Partial Report of Hearing on Johnston Sunday Bill, S. 404


Religion a Necessity

The originators and promoters of this legislation know this. they know that this proposition is true, that enforced rest is enforced idleness, and therefore is mischievous. Accordingly, on that side, it has been said, and it stands in print as accepted doctrine with them, that “taking religion out of the day takes the rest out.” This is profoundly true. And that truth fixes it that the obligations and the sanctions of a day of rest can come only from God, the Fountain of religion; for he, and only he, can supply the religion, which is the only possible equivalent of a required day of rest. RJSB 17.1

From their true premise that “taking religion out of the day takes the rest out,” that religion is the only possible equivalent of required rest, it follows inevitably that from some source there must be supplied the religion which shall make effective the rest which this legislation is to enforce. RJSB 17.2

But it being enforced rest, this essential religion can not possibly come from God, for the government of God is not of force. Neither can it come from the state, for the state is not religious, and can not supply what it has not. But, lo! here is the church, the church combine, that originated this legislation, and that for more than twenty years has been diligently pressing it upon Congress. She is fully ready to supply exactly the religion that is fitting to this enforced rest. RJSB 17.3

The situation, then, is this: Taking religion out of the rest-day takes the rest out of the religious day. The church combine demands that Congress shall enforce the rest, and she will supply the religion that is essential to the rest. And they will give you no rest until they do, you may be sure of that. RJSB 17.4