An issue has come up before the Springfield, IL (pop: 115,000) city council. Seems a local alderman went to a grocery store one Sunday morning around 11:00 to pick up a twelve-pack for his day on the lake he had planned. Wouldn’t you know it, you can’t buy beer on Sundays in Springfield before noon.
Being a city alderman, the guy decided that he was in a perfect poition to do something about his problem. So, he went to work on Monday and had a chat with the mayor (who also is rumored to enjoy a tall cold one from time to time). Next thing you know, the city council begins discussing a repeal of this antiquated blue law.
This has brought impassioned pleas from the local clergy to preserve the ban, always in the name of keeping Sunday a special day. The Lord’s Day. From what I’ve read in letters to the editor, it seems that the local clergy aren’t so much concerned with the idea that preventing beer sales will translate to more people in church; rather, they’re concerned that repealing the Sunday morning liquor ban is just one more step toward making Sunday “just another day.”
I once read somewhere that there is a justification for blue laws that does not involve religion. It has something to do with the idea that preventing the sale of some commodity for a period of time (and Sunday is a convenient day) is somehow better for the local economy, or something. I, for one, can’t get my brain around it, but I’m not an economist.
So anyway, is there any justification for blue laws that does not invoke religion?