“New York Democrats and the Sunday ‘Law’” American Sentinel 10, 39, pp. 307, 308.

WE have considered elsewhere in this issue the attitude of the Republican party of New York towards the Sunday statute, as expressed at their late convention, in the words, “We favor the maintenance of the Sunday law in the interests of labor and morality.”

It might naturally have been expected that the Democratic party, having always posed as the political representative and exponent of the principle of personal liberty, would take issue squarely with the former party, and stand in favor of that liberty which every Sunday “law” must necessarily invade. This, however, it has not done.

The difference between the two leading political parties of the State upon this point is not a difference in principle, but only in degree.

The one party favors the maintenance of the Sunday statute in the strict sense in which its enforcement has been recently conducted in this city, and which is demanded by the ecclesiastics who aim at securing a rigid observance of the day. The other party also favors a Sunday “law,” but wants one that will secure “a proper observation” of the day, an “orderly Sunday,” and that shall have the support of public opinion.

Such importance has the question of Sunday observance now attained in the Empire State, that neither of the two leading political parties dares to pass it over in silence. Neither dares to go before the people without having avowed itself to be in favor of legal Sunday observance. The only difference between them is in regard to the nature of the observance to be thus secured. The Republican party believes that it will receive popular support in standing for a strict form of Sunday observance, and the Democratic party believes that the seal of popular approval will be given to an attitude favoring a less rigid Sunday observance, such as would allow the obtaining of beer and other alcoholic drinks on that [308] day, and in its general aspect would be opposed to a “blue law” Sunday, but which, nevertheless, would admit of such restrictions as might be enacted without popular disapproval.

As stated elsewhere, we take no special interest in the outcome of this political contest. We stand opposed to all Sunday laws, because they all, whether strict or “liberal,” invade the realm of conscience. They all, whether avowedly or not, demand a religious observance of the day, since they all demand cessation from work, which is a leading feature of that Sabbath observance which is commanded by God.

The Sunday “law” is now the leading issue between the two leading political parties of the leading State in the Union; and that issue, as we have seen, concerns only the degree of Sunday observance to be embodied in the “law.” If the Republican party proves successful, as it has in recent elections, the result will doubtless be attributed to its strong Sunday attitude, and that attitude, having been thus apparently approved by the popular will, will be considered the proper one for the party in all contests, both State and National.

And thus the way is wide open for the Sunday issue to move rapidly forward to a position of supreme interest and importance in the nation. That it will do this there is not a shadow of doubt. And the presentation of that true personal liberty which is the Creator’s gift to every man, cannot be left to any political party. That work must be done by those who know that perfect liberty that comes from God, through an acquaintance with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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