Oh, the craziness that exists in my home state of South Carolina.
Over the weekend, I visited family and friends who live in Lexington County. I was reminded of a ridiculous set of laws I had forgotten even existed. The laws in question are known as “Blue Laws” and were originally enacted to prevent businesses from opening on Sundays, to allow for employees to attend church.
Over the years, much of the state has eased or thrown out blue laws altogether. For example, in Charleston County, I can go to a Super Wal-Mart at any hour of the day or night, and buy anything they sell. (The one possible exemption to this is alcohol, but since I almost never buy even a bottle of wine, I wouldn’t know, anyway.)
While I was shopping in this Lexington County Super Wal-Mart, I noticed that sections of the store had been roped off with a single line of thin yellow rope. I didn’t really think anything about that, since most of the time when I’m in a Wal-Mart store, something is always blocked off, either for floor cleaning or restocking. I got the items I needed and proceeded to the checkouts. That’s when it was pointed out that I wouldn’t be able to buy the majority of what was in my buggy until 1:30 that afternoon.
At the time, it was 12:15.
Ironically, on my way to checkouts, I stopped and spoke to a man named Tony, who attends my parents’ church. He’s a worship leader and Sunday School teacher. He was all suited up, and clearly had come from church. So my shopping in the store at that time would have been absolutely possible even if I had attended church myself that morning.
Back in Charleston, my pastor has a great phrase for the kinds of people who would enact Blue Laws to begin with. He refers to them as “J-FARS.” That’s Jesus Followers Acting Really Stupidly.”
Does anyone believe that Jesus really cares whether I buy a pair of khakis at 12:15pm or 1:30pm on a Sunday? Wouldn’t He be much more interested in whether or not I believe in Him? (And contrary to what some overly-righteous might have you believe, you do not have to be in church every time the door opens just to do that.)
Blue Laws were never a good idea. But in this day of churches offering multiple worship times, plus the internet offering new and innovative ways to worship, they’re now not only a bad idea, but a hopelessly backward example of J-FARS.
They need to go. At once.
Can I get an “Amen?”