Monday, December 14, 2009

around the bend: Sunday prohibition

Flashback to August... after an exhausting few days of unpacking a U-Haul truck and driving all around southern Michigan looking for a car to buy, Jessica, Matthew (Jess' bro) and I wanted to relax on the Lord's day. So into the local Supermarket we went, to pick up some cheese and bikkies and something to wash-it-down with. The Martin's supermarket has an impressive array of beer and wine and when its on sale, the prices are great. We had chosen one of the local ales to sample when we were confronted with the following sign:

What? A moment of culture-shock set-in to my Australian sense of what is good and right in the world...

Indiana is one of 15 American states which is still suffering from a legislative-hangover from the temperance movement of 1919-1933, which saw the prohibition of the production, transportation and sale of alcohol. Specific historical reasons why Sunday prohibition remains in Indiana are hard to pinpoint, but the general vibe I get is that "alcohol is generally bad" & "Sunday are reserved for the worship of the Lord," therefore the two should not be mixed.

If Indiana wants to take temperance on the Lord's day seriously, I could easily argue for and support a complete ban on Sunday trading, legislating a moderation on consumerism and 24/7 consumer convenience. But, from a Christian perspective it makes no sense whatsoever to have a HUGE supermarket open from 6am to Midnight selling everything, except beer and wine, since the first sign that the Kingdom of God had arrived was an abundant supply of choice wine (John 2).

We were comforted by the under-age check-out girl who assured us that we could simply drive 5 miles north to the Michigan border where a bunch of stores cater to the needs of deprived Indiana residents, on the Lord's day...

By the way, if you are looking for Beer at our local Martins from Monday to Saturday, you will fittingly find it in aisle 10, alongside the school supplies.

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