Bismarck, N.D. – Members of the North Dakota legislature are asking themselves if North Dakota’s blue law is tough enough after hearing from hundreds of North Dakotans opposed to the law. North Dakota’s blue Law prohibits retail stores from conducting business prior to 12:00 PM on Sundays.

Opponents to the blue law are trying to repeal it during the 2019 legislative session. One legislator, however, is concerned by just how many people want to repeal the law instead of honoring the sabbath.

Newly proposed legislation would prohibit all businesses from operating on Sundays in North Dakota.

“We heard from so many people who are opposed to the current law, and that’s disturbing,” said Rep. Vernon Laning of Bismarck. “Based on the sheer amount of people who seem opposed to our state’s blue law, it is abundantly clear North Dakota needs more Jesus and less shopping on Sunday, which is why I am prepared to introduce a bill that strengthens our blue law. You can call it the bluer law.”

Laning’s draft legislation would prohibit all businesses from operating in any capacity on Sunday with the exception of Christian houses of worship. Non-Christian faiths would be required to submit a request to the North Dakota Department of Christians for an exemption.

“Not only am I sick of my wife spending my money six days a week, I’m frankly saddened that North Dakotans would rather spend their time with Walmart than Jesus. But my legislation will change that. If passed, it won’t matter if you’re sick, hungry, out of gas, or even going into labor on a Sunday because North Dakota will be closed for business. You’re only option will be to pray. And honestly, that’s what all of us should be doing on Sunday. As for Mondays through Fridays, my friends in the Senate have offered up a bill requiring our schools to teach the bible, leaving North Dakota just one day without God: sinful Saturdays.”

Laning said he isn’t opposed to additional measures to ensure that North Dakota remains closed for business in honor of the sabbath.

“If we need to build a wall around the entire state to keep North Dakotans in and everyone else out, so be it. The bible says if your eye causes you to sin to poke it out. And if being tempted to hop the border to shop at an open store, I say we build the wall and close the border on Sunday,” says Laning. “And if people want to shop on their phones or computers, well, I guess we’ll have to turn off the internet too.”

While the Republican Party traditionally supports less government regulation, ND GOP party members say Laning’s proposed legislation isn’t the worst idea.

“Regulating how our state operates on Sundays may seem counter intuitive to traditional Republican values, as we often advocate for less government regulation,” said a North Dakota GOP spokesman. “But then again, there won’t be anything to regulate if everything is closed on Sundays.”

More on this story as it develops.

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