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. Over the last 120 years the demographics in the nation that is said to play the center stage in the National Sunday Law drama--the United States--have shifted dramatically. 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 they 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. In 2007 there were well over six 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 approximately 1.5 billion adherents in 2007. 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 over 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 15 million members worldwide in 2007, a million of whom reside in the U.S. 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. Seventh-day Adventism has moved a long way towards being accepted into the mainstream of religion. 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. In recent decades Adventists have toned down the rhetoric, displaying a more tolerant face to the world by placing more emphasis on mainstream religious ideals, and downplaying many of the odd and distinctive doctrines that formerly caused many to regard Adventists as peculiar people. As a result of this "face-lift" Adventism has achieved an unprecedented level of acceptance in the United States. This was evidenced in the recent 2008 election campaign in the U.S.A. where both President Bush and Senator Hillary Clinton directly addressed Seventh-day Adventists, extolling their virtues while asking for their political support.
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 Church of God groups, Seventh Day Baptists, Messianic Jews, some Pentecostal churches, some Apostolic churches, and a whole 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. In 2007, there were estimated to be six million Buddhists and three million Hindus living in the United States. These religions have absolutely nothing to gain by legislation enforcing the observance of a Christian holy day, and there is little doubt they would vigorously oppose it.
There is 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 Latter Day Saints (Mormons), with nearly half of their 13 million members residing in the United States, shares many similarities with the Adventist movement and would be unlikely to support such laws. Likewise, the Jehovah's Witness, with over a million of their seven million members living in the U.S., would also be unlikely to support it. The Baha'I Faith would probably not support it. Scientology, which claims over 3 million members in the U.S., would most likely have no interest in a Sunday law. 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 5 million members (2 million in the U.S.) 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 on the political battleground.
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 2005-2008. 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 occult 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 throughout 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! The Adventist end-time scenario simply makes no sense.