Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Selective Sabbath-Keeping

Will Hinton wrote a funny tongue-in-cheek post on the reliance of "tradition" to maintain Posts blue laws.

There is an ongoing debate in Georgia about repealing blue laws that currently make it illegal to sell alcohol on Sundays.

I was particularly interested in these comments from Richardson:

“As a general rule, most people go to church of whatever faith on Sunday,” he said. “And we don’t sell beer on Sundays. It’s just one of those traditions. And I don’t think Republicans are doing anything other than trying to very carefully measure if we want to put that out there and let the citizens end that tradition.”

I find this emphasis on tradition particularly interesting. While I’m sure that Richardson is not a theologian, his emphasis on tradition as the primary reasoning for maintaining the blue laws is an odd justification in a heavily Protestant and Baptist state....

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I was about to write something about religious theories of abstinence, until I realized that blue laws themselves, whether banning the sale of liquor or banning the sale of car parts, can be Biblically traced to the commandment to remember the sabbath day and keep it holy. Of course, this opens the whole can of worms about “what day is the sabbath day?”

It should be noted, however, that I cannot find a Biblical argument that prohibits the sale of wine on Sundays, but allows the sale of radial tires.


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