National Sunday Law - Fact or Fiction?
What are the Odds of a National Sunday Law?
The world of the 21st century is far different than the world of the late 1800s. The demographics in the nation that is said to play the center stage in this drama--the United States--have shifted dramatically in the last 120 years. In the late 1880s the United States was a nation of church-going Protestants. Not so today. The nation is much more diverse today. About one-fourth of the population is now Roman Catholic. There are also now other religions with significant memberships in the United States. Let us consider some of these other religions and the power and influence the wield.
The most significant example of the changing demographics of the United States is the Jews. Over the last century many Jews have immigrated to the United States. There are now about seven million Jews in the United States. Many of these either keep the Sabbath themselves or are sympathetic with those who observe the Sabbath.
Any Sunday law would have to be passed over the objections of
these seven million Jews. That is highly unlikely. The Jewish
community has never been more influential in the United States'
legal and political systems than it is today. In 2000, the first ever Jew--a Sabbath-keeping Senator from Connecticut named Joseph Lieberman--was nominated as a vice-presidential candidate and was narrowly defeated in the United States electoral college despite winning a majority of the popular vote. The U.S. media, legal system and the general power structure in Washington, D.C., are all inordinately influenced by Sabbath-keeping Jews. Many Jews hold key positions of power in high government positions where they can influence the American way of life. There are prominent Jews who hold substantial financial empires giving them wide influence in American society. To imagine the Jews would allow any type of law mandating Sunday observance to even advance to the serious consideration stage is utterly ludicrous.
The next significant minority to consider is the Muslim community.
Islam is the fastest growing religion and the second largest religion in the world, with over 2 billion adherants. This rapidly growing religion now claims more than seven million adherents in the United States. The weekly holy day of Islam is Friday. This large community of believers would be outraged should
Christians attempt to force them to observe Sunday as a day of worship. There is no doubt they would use their growing political muscle and any other means at their disposal to block such an attempt.
The next large community to consider is the secular community.
Unlike the 1880s when this community was small, today there are
approximately thirty million members in this community. This includes
agnostics, secular humanists, and well over a million atheists. Over
the last forty years this group has been very successful in removing
religion from the public arena. They have succeeded in removing
the Ten Commandments and prayer from public schools. They have
won success after success against the opposition of Christian
groups. The Christians have been on the run from this group for
decades. It is preposterous to suppose that this huge, highly educated, and politically powerful group of secularists is going to allow Christians one
inch of ground in returning religion into public life. You can
be sure this group will oppose any religious legislation, and
it is probable they will have the same success against Sunday
laws that they have had against every other religious institution
in the United States during the past decades.
Another group that has to be considered is the homosexual
community. These people, who potentially number ten to twenty
million, belong to a variety of religions, including secularism.
Because of the resistance of Evangelical Christianity to homosexuality,
this community is strongly opposed to Catholics and Evangelicals--the
two groups that would be most likely to favor a Sunday law. Homosexuals
have tremendous political influence in the United States. Again,
it is very likely that any proposed Sunday legislation would be
opposed by this group.
Another increasingly powerful group is the Sabbath-keeping
community itself. Sabbath-keeping has become an increasingly popular
practice in the United States and through-out the world. This
is shown by the Seventh-day Adventist church's rising political
influence and its rising world membership--over fourteen million members
worldwide in 2006. Seventh-day Adventists themselves, far from being a
poor, impotent minority susceptible to the tyranny of the "power structure," have for some time now been a part of that very power structure. Adventists comprise a relatively affluent, well-positioned,
politically conservative and widely accepted segment of American society. In all ways other than their quirky beliefs, they are virtually indistinguishable from the great mass of well-off, materialistic,
middle-to-upper-middle-class Americans. Unlike the 1800s, when Adventists were an isolated group with bitter animosity existing between them and other Christian churches, Adventists today are more accepted than ever. The Adventist church has softened some of its harsher, legalistic teachings, and the Christian community
has become more accepting of them, even to the point of dropping the "cult" label that was so widely used in reference to Adventists in the mid-1900s.
There have never been more citizens of the United States worshipping on Saturday than there are today. There are reportedly over 300 different religious organizations which worship on Saturday,
including Adventists, various churches of God, Seventh Day Baptists, Messianic Jews, and a host of others. Some of these groups have experienced near record rates of growth over this last century. Sabbatarianism has never been more popular and more accepted than it is today. There is no doubt that any Sunday legislation would be bitterly opposed by these groups.
Another large group that would likely oppose Sunday legislation includes eastern religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism. Followers of these religions now number in the millions in the United States. These religions have absolutely nothing to gain by legislation enforcing Christian Sunday observance, and there is little doubt they would oppose it.
There are a plethora of New Age, pagan, Native American,
and tribal religions in the United States. Their adherents now
number in the millions. These religions are experiencing a tremendous
resurgence in recent years. For example, the Wiccan Church (witchcraft)
is now the fastest growing church in the United States. These
groups have no interest in any laws enforcing a Christian day
of worship and would almost assuredly fight against it.
In addition to all of these groups, there are a number of Christian churches which would be very unlikely to support any legislation enforcing religious observances. The Church of Jesus Christ of LatterDay Saints (Mormons), with a U.S. membership near six million, shares many similarities with the Adventist movement
and would be unlikely to support such laws. Likewise, the Jehovah's Witness, with over a million members, would also be unlikely to support it. The Baha'I Faith would probably not support it. Neither would some Baptist groups which have a centuries-old tradition of championing religious liberty and the separation of church and state. Neither would the two million members of the Church of Christ. It is a fundamental doctrine of this church, maintained for many years, that neither Sunday nor Sabbath should be considered a holy day of worship. It is impossible to believe these 2 million members would support any type of Sunday legislation. They teach that no part of the Old Testament law is binding upon Christians. On the liberal side of the religious spectrum, the post-Christian Unitarian church would also be unlikely to push for laws enforcing religious observances.
So what are we left with? We are left with the mainstream Catholic and Protestant churches which have shown very little interest in pursuing Sunday legislation in the past 100 years. The legislation that these groups have pursued, such as returning prayer to public schools and banning abortion, have been repeatedly
thwarted over the years. Various political action groups have arisen over the years, such as the "Moral Majority" and the "Christian Coalition," but have met with only limited success.
While keeping the Sabbath has been made into a gargantuan
issue by Seventh-day Adventists, to non-Sabbatarians it is no
issue at all. It is a meaningless, non-issue, and they give the
whole subject no more attention than did Jesus Himself. Non-Adventists
are certainly not threatened by Sabbath-keeping. If anything,
they look upon Sabbatarians with pity--as being ignorant, spiritually
blinded, self-deluded legalists. They do not see them as posing
any threat whatsoever to themselves or to their belief systems.
Therefore, it is certainly doubtful that even Evangelical Christians
would make any effort at all to enforce their beliefs on Sabbatarians.
Just to show how little political power is needed to resist
governmental legislation in the United States, consider the tiny group of Native American
Indians who smoke peyote, an illegal drug, in their religious
services. The United States was unable to ban the use of an illegal
drug by this tiny Native American religious group. If they could
not even stop the use of illegal drugs in a religion, how are
they possibly going to force a hundred million non-Sunday-keepers
to worship on Sunday? Think about it.
What about the rest of the world? Christians account for less than one third of the global population. Who is going to enforce Sunday worship on the two billion Friday-worshipping Moslems? What about the two billion Hindus, Buddhists, and other eastern religions? Who is going to make them start observing Sunday? What about the hundreds of millions of people who are secularists, agnostics, and atheists? Who is going to make them worship anything at all? Are we supposed to believe that the United States is strong enough
to not only force its own people to worship on Sunday, but also force the entire world to do likewise? We have seen the great difficulty the United States had in trying to maintain order in the tiny nation of Iraq in 2005-2007. If the United States cannot even maintain order in this one small nation, then how is it going to take on the whole world?
Communist China, a rising super-power with its rapidly expanding nuclear missile capabilities and the largest military machine on the planet, replete with high-tech hardware from the former Soviet Union,
is not going to let the United States decide what day its people worship on. Hindu India, Muslim Pakistan, and Jewish Israel all have nuclear weapons. The United States cannot dictate anything to these nations. Let us face the facts. There is simply no possibility the United States can force the whole world to worship on Sunday and kill Sabbath-keepers.
In order to extricate themselves from this predicament Seventh-day
Adventists have invented a far-fetched end-time scenario which
is not even remotely found anywhere in the Bible. According to
Adventists, Satan is going to masquerade as Jesus, in order to convince the world to pass Sunday laws. Satan is going to appear as Jesus in certain places of the earth and somehow convince the entire world to start worshipping on Sunday and kill those keeping the Sabbath.
Stop for a moment and consider how ludicrous this truly is.
We ask, what Christian is going to believe a Christ who wants
to kill people for going to church on Saturday? Christ Himself
"For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives,
but to save them." (Luke 9:56)
Why would Satan attempt something so self-defeating as passing a Sunday law? He is doing just fine now! The world is rapidly moving into a post-Christian era. Some claim that Australia and
Europe have already entered a post-Christian era and the United
States is not far behind. Pagan, New Age, and occultic religions
are experiencing a tremendous surge in popularity. Secularism,
materialism, and sensualism are eating out the heart of Christianity.
Why are Adventists looking into the future for persecution? Christians
are already suffering record numbers of persecutions through-out
the world. With all the success he is currently enjoying, persecuting
Christians and leading people away from Christianity, why would
Satan want to establish laws enforcing a traditional Christian
practice upon the world? If he did so, he would be turning people's
attention back towards Christianity, forcing people to spend time contemplating God. He would be fighting his own best interests!