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Exorcise Blue Laws Once and for All

By   /   October 21, 2011  /   Comments

 

Any way you look at it, blue laws – which deliberately exist to enforce religious standards – are the end result of politics rather than logic, decency or good government. And any way you look at it, laws that exist because of politics are disgusting.

Southern and Midwestern states began passing laws to protect Sunday Sabbath during the 1800s, targeting saloon owners (those rascals!), sellers of pots and pans (scum of the earth!) Jews (later, the Nazis finally socked it to them!) and Seventh-Day Adventists (heaven forbid!), among other classes and groups. People were also arrested during those days of barbarism for blue-law violations such as  playing cards (sober or not!) or baseball (later nicknamed “America’s pastime”), and even fixing wagon wheels (the worst of all heathens!) on Sunday.

With the rationale being that people should be in church on Sunday, blue laws are expected to be found in religious cultures such as Israel, not in the U.S., where church and state clearly are Constitutionally intended to be separate.

If state-level politicians had gumption, Georgia’s prohibition of Sunday retail alcohol sales in stores would have been repealed long ago. Instead, the state cowardly decided this year to allow communities to vote on deciding the issue locally.

Outlawing retail alcohol sales on Sunday is as ridiculous as the government’s intrusion on liberty gets for two reasons: It enforces religious standards and it subverts commerce. As such, on Nov. 8, Albany and Dougherty voters should vote to repeal the local blue law prohibiting retail alcohol sales.

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