Recently, a county in South Carolina voted to overturn blue laws, limiting business openings on Sunday.
Should Christians support blue laws of all kinds in all levels of government?
When I was an ignorant sophomore in college, I got into a discussion with my roommate – which was not unusual since I had two and both liked to party and had very different views that I did.
Somehow the topic turned to alcohol and blue laws prohibiting it – which again was not unusual since on one occassion I came back to our room and found an open beer can my fridge, which was not really a problem except our campus was a dry campus.
He maintained that the state should not be allowed to tell someone when they can and cannot buy alcohol. I, of course, argued they should. When I got down to the base of the discussion, my only real answer was: “They can because it won’t bother me.” Just in case you are not aware of it, that is a horrible reason to use in any debate. My lack of an answer in that discussion and my moving more aware from what I’ve always heard to what I really believe caused me to reconsider my original position.
I have a nuanced position on blue laws and how they should be implemented, which I believe is far beyond the opinions of the ignorant college student I once was.
Laws of all types, including those shaded blue, should reflect the value system of the citizens, while staying within the parameters established in the national and state constitutions. Therefore, I am against statewide and national blue laws, but believe county or citywide statues are acceptable and beneficial to residents.
If those who live in a small town in South Carolina want to disallow alcohol sales on Sunday and force businesses to open in the afternoon, they should have the right. Just as those in Dearborn, Michigan should have the right to do the same on Saturday. So should those in a Jewish community.
I believe statewide and especially nationwide laws regulating value issues such as blue laws are too wide and do not allow local citizens to determine the moral corse of their community.
My personal believes would dictate a completely dry nation and no work, except emergency officials, on Sundays, but my personal believes are not those of the entire nation or my state or my county.
While I should not be able to force an entire state follow my personal wishes of Sunday blue laws, neither should another person force an entire community to cater to their desires of no blue laws.
The wonderful way in which our founders established this country enables like-minded citizens to gather in communities and counties and enact legislation and laws which reflect the mindset of those people, within the framework of the Constitution.
If someone lives in a town which has blue laws and they want to buy alcohol on Sunday, go to another town to buy it, work to change the laws or move to a community that better reflects you. If someone lives in a town without blue laws and they would like to see the restrictions, the same applies.
This is how our government is supposed to work. Unfortunately, we have groups and individuals on both sides (conservative and liberals) who insist on requiring everyone to live by their rules. They wish to force their version of morality on the entire nation through judicial or legislative dictate.
We should all understand that it is not my job as a Christian living in South Carolina to tell a Muslim living in Dearborn, Michigan what to do. It is not the job of an atheist living in Vermont to tell a Jewish person living in New York what to do.
Why is this such a difficult concept to grasp? Allow communities to reflect their moral values from blue laws to abortion to gay marriage and the vast majority of the huge, divisive issues facing our nation today would be defused for the most part.