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The Sabbath Blog

Blue-colored Glasses

Blue-colored Glasses

When Bonnie Galford visited Israel a few years ago, she noticed how the Sabbath was kept on Saturday at a national level. “Our guide let us know,” she writes in her article, “that if we needed anything we would need to buy it on Friday because nothing would be open on the Sabbath.”

Her experience in Israel prompted her to write the following about the United States:

“How I long for the days when we had ‘blue laws’ and no stores or restaurants were open. If Christians would obey the Fourth Commandment and stay out of stores and restaurants, then perhaps they would close on Sunday, due to lack of business, and all those forced to work on Sunday, for unnecessary services, would have a day to rest and worship” (emphasis added).

Blue laws (also called Sunday laws) were created “to restrict or ban some or all Sunday activities for religious reasons, particularly to promote the observance of a day of worship or rest.” Most of these laws are ignored today or have been repealed, but in colonial America, breaking the Sabbath was sometimes punished by public whipping, fines, or time in the stocks in the town square.

More and more people like Galford, including powerful politicians, long for bygone days when crimes were less frequent and kids rarely spoke rudely to their parents. Many of them believe these positive attributes were a direct result of a culture in which people went to church on Sunday not only to worship as a practice of faith, but also out of a civic duty. But does advocating a mandated day of rest today, for everyone, really an ideal solution to today's cultural breakdown? Or are we merely looking at those days with blue-colored glasses?

Notice how Galford “longs” for a return to “blue laws”—what amounts to forced Sunday observance and for Sunday-keeping Christians to influence businesses to close on Sunday by restricting buying and selling. What about Muslims, Jews, and atheists—or even for those Christians who keep the Bible Sabbath? Should they all be forced or be pressured to close shops on Sunday to appease those who promote Sunday keeping?

However, these calls for a national day of rest should not surprise anyone. The Bible even predicts that a day will come when everyone will be forced to worship. Are we about to see prophecy fulfilled? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below. Learn more about Blue Laws in America and what it means for religious liberty.

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