For those that claim a government enforced "GLOBAL SABBATH" or "National Sunday Law" is a false prophecy for our day. Ask them...


If Sunday Laws are a bogus interpretation of Bible prophecy, then why are they doing exactly as prophecy said they would?


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A controversial new Scientology center that opened two weeks ago in one of Berlin's upscale neighborhoods won't be open on Sundays like Christian churches in the German capital – the government considers the group a business rather than a church and, as such, it falls under the country's rigid Sunday closing laws. Read the latest now on

A History Of Sunday

What Makes Sundays So Special? Charles Osgood Takes An In-Depth Look
Feb. 1, 2009

(CBS) Whether you're planning your Sunday brunch, taking a Sunday drive, or watching Sunday Morning, chances are you have your own Sunday ritual. It's the first day of the week, and for many, it's their favorite day.

"I don't think Sunday will ever be like every other day of the week. It's a special day. And it will remain a special day," says author Stephen Miller.

For Miller, the best thing about Sunday is that it is a day of rest. "That it's a day when you don't have to do things, when you can just lie around, see people if you want, or
not see people."

And seeing people is a Sunday activity that Americans enjoy. According to a recent survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 40 percent of us socialize on Sundays, but twice as many - eight out of ten - sit back and watch TV, an average of four hours. And then there's church: one in four attends religious services. And about that same number goes shopping.

But when Sunday Morning first went on the air in 1979, in many parts of the country it was impossible to shop on Sundays: Stores were required to be closed, says Stephen Miller, who's written a book on the subject:
"The Peculiar Life of Sundays" (Harvard University Press).

Americans once had a very narrow choice of permissible Sunday activities: "There were so many arguments in the United States, especially in the 19th century," Miller said. "Sunday legislation was the second-most debated subject after slavery, because there were different opinions about what you could or couldn't do on Sunday."

Those opinions began with the Puritans, who settled in New England in the 1630s. They called it "Strict Sunday Observance." Sunday was a day for church-going, and "Blue Laws" made almost everything else illegal.

"There were Connecticut blue laws in the 18th century, which said that you could not kiss your baby. You could not tell a joke. There was absolutely no frivolity on Sunday. And you could not play an instrument," Miller says.

Church organs and hymns aside, music was taboo on Sundays. "There was a French soldier stationed in Boston, and during the Revolutionary War he started playing the flute. He was arrested. No flute-playing on the Sabbath!" Miller laughed.

Some blue laws still exist today, mostly to regulate alcohol sales. But Miller says Americans have come a long way from the age of "strict observance."

"Gradually, in the 20th century, all the things that we associate with Sunday now started. So, there's the Sunday drive, the Sunday dinner, Sunday sports. And the Sunday paper," Miller says. "The Sunday paper with the comics and the crosswords became a major American phenomenon."

"We continue to relax in front of the Sunday newspaper. One hundred and fifteen million people in America still read a Sunday newspaper. In fact, readership was up last year from the year before," says Janice Kaplan, the editor of
Parade Magazine.

For almost 70 years, it's been a Sunday institution, now appearing in more than 450 Sunday newspapers across the country, with a parade of covers to show for it. Parade, says Kaplan, would not be Parade on any other day of the week.

"The Sunday paper is so invested with tradition. It's got all of those different sections in it. Everybody in the family has a section they want to read. And everybody pulls the one that means something to them. And then maybe they pass it around the Sunday table," Kaplan says.

One favorite section is Sunday Sports - two words that for millions of Americans have become synonymous with each other. Sports, like the newspapers that cover them, are now a firmly-established Sunday tradition.

"It was no small thing for Super Bowl to become an adjective for Sunday," says historian Craig Harline, who has written about how professional football became a weekly ritual in America, in =http:"" catalog="" display.pperl?isbn="978038551039">"Sunday: A History of the First Day from Babylonia to the Super Bowl" (Random House).

"Now you look at the Super Bowl, and it's this odd combination of religion, strip tease show, and, you know, who knows what else. But certainly it's bigger than football. It's about an American civil religion."

Which makes sense, says Harline, because football would not have been accepted on Sundays had it not first assumed a religious significance starting in the late 19th century. "Most Americans considered themselves Christians. And so they had to find a way to reconcile that. And the way they did that was, you know, this is a different day. Sunday is a special day. Most civilizations celebrate their holiest days with sports. Why wouldn't that be true in America as well?" Harline explains.

And so Sunday became a day for games and celebrations. But not for everyone.

There was nothing festive about the song "Gloomy Sunday," recorded by Billie Holiday in 1941. Stephen Miller says it reflects a larger theme in popular music: Sunday as a dark day:

"Gloomy is Sunday,
With shadows I spend it all.
My heart and I
Have decided to end it all.
Soon there'll be candles
And prayers that are said, I know,
But let them not weep,
Let them know that I'm glad to go.
Death is no dream
For in death I'm caressing you.
With the last breath of my soul
I'll be blessing you."
"In fact, it was banned by the BBC during the war because it was too depressing," Miller says.

"You're talking about bein' alone on a Saturday night, that's sad, you know?" says music journalist Fred Goodman. "Bein' alone on a Sunday morning, that's tragic."

Goodman says some songs about Sunday sadness focus on failed expectations for our day off.

"One of the great examples is Kris Kristofferson's song, 'Sunday Morning Coming Down.' It's about a guy who's down on his luck, you know, and really has nothing. And he's talking about Sunday morning. What do most people do on Sunday morning? You know, they're with their family, they're going to church, whatever. This guy's, like, you know, sleepin' off a drunk on the sidewalk. You know, he's got nothing."

Therapists have been listening to the real-life Sunday blues for years. In fact, Sunday actually has a psychiatric disorder named after it.

"There's a famous diagnosis in the early 20th century, [when] the discipline and practice of psychology emerged: Sunday neurosis," historian Harline explains. "The person who couldn't bear the coming of Sunday, because it threw them out of their routine. Sunday is timeless and it's open. There isn't that schedule that you have the rest of the week. And some people can't bear that."

Not writer Judith Shulevitz. In her upcoming book "The Sabbath World," she argues just the opposite: She wants to keep Sundays timeless. In a world of 24/7 commerce, she's pushing for a return to laws that would shut down businesses one day a week.

"If everybody has to stop working, then they have to, sort of, pay attention to their family, to themselves, to their community," she argues.

"So in this campaign, where do you even start?"
Charles Osgood asks.

"I don't pretend to have the answer in terms of legislation. I just start by trying to point out the benefits and to just say 'Let's remember the Sabbath. Let's remember what it did for us in the past. And let's think about what it could do for us in the future,'" Shulevitz explains.

"It's fast becoming like other days, because of the commercialization of Sunday," says Miller. "We're losing a day of rest. We're sort of 'on' all the time now. What effect does this have on our psyche? So I think we are losing something."

Which brings us back to the Puritans of the 1630s: their measures may now seem extreme, but what if they were actually onto something?


Bishops Back Proposed E.U. Law on Sunday Rest

Brussels, Belgium, Feb 16, 2009 (CNA).- The secretariat of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community has welcomed a proposed EU law that would safeguard Sunday as a day of rest from work.

According to L’Osservatore Romano, the secretariat issued a statement praising the measure proposed by five EU parliamentarians to recognize the value of “Sunday rest as part of the ‘cultural patrimony’ and ‘European social model’.”

“The current economic and financial crisis has made it even more evident that not every aspect of human life can be subject to the laws of the market,” the bishops stressed.

“In fact, consumerism is not a model either for a sustainable economy or for healthy human development.” Sunday work, they continued, “puts those who work on Sunday into a socially disadvantageous position, affecting everything from family life to their own personal health.”

The proposed measure, which would need 394 votes to pass in the EU parliament, would call on member states and EU institutions to “protect Sunday as the weekly day of rest” in order “to improve the protection of workers’ health and the balancing of work and family life.” -17-February-2009 -- Catholic News Agency

Sunday Shopping? France Says Non

French President Nicolas Sarkozy at a grocery store

In policy terms, December, 2008 is not turning out to be a keeper for French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Less than 24 hours after his government was forced to delay much touted education reforms in the face of protests by high school students, Sarkozy was forced to make big concessions to plans to legalize Sunday trading in France. Far from the sweeping liberalization Sarkozy had called for as part of his plan to let French employees "work more to earn more", the compromise bill will modestly augment the number of exceptional Sundays shops are already permitted to open.

Parliament is scheduled to begin debating the bill today, more than a week later than intended. The reform would have overturned a 1906 law that sets aside Sunday for rest and allowed shops in France's largest cities to open as they wished. But it faced fierce opposition from both the left and right. Socialist legislators have already filed over 4,000 amendments to the draft law, while members of Sarkozy's own ruling conservative majority have used a mix of religious and familial concerns to oppose it. With the number of right-wing dissenters growing ever larger, Sarkozy was forced to cave and save what he could of his Sunday legislation. (Read Tony Blair's view of Sarkozy, a runner-up for TIME's Person of the Year.)

"We're no longer talking about a generalization of Sunday opening hours," crowed Marc Le Fur, a member of Sarkozy's conservative Union for a Popular Majority (UMP). "France and the French people remain fond of Sunday as a rest day. This text will conserve Sundays as a day of rest."

Opinion polls in France show that slightly more than half the population want shops to have the freedom to open on Sundays. But a powerful range of opponents combined against the idea. Leftist politicians and unions, for example, denounced the plan as introducing a seven-day work week. That, they say, would allow bosses to force workers to work Sundays — despite measures in the original bill that stipulated Sunday hours were both optional, and higher-paid. Conservatives, meantime, brushed off Sarkozy's assurances that the extra day of activity would boost France's economy, and focused on the fact that Sunday trading would deprive families, associations, and church groups the one day of free time people build their week around. (See pictures of Sarkozy and his wife in London.)

Realizing he would not win this battle, Sarkozy amended the proposal. It now calls for doubling the number of exceptions to Sunday closing rules per year from the current five to 10, not counting the period prior to Christmas. Even then, however, city councils must approve local extension of Sunday openings, a green light that may prove hard to obtain after the nation-wide romp the Socialists enjoyed in municipal elections last spring. "Don't bother voting this text, because it won't be applied," warned Socialist Party leader and mayor of Lille Martine Aubry. "We'll be as ferocious in battling this project as we were the initial one."

Perhaps. But the government still appoints regional prefects, and they wield veto power over how municipalities apply new laws. Sarkozy and Sunday-minded shop owners could yet have the last laugh yet.

2 SDA Women seek to abolish Sabbath!

God's true calendar not a 7-day cycle?
Some Christians challenging system, say Sabbath 'floats' month to month

Posted: August 22, 2008
10:35 pm Eastern
By Joe Kovacs
(c) 2008 WorldNetDaily

Is it possible the entire world is just plain wrong when it comes to the current method of counting of days, weeks and months?

At least two Christian women on the Pacific Coast think so, as they claim God's original calendar set into motion at Creation is not based on a continuous seven-day week.

Their belief is that the "true" system of counting time is tied to what is called a "lunisolar" calendar, based upon both the sun and phases of the moon. They contend every new moon restarts the seven-day cycle, rather than having a continuous seven-day cycle which currently runs the world.

Laura Lee Vornholt-Jones

"I could have gone my whole life and such a concept would have never occurred to me," says Laura Lee Vornholt-Jones, a 39-year-old full-time mother in Spokane, Wash., who has adjusted her traditional Seventh-Day Adventist outlook of Saturday observance to this alternate method since learning of it in late 2006. "It was Earth-shattering to say the least."

Vornholt-Jones has posted this theory on her 4AngelsPublications website, where she offers her book on the issue, "The Great Calendar Controversy," for sale and for free viewing online.

She told WND she still observes a Sabbath – that is to say, a biblical day of rest – every seven days; but she says the precise day of the week for that Sabbath actually floats from month to month when compared to the Gregorian calendar commonly used today.

The theory suggests whatever day of the week the new moon occurs on, that particular day becomes "Day One" of the month.

Then, count seven days from Day One until you reach the initial Sabbath of the month, which would always be on the eighth calendar day of the month. The next day of rest would be on the 15th, then the 22nd and 29th.

Vornholt-Jones and her friend, photographer Kerrie French of Garden Valley, Calif., sought to bring the issue to light after reading a 2001 WND story in which Jan Marcussen, a fellow Seventh-Day Adventist from Thompsonville, Ill., was so sure there was no Bible verse declaring the first day of the week to be the Sabbath, he offered up to $1 million for clear, Scriptural proof.

French says she became aware of this concept in July of last year.

"I studied it in depth for three months before making a complete 'paradigm shift' from a Saturday Sabbath to what I call the lunisolar Creation Sabbath," French said. "It was at a Hebrew-style wedding. The bride-to-be mentioned that Saturday was no longer her Sabbath, but that her Sabbath for that month of July 2007 was actually on Tuesday. I was shocked!"

The women claim according to this method of reasoning, every Sabbath in August 2008 actually falls on Sunday, the first day of the week.

"It's total bunk. These woman don't know anything from whence they speak," says one WND reader. "The Bible says on the seventh day God rested and hallowed it. That was from the creation of the world, I don't know how much clearer you can get. The weekly Sabbath has nothing to do with the lunar or solar year. It never has, not even until this day. Jesus followed the same seventh day that Jews and Saturday-observant Christians follow today."

Vornholt-Jones claims that persecution of both Jews and Christians became so intense in the 4th century, that knowledge of the "true" system was actually lost.

As WND has reported, the whole subject of Sabbath observance is a hotly contested one in Christian circles, with believers split among Saturday, Sunday, any day of the week or even no special day of rest of any kind.

When it comes to the origin of calendars, historians don't always provide concrete, universal answers.

For instance, the Encyclopedia Britannica explains, "The origin of the Jewish calendar can no longer be accurately traced."

It goes on to reveal disputes among scholars between the observance of a solar year in ancient Israel or a lunisolar calendar "similar to that of ancient Babylonia."

The online Jewish Encyclopedia clearly defines the Sabbath as "The seventh day of the week; the day of rest." But the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia asserts, "The new moon is still, and the Sabbath originally was, dependent upon the lunar cycle ... . "

Pastor Robert B. Scott of Edmonton, Alberta, told WND: "Regardless of what Jews have done or not done in history, nowhere in God's Word does proof exist that the new moons are to be regarded as holy Sabbath convocations for corporate worship. Whatever Jews may have done in history is irrelevant in determining whether the new moons are Sabbaths. We must obey the Word – not history."

Most nations of the world today abide by the Gregorian calendar, a solar-based system with 365 and 1/4 days, with individual weeks cycling every seven days from Sunday through Saturday.

It was proclaimed in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII as a reform of the Julian calendar, which was instituted by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C., though not operating smoothly until A.D. 8.

Vornholt-Jones maintains she's still a Seventh-Day Adventist, but says this concept is not exclusive to members of her church.

"I have heard of Catholics, I've talked to people with the Worldwide Church of God, Messianic Jews ... people in Africa, Australia – so it's not just a localized thing," she said.

Regarding the ladies' attempt to cash in on the million-dollar challenge from 2001, WND contacted Marcussen who said:

"The offer was to anyone who could give one Bible verse showing that God commands us to keep holy the first day of the week [Sunday] instead of the seventh day [Saturday]. ...

"So I read the letter that you received, looking for the required Bible verse. I couldn't find it. Why not?  Because it's not there. ...

"Both ministers and people have responded, seeking to show the desired change of God's holy Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week. They say many nice things, but Scripture proof is always lacking."

Regarding the assertion the true calendar does not have a continuous weekly cycle, Marcussen said, "Any society that tried to carry on their schools, church or business without 'a continuous weekly cycle' would be in utter chaos. The poor people would get so confused that they wouldn't know what to do."

He cited 1 Corinthians 14:33 which states, "God is not the author of confusion."

He pointed out that the seventh-day Sabbath being Saturday has so permeated the cultures of the world for so long that many languages have the exact same word for both. In Greek, it is sabbaton; Italian, sabato; Spanish, sábado; Russian, subbota; Polish, sobota; and Hungarian, szómbat. Even the French "samedi" is from the Latin "Sambata dies," for "day of the Sabbath."

Marcussen added: "The 'challenge' will continue, but society is now in such a state that I will ask for people to use either the 'Authorized' King James Version of the Bible, or the New King James Version, lest someone try to get the money by writing a book with the desired statement in it, and call their book, 'The Bible.'"

When asked how many people share the lunar Sabbath belief, Vornholt-Jones said there's no way to be certain.

"No one has ever even tried to find out how many there are as the focus has always been on the truth itself, rather than how many adhere to that truth," she said.

But floating the Sabbath day from month to month does have ramifications.
"For me, it has not been difficult in the least, because I am self-employed, and do not have children in school," said French. "My husband, however, is not with me in this; but I see the spirit of [God] working with him as he is studying his Bible as never before."

I need to as that if what they say is true, and the Sabbath "floats" from month to month, WHERE in the Bible does it say God told the Jews about this back when they kept His Sabbath holy for thousands of years? NOT ONE Bible verse backs this false doctrine in any way shape or form. It appears they are confusing annual sabbaths with the weekly Sabbath. In fact, nowhere in the Word of God does God associate His weekly Sabbath with the Sun or the moon! This is just another Roman Catholic attack on the Sabbath of the Creator.

 The Decline of the Sabbath
Less praying, more working and playing.

Friday, June 15, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT
Wall Street Journal

For many Americans, Sunday is unlike any other day of the week. They spend its luxurious hours curled up in bed with the paper, meeting friends for brunch, working off hangovers, watching golf, running errands and preparing themselves for the workweek ahead. But Sunday is also, for many, the Sabbath--a special day for religious reasons. Not that you would notice.

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy," we are told in Exodus. Of all the gifts Jews gave the world, that of a weekly day of rest is certainly one to be cherished. And yet the Sabbath is now marked more by its neglect than its keeping. Or so says Christopher Ringwald in his new book "A Day Apart."

Mr. Ringwald notes that in the late 18th century, states banned entertainment, hunting or unnecessary travel on Sundays. The Second Great Awakening in the early 1800s spread Sabbath-keeping to the frontiers. Church membership doubled, Sunday schools proliferated and long sermons dominated the morning. It was unthinkable that the general store would remain open on the Sabbath. "Nothing strikes a foreigner on his arrival in America more forcibly than the regard paid to the Sabbath," Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in 1840. "Not only have all ceased to work, but they appear to have ceased to exist." The so-called blue laws that were a part of American culture--closing down bars and preventing the sale of liquor on Sunday--were commonplace well into the 20th century.

But the Sabbath today is at odds with commercial culture. To generalize shamelessly from personal experience: My brother-in-law, who manages a national retail store in Colorado, works on Sundays, following church. He was shocked recently to find out he is now required to open the store on Easter Sunday. Easter used to be the one Sunday each year when retail stores closed. No longer.

Of course, debates over the proper observance of the Sabbath date back to ancient times. One early conflict between Jesus and his fellow Jews was over what it meant to keep the Sabbath. Jesus' failure to hew to ever-expanding rules--he healed the sick on the Sabbath--angered the Pharisees.

Not that Christians later fell into easy agreement about Sabbath conduct. In another new book, "Sunday: A History of the First Day From Babylonia to the Super Bowl," Craig Harline shows how all sorts of complicated rules governing work, travel, sex and leisure grew up around the Sabbath in medieval Europe, creating a tangle of proscriptions that had overwhelmed the day by the 14th century. One genre of church mural at the time, known as the "Sunday Christ," showed Jesus surrounded by tools of the fishing, carpentry and farming trades. Each ax, rake and fishing hook inflicted a fresh wound on the crucified Christ. The message was not lost on worshipers: Work on the Sabbath only added to Jesus' suffering.

Reformation leader Martin Luther resisted such Sabbath guilt, saying that the commandment was kept by daily worship and high regard for God's Word, not strict rules governing behavior. Discussing the Sabbath, he highlighted Paul's relief at being free from the demands of Jewish law. And yet from the 16th century to the modern era, a Sabbath consensus emerged. Christians were to keep Sunday as a day of rest and worship, and their governments supported this pious notion. The day of rest did not become secularized until very recently.

What happened? It is hard to say. Both Mr. Ringwald and Mr. Harline note that our religious practices are more and more isolated from the habits of the broader culture. Think only of the coarseness of the Internet, gossip rags and Hollywood fare in a country that claims 45% church attendance every Sunday: We live now on two tracks, a secular and a religious one, shuttling between them all too easily.

This Sabbath dissonance was evident even in the 1950s, Mr. Harline notes. More than 90% of American homes had a television, and some 37% were tuned to Sunday football.

"Sundays changed when the world changed," he writes. Stopping farming in the Middle Ages was easy. But to close restaurants, shut up amusement parks or clear the airwaves when Americans with money were trying to spend it that day was impossible.

The flip side to the prosperity we enjoy is that we have lost our day of rest for another day of consumption. The pace of commerce and technology provide unheard of options for ignoring family, religion and rest--not just on the Sabbath but every day of the week.

Ultimately, Mr. Ringwald would like to see the Sabbath restored to one track--if not a strictly religious one, then one not actively secular. Taking a day of rest protects us from ourselves, he writes, from "our urge to always be doing, improving, earning, getting, spending, having, consuming--all the ways we hurry on toward death."

Ms. Hemingway is a writer in Washington.

Basketball champs refuse to play on Sabbath
League winners skip tournament, say 'Experiencing Christ' better than to 'Take state'
Posted: February 20, 2008
1:48 pm Eastern © 2008 WorldNetDaily

The mission statement for Campion Academy, a Seventh-day Adventist Church school in Colorado, is painted on the outside of the gymnasium, "Experiencing Christ in a Learning Environment." It isn't, "Take State."
So there have been virtually no serious complaints when the school's basketball team, winning the Northern Front Range League title in Class 2A basketball competition with a 13-1 record this year, again will not be participating in the Colorado High School Activities Association's state competition.
The team, the league champion for the fourth year, instead, is playing at a tournament for Seventh-day Adventist schools in Nebraska, according to a report in the Denver Post.
The academy's athletic director and basketball coach, Troy Beans, said he knew starting out the school was "academic-oriented."
"Sports aren't at the top of the list by any means," he told the newspaper.
The 101-year-old academy teaches strict adherence to the Ten Commandments, including the 4th, which is "Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy." It defines the Sabbath as the traditional Jewish day from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.
The result? No games on Friday night or Saturday.
The state association had agreed to work with the school, and allow the Cougars to continue to compete as long as their opponents were flexible on the scheduling of games.
But the members of Campion's faculty voted against moving forward.
Beans disagrees, respectfully, with that decision, as do some players.
"I think it would be a good opportunity for our team to show who we really are, and be a good ministry for our school and our religion," starting center Nathan Lorenz told the newspaper.
Michael Beans, the coach's son, is a senior guard and scores 16 points per game.
He told the Post it's "frustrating" that recognition such as a championship is available for the school, but the team won't have that opportunity.
But his opinion couldn't be described as rebellion.
"I love this school, and I love this atmosphere," he said.
Many of the 155 students in grades 9-12 board on campus and work in various positions at the school, which only joined the state activities association in 1997. Troy Beans' father and grandfather also attended, but the three were able to participate only in intramural athletics.
Another Seventh-day Adventist school, Mile High Academy in nearby Denver, also has sports teams but the school doesn't hold a membership in the state organization.
Principal John Winslow said there's really no reason to change the school's priorities.
"I think of it in this realm: With all we have here, it's difficult to extend our season … We want to have good seasons, and then we're going to our local kind of church playoffs … and we're going to call it good," he told the newspaper.
"We're just trying to keep a balance," he said.

Pope demands respect for Sundays

Pope Benedict XVI has appealed for renewed respect for Sundays as he celebrated Mass at St Stephen's cathedral in the heart of Vienna.

He was speaking on the final day of his three-day visit to Austria. In his sermon, the Pope said leisure was a good thing amid the mad rush of the modern world, but warned of the dangers of it becoming wasted time. Correspondents say the papal visit to Austria comes as the influence of the Catholic Church is in decline there.

Growing secularisation

"Give the soul its Sunday, give Sunday its soul," the Pope said, quoting a phrase coined by a German bishop in the 20th Century. "Leisure time is certainly something good and necessary, especially amid the mad rush of the modern world," he said in his sermon. The Pope added though that if leisure lacked an inner focus, it could easily become wasted time. The number of Austrians who regularly attend Sunday Mass has diminished to a tiny proportion of those who call themselves Catholics, according to church statistics, BBC's David Willey reports from Vienna. The Pope was visiting Austria not only as a pilgrim, but also as a missionary, according to the local press. His aim during the three-day visit was to help revitalise religious practice in an increasingly secular Austrian society, our correspondent adds. -EuroNews today     Austria

Pope: Sunday Worship a “Necessity” For All

September 17, 2007 | From
Pope Benedict XVI says your life depends upon worshiping on Sunday.

“Sine dominico non possumus!” “Without Sunday [worship] we cannot live!” Pope Benedict xvi declared during a mass on September 9 at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna.

Speaking on the final day of his three-day visit to Austria, the German pope voiced a strong call for Christians to revive Sunday keeping as an all-important religious practice.

“Give the soul its Sunday, give Sunday its soul,” he chanted before a rain-soaked crowd of 40,000.

Benedict said that Sunday, which he stated has its origin as “the day of the dawning of creation,” was “also the church’s weekly feast of creation.”

Warning against the evils of allowing Sunday to become just a part of the weekend, the pope said people needed to have a spiritual focus during the first day of the week, or else leisure time would just become wasted time.

Sunday worship, he warned, was not just a “precept” to be casually adhered to, but a “necessity” for all people.

In the opening greeting, the archbishop of Vienna said a movement in Austria had been initiated to protect “Sunday from tendencies to empty [it] of its meaning.”

In Austria, most businesses are restricted from operating on Sunday. However, some business groups are pressuring the government to be allowed to open, a move Roman Catholic groups vehemently oppose.

During Benedict’s trip to Austria, he called for Europe to look to its Christian roots, to trust in God and to defend traditional values.

The pope has been very vocal about Europe’s Christian—or Catholic—roots, and is pushing to have them included in the European Constitution. Although laws concerning Sunday worship are currently determined by individual nations, look for the European Union to eventually gain jurisdiction over the work week—which is one big reason the Catholic Church is so intimately involved with the evolution of the EU. For more on the Catholic Church and Europe, read “The Pope Trumpets Sunday” by the Trumpet’s editor in chief.

12:30 PM Orange church plans 'Law Enforcement Sunday'
Updated 12/25/2007 11:06:04 PM CST
ORANGE - St. Paul Episcopal Church, 1401 W. Park Ave., will recognize area peace officers during "Law Enforcement Sunday" at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 9.

"Because of your important work, we have the freedom to exercise our rights to worship, live and raise our families in a free society," said the Rev. Bill Phillips, pastor. "You deserve the credit for keeping us safe and free. We want to thank you and everyone who works with you in law enforcement."

Lunch will follow the service. Phillips said the occasion will become an annual event.

For more information, call the church at 883-2926.

And read to attendees of a retirees meeting in Calimesa, CA
November 6, 2007


Tonight I spoke personally with an inside source (the co-chairman of the Christian Coalition) and he confirmed something I heard. 

 This month, November 14 and 15 there will be a special meeting held at The Pope John Paul Cultural Center.  This meeting is given and paid for by the Vatican .  There will be two speakers; one is a cardinal, and the agenda of this meeting is to point out the state our world is in, to bring back Israel to obedience, and to push the 7th Amendment for a national day of rest.  One of the societies that will be present is the SOS, which stands for “Save our Sundays.”  The Christian Coalition will be looking for support from our Presidential nominees for this amendment.

 Senators that will be there include front runner John Moore, Nancy Poloski, John McCain, John Werner, Gary Brown; also Al Gore to talk about the global warming; Dr. James Dobson, and Pat Robertson. 

 It is important to keep in mind that when Sunday law becomes actually implemented our time of probation is CLOSED!  The time of sealing is over!  Jesus said “He that is holy let him be holy still, and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still.”  It is time to repent and get prepared, our time is short.. 

'Never on Sunday,'Scientologists told
Group considered business, not a church, in Germany – sales banned on worship day

Posted: January 27, 2007
7:10 p.m. Eastern
© 2007

A controversial new Scientology center that opened two weeks ago in one of Berlin's upscale neighborhoods won't be open on Sundays like Christian churches in the German capital – the government considers the group a business rather than a church and, as such, it falls under the country's rigid Sunday closing laws, Der Spiegel reports.

The 43,000-square-foot center, located in the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district, is just the latest effort by the Los Angeles-based Church of Scientology to make inroads into Germany.

Scientologists have been under surveillance for years by the domestic intelligence service, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, and numerous court challenges to the monitoring have been made.

In 2003, a Berlin court ruled the group could not be monitored by German states since it was too small to constitute a threat. The ruling did not restrict the federal government.

"It is indispensable that Scientology be carefully observed in every state," Guenther Beckstein, a Bavarian interior minister, was quoted as saying by the newspaper Berliner Zeitung.

In 1995, the German Federal Labor Court ruled that Scientology is "neither a religion nor an ideology."

The German federal government categorizes Scientology as a commercial enterprise that takes advantage of those who are vulnerable.

Scientologists reject the charge, saying they are a religion and calling surveillance an abuse of their religious freedom.

The center's private opening ceremony was met by protestors – primarily neighbors who worried their children might be lured into the building by the agressive offers of sidewalk recruiters offering free mental-health checkups. Some carried banners reading, "No brainwashing."

A Berlin official, meeting with members of the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf this week, said that the city had reviewed existing laws and determined nothing could be done to limit the center's outreach activities.

"In our view, this is a business activity," Marc Schulte, the city district's economic advisor, told the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel.

Community officials, responding to pressure from the center's neighbors and armed with the legal opinion that Scientologists seeking to recruit new members are involved in marketing, have invoked Germany's strict Sunday closing laws that prohibit business activities on that day.

Officials say they will closely monitor the Scientologists to make certain they are following the law.

Germany has been repeatedly criticized by the U.S. State Department in its annual Human Rights Report for continued monitoring of the group, Associated Press reported, despite acknowledgments by security officials no evidence of illegal activity has been found.

The Church of Scientology claims 30,000 adherents in Germany while the government estimates it has only 5,000-6,000 members.

Sabbath-Sunday Bill Survey Shows Support
by Hillel Fendel

( MK Zevulun Orlev (NRP) has announced the findings of a poll showing 56% support amongst Israelis for his proposed legislation making Sunday a day of rest and allowing some public transportation and entertainment on the Sabbath.

Orlev's bill would change the official approach to Sabbath as the country's day of rest. Though businesses and government offices would continue to be closed, places of entertainment would be permitted to open - and public transportation, now banned in most cities on the Sabbath, would be available. The bill stipulates that such transportation and entertainment would be carried out with maximum 
sensitivity to the religious public. 

A survey commissioned by Orlev finds that 56% of the public support his initiative, while 30% object. The poll was carried out by Brain Base (Maagar Mochot) Institute, headed by Prof. Yitzchak Katz.

Orlev's bill, which he proposed last week, also calls for a second day of rest during the week - Sunday - during which businesses and offices would be closed. This would enable Sabbath-observant families to spend more time together, Orlev explains. Work hours lost to Sunday would be made up largely by increasing the workday on Mondays through Fridays from 8 to 9 hours.

The survey divides the respondents into religious categories, such as secular, hareidi-religious, etc. However, it lumps together the religious-Zionist public with those who consider themselves "traditional," i.e., minimally observant. The poll finds that 64% of this joint "sector" supports the new bill.

The two groups were combined in the poll, despite the expectation that the two would not have similar views of the issue. Other findings of the poll show, in fact, that support for the bill increases as level of religious observance decreases. For instance, 64% of the secular public supports the bill, compared to only 6% of the hareidi-religious public.

Asked to explain, Orlev's spokesman Moshe Inbar told Arutz-7 that the breakdown was determined by the pollster, "in consultation with me." Inbar said that lumping the two sectors together is in keeping with the NRP's new policy of "opening its gates" to the traditional community.

Arutz-7: "But information is missing from the poll, in that we do not know how many of the mainstream NRP voters - the religious-Zionist public - supports this bill."

In response, Inbar first suggested that "you can commission your own poll," but then added, "You can extrapolate from the other findings..."

Orlev said his bill was formulated with the help of leading religious-Zionist rabbis, and does not openly permit activities that are forbidden by the Torah, "but rather does not mention them."

MK Yitzchak Levy of the National Union party said the bill paves the way for further deterioration in the character of the Sabbath in the State of Israel. The National Union and the NRP joined forces for the last national election, merging into one electoral list.


Return the Church and moral law to their proper place in society

Return the Church and moral law to their proper place in society, Pope Benedict tells Italian lawyers

Vatican City, Dec. 11, 2006 (CNA) - Saturday Pope Benedict XVI received participants in the 56th national study congress, promoted by the Union of Italian Catholic Jurists, which is being held in Rome on the theme: "Secularity and secularities." The Holy Father told the lawyers how the idea of secularity has been corrupted and challenged them to create a society in which the Church and the moral law are returned to their rightful place.

The concept of secularity, said the Holy Father in his address to the group, originally referred to "the condition of simple faithful Christian, not belonging to the clergy or the religious state. During the Middle Ages it acquired the meaning of opposition between civil authorities and ecclesial hierarchies, and in modern times it has assumed the significance of the exclusion of religion and its symbols from public life by confining them to the private sphere and the individual conscience. In this way, the term secularity has acquired an ideological meaning quite opposite to the one it originally held."

Secularity today, then, "is understood as a total separation between State and Church, the latter not having any right to intervene in questions concerning the life and behavior of citizens. And such secularity even involves the exclusion of religious symbols from public places."

In accordance with this definition, the Pope continued, "today we hear talk of secular thought, secular morals, secular science, secular politics. In fact, at the root of such a concept, is an a-religious view of life, thought and morals; that is, a view in which there is no place for God, for a Mystery that transcends pure reason, for a moral law of absolute value that is valid in all times and situations."

The Holy Father underlined the need "to create a concept of secularity that, on the one hand, grants God and His moral law, Christ and His Church, their just place in human life at both an individual and a social level, and on the other hand affirms and respects the 'legitimate autonomy of earthly affairs'."

The Church, the Pope reiterated, cannot intervene in politics, because that would "constitute undue interference."

However, he said, "'healthy secularity' means that the State does not consider religion merely as an individual sentiment that can be confined to the private sphere." Rather, it must be "recognized as a ... public presence. This means that all religious confessions (so long as they do not contrast the moral order and are not dangerous to public order) are guaranteed free exercise of their acts of worship."

Hostility against "any form of political or cultural relevance of religion," and in particular against "any kind of religious symbol in public institutions" is a degenerated form of secularity, said the Holy Father, as is "refusing the Christian community, and those who legitimately represent it, the right to pronounce on the moral problems that today appeal to the conscience of all human beings, particularly of legislators.

" This," he added, "does not constitute undue interference of the Church in legislative activity, which is the exclusive competence of the State, but the affirmation and the defense of those great values that give meaning to people's lives and safeguard their dignity. These values, even before being Christian, are human, and therefore cannot leave the Church silent and indifferent, when she has the duty firmly to proclaim the truth about man and his destiny."

The Pope concluded by highlighting the need "to bring people to understand that the moral law God gave us - and that expresses itself in us through the voice of conscience - has the aim not of oppressing us but of freeing us from evil and of making us happy. We must show that without God man is lost, and that the exclusion of religion from social life, and in particular the marginalization of Christianity, undermines the very foundations of human coexistence. Such foundations, indeed, before being of the social and political order, belong to the moral order."

An Unwelcome Rest
Politicians come under pressure to tear up France's archaic trading laws after a flagship Paris fashion store is told it can't open on Sundays

Vuitton: The Art of Retail
Sunday, Jun. 04, 2006

What does it take to be able to do business on a Sunday? Ask Louis Vuitton. The luxury retailer's revamped flagship store on the Champs Elysées has been attracting thousands of visitors every day since it reopened last October. But last week, a Paris tribunal ruled that the luxury-goods firm has been breaking the law by opening its huge, 1,800-sq-m emporium on Sundays, one of its most heavily trafficked days.

Although much Sunday trading is banned in France, Louis Vuitton had received an exemption from the Paris prefect by arguing that the store was a cultural landmark, not just a commercial one. But the tribunal upheld a complaint brought by a national federation representing small clothing retailers and a French Christian labor union. The federation took issue with what it sees as unfair competition, while the CFTC union — which doesn't represent any workers at the Louis Vuitton store — insists that Sunday should be a day of rest. "The little luggage store on the Champs Elysées is not above the law," crowed a sarcastic CFTC press release.

Yves Carcelle, Louis Vuitton's president, slammed the decision as "an unacceptable, Malthusian interpretation of the law," and said it puts 70 jobs at risk; the firm plans to appeal. The ruling highlights the variety of highly restrictive regulations on France's statute books that govern shopping, including criminal penalties for promotional sales below cost. There are also gaping contradictions: while Sunday trading as a rule is outlawed, cinemas, restaurants, cafés and fast-food chains are allowed to open. In today's Paris, it's one thing to eat a burger and quite another to indulge in a diet of luxury

France Enforces Sunday Rest  

WORLDWATCH: EUROPE  September 2006

  In May, French courts ruled that the Louis Vuitton flagship store must remain closed on Sundays in accordance with law. The suit was brought against the famous Paris fashion house by the French Confederation of Christian Workers. Three facts are revealing:

1) The union that sued has no employees at the store.

2) All 300 employees of the store voted in favor of opening on Sundays.

3) An Ipsos telephone survey in April showed that 75 percent of French citizens polled approve of stores opening on Sunday.

Those three facts—along with every fact associated with this case—changed nothing though. Even if every American citizen approved of it, a community that began driving 50 miles an hour over the speed limit in school zones would still be violating law. In this case, French law was clearly violated: Thou shalt rest on Sunday.

But where does a law like that come from, especially when the citizens of the nation don’t want it? How can the French government defend that law’s existence?

The popular defense of the law is that small merchants can’t compete with larger retailers that have the resources to remain open on Sundays and therefore need government protection. That is poppycock. The law itself is 100 years old—a time when said large retailers simply didn’t have that ability. The National Clothing Federation might be able to make that argument today, but it has nothing to do with the origins of enforced rest on Sunday.

Enforced Sunday worship began with the Roman Empire—specifically Emperor Constantine.

In a letter written after the Nicene Council of a.d. 325, Constantine specifically addressed Sabbath worship: “[F]rom this day forward none of your unlawful assemblies may presume to appear in any public or private place. Let this edict be made public.”

Worship on any day except Sunday was illegal, as confirmed at the Council of Laodicea almost 40 years later, in a.d. 363. At that conference, it was determined, “Christians must not Judaize by resting on the Sabbath [that is, Saturday], but must work on that day, rather honoring the Lord’s Day. … But if any shall be found to be Judaizers, let them be anathema [cursed and excommunicated] from Christ” (emphasis ours throughout).

At the Council of Tours in a.d. 1163, Pope Alexander iii was even more specific: “Whereas a damnable heresy [Sabbath worship] has for some time lifted its head in the parts about Toulouse, and already spread infection through Gascony and other provinces, concealing itself like a serpent in its folds; as soon as its followers shall have been discovered, let no man afford them refuge on his estates; neither let there be any communication with them in buying and selling: so that, being deprived of the solace of human conversation, they may be compelled to return from error to wisdom.” In other words, if you worshiped on some day other than Sunday, you couldn’t do business.

That is where Sunday labor laws have their origin. Working on Sunday marks those who do so as pernicious in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church, a stance many European governments have supported throughout the last 1,700 years.

Today, Louis Vuitton is unable to sell its handbags on the Catholic day of rest. In the future, as Europe becomes more integrated and the Vatican takes on a greater leadership role, we know that Sunday observance will be enforced as an identifying sign of the next incarnation of the Holy Roman Empire. For more information, please write for your free copy of Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast?

source :

When Malls Stay Open on Sundays, the Pious Party
By Richard Morin Washington Post
Thursday, September 14, 2006; Page A02

Who knew Satan worked at the local mall?

While bars, cheap hotels and similar places of questionable repute may remain America's favorite spots to sin, two economists say that giving people an extra day to shop at the mall also contributes significantly to wicked behavior -- particularly among people who are the most religious.


Jonathan Gruber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Daniel M. Hungerman of the University of Notre Dame discovered the malevolent Mall Effect by studying what happened when states and counties repeal "blue laws." Those statutes prohibit the sale on Sunday of certain nonessential items, such as appliances, furniture and jewelry, typically sold in shopping malls, as well as liquor and cigarettes.

Gruber and Hungerman found that when states eliminated blue laws, church attendance declined while drinking and drug use increased significantly among young adults. Even more striking, the biggest change in bad behavior mostly occurred among those who frequently attended religious services, they report in a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, "The Church vs. the Mall: What Happens When Religion Faces Increased Secular Competition?"

At one time, all but eight states had blue laws. Today 13 have statewide Sunday selling bans on some products or leave it up to local jurisdictions to decide, with mall owners among those leading the fight to get these statutes off the books.

It turns out those business owners may be doing the devil's work. Before the shopping ban was lifted, about 37 percent of people in a state on average attended religious services at least weekly, Hungerman said. "After the laws are repealed it falls to 32 percent" -- a drop "not driven by declines in religiosity prior to the law change."

Instead of going to church, many of the faithful apparently were going astray. Marijuana use increased by 11 percentage points among church attendees, compared with those who never went to services, after the shopping ban was lifted. Cocaine use increased by nearly 4 percentage points, and heavy drinking increased by about 5 1/2 percentage points among churchgoers compared with those who never went to services, with frequent attendees even more likely to go on benders.

Hmmm. Interesting, but why would the elimination of blue laws suddenly provoke such an outburst of sinning among the religious? After all, there are six other days of the week to shop (or drink) until you drop. And it's not legal to buy cocaine or marijuana on any day of the week.

"That's the million-dollar question," Hungerman said. He suspects that keeping businesses open on Sunday means that some religious young people have to work or choose to go shopping, which apparently increases their exposure to sinners or otherwise weakens their resistance to the dark side.

"Instead of being in church, you're working or shopping in the mall surrounded by 'party animals,' " he said.

D. James Kennedy says...

"Some claim that we are not observing the true Sabbath unless we are observing it on Saturday. They ask, 'How did the Sabbath change from Saturday to Sunday?'...In fact, the day of the Sabbath was changed by Christ and His apostles." D. James Kennedy, Why The Ten Commandments Matter, p. 76

"Have you ever heard the old saying, 'As goes the Sabbath, so goes the nation?' It's true. When the sabbath becomes profaned and desecreated, a nation sinks deeper and deeper into the mire of sin, and that has a profound negative impact upon any country....

"Christians need to understand that keeping the Sabbath really does create a more moral climate in our culture. It promotes an awareness that God and His ways and His laws are important to all of us. Without public morality, our secular laws have less meaning; the result is that lawlessness rises, and our nation sinks into crime, fear, disorder, and injustice.

"From the witness of the early Church, from the witness of our disarrayed lives, from the witness of our society as it teeters on the brink of moral collapse, we can see the need to keep the Sabbath is truly urgent." D. James Kennedy, Why The Ten Commandments Matter, p. 81,82

Pat Robertson says...

"The original Sabbath of the Hebrews of the Bible was Saturday....As custom developed, the Christian Sabbath, or day of rest and worship, became Sunday, and this was the day established by law in America. There was a time not long ago when Sunday was a very special day." Pat Robertson, The Ten Offenses, p .104


Before reading, read what a modern day prophet said over 100 years ago...

Satan will … accuse God's people as the cause of the fearful convulsions of nature and the strife and bloodshed among men which are desolating the earth. -Spirit of Prophecy Vol 4 p44"  

Sabbath-breaking 'caused tsunami'
Christian minister calls disaster
'divine visitation' on Lord's Day

Posted: February 13, 2005
4:00 p.m. Eastern © 2005

Rev. John MacLeod (photo: Grampian TV)

A Christian minister claims the tsunami of Sunday, Dec. 26, killing at least 160,000 people, was direct result of "pleasure seekers" breaking God's Sabbath.

In the February issue of his church magazine, Rev. John MacLeod of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland writes: "Possibly ... no event since Noah's flood has caused such loss of life by drowning as the recent Asian tsunami. That so many of our fellow creatures should have perished in so short a time, and in so awful a fashion, was a divine visitation that ought to make men tremble the world over."

He continued: "Some of the places most affected by the tsunami attracted pleasure-seekers from all over the world. It has to be noted that the wave arrived on the Lord's day, the day God set apart to be observed the world over as a holy resting from all employments and recreations that are lawful on other days."

The tsunami, a series of tidal waves sparked by a subsea earthquake off Sumatra, arrived on Sunday morning, the day after Christmas, in countries including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand.

MacLeod said: "To rule out the hand of God in this ... is to forget that He is in sovereign control of all events. If the sparrow falling to the ground is an event noted, and ordered, by Him, how much is this the case when the souls of so many thousands are parted from their bodies?"

The 74-year-old minister, now living in the London area after spending 35 years in Stornoway, Scotland, concluded: "Do not worldliness, materialism, hedonism, uncleanness, and pleasure-seeking characterize our own generation to a great extent and does not this solemn visitation in providence reminds us that He remains the same God still? God is no idle spectator of what is happening here in time and treats men with the sharpness and severity in order that they may know their vices."

There have been news accounts about Muslims who believe the tsunami was divine retribution for sinning, but they have cited prostitution and heavy drinking instead of Sabbath observance.

Some have even gone so far as to claim God signed his name as Allah in the waves off the Sri Lankan town of Kalutara, as captured by satellite photography.

Waves off Kalutara, Sri Lanka, said to resemble name of Allah in Arabic, inset (photo: DigitalGlobe)

"This clearly spells out the name 'Allah' in Arabic," Mohamed Faizeen, manager of the Centre for Islamic Studies in Colombo, told Agence France-Presse. "He sent it as punishment. This comes from ignoring His laws."

"Allah first sends small punishments – like loss of business. If we ignore the warning, He sends bigger ones – loss of life. If we still ignore the warnings, the big punishments, like earthquakes and tsunamis will come."

(click here to see my Newsletter based on this article)

Court rules for librarian fired over Sunday work
Argued her religious beliefs prevented her from coming in that day
Posted: May 6, 2006 1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2006

A federal district court ruled in favor of a Christian librarian who was fired after she requested to have Sundays off because of her religious
beliefs. A jury awarded Constance Rehm of Missouri damages for back pay, according to the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund.
"This ruling is very important in making sure that people of faith are not treated as second-class citizens," said ADF Litigation Counsel David
LaPlante. LaPlante said employers "have a responsibility to respect the religious beliefs of their employees and to make reasonable accommodations." "This decision, along with the award of monetary compensation to the Christian librarian who lost her job, is very encouraging," he said.

As WorldNetDaily reported, ADF and the Christian Law Association filed the case against the Rolling Hills Consolidated Library in August 2004 after Rehmm was fired the previous May. Library officials claim they made an attempt to accommodate Rehm by allowing a part-time employee to volunteer to work for her on Sundays, in return for her working on Saturdays. But her attorneys called it a "smokescreen," arguing the library did not allow sufficient time for other employees to volunteer. The library also stated, the lawyers pointed out, that even if someone volunteered, the request wouldn't necessarily have been approved.

Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act states an employee's request for accommodation based upon a sincere religious belief can only be denied if the employer can demonstrate that the request would cause undue hardship.  The lawsuit claimed the library has not made its case for denying Rehm's request and went too far in firing her for insubordination. "Not only did the library fail to make its case for denying this librarian's request, library officials crossed the line in firing her for insubordination," said LaPlante. He said the library "should not require an employee to violate her conscience, effectively forcing her to choose between her religious beliefs and her job."

February 5, 2006 is declared TEN COMMANDMENTS DAY!
(Later changed to May 6th)

The focal point of this movement is the first annual Ten Commandments Day that will be held on Sunday February 5, 2006. On this date we are calling on all religious leaders who are concerned about traditional Judeo-Christian values to host special celebrations and/or deliver stirring messages centering on the Ten Commandments. (See Ministry Commitment Form). Many Christian and Jewish leaders have already pledged their support for Ten Commandments Day.

With the Ten Commandments Day, we will offer a powerful display of unity as we, with one voice, declare our unwavering support for the bedrock principles that made our country great-The Ten Commandments.

Some of the many Christian leaders involved with the Ten Commandments Day include:

  • Dr. Paul Crouch, Founder and President of the Trinity Broadcasting Network
  • Bishop T.D. Jakes, CEO of The Potter's House of Dallas
  • Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ)
  • Benny Hinn, Founder of Benny Hinn Ministries
  • Richard Shakarian of the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship
  • Bishop George McKinney of Church of God in Christ
  • Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty of Tulsa Victory Christian Center
  • Ted Haggard, President of the National Association of Evangelicals
  • Dr. Mark J. Chironna, Overseer of The Master's Touch International Church
  • Richard Roberts, President of Oral Roberts University
  • Marilyn Hickey, Founder of Marilyn Hickey Ministries
  • Bishop Paul S. Morton, Founder of Life Center Full Gospel Baptist Cathedral
  • Dr. Charles Phillips, Official Representative to the United Nations as a Non-Government Official to the Economic Concilias
  • Bishop Harold Ray, Pastor of Redemptive Life Fellowship
  • Dr. Charles Green, Pastor of Faith Church of New Orleans
  • Bishop Eddie L. Long of Bishop Eddie Long Ministries, Inc.
  • Jerry Horner, Th.D.,  Director of Doctoral Studies, Beacon University
  • Floyd Flake, Pastor and former Congressman
  • And many more. . . .

Will you join with us?

Please take a stand and join the coalition of thousands of cross cultural interdenominational community leaders, pastors, rabbis, educators, and heads of denominations who are committed to bringing the Word of God back to our nation. Join us for Ten Commandments Day! (MAIN SITE = )

New Sunday noise rules don't plug enough holes to keep the peace
Thursday, September 15, 2005
 -The Oregonian
by Karen W. Sorenson

Let me get this straight. Obnoxious, polluting, loud leaf blowers are allowed on Sundays in bucolic Lake Oswego, but the noisy hammers, table saws, etc. that go along with just about any city work permit aren't. My neighbor whose irritatingly loud music blasts into our backyard can crank up his stereo, but a construction worker cannot rock to his boom box.

Ah, our city leaders are at it again.

Portable CD players have been put on notice and cannot be audible on construction sites with permits. Our city leaders approved this ban last week. In August, the city also nixed construction work during what many consider their day of rest. Any work that requires building, plumbing, mechanical or electrical permits is now prohibited in residential zones on Sundays and certain holidays. Lest anyone think I don't feel his or her pain when it comes to construction disruption: Our house borders the Westlake neighborhood. My family survived dust, trespassers, noise, lumbering trucks and general lack of privacy for well over two years during the development of that maze of houses. Construction noise is a problem, but it isn't new to the area. Arbitrarily shutting down certain forms of work is.

This is a concern.

Who is to say that construction noise is worse than a muscle car without a muffler being repeatedly revved every Sunday in someone's driveway? If construction is an irritant, then let's go further in our quest for a quiet day. Why is a neighborhood store that attracts unwanted traffic allowed to open on Sundays? And what about a college student who wants to knock out a deck for extra cash on weekends? "For me, during the school year, that only gives me one day a week that I can work," says Evan Clemson, a junior at Oregon State. Evan comes home to L.O. on weekends because of his construction business.

"If I want to do it legitimately, it doesn't leave me many options," he says. "One day of work on Saturday isn't worth the drive home." "I can play a boom box at home as loud as I want, but not if I'm working. It doesn't make sense," he adds. If we're going after noise, how about no boom boxes at all? How about no lawnmowers or noisy mechanics of any kind? It is a false distinction to base a noise ordinance only on activity that requires city permits. The consequence of construction infill is that one hears more noise. The city has promoted and approved this activity.

For a city so concerned about giving people a day of peace, officials show their extremely heavy-handed way of governing when they go after permitted workers. And one last question. What about people whose day of rest is Saturday?
Karen Wallace Sorenson:

My local area Newspaper...

Sundays should be sacred, not work time

I am one of the six Alcoa employees who firmly believe that our religious rights have been discriminated against. I've read a Journal and Courier editorial and a letter from a former Alcoa employee. Those two pieces have had me thinking.

In regard to the Alcoa retiree's letter of last week, no, I did not agree to work 16 hours when Alcoa hired me. In fact, I was given a religious accommodation by Alcoa. They knew I was a pastor when they gave me a job, and the human resource officer and a representative from management gave me Sundays off so I could do my work as a pastor. This was put in my record (though Alcoa has not given me copies of this transaction).

I agree that Alcoa, up to this point, has been a very good employer. They respected my deeply held religious beliefs, and Sunday was never an issue. But it worked two ways. I went out of my way to do a good job for Alcoa. I have no records of discipline in my record, have never been talked to about my work ethic and was always held in high esteem by my supervisors. One of them told me that I was one of the hardest workers in the mill. And not just me, but the other five, who have filed religious discrimination complaints against Alcoa, were model employees as well.

So I'm not biting the hand that fed me. I don't owe Alcoa an apology; I believe they owe me an explanation of how I could be accommodated for so many years, and then told my accommodation would no longer be honored.

As for the editorial in the Journal and Courier, I agree with you on some points. I feel we Christians have become hypocritical in our approach to Sundays. If we say it's against our Christian conscience to work on Sundays, I believe it should be against our Christian conscience to require others to work on Sundays (with the exception of doctors, nurses and such). Hey, the merchants won't be happy with me, but if we Christians truly began to use Sundays as a day of worship, rest and family, and quit filling up Ryan's, Golden Corral and the mall, maybe businesses might return to blue laws of the past.

Others will be watching what happens at Alcoa, because if a large corporation can change its policy regarding religious accommodations, then others will follow suit. Soon, a Christian will be torn between God and church and making a living.

If religious accommodations can be so easily removed, and a group of six deeply convicted and deeply religious individuals made to toe the Sunday working line or sent packing, who will be next? Maybe single parents who only get their kids one weekend a month (the weekend they are to work)? Or maybe heavyweight people will be discriminated against in the hiring process? The corporations could simply say, "It's a burden to our insurance premiums." Or could it be that the older workers would be required to work longer shifts -- shifts that tax their aging bodies?

I never asked for this fight, I'd just as soon be doing what I did for 10 years: working six days a week at Alcoa, and preaching and serving the Lord at Colfax Wesleyan on Sundays.

This is how it looks to me: I'm a Christian pastor who is being treated as though he were a criminal because he won't work Sundays. The truth of the matter is, I'm already serving on Sundays. Or if you prefer, I'm involved in a labor of love on Sundays.

Walker is one of six Alcoa workers who last month took a complaint to the Lafayette Human Relations Commission about working Sundays.

On Importance of Sunday Mass
"Not an Imposition, But a Joy"

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 12, 2005 ( Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered today from the window of his study, before praying the midday Angelus with thousands gathered in St. Peter's Square.

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

The Year of the Eucharist continues, called by our beloved Pope John Paul II, to reawaken ever more, in the consciences of believers, wonder toward this great Sacrament. In this singular Eucharistic time, one of the recurring topics is Sunday, the Day of the Lord, a topic that was also at the center of the recent Italian Eucharistic Congress, held in Bari. During the conclusive celebration, I also underlined how participation at Sunday Mass must be seen by a Catholic not as an imposition or a weight, but as a need and joy. To meet with brothers, to listen to the Word of God and to be nourished of Christ, immolated for us, is an experience that gives meaning to life, which infuses peace in the heart. Without Sunday, we Catholics cannot live.

For this reason parents are called to make their children discover the value and importance of the response to Christ's invitation, who calls the whole Christian family to Sunday Mass. In this educational endeavor, a particularly significant stage is the first Communion, a real celebration for the parish community, which receives for the first time its smallest children at the Lord's Table.

To underline the importance of this event for the family and the parish, next October 15, God willing, I will have in the Vatican a special meeting of catechesis for children, in particular of Rome and Latium, who during this year have received their first Communion. This festive gathering will fall almost at the end of the Year of the Eucharist, while the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is under way, centered on the Eucharistic mystery. It will be an opportune and beautiful circumstance to confirm the essential role that the sacrament of the Eucharist has in the formation and spiritual growth of children.

From now on I entrust this meeting to the Virgin Mary, that she may teach us to love Jesus ever more, in constant meditation of his Word and adoration of his Eucharistic presence, and help us to make young generations discover the "precious pearl" of the Eucharist, which gives true and full meaning to life.

Pope Recalls Martyrs Who Died for Sunday Mass

Perished Under Emperor Diocletian

BARI, Italy, MAY 29, 2005 ( In an age of widespread religious indifference, Benedict XVI offers as models the martyrs of North Africa who gave their lives for celebrating Mass on a Sunday.

Presiding at today's closing Mass of the 24th Italian National Eucharistic Congress, the Pope spoke in his homily about the group of Christians who were killed in 304 during the persecution of the Roman emperor Diocletian.

The theme of the congress was the motto of the martyrs: "We Cannot Live without Sunday."

The emperor, recounted Benedict XVI, had prohibited Christians, "under pain of death, to possess the Scriptures, to meet on Sunday to celebrate the Eucharist and to build premises for their assemblies."

In Abitene, a small village in what today is
Tunis, "49 Christians, meeting in the home of Octavius Felix, were taken by surprise on a Sunday while celebrating the Eucharist, defying the imperial prohibitions. Arrested, they were taken to Carthage to be interrogated by the proconsul Anulinus," said the Holy Father.

"Significant, in particular, was the response given to the proconsul by Emeritus, after being asked why he had violated the emperor's order," he recalled.


"He said: 'We cannot live without meeting on Sunday to celebrate the Eucharist. We would not have the strength to face the daily difficulties and not succumb,'" the Pope said. "After atrocious tortures, the 49 martyrs of Abitene were killed.

"Thus they confirmed their faith with the shedding of blood. They died but they were victorious: We now remember them in the glory of the risen Christ."

The Pontiff called Christians of the 21st century to reflect on this experience, because "it is not easy for us either to live as Christians" in a world "characterized by rampant consumerism, religious indifference, and secularism closed to transcendence."

Cardinal says Christians must witness together, forgive past offenses

BARI, Italy (CNS) -- May 25, 2005 -- Divided Christians must get beyond the prejudices and hurt feelings of the past to fulfill their mission of proclaiming Christ to the world, said Cardinal Walter Kasper. "Much work remains to be done for the reconciliation of hearts," said the cardinal, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The cardinal spoke May 25 at the Italian eucharistic congress in Bari, the burial place of St. Nicholas, who is venerated by Catholics and Orthodox. Representatives of Orthodox churches, including Archbishop Kirill of Yaroslav and Rostov, Russia, were present at the congress and spoke to the delegates.
In his presentation, Cardinal Kasper focused on how keeping Sunday as the Lord's day unites Christians and provides a witness to their neighbors.

Honoring the Sabbath


"I don't know who would track that," he said. "Some downtowns would have stores that close on Sunday. Typically, in malls and plazas, they would require specific hours."

Stores that choose to close on Sundays do so most likely for religious reasons, Scott said.

Along with Hobby Lobby, the Roly Poly Rolled Sandwich shop franchise in Midland closes. Other well-known stores that close on Sunday are Chick-fil-A -- a fast-food chicken eatery whose closest location is in Rochester -- and Franklin Covey, which this spring closed its store in Saginaw Township's Fashion Square Mall location. Typically, independently run Christian bookstores close on Sunday, although the Bible Factory at Prime Outlets in Birch Run has Sunday hours.

"Most people appreciate that we are closed on Sunday," said Tom Hopper, manager at Hobby Lobby. "When we're open, we do the best job we can. On Sunday, (our employees) can go home and spend time with their families. That's what it's all about, right?

"In this day and age, when things are so demanding ... We're not supposed to work on Sundays according to the Bible."

The chain, based in Oklahoma City, didn't always have the no-Sunday-work policy, said Bill Hane, vice president for advertising. President and founder David Green is a Christian.

"We began closing on Sundays in 1997 in block or regions of stores," he said. "Our intent was to go companywide with it, and we implemented that incrementally over 18 months.

"Our bankers were nervous," he said. "Statistically, Sunday was our second strongest retail day of the week. At that time, to close on Sundays, meant walking away from $100 million in sales."

The decision was one of principle, he said.

"It was something we chose to do as a way of honoring God," he said. "There was no guarantee that customers would shift their shopping habits, but it happened. There was an initial decline in sales."

Since then, response has proved positive. v

While some Saginaw Valley customers expressed surprise after finding the store closed on Sunday, 99.9 percent of feedback is positive, Hopper said.

For Roly Poly operators, the choice on Sunday hours is left to them, said Gwendolyn Karl, who owns the Midland franchise with her husband, James.

"Almost 65 percent of Roly Polys are closed on Sunday," Karl said.

The chain is based in Atlanta, and many of its franchise owners are Christians.

"My husband and I thought we would leave Sundays for our staff to be with their families," Karl said. "A lot of restaurants close on Monday. We're more of a sandwich shop, and Monday is a much bigger business days for us (than Sunday)."

On the flip side, today's busy lifestyle prompted Family Christian Stores to open on Sundays, spokeswoman Tara Powers said, a move that has proved fruitful. It was a decision not made lightly.

"We did a lot of research before we did the change," Powers said. "More people are running errands and doing shopping on Sunday. Our research said over 80 percent would shop on Sunday."

A small minority has express displeasure at the added hours, she said.

"But it hasn't been real vocal," she said.

Then there are the positive stories.

"We've heard of people who have spoken with someone in the morning (at services), and then have come in to buy a book to give to that person in the evening," Powers said.

Other independently run Christian-based retailers in the Saginaw Valley, have chosen to close on Sunday, including Holy Cross Christian Supply, 4654 State in Saginaw Township's Green Acres Plaza; Andrzejewsk's Marian Church Supplies, 3535 Bay in Saginaw Township; and Sunshine Christian Store, 7212 Gratiot in Thomas Township. v

Jean Spenner covers business for The Saginaw News. You may reach her at 776-9683.

© 2005 Saginaw News

Without saying so explicitly, the Ten Commandments set the only order that will bring world peace... The next obligation that a citizen of God's world order owes is himself. "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy," is a command for a personal benefit of each citizen..." Pat Robertson, The New World Order, p. 233,236 (NOTE: Pat Robertson is a SUNDAY Sabbath keeper)

 Christians will naturally strive to ensure that civil legislation respects their duty to keep Sunday holy –Pope John Paul II Dios Domini p 112.

See Revelation 13:11-18…

 ...The Christian Coalition of America has launched a new campaign to get America back on a moral path. Michele Combs, CC's communications director, says the "Let's Take America Back!" campaign has a very simple goal. "We want to take America back to the moral values, back to the intentions of the founding fathers, and back to the biblical principles that this country was founded on," she states. Combs says the Christian Coalition will be holding meetings all across the nation to help accomplish this goal. [Bill Fancher]

Following to be used for sunday laws

 Pope Relaunches Vatican II's Call to Justice
Reiterates a Theme of "Gaudium et Spes"

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 16, 2005 ( John Paul II has again proposed to the Church and to humanity the call to justice launched 40 years ago by the Second Vatican Council.

"The challenge constantly facing the Church," consists in "reminding all believers of the need to interpret social realities in the light of the Gospel," said the Pope from his room in the Vatican where he is convalescing from a throat operation.

The Holy Father was echoing one of the key conclusions of the meeting of the world's bishops, reflected in the pastoral constitution "Gaudium et Spes," published December, 1965.

He took up this legacy in a message sent today for the opening of an international conference on the theme "The Call to Justice: The Legacy of 'Gaudium et Spes' 40 Years Later." The conference organized by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace is being held in Rome through Friday.

In that 1965 document, the participants in Vatican II suggested to Pope Paul VI the establishment of what today is the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. The pontifical council's mission is "to promote justice and peace in the world in accordance with the Gospel and the social teaching of the Church," according to the 1988 apostolic constitution "Pastor Bonus."

John Paul II's message said: "At times, the enormous progress of science and technology can lead to forget fundamental questions of justice, despite the common aspiration for greater solidarity among peoples, and for a more human restructuring of social relations.

"The sad permanence of conflicts and the repeated manifestations of violence in very many parts of the world are proof, by contrast, of the inseparable relationship that exists between justice and peace, according to the fundamental teaching proposed with courageous clarity in 'Gaudium et Spes.'"

"In this connection, I wish to reaffirm once again that peace is the work of justice," the Pope stated. "Authentic peace on earth entails the firm determination to respect others, individuals and peoples, in their dignity, and the constant determination to increase fraternity among the members of the human family."

However, the Church "does not reduce her teaching to this," he said.

Vatican II affirmed "that peace is also the fruit of love, which goes beyond anything that justice can realize," the Holy Father noted.

He added: "The virtue of love, which leads to forgiveness and reconciliation, and encourages the commitment of Christians in favor of justice," must never be forgotten.

Many Iraqis Protest Their Day Off

Associate Saturday With Jewish Day of Rest

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Feb. 27) - Iraqis are complaining about their first-ever weekend break, and some high-school students even went to class Saturday to protest a decision introducing a second weekly day off that coincides with the Jewish Sabbath.

It's not that the Iraqis do not want time off - they just want the extra day moved to Thursday.

"We don't want Saturday! It's a Jewish holiday!" students chanted as they marched in protest last week to the governor's office in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad.

A high-school student pulled out a hand grenade and started waving it, and police fired into the air to disperse the crowd. At least three students reportedly were injured in the ensuing scuffle.

At Baghdad's University of Mustansariyah, a statement issued by a student union believed to be allied with the radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr described Saturday as "the Zionist holiday" and said the government order should not be followed.

"We declare a general strike in the University of Mustansariyah to reject this decision and any decision aimed at depriving Iraqis of their identity," the statement said.

In predominantly Sunni Muslim Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad, the al-Mutawakal high school opened its doors after insurgents threatened to kill its teachers if they took the day off.

There is no clear-cut rule for weekends in the Middle East and other Muslim countries in the region.

In Lebanon, the weekend starts at 11:30 a.m. Friday and includes Sunday.

In Jordan, the weekend is Friday and Saturday. Bahrain, Egypt and Kuwait have Thursday and Friday off, while conservative Iran and Saudi Arabia only give Friday off.

In many Baghdad districts, including Shiite-dominated Sadr City, students and civil servants ignored the decree and went to school and work. At Sadr City's al-Fazilah secondary girls school, all 400 girls showed up for class.

"Sadr City is a Shiite Islamic city and we reject Saturday being our holiday because it is related to the Jewish weekend," said student union leader Safaa Dawoud Mahmoud, 18.

The student body delivered a letter to the school's administrators demanding that Thursday and Friday be the official weekend "because both days were blessed in Islam and by Sharia," or Islamic law.

The students, dressed in long skirts with their hair covered by dense black veils, vowed to stage sit-ins until the government reverses its decision and makes Thursday the first day of a two-day weekend.

"We will keep going to school with determination and persistence" on Saturday, sixth-grader Nassen Dawoud said.

"We can't be like Jews. Saturday is a Jewish holiday and I hope the government listens to us," sixth-grader Nada Alwan, said.

The influential Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars, believed to be close to the insurgency, said that by making Saturday a weekend "the invaders, the occupiers are trying to impose their principles" on Iraq.

"This decision is dangerous," it said.

In Samarra, one teacher said on condition of anonymity that he had received death threats from militants warning him not to take Saturdays off.

In Ramadi, the heart of the insurgency in the so-called Sunni Triangle, the head of Anbar University decided to change the weekend on its own.

"The official weekend is Thursday and Friday," the university announced.

Keeping Sunday Holy
Emphasizing Mass as Center of Christian Life

ROME, FEB. 26, 2005 ( Trying to ensure Christians celebrate Sunday as a special day is one of the aims of the Year of the Eucharist the Church is now observing. In his apostolic letter on the year, "Mane Nobiscum Domine," John Paul II wrote: "In a particular way I ask that every effort be made this year to experience Sunday as the day of the Lord and the day of the Church" (No. 23).

The Pope also called upon priests during the special year, which continues through October 2005, to pay more attention to the celebration of Sunday Mass as an event that unites the entire parish.

During his homily last Oct. 17 at the Mass held to mark the start of the special year, the Pontiff noted that particularly on a Sunday the Church lives the mystery of the Eucharist. Moreover, through the Eucharistic celebration the Christian community is called to a greater brotherhood and service to others.

The Holy Father's call to reinforce the importance of Sunday Mass has been followed up in a recent meeting of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, held Jan. 18-21. The commission issued a series of pastoral recommendations on how to maintain the Sunday Mass as a central feature of Christian life.

When Sunday loses its special meaning, it becomes absorbed into the generic concept of "weekend," the commission observed. Christians, instead, need to keep in mind that Sunday Mass should be at the heart of their religious life. Sunday Mass attendance is also an important means to ensure the Church maintains its missionary fervor, which is strengthened through a regular contact with Jesus in the Eucharist.

The commission insisted on the need for a dignified celebration of the Eucharist. This covers everything from the ornaments used by the priest, to the music used in the ceremony, to the way the liturgy is organized. This dignity must be safeguarded even in circumstances that present special difficulties, such as prisons, hospitals and nursing homes.

The Lord's Day

Another recommendation concerns the need for an active participation by everyone in the celebration. To ensure this, the commission called upon priests and laity alike to meditate on the meaning of Sunday Mass as the central moment of the Lord's Day.

The commission urged priests to increase their reverence at Mass, reflecting in their words and acts the great value of the mystery they are celebrating. The panel also recommended that adequate care be given to the preparation of the Sunday homily, basing its content on Scripture, the Tradition of the Church and the magisterium.

For those who participate in some way in the liturgical celebration as acolytes, readers, Eucharistic ministers, etc., the commission asked that they be given a careful preparation in the roles they carry out.

Another way in which the Christian community can value better Sunday Mass is through an adequate catechesis. The commission called for an increased effort in communicating the value of the Mass. Part of this involves a greater awareness of the connection between the sacraments, for example, baptism, confirmation and the Eucharist. As well, a more-frequent participation in the sacrament of reconciliation is suggested in order to ensure worthy reception of Communion.

The commission also noted the importance of ensuring that the whole family participates together in the Sunday Eucharist. Related to this is the need to teach within the family the importance of the Eucharist.

In Australia and Ireland

In recent weeks other countries have also responded to the Pope's call to reinforce Sunday Mass during the Year of the Eucharist.

A Jan. 20 press release by the Australian bishops' conference announced a program prepared by the National Liturgical Commission. The initiative will get under way during the Sundays of Easter and is linked with a proposal for a period of Eucharistic devotion from Trinity Sunday to Corpus Christi.

In the introduction to the program, the chairman of the episcopate's Committee for Liturgy, Bishop Kevin Manning, recalled the invitation of John Paul II for Catholics to dedicate the current year to the Eucharist.

"The Australian bishops have responded to the Holy Father's invitation and now offer the program, 'Sunday: Sacrament of Easter,' to the Australian Church as a means of enlivening our celebration of the Eucharist and to encourage devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament," Bishop Manning wrote.

In Ireland, meanwhile, the Diocese of Down and Connor announced last Monday that it will be starting a series of lessons in its parishes on the meaning of the Eucharist, reported the Irish Independent.

Launching the campaign, Bishop Patrick Walsh warned that Sunday is no longer a family day, let alone the Lord's Day, for many people. "The purpose of the Year of the Eucharist is to open the eyes of our faith so that we will come to recognize Christ more fully in the breaking of the bread, in the Eucharist, and stay with him in his presence in the Blessed Sacrament," he explained.

Christ's victory

This is not the first time John Paul II has insisted on the need to ensure that Sunday remains a special day for Catholics. In his 1998 apostolic letter, "Dies Domini," he noted that the Church has always given the Lord's Day special attention. On Sunday we recall Christ's resurrection and celebrate his victory over sin and death. "It is the day which recalls in grateful adoration the world's first day and looks forward in active hope to 'the last day', when Christ will come in glory (cf. Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17) and all things will be made new (cf. Revelation 21:5)" (No. 1).

The Pope commented that until recently is was easier to preserve the special meaning of Sunday, because in most Christian countries it was practiced by virtually all the population and was also a part of civil society. Now, however, Sunday is submerged in a series of cultural and sporting activities that can cause us to lose sight of the day's spiritual meaning.

"The disciples of Christ, however, are asked to avoid any confusion between the celebration of Sunday, which should truly be a way of keeping the Lord's Day holy, and the 'weekend,' understood as a time of simple rest and relaxation," the Pope added (No. 4).

Achieving this requires a greater spiritual maturity and for Christians to act in accordance with their faith. Sunday should be a day that is at the heart of the Christian life, the Pope urged. "Do not be afraid to give your time to Christ! Yes, let us open our time to Christ, that he may cast light upon it and give it direction" (No. 7).

Moreover, he added: "Time given to Christ is never time lost, but is rather time gained, so that our relationships and indeed our whole life may become more profoundly human." A lesson that the Pope hopes many will learn during this year dedicated to the Eucharist.

Father Cantalamessa's Call for a Rediscovery of Sunday
In Year's 1st Lenten Sermon at Vatican

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 25, 2005 ( The Eucharist is a regenerating communion and expression of love of the risen Christ, explained the preacher of the Pontifical Household during a Lenten meditation in the Vatican.

Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa also called for a rediscovery of Sunday, and warned against the "de-personalization" of the sacrament of the Eucharist, during his meditation today.

His talk was the first in a series held every Lent, on Fridays, designed to help John Paul II and members of the Roman Curia prepare for Easter.

The Pope did not attend today as he is recovering in the Gemelli Polyclinic from a successful tracheotomy operation Thursday to ease his breathing problems.

Father Cantalamessa's sermon, in the Redemptoris Mater Chapel in the Apostolic Palace, was a continuation of a reflection on the Eucharistic hymn "Adore Te Devote," which he began last Advent.

The third stanza "takes us to Calvary to" relive "the death of Christ," he said.

The fourth stanza -- ''I do not see the wounds as Thomas saw them / but I confess that thou art my God: make me believe in thee more and more, / that I may hope in thee and love thee" -- the object of today's meditation -- "takes us to the cenacle for us to encounter the Risen One," said Father Cantalamessa.

It was in the cenacle where the episode of the Apostle Thomas took place.

The preacher summarized his sermon for ZENIT.

In the "Adoro Te Devote" the "profound analogy" is made "evident that exists between Thomas' situation and that of the believer," said Father Cantalamessa.

Thomas "asks to touch the wounds, but we can also ask him to touch ours. ... Wounds that are different from his, caused by sin, not by love," he said. We can ask him "to touch them in order to heal them."

The "insistence on the chronological data of these apparitions shows the evangelist's intention to present Jesus' encounter with his own in the cenacle as the prototype of the Church's Sunday assembly," added the preacher.

In those moments "Jesus makes himself present among his disciples in the Eucharist; he gives them peace and the Holy Spirit; in communion they touch, more than that, receive his wounded and risen body and, like Thomas, proclaim their faith in him. Almost all the elements of the Mass are there," he said.

Father Cantalamessa said that the theological truth highlighted in the fourth stanza "is that in the Eucharist, not only is the Crucified present but also the Risen One," which is a "memorial both of the passion as well as of the resurrection."

"In every Mass Jesus is at the same time victim and priest," he continued. "As victim he makes his death present, as priest he makes his resurrection present."

And "through the resurrection it is God the Father who enters as protagonist in the Eucharistic mystery. If in fact the death of Christ is the work of men, the resurrection is the work of the Father," stated Father Cantalamessa.

Rediscovery of Sunday

"The profound theological link between the Eucharist and the resurrection creates the liturgical link between the Eucharist and Sunday," the Capuchin said. It is significant, he said, that the day par excellence "of the Eucharistic celebration is not that of the death of Christ, Friday, but the day of the resurrection, Sunday."

"There are urgent pastoral reasons that impel the rediscovery of Sunday as 'day of the resurrection,'" the priest continued. "We have gone back to be much closer to the situation of the first centuries than to that of medieval times, when the most important aspect of Sunday was the precept of the festive rest.

"There is no longer a civil legislation that 'protects,' so to speak, the day of the Lord. In the present organization of work, the law of festive rest itself is subject to many limitations and exceptions."

It is our task "to rediscover what Sunday was in the first centuries, when it was a special day not because of external supports, but because of its own internal force," he stated.

Father Cantalamessa said that "no faithful should return home from Sunday Mass without feeling himself also in some measure given a 'new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.'"

Not much is needed to achieve this "and to put the whole of the Sunday celebration under the paschal sign of the resurrection: a few, vibrant words at the moment of the initial greeting, the choice of an appropriate formula of dismissal at the end, such as 'May the joy of the Lord be our strength: go in peace,' or 'Go and take to all the joy of the risen Lord,'" he said.

Loving response

From the memory of Thomas and the words of Christ -- "Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed" -- a prayerful invocation closes the stanza: "Make me believe more and more in thee, that I may hope in thee and love thee."

"In practice, what is being asked is an increase in the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity," which "cannot but be rekindled when in contact with the one who is their author and object, Jesus, son of God, and he himself God," he said.

The "queen" of these virtues is love; and the "Adoro Te Devote" "speaks to us of a particular aspect of love: the love of the soul for Jesus" -- "Make me love Thee."

"It is of this loving response that an increase is requested," said Father Cantalamessa. "A call all the more precious for us today, in order not to 'de-personalize' the Eucharist, reducing it solely to the communal and objective dimension. A true communion between two free persons cannot be realized except in love."

Newly found faith lands Marine in jail

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- U.S. Marine Cpl. Joel D. Klimkewicz says he's willing to clear land mines and risk his life for his country.

He's just not willing to pick up a gun.

Because of his new-found religious faith, the Birch Run native is spending his holidays behind bars as a conscientious objector, convicted by military superiors who see him as a disobedient soldier.

"I couldn't see Jesus Christ taking human life," said Klimkewicz in a phone interview from the Camp LeJeune military prison. "In my faith, what I believe is that we're all citizens of heaven. Citizens of heaven are of all nations, and I refuse to take a life of a fellow citizen of heaven."

This month, a Marine Corps court sentenced 24-year-old Klimkewicz -- a combat engineer who is a member of a Seventh-day Adventist Church -- to seven months behind bars for refusing an order to pick up a weapon for training. He received a reduction in rank to private and a bad conduct discharge.

Since joining the church a year ago and becoming a conscientious objector to combat, he has taken some criticism from friends who have questioned his patriotism.

Seventh-day Adventists support non-combatancy for its members who serve in the military, but leave such decisions to a member's individual conscience, said church spokesman Mark A. Kellner.

"There are a lot of people who would view it as unpatriotic," Klimkewicz said of refusing to pick up a gun. "At first, some of (my friends) were stand-offish, but later on, some of them saw my sincerity and saw definitely that this was a choice of my conscience.

"And that I was willing to do everything I could do without disobeying my conscience."

He said his primary skeptic has remained the military itself.

"It's unusual that a Marine would claim conscientious objector status after being in the Marine Corps and knowing that there's a war going on," said Marine Corps spokeswoman 1st Lt. Kate VandenBossche. "That's what took everyone off guard at first."

Klimkewicz, a 1999 Birch Run High School graduate, signed a two-year re-enlistment in 2002. After participating in on-ship Bible studies with a Seventh-day Adventist chaplain, Klimkewicz started converting to his new faith, said Seventh-day Adventist attorney, Mitchell A. Tyner.

Klimkewicz formally joined the church in the fall of 2003 and attended services in Jacksonville, N.C. Klimkewicz, however, did not learn until after he applied for re-enlistment about the Seventh-day Adventist belief that one should not become involved in combat, Tyner said.

Klimkewicz told Marine officials that he was willing to serve, but not carry a weapon or take a life. Marine regulations provide that a Marine whose beliefs crystallize after enlistment can receive conscientious objector status, Tyner said.

Tyner is based in denominational headquarters in Silver Spring, Md.

The Marines decided that Klimkewicz was not sincere and that he really just wanted to avoid serving in Iraq, Tyner said. Klimkewicz initially admitted he was less than a productive Marine, Tyner said, and was reprimanded twice for insubordination.

Klimkewicz wasn't jailed because he requested conscientious objector status, VandenBossche said.

"He was charged with ... disobeying a lawful order from a superior commissioned officer," she said.

Klimkewicz refused an order to pick up his weapon at an armory and begin training with it, VandenBossche said. He was charged because he refused the order twice before stating religious reasons for his objection to it.

To rebut that charge, Klimkewicz volunteered to clear mines in Iraq, because those who do so do not carry a weapon. Twice, officials rejected his offer, Tyner said.

"The Marine Corps, in its zeal to prevent others from avoiding combat, has totally misread this soldier and the result is a serious miscarriage of justice," Tyner said. "We hope the corps will reconsider the total disproportional nature of the sentence and reduce it immediately."

Tyner said efforts from his office and congressional offices are now in motion to appeal the situation.

Klimkewicz's wife, Tomomi Higa, a Japanese citizen, has a temporary residence permit to live in the United States. They have a 3-year-old daughter. Members of the Jacksonville Seventh-day Adventists have indicated they will help Klimkewicz's wife and daughter as needed, Kellner said.

Klimkewicz said he is adjusting to life behind bars, and spends much of his time reading the Bible. He conducts an informal Bible study for a few fellow inmates.

He said he is willing to sacrifice his freedom for his beliefs, if needed.

"All I can say is that the Bible says people who suffer in the name of the Lord is a blessing to them," he said. "I take God's laws over men's laws."

Once he is released from prison, he said, he plans to pursue either a career in the ministry or in the health care field, possibly as a nurse practitioner.Klimkewicz's stepmother, Rose Klimkewicz of St. Charles, said her family supports him.

"He's a good person," she said. "He's a good son, stepson and brother. He believes what he's doing is right, and we are behind him."

Klimkewicz joined the Marine s to earn money for college and to travel, said Rose Klimkewicz, adding that she and her family pray for all the troops.

"No one likes the war and no one likes all this killing," she said. "We are for Joe with whatever decision he's making. He went in as a young man, and now he's a little bit older. We hope that everything turns out well for him." v

Darryl Q. Tucker covers courts for The Saginaw News. You may reach him at 776-9686. Scott Davis is a staff writer for The Saginaw News. You may reach him at 776-9665. The Adventist News Network also was a source for this article.

 Pope Calls for Rediscovery of Meaning of Sunday
In 1st Angelus Address of Advent

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 28, 2004 ( John Paul II called for the rediscovery of the meaning of Sunday, as Advent opened in the year he has dedicated to the Eucharist.

From the window of his study, the Pope addressed the 30,000 pilgrims gathered today in St. Peter's Square, before praying the midday Angelus with them.

The Holy Father noted it was the first Sunday of Advent, the liturgical period of preparation for Christmas.

During Advent, "we will contemplate with particular fervor the face of Christ present in the Eucharist," he said.

The Pope emphasized that "Jesus, Incarnate Word, dead and risen, is the center of history. The Church adores him and discovers in him the ultimate and unifying meaning of all the mysteries of faith: the love of God that gives life."

Mentioning the Eucharistic Congress that the Church in Italy is organizing in Bari from May 21-29, the Holy Father recalled its main theme, "Without Sunday, We Cannot Live."

The initiative motivated the Pope to encourage the Christian community "to rediscover with new intensity the meaning of Sunday: its mystery, its celebration, its significance for Christian and human life."

John Paul II, who in recent years has given central importance to the rediscovery of the Eucharist, is concerned about the loss of the meaning of Sunday, as he says in the 1998 apostolic letter "Dies Domini."

The Holy Father concluded by praying for the intercession of Mary, whom he described as "Eucharistic Woman," so that the Christian community will receive "with joy the Christ who comes" at Christmas, and will celebrate "worthily the sacramental presence of the Eucharistic mystery."

Evident in St. Peter's Square was the scaffolding, used to build the Nativity scene, which will be unveiled on Christmas Eve.

United States: Adventist, Fired for Sabbath Observance, Seeks Reinstatement and Damages

October 19, 2004 Austin, Texas, United States .... [ANN Staff]

An employee fired from Dynacon, Inc. of Bryan, Texas, for religious beliefs protected under federal law is seeking reinstatement to his job. Hector Rivera wants his welder's job restored, along with back pay and punitive damages, according to a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Representing Rivera is attorney Malcolm Greenstein of Austin.

Rivera joined Dynacon in 1988 as a welder and became a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in May 2002. He asked for, and received, accommodation for his belief that he should not work on Saturday, the biblical Sabbath. A new supervisor ended that practice in August 2002; when Rivera refused to work on a Saturday, he was terminated.

"This is only one of many examples of illegal discrimination against Sabbath-keepers," said Mitchell Tyner, an associate counsel for the Seventh-day Adventist Church world headquarters. "Every year more than 1,000 Adventists [in the United States] are either denied employment or lose their jobs over their religious beliefs, which are guaranteed protection under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act."

According to Tyner, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports an 80 percent increase in religious discrimination cases during the past five years. Seventh-day Adventists, observant Jews, and members of other faith communities are among those who regularly suffer discrimination for requesting accommodation.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church, established in America in 1863, is a mainstream Protestant denomination with 13.5 million baptized members in 204 countries. More than 25 million people worship at Adventist congregations each week.

Source: Adventist News Network 

   a Sabbath stand

LDS golfer forfeits shot at title by not playing on Sunday

By Mike Sorensen
Deseret Morning News

      Golfer Johnny Miller once said he'd love to be leading the U.S. Open or a similar tournament going into the final day and then tell everyone he wasn't going to play on Sunday because of his beliefs.

      Miller never did anything like that during his successful PGA career, during which he played golf hundreds of times on Sunday.
      However, Saturday afternoon, his youngest son, Todd, made such a stand — forfeiting his chance to play in the Men's State Amateur finals today at the Jeremy Golf & Country Club because he refuses to play golf on the Sabbath.
      Miller had defeated Clay Bingham in Saturday's semifinals, but by choosing not to play today, Clark Rustand, a 24-year-old BYU student from Tucson, Ariz., was declared the State Am winner a day earlier than usual.
      Miller, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who served an LDS mission to Chile, isn't the first athlete to refuse to compete for religious reasons.
      One of the most famous examples is British runner Eric Liddell, who refused to run on the Sabbath during the 1924 Olympics. That story was featured into the Oscar-winning movie "Chariots of Fire."
      In 1965, Los Angeles Dodgers' pitcher Sandy Koufax refused to pitch on the holiest Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur, during the World Series. More recently, former BYU lineman Eli Herring passed up a large signing bonus and a likely NFL career because he didn't want to play on Sundays.
      Miller, who will be a senior on the BYU golf team next year, said he made the decision not to play golf on Sundays while he was on his mission.
      "What I do on Sunday is way more important than winning a tournament," he said. "I don't look down upon people who play on the Sabbath. I would just feel like a hypocrite in my own heart if I did. I made that decision, and I'm going to stick with that."

      Miller's decision was surprising to everyone from tournament officials to his fellow golfers to the media covering the event.
      Most said they respect him for sticking up for his beliefs, but many were also critical of him for not making the decision earlier and wiping out the final day of a tournament that has been played for 106 consecutive years, longer than any tournament in the world.
      "It's pretty disrespectful to a tournament that's been around 106 years," said defending champion Tommy Sharp, who lost in the semifinals to Rustand. "He knew the tournament ended on a Sunday when he entered. It should not be changed because of one guy."
      Miller had hoped the finals could be moved to Monday, and there was talk about making Miller and Rustand co-champions. But after meeting with each player for a few minutes, the Utah Golf Association board of directors declared Rustand the winner by forfeit.
      "I'm surprised, I'm shocked and I'm disappointed," said UGA executive director Joe Watts. "Although I fully respect a person and his religious convictions, it's a matter of what process that kind of religious conviction should have shown itself. There's lots of considerations a person has to make besides his own personal religious convictions before he enters into an activity. Volunteers . . . , golf courses . . . , contestants who have put in their time and effort. . . . It should have been handled sooner."
      Miller had known all week that he wouldn't play Sunday and defended his decision not to tell anyone beforehand. He said had planned to forfeit his semifinal match and allow that player to go on to the finals, but when he was matched up against his BYU teammate and friend Bingham, he knew that Bingham wouldn't accept that idea.
      Like Miller, Rustand is LDS and a returned missionary, and he was understanding of Miller's decision not to play.
      "I totally respect his decision of not playing on Sunday," Rustand said. "But I've made the decision to try and compete at the highest level, and that puts me in a position to play on Sundays. I wish it wasn't the case and that I could have Sundays to relax and go to church. But at the same time if I do make it and it becomes my livelihood it will put me in that predicament even though I honor my commitments to my church."
      Miller said he wasn't bitter about the UGA's decision and praised Watts and the rest of the UGA board who organized and put on the event.
      "I had a great time and made a lot of great friends," Miller said.
      "I appreciate all the hard work they've done for Jeremy Ranch, giving up their course, and appreciate the way they handled this. I'm fine with the decision."
      He said he isn't planning on being a professional golfer and competing on Sunday like his father and numerous other LDS athletes do.
      "I'm going to do something in the golfing profession, but I hope I won't have to work on Sunday," he said.
      As for next year, Miller isn't sure whether he will enter the State Amateur and he may not have a chance to anyway, according to Watts.
      "We will be considering changes in our entry form for players to declare in advance if they're not going to play until the end of the tournament," said Watts. "We don't want them taking other people's places.
      "We have people working hard to get in this tournament; they deserve a chance if someone isn't really here to win it."

This article was published by F18News on: 11 November 2004

TURKMENISTAN: Adventists seek end to Sabbath schooling threats

By Felix Corley, Editor, Forum 18 News Service

Leading Adventist Olga Kholopova was summoned by the secret police in the capital Ashgabad on 8 November and, two days later, to her local police station in a bid to force her to send her son to school on Saturdays, the Adventist day of rest and worship. Protestant sources told Forum 18 News Service that officers threatened not only to launch a criminal case and take her son away from her if she failed to comply, but to deprive the Adventist church of the registration it got back in June after a seven and a half year break. But Pastor Pavel Fedotov told Forum 18 he believes the threats are a misunderstanding that can be overcome. "We hope for a good resolution to this issue and are looking forward to reaching an understanding with the government."


Turkmenistan's Adventist leaders are convinced that threats to their official registration as a religious organisation are a misunderstanding that can be overcome. "We're worried by the threats to remove our registration connected with our members' desire for their children not to have to study in school on Saturdays, our Sabbath," Pastor Pavel Fedotov told Forum 18 News Service on 9 November. "We hope for a good resolution to this issue and are looking forward to reaching an understanding with the government."

Protestant sources told Forum 18 that existing concerns were heightened when a leading Adventist in the capital Ashgabad, Olga Kholopova, was summoned by the National Security Ministry secret police on 8 November and threatened that if she continues to refuse to send her 12-year-old son Timur to school on Saturdays the church's registration will be removed.

"Kholopova was summoned by the ministry's 6th department, which deals with the struggle against terrorism," one Protestant told Forum 18. "Although officers were polite, she was threatened with a criminal case, a fine and the denial of parental rights if she refuses to send her child to school on Saturdays. They also threatened to send her son to a special centre for delinquent adolescents supervised by the police - and to strip the church of its legal status." The Protestant told Forum 18 that officers dismissed Kholopova's attempts to explain the importance to Adventists of observing the Sabbath.

"This is also a religious freedom issue for Timur, because he is himself a believer," one Protestant told Forum 18.

Protestant sources stressed to Forum 18 that Timur has had "excellent reports" in school and has not encountered problems with his study. They add that the secret police know that Adventists, a small minority in Turkmenistan, honour Saturday, their Sabbath, as a day of rest and worship. The Protestant sources point out that although the Turkmen school week runs from Monday to Saturday, about half the school children in Ashgabad fail to turn up on Saturdays because they are helping their families at work in markets and elsewhere.

Forum 18 was unable to immediately reach any security ministry officials to find out why such threats have been made against Kholopova and against the church. Telephones also went unanswered at the government's Gengeshi (Council) for Religious Affairs in Ashgabad on 10 November.

Kholopova had already been summoned by her son's school, the local hyakimlik (administration) and her local police station in a bid to pressure her to submit. Protestant sources told Forum 18 on 10 November that she was again summoned to the local police that day, though the police told her they were surprised that they had been dragged into the issue which they said was not a police matter.

Given that unregistered religious activity in Turkmenistan is illegal, Adventists are highly concerned not only by the threats to Kholopova but the threat to remove registration from the church. On 1 June the Adventists became one of the few minority religious faiths to regain registration this year after a seven and a half year period when all their activity was treated as illegal. Their church in Ashgabad was bulldozed by the authorities in November 1999. Even now they have regained registration, they still cannot meet for worship as an entire congregation in Ashgabad (see F18News 4 October 2004

Adventist children have faced intermittent problems in school over their desire not to study on their day of rest. Despite their religious convictions, one Adventist family in Ashgabad was forced to bow to intense pressure in September not to keep their child away from school on Saturdays.

This autumn, Adventist leaders were warned that check-ups would be carried out in all Ashgabad schools on Saturdays to make sure all children – including Adventists – were present. Sources told Forum 18 that one such check-up was carried out in the capital's schools in October. The authorities also told the Adventists they would be looking through the church's membership list to help verify that all the members' children attended school on Saturdays. Pastor Fedotov was warned that if children were not attending school on Saturdays his church's registration would be cancelled.

It is unknown if any observant Jews have encountered similar problems in Turkmenistan over compulsory schooling on Saturdays. Much of Turkmenistan's small Jewish community emigrated in the decade after independence and little communal Jewish activity appears to survive.

All Turkmenistan's religious public holidays are Muslim, the traditional faith of the majority of the population.

For more background, see Forum 18's Turkmenistan religious freedom survey at

A printer-friendly map of Turkmenistan is available at

New Law Gives Virginia's Workers a Break, by Accident
Published: July 2, 2004

RICHMOND, Va., July 1 - On Saturdays and Sundays, rain or shine, locals and visitors fill the restaurants, boutiques, bookstores and coffee shops of Carytown, a popular residential and commercial district here. At night, restaurants bustle, and the line for the second-run movie theater wraps around the block. But thanks to an unnoticed clerical error in a new state law, some here fear that could all change.

Even after the bill's sponsor, Senator Frederick M. Quayle, a Republican from Chesapeake, said unequivocally that the bill was in error, the mistake has Virginia's business community reeling back to colonial times, when working on Sunday was a crime. Under the state's new "day of rest" law, employees in the private sector can refuse to work on Sunday or their chosen Sabbath, leaving Virginia employers to wonder how they will continue to do business on weekends. The ensuing brouhaha has the governor and attorney general at loggerheads as to who should solve the problem, and how.

Meanwhile, in the midst of vacation season, frenzied Virginia employers are flooding government offices with phone calls, trying to determine just what their rights are. No one seems to have answers.

Although large and small businesses have expressed concern, and there is talk that a group of businesses will challenge the law in Richmond Circuit Court, small businesses like the ones that line Cary Street, many of them family owned, could take the brunt of the effects.

"We have 12 employees, and Saturday is our busiest day," said Jack Burke, president of Leo Burke Furniture, a family-owned store in the heart of Carytown that sells antiques and fine furniture. "If one of our employees celebrated the Sabbath on Saturday, it would be a major hardship for us. We don't have the luxury of hiring another person to take up the slack for one day."

Down the street at Pink, a trendy boutique open seven days a week, Deborah Boschen, one of the owners, said she was not prepared for the worst-case scenario. "If it were left to my partner and I to work the floor on a Saturday or a Sunday, we couldn't do it," she said. "We have a lot of foot traffic on the weekends.''

Ms. Boschen said she feared that customers who could not get immediate service would walk out. "What am I going to do?'' she asked. "Put up a sign that says 'Lack of attention due to blue laws'?"

The new law, which went into effect Thursday, was intended to get rid of the section of the state's so-called blue laws that restricts business operations on Sunday. But when it comes to anything 400 years old, Virginians are hard pressed to make changes. Instead of repealing blue laws, legislators over the years have layered on legislation overriding the original intent. The code itself does not change; new legislation just creates exemptions to the old.

In other words, Virginia law still holds that businesses cannot operate on Sundays. So even though added exemptions - covering retailers, movie theaters, hotels and other businesses - have made the law virtually obsolete, it is still on the books.

When the new bill was drafted, the section of exemptions was mistakenly left out. "Businesses that operate 24/7, 365 days in the private sector run the risk of substantial disruption," said Hugh Keogh, president and chief executive of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

No one - from the bill's sponsor to the legislators who passed it to the governor who signed it - noticed that the exemptions were missing. Without the exemptions, employees have the right to refuse to work on their chosen day of rest.

The mistake came to light when a labor lawyer contacted Mr. Keogh to warn him of the potential dangers of the new law. After alerting the governor's office, the Chamber of Commerce sent letters apprising its members of the possible pitfalls. When the Virginia news media began reporting the story on Wednesday, the response from local businesses was overwhelming.

"Employers are going crazy," said Tim Murtaugh, the spokesman for Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore. Mr. Murtaugh said he had received at least 20 calls on his personal telephone line before lunchtime on Thursday. "Many dozens more are calling our main switchboard," he said. "Everyone wants to know what this means to them."

For now, Mr. Murtaugh said, his office is referring calls to the State Department of Labor and Industry, which, barring intervention by the governor, the attorney general or the legislature, is legally bound to live by the law as written.

Informed of the problem, Gov. Mark R. Warner, a Democrat, asked Mr. Kilgore to rule on the law's constitutionality, said Ellen Qualls, the governor's spokeswoman. If the attorney general were to declare the measure unconstitutional, the governor could direct the labor department not to enforce it until it could be rectified by next year's General Assembly. But Mr. Kilgore, a Republican, quickly distanced himself from the issue.

"If the governor has a problem with the law he signed, he should get the legislature back and fix it," Mr. Murtaugh said. "The governor should know that the attorney general cannot tell people what laws should or should not be enforced."

Pulling legislators back to Richmond for a special session is not likely. This year's General Assembly met for 115 days, the longest session on record for the oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere, as state lawmakers wrangled with the budget. In addition, the expense of a special legislative session could cost the already beleaguered state budget as much as $100,000 a day, Ms. Qualls said.

Mr. Warner issued a statement late Wednesday saying that he would support retroactive legislation in the 2005 General Assembly that would essentially dismantle any investigations into breaches of the erroneous law before next January, when the General Assembly meets. Unfortunately, the measure would not preclude the potentially enormous costs of investigations that would be obsolete as soon as the problem is corrected.

Mr. Keogh of the Chamber of Commerce offered this solution: "I think the preference would be to muddle through the next six months questioning the constitutionality issues and using a very reasonable approach to enforceability knowing that the whole thing will flip-flop back to what it was in January."

Code: ZE04032620
Date: 2004-03-26

John Paul II's Address to Australian Bishops
"Pernicious Ideology of Secularism Has Found Fertile Ground"

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 26, 2004 ( Here is the address John Paul II delivered today to the bishops of the Australian episcopal conference, at the conclusion of their five-yearly visit to Rome.
* *
Your Eminence,
Dear Brother Bishops,

1. "Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord" (1 Timothy 1:2). With fraternal affection I warmly welcome you, the Bishops of Australia. I thank Archbishop Carroll for the good wishes and kind sentiments expressed on your behalf. I warmly reciprocate them and I assure you of my prayers for yourselves and those entrusted to your pastoral care. Your first visit "ad Limina Apostolorum" in this new millennium is an occasion to give thanks to God for the immense gift of faith in Jesus Christ which has been welcomed and treasured by the peoples of your country (cf. "Ecclesia in Oceania," 1). As servants of the Gospel for the hope of the world, your coming to see Peter (cf. Galatians 1:18) affirms and consolidates that collegiality which gives rise to unity in diversity and safeguards the integrity of the tradition handed down by the Apostles (cf. "Pastores Gregis," 57).

2. Our Lord's call to "come follow me" (Matthew 4:19) is as valid today as it was on the shores of Lake Galilee more than two thousand years ago. The joy and hope of Christian discipleship mark the lives of countless Australian priests, Religious, and faithful men and women who together strive to respond to Christ's call and bring his truth to bear on the ecclesial and civic life of your nation. Yet it is also true that the pernicious ideology of secularism has found fertile ground in Australia. At the root of this disturbing development is the attempt to promote a vision of humanity without God. It exaggerates individualism, sunders the essential link between freedom and truth, and corrodes the relationships of trust which characterize genuine social living. Your own reports unequivocally describe some of the destructive consequences of this eclipse of the sense of God: the undermining of family life; a drift away from the Church; a limited vision of life which fails to awaken in people the sublime call to "direct their steps towards a truth which transcends them" ("Fides et Ratio," 5).

In the face of such challenges, when the winds are against us (cf. Mark 6:48), the Lord himself calls out: "Courage! It is I! Have no fear" (Mark 6:50). Remaining firm in trust, you too can dispel apprehension and fear. Especially within a culture of the "here and now," Bishops must stand out as fearless prophets, witnesses and servants of the hope of Christ (cf. "Pastores Gregis," 3). In proclaiming this hope, which springs from the Cross, I am confident that you will lead men and women from the shadows of moral confusion and ambiguous thinking into the radiance of Christ's truth and love. Indeed, it is only by understanding humanity's final destination -- eternal life in heaven -- that the multitude of daily joys and sorrows can be explained, enabling people to embrace the mystery of their own life with confidence (cf. "Fides et Ratio," 81).

3. The Church's witness to the hope that she holds (cf. 1 Peter 3:15) is especially powerful when she gathers together for worship. Sunday Mass, because of its special solemnity, the obligatory presence of the faithful, and its celebration on the day when Christ conquered death, expresses with great emphasis the Eucharist's inherent ecclesial dimension: the mystery of the Church is made present in a most tangible way (cf. "Dies Domini," 34). Consequently Sunday is the "supreme day of faith," "an indispensable day," "the day of Christian hope!"

Any weakening in the Sunday observance of Holy Mass weakens Christian discipleship and dims the light of witness to Christ's presence in our world. When Sunday loses its fundamental meaning and becomes subordinate to a secular concept of "weekend" dominated by such things as entertainment and sport, people stay locked within a horizon so narrow that they can no longer see the heavens (cf. "Dies Domini," 4). Rather than being truly satisfied or revitalized, they remain entrapped in a senseless pursuit of the novel and deprived of the perennial freshness of Christ's "living water" (John 4:11). Though the secularization of the Lord's day understandably causes you much worry you can, however, draw comfort from the faithfulness of the Lord himself who continues to beckon his people with a love which challenges and calls (cf. "Ecclesia in Oceania," 3). In urging the dear faithful of Australia -- and in a special way the young people -- to remain faithful to the celebration of Sunday Mass, I make my own the words found in the Letter to the Hebrews: "hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, ... not neglecting to meet together ... but encouraging one another" (Hebrews 10:23-25).

To you as Bishops I suggest that as moderators of the liturgy you give pastoral priority to catechetical programs which instruct the faithful about the true meaning of Sunday and inspire them to observe it fully. To this end I refer you to my Apostolic Letter "Dies Domini." It outlines the pilgrim and eschatological character of the People of God, which can so easily be overshadowed today by shallow sociological understandings of community. As a remembrance of a past event and the celebration of the living presence of the Risen Lord amidst his people, Sunday also looks to the future glory of his return and the fullness of Christian hope and joy.

4. Intimately linked to the liturgy is the Church's mission to evangelize. While the liturgical renewal, ardently desired by the Second Vatican Council, has rightly resulted in a more active and conscious participation of the faithful in the tasks proper to them, such involvement must not become an end in itself. The "purpose of being with Jesus is to go forth from Jesus, in his power and with his grace" ("Ecclesia in Oceania," 3).

It is precisely this dynamic that the Prayer after Communion and the Concluding Rite of the Mass articulate (cf. "Dies Domini," 45). Sent by the Lord himself into the vineyard -- the home, the workplace, schools, civic organizations -- disciples of Christ find no room for "standing idle in the marketplace" (Matthew 20:3) nor can they be so deeply immersed in the internal organization of parish life, that they are distracted from the command to evangelize others actively (cf. "Christifideles Laici," 2). Renewed by the strength of the Risen Lord and his Spirit, Christ's followers must return to their "vineyard" burning with a desire to "speak" of Christ and to "show" him to the world (cf. "Novo Millennio Ineunte," 16).

5. The "communion" that exists between a Bishop and his priests demands that the well-being of the presbyterate be close to every Bishop's heart. The 1998 Statement of Conclusions (Interdicasterial Meeting with a representation of the Australian Bishops) noted, with good reason, the great dedication of the priests serving the Church in Australia (cf. No. 19). In expressing my own appreciation of their tireless and unassuming service, I encourage you always to listen to your priests, as a father would listen to a son. In a secular context such as yours it is of particular importance that you help your priests to appreciate that their spiritual identity must consciously shape all their pastoral activity. The priest is never a manager or mere defender of a particular point of view. In imitation of the Good Shepherd, he is a disciple seeking to transcend his own personal limitations and rejoice in a life of intimacy with Christ. A relationship of deep communion and friendship with Jesus, in which the priest habitually talks "heart to heart with the Lord" (Instruction "The Priest, Pastor and Leader of the Parish Community," 27), will nurture his quest for holiness, enriching not only himself but the entire community he serves.

It is in embracing the universal call to holiness (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:3) that the particular vocation to which God summons every individual is found. In this regard I am sure that your initiatives to promote a culture of vocation and to treasure the various states of ecclesial life, which exist so that "the world may believe" (John 17:21), will bear fruit. As for the young men who generously respond to God's call to the priesthood, I again affirm that they must receive your every assistance as they strive for a life of simplicity, chastity and humble service, in imitation of Christ, the Eternal High Priest, of whom they are to become living icons (cf. "Pastores Dabo Vobis," 33).

6. The contribution of consecrated men and women to the mission of the Church and the building up of civil society has been of immeasurable worth to your nation. Innumerable Australians have benefited from the selfless commitment of Religious to pastoral ministry and spiritual guidance as well as to education, social and medical work, and care of the elderly. Your reports attest to your admiration of these men and women, whose "gift of self for love of the Lord Jesus and, in him, of every member of the human family" ("Vita Consecrata," 3) so enriches the life of your Dioceses.

This deep appreciation of consecrated life is rightly accompanied by your concern for the decline in Religious vocations in your country. A renewed clarity is needed to articulate the particular contribution of Religious to the life of the Church: a mission to make the love of Christ present in the midst of humanity (cf. Instruction "Starting Afresh From Christ: A Renewed Commitment to Consecrated Life in the Third Millennium," 5). Such clarity will give rise to a new kairos, with Religious confidently reaffirming their calling and, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, proposing afresh to young people the ideal of consecration and mission. The evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience, embraced for the love of God, splendidly illuminate the fidelity, self-possession and authentic freedom necessary to live the fullness of life to which all men and women are called. With these sentiments I again assure Religious Priests, Brothers and Sisters of the vital witness they provide by radically walking in the footsteps of Christ.

7. Dear Brothers, I am pleased to acknowledge your steadfast efforts to uphold the uniqueness of marriage as a life-long covenant based on generous mutual giving and unconditional love. The Church's teaching on marriage and stable family life offers saving truth to individuals and a sure foundation upon which the aspirations of your nation can be anchored. Incisive and faithful explanation of Christian doctrine regarding marriage and the family is of utmost importance in order to counter the secular, pragmatic and individualistic outlook which has gained ground in the area of legislation and even a certain acceptance in the realm of public opinion (cf. "Ecclesia in Oceania," 45). Of particular concern is the growing trend to equate marriage with other forms of cohabitation. This obfuscates the very nature of marriage and violates its sacred purpose in God's plan for humanity (cf. "Familiaris Consortio," 3).

Raising families according to the splendor of Christ's truth is a sharing in God's work of creation. It lies at the heart of the call to promote a civilization of love. The deep-seated love of mothers and fathers for their children is also the Church's, as is the pain experienced by parents when their children fall victim to forces and trends which draw them away from the path of truth, leaving them disorientated and confused. Bishops must continue to support parents who, despite the often bewildering social difficulties of today's world, are in a position to exercise great influence and offer broader horizons of hope (cf. "Pastores Gregis," 51). It is the Bishop's particular task to ensure that within civil society -- including the media and entertainment industry sectors -- the values of marriage and family life are supported and defended (cf. ibid., 52).

8. Finally I wish to acknowledge the noble contribution the Church in Australia makes to the attainment of social justice and solidarity. Your leadership in the defense of the fundamental rights of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers, and the developmental support offered to indigenous Australians, are shining examples of the "commitment to practical and concrete love for every human being" ("Novo Millennio Ineunte," 49) to which I have called the whole Church. Australia's growing role as a leader in the Pacific region presents an opportunity for you to respond to the pressing need for a careful discernment of the phenomenon of globalization. Vigilant concern for the poor, the abandoned and the mistreated, and promotion of a globalization of charity will do much to indicate a path of genuine development which overcomes social marginalization and favors economic benefit for all (cf. "Pastores Gregis," 69).

9. Dear Brothers, with affection and fraternal gratitude I offer these reflections to you and assure you of my prayers as you seek to shepherd the flocks entrusted to you. United in your proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ, go forward now in hope! With these sentiments I commend you to the protection of Mary, Mother of the Church, and to the intercession and guidance of Blessed Mary MacKillop. To you and to the priests, deacons, Religious and lay faithful of your Dioceses, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing.

[Original text: English]


Vatican, Mar. 26 ( - In a March 26 meeting with the bishops of Australia, who are making their ad limina visit, Pope John Paul II underlined the importance of Sunday Mass. The Holy Father spoke to the bishops about their responsibility to confront the secularizing trends of their culture. "The pernicious ideology of secularization has found fertile soil in Australia," he said. He encouraged the bishops to be "fearless prophets, witnesses and servants of hope in Christ," thus directly combating that influence.

The single most powerful way to confront secularization, the Pope continued, is to highlight the obligation for all Catholics to attend Sunday Mass. He observed that the understanding of the Sabbath has been lost in modern society, so that Sunday becomes "subordinated to the secular concept of the 'weekend,' dominated by relaxation and sports." The result, the Pontiff said, is that people develop "a horizon so restricted that they can no longer see the heavens."

Pope John Paul remarked that the reports he had received from the Australian bishops show "the destructive consequences of the loss of a sense of God: the undermining of family life and a drift away from the Church." He praised the bishops for their efforts to support family life and restore a proper understanding of marriage. And he urged them to continue that struggle, working within civil society to defend marriage and family. -26-March-2004 -- Catholic World News Brief

"All businesses, including gasoline stations and restaurants, should close ever Sunday...  by force of legislative fiat through the duly elected offcials of the people." -Harold Lindsell, Editor of Christianity Today -May 7, 1976

"It seems to be plain that by these laws, the states compel one, under the sanction of law, to refrain from work or recreation on Sunday because of the majority's views on that day. The state by law makes Sunday a symbol of respect or adherence." - Justice William O. Douglas McGOWAN ET AL. v. MARYLAND SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES 366 U.S. 420 May 29, 1961, Decided (    & )

In the News

Consider the dispatch from London's Sunday Telegraph:
Europe's new emperor? With European 'federalism' on the agenda of both Western and Eastern governments, speculations are abroad as to who may become the political leader of the united European Community. A profile in the 'Sunday Comment' of The Sunday Telegraph on John Paul II is suggesting that he is the best choice in the new Holy European Empire. The article speaks of the increasing role of the Roman Catholic political power since the fall of Napoleon and even since the counter Reformation. The moral authority of the papacy becomes the apparent winner of the day. 'If European federalism triumphs, the EC will indeed be an empire. It will lack an emperor; but it will have the Pope. It is difficult not to think that Wojtyla realizes this.

Current Sunday Laws 

Sunday laws are ubiquitous in America. They do not generally create a major burden on non-Sunday worshipers as they are currently enforced. Nevertheless, their continued existence, along with case-law upholding their constitutionality, establishes the principle that the majority can impose its day of worship on religious minorities. Such a principle is antithetical to religious freedom. While public sentiment may not currently support the enforcement or expansion of Sunday laws, it is clear that such sentiment can change rapidly. In the face of such a change the legal stage is set for the enforcement and expansion of Sunday laws. These laws, therefore, are not merely historical oddities, but dangerous precedents that pose a real threat to our future religious liberty. ....God help us if the present amnesia on constitutional and freedom principles is not just bad memory but of a deeper and more Alzheimic nature. -Liberty, November/December 2003

"Political corruption is destroying love of justice and regard for truth; and even in free America, rulers and legislators, in order to secure public favor, will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance. Liberty of conscience, which has cost so great a sacrifice, will no longer be respected." The Great Controversy, p. 592

Sudan: Crisis Deepens As Adventist Churches Are Destroyed

Seventh-day Adventist churches in the Abu Garajil and Juruf districts of the Darfur region of western Sudan have been destroyed during the escalating humanitarian and security crisis unfolding there, church leaders say.
"Our members have been displaced. They are without food, clothing or shelter to sleep under," reports the district leader for the Adventist Church in the area.
In spite of their difficulties and constant threat to personal security, the members are eagerly gathering for worship services. Since the forest there is not thick, they find it difficult even to shelter under the trees for services. Instead they prefer to worship in the evening when the sun goes down because during the day you cannot bear the hot sun.
The Brussels-based International Crisis Group, in their May 23, 2004 report, they state, "A month after the international community solemnly marked the tenth anniversary of the Rwandan genocide in April 2004 with promises of 'never again,' it faces a man-made humanitarian catastrophe in western Sudan [Darfur] that can easily become nearly as deadly."
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), the humanitarian arm of the Adventist Church, sent a crisis assessment team to the region April 24 through 30 this year. Observations published in their May bulletin are equally grim: "In general, all internally displaced people are living in miserable conditions, having lost all their belongings and all their livestock except for one or two starved donkeys. Crops and houses have been burned down and agricultural land
is inaccessible due to insecurity."
ADRA's initial response will be centered on the area of water and sanitation with the overall goal of improving the health of the people.

 Adventist News Network, June 1, 2004


Zagreb, Sep. 10 ( - Labor laws in Croatia are being used to exploit tens of thousands of citizens, Catholic leaders have charged.

Archbishop Ivan Prendja, president of the Croatian Catholic charity Caritas and Bozo Vuleta , director of the Institute for the Culture of Peace, made the charge in a letter delivered to Prime Minister Ivica Racan this week. The letter accompanied a petition of calling for a ban on the Sunday opening of shops.

According to Croatiaa??s labor law, Sunday is a holiday, and therefore shops should not open. However in 2001 the Ministry of the Economy issued new rules, allowing local government bodies to make their own decisions on shop opening times. This new policy, the Catholic leaders claim, has led to violations of the spirit of the legislation.

The Croatian government is not in favor of the Sunday shop openings, but would prefer a strategy of discouragement and disincentives, rather than an outright ban. However, the prime minister himself admits that more needs to be done.

Support for the idea of a total ban is considerable. The 300,000 signatures on the petition represent 1 out of every 15 inhabitants of Croatia. Moreover, according to Caritas and the Institute for the Culture of Peace, their campaign against Sunday opening has the support of-- among other powerful groups-- the trade unions, the Chamber of Crafts, the Merchant Guild, members of parliament and, the Ministry of Crafts and the Ministry of Tourism. The case for a total ban is due to be discussed by the Croatian parliament later this month.

Need a rest? Take a sabbatical at least one day a week
(Notice they consider SUNday the Sabbath in this article)

For The Tennessean

Overworked? Stressed out? Exhausted?

Take a sabbatical.

Give your mind, body and soul a day each week — or even a few hours — to renew itself.

Sabbath is from the Hebrew word shabbat, which means, ''rest.'' And think about it — even God rested on the seventh day from all the work he had done.

But do we? Not according to research. About one-quarter of U.S. workers toil 50 or more hours a week. A United Nations report found that U.S. workers put in more hours on the job than workers in any other industrialized nation. And surveys have found there is a price for overworked employees: mistakes on the job, work and family conflict, negative health effects, sleep loss.

With our frenetic lives, we all need a day of rest.

That's why Amy and Mark Mitchell of Franklin decided to honor the Sabbath on Sunday.

''It got to be so crazy on Sunday. We were scrambling to do everything. We were running around doing housework, yard work, errands. Some nights we were still doing stuff at 10:30 p.m.,'' Amy Mitchell said.

Now on Sundays, the Mitchells and their two young children focus on family time. They play games and enjoy the outdoors. ''It starts the week off right, in a calm way,'' Amy said.

Indeed. Those who observe a day of rest say it nourishes and revitalizes them. And there is research to back these claims. University of Arizona studies show the biological need for rest every seventh day. According to the researcher, Juan-Cardos Lerman, failing to rest after six days of steady work will lead to insomnia or sleepiness, hormonal imbalances, fatigue, irritability, organ stress and other increasingly serious physical and mental symptoms.

So how can you keep or create your own Sabbath? It varies. Some people follow the traditions of their faith and observe Sabbath on a certain day of the week. Others pick a day in the week that works best for them.

To Rabbi Kenneth Kanter of Congregation Micah in Brentwood, the Sabbath is the day set apart from the rest of the days. ''There is to be no work, no commerce; it is a time for family worship and spiritual reconnection to God,'' said Kanter, adding, ''In the Jewish faith, Sabbath is a home-based tradition. Ideally, you celebrate it together.''

For some, Sabbath time isn't a day of the week but a few hours a day. That's what works for Julie Robertson, a Franklin mother of three small children.

''I get up at 4:30 a.m. and that's my time. I'll make my pot of coffee, read, exercise, take time for myself before the kids get up at 7 a.m.,'' she said.

Kanter also recommends finding time on the Sabbath for yourself.

''Even if that means taking a block of time on the Sabbath to read a book or sit out on your porch and enjoy the surroundings,'' Kanter said.

Germans Get Four More Shopping Hours Saturday as Government Eases Rules

Published: Jun 6, 2003

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - The Saturday shopping sprint is a time-honored German tradition: a frantic push through long lines for last-minute groceries as the clock ticks toward the mandatory 4 p.m. closing time.

But that tradition ends Saturday, when a new law takes effect allowing stores to stay open four more hours - until 8 p.m. - as they do every other day except Sunday, when shops are closed altogether.

The battle for the extension, which met fierce resistance from unionized store workers and some shopkeepers, highlighted the difficulty of reforming Europe's largest economy, even as it teeters on the brink of recession.

Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's government hopes the longer hours will pump more money into suffering retailers' tills in a country where the economy is in its third year of stagnation - and shrank by 0.2 percent in the first three months of this year.

"I hope that as many businesses as possible will use the new chance, and I hope that consumers will now be able to fulfill their wishes without time pressure," economics and labor minister Wolfgang Clement said Friday. "That would be a boost for the economy, it will revitalize our downtowns and so help other businesses."

However, stores are not likely to open Sunday anytime soon: The German constitution calls the day one for "spiritual elevation."

Alfred and Tamara Steinbrecher, strolling past the shops on Frankfurt's Schillerstrasse, said the change was overdue.

"The longer, the better, as in England or America," said Alfred Steinbrecher, a retired businessman pulling a shopping cart.

"You simply can't get it all done on Saturday," said Tamara Steinbrecher, a doctor. "You spend one whole hour just standing in line."

Shopping time used to be even shorter - as late as 1996, the law mandated a 2 p.m. close on Saturday and 6:30 p.m. during the week. Germany's powerful labor unions have fought against the latest change, mobilizing some 20,000 people for a March protest in Berlin.

That opposition is reflected in the employee councils, which under German law must agree to new hours. But the collective bargaining agreement does not specify how much workers should get for four additional hours, so stores must cut individual deals.

Berlin's giant KaDeWe department store, for instance, has been able to persuade its workers to agree to work only until 6 p.m and is taking the issue to arbitration.

"We hope to be open until 8 p.m. by Christmas time," spokeswoman Dagmar Flade said.

Furniture chain Ikea, on the other hand, was able to get employees at its 30 stores in Germany to work until 8 p.m. The firm already pays workers a 20 percent hourly wage premium on Saturdays, and they will get the same deal for the extra hours.

The German Retail Federation said it found in a survey that only 42 percent of its members intend to stay open past 4 p.m.

Many among Germany's legions of small, family-owned stores still keep to the old 2 p.m. Saturday close - and do not plan to change.

"I would have to hire more people and pay more in costs - it wouldn't pay," said Hans-Joachim Knapp, who runs the flower shop his father founded in 1956 on a quiet Frankfurt side street.

The problem isn't the hours - it's the economy, he said: "People are holding back, they have less money."

House approves national day of prayer and fasting

Thursday, March 27, 2003

(03-27) 11:12 PST WASHINGTON (AP) --

The House passed a resolution Thursday calling for a national day of humility, prayer and fasting in a time of war and terrorism.

The resolution, passed 346-49, says Americans should use the day of prayer "to seek guidance from God to achieve a greater understanding of our own failings and to learn how we can do better in our everyday activities, and to gain resolve in meeting the challenges that confront our nation."

Under the resolution, President Bush would issue a proclamation designating a specific day as a day of "humility, prayer and fasting."

White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said officials there had not looked at the resolution but "the president believes that faith and prayer are important and frequently references the importance of praying for American troops and for freedom around the world."

A similar resolution approved on March 17 said it was the sense of the Senate that that day should be a national day of prayer and fasting.

During Wednesday's House debate, some lawmakers expressed concern about the measure.

Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, a presidential hopeful and an opponent of the war in Iraq, said the resolution "may be seen by some as an attempt to inject religion into this war at a time when some of America's enemies abroad are asserting that this indeed is a war about religion."

Sunday Dilemma in U.S.: Sports Vs. Church

Associated Press Writer
November 29, 2003, 12:04 PM EST

SUMMIT, N.J. -- Sports vs. church: It's become the Sunday morning dilemma in homes across the nation. With weekend sports leagues growing in popularity, schedules have stretched further into those Sunday morning hours that were once the exclusive domain of churches.

Now, clergy of many faiths are pushing back, asking coaches and time-starved parents to keep Sunday morning holy, even if it means their children's teams have to play some other time.

"I don't want my kids to grow up with great football memories and no Biblical knowledge," said Rev. Chuck Rush, senior minister at Christ Church in Summit, a New York City suburb. "You've got this dramatic pressure between playing sports and going to church, which isn't good."

The Summit Interfaith Council recently issued an appeal to public and private sports leagues to refrain from scheduling games before noon on Sunday.

Rush, who helped write the appeal, sees the church vs. sports conflict in his own home. His 13-year-old daughter, who plays soccer, is sometimes torn between religion and her loyalty to her team, where she stood a good chance of being named most valuable player.

"She was in a tournament recently and she said, `I could be the MVP, but if I don't play in this Sunday's game, I definitely won't be the MVP," he recalled.

It all boils down to time, and the precious lack of it for families. As the growing demands of homework, weekend errands and sports compete for families' free time, church often loses.

One church in Andover, Mass., recently conducted a marketing survey to find out when congregants had free time to attend weekend services. The most common response: Saturday at 5 p.m., because Sunday was all but booked.

"You run around all week long, commuting to work and coming home, and run and run all weekend long and by Sunday night, you're asking, `What the heck just happened?'" Rush said. "Sabbath means there's some structured rest."

But stacking games on Saturday isn't the answer for everyone. Those games inconvenience Jewish families, who sympathize with the churches' problem but would prefer their kids play on Sunday.

"Having games on Saturday morning is a huge challenge for the Jewish community," said Allyson Gall, New Jersey Director for the American Jewish Committee in nearby Millburn. "I'd try like crazy to get the kids to an 8 a.m. game, have them change clothes in the car on the way back and rush them to synagogue."

At St. Teresa of Avila R.C. Church in Summit, it's not uncommon to see youngsters in the pews dressed in soccer or football uniforms, ready to be whisked off to the field as soon as the last organ note fades.

Don Rasweiler, a father of five and a football coach, must deal with both sides of the debate. He has to be at the field an hour before the 10:30 a.m. game, which means getting at least some of the kids up early enough for 7:30 a.m. Mass. There's also a good chance one or two of his other children will have a game later in the day.

Rasweiler and his wife Kate frequently handle it by splitting up, attending different Masses with Jack, 12, Henry, 10, or Abigail, 8, depending on the week's sports schedule.

Rasweiler said his wife isn't pleased with the solution.

"We were discussing it a couple weekends ago, and she said, `I don't like the effect this is having on us. We should go to church as a family.' "

Tom Brown, a baseball coach and St. Teresa parishioner, noted his league worked with the area churches to at least avoid conflicts between team picture day and the congregations' First Holy Communion days.

"We talked to them, got their dates, and we moved picture day," he said. "They really appreciated it, and we got a big thank you from the churches and the parents."

Keeping Sunday for prayer helps witness to resurrection, pope says

August 4, 2003 - CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) -- By making Sunday a special day of prayer and rest, Christians give weekly witness to Christ's victory over sin and death, Pope John Paul II said. Sunday, the day commemorating Christ's resurrection, "is the symbol par excellence for that which Christianity has and continues to represent in Europe and in the world," the pope said Aug. 3. Reciting the midday Angelus with visitors at his summer villa outside of Rome, the pope said observing Sunday as a day of prayer and rest is "a perennial proclamation of the good news of the resurrection of Jesus, the celebration of his victory over sin and death and his commitment to the full liberation of each man and woman."

Pope Asks Support for Families to Overcome Social Fragmentation

Suggests That the Sacredness of Sundays Be Rediscovered

RIJEKA, Croatia, JUNE 8, 2003 ( John Paul II appealed for effective support of the family as the indispensable condition to overcome the social fragmentation typical of contemporary societies.

Celebrating the Mass of Pentecost before 140,000 people gathered in the central square of Rijeka, the Pope focused his homily on the central theme of his third visit to Croatia, "The Family: Path of the Church and of the Nation."

"Nowadays the family, also in Croatia, requires special consideration and concrete policies aimed at promoting and protecting its essential nature, its development and its stability," John Paul II said today during the homily, under a burning sun.

"Among other things, I am thinking of the serious problems associated with housing and employment," he said. Croatia has an unemployment rate of about 22%.

"It must not be forgotten that in helping the family we also help to resolve other important problems, such as providing assistance to the sick and the elderly, halting the spread of crime, and finding a remedy to drug use," the Holy Father said.

"If this is to happen, it is essential to show respect for the sacredness of Sunday, which enables members of the family to recollect themselves and to join in giving due worship to God," he added.

Political leaders and labor unions in Croatia are debating a plan to liberalize work on Sundays. Among those at the Mass were Prime Minister Ivica Racan and President Stipe Mesic.

The Pope gave his support to a program launched a few years ago by the country's Catholic bishops, entitled "The Croatian Catholic Family Prays Daily and Celebrates the Eucharist Every Sunday."

When greeting Archbishop Ivan Devcic of Rijeka, the Pope acknowledged that Croatian families are experiencing "severe tests of an economic, moral and cultural nature" to which the authorities should offer solutions.

The Holy Fathe r asked Christian families to witness with their lives "God's authentic plan for the family as a community of life founded on marriage."

He emphasized that marriage is based "on the stable and faithful union of a man and a woman, bound to each other by a bond which is publicly manifested and recognized."

The Pope reminded parents that they must "provide for the human and Christian education of your children, trusting also in the expert assistance of committed and well-trained educators and catechists."

He added: "You, too, must help your children to encounter Jesus and to follow him, even amid the temptations to which young people are continuously exposed, along the path that leads to authentic joy.

"Society today is tragically fragmented and divided. This is the reason why it is so desperately unfulfilled. But Christians do not become resigned to weariness or paralyzed by inertia. May you be people of hope! May you be a people that prays."

In the afternoon, the Pope received Prime Minister Racan at the seminary of Rijeka. Later, he was to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Trsat, Queen of the Adriatic, where according to tradition the Holy House of Nazareth was kept from 1291 to 1294, before being transported to Loreto, Italy.

John Paul II will leave Croatia on Monday from the airport of Zadar, a city where he will first preside over the celebration of a Liturgy of the Word.

Iraq, Middle East, & Religious Liberty

No doubt, time will tell whether or not we are presently witnessing the
transformation of America, as predicted in Revelation 13.  There is,
however, an interesting development transpiring that may at some future
point help us better judge the success/failure of the current action.

Last year, shortly after Iraq became the target of U.S. rhetoric in the
aftermath of 9/11, I happened to meet a close relative of the president of
the Middle East Union of the SDA church.  According to this relative, the
MEU president told him that our fellow church members in Iraq were
expressing a preference to remain under the current regime, as it afforded
them a degree of religious freedom that they could not be sure they would
have under another.

Today I ran across several news briefs on the Adventist News Network that
may, in fact, prove their fears to be well founded.  The first two suggest
that many, if not most, of the countries around Iraq are not particularly
friendly to the idea of religious liberty, according to recent U.S. State
Department reports.  These articles may be found at: . .

The third addresses the development of the new constitution for Afghanistan
and raises the concern that religious freedom, particularly with respect to
Christianity, may not find a place in this recently "liberated" state. 
This bulletin can be accessed at:

Irrespective of where the U.S. is currently in prophetic history, I believe
we would all do well to pray that God will be with our Middle Eastern
members, guarding them and the gospel through the rocky path ahead!

Commandments still relevant to laws

I have been watching with much interest and confusion as Justice Roy Moore, the Chief Justice of Alabama's Supreme Court, has defied federal court orders to remove the 5,280-pound granite monument from the rotunda of the state judicial building.

In this land of toleration where it has become unpopular to make someone uncomfortable in his beliefs, I cannot help but wonder if Judge Moore might be doing the right thing, even if I do not agree with his motives.

Does the granite have a legitimate place in our government buildings or hold any historical significance for our country's founding?

Our nation's first set of laws, the legal code of Virginia drafted in 1610, contained every one of the Ten Commandments complete with their biblical references, one right after the other. Subsequently, most of the other colonies adopted the Ten Commandments as the foundation of their civil codes.

These civil codes became the foundation of our Constitution and other state laws.

Several of the ten are unquestionably accepted by most citizens: do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, etc. But what about some of the other more religiously-entrenched commandments?

The fourth commandment's influence can be seen in Sunday laws, still valid in today's culture. In 1950, the Supreme Court of Mississippi stated: "The Sunday laws have a divine origin...After the six days of creation, the Creator Himself rested on the Seventh...Thus, the Sabbath was instituted as a day of rest. The original example was later confirmed as a commandment when the law was handed down from Mt. Sinai: 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.'"

Additionally, the Constitution gives the President ten days to sign a bill into law "Sundays excepted." Even our founding fathers recognized the importance of the fourth commandment.

Another example of the Ten Commandments influencing our government can be seen in the following statement made by the 1955 Washington Supreme Court regarding adultery: "Adultery, whether promiscuous or not, violates one of the Ten Commandments and the statutes of this State."

The tenth commandment, "Thou shalt not covet," was viewed by John Adams, a signer of the Bill of Rights and a former President, as being vital to a successful society:

"The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If 'Thou shalt not covet' and 'Thou shalt not steal' were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free."

The third commandment had a profound influence on the Continental Army during the American Revolution. Commander-in-Chief George Washington issued an order stating: "The General most earnestly requires and expects a due observance of those articles of war established for the government of the army which forbid profane cursing, swearing and drunkenness; and...requires and expects of all officers and soldiers not engaged on actual duty, a punctual attendance on Divine Service to implore the blessings of Heaven upon the means used for our safety and defense."

Washington believed that God would not bless the Army's efforts if the soldiers failed to observe the Ten Commandments. If any soldier was heard dishonoring God's name, he was punished by lashings with a whip.

John Witherspoon, a signer of the Declaration of Independence who served on over 100 committees while in Congress, said: "to promote true religion is the best and most effectual way of making a virtuous and regular people. Love to God and love to man is the substance of religion; when these prevail, civil laws will have little to do."

It is obvious that religion and the Ten Commandments played a vital role in the founding of this nation. In fact, 27 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence held seminary degrees. To argue that religion did not and should not influence government goes against the principles upon which this country's foundations were laid.

Justice Moore's monument has now been removed from the public eye. It resides in a locked storage room off the first floor employee lunch room of the state judicial building. Aside from any political motives Moore may or may not have, I believe the Ten Commandments played and should continue to play an important role in our government and the laws that govern our society.

By Justin Partlo
Managing Editor
September 5, 2003

Some would like to see most Sunday working, shopping outlawed

News Journal
Mitchell P. Masilun

A sign on the door at Hobby Lobby in Mansfield informs shoppers that the store is closed on Sundays. Some area clergy would like to see more stores take that position.

Jason J. Molyet

Shoppers fill Dick's Sporting Goods in Ontario at its grand opening on a Sunday in April 2002. Sunday shopping has become an American way of life.


Society could use a weekly break, pastors say

By David Benson

News Journal

MANSFIELD -- The Rev. Mark Dettmer, senior pastor of First Church of the Nazarene on Straub Road, and many of the 130 members of his church are among those conservative Christians who would prefer to see stores closed on Sundays in deference to the Sabbath.

"For myself and generally as a church, I think we still hold a fairly conservative view of Sunday and what it means as far as Sabbath rest," he said.

Dettmer, 37, feels society as a whole could benefit from taking one day a week to rest and reflect rather than run from errand to activity to errand.

"What if our work and our lives weren't so frantic, trying to manipulate our environment and situations?" he asked. "How would that change our blood pressure? There's something to be said for that. So that relates to the whole idea of Sabbath rest."

Dettmer said he understands the economic and social changes that have led to such things as long store hours, but he does not view them as good things.

"Is the society better for it? I don't think so. Certainly not in an emotional or psychological context," he said. "Economically, has it made us more prosperous? Perhaps. But then again, if you truly take the Scriptures, the law of rest was that God so blessed the land and the time that when people observed the rest they never realized any loss."

Dettmer said he regrets the increasing secularization he sees even among people who are nominally Christian.

"The sad thing about it is there has been a redefinition of what the Sabbath is and what it means to keep it holy... Sunday even for many Christians is just a normal day except for going to church. I struggle with that," he said.

The Rev. Randy Raynes and the 45 members of his independent Fellowship Baptist Church on South Main Street take an even more conservative view of Sunday and how it should be observed.

"I am definitely for the Blue Laws. But then again, the Blue Laws (came about) because Christians refused to work on Sunday," he said. "That's the whole reason they had the Blue Laws, because we felt it was the Lord's day and we would not work because the Bible commands us not to."

But Christians' devotion to that idea faded, and with it, the Blue Laws, Raynes said.

"Christians pretty much dropped the ball. We're the reason why people now work on Sunday. We started getting away from the Lord, and a generation came along that was more money conscious, less spiritual," he said.

Raynes does not see the Blue Laws coming back in his lifetime, but he and his church are doing what they can to effect change at the personal level.

"The only way to change (Sunday sales) is getting the word out and changing people one at a time. We're trying to do that," Raynes said.

Meanwhile, both pastors commend businesses such as Hobby Lobby, which closes on Sundays, and the Blueberry Patch, which is open for just a few hours on Sunday.

"We'll take anything we can get in terms of balancing work hours with church hours," Raynes said.

MANSFIELD -- Being able to go to the grocery store, the discount store or the mall on Sunday is something most people take for granted.

For those under the age of about 45, most stores always have been open Sundays. But until the early 1960s, so-called "Blue Laws" prohibited most retailers from opening Sunday.

Pharmacies were about the only exception.

"I remember when you couldn't go to the store for a loaf of bread, even," Mayor Lydia Reid said. "Having everything open now is wonderful."

But even after four decades of Sunday shopping, some fundamental Christians would like to see Blue Laws brought back for the same reason they were enacted more than 100 years ago: To protect the Sabbath.

Changes in society, together with increasing competition for consumer dollars, are largely responsible for retailers being open seven days a week for longer and longer store hours.

"With so many working couples and single-parent households, shopping during the evenings and on weekends is a necessity. That has driven retailers to extend hours, and I am certainly not aware of any trends that would lessen that need," said Mansfield-Richland Area Chamber of Commerce president Kevin Nestor. "Demand drives those decisions."

Ontario is heavily dependent on retail sales for a large part of its revenue, and Mayor Stevie Regula is well aware of it.

"Sunday sales are very important to the city's economy, and it's also important to working class people who don't have time to shop during the week," she said. "I've never gotten any negative comments (on Sunday sales) from groups saying it's too commercial or from retailers about the long hours. I don't expect it to change."

Change won't come through regulation -- either locally or at the state level, at least in the short term.

"It's pretty much a non-issue in this state," state Rep. Bill Hartnett said. "There might be some (proposed) piece of legislation aimed at restricting Sunday sales, but I'm not aware of any."

Some people think Blue Laws shoud return.

"I don't think any (stores) should be open on Sunday," said the Rev. Randy Raynes, 46, pastor of the Fellowship Baptist Church on South Main Street. "The Sabbath is for the church and the Lord."

The Rev. Mark Dettmer, senior pastor of the First Church of the Nazarene on Straub Road, said his family and many other church families refrain from spending any money on Sunday as a sign of respect for the Sabbath.

He takes a pragmatic theological view of those who do go to stores.

"God understands the way society has gone. He understands we're at the mercy of big corporations," Dettmer, 37, said.

Other people -- even business owners -- would like to see an end to Sunday shopping for reasons that have nothing to do with religious beliefs.

Jay Wineland, owner of Dunkin Jewelers in Westfield Shoppingtown Richland, is one of them.

"(Income from) Sunday shopping is not what it's cracked up to be. We're only open on Sundays because our lease agreement stipulates it," Wineland, 60, said. "We'd like to give our employees a break on Sunday if we could, we really would."

A few area businesses have taken that step.

Hobby Lobby on Park Avenue West is closed on Sundays. Store manager Cliff Louzader wouldn't have it any other way.

"Being closed on Sunday makes my job a whole lot easier even though it probably costs us money. Having that day off is very important to our employees. If we were open that day I would probably lose about half of them," Louzader, 48, said.

Hobby Lobby has 35 employees, most of them older than 40. Louzader said having the day off is important to them for family reasons more than religious reasons, and few would work there if Sundays were required.

"They're all adults who want to work, the best kind of employee you can have. Having Sunday off is the biggest draw I have to attract people like that," he said.

Louzader recently put an ad in the News Journal for a job opening at the store, and more than 300 people applied.

"Most of them said they came in because of the Sunday policy," he said.

There are about 300 Hobby Lobby stores nationwide, and all of them are closed on Sunday as part of the philosophy of franchise owner David Green of Oklahoma City.

"The stores were open on Sundays at first, but Mr. Green is a religious man and he decided they would close no matter what effect it had on sales and profits," Louzader said. "They say business picked up on Saturdays when they did, so maybe the net effect wasn't too big."

Louzader said he and his staff have taken a fair amount of static from people who went to the store on a Sunday only to find it closed. But most people, he said, understand. In any case, the policy won't change and none of the employees want it to.

"It's been a real pleasure to be closed on Sunday," Louzader said.

Other area retailers say Sunday sales are essential to their business.

"It's probably our second or third largest sales day. Being open on Sunday is just part of doing business because it's something the consumer demands," said Rick Geyer, owner of 10 Geyer's supermarkets and two Save-A-Lot stores in north-central Ohio. "People who go to work in the grocery business know it's a seven-day-a-week job."

Some businesses try to find a compromise between employee desires and consumer demands.

The Blueberry Patch Greenhouse and Gift Shoppe on West Hanley Road is open from noon until 5 p.m. on Sundays.

"For us, as a family business selling perishables, we need to be open on Sundays. But we open late so our employees have a chance to go to church," co-owner Mardy Beilstein said.

"Some people complain that we should open even earlier, but we compromise to what we feel is best.

"But the mindset of a lot of people is that we should be open around the clock every day of the week. I blame Wal-Mart and other superstores for (creating) that (attitude)," she said.

Beilstein said Sunday sales are always strong, even though the store is open short hours. She has no plans to alter the schedule.

Many feel shopping, working diminishes Sunday

By David Benson

News Journal

MANSFIELD -- Marvin Bowles, 59, isn't strongly opposed to Sunday shopping and doesn't have strong religious views on the subject.

But he is pretty sure it is not a good thing.

"I think it takes away from families being together because they're out in the stores and the mall," the Marion resident said. "That keeps them from having Sunday dinner together, or Sunday lunch or whatever. Family values suffer as a result of that.

"There's just too many things to do in this world. We need time to just be together as families."

Bowles said he almost never goes shopping on Sundays and would support any legislation aimed at re-establishing Blue Laws to limit Sunday activities.

"I think setting aside one day a week for the family or the church would be a good thing," he said.

Stacy Wolfe of Mansfield said she rarely shops on Sunday because she prefers to spend time with her family, and she sympathizes with people who have to work that day.

"If you're in retail, you don't really have an option. You have to work, but it's hard on the family," the 29-year-old said.

Jessy Hoffman, 16, doesn't do much Sunday shopping, either.

"I go to church and do other things with my family. That's more important to me," she said.

Hoffman said she, too, would support legislation for Blue Laws.

Wooster resident Dell Vernon, 82, knows Blue Laws firsthand.

"I remember them very well," he said. "You didn't shop, you didn't do much of anything on Sunday in those days."

Vernon said he feels Sunday shopping diminishes the importance of Sunday as a special day because it takes away from both family time and church time. Reinstating Blue Laws would benefit society as a whole, he said.

"Running around to stores and theaters (on Sundays) is tearing apart families," he said. "And I'm not sure it even does the stores much good."

John Jordan, 67, said he never shops on Sunday.

"I don't do it for religious reasons and because I feel it diminishes family and church," the Mansfield man said. "I regret that so many people spend their Sundays in stores, but I accept it as inevitable in our society."

However, Jordan said he would definitely be opposed to any attempt to bring back Blue Laws.

"I don't think the government should try to legislate people's behavior. People have certain beliefs and they act on those. Laws don't make a difference," he said. "Stores are open now, but I don't go to them because that's what I believe is right. I have my own Blue Laws."

"The Symbol Par Excellence of All That Christianity Has Stood for"

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 18, 2003 ( Here is the address John Paul II delivered Aug. 3 when praying the Angelus with pilgrims gathered in the courtyard of the papal summer residence.

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

1. Europe is the continent which, in the past 2,000 years, has been marked by Christianity more than any other. From all its regions -- in its abbeys, cathedrals and churches -- ceaseless praise has been raised to Christ, Lord of time and of history. Baptism and the other Sacraments have consecrated the seasons of life of countless believers. The Eucharist, especially on the Lord's Day, has nourished their faith and love; the Liturgy of the Hours and many other popular forms of prayer have marked the rhythm of their daily life.

Even if none of these things has been lacking in our time, a renewed commitment is still indispensable if we are to face the challenges of secularization, so that believers may make their entire life a true spiritual worship that is pleasing to God (cf. apostolic exhortation "Ecclesia in Europa," No. 69).

2. Special attention should be paid to safeguarding the value of Sunday, "Dies Domini." This day is the symbol par excellence of all that Christianity has stood for and still stands for, in Europe and throughout the world: the perennial proclamation of the Good News of the Resurrection of Jesus, the celebration of his victory over sin and death, the commitment to the human being's full liberation.

By preserving the Christian meaning of Sunday a notable contribution is made to Europe for the preservation of an essential part of its own particular spiritual and cultural heritage.

May the Blessed Virgin, to whom so many churches and chapels are dedicated in the different regions of Europe, make her protection felt over all the peoples on the Continent.

[Adapted from a translation by L'Osservatore Romano. After praying the Angelus, the Pope said in English:]

I warmly welcome the English-speaking visitors present at this Angelus. May Almighty God bless you and your families with joy and peace.

Agape Press News Brief - July 10, 2003 - ...A Michigan-based discount store chain has agreed to accommodate its employees' religious practices. Meijer's stores has settled a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of Debra Kerkstra, a member of the Christian Reformed Church who was fired for refusing to work on Sundays. Kerkstra, who worked as a cake decorator, said she lined up a replacement but the store would not allow the switch. She says, "I was forced to choose between my job and my religion. I chose my religion and lost my job." The Grand Rapids Press reports that Meijer's has agreed to train its supervisors to avoid religious discrimination and allow shift swaps. [AP]

Sabbath Sales
Cash-Strapped States Tap Taxes from Sunday Liquor Buyers

By Bob Jamieson

N E W  Y O R K, June 15

— As the first among dozens of customers in line at All-Star Wine and Spirits in Latham Farms, N.Y., bought a bottle of white wine just after noon on a recent Sunday, a law and tradition of more than 80 years fell by the wayside.

New York became the latest of several states to overturn blue laws, which in the Empire State had prevented the Sunday sales of liquor since the start of prohibition.

"It's not just about us as retailers," said Craig Allen, owner of All-Star Wine and Spirits, near Albany, N.Y. "It was about the consumers having the right to purchase what they want."

Money-Maker for States

Blue laws, rooted in religion to protect the Christian Sabbath, are falling away in the face of 21st century economics.

"The reason that they're now being eliminated is quite easily understood," said William Latham, a professor at the University of Delaware. "There is a large budget problem in the state of Delaware, as in a number of other states, and they see this as a way of increasing tax revenues."

For example, when Delaware's liquor stores were closed on Sunday, it lost liquor sales and tax revenue to neighboring Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where Sunday liquor sales were allowed. So, Delaware overturned the blue laws, despite opposition from religious groups.

Tiny Delaware projects that Sunday's sales will increase tax revenue by up to $1.2 million.

In big New York, where the state faces an $11.2 billion deficit, Sunday sales are expected to produce $26.7 million more in taxes.

Similar arithmetic has led to the end of blue laws in all of the most populous states except Texas.

"We need to recognize that Sunday is the second largest shopping day for all other kinds of purchases," Latham said.

To open on Sundays under the revised New York law, liquor stores must instead pick another day of the week to close. Allen told Albany's Times Union newspaper in a separate interview that he might close his shop on Mondays or Tuesdays, when he does his sparsest business — and as a result of the switch he expects to do an extra $500,000 in business per year.

While All-Star's owner counted his receipts and the state its additional tax revenue, Kansas, Rhode Island and Washington state were poised to follow New York's example

Sunday May Never Be the Same Again

Should a 5th century monk influence today’s world? Joan Chittister, an author and former Benedictine Prioress, addressed Trinity Institute on the essential values of St. Benedict, among them creative work, holy leisure, humility, and peace. She arrived at her answer—an emphatic “yes” to each standard—by excoriating “pseudo-contemplatives,” “pious moles,” and the United States government for exorbitant defense spending. Her searching evaluation of Benedict’s notion of holy leisure, delivered on April 29, follows.

In the mind of Benedict, life is not only lived by doing; leisure is an essential part of spirituality as well as work. The real measure of holy leisure, Sabbath leisure, contemplative leisure, has more to do with the quality of life and the depth of our vision than it does with play and vacation.

The Rabbis taught that the purpose of Sabbath was threefold. The first purpose was to free the poor as well as the rich for at least one day a week, and that included the animals, too. Nobody had to take an order from anybody on the Sabbath.

The second purpose was to give people time to evaluate their work as God evaluated creation to see if their work, too, is really life-giving.

And the third reason for the Sabbath was to give people a space to contemplate the real meaning of life.

If anything has brought the modern world to the brink of destruction, it must surely be the loss of Sabbath.

The purpose of holy leisure is to bring this balance of being, not a balance of time, back in to lives gone askew and to give people time to live a thoughtful, a contemplative, as well as a productive, life. It’s the reflectiveness of holy leisure that brings us to ask what it is to follow the Gospel.

When people sleep in a Metro station, it’s holy reason that asks, “Why?”

When 200,000 soldiers and another 100,000 civilians, most of them children, were exterminated in 43 days in the Iraqi war of 1991, and their land made desolate, and their future, as the U.N. said, was “bombed back in to the pre-industrial age,” it is holy leisure that asks how could such a thing possibly be of God if we were truly a Christian and civilized people?

And now 10 years later when a high-ranking official was asked by the media last week why there were no estimates of the Iraqi dead reported, and the official’s answer was, “that is a number in which I have no interest whatsoever,” it is holy leisure that breaks the secular silence and asks the Sabbath question, “Why don’t you?”

Holy leisure asks how our today became more important than God’s tomorrow.

In other words, holy leisure is the foundation of contemplation, and contemplation is the ability to see the world as God sees the world.

--Reporting by Nathan Brockman
Posted on Trinity News, April 29, 2003.

Sunday as Sabbath?

Official Designation Sparks Debate--Europe

Italian religious and political leaders have been caught up in a heated debate about the observance of the Sabbath.

The European Union has set up the policy that every member-state must have one day of rest during the week. But the policy explicitly states that the designated day needs to be Sunday, since for reasons of “religious pluralism” a nation’s government might choose another day.

In Italy, the designation of Sunday as a “day of rest” was first set in 1993. That policy was changed in 2000, however, when – in order to grant more flexibility for employers – the nation required only that every employer provide workers with a 24-hour rest period each week. But by August 2003, under the new European policy, Italy will again be required to fix a certain “day of rest.”

In an interview with the daily Corriere della Sera, Bishop Giancario Bregantini – who heads a committee dealing with social issues for the Italian bishops’ conference – remarked that attitudes on the observance of the Sabbath are “already bad enough” without a change in national policy. He said that any move away from the Sunday rest would be “a perverse act.” And Cardinal Pio Laghi, the former prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, asked La Repubblica: “How can you overlook the fact that Sunday is a special day for millions of Europeans?”

The Catholic World Report, February 2003

Italian Political Dispute Over Sunday Sabbath

        VATICAN, Dec 19, 02 ( -- Italian religious and political leaders have been caught up in a heated debate about the observance of the Sabbath.

         The European Union has set up the policy that every member-state must have one day of rest during the week. But the policy explicitly states that the designated day need not be Sunday, since for reasons of “religious pluralism” a nation’s government might choose another day.

         In italy, the designation of Sunday as a “day of rest” was first set in 1993. That policy was changed in 2000, however, when..- in order to grant more flexibility for employers-- the nation required only that every employer produce workers with a 24-hour rest period each week. But by August 2003, under the new European policy, Italy will again be required tu ru a certain “day of rest.”         

         In an interview with the daily Corriere della Sera, Bishop Giancarlo Bregantini— who heads a committee dealing with social issues for the Italian bishops’ conference.- remarked that attitudes on the observance of the Sabbath are “already bad enough” without a change in national policy. He said that any move away from the Sutiday rest would be “a perverse act.” And Cardinal Plo Laghi, the former prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, asked La Repubblica. “How can you overlook the fact that Sunday is a special day for millions of Europeans?”

Agape Press

Commentary and News Briefs

...President Bush has declared Sunday "National Sanctity of Human Life Day." The president has suggested that people mark the occasion at home or in places of worship. In making his announcement, Bush pledged to "build a culture that respects life." While the president stopped short of condemning abortion outright, he declared that "every child is a priority and a blessing."

 Rest Easy, Sunday Has Not Been Abolished

Thu December 19, 2002 10:37 AM ET

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Sunday is still special: it's official.

The European Commission sought to head off a holy row on Thursday, denying Italian media reports that it had scrapped the traditional Christian sabbath as the weekly day of rest.

"I can confirm that the EU has not abolished Sunday," Commission spokesman Andrew Fielding said to a roar of laughter at the EU executive's daily news briefing.

He explained that a 1993 directive which set out working times and conditions for employees in the European Union said that, in principle, Sunday should be a day of rest.

This was subsequently overturned in court and an amended directive was issued in 2000 making it clear that member states are free to choose which day their workers take off.

"There must be a weekly day of rest, but it doesn't necessarily have to be Sunday," Fielding said.

Sunday work issue hits Meijer 2nd time

Friday, December 27, 2002
By Ed White

The Grand Rapids Press

A suburban Detroit meat cutter fired for refusing to work on Sundays is suing Meijer Inc. in a case that's similar to a dispute involving a West Michigan cake decorator who also lost her job at the giant retailer.

Pavle Doroslavac of Macomb County, who describes himself as "very religious person," belongs to the Old Country Nazarene Church in Detroit. His ministers said Sunday is not the time for him to be trimming beef.

"Jesus was resurrected on the first day of the week. ... On this day, we do not work for monetary gain, only for humanitarian need," Joseph Bognar and Todor Lazic said in a letter accompanying the lawsuit.

Doroslavac, 58, was hired at a Meijer store in Utica in September 1999. He said he told his boss he could work "day or night" -- any day but Sunday.

He said he had no conflict with management until January 2002 when he was suspended a day without pay for failing to work a Sunday. Doroslavac was suspended again in April and subsequently fired.

He said his civil rights were violated. Doroslavac is seeking an unspecified award of more than $75,000.

"He received favorable assessments, was never late, was rarely sick and seldom took any days off or vacations," according to the lawsuit, which was filed earlier this year in federal court in Detroit.

Meanwhile, in a case on this side of the state, the government is suing Meijer on behalf of a woman who was fired in May 2001 after refusing to work on a Sunday. Debra Kerkstra of Allegan is a member of the Christian Reformed Church. Her case is pending in federal court in Kalamazoo.

"The facts are almost identical," Doroslavac's lawyer, Whitney Lemelin, said.

In response, Meijer said it attempted to accommodate Doroslavac's request that he not work Sundays. But the company said it also told him that he could be required to work on the Sabbath under rules of the union contract.

Meijer neither admits nor denies Doroslavac's claim that he had lined up another meat cutter willing to take his shift.

That could become a key point. The U.S. Supreme Court has said an employer must try to accommodate the religious practices of workers if it does not pose a hardship to the company.

"The other employee who was willing to work for Mr. Doroslavac would not have received overtime. It wasn't a burden for Meijer," Lemelin said. "Part-time butchers were available."

In Kerkstra's case, she, too, said she found a co-worker willing to take her Sunday bakery shift. She worked at the Plainwell store in Allegan County for a year before her dismissal.

Kerkstra, 37, admits she worked a Sunday shortly after she was hired, but she said she is "ashamed and embarrassed" about that decision.

if your wondering why I have this article in the list. Think about it. If they push enough lawsuits through, eventually Sunday will be a day off BY LAW!

Dear Friends -

A number of years ago, a farmer sent a letter to the pope, inquiring  about the Bible Sabbath. The letter was sent to Chicago for reply.  Here are both letters:

Thomaston, Georgia - May 22, 1934
Pope Pius XI - Rome, Italy

Dear Sir:
Is the accusation true, that Protestants accuse you of: They say you  changed the Seventh Day Sabbath to the, so-called, Christian Sunday:  identical with the First-Day of the Week. If so when did you make the  change, and by what authority.

Yours very Truly,
(Signed)J.L. Day

Extension Magazine
Published by The Catholic Extension Society of the United States of America
180 North Wabash Avenue, Chicago

Dear Sir:
Regarding the change from the observance of the Jewish Sabbath to the  Christian Sunday, I wish to draw your attention to the facts: (1) That Protestants, who accept the Bible as the only rule of faith  and religion, should by all means go back to the observance of the  Sabbath. The fact that they do not, but on the contrary observe the  Sunday, stultifies them in the eyes of every thinking man. (2) We Catholics do not accept the Bible as the only authority of the  Church, as a rule to guide us. We say, this Church instituted by  Christ, to teach and guide man through life, has the right to change  the Ceremonial laws of the Old Testament and hence, we accept the  change of the Sabbath to the Sunday. We frankly say, "Yes, the Church  made this change, made this law, as she made many other laws, for  instance, the Friday Abstinence, the unmarried priesthood, the laws  concerning mixed marriages, the regulation of the Catholic marriages,  and a thousand other laws." (3) We also say that of all Protestants, the Seventh-day Sabbath  observers are the only group that reason correctly and are consistent with their teachings. It is always somewhat laughable to see the Protestant Churches, in pulpit and legislature, demand the observance of Sunday, of which there is nothing in the Bible.

With best wishes,
Peter R. Tramer,

Sundays Are Losing Their Meaning, Warns Cardinal

Day of Rest Touted as Crucial for Human Dignity

BERLIN, OCT. 27, 2002 ( Sunday as a day of rest is a guard against "enslavement by the world of work," a cardinal says.

Cardinal Karl Lehmann, president of the German bishops' conference, confirmed the Church's position on Sunday work. "The celebration of Sunday is a necessity of human dignity, a protest against the commercialization of the person, and against enslavement by the world of work," he said.

The archbishop of Mainz was speaking at the opening of the exhibition "The Seventh Day: History of Sunday," an event he described as an "extraordinary occasion to reflect again on Sunday and the dangers that threaten it," the SIR agency reported.

"All creatures, especially the human being, must have the possibility to be free and to rest from the pressures of society and our world," the cardinal explained. "For human existence, to alternate work and release from it is as important as its social foundation."

In sketching the history of the existence of Sunday, Cardinal Lehmann said that the Second Vatican Council recognized in the day "the foundation and nucleus of the whole liturgical year."

The cardinal pointed out the danger of Sunday losing its meaning.

"Sunday and feast days could be eliminated or turned into simple weekends, time to go out and to enjoy sports events," he said. "Sunday is not at our free disposal. Among the conditions for real freedom is the proper celebration of Sunday."

He added: "It is not accidental that the Jewish sabbath is a most special gift of God to humanity, as Sunday is."

Did you notice he called Sunday the SEVENTH DAY?

Oct 27, 2002

First Sabbath Flight Arrives on Scotland's Staunchly Religious Isle of Lewis

The Associated Press

STORNOWAY, Scotland (AP) - A 34-seat propeller plane landed at tiny Stornoway airport Sunday - the first-ever Sabbath-day flight to the staunchly Presbyterian Isle of Lewis off Scotland's northwest coast.

Religious leaders urged islanders to boycott the new Sunday flights and preserve a traditional way of life that includes strict observance of the Sabbath.

"These Sunday flights are a breach of God's law and will have an adverse effect on the whole community life of this island as we know it. This is only the start," said Calum Maclean, a local representative of the Lord's Day Observance Society.

Lewis, a wind-battered island in the Outer Hebrides with a population of 22,000, is the spiritual home of the evangelical Free Church of Scotland.

The church - nicknamed the "Wee Frees" - allows work only of "necessity and mercy" on Sundays. On Lewis, where most people belong to either the Free Church or other Presbyterian denominations, almost all business and leisure activity stops for the Sabbath. Even television viewing is frowned upon.

There is no local bus service, and no ferries operate to or from the mainland.

But on Sunday Loganair, a local affiliate of British Airways, began flights between Lewis' main town of Stornoway and the mainland cities of Edinburgh and Inverness. The airline says it is responding to demand from islanders.

Another airline, bmi british midland, plans to start flying between Edinburgh and Stornoway seven days a week beginning Monday, and some islanders believe Sunday ferries will be next.

They're gearing the people up to get used to Sunday being a "strict observance of Sabbath."

NEWS | Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Sunday hunting stirs debate

On Nov. 5, voters to decide whether to continue practice on private land

By LEE ARNOLD - The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON -- West Virginia’s brief fling with Sunday hunting goes before area voters in two weeks with a debate that pits religious values against recreational opportunities.

Lori Wolfe/The Herald-Dispatch

No Sunday hunting signs are posted at Barboursville Community Park in Barboursville.

On Nov. 5, voters in five West Virginia counties -- including Cabell, Kanawha and Putnam -- will vote on whether to continue to allow Sunday hunting on private land in their county.

Voters in 35 counties considered the issue in the May primary, and all voted it down.

The West Virginia Legislature approved Sunday hunting just a few months earlier.

On one side of the issue are folks who say the Sabbath should be a day of rest.

"The Bible says it should be a day of rest," said Huntington resident Regena Curtis. "Sunday is the Lord’s day."

On the other side are hunters who want to use whatever opportunity they have to pursue the sport they love.

"People like my dad sometimes only have one day a week to hunt, and sometimes that is Sunday," said Justin Love, a Marshall University student.

If the voters in Cabell, Kanawha, Putnam, Wirt and Hardy counties follow suit and shoot Sunday hunting down, there will only be 15 counties remaining where the practice will be legal.

Wayne, Lincoln and 13 other counties have not placed the issue on the ballot for their citizens to vote on the matter.

The law, as it was written in 2001, has left some in the dark as to what is legal and what is not, an issue that at least one organization in favor of hunting believes needs to be remedied prior to an election.

"Some people voting on this issue don’t know that it is already legal in the county," said Larry Lawson, legislative and West Virginia Department of Natural Resources representative for the West Virginia Bowhunters Association.

"If they would word it differently on the ballot, it might have passed in more counties," he said.

Lawson said the ballots simply ask if Sunday hunting should be allowed and does not say that it is already legal and has been for more than a year.

The wording of the Sunday hunting law has been in question since its inception.

The wording and interpretation of the law resulted in little impact after it was passed, said Paul Johansen, assistant chief in charge of game management for the WVDNR.

The conflict began when House Finance Chairman Harold Michael, D-Hardy, proposed an amendment that he thought would have kept in place the statewide prohibition on Sunday hunting, except in counties where the issue is approved by voters.

In the end, the law allowed for hunters with written permission from the landowner to hunt on private land on Sunday unless it has been outlawed by a vote from the residents of the county.

The West Virginia Bowhunters Association has been an avid supporter of allowing hunting on Sundays for many years, Lawson said.

"Many of the people in our membership work six-day weeks and have only Sundays available to hunt," he said.

The WVDNR also has been a supporter of adding an extra day to the hunting week.

A study funded by the WVDNR in 1997 claimed that by allowing Sunday hunting, the state would garner an additional $41 million from hunters. The WVDNR was excited when the legislation passed in 2001 but was quickly quelled when the public outlawed it again in 35 of the state’s 55 counties.

"It was a surprise that it was defeated in every county that placed it on the ballot," Johansen said.

The single largest opponent of Sunday hunting has been the West Virginia Farm Bureau.

"Members of the farm bureau have opposed the issue for a number of reasons," said Bob Williams, bureau executive secretary.

Each year, the farm bureau puts the issue up for a vote among its members, and each year they elect to oppose Sunday hunting, he said.

"Some have religious grounds, and for some it is an issue of being able to use land on Sunday without having to worry about hunters," he said.

The farm bureau, with its 15,700 members, feels as though it is representative of much of the general public.

"We feel like the general public thinks much like we do," Williams said.

The decision to continue or discontinue Sunday hunting in five West Virginia counties will be closely watched by people on both sides of the argument. Some are not optimistic.

"I don’t think there will be a shift in the way people have voted in other counties," Johansen said.

The Bowhunters Association thinks much of the same will happen in this round of voting, Lawson said.

"We are going to enjoy hunting for at least two more seasons in the counties where Sunday hunting is legal," he said.

Lincoln County will not likely put the issue on the ballot anytime soon, said Charles McCann, president of the Lincoln County Commission.

"The hunters in the county have approached us and asked us to leave it," he said.

So far, McCann said, there has only been one opponent speak on the issue during the county commission meetings.

Wayne County commissioners elected not to place the issue on the general election ballot because of the timing with which the issue was presented to them.

Political movements "suggested" by "Sunday keeping?"

The Conference hallowing Sunday worship in a book it published:


The General Conference Ministerial Association Urges SDA'S  to Keep Sunday-
A fairly recent book, Confessions of a Nomad, published by our Ministerial Association through Pacific Press, instructs the reader that we, today, can only find our rest, refreshment, and strength by keeping Sunday holy.

In the early 1980s, Carolyn Shealy Self and William L. Self, a Southern Baptist couple, wrote a devotional book on how to deepen one s Christian experience. Because they live in the Atlanta, Georgia, area, they had their book published in 1983 through a local printing house, Peachtree Publishers. They dedicated the book to their Atlanta Baptist church. Nearly all Biblical quotations are from two of the most liberal Non-King James translations.

You might wonder why our Ministerial Association would be publishing books. Keep in mind that it was this church entity that was in charge of writing the notorious book, Questions on Doctrine, back in 1957. It was the first doctrinal book our denomination ever printed and, although declared to be not "official," was printed by the Review & Herald under the auspices of the General Conference, so our own people could be indoctrinated and non-Adventist denominations could learn sda  beliefs. Hundreds of thousands of free hardback copies were sent to non-Adventist denominations, churches, and libraries all over the world.

Unfortunately, that book contained a number of major theological errors which undermined sda basic beliefs. The objective was to show the Protestant world that sda's held many of their beliefs, so they would give the right arm of fellowship.

 But the result only moved sda's  closer to a denomination-wide acceptance of salvation by profession alone, without obedience to the ten commandments.

This 1998 reprinting of a Baptist book on the importance of keeping Sunday holy, by our General Conference Ministerial Association, is astounding. The assigned work of the Association is to oversee the ministers of the sda church, worldwide, and give them doctrinal and other forms of guidance. This book, it felt, fulfilled that mandate.  Here is an introduction to what you will find on the next three pages of this tract.

1 - THE FRONT COVER "Confessions of a Nomad: What We Learned in Sinai s Shadow."

2 - TITLE PAGE This "Devotional Guide" was published by the sda  Ministerial Association! Since the Association does not print many books for their own ministers and ABCs, the book had to have been closely examined prior to publication. An excuse, that this was not done, would point to incompetence. Surely, that could not be the case.

3 - COPYRIGHT AND DEDICATION PAGES The book, dedicated to an Atlanta, Georgia, Baptist Church, was originally published in 1983 by a non-Adventist press and reprinted in 1998 by Pacific Press. Note that the Ministerial Association not only reprinted the book, but paid to obtain a new copyright on it; evidently this was done so they could continue to keep it in stock in ABCs.

4 - CONTENTS The entire book is concerned with what two Baptists learned from reading what the Old and New Testaments had to say about Mount Sinai and what was taught there. The Ten Commandments are discussed from a Southern Baptist perspective. As they see it, the Seventh-day Sabbath may have been good for the Jews, but not for the Christian. Sunday provides their resurrection celebration, their rest, their day of worship, their source of strength, the time when God talks to them, the time when they more fully know God, their great joy, their time of remembrance, their communion, their sacrament, their time for Bible study, and the day their souls are rekindled and rested. Christians are to work on the Sabbath and rest on Sunday. Sunday gives them the strength to work the next six days. By the latter part of the chapter, the word, "Sabbath," is being applied to Sunday. It is obvious, from the following quotations, that much of the book is given over to exalting Sunday worship:

"All busy people yearn for a day of rest. God Himself gave His permission, a command even, for a day to all the soul and spirit to be refreshed. This is God s gift to us. He will take care of us physically and spiritually if we follow His plan. Our systems need the replenishment. Sunday is a special day for this worship and refreshment." Confessions of a Nomad, page 86.

"Thoreau said, if you want to destroy the Christian faith, first take away Sunday. He was right; it s a holy day, for those who know Jesus Christ as Saviour it cannot be a holiday. For those of you who have gathered around the cross and have been saved and washed clean by His blood, it s a sacrilege to do anything else on that day except to celebrate what God has done.

[This paragraph is a most powerful argument for Sunday laws!] "If we abuse Sunday, we re going to destroy something beautiful that God has given. No Sunday means no church; no church means no worship; no worship means no religion; no religion means no morality; no morality means no society; no society means no government; no government means anarchy. That s the choice before us." Page 120.

"Worship: Real worship is not optional. You do not have to decide each Sunday morning whether or not you ll worship each Sunday morning; it should be programmed into your life. Good conduct: It s a time when you should do things that are holy. If you do a little planning, you don t have to do your shopping on Sunday. There can be time to do things like that on other days. Remember that every day is His. We are not to give Him one day and do as we please the other six." Page 121.

Why the  denomination would reprint a Baptist book, so obviously urging Sunday worship, is inexplicable. Why it would go to the considerable expense of obtaining the copyright on the book is even more so. Yet there is a third astounding mystery: Why would sda leaders place "Ministerial Association, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists" on the title page as the publisher? How often do you see that title as the publisher of any book sold in  ABCs?

Throughout the 1990s, sda  leaders have accelerated their meetings with other denominations in order to sign joint accords of unity and fellowship. Could it be that this book was published specifically for the purpose of being presented to other denominational leaders as an indication that THEY are no longer opposed to the basic Protestant position, that obedience to the ten commandments should be downgraded and Sunday worship should be emphasized? It was their consistent opposition, in years past, to those two points which aroused so much animosity. To yield on both of them could bring the peace THE SDA  leaders so fervently desire. The reprinting of a Baptist book, with its strong emphasis on both points and as a "devotional guide" for sda people, would help bring the acceptance which the 1957 Questions on Doctrine (another Ministerial Association project) .

- Eleventh Hour Worker , R Love

Sunday-day-off bill advances

Sunday would be a non-working day, in addition to Saturday, according to a bill that was approved in first reading by the Knesset last night.

The bill, sponsored by National Religious Party MK Nahoum Langental, was approved in a 16-13 vote.

Under the proposal, Friday would be a short work day, and nine hours would be the normal work load during the rest of the week.
MK Yuli Edelstein (Yisrael Ba'aliya) has a similar proposal.

The aim of the bill is to reduce religious-secular tensions, since it would enable all citizens to enjoy a day off for shopping and entertainment, and reduce the demand for such activities on Shabbat.

The government opposes the legislation. However, before the vote, Langental announced that Finance Minister Silvan Shalom has expressed interest in cooperating with the initiative when it is prepared for second and third readings.

Langental said making Sunday a day off would also fit in well with the work week of the Western world. For example, he said it would resolve the discrepancies in the financial markets, which do not operate on Sunday internationally.

He also said the law would allow families to spend more time together.

Voting in favor of the bill were MKs from United Torah Judaism, Shas, the National Religious Party, and National Union-Yisrael Beitenu. The two Meimad representatives in the Labor-Meimad faction, Michael Melchior and Yehuda Gilad, voted in favor, as did Center MK Nehama Ronen.

Voting against were MKs from Meretz, Shinui, and the Arab factions.

cross/flagReligious groups are increasingly demanding special action from government and civic groups to "protect" their weekly religious holiday, Sunday. Pope John Paul will issue a special letter this week urging his flock of sheep to join in this effort.
Web Posted: July 6, 1998

While most concerns about the separation of church and state in America focus on legislation such as school prayer or vouchers, a movement is gaining momentum throughout the country which may resurrect one of the most divisive and intrusive issues in the nation's history -- so-called Sunday "blue laws," legal attempts to enforce mandatory observance of the Sabbath.

    In recent weeks, Protestant and Roman Catholic officials have taken aim at practices such as parades, sporting events and other community activities which they say "interferes" with religious observance on Sunday. In Massachusetts, the State Council of Churches contacted its 1,700 congregations urging them to become more proactive in pressuring civic groups and government to avoid scheduling public events which compete with religious services. New York's combative Roman Catholic Cardinal John O'Connor is boycotting Major League Baseball, protesting the scheduling of games on Christian holidays like Good Friday.

    It's all part of a growing wave of "Sabbatarianism," the use of legislation to minimize commercial enterprises or other activities on Sunday, the day embraced by most major denomination's as the "Lord's Day." Sabbatarian roots run deep in the American experience; the nation's first "blue laws" dates to 1610 in the old Virginia settlement, where failure to attend church services on Sunday resulted in deprivation of food, whipping and even death.

    Blue laws -- which are said to have received their name from a long list of prohibited activities in New Haven colony in the mid-seventeenth century which were printed on blue paper -- began to die out with the American Revolution. A process of "disestablishment," which obliterated the official status of certain colonial era religions one was required to join in order to exercise certain rights, weakened many blue laws. Periodic waves of religious hysteria, though, often created a climate for support of Sabbatarian legislation, which sought to prohibit entertainment or commercial enterprise on Sundays. Such laws frequently morphed into other areas including efforts to control drinking, smoking and the prostitution ("white slavery.") Indeed, Sabbatarianism was a key component in fervid efforts by Protestant reformers to "cleanse" society of what they saw as the ills and abuses caused by industrialization, growing accumulation of wealth and secular society. Following the collapse of Prohibition, the "Great Experiment," blue laws were hastily enacted in many states and counties in an effort to at least control the consumption and production of alcohol.

    Sabbatarianism also expressed its angst about secular culture in other ways, too. Attacks on evolution and its teaching in public schools were also part of a fundamentalist and evangelical social agenda during the early part of this century, as was the effort to protect America from the perceived threat of German modernistic religious doctrines and theologies. As noted by James Davison Hunter, author of "Evangelicalism, The Coming Generation" (Chicago, 1987), it soon resulted in this segment of Christians becoming "objects of derision for their anti-intellectualism, their bigotry." H.L. Menchen took lethal aim declaring that these efforts to repress scientific inquiry, and enforce Biblical morality represented "narrow-minded moralism," and were the "stupid and anti-social crazes of inferior men."



    Another factor fueled the collapse of Sunday blue laws -- economic reality. Blue laws had been justified by some reform groups as a "day of rest" for hard-pressed workers in the midst of the industrial revolution. The rapid ascent of a service-oriented economy, though, along with changes in the marketplace such as the need for "flex" time, sounded the death knell of 9-5, five-days-a-week banker's hours. Pundits and cultural gurus from Alvin Toffler ("Future Shock") to John Naisbitt, Faith Popcorn and others have documented the obliteration of our notion of a standard work week. In the retail field especially, the move to be open for business on evenings and weekends has been relentless, and a compelling economic necessity.

    The popularity of secular culture, though, especially on Sunday has not passed unnoticed by religious leaders. Pope John Paul II will be issuing an Apostolic Letter due out this Tuesday titled "Dies Domini" ("Day of the Lord") which calls for Roman Catholics to defend the special status of the Sabbath. According to news sources, the wording of the document has been kept sealed, but it is reported to be divided into three sections. The first will attempt to discuss the Sabbath from a Biblical perspective, while the others look at the status of the "day of rest" today and suggest ways to return it to its once exalted position.

   Sabbatarianism is not unfamiliar territory for either the Pope or his church. In 1990, John Paul denounced Italian labor unions for their new policy of "swing" shifts of continual work throughout the work week. That resulted in a flurry of unexpected and bitter denunciations from labor groups, and even Carlo Patruno, vice president of Confidustria, a business group, who told the Pontiff that he should "mind his own business."

    And two weeks ago, John Paul declared during his visit to Vienna, Austria, "Do whatever you can to preserve Sunday. Make it clear that this day must not be worked (sic) since it must be celebrated as the day of our Lord."



    It's not just from religious leaders, though, that the call is going out to reclaim the Sabbath from the clutches of entertainment or commercial activity. Today's Dallas Morning News reports in its Religion section, "Churches, workers trying to restore Sunday as day to relax, experts say." The piece begins by citing the case of a Ft. Worth, Texas car dealer who says that he is seeking an injunction to force a competing firm to obey a state law which bans auto dealers from operating more than six days a week. "We're already open 84 hours a week... I'm open from 7 in the morning until 9 at night. Isn't that enough?" asks Ken Nichols, who says that his motivation for seeking the injunction is not based on religious grounds.

    The newspaper also cites the case of an unidentified Pizza chain which has allegedly begun looking into the economic impact for its business of Sunday closing. But the trend, at least in the marketplace and elsewhere, is clearly against Sabbatarianism, even when it is justified on nonreligious grounds. The firm which is the target of Mr. Nichol's injunction, CarMax, says that is contesting the Texas law "as a way to help stressed-out customers who must work six days a week," says the News. The head of the company declares that the weekend is the "convenient time" to shop for automobiles, adding "Our expectation is Sunday will typically be our second-best volume day -- next to Saturday." The trend is growing, too, as manifest by companies like United Parcel Service and Fed Ex step up their delivery schedules to seven days a week..

   A common theme now echoed by religious movements across the spectrum to justify a "new Sabbatarianism" cites growing time constraints placed on families, as two income households become the norm and workers supposedly put in more hours for less or stagnant pay. Economists remain divided over these sorts of claims, though, citing rising average income, greater hourly productivity and, in some cases, declining hours of work. And secularists point out that prohibiting certain economic activity on Sunday (even under the guise of a nonreligious purpose) discriminates against workers and others who need that day for shopping or other forms of relaxation and contemplation other than heading for the nearest church. Even so, one finds a resonance on the "Enough is enough!" theme voiced by Mr. Nichols even in such religious- conservative quarters as the Promise Keepers. Issues of "New Man" Magazine (until recently, the group's official publication) include anecdotal testimony of success-driven men who worked long hours, earned substantial salaries yet "neglected" wives and families. Jonathan Wilson, professor in the Religious Studies Department at Westmont College in California told the News, "I think we are getting a little worn down as a people and as a culture and we're saying, 'Wouldn't it be nice if all were off on this day?'" Sheldon Zimmerman of Hebrew Union College agrees, suggesting "We have become enslaved."

    And there is the case of Rev. Tom Plumbley, pastor of Midway Hills Christian Church in Dallas. He told parishioners, "Whether you're a poor person being required to bus tables at a restaurant or whether you're an investment banker, there's this pressure to be working all the time or you're not doing your job..."

John O'Connor
New York's Roman Catholic Cardinal John O'Connor displays ignorance of the First Amendment by asking, "Why is it religion which must always accommodate?"
    Dallas Morning News also mentioned the case of Cardinal John O'Connor, who has become more outspoken in his Sabbatarian predilection. The paper said that according to Archdiocese spokesperson Joe Zwilling, parishioners "were about 3-to-1 in favor of the Cardinal's position."

    "Why is it religion that must always accommodate?" O'Connor asked in a recent column for the newspaper Catholic New York. "How many altar pastors have been told by altar servers, 'I can't serve Sunday. I have a little league game'?" The prelate denounced what he termed "the constant erosion, the constant secularization of our culture, that I strongly believe to be a serious mistake."



    Over the years, Sunday blue laws have generally fared poorly in courts when challenged. And according to an attorney with the Liberty Legal Institute, employees who go to court to demand a work-free Sabbath "are losing in the courts more than they once did," notes the News. That could change, though, if legislation such as the Religious Liberty Protection Act (a version of the discredited and unconstitutional Religious Freedom Restoration Act) is enacted. The law requires governments to use a "compelling interest" standard before placing any "burden" on religious groups or practice. Public employees, from cops to teachers, are already in the courts suing for their right to wear distinctive clothing or express religious preferences in other ways. Would this spill over to the private sector?, wonder some state-church separationists.

   Religious groups, of course, are certainly free to encourage their membership to observe the Sabbath. Some denominations, such as the Seventh- day Adventist Church (SDA) hold that the Sabbath is on Saturday, not Sunday. Jews have a similar belief in when the "holy time" of the week occurs as well. But is it the prospect of mandated Sabbatarianism in the form of Sunday blue laws, or indirect pressures -- like "encouraging" civic or government groups to discriminate in favor of religious exercise in scheduling athletic events, marathon or other public activities -- which threatens to violate state-church separation. In the confrontation between secularism and religious belief, churches may be increasingly tempted to "keep holy the Sabbath" by relying less on the certainty of faith, and more on the power of government.

blue laws, legislation regulating public and private conduct, especially laws relating to Sabbath observance. The term was originally applied to the 17th-century laws of the theocratic New Haven colony; they were called “blue laws” after the blue paper on which they were printed. New Haven and other Puritan colonies of New England had rigid laws prohibiting Sabbath breaking, breaches in family discipline, drunkenness, and excesses in dress. Although such legislation had its origins in European Sabbatarian and sumptuary laws, the term “blue laws” is usually applied only to American legislation. With the dissolution of the Puritan theocracies after the American Revolution, blue laws declined; many of them lay forgotten in state statute books only to be revived much later. The growth of the prohibition movement in the 19th cent. and early 20th cent. brought with it other laws regulating private conduct. Many states forbade the sale of cigarettes, and laws prohibited secular amusements as well as all unnecessary work on Sunday; provision was made for strict local censorship of books, plays, films and other means of instruction and entertainment. Although much of this legislation has been softened if not repealed, there are still many areas and communities in the United States, especially those where religious fundamentalism is strong, that retain blue laws. The Supreme Court has upheld Sunday closing laws ruling that such laws do not interfere with the free exercise of religion and do not constitute the establishment of a state religion.
Blue laws won't fade away

Sunday restrictions have tempered state for almost 320 years

Sunday, February 18, 2001

By John M.R. Bull, Post-Gazette Harrisburg Correspondent

HARRISBURG -- Keeping restaurants with liquor licenses closed until 7 a.m. on Sundays, even when people are gathering to watch concrete stadiums blow up, isn't the only strange law on the books in Pennsylvania.

Several ghosts of the lamented "blue laws" still haunt the state's criminal code.

Fishing is legal on Sundays. Hunting is not.

Buying a new or used car from an auto dealer on Sundays is against the law. Yes, you can test drive or window shop at those weekend car expos, but you can't legally buy or even negotiate a purchase.

Betting on horse races on Sunday is illegal and can get you fined.

But not all gamblers are bothered by the blues. Buying a state lottery ticket on Sunday is legal and even actively encouraged by the state.

Blue laws originated to regulate industry, shopping and other behaviors on Sundays. The restrictions were supposed to be for the good of everyone's morals. Blue laws were supposed to force the citizenry to observe the Lord's day quietly, at home.

The first of the blue laws in Pennsylvania was enacted in 1682, back when it was a colony of the British Empire. The general prohibition was against working or having fun on Sundays.

"Whoever does or performs any worldly employment or business whatsoever on the Lord's day, commonly called Sunday, works of necessity and charity only exempted, or uses or practices any game, hunting, shooting, sport or diversion whatsoever on the same day not authorized by law" is guilty, the law stated.

It went on the books just a year after William Penn established a government in what would become Pennsylvania.

The ban carried over when Pennsylvania became a state in 1787. The Pennsylvania Legislature re-enacted the law almost verbatim in 1939.

It wasn't until 1978 that the state Supreme Court ruled that the blue laws were unconstitutional, but on rather strange grounds. The Legislature, the court decided, had the perfect right to pass laws regulating behavior on Sundays, including the 1935 restriction on showing movies and the 1939 ban on playing pool.

But throughout the years, so many blue laws were enacted, and so many exceptions made in such a willy-nilly fashion, that they had neither rhyme nor reason and, therefore, discriminated against some people, the court ruled.

For example, noted one of the justices, what sense was there to allow stores that sold antique rugs to open on Sundays, but not stores that sold new rugs?

Perhaps a computer could "discover some thread of rationality" in what was prohibited and what was not, the court suggested. If the Legislature wanted to rewrite and re-enact blue laws so they made sense, that would be fine, but until then, they could not be enforced, the justices decided.

In fact, the Legislature did re-enact some of them.

The hubbub was started by a court case that originated in O'Hara when the township tried to fine a grocery for opening on Sundays.

On Mount Washington 33 years later, another type of Sunday laws created controversy again.

Liquor-control agents investigated some Mount Washington restaurants for opening before 7 a.m. last Sunday to let revelers watch the implosion of Three Rivers Stadium. The view was great. The crowd was happy. The restaurants were in violation of law passed after Prohibition ended in 1933. Some provisions of those rules are akin to blue laws.

Only Utah has as strange a collection of liquor rules and regulations as Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania owns the liquor stores, and won't open them on Sundays for the sake of everyone's morals. Sales of alcohol on Sundays is prohibited throughout the state, as a rule, unless a restaurant has a Sunday permit to sell alcohol. If so, alcohol can't be sold until 11 a.m.

But restaurant doors can't open until 7 a.m. A warning is in store for the offending restaurants on Mount Washington.

Technically, the old blue laws remain on the books. They were not repealed. Lawmakers get credit for enacting laws, not deleting them. And repealing them could anger conservative constituents, which lawmakers don't want to do if they don't have to. Because they don't have to repeal the blue laws, they didn't.

The blue laws remain on the books, but are considered unenforceable by court decree.

Throughout the years, various Sunday prohibitions crept back onto the books.

Less than a year after the court ruling, the Legislature felt obliged to re-enact the 1957 ban on selling new or used cars from auto dealerships on Sundays. Trailers, too. The kind you hook up to a vehicle, not a double-wide.

The ban remains in place to this day. Dealerships prefer it that way.

"It's the general consensus they don't mind," said Nathan Duhovis, executive director of the Pennsylvania Independent Auto Dealers Association. "Frankly, if anyone challenged it, they'd probably win."

Dealership owners like the law because it gives them a day off, he said.

If the law allowed car sales on Sunday, some dealership would open on Sundays and that would bring pressure on others to open to remain competitive, Duhovis said. This way, no one is able to sell, so there is no fear of losing customers to anyone else on Sundays.

Fishing is allowed on Sundays. Hunting is not.

The fishing ban was repealed decades ago, with only one lingering piece of silliness remaining on the books.

There is a specific law banning fishing on private property without the owner's consent, and it allows property owners to post "No Fishing on Sunday Without Permission" signs. It is also illegal to fish -- or do anything else --on private property on any day of the week without the owner's permission.

The signs are a curio. The state gives them out on request. The Amish and Mennonites ask for them more than anyone else, on religious grounds.

The war over Sunday hunting continues, now 319 years and running.

Currently, Sunday hunting is prohibited with a few exceptions. Foxes, coyotes and in some cases crows can be shot on Sundays. Those critters annoy farmers, who have a lobby with muscle in Harrisburg.

Some hunters want to be allowed to hunt on Sundays. Others do not. They appear to be about evenly split, said Jerry Feaser, state Fish and Game Commission spokesman.

And many property owners who participate in a state program to open their lands for hunting say they would withdraw permission if Sunday hunting were allowed, Feaser said.

A bill to allow Sunday hunting was introduced last year. Hearings were held. Outrage was voiced.

"Much of it is founded in pure religious beliefs, that we just shouldn't do it on Sunday. Sunday should be a day of rest," said state Rep. Dan Surra, R-Elk. "Pennsylvania is very conservative and very resistant to change."

The bill died but may be resurrected for more discussion.

To peruse the state code in the Internet, try

February 1, 1977
     The repeal of the Sunday Closing or Blue Laws portends a negative impact on the quality of life in Massachusetts. We, therefore, urge the preservation of these ancient but valuable restrictions to protect a common day of rest.

     Proponents of repeal argue that an end to the Blue Laws will have substantial economic benefits, including an increase in sales, profits, employment,  payrolls, consumer convenience, revenues,  the state's competitive advantage in relation to its neighbors, plus a reduction in prices.  These extensive claims invite skepticism,  In fact, all of these claims have been strongly refuted by opponents of repeal, some of whom maintain that exactly the opposite effects will occur.   For example, the claim of increased sales is offset by the alternative position that only a certain number of dollars for retail purposes exists and they will be expanded over seven rather than six days. Moreover, the alleged competitive advantage for Massachusetts will not materialize, it is argued, because shoppers travel to border states not merely to take advantage of Sunday openings but to save money on sales taxes.

     The issue of economic benefits is immensely complex and strongly debated.  It deserves  lengthy and careful study, not exaggerated advocacy on either side.

    Moreover, proponents of repeal argue that the option of opening or remaining closed will be preserved.  Cities or towns can choose to maintain Sunday and holiday closings; commercial establishments can choose not to open; and laborers will be free to work or not to work. It  seems  more  likely, however, that  the practical dynamics of competition will force openings. When one city permits openings, others will follow suit, to maintain competitive parity. Businesses will do likewise, and workers, receiving income incentives and  fearing reprisals, will feel compelled to work.  The likely result will be generalized commercial openings, making the seventh day nearly indistinguishable from the other six in terms of consumer and commercial activity.

     Whatever conclusions are ultimately reached about the economic gains or losses from the Sunday closing laws, some fundamental human values could be lost if these laws are repealed.   Society needs a regular period of rest, relaxation, and renewal, a shift in pace from our pervasive consumerism and commercialism. A common day of rest makes it more likely that families and friends can experience this relaxation and renewal together.  The present exceptions in the law mean that many citizens must work on Sunday I but the repeal of the closing laws probably would magnify that factor many-fold, making a qualitative change out of a quantitative one.  Sunday closing laws are a device to protect the quality of human life in a complex, intense, and almost constantly gyrating society.  The rest from labor, the relief from the clamor of perpetual motion, is such a fundamental human need as to be a sacred duty.  To brand these laws as archaic is to pretend that these needs are outmoded.

     The original religious rationale for the Blue Laws is unfair in a pluralistic society.  The sanctity of Sabbath worship, of course, is one of our commitments, but it cannot be one, in the midst of cultural diversity, for which we seek the sanctions of civil law.  Though the present common day of rest obviously coincides with the primary day of worship in the churches, it is unclear that Sunday openings will have any more adverse effects on participation in Sunday worship than recreational  opportunities now have.   Our intent, therefore, in supporting the principle of these laws is not to protect the Christian Sabbath, but to preserve the benefits for human well-being in a uniform time for rest and renewal. Until such occasion, if ever, as changes in cultural patterns and traditions allow for another day, it seems reasonable that the time of common rest should be Sunday.

     The very complexity of our society, of course, requires some exceptions to Sunday closings. An examination of the laws might reveal, in fact, the need for further amendments to insure that exceptions are rational rather than random.  All such exceptions, we hope, will be based upon necessity and equitability, to maintain the day of rest as a time to benefit, not hurt, people.

     We believe that the Sunday closing laws deserve continuation.  We recognize that the effects of these statutes are complex and ambivalent. We, however, urge citizens and legislators to consider not only the alleged economic benefits of repeal, which may, in fact, be mythical or minimal, but also the quality of life in this Commonwealth.


     The  above  statement was  signed on February 1, 1977 by six denominational executives of member-bodies in the Massachusetts Council of Churches.  Representing the viewpoint of the Council, it also was endorsed by the Massachusetts Commission on Christian Unity.
    The position was reaffirmed by the Massachusetts Council of Churches Board of Directors as official policy in 1982, 1985, and 1990.



14 Beacon Street

Boston, MA. 02108

The Rev. Diane C. Kessler, Executive Director


Lawsuit Alleges Free Parking on Sundays Is Illegal

 Litigation: A Newport Beach man says a city policy exempting meter fees for churchgoers violates the separation of church and state.


A Newport Beach man has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the city unconstitutionally violates the separation of church and state by giving churchgoers special rights to some of the most valued real estate in town: beach parking.

"I believe that every citizen has a responsibility to be vigilant to make sure the provisions of the Constitution are not diluted," said John Nelson, who describes himself as a developer/contractor and agnostic. The suit was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana.

At issue is what practically passes for a sacred space in some areas of Newport Beach: a parking spot on the peninsula. Normally, the metered spots require 25 cents per quarter-hour. But in the early 1970s, city officials passed an ordinance that allowed free Sunday morning parking, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the metered spots in front of four churches: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church and Christ Church by the Sea, St. James Episcopal Church of Newport Beach and the Christian Science Church and Reading Room, all of them on Balboa Peninsula. Nelson lives on Lido Isle, near two of the churches.

Mayor Tod Ridgeway said that lifting the free parking would create problems for those living near the churches, because churchgoers would then take the unmetered spots in front of their homes.

"It would be a nightmare," said Ridgeway, who lives near Our Lady of Mount Carmel. "It would be bedlam on my residential street.'

Msgr. Daniel J. Murray of Our Lady of Mount Carmel said the dispute doesn't involve the church, but is between the city and Nelson. But he said Our Lady has been there since 1923, long before parking meters. The church has 43 parking spaces for services that attract about 300 people.

And he took a stab at why the city decided to allow free parking nearly three decades ago.

"My guess is the thinking at the time was, 'Why should we have to pay to go to church?' " said Murray, who added that the First Amendment warns against the prohibition of free exercise of religion. "If people don't have quarters, they can't come to church.'

Harry Schwartzbart of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State said he considers the free Sunday parking to be a trivial issue, especially when measured against items such as President Bush's faith-based initiative.

"I'm sure my organization would not spend one nickel debating this issue in court," Schwartzbart said. "You're splitting hairs.'

But Nelson, who said he's spent $6,000 so far in legal fees, vowed to fight as long as he must to ensure Sunday churchgoers drop their quarters in the meters. It's not that he's against religion, he said. In fact, it's just the opposite. He wants to make sure religion is protected from government.

"I know it's not a popular cause, but we need to stick to the issues," Nelson said. "I'm a lone ranger who believes in the Constitution of the U.S."

36. The Sunday assembly is the privileged place of unity: it is the setting for the celebration of the sacramentum unitatis which profoundly marks the Church as a people gathered "by" and "in" the unity of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

 63. ... Christians, called as they are to proclaim the liberation won by the blood of Christ, felt that they had the authority to transfer the meaning of the Sabbath to the day of the Resurrection.  -Source: Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter  Dies Domini, 31 May, 1998.

The good word spreads about World Sabbath

Day of prayer seen as a balm for terror
January 22, 2002


Since that horrible day in September when people drove planes into buildings in the name of God, the Rev. Rod Reinhart has been looking for ways that U.S. residents can work to eliminate religious misunderstandings.

His top suggestion this week:

Join others around the globe Saturday in celebrating the third annual World Sabbath for Religious Reconciliation. It's a holiday that Reinhart, who works for the Episcopal Diocese of Detroit, founded in 1999.

Since then, the number of celebrants has grown as word of the World Sabbath spreads. People worldwide have visited, the Web site that Reinhart has loaded with a template for anyone to hold a World Sabbath service, including a suggested opening prayer and a liturgy.

Reinhart's event is one of two this week with interfaith themes. Mirroring a prayer meeting with world religious leaders planned by Pope John Paul II in Assisi, Italy, on Thursday, Cardinal Adam Maida of the Detroit Archdiocese will host an interreligious service at noon in downtown Detroit.

To mark the World Sabbath locally, about 500 people are expected to gather at 7 p.m. Saturday at Christ Church Cranbrook, 470 Church Road, Bloomfield Hills. Scheduled speakers include local leaders representing Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist communities.

"We'll be praying for the victims of Sept. 11, giving a Christian, Jewish and Muslim response, and focusing on what we're going to do next to move toward healing," Reinhart said Monday.

The service also will feature a group of Sudanese drummers from St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Lansing, plus singing by the choirs of Greater New Mt. Moriah Church in Detroit and All Saints Episcopal Church in Pontiac.

The Thursday interfaith service planned by the Archdiocese of Detroit also will include representatives of many denominations. The service is free and open to the public at SS. Peter and Paul Jesuit Church at St. Antoine and East Jefferson.

In a letter to parishes, Maida said "fervent and faithful prayer brought down communism" and prayer will help bring world peace.

The celebration of two interfaith services in metro Detroit in one week doesn't surprise Reinhart. With large and vibrant faith communities, the area is a natural place for religious tolerance to take root, he said.

"We've made a great start," he said. "Wait and see. In a few years, the World Sabbath will be as big as Kwanzaa."

For information on the World Sabbath, call Reinhart at 734-459-7319 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or go to For information about the Catholic service, call 313-237-5943 anytime.

Contact EMILIA ASKARI at 313-223-4461 or Staff writer Jack Kresnak contributed to this report.

Besides all the OBVIOIUS ecumenical malarky. Did you notice the article declare they flew the planes into the trade center " in the name of God" Allah is now God?

Last update - 18:31 14/02/2002

Judge: Sabbath labor laws apply to Saturday only, not Friday

By Zvi Harel <> , Ha'aretz Correspondent

A Labor Court judge ruled Thursday that current state labor laws forbidding Jewish citizens from working on the Sabbath apply to Saturday only and not Friday.

Acccording to Jewish law, the Sabbath begins at sundown Friday and ends after sundown Saturday.

Labor Court Judge Sara Meiri ruled that under the current labor law, work by Jewish citizens of Israel on Friday evenings does not constitute work on the Sabbath, and therefore does not violate the labor laws.

This particular ruling was part of a decision on a complaint filed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare against the owner of a Ramat Gan kiosk that operated at 10 P.M. on Friday. The defendant, Iyoub Yakobian, requested that he not respond to the complaint, claiming that it was without cause. Justice Meiri accepted his position and decided to cancel the complaint after the prosecution finished presenting evidence, before the accused was called to the witness stand.

The complaint, filed by the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry in September last year, claimed that the kiosk was caught operating at 10 P.M. on August 25, 2000, which it said violated labor laws. The judge ruled in her decision that Yakobian could keep his kiosk open until midnight on Fridays.

Meiri also ruled that in the absence of a definition, "day" as included in the law is to be understood as the period from midnight until the following midnight. Therefore, because the kiosk was open before midnight on Friday, it was in any case not considered to be the Sabbath.

Zionist Christianity is American heresy

Egypt-USA, Religion, 5/11/2002

Patriarch of Alexandria and Saint Mark Diocese, Pope Shenouda III said  the term Zionist Christianity is an American heresy and a by-product of a  bizarre environment that has no existence in the Arab world. There is no such thing as Zionist Christianity in the Arab world, it is an "American heresy", totally unacceptable and rejected by all genuine Christian sects around the world, the Pope emphatically told his congregation at his weekly sermon at St Mark's Cathedral Wednesday night.

"It is a by-product of a bizarre environment in the U.S. under which any radical group has the right to establish a religious belief, giving way to unacceptable political ideologies under the cover of religion," he added.

"It is from this American environment that Jehovah's Witnesses and the Adventists emerged, whose doctrines are much closer to Zionist Judaism than Christianity," he said.

"Christianity in general advocates peace and love and rejects suppression, occupation, usurping the rights of others or liquidating the opposition, which are basic principles in world Zionism," he added.

"Eastern Christianity in particular has been committed to Arab national causes and has together with Islam struggled for the realization of independence and the protection of the land and honour," he said.

"Among the doctrines of these radical groups is the sanctification of the Sabbath and the belief that the return of Christ is linked to the Jewish regrouping in Israel, which are all Zionist beliefs," he added.

The story of a Baptist pastor who turned his congregation into Adventists

"After a sermon on the Sabbath that Pastor Holmes presented to the congregation, Holmes told the church he would no longer be keeping Sunday and would change to the original Sabbath," said Daryl Stokes, a member of the Waterloo church. - Hans Olson Outlook Assistent Editor Outlook Cetral Union Conferance October, 2001

Sunday, holy Sunday?
Pastor resurrects Sabbath debate with $1 million reward
By Joe Kovacs
© 2001

One of the longest running disputes in the history of Christianity – Saturday vs. Sunday – is having new life breathed into it with a cash reward of up to $1 million toward a resolution.

A. Jan Marcussen, a Seventh-day Adventist pastor in Illinois, is starting with $50,000 of his own money if someone can produce "a verse from the Holy Bible showing that God commands us to keep holy the first day of the week" – Sunday – "instead of the seventh day" – Saturday – "as is commanded in the Bible."  He says the reward will increase in $25,000 increments each week for 40 consecutive weeks if no one sends him such a verse, with a final cap at $1 million.  "The $50,000 offer is to wake people up out of a stupor," Marcussen tells WorldNetDaily. "People wake up when there's money involved."
Marcussen, who says he has the money ready to pay if someone is successful, is making the offer to encourage people to read the Bible for themselves, instead of accepting without question what religious leaders have been instructing.

"Millions of people believe and have confidence in their clergy that what they're being taught is true," says Marcussen. "They'll find out that the clergy is not teaching from the Bible."  Marcussen, 52, is not only a preacher in his local church, he's also a physical therapist, nutritionist, marriage counselor and author of six books. One of those works, "National Sunday Law," focuses on the Saturday-vs.-Sunday debate. Marcussen is asking people to read that book before applying for the reward. (It can be downloaded for free from his website.)

Editor's note: Marcussen is accepting regular mail from those seeking to claim the reward at: PO Box 68, Thompsonville, IL 62890

Entire articlke can be viewed here: 

Mormon leaders encourage boycott of Sunday shopping

Associated Press - SALT LAKE CITY- A Mormon Church authority called on members to boycott Sunday shopping as a way to force community wide obediance to the fourth commandment God gave Moses - to keep the Sabbath holy

Catholic church uses birth control to their advantage...

"In respecting religious liberty and the common good of all, Christians should seek recognition of Sundays and the church's holy days as legal holidays. It is time that we demonstrate our Catholic vitality and engage in the public policy debate. We have the power and the people to embark on this movement - a movement that will benefit all Americans." - Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994, par. 2188

Catholic church still pushing the civil authorities...

"The civil authorities should be urged to cooperate with the church in maintaining and strengthening this public worship of God, and to support with their own authority the regulations set down by the church's pastor. For it is only in this way that the faithful will understand why it is Sunday and not the Sabbath day that we keep holy." -The Roman Catechism 1985

Priests push universal religious day
-January 25, 2001 Detroit Free Press (Article heading = WORLD SABBATH)

Kinda makes it obvious. Catholic priests do not understand ONE LINE of Prophecy, OR....... they "like satan" realize "their time is short!."

World Sabbath considered 

"It is so dangerous when people are divided over language, ethnicity, and religion." Hakismana said Wednesday. His parents and six siblings were killed in Rwanda's 1994 civil war; and he subsequently devoted his life to promoting peace. "People need this World Sabbath, the whole world needs it." January 25, 2001 Detroit Free Press 

Remember people. The Lord is in control. This was PLANNED! So don't worry, be CHRISTIANS!

Bush sees new era for church-state cooperation

"Consulting with Catholic leaders, Bush pushes his agenda for government-backed faith based social programs. About 62 percent of Catholic Charities comes from government. 

Final, Jesuit Father Fred Kammer, president of Catholic Charities USA, said that while his organization is supportive of the president's initiative, "an infusion of new federal dollars is essential to expand our capacity. None of these faith-based partnerships proposed by the president can work without sufficient funding." -Feb 18, 2001 Our Sunday Visitor -sec. Nation.

Fact is people. The church and state issue is old news. Has been all along. Want TONS of proof? See these pages of articles on one world church / government...



What is National Family Day? 

This Year March 25, 2001

National FamilyDay® was created by KidsPeace®, one of the largest organizations helping kids overcome crisis, and is an annual holiday held every year on a Sunday in March to recognize the importance of family. It's a time to remember heritage, interact and communicate, share values, and renew our commitment to nurture and grow strong families, because strong and supportive families give kids peace.

One of the common threads surrounding our nation's social ills is the lack of consistent and meaningful family interaction. Good communications is the driving force that brings children and families together for National FamilyDay.

Family is a child's most important source of support. "Family" has been defined by research as "anyone to whom you are emotionally attached

No mistake it falls on a SUNDAY eh? And did you also notice the "nation" is in need of this? USA apostasy is about perfected folks. Soon the NATIONAL SUNDAY LAW will be enacted, the Latter Rain will pour, the Beast of Rome will flex his muscles, the Mark of the Vatican Beast will be enforced, and Jesus Christ will put and END to all of it! IN YOUR LIFETIME!

legislative efforts by the above org.

Catholic Church admits to change

 "In respecting religious liberty and the common good of all, Christians should seek recognition of Sundays and the church's holy days as legal holidays. It is time that we demonstrate our Catholic vitality and engage in the public policy debate. We have the power and the people to embark on this movement - a movement that will benefit all Americans." - Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994, par. 2188

Now do you understand why the Catholic church insisted it's followers NOT use birth control and practice the "rhythm method" all those years? It made for a population explosion of CATHOLICS didn't it? Whenever someone has a LARGE family, what always the first question asked of them? "Are you Catholic?" Fact is people. I know of this. Being one of eleven and father of eight! I "was" a Catholic! Key word here is... WAS

The civil authorities should be urged to cooperate with the church in maintaining and strengthening this public worship of God, and to support with their own authority the regulations set down by the church's pastor. For it is only in this way that the faithful will understand why it is Sunday and not the Sabbath day that we keep holy." -The Roman Catechism 1985

Sounds to me like a rather BOLD and DEMONIC statement eh? It is also openly ANTI-CHRISTIAN as well as ANTI-BIBLE to declare that the Sabbath is a day we are NOT to keep holy! For it is written...

Exodus 31:13, "Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you."

Hebrews 4:4,8,9 "For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God."

Notice the word "rest" in verse 9?

4520 sabbatismos {sab-bat-is-mos'}

from a derivative of 4521; TDNT - 7:34,989; n m

AV - rest 1; 1

1) a keeping sabbath
2) the blessed rest from toils and troubles looked for in the
age to come by the true worshippers of God and true Christians

Bush Issues Proclamation for National Day of Prayer
By Jim Burns
CNS Senior Staff Writer
January 20, 2001

( - Less than two hours after he took office as 43rd president of the United States, George W. Bush issued a proclamation calling for a "National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving, 2001." That day will be Sunday, January 21st.

Following a tradition begun by President Thomas Jefferson in 1801, Bush issued a "call upon the citizens of our nation to gather together in homes and places of worship to pray alone and together and offer thanksgiving to God for all the blessings of this great and good land."

"On this day," Bush's proclamation continued, "I call upon Americans to recall all that unites us. Let us become a nation rich not only in material wealth but in ideals, rich in justice and compassion and family love and moral courage. I ask Americans to bow our heads in humility before our Heavenly Father, a God who calls us not to judge our neighbors, but to love them, to ask His guidance upon our Nation and its leaders in every level of government."

Bush noted that on the first National Day of Prayer in 1801, then-President Thomas Jefferson's oath of office was the "first transfer of power between political parties." Jefferson, a member of the Democratic Republican Party had defeated the incumbent, John Adams, a member of Federalist Party.

"On this bicentennial of that event, we pause to remember and give thanks to Almighty God for our unbroken heritage of democracy, the peaceful transition of power, and the perseverance of our government through the challenges of war and peace, want and prosperity, discord and harmony

December 29, 2000

Some Utah Residents to Celebrate New Year's Eve Early

By Matthew Ott
Associated Press Writer

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The state of Utah takes a lot of ribbing for being ultraconservative, unhip and behind the times. But on Saturday, some residents will be some step ahead of everyone else -- they're celebrating New Year's Eve a day early. In Provo and St. George, two heavily Mormon towns, party organizers moved the celebrations ahead because many church members are expected to spend Sunday quietly observing the Sabbath. "We're not going to have a countdown," said Marc Mortensen, organizer of Saturday's early-bird celebration in St. George.  "We're not going to pretend like it's New Year's Eve.  It's just a New Year's party." Mortensen expects about 25,000 people at the celebration.  He said staging the event on Sunday would have probably cut the attendance in half and made it unprofitable. It's more of a business decision, not a religious one," Mortensen said.  "It makes more sense." The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has told members they can take part in "dancing and other activities" on Saturday but must be home before midnight.  The church is encouraging members to spend Sunday quietly at home with their families and other church members, and to take part in activities "appropriate for the Sabbath day." Church headquarters will be open Sunday night, and the entertainment will include religious movies. Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, a non-Mormon, said he was bewildered by the alternative plans. "I just think it's sort of odd that anyone would celebrate New Year's Eve on any other night than New Year's Eve.  But to each his own," Anderson said.

Sad... they break the Lord's Sabbath so they can keep the devil's sabbath instead. And what's real sad is, they don't know it!

The "TGIS+ = Thank God it's SUNday! Notice also the blatant PAGAN SYMBOL for the SUN  gOD Baal on this Billboard

Here we see John Paul II accepting the "TGIS" banner.

Have you seen this in front of YOUR local churches yet? Catholic or Protestant, it no longer matters. As of June 26, 2000 ALL churches are now of a "ONE WORLD CHURCH"

Do you think they will seek to change the calendars so as to have more TwIsTeD fUeL so as to further distort the Truth of God's Word into a lie?


-By Marie Chestney

News-Review Staff Writer  


School activities that now eat up Saturdays for local students and families are nibbling away at Sundays as well. Should the Public Schools of Petoskey halt school-sanctioned activities on Sunday, to keep activity from gobbling up the SEVENTH DAY also ?

Should Petoskey Schools shut the door on school-sanctioned activities taking place on Sundays? Lots of pros and cons are expected on that question, and the school district wants to hear  them at its Thursday Oct 16, meeting of the Petoskey Board of Education.

If there's a groundswell of support for naming Sunday off-limits for school activities, then Sunday "family day" could go into effect at the start of the 2001 school year. -News Review 2000

Notice? They called SUNDAY the 7th day? Do you suppose they have something up their sleeve? Notice this graphic clip of a friends WINDOWS 98 CALENDAR. Notice which day they claim Sunday to be on this calendar?

...Have you checked YOUR computer lately? Notice where the "time zone" is on this computer. Australia Eastern Time.

MARK OF THE BEAST ABOUT TO BE ENFORCED! June 1997 American stations ABC & NBC report: Clinton has initiated legislation in 1998 to make SUNDAY the "national family day" to bring Americans together. He also mentioned Jews and Seventh Day Adventists with other minority groups might oppose the idea

(((Sign Posted in Rochester Hill, Michigan, USA. 1998)))

How do you suppose the "Christians" of the world will allow this to continue? Do you suppose they would need a "ONE WORLD CHURCH" to get everyone thinking in the same manner???? Do you suppose a worldwide group hug should be enacted??? 

Check out the tract that's sweeping the nation!! -> "Mark of the Beast to be enforced!!"


These figures have emerged together with other statistics from a report commissioned by Keep Sunday Special "The Changing Nature of Sunday". Alongside this we have produced The Sunday Charter which we hope will be signed by thousands and when presented to the Government will provide weighty evidence of the desire of many people to restore Sunday as a day to be spent with family and friends. -The Sunday Charter Special Sunday Campaign Sept. 1999



This billboard was placed across the street from Review & Herald in Hagerstown, Md. with a phone number to call. It also has a Roman Catholic Icon of Jesus pointing to His "Immaculate heart" Is this a "show of force?"

H.J.78 HAS PASSED! House Panel Passes Constitutional Amendment  

The House Judiciary Committee today approved an amendment to the Constitution that would explicitly allow prayer in schools, religious symbols on Government property and tax dollars for private religious school... New York Times Thursday March 5,1998 Americans United for Seperation of Church and State today denounced the House Judiciary Committee's vote in favor of a so-called "Religious Freedom Amendment" that removes the seperation of church and state from the Bill of Rights "This is a disaster of titanic proportions," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. [Americans United for Seperation of Church and State March 4, 1998]

If you read my book "The Second Window" you would have known this was prophecied as coming soon. Well, here it is! What is this? It is what the RCC has been fighting for since day one. It's a removal of the "Seperation of Church & State" that will allow the Government to "enforce" the National Sunday Law. Keep your eyes open people! How long before they ask for a "national  day of rest"? It WON'T be long! 

PLEA FOR A REST DAY! Bill seen as making state family friendly

Bill LB1334, introduced by Sen. John Hilgert of Omaha, would require employers to give workers a full day off each week... He billed it as a way to enhance family values... [Journal Star March 1, 1998]

There ya have it folks!!! the ball is rolling and Sabbath keepers are about to become extremely unpopular. Is it any man's guess as to WHICH day will be picked by Congress as the "day of rest"? It will be SUNDAY! THE MARK OF THE BEAST! Did you also notice the "heart string" tug? Remember in June of 1997 where President Clinton spoke of a "National family day" being legislated in 1998?  Do you recall WHICH day he said it will be? that's right people SUNDAY! (See the top of this page about this!)


"Why not send a petition through your neighborhood? I'm sure you will get plenty of signatures. You cab then send copies to your representatives in Tallahassee and Washington and see if we can get a Blue Law passed. [St Petersburg Times Opinion section] Read back TWO ARTICLES you will see that I warned it would be Sunday that they would seek. Why Sunday? Why not Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday? Want to know why?... Sabbath.htm



"Family" Is it any wonder their pulling at the heart strings of the family? Notice the FIRST warning on this page. Notice the "Family" idea has been planned in advance!

What is The Lord's Day Alliance of the United States?

We insist that merchants close their places of business on Sunday
We commend those who close on Sunday and those who refuse to shop on Sunday
We pray for proper observance of the Lord's Day for our nation and ask for prayers for the Lord's Day Alliance of the United States We suggest that letters be written to editors, legislators, mayors, governors, congressman and the President of the United States and that we speak to oor representatives in government about using their influence for passing Sabbath (Sunday) laws that are constitutional.
We suggest we write union and industrial leaders. We write retail merchant's associations and urge them to get together and demand that businesses stay closed on Sunday We write owners and confer with managers of businesses and owners and mangers of malls. We get the message on radio and television wherever possible. We encourage churches, denominations, and organizations to pass appropriate resolutions. [The Lord's Day Alliance of the United States Suite 107 / 2930 Flowers Road south
Atlanta GA 30341]

For 110 years they have been pushing the "Sunday Sabbath" in the face of God's people. 110 years this organization has been at it.

Want to know why? Read this... mark.htm


[Rev. Roger V. Kvam, pastor First Presbyterian Church Quincy, Mass.]

Keep in mind people. This is NOT the only church doing this. ALL OF THEM are rallying! ALL OF THEM except of course the Remnant of God that is. Are you part of the Remnant? Or are you against it?

The Lord's Day Alliance of the United States

Dear Friends:
Many are concerened about immorality in out nation. Of great concernis the lack of moral convictions on the part of many citizens. People fear because of crime, sexual sins, increased numbers of abortions, pornography, family breakups, and obscene movies and television programs. Our research indicates that the decline in morality in the United States parallels the decline in observing the Lord's day. In this our 110th year we face our greatest challenger ever: the challenge of teaching the importance of keeping the Sabbath (Sunday) holy. We are seeking to reach a young generation, especially seminarians, with God's instruction regarding a day for worship and rest.
                Gratefully yours,

                Jack P. Lowndes [Letter dated March 30, 1998]

A call to the people? A national rally to gather forces that will accept the Mark of the Beast with open arms? Indeed! Just as prophecy stated. It's falling into place people. And now that it has gotten to this point it will gather much greater speed in the coming months! We have precious little time. Are you ready? Do you have enough oil? The Bridgroom is coming SOON!


Some retailers closing  for religious reasons

To allow employees more time for family and worship, this Hobby Lobby will be

CLOSED SUNDAYS Beginning May 10th.

"Not all people worship that day. But for the "majority", it would give them time for church and to be with their families." [The Huntsville Times 5-3-98]

But for the "majority"? Is it any wonder this argument will be used against us when they realize we will not bend to their "National Sunday Law" so as to stop the plagues that are falling upon them? Was this strategy used before? Indeed it was...

"Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not." John 11:50


[Daily Independent 4-11-98 -Sara Maitland "On the issues of belief"]

Criminal Penalty? How prophetic can you get?

See this...mark.htm


They come from different walks of life and different faiths. They run businesses as diverse as fastfood restaurants and hardware rental stores. Yet they share a common conviction: SUNDAYS are special. So every SEVENTH DAY these business people, across the country, pull down the window shade and quietly close shop. [Christian Science Monitor, Monday, May 4, 1998]

That's right people, they are starting to do "freely" as what will SOON be FORCED upon everyone to do. These can be called "the harbringers of the mark of the beast" indeed.

By the way... did you notice? They are calling the FIRST day of the week, "Sunday" the "seventh" day now. Why? Merely for Biblical CoNfUsIoN purposes so as to lock those that are decieved into a deeper deception. Praise God the child of God cannot be decieved. ( See Mat. 24:24) All they are doing is decieving each other now.


If God could schedule a day of rest creating the world, then Americans should too, after surviving another week. That's the new attitude of promoters of Sabbath observance an idea that's gethering steam in a time when statistics say people are working more and enjoying it less. "They're just so blessed busy," said Floyd Craig, a local board member of the Lord's Day Alliance. [The Tennessean Local News Page 3B]

The "Lord's Day Alliance?" Have we not already discovered that their agenda is to get ALL Americans from coast to coast to KEEP SUNDAY every single week? Read their "goals" a few paragraphs above. It's pretty obvious as to WHAT they're planning on doing. Want MORE proof that the "Lord's Day Alliance" is doing this? Read the next article...


"This wouldn't have happened if Christian people had taken their stand against making SUNDAY so commercial." [The Tennessean Local News]

Prophecy is awesome isn't it? For the Almighty and ever living Creator to actually WARN us in advance of all this is such an act of love that boggles the mind!

The Pope will issue a strongly worded appeal to Roman Catholics this week to restore the sacred nature of Sunday. Prompted by concern that the sabbath has been undermined by business and falling attendances at mass in the West, he will urge Catholics to defend it as a day of worship and recreation for families...
...the document "Dies Domini" (The Day of the Lord), is expected to be addressed to all "faithful Catholics" rather than only to bishops and priests...
It is also expected to win support from other churches - particularly from evangelical Christians - who share the Pope's anxiety about the erosion of the sabbath.

David Phillips, director of the Church Society - an influential grouping within the Church of England - praised the initiative this weekend. "Any thing the Pope says in line with the Bible is to be welcomed," Phillips said. "In this country Sunday has fallen by the wayside and Christians need to recover its sacred character."

NOTE: Photo of Pope and caption in bold type reads... "Make it clear that Sunday must not be worked, since it must be celebrated as the day of our Lord" [The Sunday Times World News July 5, 1998 Pg. I 20]

It won't be long now people!

What of all those that see these signs and are beginnging to wonder deep inside, is it really the end of the world? Is Jesus really coming back soon? Do all these fulfilled prophecies really mean what I think they mean??? What of these people? Will antichrist send out proclamation that the end is NOT near? Will he have his friends in Rome speak out aganst all those "prophecies" that PROVE we are living in the time of the end?

...the document "Dies Domini"

See for yourselves people. Read the document and see that they are DEAD SERIOUS about making Sunday THEIR MARK! Then read this...mark.htm



PLEASE consider shopping to PLEASE GOD instead! How?

First: NEVER shop on Sunday!

Second: Whenever you can try to shop at stores that are closed for business on Sunday as a matter of policy

...This may not be economical or convenient, but it will PLEASE GOD!

"Some Suggestions"

STOP shopping on Sunday!

AVOID, as much as possible, shopping in stores that are open on Sunday

NETWORK, with others in your community and prepare lists of stores that are closed on Sundays

COMPLIMENT the owners and managers of such stores for their policy

PUBLISH notices encouraging others in church bullitens and other local publications

[Sponsored by: Holy face Confraternity of our Lady of Peace Church]


"Today, to remain faithful to the tradition of Sunday, one very often has to swim upstre4am," John Paul said. The new document (Dies Domini) is expected to address issues such as Sunday business and dedicating the day to family." [Reuters, THE TIMES Monday july 6, 1998 "World in brief"]

Mark 7:9,13 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

Collosians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Need I say more?


...The Pope is calling for GLOBAL Sunday observance. [From the Brook, July-Sept 1998 Vol. 4, No. 3]


For many people, of course, focusing on observing the Sabbath (Sunday) is rooted in tradition of faith. [Chgo Tribune "Living" Sunday June 28, 1998]

RI House Bill 98H8949


DATE: 04/02/1998
COMMITTEE: House Labor
CITATION NUMBERS: 25-3-1, 25-3-2, 25-3-3, 25-3-4
LAW NUMBER: Chapter 409

This act would allow employers to pay the normal rate of pay to employees who work on Sundays as part of their normal forty (40) hour workweeks. This act would take effect on January 1, 1999.



Work permits on Sundays? Are you READY? Are you surprised? mark.htm

"Christians will naturally strive to ensure that civil legislation respects their duty to keep Sunday holy." [Pope John Paul II -Section 67, "Dies Domini" 8-98]

This will lead to enforcement people! This will lead to "KEEP SUNDAY OR DIE!" Prophecy speaks this... and the Almighty is NOT a liar!


Seek return to day of leisure, worship [Boston Sunday Herald Nov. 29, 1998]

POPE CALLS FOR SUNDAY ATTENDANCE law made such attendance a "grave obilgation" and skipping it amounted to a "grave sin." [By Jeffrey Scott, Atlanta Journal - Constitution


-- Children need time to worship, say several local church leaders in calling for a ban on Sunday morning youth sports. The Cranberry Church Council, which represents about 20 churches and religious organizations near Pittsburgh, sent letters to football, baseball and soccer coaches this month asking that no sports events be scheduled before noon on Sundays. ``We're trying to keep Sunday morning free for religious education,'' said the Rev. John Paul Wadlin of Episcopal Church of the Resurrection.'' [Weekend News Today By Andra Brack Source: TampaBay Online Fri Jan 22 , 1999]


A BILL to be introduced in the Morobe Tutumang soon to enforce Sunday as a day of worship for all in the province. The proposed Bill expected to draw debate because it seeks to ban all activities - social and economin on Sunday. The law will carry penalty provisions for operators and agencies caught voilating it. Mr Wenge said yesterday the move was radical one but one that was based on Christian principals and values. The Bill is being drafted for tabling in the provincial assembly in its first session next year [Post Courier NewsPaper Oct. 6, 1998 Papua New Guinea]

That's right folks! It's happening ALL over the world now! This news comes less than THREE MONTHS after a massive tital wave wipes out over 3000 citizens of Papua New Guinea! ( This is the exact same way they will do it in the USA! The Beast awaits a "National Disastor" to get the people to agree that "This is judgments upon us! We need to get right with God! We need to keep SUNDAY holy to prevent further disastors!

Y2K anyone?



[Boston Sunday Herald November 29,1998 Page 1]



[The Deactur Daily Sat. January 30, 1999 Religion, P. B1]


Criminal Penalty? How prophetic can you get? Do you realize who controls Rome where this worldwide court system will be? Do you see the pieces falling much clearer now people? That's right! YOU will be dragged before this Roman Government of the Beast of Revelation and punished as one who has broken the laws of mankind by keeping the Law of God Almighty!

National 'Day of Prayer, Fasting' Fails in House

By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 30, 1999; Page A04

A non-binding resolution calling for a national day of prayer and fasting failed in the House yesterday, as Congress waded once again into volatile issues of religion and politics.

The measure was the latest congressional response to a series of highly publicized school shootings and hate crimes. Sponsored by Rep. Helen Chenoweth (R-Idaho), the resolution recommended that national, state and local leaders "call the people they serve to observe a day of solemn prayer, fasting and humiliation before God."

It's just another "Day of rest" bill like Bill LB1334 listed above pleading for a "day or rest." The Catholic controlled congress wants Sunday to be made into LAW and they will continue to push laws forward that eventually WILL be passed. Prophecy gaurantees it! Notice a small excerpt of the. H. CON. RES. 94 that failed. Notice the "wording."

Whereas it is the necessary duty of the people of this Nation not only to humbly offer up our prayers and needs to Almighty God, but also in a solemn and public manner to confess our shortcomings; Whereas it is incumbent on all public bodies, as well as private persons, to revere and rely on God Almighty for our day-to-day existence, as well as to follow the charge to love and serve one another; Whereas we have witnessed the rejection of God's love through gratuitous violence and mayhem, hate, abuse, exploitation, abandonment, and other harms, much of which has been directed at the most vulnerable of our society, our children; Whereas oppression, violence, cultural and ethnic division, strife, and murder have stained our communities and the world; Whereas we are compelled to remind the people of the United States of the events that currently burden the hearts of the people...

Did you notice the word "hate?" Now let me ask you this. If I stand on a street corner passing out tracts that Scripturally, Historically, and Prophetically prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Roman Catholic Church is the haven of Antichrist incarnate do you suppose I would be arrested for committing a HATE crime? See this...


Vatican City (AP)-- A new Vatican document on how to interpret the Bible condemns the fundamentalist approach of word-for-word literalism as distorting, dangerous and possibly leading to racism. --Associated Press

Preaching is now called RACISM by the Vatican? Is it any wonder that soon those of us that have that Rock hard evidence against Rome will be committing HATE crimes by proclaiming Truth? Can this happen? See this...


It seems to be open season on religious speech in the public arena. Two weeks ago, a group of religious leaders called for a "moratorium on religious rhetoric" from presidential candidates, attacking candidates who shared their personal faith on the campaign trail. 

A few days earlier, the FCC issued a ruling discouraging noncommercial educational TV stations from offering "programming primarily devoted to religious exhortation, proselytizing, or statements of personally held religious views and beliefs." 

Nevertheless, I find the current hostility to religious evangelism profoundly disturbing. This includes attacks on the missionary activities of the much-maligned Southern Baptists. According to The Seattle Times ("Baptists' high chutzpah," editorial, Sept. 11), which condemned Baptist efforts to convert Jews, "The Baptists should learn to respect the values and privacy of others." A group of religious leaders in Chicago has gone further, recently urging Southern Baptists to cancel plans to send missionaries into their city this coming summer because seeking to convert others "
could contribute to a climate conducive to hate crimes." 

Nuff said?


Gallagher v. Crown Kosher Super Market of Massachusetts 366 US 617 (1961)

Decision of the Court: Upheld Sunday closing law as applied to owner of kosher supermarket, Orthodox Jewish customers and rabbis having duty to inspect kosher markets to insure compliance with Jewish dietary laws.

Two Guys from Harrison Allentown, Inc., v. McGinley 366 US 582 (1961)

Decision of the Court: The closing law does not violate establishment of religion.

Last updated: 11-14-95

American '24-hour society' needs a Sabbath rest

Christians are finding ways to observe the Sabbath in the United States, where setting aside a day to rest and worship God is a counter-cultural activity. ...Keeping the Sabbath is an important witness in a society that runs at breakneck speed seven days a week, John Sonnenday, senior pastor of Immanuel Presbyterian Church in McLean, Va., told
Religion Today. He and 10 members of his congregation have formed a "Sabbath-keeping group" to encourage each other to make Sunday a day of rest. 
..."God wrote the Sabbath into the very order of things. He said things would go better if you observe it," Jack Lowndes of the Lord's Day Alliance told Religion Today. His Atlanta-based ministry publishes a quarterly newsletter for 11,000 subscribers and has affiliate organizations in South Carolina, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Georgia. -by the Editors at Aug. 11, 1999

They will be deprived of the right to buy or sell

The following article is a quote from a Nazarene magazine called Newswatch. In its 1994 November/December issue, 4-5, it read, "The French magazine, Foy et Rai, reported from the United Nations Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, that plans are worked out to dissolve the UNO to make way for a World Tribunal. . . . This project and this plan provides for a total unification of church and state, and also provides for a single form of worship. The appointed day for all people will be Sunday. The number received by the people will promise the right to buy or sell.
"At the end of this statement, a Christian rose and asked the speaker, 'What happens to the minorities who will not accept this plan?' The Christian was told, 'Their number will be canceled with a black line and they will be deprived of the right to buy or sell and will thus be forced to destruction.' "

Are you ready? Are you sure?


"Without saying so explicitly, the Ten Commandments set the only order that will bring world peace... The next obligation that a citizen of God's world order owes is himself. "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy," is a command for a personal benefit of each citizen..." Pat Robertson, The New World Order, p. 233,236

"The mission of the Christian Coalition is simple. It is "to mobilize Christians one percent at a time, one community at a time, until once again we are the head and not the tail, and at the top rather than the bottom of our political system... the Christian Coalition will be the most powerful political force in America by the end of this decade." And, "We have enough votes to run this country... and when the people say, 'we've had enough,' we're going to take over!" -Pat Robertson,


VATICAN CITY, SEP 2, 1999 (VIS) - Made public today was a letter from the Holy Father to Archbishop Giuseppe Chiaretti of Perugia-Citta della Pieve, Italy, for the 4th Diocesan Eucharistic Congress, which will come to a close on September 19 in Perugia.

The Pope recalls that "the theme (of the congress), 'We cannot live without the Lord's day', makes reference to the Apostolic Letter 'Dies Domini' concerning Sundays". He requests "that the faithful of Perugia-Citta della Pieve intensify with renewed enthusiasm the value and importance of the Sunday celebration, 'great school of charity, justice and peace'. May the meeting in prayer with God in the liturgy vitalize their apostolic commitment, lived with incessant thanksgiving to the Father, who is rich in mercy".

"It is my heartfelt wish that this Eucharistic Congress may cause the desire for sanctity to grow within the faithful of the entire diocese, an indispensable condition for an apostolic commitment capable of making a mark upon society. In fact, it is being most fittingly recalled during the various stages of the congress that, alongside a renewal in methods of pastoral care and in forms of evangelization, it is first of all necessary to arouse in the entire Christian community a true fervor for sanctity". JPII-LETTER/EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS/CHIARETTI

He just keeps pounding away at that breach in the wall eh? No matter, the children of God will repair this breach made by the Beast just as prophecy states we will.

Isaiah 58:12-14, "And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it."

By the way... that's the REAL Sabbath being spoken of here. Not the "SUNday" sabbath of Rome.

Pacific Union Conference Department of Public Affairs & Religious Liberty CHURCH STATE NEWSFLASH!


Some startling developments this past week in the U.S. Congress deserve thoughtful reflection by Adventists in light of our prophetic expectations.

In the wake of Governor George Bush's campaign stop at Bob Jones University,and Senator McCain's attempt to make a campaign issue out of it, a Democratic Senator, Robert Torricelli, introduced Concurrent Resolution 85 in the U.S. Senate [and a similar resolution was introduced in the House], condemning Bob Jones University for its racial and religious intolerance.

Specifically, the resolution condemns Bob Jones University for, among other things:

"Whereas officials of Bob Jones University routinely disparage those of other religious faiths with intolerant and derogatory remarks; "Whereas officials of Bob Jones University have likened the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church to a "possessed demon" and branded Catholicism as a "satanic system and religion of the anti-Christ"...

"Resolved, That the Senate- 
1) condemns practices, such as those prevalent at Bob Jones University, that seek to discriminate against and divide Americans on the basis of race, ethnicity, and religion; and 
2) strongly denounces individuals who seek to subvert the American ideals of inclusion, equality and social justice."

The plot thickens. The Interfaith Alliance held a press conference endorsing and supporting the Resolution. Interfaith Alliance is a liberal Protestant organization, dedicated to the separation of church and state. Their spokesperson is a Baptist and a long time leader in Americans United for Separation of Church and State. He declared at the press - conference:

"On behalf of concerned people of faith, I urge members of the Senate and House to denounce any association of bigotry, discrimination, and intolerance with religious faith." Gaddy continued:
"For Bob Jones University to foment bigotry in the name of Christianity is the height of hypocrisy, if not heresy."

So here's the picture: liberal Protestants asking Congress to condemn as heresy the teaching of a Christian school that adheres to the historic Protestant perspective on the papacy. Please re-read chapters 35 and 36 of The Great Controversy!

Apparently, judging from this action, in spite of their professed commitment to separation of church and state, liberal Protestants are willing to employ government power to advance their own religious agenda, and to condemn a competing religious agenda. In so doing, Liberal Protestants cast themselves as the voice of tolerance, inclusion, equality,and social justice.

For years we have preached that liberals and conservatives will unite together to crucify Christ afresh, in the person of His people, implementing the coercive measures of the mark of the beast. Now a clearer understanding emerges of how this could come to pass. Liberals will readily accept a compromise, inclusive form of religious legislation, i.e., Sunday as the will of the majority, and will condemn those who oppose it as narrow minded, bigoted, judgmental, self-righteous, intolerant extremists. So there you have it. Persecution in the name of tolerance, inclusion, equality and social justice. Stay tuned, things will get even more interesting.

The Religious Liberty Newsflash and Legislative Alerts are occasional publications of the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Department of Public Affairs & Religious Liberty. You are encouraged to forward this to those who may be interested. Please do not post on the World Wide Web without prior permission."

The day after I received the email from my friend the following item prepared by the Associated Press appeared in our local paper: "The national headquarters of the Seventh-day Church asked a federal judge Monday to bar a West Palm Beach church it considers a "hate group" from using the denomination's trademark name.

Newspaper and radio advertising run nationally by the Eternal Gospel Church of Seventh-day Adventists denounces Catholics and Protestants for worshipping on Sunday, likening them to satanists and pagans.

Jeffrey Tew, an attorney for the national denomination, called the offshoot church "a hate group" and branded the campaign "a classic case of a breakaway church trying to use the mother church's name." The name "Seventh-day Adventist" was registered as a trademark in 1980."

It is my understanding that the church in West Palm Beach was largely if not exclusively just publishing excerpts from the Great Controversy and other E.G.White writings which every good SDA believes were inspired by God. (At this point let me state that I am not necessarily agreeing with what they have done but am citing this case to highlight what is happening). One cannot help but wonder how long it will be till excerpts from those writings are given as great publicity as has been given to Bob Jones University.

Are we prepared to respond in a Christlike way to how we may be viewed in that case? Are we nearer to the end of time than we have thought?

Donald E. Casebolt, MD 

Do we need anymore proof ???? I can't imagine why

"some people" do say that God changed the day, but you can't find it in the Bible (all eight texts about sunday keeping NEVER discuss that "from here on out we are going to keep sunday as a worship day"). It can be found in history, the Early church changed the day of worship gradually to the pagan sun god worship on Sunday (that is why it is called sun day). This began
about 200 or 300 years after the death of Christ. There was a great feeling of antisemitism (hatred of the jews) and no one wanted to be associated with anything Jewish. Also the church wanted to be popular with the majority of pagans. eventually
the Church at the time changed the Sabbath. the following is a letter that asks your question of the Pope:Letter sent to
the Pope. May 1954

The reply printed in the Catholic Extension Magazine U.S.A.
180 Wabash Ave., Chicago Illinois.
"Under the blessing of the Pope Pius XI"
Pope Pius XI
Thomeston, Georgia
Rome, Italy.
May 22, 1954

Dear Sir:

Is the accusation true that Protestants accuse you of? They say you changed the Seventh Day Sabbath to the so called Christian Sunday, identical with the First Day of the Week. If so, when did you make the
change, and by what authority? 

Yours very truly,
J.L. Day

Dear Sir:

Regarding the change from the observance of the Jewish Sabbath to the Christian Sunday. I wish to draw your attention to the facts: 

(1) That Protestants, who accept the Bible as the only rule of faith and religion, should by all means go back to the observance of the Sabbath. The fact that they do not, but on the contrary observe Sunday, stultifies them in the eyes of every thinking man.

(2) We Catholics do not accept the Bible as the only rule of faith. Besides the Bible, we have the living Church, the authority of the Church, as a rule to guide us. We say, this Church, instituted by Christ to teach and guide men through life, has the right to change the Ceremonial laws of the Old Testament and hence we accept her change of the Sabbath to Sunday. We frankly say "yes, the Church made this change, made this law, as she made many other laws. For instance, the Friday Abstinence, the unmarried priesthood, the laws concerning mixed marriages, the regulation of Catholic marriages and a thousand other laws.

(3) We also say that of all Protestants, the Seventh-day Adventists are the only group that reason correctly and are consistent with their teachings. It is always somewhat laughable to see the Protestant Churches, in pulpit and legislature, demand the observance of Sunday of which there is nothing in the Bible.

With best wishes
Peter R. Tramer

Sears Agrees to Adjust Schedules for Sabbath Observers

NEW YORK (AP) - Sears, Roebuck & Co. has agreed to a settlement that allows repair workers who have religious objections to working on Saturdays to work Sundays instead.

Attorney General Eliot Spitzer - who had threatened to sue Sears - said the giant retail company also agreed to pay $225,000 for employer education programs, $120,000 in training scholarships for Sabbath observers and $100,000 to cover the cost of his investigation.

"People should not be forced to choose between their faith and supporting their family," Spitzer said Tuesday.

Sears "is pleased we were able to reach a satisfactory settlement," said spokeswoman Peggy Palter. The company did not admit to any wrongdoing.

The policies imposed by the settlement apply only to repair workers in New York state, she noted.

The attorney general targeted Sears last summer after Kalman Katz, an Orthodox Jew, claimed the company refused to hire him because he wouldn't work Saturdays. At least five other people had similar complaints, including a recently converted Seventh-day Adventist who said he was fired after telling Sears he needed to begin observing the Sabbath.

Katz said he was told all repair workers had to report on Saturday because it was the company's busiest repair day. Spitzer's investigation found most of Sears' repair work is done on Tuesdays.

Finally some good news eh? But, I short lived will this be? Or..could this be a clever way of finding out WHO the Sabbath keepers are? Please understand, NO paranoia here, only an absolute faith in that which was written concerning OUR day!


(NOTE: I am presently investigating the validity of the following article. There is a possibility it may be a hoax. So, please act accordingly.)

 I, Chriostomos Moussa Matanos Salama, by God's mercy, archbishop of the  holy Syrian Orthodox Church of antioquia at the archdioceses located in Brazil, at the following address: Comendador Street, Salamao #74 -- Belo Horizonte -- MG Brazil, proclaim this pastoral letter, to call for a convocation of archbishops, bishops, fathers, deacons and delegates from different orthodox communities in Brazil, in order to gather together for an EXTRAORDINARY SYNOD (no date set yet), focusing on the issue of the Roman ocument from the Holy Father, John Paul II, Successor of Peter the apostle, called DIES DOMINI, which exalts the Sunday as truly the day of the Lord because of Christ's resurrection -- a glorious event that took place THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, with many apparitions of the Lord of Life recorded in the New Testament.

I am going to give a broad explanation about this most important day which the world has known along the historic trajectory -- SUNDAY (KIRIAKE HERMERA) -- that will be studied in this HOLY SYNOD, along with the articles of the Association and Orthodox Apostolic Catholic Churches of the West, having the presence of patriarch, authorities from the Eastern Holy churches with the presence of our patriarch, His Holiness Don Elias IV and representatives from the patriarch Pinen of Russia and authorities of
the Roman Apostolic Catholic Church through the ONBB (National Conference of Bishops in Brazil).

 1. We cannot tolerate the keeping of any other "day" by any other religion without the full knowledge of "His holiness." The catholic
writers, John, Matthew, Mark and Luke do not mention any other day but the DAY OF THE LORD -- SUNDAY, the only day of the resurrection of Christ. That is why we cannot accept any other gospel. (Galatians 1:6-9.)

 2. We cannot tolerate any belief in the keeping of any other "day" that is in accordance with the Bible and the holy tradition and liturgy. (Isaiah 1:13-14.)

 3. We cannot tolerate Jews, Sabbatizers, Adventists, or any other sect that does not keep the day of the Lord, Sunday, and  tries to lead the people to go into great erroneous theologies against the good moral customs created through the rich traditions of the Holy Church.

 4. We cannot tolerate those who do not seek to understand or accept the  precepts ordained by the Holy Father, the Pope, in regards to the day of  the Lord's resurrection =E2?" Sunday.

 5. We cannot tolerate any agreement with Bible texts that are not explained by the Living Magistry (i.e. religious teaching authority) of the Roman Apostolic Catholic Church which will govern the world in fulfillment of the word of God from Genesis to Revelation.

 6. We cannot tolerate any keeper of any other day but the Holy Sunday the main day of the resurrection of the eternal God. In virtue of this, we are obligated to fulfill the demands of the Divine oracles enforced by the Roman Apostolic Catholic Church -- which decides the destiny of mankind.

 7. We cannot tolerate the transgressors of the Holy day -- Sunday.  In this case they will receive judicial penalties through the Justice Court to stop and restrain the liberty of conscience of those who are disobedient to the laws imposed by Rome, according to the supremacy of the Pope -- Advocate of the Divine Laws.  He who judges, but cannot be judged.

 8. Due to the intolerance of the transgressors, we will ask, through the United States of America, to punish drastically the disobedient who came from 1844, who have taken to their fold our Catholic people that are ignorant about the motives of the transgressors.  Our fold, through fear of the law, is joining under the Millerite farce (i.e. sabbatizing). These Millerites seek to contradict the holy pope with spurious doctrines, like the observance of the Sabbath day and the non-immortality
of the soul, which are the principal pillars of their heresies.

 9. We will not tolerate those transgressors.  We will ask the American authorities to take the transgressor's possessions, like publishing houses, their orphanages, their schools, and this needs to be done with holy urgency in order to completely finish with this deception (i.e. farce).

Catholic Church seeks LAWS to keep SUNday!

"The civil authorities should be urged to cooperate with the church in maintaining and strengthening this public worship of God, and to support with their own authority the regulations set down by the church's pastor. For it is only in this way that the faithful will understand why it is Sunday and not the Sabbath day that we keep holy." -The Roman Catechism 1985

"In respecting religious liberty and the common good of all, Christians should seek recognition of Sundays and the church's holy days as legal holidays. It is time that we demonstrate our Catholic vitality and engage in the public policy debate. We have the power and the people to embark on this movement - a movement that will benefit all Americans." - Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994, par. 2188

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