| I keep hearing about the “Religious Right” and how those southern, red-neck, yahoo, Bible thumpers hi-jacked this past Presidential election.
Bullocks!! Connecticut, comparatively, is one of the most religious states in the Republic. Take the Super Bowl as an example.
While most of the rest of the country runs out late morning to grab their beer and varying adult libations for the game, Nutmeggers have to run out the night before. That’s right; we still have Blue laws on our books. There are no alcohol sales (with a few minor exceptions) on Sundays in Connecticut. During the week, we actually close down retail alcohol sales at 8PM. How’s that for religious intrusiveness?
Southern states such as Georgia and Virginia used to follow these archaic, yet divine, laws from above. However, those red-neck southern boys realized that this is the 21st century and have reached a higher plateau of sophistication. They erased them from the books. Connecticut, on the other hand, not only honors these religious binders, we invented them.
“Blue Law” originates from an anonymous pamphlet published back in 1762 titled “The Real Advantages Which Ministers and People May Enjoy, Especially in the Colonies, by Conforming to the Church of England
.” The laws were, eventually, listed in another publication of 1782 titled “A General History of Connecticut
.” The original version of these laws was to regulate public morality. They were, further, embellished by Anglican Samuel Peters who was ticked off because he got exiled from Connecticut for showing such allegiance to the British Crown.
As a result he exploited the Blue Laws in his writings from London to the extent of claiming regulated hair length, relationships, no running on the Sabbath, no walking in the garden on the Sabbath, and so on. Punishments for breaking these laws included excommunication, confiscation of property, fines, banishment, whipping, cutting off of the ears, burning of the tongue, or death.
Really? Not really.
Peters, as noted above, enjoyed showing Connecticut in a negative light. Also, he was a budding writer who wanted to be noticed. As they say in the main stream media these days, “if it bleeds it leads.” Little has changed. This becomes clearer when you add some of Peters’ other claims to the mix. According to the good Reverend, the Connecticut River flowed so fast in places that it could carry a crowbar downstream. He also described a procession of frogs, four miles in length that once descended upon the town of Windham. Not likely.
No one knows for sure why these religion dripping laws are called “Blue.” There are many assumptions. However, nothing concrete has come to light. The origin of the concept, however, has been nailed down. They are the work of the Connecticut based Puritans. Their simple, plain, and strict religious approach to life took root in the 1700’s and some of those original restrictions still hold water. At least, they still hold water in Connecticut, one of the most religious and morals forcing states in the country.
It’d be nice to be down south where they don’t let the church run your life and screw up your Super Bowl plans.