ehowton (ehowton) wrote,
ehowton
ehowton

British Shops Act 1950


The British Shops Act 1950 superseded and encompassed the Shops Act 1912, which was still enforceable when I was stationed in England in 1992. 80-year old religious-based legislation. You see, one of the many facets of the British Shops Act was disallowing large stores from carrying out business on the Lord's Day. I know this because the nation as a whole (minus presumably Tesco executives), were shocked when the chain supermarket blatantly ignored the law by opening for business on Sunday. Sure there was a fine involved, and Tesco - one of the largest retailers in that part of the world IIRC, found the profits they made more than made up for both the fine, and the legal paperwork involved. So they opened again the next Sunday, the Sunday after that, and the Sunday after that. It was "big news" when I was there, each Sunday opening increasing the incredulity of your average British citizen that such an outrageous thing was allowed to take place.

As these things happen - and moving at the speed of government - two years later (after I'd left), Parliament passed the Sunday Trading Act 1994. This allowed large retailers to partially open during the day on Sunday. As you might be able to imagine, this was a magnificent win for one group of people, and a tremendous loss for another. John Roberts, director of the Lord's Day Observance Society, says, "It all means that Sundays are losing their intended meaning, because when God created the world he set aside one day that was different. It was also the day that Jesus Christ rose from the dead."

Interestingly enough, when London hosted the Olympic Games in 2012, the Sunday Trading (London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games) Act 2012 suspended the restrictions on Sunday shopping because Olympic-level tourism always, always, always trumps Biblical Law. Honest, look it up. Its in Leviticus. The point being of course, if ethics are so easily swayed by the almighty Pound Sterling, then it looks hypocritically stupid to reinstate a religiously motivated law after temporarily suspending it for monetary reasons. I'm pretty sure that's Golden Calf-level stuff and would make Charlton Heston angry.

And speaking of Jesus Christ rising from the dead, many of the stores within the Town West Mall here in Wichita, Kansas were advertising an "EASTER WEEKEND SALE!" I assumed the "He is Risen" crowd would be vested in potlucks and pagan fertility rituals, so I double-checked the webpage (THE MALL IS OPEN TODAY FROM 12-6!) and drove straight there - Where it was closed for Easter.

When the fuck exactly were they planning on having that Easter Weekend Sale?
Tags: wichita
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