After reading this article in the AJC, I have concluded that Georgia House Speaker Glenn Richardson has converted to Roman Catholicism.
Yes, I know, another post about repealing the Blue Laws. Bear with me.
I was particularly interested in these comments from Richardson:
“As a general rule, most people go to church of whatever faith on Sunday,” he said. “And we don’t sell beer on Sundays. It’s just one of those traditions. And I don’t think Republicans are doing anything other than trying to very carefully measure if we want to put that out there and let the citizens end that tradition.”
I find this emphasis on tradition particularly interesting. While I’m sure that Richardson is not a theologian, his emphasis on tradition as the primary reasoning for maintaining the blue laws is an odd justification in a heavily Protestant and Baptist state. (Disclaimer: I am Protestant and grew up Southern Baptist though I now am Presbyterian.)
Protestant theology has long maintained adherence to the concept of “Sola Scriptura”, that is, “by Scripture alone”. Among other things, Sola Scriptura means that the Bible is sufficient as the only source of Christian doctrine. In contrast, Roman Catholicism holds that the Bible must be considered in the context of tradition.
One would think that in a heavily Protestant state like Georgia that most appeals to maintain the blue laws would be couched in Scripture. Yet can anyone recall Sadie Field, Governor Purdue, Jerry Keen, David Schafer, or Glenn Richardson mentioning any verses from the Bible to support their position?
It is a delicious irony that Richardson has chosen to make his argument in Roman Catholic terms, particularly considering the unfortunate tradition of anti-Catholic rhetoric among many Protestants.
I am still waiting to hear the argument against selling alcohol on Sundays that is based upon the Bible but I suspect that I will be waiting a long time.