North Dakota considers lifting a Sunday ban

There was a time, whippersnappers, when we couldn’t go shopping on Sunday in these parts. The churches ruled retail, at least on that day. Basically, we were then what North Dakota is now.

Some people in North Dakota would like to be a little more Minnesotan, at least on that day. So an effort is underway in the legislative assembly to repeal the law that requires businesses to stay closed, the Grand Forks Herald reports.

“Even though we want to make sure that we protect people’s ability to have time to practice their religion or spend time with their family … it’s not the responsibility of the North Dakota state government to say, ‘This is the time,’” Rep. Shannon Roers Jones, R-Fargo, told the House Industry, Business and Labor Committee during a hearing on Wednesday.

It’s going to be a tough sell. The committee took no action on the proposal. Two years ago, a similar bill was narrowly defeated.

The governor is for repeal, but the pastors are not.

“Will it make us a better society if we can buy anything we want seven days a week?” said the Rev. Douglas VanderMeulen of the Community Baptist Church in Fargo.

Indeed, a lot of North Dakotans are using the morning for rest and reflection, but many are doing so in the parking lots of stores while waiting for them to open.

Roers Jones says it goes against Republican values of personal responsibility and limited government to keep the restrictions in place.