I've always wondered if the reason I am unable to buy beer or wine in most places in Greenville on a Sunday is a purely religious thing or if there are some other motives behind it. I figured this would be the place to ask! And some places in SC go so far as to not let me buy a t-shirt early on Sunday mornings. What is that all about?! They told me it wasn't necessary, which is why I couldn't buy it until after 12:00 noon. But they obviously didn't see the two huge paw prints I had on the shirt I was wearing. I had to be somewhere when I noticed the two muddy prints. I forgot where I was. Aiken, maybe? I thought that was ridiculous.

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Morning Stephanie,
It IS a religious thing and a somewhat old set of laws collectively referred to as "Blue Laws". Check out the Wikipedia link for a good history. Blue Laws

Almost every state and Canadian province has some form of these laws. As you might expect, our dear home state's rules are more restrictive than the average but not the worst by far (see Utah, and Iowa, I think). Most of the laws vary by local jurisdiction. For instance, in Greenville City, there are a handful of stores that do sell on Sunday and all the restaurants can sell for on-premise consumption. However, in Greenville County, all bars, restaurants, etc. cannot sell alcohol of any kind. Private clubs remain the exception.

As to the t-shirts, some places are REALLY into the sabbath and allow no commerce on Sunday morning. Funny enough, shopping malls in New Jersey are still closed on Sunday for some reason.

Hope that helps!
They must know my cats. :)
Thanks for clearing that up! Crazy nonsense. I used to attend an Episcopal church here with my cousin when she would go. The thimble of wine was the best part. (Besides raiding the donuts in the basement before the choir got to them.)
Texas used to have some odd Blue laws, too. I remember moving there in the 1980's and being surprised to find that you couldn't buy panty hose on Sunday. Not that I was looking for pantyhose, but the signs pointed this out. There were other common household items you couldn't buy either.

The list was weird and posted in every store. This ended sometime in the mid 1980's.

The restrictions weren't just religious and just against alcohol. Apparently other retailers who stayed closed on Sunday used these laws to control competition from "convenience" stores which did stay open on Sunday.
I never understood the whole Sunday Blue Law thing..some people don't celebrate a Sabbath, and others don't have their Sabbath on Sunday. So, as long as no one who WANTS a Sunday Sabbath is forced to work then, why not keep stuff open?

I am a huge fan of Chick Fil A chicken sandwiches, and can't get them on Sunday. Naturally this causes me to crave their sandwiches EVERY Sunday :) I don't begrudge the company this, because it's true that all companies should give their employees a day for family stuff and relaxation. I do agree that people should not work EVERY day..

But, when people are not religious or not Sunday Sabbath people, why not let them mind the store on Sundays?

And yet, even in Europe, which is much more secular than the States, almost NOTHING is open in most countries on Sunday.

Also, as Robert said above, sometimes this Blue Law thing is completely profit/exclusionary-based, rather than motivated by piety or religion.
I like your style! Living in the ass end of T.R. means that if I HAVEN'T planned for Sunday, I have 1/2 drive or more to find a drink. Very inconvenient.
Yeah, we enjoy a drink on the weekends, so we usually grab a 6 pack on Fridays. Either that or we go to Barley's in downtown Greenville. Nothing's better than a pitcher of Dead Guy with a spinach salad and friends.
Hey, y'all!

Greetings from Lubbock, TX, where we finally did allow offpremise alcohol sales in our city limits in last Saturday's election. Technically, we had a small wet precinct outside of the city limits that's sold alcohol and held a lucrative monopoly on all offpremise sales for the city and area for the past 50 years. (And we've had liquor by the drink in restaruants and bars for over 35 years, all mitigating the "dry" status of the city). Still, until less a week ago LBB, at over 200,000 people, was a city where you had to drive 30-40 minutes round trip to get one lousy sixpack.

So I can get the general irritation you're feeling about the Blue Law issue where you are. Our liquor initiative pitted civic development interests against old-time religious prohibitionists from local Baptist and CoC churches. Those old bastards really tried to make a non-religious-based case for their side, which was transparently bogus. I mean, they tried hard, but the good thing in the election was that they knew that the old "Demon Rum" and "Devil's Brew" sermons were not going to fly nowadays.

The initiative carried with about 65% to 35% for the rational side of the equation.

All this to say that in my neck of the woods, we had a bunch of religious weirdos along with a vested money interest that runs the small legal precinct, pitted against a lot of fed-up normal adults who long resented normal economic patterns being encumbered by an old prohibitionist legal structure propped up by the bible belt mentality around here.
Well congrats on that! The rational side wins one...you folks in Texas have a couple of wins in a row actually after Board of Ed. dipshit, McLeroy, lost out on that 'teaching the flaws in evolutionary theory' case last month.
Thanks Mike.

Not to say that the rational side rules here, but it was a win nonetheless.

I'm not so sure that the win against McLeroy's side was as decisive as scientific fact should have had it, once all the dust settled. Still, it is a positive that needs to be followed by more progress. Between the fundies and our secessionist jackass gov. who has famously said that "freedom OF religion does NOT mean freedom FROM religion", progress seems to have hit some real roadblocks.

SO like I said, the rational side still has some mountains to climb. At least there is beer nearby now.
Greenville is not a tourist spot so the blue laws are enforced. If you go to Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, etc, you will find a whole other 'world' so to speak. It is hypocrisy at it's highest form. If a place can bring in and fleece the outsider (not to mention some residents), religion will fall by the wayside.

You can get what you want, when you want it in select areas of the state.
It is certainly a religious thing. It is a case of "protect the faithful from their temptations, oh yeah, and everyone else too".
I actually went to a grocery store one Sunday recently and was going to buy some beer, and when I went to ring it up, the machine wouldn't let me buy it, so I looked at the cashier puzzled and she said "you can't buy alcohol on Sundays". That is probably the first time I've actually felt that christianity is imposing some sort of bullshit laws on me, perhaps infringing on my rights. Way to go, Bible Belt.




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