Sunday, July 20, 2014

July 10, 1934: ‘Observe Sunday’ on stamp cancellations produces protests


Example of “Observe Sunday” cancellation stamp that Seventh-day Adventists challenged in 1934, arguing it violated the separation between church and state.

Seventh-Day Adventists forwarded a letter to Canada’s postmaster general objecting to the “Observe Sunday” slogan on cancellation stamps.

“The observance of a day is purely a religious question and one which a person must determine as between himself or herself and the Maker, without any interference or pressure from civil government,” said the letter, written by M.N. Campbell, secretary of the religious liberty department of the Canadian Union of Seventh-day Adventists, after receiving many letters of protest from church members.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church, which had several thousand adherents in Canada, is Christian, but observes Saturday, or the Jewish Sabbath, instead of Sunday.

“If a government may issue such counsel as ‘Observe Sunday’ on post office cancellation stamps, it may with equal consistency advise to ‘Attend Mass,’ ‘Be Baptized,’ or ‘Go To Confession,’ ” Campbell contended.


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