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    April 7, 1889

    “Religious Legislation” The Sunday Inter Ocean (Chicago) 18, 14, p. 5.


    The W. C. T. U. and National Re form Association in Close Union.

    Miss Willard’s Address Criticised—Efforts to Establish a Theocracy.

    Misleading Tracts Issued, and Names Doubled Upon Petitions.


    Friday night Elder Jones again presented the subject of religious legislation with the object of uniting the church with the State, at the chapel of the Bible rooms, No. 28 College place. In opening, the speaker called attention to all he had presented that had occurred in the past which resulted in the creation of a theocracy, and also the formation of the Papacy, and presented the parallel now being attempted in our own country. He called attention to the fact that in the start they had an imperial religion, which changed in form with every change of emperors, until the Bishop of Rome assumed the office of Pope and ruled exclusively. Then followed, of course, the attempt to enforce the established religion, because they reasoned if we are a Christian nation it will be setting a bad example if it does not respect the institutions of the church. So they began to force the people who composed the nation to outwardly, at least, show themselves Christians.DIO April 7, 1889, page 5.1


    and modestly at first, just as the theocratical movers are doing now. They asked in A. D. 321 only that the courts and trades people should quit work, but years after they asked more and more; first, that theaters and places of amusements be closed, and, finally, that every one be compelled not only to rest, but attend divine worship. Now, the speaker said, the very same movement is taking place in our midst. At first in California, the petitions were modest, but at present a cry is going up from every State in the Union for more Sunday legislation. Every State nearly has a Sunday law, and this winter the reformers petitioned Congress to establish a National Sunday to be in harmony with the States. Now what is their theory? Why an effort to establish the Christian religion as a National religion, and have its principles taught in the public schools? They claim that the government is an atheistic government and deny allegiance to it until such time as it recognizes Christianity, then, they said, it will be a true theocracy of God, and entitled to allegiance. Is not this a repetition of the action of the bishops of the fourth century?DIO April 7, 1889, page 5.2


    Association and the Women’s Christian Temperance Union there is a close association. In 1885 Miss Willard suggested the adoption of a new department for the furtherance of Sunday observance, to co-operate with the National Reform Association, and it was done, and Miss Bateman made President of it, who was admitted to the National Reform Association as a Vice President. A vast amount of literature on the subject of Sunday observance was distributed by the W. C. T. U., and special prayers have been requested among the churches, for the success of the National Reform Association. Mr. M. A. Gault, who is president of this latter, says that the W. C. T. U. is the best of all organizations for the promulgation of these doctrines; in fact, he advises leaving all that kind of work to them and the Prohibition party. Now what does the W. C. T. U. propose? In September they sent out a pamphlet upon the subject of our National sins. At the end of it they say, “A true theocracy is yet to come and the enthronement of Christ in law and law-makers; hence I pray devoutly as a Christian patriot for the ballot in the hands of women, and rejoice that the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union has so long championed this cause.” The speaker read also fromDIO April 7, 1889, page 5.3


    at the Pittsburg convention as follows: “The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, local, State, National, and world-wide, has one vital, organic thought, one all-absorbing purpose, one undying enthusiasm, and that is that Christ shall be this world’ King, yea, verily, this world’s King.” The kingdom of Christ must enter the realm of law through the gateway of politics, but the Savior himself said, “My Kingdom is not of this world,” and no candid man can fail to decide which is right, the Savior or the W. C. T. U. The speaker said: “I am not finding fault with this association, but with its leaders. Let them remain within their proper field, and I heartily indorse them, but when Miss Willard attempts to embroil them in an attempt to enforce religion as a civil law, I oppose them persistently. In their last convention at New York they said “that Christ must be the king and the Bible the code of civil law.” What will be the result? The wicked saloon men, for instance, will misquote and misuse the Bible in defense of their business; in short, the pearls being thrown before the swine, the latter will turn and fend the throwers. The speaker then went on to show that when the National reform movement started, twenty-five years ago they took the position that Congress had no right to legislate on religious subjects, but when it was suggested last year that government beDIO April 7, 1889, page 5.4


    they came right to the front to its support. What does this prove? That these men are willing and ready to take advantage of unconstitutional measure to obtain their ends. If then they are willing to break down the constitutional safeguards, what will become of our boasted liberty?DIO April 7, 1889, page 5.5

    A large number of extracts from records and speeches from the W. C. T. U. and National Reform Association was introduced to show that the aim of the two is to established a theocracy, and that each was pledged to vote for men only who would promise to labor for Sunday legislation. Now, said Elder Jones, what happened in the fourth century from just such an attempt? Did not the Church fill up with the very worst characters, who entered the body of Christians for political power, and what will be the result among us? Can we expect to be more favored? Not at all. All the evils that resulted then will follow in our country, and the end will be an increase of wickedness and iniquity and the establishment of a papacy. Now, when the church establishes a monopoly of religion, let all Americans ask themselves, Who will deliver us from it should it become, as it must, oppressive and despotic? There will be no relief.DIO April 7, 1889, page 5.6


    Last evening Elder Jones continued his talk on religious legislation to a large congregation. “The subject,” the speaker said, “was to be the methods used to obtain a Sunday law, but since that announcement I have received some papers form a mis-called ‘American Sabbath Union.’ In a printed circular, among the lot, is one that classes the opponents of Sunday legislation, Seventh-day Adventists and Seventh Day Baptists, with infidels and saloon-keepers. It also charges Elder Jones with saying that the present Sunday movement is a Catholic one, but this is in error. The tract asserts that Elder Jones also admitted, before the Educational Committee of Congress, that the government had a right to enforce Sunday laws. It is sufficient to say these are entirely untrue.” Elder Jones then read from another tract extracts that are claimed to be his utterances, and which in a garbled form are italicized, he said, he presumed to falsify his position. At considerable length the speaker showed the alteration in his argument that had been attempted, and presented his true position, but as THE INTER OCEAN has published it in full, and as the proceedings before the committee are printed in pamphlet form and can be obtained by anyone interested, from the Senator of his district, the argument upon the misrepresentations, is omitted.DIO April 7, 1889, page 5.7


    however, that Dr. Lewis, of the Seventh Day Baptists, did admit the right of Government to enact Sunday law, but the argument of Elder Jones was from beginning to end opposed to Governments legislating upon religious subjects for any purpose whatever. The speaker then took up his argument before the committee in detail, to refute the assertion that “he admitted the righteousness of Sunday rest laws,” and showed how by a combination of sentences, the tract made him admit such a thing. “But,” said the speaker, “I will write the gentleman an open letter defining my position.” He then called attention to the proof he had previously presented from the Rev. Cook, Dr. Elliott, and others that the Sabbath is a divine institution, and is of no effect if enforced from any other than a religious stand-point, to show the inconsistency of the position of the writer of the tract in his argument for a civil Sabbath. In reference to the assertion of the National Reform Association claiming that 7,200,000 Catholics signed the petition to Congress in favor of Sunday legislation, basing their assertion on the fact that Cardinal Gibbons wrote a letter favoring a Sunday law, he said, “Cardinal Gibbons has written a letter to Elder Lindsay, of Baltimore, stating, in substance, that he wrote for himself alone,DIO April 7, 1889, page 5.8


    to try to pledge or bind any one else, and the letter will appear in full in the next issue of the American Sentinel.” He then went on to show that whole churches were placed on the rolls of signatures by the vote of a few that might be present at a meeting, hundreds of names being added to the list without their voice in the matter, the bona fide signatures being but a few hundred, instead of fourteen millions as claimed. Further, he called attention to the fact the petitioners claim all the signatures are those of adult residents “21 years of age,” or over, while the whole body of American Catholics of all ages was taken, babies, children, and youths—and so of churches everywhere. “O,” said he, as Miss Bateham says, “signatures are most valuable, but endorsements count up the fastest.” Endorsements in a church take all the church, and Cardinal Gibbons’ endorsement takes all the Catholic population.” When it came to the presentation of the petitions to Congress, another petition from Illinois was also presented signed by a hundred ministers in favor of such legislation, and Senator Blair presented a synopsis of the main petition and admitted that there were only 407 signatures, the balance being “indorsements.”DIO April 7, 1889, page 5.9


    the special petitions had already signed the principal one, and formed a part of the 407 actual signatures, and the petition of the W. C. T. U. was already included in the main one, so “doubling up” the signatures from beginning to end. Practically the 14,000,000 of people claimed to be desirous of Sunday legislation were represented by 407 individuals only. The speaker then read at considerable length from the report of the Columbus, Ohio, convention of National Reformers, and from the arguments of Dr. Herrick Johnson, Dr. Sutherland, and others before the Senate committee, to show that even the supporters for the movement for Sunday legislation admit and claim the divine origin of the Sabbath. In closing he said he would take up the argument at length to-night.DIO April 7, 1889, page 5.10

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