NOTE: This is in reference to a law that has been on the books in North Dakota for many years. In the past, it banned business all on Sunday. In 1991, the law was changed to restrict business only until noon on Sunday. This is not a “new” Sunday blue law. This article is interesting in terms of the arguments that it raises.  

According to Wikipedia, “North Dakota may have the strictest remaining blue law of the United States. Many goods and items are restricted from being sold between 12am Sunday morning and 12pm Sunday afternoon, rendering virtually all retailers closed in those hours, including malls and large retail chains such as Walmart. Prior to 1991 the law was stricter, when changes more clearly defined which businesses were exempt such as pharmacies, hospitals, and restaurants. The 1991 change also allowed businesses to open at 12pm on Sunday. Previously the laws were in effect all of Sunday until midnight. The changes were made after a 1991 blizzard, after which citizens were not able to purchase some needed goods and services due to the blue law.”

ARTICLE EXCERPT: The North Dakota Catholic Conference has responded to criticism of a law restricting Sunday hours for businesses, saying the regulation benefits the whole of society.

“Rather than restricting individual freedom,” the conference director said, “closing laws liberate and free people from the antisocial degeneration of human work.” He noted that economic freedom can only grow in healthy societies, not those which put profits above the values of family and community.
Dodson quoted the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, which describes public authorities’ duty “to ensure that, for reasons of economic productivity, citizens are not denied time for rest and divine worship.”
“Sunday closing laws are not about honoring the Sabbath day,” Dodson said. “They are about honoring people and families.”

Read the full article


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