Statement on Blue Laws, November 29, 1920


"Put 'em in Stocks" Says Stedman Smiling, and Jane Addams is Hostile

Chicago, Nov. 29. -- Strong opposition to Sunday blue laws, advocated by eastern reform organizations, was voiced in the [Middle West] today. As yet no propaganda favoring Sunday blue laws, has appeared in the west.

Jane Addams, famous social welfare leader; Seymour Stedman, Socialist vice-presidential candidate at the recent elections; Mrs. A. H. Mather, executive secretary of the Anti-Cigarette League, and others expressed views hostile to enactment of laws which would do away with sports and amusements on Sunday.

"America is too mixed to go into puritanical laws," said Miss Addams. "It has a population of many peoples with different ideas and desires."

The eastern reformers, according to Stedman, ought to go the limit and get a law which would make it compulsory for people to go to church.

"That's what they're aiming at, anyhow," he said. "And they should punish offenders by putting them in stocks like they did in the olden days. The trouble with these pious, loving people who want to make the earth like hell as much as possible, is that they have too much idle time on their hands. 

"It would be poppycock to enact the laws they propose."

"It is a subject which requires much thinking," said Mrs. Mather. "But even if it were a good idea to enact such laws, it would be necessary to spend many years educating people in preparing them for their reception."

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