Focus on the Family: Sunday Laws Prove We're a Christian Nation
Perhaps if major Christian leaders never spoke in a positive way of Sunday as a Sabbath enforceable by law in America, we could confidently say that Ellen White's prediction was nowhere near being fulfilled. But alas, such is not the case.
The removal of Judge Roy Moore's 10 Commandment monument in Montgomery motivated a number of comments about Sunday, such as those already cited from Pat Robertson. Another prominent Christian leader is Don Hodel, who had this to say in an article dated August 23, 2003. At the time he was president of Focus on the Family:
Of course, this is not quite the case. America has never codified the fourth commandment, for it never has prohibited work upon the seventh day of the week. Consistently, whenever a particular day of rest has been enforced, it has been the first day not the seventh day that has been mandated, contrary to what the Decalogue specifies.
We wrote to Focus on the Family about this discrepancy, and the reply we received included the following:
Thus many of these Christian leaders readily acknowledge that Sunday keeping is based on tradition, not on any Scriptural or divine command. This is all the more reason why it sounds so strange when they speak in a positive way about enforcing Sunday rest.
We received one more reply which contained the following:
Now if Pat Robertson and John Paul and European leaders were of the same opinion as James Dobson, then perhaps Ellen White's prediction would never come true, at least not anytime soon.
Don Hodel's comments, though, give one food for thought. We appear to be in a moral crisis in America. Abortion, gay marriage, and nudity on prime-time TV, even during Superbowl halftime, have angered Christians (and others). This nation, they say, is based on Judeo-Christian values, and these things should be prohibited.
"How can you prove that our nation is really founded on Judeo-Christian values?" one asks. They respond, "Our laws are based on the 10 Commandments." But most of the 10 are endorsed by religions other than Judaism and Christianity. Just having a law against murder does not prove that you are a Christian nation.
However, Sunday blue laws are different. There is no rational reason other than a religious one why Sunday should be a mandated day of rest. And there is no religious reason other than a professedly Christian one why Sunday should be enforced by law. Thus, the most potent proof that our nation's laws are founded upon professedly Christian values is the existence of Sunday blue laws.
But unfortunately, this line of argument is hopelessly inconsistent and contradictory. As Don Hodel wrote:
Yet as their reply to our enquiry makes crystal clear, "the celebration of the Lord's Day gradually supplanted the observance of the Jewish Sabbath among Christians, until at last Sunday worship became the norm." Sunday rest is therefore neither part of "the Judeo-Christian value system found in Scripture" nor part of the 10 Commandments, but is instead based only on tradition.
One more such inconsistency will suffice: In the thick of Judge Moore's case, James Dobson had this to say on the August 28, 2003, radio broadcast of Focus on the Family:
Dr. Dobson need not have worried at all. By the time he started that broadcast, the Sabbath of the 10 Commandments, the same 10 Commandments this particular program was about, had already been over almost an entire day.
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