Indiana State Law Prohibiting the Selling of Alcohol on Sundays.
Separation of Church and State: The role religion plays in regard to this law.
Living in Chicago all my life, there was never even a thought to what Sundays would be if no alcohol could be sold by vendors. However, attending college in Indiana has made this once hypothetical situation a reality. I come from an Irish Catholic family, and it is not uncommon for my parents to head off to the liquor store after 5:15 mass and buy alcohol in order to make themselves a drink when they get home. This would not be the case if my family and I resided in the state of Indiana. Sundays are generally revered as a holy day regardless of religious denomination, and so one cannot help but wonder if religion had played a role or still does play a role in the enacting and perseverance of this "blue law.".
In order to investigate this notion more thoroughly, I decided to interview someone knowledgeable in Catholic law. I interviewed Fr. Andrew Pavlak from the St. Thomas Aquinas: The Catholic Center for Students located on the Purdue University campus. He stated that while some of Paul's letters and the Proverbs discourage drunkenness, there is nothing in the Bible that prohibits the drinking of alcohol on Sundays. Catechism of the Catholic Church testifies this though:.
The third commandment of the Decalogue recalls the holiness of the Sabbath: "The seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord." On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are to refrain from engaging in work or activities hinder the worship owed to God, the joy proper to the Lord's Day, the performance of the works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body. With temperance and charity the faithful will see to it that they avoid the excesses and violence sometimes associated with popular leisure activities (580, 584-585).