January 7, 1892
VETERANS of twenty-five years or more in the Russian service, under the Emperors Nicholas and Alexander II., are entitled, by virtue of their military service, to live anywhere they choose within the confines of the Russian Empire, and this privilege applies to Jewish veterans as well as to others. In order to evade this, and lay the heavy hand of expulsion upon this class of Jews also, the Russian Government has, unmindful of the public services of these old soldiers, deprived them of the right of worship, by closing their synagogues, and, as it is a grave penal offense to even read Jewish prayers in any place other than a regularly licensed synagogue, the denial of the right of worship is complete. Such things as these are evidences of the lengths to which the promoters of national religion will go in striving by its enforcement to make theirs a “Christian Nation.”
IN the published report of his campaign, for Sunday observance at the World’s Fair, in Iowa, M. A. Gault says: “We must be careful to avoid the Union of Church and State, but equally careful to prevent the State from antagonizing the Church. To open the Fair on Sabbath would necessarily shut out a large number of Sabbath-keeping Christians. It would be violating their civil liberty by putting them on an unequal footing before the law. The Government would thus pay a premium on infidelity and irreligion, for none but Sabbath breakers could find employment in the Fair or patronize it. It would seriously interfere with religious liberty, and violate the First Amendment of the National Constitution.” Analyze this. Outside of the first phase there is not a sound statement in the paragraph. If the Church is the exponent of pure religion and the State of civil equity there can not be antagonism between them. If the Fair were open every day in the week no one would be shut out at any time. If closed one day all will be shut out on that day, most of them unwillingly. Absolute non-interference from the Government in this matter will alone bring perfect equality, anything else puts Christian believers on a different footing not only from unbelievers, but even among themselves. The Government would pay no premium, for as it has no proper authority it would have assumed no improper responsibilities. To avoid interference does not interfere; and to obey does not violate. This seems a very superficial way to make the worse appear the better reason, yet it is a fair sample of the methods used by the religious legislationists.