I was reading about a bar in my old stomping grounds of Edmonton this morning. Only this bar is a little different. It's for former alcoholics. To help them stay off the bottle, this "bar" is a place to give the same sense of fun and friendship that many people find at a bar, only it is 100% alcohol free.
Now, this sounds great, but they had one problem. People who go to bars generally smoke. So this bar allowed smoking. That is until the government found out. Edmonton is a smoke free city, the only place you are allowed to smoke is bars, bars being classified as places with a liquor lisence.
So this alcohol free bar was not allowed to have smoking. They thought it was needed though to help people trying to quit drinking so they asked how they could get a smoking allowance. For this, the law had to be followed strictly, they could only allow people to smoke if they had a liquor lisence. So yes, the alcohol free bar for former alcoholics in Edmonton now has a liquor lisence...
Do you think we're following/enforcing the letter of the law just a little too harsh on this one? But then again, do we do that in churches too, especially to those who are new and still trying to change for the better...?