THE Tribune, of Knoxville, Tenn., is published daily, including Sunday; yet, in its issue of August 7, it says:—
These thirty thousand Adventists want the statutory laws which meet the approval of some twenty millions of Christians in this country changed to suit their views, or amended as to give them the privilege of disregarding Sunday while denying the privilege to all who do not believe as they do. The law compels nobody to observe Sunday religiously. It makes it a legal day of rest, and enables the moral and religious element to devote the day to worship or religious observance undisturbed.
We suppose that even the Tribune cannot be held responsible for what it does not know, as it would be unfair to so hopelessly load down even a newspaper; but there is no reason why it should not have known that Adventists do not ask “the privilege of disregarding Sunday while denying the privilege to all who no [sic.] not believe as they do.”
In a memorial presented to the legislature of Tennessee last April, the Adventists plainly said: “We do not ask simply for a clause exempting us from the penalties of the law, but for the repeal of the law; because to ask simply an exemption would be to admit the right of the State to legislate upon such questions, and consent that the legislature might properly require of others that which we are not willing it should exact from us.”
This thing was not done in a corner, and the Tribune ought to have known the facts before trying to state them.
The Tribune continues:—
The law provides the largest religious freedom consistent with common sense and good government; it cannot undertake to adjust itself to exactly suit the views of the Adventists whose peculiar ideas lead them into deliberate violation of the law.
Then why does not the Tribune obey the “law”? If the “law” is so good and so just, what possible excuse can the publishers of a newspaper have for violating it, as is done in the Tribune office fifty-two weeks every year? Or are we to understand that it is all right to violate the Sunday “law” for gain, but wrong to violate it for conscience’ sake?
But the Tribune says that “the Adventist is not compelled to labor on Sunday; he is not compelled to observe it in a religious manner; it does not force him to observe Saturday as a religious day; he can devote any day in the week he chooses to religious observance or worship, and so can anybody else. Sunday is the accepted sabbath of this country, and the law protects it as a day of rest.”
Again, the Tribune is discussing questions about which it knows nothing. The Adventist is compelled by the law of the Sabbath to labor on Sunday, for only by habitually treating it as a common day can he obey the fourth commandment. But in view of the utterances quoted, what possible excuse can the Tribune have for violating the Sunday statute of the State of Tennessee?