North Dakota recently had a vote over whether or not to repeal a “blue law,” which requires businesses to be closed Sunday mornings until noon, and the discussion in the state house of representatives was, well, interesting. Certainly, discussions over the merits of laws that have their basis in a particular religion (not working on the Christian Sabbath), will have some arguments that not everyone can get on board with, but this one went in a totally different direction.
Rep. Vernon Laning didn’t get into religion at all. He began his statement by saying, “I don’t know about you, but my wife has no problem spending everything I earn in six and a half days.” In case you don’t believe that a government official would say something like this in 2017, you can watch it in the player above.
Rep. Sebastian Ertelt got things back on track by bringing God into the mix, but not in the way you’d expect. Instead of saying that business owners should be able to go to church without worrying about losing business to competitors, Ertelt said, “The need to worship on Sundays is actually a right of God’s and we ought to adhere to that right that He has.” You heard it here first, folks: God is an American citizen and He has a right to be worshipped, but only on Sundays.
Another comment would have stolen the show at any other meeting, but after the other two, it almost sounded like breath of fresh air. Almost. Rep. Bernie Satrom started by saying, “Your spouse is important to your career.” Alright, I’m listening. Quality time with loved ones is important. Wait, he kept going? “…spending time with your wife, your husband, making him breakfast, bringing it to him in bed….” Damn it, Bernie! You lost me there. Way to turn a heartwarming picture of family bonding into a cliche of female domestic subservience.
In the end, the new bill passed by a slim margin of 48-46, effectively repealing the North Dakota blue law. Businesses will be free to open Sunday mornings if they choose, or remain closed if they so desire.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.