what could you do in Geneva?

Which of the following was not a blue law in Geneva?

a) taverns were turned into religious clubs, where customers were permitted to sing Psalms or edify other diners but they could not swear, slander, or dance.

b) wine was forbidden on Sundays

c) the authorities must approve the names of newborn children.  There was a black list of prohibited names that parents could not use for their child. 

d) women were not allowed to act in the theater, for as one pastor said, “the women who should mount the theater to act that farce would be shameless creatures.”


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  1. Answer: b. Geneva had no issue with drinking wine. In fact, they paid Calvin an annual stipend of five hundred florins (which was adequate), twelve strikes of corn, and two casks of wine (one for himself and the other for entertaining guests). But they didn’t think women should act (Calvin himself didn’t have a problem with this but another pastor did) and they didn’t want parents passing on the names of patron saints to their kids (part of Roman Catholic superstition).

  2. This reminds me of a fact I picked up in Historical Theology I: the early church had a process wherein they accepted prostitutes into the church, but not magicians!

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