« FöregåendeFortsätt »
A MAGAZINE OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
Published quarterly by the
CHARLES S. LONGACRE, Editor
CALVIN P. BOLLMAN, Managing Editor
more copies, mailed by publishers to five addresses or to one address, postpaid, each, 9 cents. No subscrip-
“Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." Leviticus 25:10.
SECOND QUARTER, 1921
The Big Sunday Blue Law Campaign
HE last four How It Started, absorbing question months have
of the hour. He who
and witnessed the
thinks this issue is gogreatest Sunday blue
ing to die out and law campaign that
soon be forgotten, is has ever afflicted
deceiving himself, America. In many localities
The Sunday question is desit is still raging in all its By the Editor tined to precipitate a greater fury, and with the religious
crisis than this nation has yet fervor that usually characterizes fanati- seen. One of two things is inevitable, cism. Some of the most prominent either the Constitutional guaranties of religious organizations involved in this civil and religious liberty and the total campaign say that they have just begun separation of church and state must the fight, and that they are going to em- be maintained, and the existing Sunday ploy the same effective and persistent blue laws be repealed, or these shackles efforts and use the same machinery as of religious bigotry and tyranny will the Anti-Saloon League did in bringing ultimately destroy our free republican about national prohibition. They are institutions. We cannot remain free and sure that a national Sunday law in the forever retain local religious statutes form of an amendment to the Federal enforced by the civil magistrates which Constitution will be adopted ultimately override the Federal Constitution and by Congress and the several State legis- are absolutely hostile to every guaranty latures, the same as the Eighteenth of civil and religious freedom vouchsafed Amendment became a part of the funda- to the individual citizen. We cannot mental law of the land. They are equally continuously override the Constitution sure that a drastic enforcement act with without ultimately destroying all respect confiscatory penalties will follow the for its provisions enacted in defense of adoption of a compulsory Sunday ob: human rights. If the churches are not servance amendment, the same as the driven out of politics, they will finally Volstead Enforcement Act, with teeth control the state, and the horrors of the in it, followed the adoption of the Eight Inquisition will be renewed, and the eenth Amendment.
streams in America will flow crimson In other words, the present agitation with the blood of martyrs, as did the is to continue until the clamor for a streams of Europe under the old régime national Sunday law becomes the all- of church and state domination ; for men who have hearts that beat true and con- ing, and reading of every Sunday newssciences that will not flinch, will die for paper in the country. Every vocation their convictions, but they will never sur- and profession of a secular nature was to render them. The inevitable product of suspend operations on Sunday. Only a legal religion is either hypocrisy or per- works of actual necessity and charity secution. It always has been, and it were to be allowed, in the discretion of never can be otherwise.
the courts. Corporations which should
violate this drastic Sunday law would be How the Campaign Started
liable to a fine of $100,000 for the first The desire of a few “professional re- offense, and for the second offense they formers " and self-styled “ Christian lob- would lose their charter and be prohibbyists” to Puritanize America and to ited from doing business in the future. bring the church back into power as a In other words, this Sunday law was to dominating factor in politics, led to a operate so as to confiscate the property nation-wide protest of such a sweeping of every persistent offender. character that the Sunday blue law ad- The Methodist Church South could vocates were forced to seek shelter from find no Congressman who was willing to the onslaught of public sentiment called sponsor or even introduce this proposed out by their encroachments upon human Sunday bill, and it was returned to them rights. The first gun in the campaign by Senator McKellar of Tennessee and for a drastic national Sunday law was Congressman Randall of California, who fired when the Methodist Church South gave forceful reasons why they would drafted the bluest Sunday blue law that not foster such an un-American and unwas ever presented to Congress for en- Christian measure.
However, the Methactment into law. Their bill proposed odist Church South did succeed in getto stop every passenger train and freight ting State Senator Cooper (who was also car on Sunday, to stop the United States chairman of the committee that framed mail service, and every street car and this drastic Sunday bill) to introduce it automobile, to stop all recreation, all into the legislature of Tennessee. It amusements, to close every public park was introduced into both the senate and and every other avenue on Sunday ex- the house of representatives, and was recept the one which led to the church ferred to the judiciary committees of door, so as “to make it ier to go to both houses of the legislature. A joint church on Sunday.” They also proposed hearing was arranged by both judiciary to stop the printing, delivering, receiv. committees, and the bill was rejected by
Photo, U. & U., N. Y.
Dr. Harry L. Bowlby, Secretary of the Lord's Day Alliance of America, at Work in His Office. Notice the SOS call which the “ Reformers ” have interpreted to mean “ Save Our Sabbath" by legislation.
both committees. bill and the spokesrced
in the elphia Public ork report
of 25 to 2
both committees. But Senator Cooper, the sponsor of the bill and the spokesman of the Methodist Church South, forced the issue upon the floor of the senate for further consideration and action. The senate did quick work with this bill after a very heated debate that lasted for hours, and the bill went down in defeat by a majority vote of 25 to 2. That ended the history of the bluest Sunday bill framed in modern times by any church organization. Professional Reformers Fired Second Gun
The professional reformers of the Lord's Day Alliance and the International Reform Bureau fired the second gun in the campaign. when Rev. Harry L. Bowlby, the national secretary of the Lord's Day Alliance, and Dr. Wilbur F. Crafts, superintendent of the International Reform Bureau, gave their personal interviews to the press for public cation as to the plans and aims of their organizations in reference to some drastic Sunday legislation which they were urg.
ing upon Congress for the District of Columbia, and if successful, for the whole nation.
Dr. Bowlby's Proposed Legislation Dr. Bowlby gave the following interview to the New York reporter of the Philadelphia Public Ledger. As quoted in the issue of that paper of Nov. 28, 1920, Dr. Bowlby said:
“We are well financed. Our lobby at Washington will be an effective and experienced one. We shall work in every Congressional district in every State. We shall agitate and spread propaganda, and cause voters to write unceasingly to their representatives in Congress until no Congressman who cares to stay in Congress will dare refuse to vote for our measures. These were the methods used by the Anti-Saloon League, and they were effective.
“We propose to pass no blue laws. There are no such things as blue laws — never were. And we don't propose to legislate people into church. We propose, by legislation, to make it easier for people to go to church. In other words, we shall try to close the baseball parks, the golf links, the motion picture and other theaters, the concert halls, the amusement parks, the hathing beaches, and so on. We shall fight