Monday, November 5, 2012

Sunday Closing: My Final Thoughts

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time since March of this year researching “Blue Laws”, dialoging with supporters and detractors. I’ve found clear and overwhelming support for Sunday closure laws from any virtually any perspective you wish do choose. No need for logical gymnastics, no need to parse words and stretch points, simple clear common sense support from many, many sources.

Residents of Highland can freely choose to support or oppose the change to Sunday opening based on what they feel will be best for the community. We have the freedom to make that choice. Business rights do not trump the rights of residents. The claim if you don’t support Sunday opening you oppose “liberty” is not supported well by the Constitution, the Founders, or the sources they used in framing the Constitution.

  1. The Founders and original states were unambiguous in their support for Sunday restrictions on business. For example, Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia, famed for his “give me liberty or give death” speech signed into Virginia law a piece of legislation entitled “An Act for Punishing Sabbath Breakers and Disturbers of the Peace”. This was written by Thomas Jefferson and introduced to the legislature by James Madison.
  2. The sources the Founders drew from in framing the Constitution clearly articulate the concept of delegated authority from the people to the societies they join in exchange for benefits received. The Constitution itself is an example of this concept in that the states delegated limited authority to the Federal government and retained all other powers and rights for themselves and their people.
  3. The US Supreme Court has ruled multiple times on this issue; always on the side of the right for states, counties, and communities to establish Sunday closing ordinances.
  4. Utah Sate Code gives municipalities broad authority to regulate business practices within their boundaries. Sunday closing clearly falls within the bounds of our authority as a city.

Some proponents of Sunday opening have chosen to use their view of LDS doctrine to insinuate that those who support Sunday closing are somehow violating their faith. However, there are so many statements and actions to the contrary by church leaders, speaking in their role as leaders, that this argument is clearly unsupported. They claim also that closing supporters are forcing their faith on others. A quick check on the places where Sunday closing is employed around the world does not support this line of thinking. There are documented tangible benefits that accrue to communities that take one day a week off.

We each need to vote based on what we believe serves the community best, whichever side of the issue we are on. I do not believe we are obligated to vote on one side or the other to support liberty or agency. The simple act of voting supports both.

I do however, believe supporters of Sunday opening are right. This is about freedom! The freedom for Highland residents to choose their destiny.

Personally, I’m voting Against Prop 6. I like Highland as it is, I’m proud to live in a community that chose to take one day a week off from 7x24 commercialism. We moved here because of the unique environment. I see no compelling reason to try to change it.

Please remember to vote on Tuesday. If you are not sure of your polling location click here.

If you want details and links to sources please refer my earlier posts “Can Communities Enact Sunday Closing Ordinances?” and “Can Communities Enact Sunday Closing Ordinances–Part II.”

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