of the county want what’s best for their residents.
As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 is upon us, and for someone who witnessed the planes hitting the towers, tolerance and finding a mutual common ground seem like logical choices for all those who deem religious beliefs as the ultimate factor in this debate.

Pete Lillo
Trenton, N.J.