Skip to comments.Catholic Word of the Day: BLUE LAWS, 01-14-15
Posted on 01/14/2015 10:33:15 AM PST by Salvation
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Very strict legal prohibitions affecting moral conduct that originated with the Puritan adherents in England. The term "blue" was probably associated with constant and faithful persons who were considered "true blue."
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
Wondering what these might be?
NY and NJ have tons of blue laws. You can’t buy booze in a store on Sunday in NYC. In my Methodist-owned NJ town (well, I used to live there), the entire town was dry. People had to drink whiskey out of teacups.
In Pennsylvania they were opening a supermarket or selling beer on a Sunday.
This is one thing the bible should have sufficed to warn people against doing.
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To mention in advance one critical point of difference, the colonists assumed that there was a right way of doing things. Any modern reader who lingers on the passage I quote in the Introduction in which John Cotton evokes the colonists' determination to establish "purity" is abruptly confronted with this assumption. Purity is purity, and purity is God's law, a premise Cotton translated into the argument that Scripture mandated how the true church should be organized and religion practiced....
....the Puritanism in these pages does not coincide with the entrenched opinion that the movement was authoritarian or "theocratic." For persons of this mind-set, the most "Puritan" aspect of my story may be the migrants' confidence in the "saints" and the attempts to establish "godly rule" (Chapter Three). But in contrast to interpretations that focus on social discipline or the suppressing of dissent, I bring other aspects of Puritanism as we now understand it into the story, including the currents of popular or insurgent religion that can be discerned in fears of "arbitrary" rule and ecclesiastical "tyranny," the emphasis on participation, and the importance given to consent. Nowhere do I presume that Puritanism embodied a particular political ideology, and nowhere is it translated into social control or top-down authoritarianism, for reasons I spell out in the Introduction and in more detail in succeeding chapters. -- David D. Hall, Preface, A Reforming People: Puritanism and the Transformation of Public Life in New EnglandAfred A. Knopf, New York, 2011.
...the Puritans had "a more elevated and complete view" of our social duties than the Europeans of that time. They took care of the poor, maintained their highways, kept careful records and registries, secured law and order, and, most of all, provided education for everyone through high school. The purpose of universal education was that everyone should be able to read the Bible to know what's most important his or her duties to their Creator for themselves. Everyone must read in order that no one be deceived or suckered by others. This noncondescending egalitarianism was the first source of the American popular enlightenment that had so many practical benefits. "Puritan civilization in North American," our outstanding novelist/essayist Marilynne Robinson observes, "quickly achieved unprecedented levels of literacy, longevity, and mass prosperity, or happiness, as it was called in those days"....
....In Robinson's Calvinist view, generosity, liberality, and nobility are all synonyms in the Bible, and they express even better than charity the virtue that distinguishes who we are. What's left our culture, with our surrender of the common celebration of Sunday what impressed Tocqueville as our most precious inheritance from the Puritans is the respect, and so the time, for the disciplined reading and reflection required for us to practice the social, civilized virtues that are the truest source of our happiness.
-- from the thread Thanking the Puritans on Thanksgiving: Pilgrims' politics and American virtue
My Dad was self-employed; he worked long into the evenings 5 days a week; half a day on Saturday, but Sunday was ours! Mass and family time!
That's so cute! I'm picturing the two little ladies on "The Waltons" that made "the recipe"! Thanks for sharing that!
Connecticut was nicknamed ‘The Blue Law State’.
Generally, “blue laws” refer to requirements that stores be closed (or certain business not transacted) on Sunday.
Yes, I suppose New England was the home of blue laws.
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