Atheism and Humanism: Senator's comments on Sunday Blue Law vote raises eyebrows

FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) The bi-partisan bill to repeal North Dakota's blue laws failed earlier this week in the senate by just 3 votes. But what's drawing new attention is the comments made by some senators regarding religion and their justification for voting against the repeal. One even talking at length about atheism, then creationism. So what does this have to do with opening at store earlier on a Sunday?

North Dakota Senator Dick Dever voted "no" on the Sunday blue law. But before voting "no" Dever decided to go on a nearly eight minute speech.

"Athesits believe there is no God. "If you were to Google humanism, you might come to their website where they talk about the separation of church and state and their efforts to bring that about." said Dever.

So it's no surprise that not everyone I stopped was willing to go on camera and give their opinion about Se. Dever's diatribe. Except for this man: "Sunday to me is a day of rest and football." said Shane Callison of Fargo.

And when asked what his thoughts are on Dever's speech, he replied with "people are going to choose to go to church or not. If they're doing it because of the church... I go to church on Saturday night."

"The value of Sunday morning is not in the profits that roll through the cash registers. The value of Sunday morning's is in the time." said Dever.

So what does Sunday mean to Sen. Dever?

"A time to reflect on the many blessings that we have been bestowed on us as a country. And yes, to be grateful to the one who did that. I'm voting no on this bill." Dever said.

Reporter: Do you feel like it's just Fargo? That may seem like it's back set in the 1950's?
Shane: Haha, yeah! Well yeah. Listening to him right there; yes, definitely!

Reporter: What do you think needs to change?
Shane: Like I said, I think it's time for the good old boys to retire.

We reached out to Sen. Dever. He says that his speech is all about the balance between church, society and government. He adds the only negative comments he has received about his speech are from those who "don't have a place for church in their lives."

Right now, a Fargo businessman says he's drafting a petition to repeal North Dakota's blue laws and if passed, voters will decide if the state should continue with its blue laws.

The petition needs more than 13,000 signatures from voters.