Sinners on Sundays

Smoking crack A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research revealed that the elimination of blue laws both decreased church attendance and significantly increased drinking and drug use.

Blue laws prohibit the sale on Sunday of certain nonessential items, such as appliances, furniture and jewelry, typically sold in shopping malls, as well as liquor and cigarettes.

It turns out those business owners may be doing the devil’s work. Before the shopping ban was lifted, about 37 percent of people in a state on average attended religious services at least weekly, Professor Hungerman said. “After the laws are repealed it falls to 32 percent” — a drop “not driven by declines in religiosity prior to the law change.”

Marijuana use increased by 11 percentage points among church attendees, compared with those who never went to services, after the shopping ban was lifted. Cocaine use increased by nearly 4 percentage points, and heavy drinking increased by about 5 1/2 percentage points among churchgoers compared with those who never went to services, with frequent attendees even more likely to go on benders. (Source: Washington Post)

Other views: Obscure Store, Religion Clause

One Comment

  1. Ian

    So they extended the weekend for these people. The problem isn’t with the sale of alcohol on Sunday and ::gasp!:: not going to church. The problem is these people are alcoholics and drug addicts to begin with. Hell, church prolly drives some of the people to want to drink. Besides, I’d love to see the actual data they took and how they took it. I bet there’s some major spin in there, the whole study sounds politically motivated.