Friday, November 24, 2006

Blue Laws in Anderson

First reading of an ordinance to permanently suspend the Blue Laws was approved Tuesday night by the Anderson County Council. Blue Laws prohibit residents from buying anything other than groceries or medicine before 1:30 p.m. on Sundays. (Anderson Independent)

I cannot imagine why such a proposal came up in the first place. Even if you were to theoretically remove the notion that the Sabbath should be respected, not working on Sundays is a cultural thing. It is a time to spend time with that which is really important. Working and making money are means to an end; in the culture I grew up with family were infinitely more important - even to all of my unchurched neighbors. From the story above we find the answer.

"I'm a Yankee," said David Allan, a Liberty resident. "You can get rid of all the Blue Laws you want to. If a business wants to be open, they should be able to stay open. If they want to be closed, they should be able to stay closed."

I am generally in agreement that government ought not attempt to legislate morality - at least not on small things. I am for individual freedom and responsibility - however as a paleoconservative I am fully willing to accept local government encroachment on individual rights if that encroachment protects longstanding community traditions and the local culture. In reality this "encroachment" does not in any way offend individual rights. In the current example a fellow like David Allan never has to live or work in Anderson County - he does not have to even visit. It was his option to come to Anderson. When you move to a place you should be willing to accept and attempt to integrate into the local culture - in this case family and faith have traditionally been more important than profit. Mr. Allan you might have done well to figure that out before you came down our way.

The fact is it is ok to slow down the pace of life a little - take time out to focus on what is really important. These are the traits that have made our culture so great - it is a shame to sell all of that for a few extra hours at the Wal-Mart!

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