I try to make Sunday a day of rest, the Lord’s day of rest, and I usually follow my own rule. Having grown up in a little Dutch town in northern northern New Jersey that enforced Blue Laws, I am still very much affected by those “restrictions.” I no longer think of them as restrictions, largely because they work to my advantage, for a very good host of reasons. No alcohol sold (which meant the town drunks got drunk on Saturday night); no stores or businesses open; no form of working, outside or inside the house; no washing the car; no playing loud or secular music (which today are one and the same); no playing at all; and nothing that would deviate from the veneration of God:
Those laws, which were probably infringements upon First Amendment rights, have become, for me, reminders of a time and a place in my America when the laws of God were respected and upheld more than the laws of man. The libertarian in a very adolescent me chafed against those rules. One Sunday afternoon, after having gone to the morning worship service at the Baptist Church in another town, I got into my play clothes and left the house to play. I walked about a mile to my little, two-story red-brick grammar school. I then climbed up and over a chain-link fence to get into the playground so that I could play wall-ball. The police officer in his precinct across the street came right on over and told me that I was breaking the law. I informed him that there was no sign forbidding playing on this school playground on Sunday. That next week, a sign, a metal notice, was posted on the rather high chain-link fence, citing the town ordinance. The sign was thereafter called “Debra’s Sign.”
Whenever that pesky edict got taken down, I’ve not a clue. I was long gone by then from that repressive little town of hypocrites. I’d moved on to the big city, and then to other cities, and to large towns, urban areas that were just as repressive in their own ways, and, as a percentage of the population, filled with just as many hypocrites. I came of age, having learned that a lot of the world is pretty much the same everywhere. It’s how a person reacts to the unvarying nature of human nature that determines her real nature. In a land where God, country, the rule of law, law and order, order itself, have become savagely attacked by rigidly snooty Code Enforcers, the very type of person who once superciliously enforced Blue Laws, I have come full-circle in my life. My opposition, during my childhood, to the imposition of those rules based upon the doctrines of the Dutch Reformed Church was rooted in liberty. My opposition, during my adulthood, to the imposition of politically-correct social edicts, which have odiously attempted to replace civil law as well as religious tenets — is just as rooted in liberty.
The sentiments of Sunday, any Sunday, for me are aspirations for the morrow that God has planned: hours that honor the Ten Commandments, days that strive to be fruitful in fulfilling the will of God, and time that is spent wisely and well in the contemplation of an earth that is the Lord’s, not the tirade-stomping ground of feckless politicians, arrogant bureaucrats, as well as the nosy neighbors who seem to have followed me everywhere! Sunday sentiments are meant to soothe the soul, in the way that the reading of any Psalm so swiftly does for me.