LET US PREY: Virginia Hunters 'Pushing God to the Side'

House of Delegates votes to lift ban on Sunday hunting.

The state Senate will now take up a bill to lift the ban on Sunday hunting. (Patch file photo.)
The state Senate will now take up a bill to lift the ban on Sunday hunting. (Patch file photo.)
A fight in the Virginia legislature is focused on a narrow issue raising the broadest of questions: What's the meaning of Sunday?

At issue is a bill passed this week by the House of Delegates that would end the longtime ban against hunting in Virginia on Sundays, a long-fought issue that this year appears will finally go against preachers and Bambi and for hunters and hoteliers who say the ban is an archaic throwback to Christian-led politics and is hurting tourism.

A long-standing Virginia law declares Sunday "a rest day for all species of wild bird and wild animal life..." (The law excludes those dastardly night-owl raccoons, which need to keep their guard up until 2 a.m. on Sundays.)

"We're pushing God to the side," Thomas C. Wright, a Republican delegate from Lunenburg, told The Washington Post. "Now Sundays are like almost any other day of the week...The more we chip away at Sunday being the Lord's Day, the worse it is for our country.

The Virginia Senate has voted to lift the ban in the past and will likely vote to do so again, making hunting as OK on Sunday as football and buying beer.

"Imagine if we were to ban NASCAR on Sunday," Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter told the paper. "Imagine if we were to say, 'Whoops, no golf!'

"I think the tectonic plates would shift."


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