Monday, December 3, 2012

Exodus 20:8-11 (ESV):  Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.  On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.  For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.  Therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

Back in the late 1950s or early 60s a woman was arrested in my community for buying a gallon of milk on Sunday.  I remember hearing my parents talking about the incident.  They believed the whole thing was a set-up designed to outrage the community into repealing the blue laws.  For those readers too young to be familiar with the term "blue laws" an explanation is in order.  blue law was a type of law common in many states designed to enforce Christian religious standards, particularly the observance of Sunday as a day of worship or rest, and a restriction on Sunday shopping. Most blue laws have been repealed, have been declared unconstitutional or are simply unenforced today.

My father, though an avowed atheist or at least an agnostic at the time, was not in favor of repealing the blue laws.  He owned a car dealership and believed if the laws were repealed and some of his competitors opened their dealerships on Sundays then he would be forced to be open seven days a week as well.  I think his main concern was not being able to play golf on Sundays if the laws were repealed.

In many American cities today, for Christian and agnostic alike, Sunday is the busiest shopping day of the week.  Almost all retail businesses today are open on Sunday.   I say almost because on the way home from church one recent Sabbath, after driving past one business after another that was opened I finally spotted two that were keeping the Sabbath.  The first was a liquor store and the second was an adult bookstore.  

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