Monday, January 3, 2011

Sunday Blue Laws

Sunday Blue Laws were government imposed restrictions on the sale of certain products or services on Sunday. Very few of them still exist and most of those that do pertain to the sale of  wine and spirits. They were call "Blue Laws" because they were first printed on blue paper. They have their origins in colonial America that required puritanical standards of Sunday observance.

The first of these "Blue Laws" was enacted in the colony of Virginia in 1617. Virginia was a Crown colony that enforce the Church of England as the "Established Church" on everyone in the colony. You belonged regardless of your choice of religion. The government collected the church tax of ten percent and gave it to the Church of England. It was payable in tobacco. The Virginia militia was authorized to force colonist to attend Sunday Anglican church services  at the point of a gun. If you were a Baptist in Virginia you had to pay the church tax to the Church of England and give to your Baptist congregation.

Is it any wonder that Virginia led the way for separation of Church and state after the revolution?


  1. in Germany we still have a 10% church tax. Lots of people leave the church just to save that.... but of course they can't forbig you attending and as long as you don't want to marry or be a godmother/-father or something, no one really cares.

    All stores are closed here on Sundays and holidays, except service shops at gas stations or shops at train stations or airports. Life kind of stand stills. On some special holidays even parties are forbidden, unless it's a closed group.

  2. Some stores around here are closed on Sunday, especially in this little town, most everything is closed on Sunday except for the two small grocery stores. I think the Dollar General is open but half day. Feed store is closed.

    We don't sell alcholol in this town and it wasn't long ago that you could not buy alcohol in Grayson county--jsut a few years ago. long as the government doesn't tell me how I can and cannot worship, then we're good. Unfortunately, little by little.....

  3. That was pretty interesting! I had no idea!