Tuesday, July 31, 2012 | 35 comments

Keep the Sabbath Day Holy, Or Else!

By Jeremy Lyman

Audio Recording

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

View our iTunes Podcast

With a vote of 3-2, the Highland City Council recently lifted longstanding restrictions that prohibited businesses from operating on Sunday.  After much debate and community input, councilmen Tom Butler, Scott Smith, and Tim Irwin ultimately voted in favor of the measure.  Their votes were consistent with the most fundamental principles of private property rights and liberty. Individuals and businesses have the right to peaceably do with their own property as they wish. In a previous post, I argued that all of our rights essentially originate with basic private property rights.  It is essential that each of us understand and protect these rights, even when we know that others will exercise their rights in ways that we would choose not to.

In the case at hand, we can see that this measure supports private property rights on many levels. The most fundamental private property right is the right to control one’s own body, and as an extension of that, control one’s own actions. If an individual owns and operates a business in Highland, restricting his right to use his property on Sunday is a violation of that fundamental right. Private property rights also demand that individuals be free to enter into transactions involving their property with consenting consumers as they wish. An individual has the right to peaceably and freely trade that which is his so long as he does not infringe on the rights of another. Only if and when such a violation occurs may government legitimately intervene.

People typically accomplish trade by using money. A person will accept money as trade for his own labor, or for the goods and services that he produces with his labor.  He will then use that money to trade for the goods and services or labor provided by other people. The government has no legitimate authority to interfere with these peaceful exchanges.

The term private property is often associated with privately owned “real” property. If a man owns a business in Highland, it is his right to operate that business as he sees fit. It is his right to have complete control over his own property, his own building, his own business. No man or institution of men may rightly restrict what he does with that building or when he does it as long as he, in turn, respects the rights of others.

The councilmen that approved this measure are to be applauded.  They clearly understand these basic principles. Smith offered the following as part of the reason that he supported the ordinance:  “Although I myself would not shop on Sunday, I do not feel I can tell others whether or not they can shop.” This statement is in perfect harmony with principles of private property rights and liberty.

The councilmen and the citizens that oppose the ordinance (meaning they support the previous restriction to Sunday business) claim to do so because of their religious convictions. I think it is worth studying what some leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (to which these individuals belong) have said about the topic.

On May 13, 1995, during a regional priesthood leadership conference for the LDS Church, then-President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke about the importance of keeping the Sabbath Day holy, which is a basic doctrine in the Christian faith.  He stated, in part, “I wish I had the power to convert this whole Church to the observance of the Sabbath. I know our people would be more richly blessed of the Lord if they walked in faithfulness in the observance of the Sabbath.”

Note the emphasis on converting people to the practice. There is certainly no mention of compelling people to obey. And of course there wouldn’t be, because another basic doctrine in the LDS Church champions the concept of moral agency. Leaders of the LDS Church have taught, since its formation in 1830, that we were put on this earth to choose for ourselves, and that in order to follow God’s commandments, man must have the option to break those commandments. In fact, LDS doctrine suggests that Satan’s plan was to deny men their unimpeded exercise of this agency.  The concept of moral agency is inseparable from God’s plan, according to the Church’s teachings.

A few years after the leadership conference referenced above, Elder Earl C. Tingey of the Presidency of the Seventy for the LDS Church, who had accompanied President Hinckley to the leadership conference, wrote about the same topic. He quoted some of the things that President Hinckley had said (including the quote above), and further expounded on the subject of keeping the Sabbath Day holy.  He spoke of the importance of setting an example so that others would see how LDS members observe the Sabbath.  He followed that up with this qualifying statement: “We should simply observe the Sabbath day in the proper manner because we know it is correct and because we receive personal joy and strength from doing so.”

This sentence states clearly that people should choose for themselves whether and how to observe the Sabbath day.

He spoke of the example set by the early Mormon pioneers. Here again, Elder Tingey quoted from another talk by President Hinckley:

May I take you back 142 years when there was, of course, no tabernacle here, nor temple, nor Temple Square. On July 24, 1847, the pioneer company of our people came into this valley.  An advance group had arrived a day or two earlier.  Brigham Young arrived on Saturday.  The next day, Sabbath services were held both in the morning and in the afternoon.  There was no hall of any kind in which to meet.  I suppose that in the blistering heat of that July Sunday they sat on the tongues of their wagons and leaned against the wheels while the Brethren spoke.  The season was late, and they were faced with a gargantuan and immediate task if they were to grow seed for the next season.  But President Young pleaded with them not to violate the Sabbath then or in the future.

Elder Tingey again added to President Hinckley’s words with the following insight:  “Imagine how tempting it must have been for our pioneer forefathers to break the Sabbath day. Their survival depended upon the food they could grow and harvest. Yet their leaders counseled them to exercise faith in the promises of the Lord and to respect the Sabbath day.”

We see here an example of those who observed the Sabbath day. And we see that their example is of importance and their actions were righteous only because they had the option to break the Sabbath.

One of the councilmen that opposed the ordinance (and supports restricting business on Sunday), Councilman Braithwaite, said, “This is not keeping anyone from shopping on Sunday. Anyone in Highland can be at Smith’s or Walmart within five minutes. We need to choose our values and stick to them.”

I’m honestly not even sure what his argument is. Perhaps the councilman is suggesting that he needs to force people to observe the Sabbath within the boundaries of his city, but by so doing he isn’t really forcing them to observe the Sabbath because they can go to a neighboring community to break it?  Is that the argument?  And what of those that work in Highland?  Would he make the same argument, namely, that because of the city’s arbitrary restrictions anyone that wants to break the Sabbath should just go to work in a neighboring community? What about those that own property in Highland?  They can hardly be expected to open their businesses in a neighboring community.

Whatever the logic is, apparently Councilman Braighwaite is not alone.  Highland resident Rod Mann has launched a counter-measure to reverse the city council’s decision. His group is seeking the signatures of Highland residents on a petition to put the issue on the ballot for the general election in November.  Mann argues, “I value the shared day of rest.  It is one of the reasons we moved here. It is nice to have a breather.”  I’m not sure how having other people working and/or shopping on Sunday really affects his day of rest, or his breather, but apparently his group cannot rest knowing that others are breaking the Sabbath within city limits.

He further asserts, “I think most people know this is a change to our community values and that should not be decided by three council members, it should be decided by the community.  I want the residents to vote.” Apparently he does not support the representative form of government upon which America was founded—or perhaps he does support it to the extent that it supports his social and religious preferences. Note that he minimizes the decision by claiming that it was made by three council members, when in fact there were five that voted.  This argument betrays the hypocrisy of claiming that it will be decided by “the community”.  It will be decided by the majority of voters within the community. If his group prevails, then the majority of Highland voters will strip the remaining residents (in the minority) from their right to choose what they do with their own bodies, what they do with their own money, and what they do with their private property.

Though many proponents of this “blue law” are arguing its validity from a religious standpoint, the principles of the very gospel to which they adhere suggests that they are on the wrong side of the issue. The doctrine of the LDS Church supports promoting its tenets through persuasion, and not through force. Religion aside, the law itself is illegitimate in that it relies upon an authority that individuals do not themselves have, and which they therefore cannot delegate to their government.

We accordingly urge Highland residents to oppose the effort to re-institute a city ordinance that restricts their fellow residents’ rights.

Tagged in: , , , , , ,

About the Author

Jeremy Lyman is Director of the Center for Private Property. For the past nine years he has held a real estate license in the State of Utah and has served on the board of directors for the Salt Lake Board of Realtors®, the Utah Association of Realtors®, and the National Association of Realtors®. He is currently the CEO for Blue Mountain Hospital, a Critical Access Hospital located in Blanding, Utah.


32 comments
RodMann
RodMann

 @Jumpin Jehosaphat In 1786 Virginia passed “An Act for Establishing Religious Freedom.” This statute, originally drafted by Thomas Jefferson in 1779 and then later with the assistance of James Madison it was passed in 1786. This “act” forbade Virginia from collecting taxes to be used to pay religious teachers. in 1785 Madison introduced another bill drafted by Jefferson in 1779 entitled “A Bill for Punishing Disturbers of Religious Worship and Sabbath Breakers” which includes the following language: “If any person on Sunday shall himself be found labouring at his own or any other trade or calling, or shall employ his apprentices, servants or slaves in labour, or other business, except it be in the ordinary household offices of daily necessity, or other work of necessity or charity, he shall forfeit the sum of ten shillings for every such offence, deeming every apprentice, servant, or slave so employed, and every day he shall be so employed as constituting a distinct offence." Source: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, University of Virginia Press (Rotunda)

 

See also http://www.covenantnews.com/davidnew040312.htm relative to the above reference. Note, I did a lot of research on this topic and this provides more detail without being overly lengthy. 

 

Relative to "within thy gates" you can look athttp://bible.cc/exodus/20-10.htm and see bible translations that use phrases like:

- This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you.

- and the foreigners living in your city must never do any work

 

Commentaries that state:

- Thy stranger that is within thy gates - Not a "stranger," as is an unknown person, but a "lodger," or "sojourner." In this place it denotes one who had come from another people to take up his permanent abode among the Israelites, and who might have been well known to his neighbors. That the word did not primarily refer to foreign domestic servants (though all such were included under it) is to be inferred from the term used for "gates," signifying not the doors of a private dwelling, but the gates of a town or camp.

- or the stranger that is within thy gates: who was a proselyte of the gate, and not of righteousness; as for the proselyte of righteousness that was circumcised, and professed the Jewish religion, about him there could be no doubt concerning his rest on this day; but the proselyte of the gate, his case was not so clear, and therefore is particularly expressed; and by which description it should seem that he was not obliged by this law, had he not been within their gates, or a sojourner in anyone of their cities;

- You can also check out "The Works of Nathaniel Lardner" http://books.google.com/books?id=PZsTAAAAYAAJ&lpg=PA491&ots=q9qNVjguO2&dq=nor%20thy%20stranger%20that%20is%20within%20thy%20gates&pg=PA499#v=onepage&q=%22within%20thy%20gates%22&f=false

 

You may also want to check my blog where I have two posts regarding Sunday Closing. The 2nd post has an extensive list of references. http://mannkindperspectives.blogspot.com/search?q=sunday+closing+ordinances

 

Jumpin Jehosaphat
Jumpin Jehosaphat

Rod, in defining "within thy gates," you cite various "Old Testament commentaries." Jeremy, you cite nobody. Would either of you care to cite specific sources for your respective definitions?

Rod, also interested in citations for Madison/Jefferson specific support for Sunday closing. Jefferson especially.

RodMann
RodMann

@Jeremy. To start with the Highland ordinance which was replaced by the city council did not place any restriction on days or time of operation of home based business. That said do you really mean that the citizens of a municipality, county or state cannot control by force behavior of citizens in their home? If so you are saying anyone can beat their wife, sexual abuse children, distribute child pornography, plan acts of terrorism ... as long as they do it within the confines of their home.With respect to private property the local and state governments do have the right to implement restrictions on private property when those actions infringe on the safety or well being of the community.With respect to the phrase "within thy gates" I believe you'll find as I did when looking at multiple commentaries that the phrase is generally viewed as referencing the gates of a city rather than the door of a home.Like @Jumpin Jehosaphat I stand with the founders Madison and Jefferson on the Sunday closing issue,. supported and/or wrote state legislation restriction Sunday business. Both are recognized as experts on liberty and the constitution so I'm deaf to the claim that this is a "false" appeal to authority.And since you raised religion with respect to this issue.I also stand with Elder Scott (stake conference Saturday evening session which I attended), Joseph Smith (refer to Nauvoo ordinances), Elder Holland (see recent CES fireside speech), Elder Mark E. Peterson (Nov 1979 conference address) and President Benson (according to my father who was a very close personal friend)  to name a few. And I guess with the God of the old Testament if the consensus view of old Testament Commentaries are to be believed that "gates" refer to gates of the city. Oh and by the way let's include the first presidency. According to Daniel Ludlow in his 4 volume History of the Church. Here is the direct quote from page 645 "In 1968 the Church became directly involved in Utah's political process by openly opposing liquor-by-the-drink. It has also made public pronouncements in favor of Sunday closing laws and state right-to-work laws and against state lotteries."  Most of the above are, within the LDS community, recognized "experts" with respect to God's views and therefore again any claims of false appeal to authority are deaf to my ears.

Jumpin Jehosaphat
Jumpin Jehosaphat

@Jeremy: Hey, good answer, thanks. I do still support the right of local Highlanders to choose their own local laws, even religious ones. I guess I side with the Founders on that...

Jeremy Lyman
Jeremy Lyman

"within thy gates".. private property. Individuals have the right to control their own private property, and probably the responsibilty to oversee the activities that take place in their own home. No one has the natural right to control by force what others do (or allow to be done) in their own homes or on their own private property..

Jumpin Jehosaphat
Jumpin Jehosaphat

Since he brought up the religious side of the argument (appropriate, considering the ordinance itself), how does the author feel about the words "...nor thy stranger that is within thy gates?" In a context much greater than tiny little Highland, this kind of Sabbath "ordinance" (multiple meanings) was not only justifiable, it was required by God, as part of the "Top 10," which is the basis for English Common Law, which is the basis for Western law, including American Constitutional law.

interested citizen
interested citizen

There are so many misconceptions here that I am not sure where to start.  This vote is about what we want within our community, having a common day of rest being only one of them, no matter what our religious affiliation may be.  Many moved to Highland because we preferred a bedroom community with not a lot of commercial establishments.  This is possible because there are enough commercial establishments in surrounding communities that it isn't necessary for us to have it all here in Highland and we don't want all the commercial here in Highland.  This is common throughout many places and it has nothing to do with keeping the sabbath day holy.  Look at Henderson, NV outside of Las Vegas and many other communities as such.  So, Councilman Braithwaite was suggesting that we don't have to have all establishments open seven days a week here because these things are available in surrounding communities.  It has to do with the feel of our community and the fact that it is not necessary to change that feel because all of those things are available in surrounding areas. 

The whole argument for opening businesses on Sundays seems to be that we need more revenue but there is nothing to show that any of the businesses would even bring in more revenue.  Many national big box stores within Utah close their doors on Sunday, when they don't anywhere else in the country, because they lose money.  5-10 years ago when Circuit City was located in Orem, I had a friend that worked there and they shut down on Sundays because they were losing money.  A big box that closed nowhere else in the country, closed their doors on Sunday in Orem.  Not because of keeping the Sabbath day holy, but because they lost money.  So, that argument for opening on Sunday just doesn't fly with me. 

And the idea of letting the market drive whether the businesses stay open on Sunday has faults as well.  You talk about the property rights of the businesses.  Many of the businesses within Highland located here because they don't want to be open on Sunday.  But, they are a franchisee of a bigger chain and if the law allows them to be open on Sunday, the larger chain under which they are franchised will say they need to open up on Sunday.  I think we need to understand that those that have located to Highland possibly have done so because they do not want to be open on Sunday. 

The other idea that "I am not going to shop on Sundays but why should I keep others from doing so because it doesn't affect me" doesn't fly as well.  We forget that there are people that work in these establishments and are doing so because they know that if they work in them they will not have to work on Sunday and they don't want to.  It is a common day of rest.  But, if we compel these businesses to open on Sunday because their larger chain says they must, then we are also making those that sought jobs at these establishments to work on Sunday against their desires as well.  I read a comment that said, "Well the employees can all just say they won't work on Sunday and then it would force the establishment to close."  Obviously these people have never needed a job so badly that they just had to keep the job regardless of whether it meant working during undesirable hours.  If you need the job, you are going to work on Sunday rather than getting fired.  So, this will have an impact on people that don't desire to shop or work on Sunday.  And those that do want to work and shop on Sunday can do so in surrounding communities.  We don't have to have all the commercial conveniences in Highland.  Most of us moved here for quite the opposite and would like to keep it that way. 

RodMann
RodMann

How about we circle back to your original argument that individual property rights are unalienable unless they infringe on other peoples unalienable rights to life, liberty or property. Let me ask who determines what constitutes and infringement? The answer is the people via their elected official and or their direct vote. In Highland the people will get to decide the question in this case. If the petition is approved, And again this is as it should be.

RodMann
RodMann

BTW the caption is very misleading. The actions being take now are to put the question on the ballot for the residents to make the decisions. If the residents elect to maintain the current Sunday closing policy no one is prevented from shopping elsewhere. Depending on your religion keeping the Sabbath day holy can be a much broader concept.

RodMann
RodMann

Bill the information in not anecdotal it is accurate. The bottom line is that the citizens of Highland have the right to petition their local government regarding a decision and as a community we do have the right legal and moral to determine make decisions as to what ordinances will be enacted to protect everyone's life, liberty, and property. If as a community we believe the having stores open after midnight negatively impacts residents life, liberty or property then such an ordinance can be enacted (most cities have such ordinances). If the community feels the same about Sunday then it has the right to make that decision.Taking the position to let businesses be open and let the customers decide in effect delegates the decision to the customer base of a business, which extends outside the bounds of the community in which it is located. It is a community decision and the residents of Highland have every right and the responsibility to make the decision. Everyone I have spoken with who has signed the petition to put the question on the ballot will support the eventual outcome regardless of their personal opinion.

BillNelson
BillNelson

Even if your anecdotal evidence based franchise arugment were true, it doesn't necessarily follow that every franchise that will be forced to open on Sunday will lose money.  Also, if this happens (highly unlikely) you also have to further assume that the corporations will willingly still keep the doors open sunday even though its operating at a loss.  So basically you are saying, the corporations bylaws are so strict that it would rather close the doors on an otherwise profitable franchise because they loose money on sunday?  Give me a break...Why not just continue to voluntarily close on sunday and keep the otherwise thriving busness making money the other 6 days of the week?  Also, why haven't these gradfathered businesses not shuttered the doors?  If they are allowed to be open on sunday they are obviously making money, so why is it such a stretch to assume the same thing wont happen with the other businesses?  Even if I granted creedende to this highly unlikely scenario, it proves that laws like this distort market incentives and benefits. The principle at play is not weather or not communities have the right to enforce standards, rather it is weather or not communities have the right to enforce standards that voilate property.  What if the community standard was that every first born male had to have a tatoo of krishna on their chest?  Sure it would be the community standard, but the rights of the first born males would be compromised.  That's why we have a republic not a democracy.  Democracy stamps out individual freedom by majority vote.  Laws applied that punish someone who hasn't violated the rights of others are not valid. Did I say all court rulings, words of the founders, and scriptures werw wrong?  Hardly, what I did point out is that justifying current actions based soley on the actions of the past is wrong.  Well the founders had laws prohibiting sale on sunday so it must be correct.  They also owned slaves too.  One doesn't make the other correct.  And yes, the Nauvoo law was wrong too.... GASP!  There is nothing worng with standards as long as you don't enforce that standard with coercion or voilence.  Have an un-written comunity standard that says you don't open businesses on sunday.  Complain about those who do, boycott those that do, but don't walk in there with a gun and threaten to throw them in jail.  That's wrong.

RodMann
RodMann

Bill, TJ's comment is not an assumption and certainly not ridiculous it is a statement of fact. There are several franchises in Highland that due to the agreement they have in place (not law) with the franchise owner will be forced to be open on Sunday. This has been confirmed by a Highland resident who has spoke with the corporations that own the franchises. All businesses presently located in Highland, with the exception of the 2 who were here before the city was incorporated and are therefore exempt from Sunday restrictions, opened knowing about the Sunday restrictions. They were not forced to locate here they chose to locate here.The principle in play here is whether or not communities have the right to set standards. If standards or laws could only be implemented that are based on someone's view has to what an individual has the right to do himself then much of our criminal could would likely need to be thrown away. Do I have a right to tell someone else they can't lie (I don't think so)?  Yet we have perjury laws in place the include punishments I as an individual do not have the right to implement.  Do I as an individual have the right to tell someone what speed they can drive? No but there are speed limits? Do I as an individual have the right to keep someone from building a fire in the wilderness? Yet we have a current restriction on fires throughout the state and county.

 

Referring to Supreme Court rulings, the words of the Founders, and actions of all the 13 colonies, and the 13 original states; their legislatures and governors is a false appeal to authority? I suppose then that history has no value nor are the scriptures of any worth and referring to them must also be logical fallacies. Why should the opinion of an individual today be any more valid than the views of hundreds who have passed away who by their experience, education, and actions were more than qualified to have a view on the meaning of the U.S. Constitution and the proper role of government.

BillNelson
BillNelson

TJ's comment is ridiculous and full of false assumptions.  1. Just because a franchise owner is no longer threatened by law to close his doors on Sunday does not mean he is now forced to open them.  If the franchise bylaws are so rigid that they don't allow the franchisee to operate at a profit (in this case, not making enough profit on Sundays, which itself is an assumption) then it is the fault of the idiotic franchise laws, not the negation of town ordinances.  I mean its almost a laughable argument.

 

Rodmann's arguments are a little better but not much.  Most of his arguments are logical fallacies like appeal to authority.  Mr. Lyman is arguing principles not precedent.  Just because something has been sanctioned by the supreme court or the constitution or one of the founders, doesn't necessarily make it correct.  Philosophical arguments based on principles are designed to get at truth, not what is right based on what has been done in the past.  All laws, yes even ordinances are guns.  If you don't want to have your business open on Sunday, that's great.  Even if I disagreed with you I would never dream of using force against you to prohibit that choice, would you then extend to me the same courtesy?  If not, then lets stop pretending this is a debate.  You have to be logically consistent or your ideas are bankrupt.

RodMann
RodMann

Oh and one other item for the record. The 5th ordinance passed by the Nauvoo City Council June of 1849 included a restriction on Sunday business operations.

RodMann
RodMann

Jeremy, just to be clear it is not only Sunday business restrictions that you oppose it is all ordinances which impact private property, right. This would include among others: building codes, creation of commercial and residential zone, nose restrictions, regulations that restrict monopolies, regulations that deal with hazardous waste disposal ... .

 

With respect to Sunday business restrictions (aka Blue Laws) the current and historical facts are:1) They are not unconstitutional. The US Supreme Court has ruled on this multiple times including McGowan v. Maryland in 1961.2) All 13 colonials enacted "Blue Laws" of one form or another prior to the ratification of the Constitution and afterwards. This would mean that the state legislatures passed and the governor signed those laws in each of the states.3) In 1785 As a member of the Virginia legislature in Madison introduced a bill entitled “A bill for punishing … Sabbath Breakers”.

4) In 1799 the Virginia legislature purged all laws inconsistent with "An Act for Establishing Religious Freedom" (drafted by Jefferson in 1779 and enacted in 1786). "Sabbath" restrictions remained in place.5) Current Utah Code gives authority to municipalities the authority to enact ordinances to "...  improve the morals, peace and good order, comfort, convenience, and aesthetics of each municipality and its present and future inhabitants and businesses ...". See Utah Code Title 10 Chapter 9A Section 102.If you wish to eliminate restrictions on private property by the state or municipalities then your only real recourse is to work with the legislature to eliminate or restrict the statutes which allow it. There may be specific regulations which may be found either unconstitutional on the basis of the Federal or State Constitution (Sunday closing will not be one of those) but the law will need to be changed to prohibit them in general.The right to petition decisions of city councils is a right granted to all citizens of the state I think it is a stretch to intimate that anyone exercising that right opposes the representative form of government established by the Founders. Didn't the petition the King relative to taxation among other things prior to declaring independence. It seems to me that this is exactly in keeping with the spirit of the Founders.Since you are quoting general authorities let me share a quote from Elder Richard G. Scott from a Saturday night Stake Conference session in 2011 which I attended. When asked what he thought about Highland's Sunday closing laws his reply was that he thought that "we should fight to keep it as long as we can." He was likely sharing a personal view but it was certainly unambiguous.

Jeremy Lyman
Jeremy Lyman

TJ,

 

That is unfortunate for those franchise owners, but they voluntarily entered into a franchise agreement.  They don't have an inherent "right to stay closed" on Sunday since they voluntarily entered into a franchise agreement with another private party.  It is that agreement, which they voluntarily entered into, which will require them to open on Sunday if the city removes the previous restriction.The city should not arbitrarily set policy based on the perceived interests of a subset of individuals.  The best policy is one of freedom for everyone.  As to your point that some nebulous "they" want businesses to be "forced to be open so that a few people can shop if they want", do you even see the irony in your assertion?  Nobody is going to "force" anyone to be open on Sunday.  Again, these business owners voluntarily entered into the agreement.  They were not forced.  On the other hand, it sounds like do support having government force every business to stay closed on Sundays.  It is their right to be open on Sunday if they choose to.  It is the right of others to shop on Sunday if they choose to.  My position is one based on non-aggression, ie no use of force.    It sounds like your position is the one based on force.

 

TJ
TJ

No matter what the final decision is, "then the majority of Highland voters will strip the remaining residents (in the minority) from their right to choose". There are at least 2 franchises (Domino's and Great Clips) who will be required to be open if the Sunday Opening goes into effect. It doesn't matter if they loose money--it's in their franchise contract to be open. Removing the ordinance removes their right to stay closed (which is one of the reasons they can locate here and remain profitable). I wonder how many empty store fronts there will be when franchise contracts run out in Highland. Many people don't care if the current population can support businesses and keep them open or not. As long as they are forced to be open so that a few people can shop if they want, they are happy.

Jeremy Lyman
Jeremy Lyman

 @RodMann Rod, you have summed up nicely for us exactly why "democracy" itself does not guarantee any kind of freedom or liberty."Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner."Using your logic, slavery itself must not be an infringement on other people's unalienable rights to life, liberty or property so long as it is condoned by the people via their elected official and/or their direct vote.

jpv
jpv

 @RodMann What about Seventh Day Adventists or Orthodox Jews?  Why should they be prohibited from shopping on a day that is not their Sabbath?  Or should we also ban Saturday shopping as well?

Jeremy Lyman
Jeremy Lyman

 @BillNelson The real point though is that the business owners voluntarily entered into franchise agreements that reportedly require them to open on Sunday.  They did this with no guarantee that Highland would never repeal the Sunday restriction.

 

Jeremy Lyman
Jeremy Lyman

 @RodMann Just because something is constitutional doesn't mean it should be.  Based on your reply to Bill I assume you don't understand the "Appeal to Authority" logical fallacy.  This type of argument typically takes this form:A is viewed as an authority on the subject matter S.A says P about subject matter S.Therefore, P is correct.The only time this type of argument might be truly logical would be when both of the debating parties recognize the authority as actually being infallible.  If the prophet stated emphatically, "The Lord has revealed to me that...", then both parties, if they believed that he was a prophet, might rely on this form of logic.Otherwise, it is a logical fallacy because although A may be viewed as an authority, A is certainly not infallible.In this particular case, just because something is constitutional it isn't necessarily right, moral, or just.  Slavery was constitutional as well, and is the most obvious example to use here to rebut your logic.The other examples of the original colonies enacting "Blue Laws" is likewise no proof at all that they are right, moral, or just.  Didn't they also implement state religions?  The point is you cannot hold up what they did as proof that it is the right thing to do unless you are willing to accept everything they did as being the right thing to do.  This should be obvious, but it only becomes obvious when you have committed yourself to using actual logic, as opposed to the logical fallacies that pervade most of today's political debate.In other words, if I were to promote slavery and state religion and you were to oppose it, would you change your mind simply because the founding generation legitimized slavery in the original constitution and enforced various versions of state religions in their colonies and states?I don't think you would, and thus you see that your logic was fallacious to begin with.As to your suggestion that our "only real recourse is to work with the legislature to eliminate or restrict the statutes..."  Funny that the city council was the method used to repeal the Sunday closure restriction, but you didn't agree with it because only five people voted on the measure (or as you said, it was decided by three individuals). Finally, regarding your assertion that "the right to petition decisions of city councils is a right granted to all citizens of the state", that couldn't be less relevant to the discussion.  The issue at hand is whether the Sunday restrictions are right, moral, and just.  What of your right to petition the decisions of the city council?  How is that even relevant?  Suppose I petition them to remove restrictions on child slavery prostitution?  Does that somehow legitimize my position?

 

interested citizen
interested citizen

 @Jeremy Lyman

 You seem to be missing the point that they voluntarily entered into this agreement because they knew that they could do so in Highland without being required to be open on Sunday.  You talk about rights.  They have the right to expect that the standard under which they entered into business should be maintained, that being that if they are located in Highland they would not be required to open on Sunday. 

Just like the expectation that those that moved to Highland did so knowing that businesses wouldn't be open on Sunday here.  But they knew that if they wanted to shop on Sunday they would still have that right within the surrounding communities.  Those that want to shop on Sundays knew that when they moved here and should not take away the rights of the other citizens and business owners because they moved here with those expectations and desires of their rights. 

You say your position is based on non-aggression but it is more aggressive to come into a community which for years has maintained no opening of businesses on Sunday and then say that it must be opened because you feel it is your right to have it that away.  Seems much more aggressive than moving here with the understanding that establishments are not open on Sunday and therefore if you want to shop on Sunday you just go to a neighboring community.  So, the aggression is asserting that you have a right to shop on Sunday right here in Highland when nobody is keeping you from doing that within the neigboring communities. 

Kristen
Kristen

 @Jeremy Lyman 

The businesses in Highland entered into their franchise agreements based on the fact that the long-standing Highland Sunday closing ordinance was in place. They may not have entered the same agreement under other circumstances.

 

This is not "the government" requiring Sunday closing. This is the community requiring Sunday closing. Communities have the right to set standards. These standards were set long before the large majority of those now living in Highland moved to Highland. They knew when they bought property or opened businesses here that this was the community standard. Did they move to Highland because they liked the atmosphere? If so, why are they trying to change it? If not, why did they move here?

 

There are dozens of other communities that have stores open on Sunday. Maybe those who want stores open should relocate to a nearby community so that they can enjoy the atmosphere there, instead of bringing it here.

TJ
TJ

"Individuals and businesses have the right to peaceably do with their own property as they wish." According to your statement, if your dog barks all night and the dog isn't hurting anyone physically, that is within your right. If you choose to change your property in such a way that it decreases the value of your neighbor's property, that is also within your right because you did it "peaceably". Who decides what is 'peaceable?' You? There are many decisions that can and should be made by the community when it impacts that community.

RodMann
RodMann

 @Jeremy Lyman Which is why many of the Founders insisted that the Bill of Rights be included in the Constitution before the would ratify it and so many of them stated the our form of government would last only so long as the people were moral.

RodMann
RodMann

 @jpv No one is prohibited from shopping any day of the week.

RodMann
RodMann

 @Jeremy Lyman So Jeremy you agree that the residents of Highland have the right to petition the decision of the city council? And you agree with the decision of the council because they had the right to make the decision or because the decision was one that you agreed with. If the council had the right to make the decision the residents have the right to either affirm or deny that decision. Seems pretty simple to me. As to the logical fallacy question. If someone believes that Jefferson, Madison, Henry, the Supreme Court, the governors and legislators of the 13 original state are NOT authorities on the U.S. Constitution and role of government does that make it true? Why should your personal view on what is moral or right have more meaning than the opinion of the residents of Highland?

RodMann
RodMann

 @jpv No one is is prevented from shopping any day of the week by Highland's long-standing ordinance. Period. End of story. You could say that businesses in commercial zones within Highland are prevented from opening on Sunday and that would be true. However, those businesses located in Highland, elected to come here with that ordinance in place. It is more accurate to say that businesses are restricted from being open on Sunday just like they are prevented from being open 7x24 in many communities, just like the residents of a communities restrict what kinds of businesses may operate in the confines (such as adult book stores, night clubs, strip joints ...), or what the noise levels allowed in certain areas and during certain hours. This is a determination made by City Councils and residents of any municipality may petition those decisions via the referendum process, which is exactly what is happening in Highland. The residents of Highland will be able to chose whether they still value the benefits to the community and whether the right to enjoy those benefits are infringed upon by businesses being open on Sunday. As of point of information, I am not aware of any existing business complaining about the restriction nor am I or anyone elected official or member of city management aware of any business that would locate here were the restriction to be lifted.

 

jpv
jpv

 @RodMann Do you mean that you do not advocate that government force should used to prevent stores from being opened for shopping?

 

Or do you mean that no one is prohibited in the just like nobody is prohibited from not buying health insurance, they just have to pay the "tax"?  Or that nobody is prevented from freely buying phosphate dish detergent, they just have to move out of Utah?

 

If so, please answer why those of other faiths should be be prohibited from shopping both when and where their conscience dictates?

Trackbacks

  1. […] spoke out against the restrictions in a recent blog post, arguing the Council’s vote “supports private property rights on many […]

  2. […] Jeremy Lyman In July we published a post urging Highland City residents to oppose efforts to reinstate a city ordinance restricting the […]

Featured