In "Utah ranks dead last in wine-friendly-states report" (Tribune, Aug. 23), Sen. John Valentine called Utah's bottom ranking "a badge of honor."
Utah controls not only the wine but all liquor in the state monopolizing the industry, collecting huge profits from selling alcohol and collecting fines from laws concerning misuse and the dispensing of it.
Throughout history, people have gathered and celebrated with wine, which is not classified as hard liquor. Wine is defined by the art of the maker, the grape and a tradition that was instilled in us by our forefathers long before the LDS Church came up with its own traditions.
If Valentine had been a Pharisees in the days of Jesus, his thinking may have created laws that would have had Jesus charged with a crime for making wine out of water and distributing it without going through the state-run olive oil and wine stores, with additional charges tacked on if he had failed to ask wedding guests if they intended to eat before being served.
The New Testament would have ended with Jesus' first miracle.
On a sad note, the moral, righteous leaders at that time made sure Jesus was nailed to the cross.