All responsible, liberty loving Americans should vigorously oppose any action of a meddling government that tends to deprive the rights of its citizens. Oh, how soon we have forgotten Patrick Henry’s words:
“Liberty—the greatest of all earthly blessings — give us that precious jewel, and you may take everything else!”1
And what of Religious Liberty? How long can the most precious of all liberties endure? I’m afraid not too much longer.
I’m not a big fan of Woodrow Wilson’s presidency, but his prophetic answer below is dead on.
“Our liberties are safe until the memories and experiences of the past are blotted out and the Mayflower with its band of pilgrims forgotten; until our public school system has fallen into decay and the Nation into ignorance; until legislators have resigned their functions to ecclesiastical powers and their prerogatives to priests.”2
On Tuesday, March 24, 2015, the American people heard a good example of why all need to be vigilant and on guard. Senator Silvia
Allen’s religious “comments came at the end of a committee debate on HB 2320, which would allow holders of concealed carry permits to bring their weapons into public buildings and venues, such as a city library or the Arizona Diamondbacks’ home at Chase Field,” reported Brahm Resnik, of 12 News, on March 26, 2015.3
On March 27, Leonardo Blair, a reporter from The Christian Post recalled what happened next: “Allen declared that she felt the committee should be debating a bill about mandatory church attendance instead of guns.”4
Evidently the Arizona Senator continued to speak her mind in regards to America’s moral decline.
“I believe what’s happening to our country is that there’s a moral erosion of the soul of America,” she said.5 “You can use knives, you can use whatever. It’s the soul that is corrupt. How we get back to a moral rebirth I don’t know. Since we are slowly eroding religion at every opportunity that we have. Probably we should be debating a bill requiring every American to attend a church of their choice on Sunday to see if we can get back to having a moral rebirth,” she told the committee. “But since that would not be allowed and we would not even be debating that, I’m going to vote yes that people who are responsible, who have a CCW permit, don’t have to worry about their guns as they’re out and about and doing business in whatever building they’re in, except ones that where they aren’t allowed.”
We fully agree that their has been “moral erosion” in “the soul of America”, but the “erosion” of American religious liberty is not the solution either.
Democratic Sen. Steve Farley of Tucson, who was at that same committee debate, posted Allen’s comments on social media, and said the idea goes against the U.S. Constitution. “Even if you believe that would stem the moral decay, I think the Constitution makes it very clear that our country is founded on the pillar of separation of church and state,” Farley said.
On Wednesday, in a follow-up interview with Arizona Capitol Times6, Senator Allen refused to apologize for the suggestion, calling it a “flippant comment.” A strange justification indeed coming from someone who read the whole, well staged, statement from her laptop. She lamented however how America has strayed from the Christian culture she was raised in in the 1950’s. “People prayed, people went to church,” she said. “I remember on Sundays the stores were closed. …The biggest thing is religion was kicked out of our public places, out of our schools.”
May we remind Senator Allen that on December 10, 1963, there was enacted into law a provision for educational institutions to receive grants and loans of Federal tax money. The fund established one billion two hundred million dollars for this purpose. These funds were available to church-affiliated colleges to erect buildings for nonreligious purposes on their campuses–a dismantling of the wall of separation between church and state.
Is Senator Allen proudly aware that, while still president of Brigham Young University (LDS) in Provo, Utah, Dr. Ernest L. Wilkinson turned down Federal funds for the university that would have totaled $3,750,000 during a period of five years? It was hoped that more church educators would have the moral courage to refused Caesar’s gold, but sadly, this was not the case!
Allen’s lament of the present conditions of American life, and the desire to go back in time to her childhood days, where “stores were closed” on Sunday’s is disconcerting. She’s referring to those days of Puritanical “blue laws” which were the rage of the late 40’s and 50’s. Below is a small sampler of life under Senator Silvia Allen’s idea of church-state union – ’40’s and ’50’s style.
“Roy Trantham of 45 Broadview Avenue was fined $50 and taxed court costs in Police Court yesterday for violating Ashville’s ‘blue law’ in a test case to be taken to the State Supreme Court. Trantham, owner of Trantham’s Food Store on Hendersonville Road, was convicted specifically of violating Chapter Two, Article 17, Section 199 of the Ordinances of the City of Ashville, which prohibits the sale on Sunday of anything but ‘gas and oil, drugs, medicine, druggist sundries, cigars, tobaccos, fruits, ice cream, confections,nuts, soda and mineral waters, breads, pies, cakes, newspapers, periodicals.'” — Morning Citizen, (Ashville, N.C.), May 25, 1949.
“Martinsburg, W. Va., June 20 (AP)—Lou Kusner, manager of two local theaters, paid a $5 fine today on charges of violating Martinsburg’s Blue laws by showing Sunday movies.” — Times-Herald, Washington, D.C., June 21, 1949.
“Columbus, Miss. (UP) — A new trial was set for today after a six-man jury failed to reach a verdict in the case of R. B. Dossett, theater operator, charged with showing movies on Sunday in violation of blue laws. Dossett, his brother, Curtis Dossett, and Edwin Andrews were arrested after they showed a film at their drive-in theater June 6. They were released under $500 bond each.” — New Orleans Item, June 7, 1949
The Attleboro (Massachusetts) Sun of October 3, 1949, carried the following Associated Press dispatch: “”Sunday Truck Law to Be Tested. Fall River (AP) — Test of a law which, if upheld, would bar trucks from Massachusetts highways on Sundays, was begun in district court yesterday when eight truck drivers were charged with violating the statute. Seven pleaded innocent and their cases were continued to next week, while the eighth was declared defaulted. Complaints brought by State Trooper William J. Harvey were based on a state law declaring that ‘whoever on the Lord’s day keeps open his shop, warehouse or workhouse or does any manner of labor, business or work, except works of necessity and charity, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $50.'”
Little Rock,Arkansas, July, 1951 – “Through the influences of the Little Rock Ministerial Alliance and others, city officials arrested H.V. Hickinbotham, retail grocer of Little Rock, for having his store open on Sunday. …H.V. Hickinbotham was arrested on ten successive Sundays and fined $100 and costs in Municipal Court for violation of a Sunday law. Each time he paid the fine but continued to operate his store on Sunday….Hickinbotham contended that Sunday laws are unconstitutional, that they were being discriminated against in that other places of business which sell similar items are permitted to operate, and that their constitutional right to have their store open on Sunday if they so choose….Future arrests were made under a blue-law statute of ancient vintage, which dated back to the year 1885, which reads: ‘Every persons who shall, on Sunday, keep open any store or retail any goods, wares and merchandise, or keep open any dram shop or grocery, or who shall keep the doors of the same so as to afford ingress or egress, or retail or sell any spirits or wine, shall on conviction thereof, be fined in a sum of not less than $25 nor more than $100.”
And this ecclesiastical Inquisition, in the hands of the state, continued into the 1960’s, even getting approval by the Supreme Court on May 29, 1961 as constitutional. (See Justice Brennan, Braunffield v. Brown, May 29, 1961)
The “flippant” remark that 68 year old, Senator Silvia Allen recently recommended, is particularly insidious because of its shifty character. The typical excuse is usually given that Sunday legislation is for the benefit of the health, safety, and morals of the populace, when in fact it is actually designed for religious reasons. At least Sylvia hasn’t cloaked it in the usual “civil” garb. Perhaps unwittingly, she exposed the true nature of such a proposal as purely religious; all of course to the detriment of most minority groups who ultimately suffer in the end from Sunday law enforcement. (See our chart on why Sunday Legislation is un-American and un-Christian— http://www.religiouslibertynews.com/?p=243 )
Mormon Sunday Worship Practices
Silvia Allen is a member of the LDS (Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church). According to fairmormon.org, “Latter-day Saints do not base their worship practices on an analysis of early Christian history, or on the comments of scholars in Biblical commentaries, though these sources can confirm Church teachings. Rather, the Saints follow the guidance of a living prophet. However, it seems clear that the Latter-day Saint practice of observing the day of rest and worship on Sunday—like most of the Christian world—is consistent with the earliest Christian practice of which we have record. Interestingly, however, the most important aspect of Sabbath worship for the LDS seems to be the worship, and not the day on which it is held. Most LDS worship occurs on Sunday. General Authorities, who must often travel on conference assignments on Sunday, fast and receive the sacrament weekly on Thursdays. Church branches in Israel worship on Saturday. Branches in Muslim countries, such as Egypt, meet on Friday, the Muslim holy day.”
But many aren’t aware of why Sunday observance is always urged by church leaders or legislated by civil authorities.
A Brief Historical Background on Sunday Observance
The Roman Church, a religio-political institution, has long claimed that she has had the power to change the Commandments of God, even the days of worship, from the seventh-day of the week (Saturday), to the first day (Sunday). She has ever adopted the idea that she must enforce her authority. The Protestant world, for the most part has never shook this invasive pagan tradition from off its creeds, nor forsaken the unChristian idea that Sunday observance must be enforced. A thorough, study of early church history will find that many early, primitive Christians still adhered to the fourth commandment of God, against the general apostasy of the Roman clergy, against the civil authorities, and against the word of “church fathers.” They fled into the “wilderness” (See: Rev. 12) to escape persecution. The Roman Church began to take notice of their protesting and evangelizing, and began to systematically persecute “the saints of the Most High.” We will cover this prophetic history in upcoming articles.
Man changes, but God never changes! (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8.) If God could be proven that He changes His Word or His Law, He then becomes a fallible God who can’t be trusted – exactly what Satan wants the world to think!
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God…” Exodus 20:8-10 (KJV)
The Council of Trent
The Protestant advance toward reforming the Roman Church was arrested by the dominant counter-attack of the Jesuit’s during the Council of Trent in 1545-1563. This council was an attempt to destroy the progress of the Reformation. It denied every Reformation doctrine, including Scripture alone and grace alone, thereby elevating man’s tradition above God’s Word. Trent hurled 125 anathemas (eternal damnation) against Bible-believing Christians.
The Archbishop of Reggio Wins — The Protestants Defeated
Finally, after a long and intensive mental strain, the Archbishop of Reggio came into the council with the following strategic argument to the party who held on for Scripture alone:
“The Protestants claim to stand upon the written word only. They profess to hold the Scripture alone as the standard of faith. They justify their revolt by the plea that the Church has apostatized from the written word and follows tradition. Now the Protestants’ claim, that they stand upon the written word only, is not true. Their profession of holding the Scripture alone as the standard of faith, is false.
“PROOF: The written word explicitly enjoins the observance of the seventh day as the Sabbath. They do not observe the seventh day, but reject it. If they do truly hold the Scripture alone as their standard, they would be observing the seventh day as is enjoined in the Scripture throughout. Yet they not only reject the observance of the Sabbath enjoined in the written word, but they have adopted and do practice the observance of Sunday, for which they have only the tradition of the Church. Consequently the claim of ‘Scripture alone as the standard,’ fails; and the doctrine of ‘Scripture and tradition‘ as essential, is fully established, the Protestants themselves being judges.” — Rome’s Challenge: Why Do Protestants Keep Sunday?, p. 25-29
Hence, Mithra’s Day of the Sun has continued to be erroneously promoted and enforced as the “Lord’s Day, contrary to the express command of God Himself!
The plans of Rome for your future are in their own words, these:
“When the time comes and men realize that the social edifice must be rebuilt according to eternal standards, be it to-morrow, or be it centuries from now, the Catholics will arrange things to suit said standards. Undeterred by those who prefer to abide in death, they will re-establish certain laws of life. They will restore Jesus to His place on high, and He shall be no longer insulted. They will raise their children to know God and to honor their parents. They will uphold the indissolubility of marriage, and if this fails to meet with the approval of the dissenters, it will not fail to meet with the approval of their children. They will make obligatory the religious observances of Sunday on behalf of the whole of society and for its own good, revoking the permit for free-thinkers and Jews to celebrate, incognito, Monday or Saturday on their own account. Those whom this may annoy, will have to put up with the annoyance. Respect will not be refused to the Creator nor repose denied to the creature simply for the sake of humoring certain maniacs, whose phrenetic condition causes them stupidity and insolently to block the will of a whole people. However, like our own, their houses will be all the more solid and their fields all the more fertile on that account.
“In a word, Catholic society will be Catholic, and the dissenters whom it will tolerate will know its charity, but they will not be allowed to disrupt its unity.” — The Liberal Illusion, Louis Veuillot, National Catholic Welfare Conference, p. 63, 64.
Today, Rome, has on-going ecumenical/inter-faith dialogue with the leaders of the LDS, and as proved, Sunday worship is their greatest bond.
I am concerned that irresponsible remarks such as Silvia Allen’s, a public servant, are a harbinger of more Sunday propaganda and serious infringements on the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of the people of this country. No doubt most of our legislators believe they are acting in the interests of their constituents when they say such things or worse yet, enact such legislation, but this is a dangerous standard for them to follow.
The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in the subtle encroachment of men and women of zeal, possibly well-meaning, but without a true understanding of the true Christian principles of religious liberty or history.
May I plainly remind the reader that the bony finger of indignation points to the religious leaders who have failed to be the light that Christ pointed to on the hill. (See Matthew 5:14-20.) Today’s religious organizations have refused to listen to unpopular truths in God’s Word and have sown seeds of skepticism. They have stubbornly clung to the papal error of natural immortality and man’s consciousness in death (the pagan delusion of spiritualism.) Also, the false idea that God is tending bodies in a state of eternal torment has led many to cast away the Bible. The erroneous theory that the Ten Commandments with the Fourth command to remember and keep the seventh-day Sabbath holy is rejected by many as “done away with at the cross”–”no longer binding on man.”
“The teachings of religious leaders have opened the door to infidelity, to spiritualism, and to contempt for God’s holy law; and upon these leaders rests a fearful responsibility for the iniquity that exists in the Christian world.”— Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan, p. 587.
Dear reader, please permit me to take you back in time to Massachusetts – the year 1637. Ann Hutchinson, a resident of Boston, was holding religious meetings in her own home, opening the Scriptures and revealing to her guests that the “good life” comes by faith alone, not mechanical works. According to the local clergy this was a crime. Though she was with child, on November she was callously tried for heresy and evicted from the colony. Ann, being a direct and outspoken women of wit and intelligence, faced her accusers without flinching. She declared at her trial: “Now if you do condemn me for speaking what in my conscience I know to be truth, I must commit myself unto the Lord.” 7
It shouldn’t surprise us that Sunday blue laws blossomed in this fertile soil of intolerance, where clergy dominated church and state. The Massachusetts Bay Colony decreed (in its original old English):
“To the end the Saboth may bee celebrated in a religious manner, we appoint, that all that inhabite the plantacon, both for the generall and pticuler imployments, may srcease their labor every Satterday throughout the yeare at 3 of the clock in the afternoone, and that they spent the rest of the day in catechising and preparacion for the Saboth as the minister shall direct.”8
While one might grin with pious admiration at the honest, hardworking, self-disciplined Puritan principles of life, we have to be reminded of the heavy-handed, clergy-dominated state, which was an everyday fact of colonial life.
Freedom of individual conscience always has had to struggle against hostile religio-political currents. But that priceless principle pressed dearly at the bosom of the Ann Hutchinsons of America’s past and became a mighty undercurrent that pushed to the surface with ever-increasing frequency and intensity into the mid-eighteenth century.
Are we, as Americans, to lay down our shields and sleep away our rights? No! no! not during this time of peril. I have arrived at the conclusion that what we have in our State legislatures, and in our Congress (for the most part), are politicians rather than true statesmen. Gone are the Williams’s, the Jefferson’s, the Madison’s, and the Mason’s, who pursued the upward climb toward the quest for freedom. The politicians today, of course, are thinking of the next election: true statesmen consider the next generation, and think on things eternal.
This is a call for real American’s to keep the current of true religious freedom ever pushing against the over zealous efforts of those who would think to destroy it.
1 Patrick Henry, in Elliot’s “Debates on the Federal Constitution,” Vol. III, p. 43 et seq.
2 Public Papers of Woodrow Wilson [Authorized Edition], Part I, Vol. 1, page 62. In: The Great Quotations compiled by George Seldes. Secauces, New Jersey: Castle Books, 1966.
7 William Roper, “The Saintly Heretic,” Liberty, Vol. 57 (1962), No. 4, p.22.
8 Records of the Governor, etc., Vol.1, p. 82.
For more Information on Senator Silvia Allen see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylvia_Allen