Appeal from the U. S. Supreme Court Decision Making this “A Christian Nation”



It may be replied by some that there is not here any ecclesiastical organization such as that one back there, to draw from this such results as were drawn from that. This would not answer the question, even though it were true. But the fact is that there does exist here a most powerful ecclesiastical combination and organization which in its aims is identical with that one back there. Its leaders and managers have the same anxiety as had those “to assert the government as a kind of sovereignty for themselves.” And it is the longing hope of every one of them to make politics a branch of theology in order more quickly to satisfy their ambition to assert the government as a kind of sovereignty for themselves. And this Supreme Court decision gives them precisely, in very word, the opening which they have all anxiously longed for and earnestly worked for all the way from four to twenty-nine years; so that the situation here now, under this decision, is identical in every way with the situation there at the issuing of the Edict of Milan, with the exception only of the difference in the governments, that being an absolute monarchy, and this a republic, but this difference is immaterial to the main issue. AUSSC 38.4

This organization, in its leading and oldest form, is known as the National Reform Association. It was organized in 1863, for the sole purpose of securing such an amendment to the national Constitution as should declare this to be “a Christian nation,” and so justify the enforcement of “Christian laws, institutions, and usages,” and “Christian morality upon all.” And the chief of all the laws, institutions, or usages, and the supreme test of the “Christian morality” which it seeks to enforce, is the observance of Sunday as the “Christian Sabbath.” It has succeeded in drawing into close and practical alliance with itself, in order as they have arisen, the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, the Third Party Prohibition party, and the American Sabbath Union; and in 1889, through the American Sabbath Union, it succeeded in forming a coalition with the Catholic Church itself, as a material aid to its soaring ambition. This organization has greeted the Supreme Court decision with joyful acclaim. The decision justifies and establishes in completest measure just what this ecclesiastical combination has been working for so long. We shall present here a few short statements from this combination, which will show how they view this matter. In the Christian Statesman of June 25, 1892, one of the long-standing secretaries of the association said:— AUSSC 39.1

“Is not this the time to remember that the United States Supreme Court has officially declared [in a document that reads as if largely gathered from the National Reform Manual] that this is a Christian nation?” AUSSC 40.1

The Pearl of Days, the official organ of the American Sabbath Union, May 7, 1892, says that this decision— AUSSC 40.2

“Establishes clearly the fact that our government is Christian. This decision is vital to the Sunday question in all its aspects, and places that question among the most important issues now before the American people.... And this important decision rests upon the fundamental principle that religion is imbedded in the organic structure of the American government—a religion that recognizes, and is bound to maintain, Sunday as a day for rest and worship.” AUSSC 40.3

The Christian Statesman has always been the official organ of the National Reform Association, and is now the mouthpiece of the whole combination. In the issue of May 21, 1892, this paper says:— AUSSC 40.4

“‘Christianity is the law of the land.’ ‘This is a Christian nation.’—U. S. Supreme Court, February 29, 1892. The Christian church, therefore, has rights in this country. Among these is the right to one day in seven protected from the assaults of greed, the god of this world, that it may be devoted to worship of the God of heaven and earth.” AUSSC 40.5

And one of the very first uses that was ever made of the decision was when, in the month of April, 1892, the president of the American Sabbath Union took it in his hand and went before committees of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, recited its “argument” and demanded the closing of the World’s Fair on Sunday, by Congress, “because this is a Christian nation.” AUSSC 40.6

And now in preparation for Thanksgiving day, the Christian Statesman of Nov. 19, 1892, comes out with the following, which tells the whole of that part of the story. We print it just as it there appears, titles and all. AUSSC 40.7