Christianity in the World Today

Reports from all over the nation confirm renewed interest and increasing activity over the question of Sunday business. Merchants who want to operate seven days a week are meeting stiff opposition from forces who seek new Sunday legislation and enforcement of similar existing laws.

The New Jersey State Assembly was ready for a keen floor struggle on a bill for stricter Sunday legislation. The Sunday opening of 200 supermarkets in the Detroit area was suspended following mounting remonstrances by church groups.

In Toledo, Ohio, Big Bear chain stores tried Sunday business for a month, then closed with the statement that “Sunday should be a day of worship, rest and recreation—a together-time—for our employees as well as our customers. We believe sales gains—in dollars and cents—are less important than the well-being and high morale of our associates and customers. We want our friends and customers to know that we tried it and don’t like it. We urge our competitors who are still open on Sunday to review their position and arrive at the ‘right’ answer.” A Toledo Real Estate Board survey showed 85 per cent of local realty firms opposed to keeping houses open for inspection on Sunday.

In New York, the National Retail Merchant Association came out against the opening of major stores on Sundays, excepting “those primarily engaged in selling articles absolutely necessary to the health and welfare of the community.”

Sunday business is rising rapidly as a leading issue in American political, social, and religious life. The pros and cons were joined this month in unique fashion when the matter was debated on the American Religious Town Hall Meeting, a nationwide telecast which brings together clergymen ...

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