Many individuals will be surprised to discover that in 2019 the demand for Sunday observance and a resurrection of Sunday blue laws in the United States is becoming popular. Most individuals scoff at the idea of Sundays becoming a day of rest and worship through government enactments due to the secularization of society and the prevailing degraded state of morality in the United States. Yet, more and more individuals are looking to Sunday observance as the solution to heal the evils that plague society and they are clamoring for it, even bringing the call to the mainstream through popular musicians and entertainers.
Let us look at the following recent news reports that affirm the above assertion. An October 1 headline reads: “When Sundays stopped being sacred.” The article states, “It might be hard to believe now, in this day of 24/7 convenience shopping, but there used to be days that all the shops were closed. Once upon a time if you didn't pick up the groceries you needed on Saturday morning you were out of luck because most shops closed by lunch time—and nothing was open on a Sunday…Maybe it is time to resurrect the idea of putting a day aside to rest, and redrawing the lines between work and leisure.”1 Another headline is equally as startling, "Churchill: The importance of slowing down. Reconsidering the idea of blue laws.” In the article we read, “The New Jersey shopping hub, frenzied on other days of the week, is eerily quiet on Sundays, the vast parking lots outside its malls left empty and lonely. Bergen County, you see, is one of the few places in the country that still forbids Sunday shopping. Until relatively recently, I was one of the many people who looked with scorn at such laws, which were largely repealed in the 1970s and 1980s. The old, so-called blue laws that restricted Sunday activities felt archaic, if not Puritan. What about separation of church and state? How dare government tell me when I can shop for clothing or buy beer? But I'm beginning to reconsider.”2
Some would argue that the above sentiments do not reflect the opinions of the majority of Americans, but that of a select few old-fashioned conservatives. However the case for making Sunday a day of rest and worship which includes Sunday shopping bans is becoming popular as the idea is being promoted by musicians and celebrities. Most recently, rapper, singer/songwriter and fashion designer Kanye West defended Sunday as the day for family, rest and worship in his song, “Closed on Sundays.” Fox News carried the story under the headline, “Kanye West references Chick-fil-A repeatedly in new song ‘Closed on Sunday.’” “Kanye West has apparently moved on from McDonald’s and Burger King to another beloved fast-food chain — Chick-fil-A. The rapper-turned-gospel singer has been reportedly hosting listening parties for his upcoming religious-themed album, 'Jesus is King,' where a certain song has stood out for its repeated reference to the beloved American fast-food chain.The song, ‘Closed on Sundays,’ reportedly has the lyrics 'Closed on Sunday, you my Chick-fil-A,’ according to a recording shared on Twitter. The song goes on to urge listeners to ‘Follow Jesus, listen and obey…’ Chick-fil-A did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment, but the chain being featured in a Christian-themed song is fitting as the restaurant has always been strong in its faith. ‘Closing our business on Sunday, the Lord's Day, is our way of honoring God and showing our loyalty to Him,’ Chick-fil-A's founder, Truett Cathy, wrote in his book, 'Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People,' Business Insider reported.”3 The lyrics are as follows:
Closed on Sunday, you my Chick-fil-A
Closed on Sunday, you my Chick-fil-A
Hold the selfies, put the ‘Gram away
Get your family, y’all hold hands and pray
When you got daughters, always keep ‘em safe
Watch out for vipers, don't let them indoctrinate
Closed on Sunday, you my Chick-fil-A
This ain't game day, get your house in shape
Train your sons, raise them in the faith
To temptations, make sure they're wide awake
Follow Jesus, listen and obey
No more livin' for the culture, we nobody's slave
Stand up for my home
Even if I take this walk alone
I bow down to the King up on the throne
My life is His, I'm no longer my own
I pray to God that he'll strengthen my hand
They will think twice steppin' into my land
I draw the line, it's written in the sand
Try me and you will see that I ain't playin'
Now, back up off my family, move your hands
I got my weapons in the spirit's land
Jezebel don’t even stand a chance
Jezebel don’t even stand a chance4
The lyrics are strikingly similar to the words of Pope Francis. In an article titled, “NEVER ON A SUNDAY: Pope Francis says working on Sunday has negative effect on families,” the following can be read: “The full commercialization of Sunday - from business being open to people working on what is biblical to be a day of rest, has Pope Francis in lamentation. The abandoning of the traditionally Christian practice of not working on Sundays has a negative impact on families and friendships, he says…The Pope says that while poor people need jobs to have dignity, he indicated that opening stores and other businesses on Sundays wasn't beneficial for society…'Maybe it's time to ask ourselves if working on Sundays is true freedom,’ he said.The pope also said that spending Sundays with family and friends is an ‘ethical choice’ for faithful and non-faithful alike.”5 While many individuals, especially millennials and generation Z, would reject these ideas coming from the Pope, they would readily receive them coming from an influential music artist such as Kanye West.
Not only is Kanye West popularizing Sunday worship, he is influencing others through his music—individuals who have not even thought twice about Sunday worship. Not only have many churches accepted Kanye West and his “gospel” music and Sunday services, but entire denominations have embraced him, his music and his services. One of the most unlikely denominations, that has a reputation for not only being conservative but also racist, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is one such denomination. “Kanye West will perform his "Sunday Service" in Salt Lake City on Saturday, the Gateway's marketing director confirmed to 2News. The religious concert will be performed at the Gateway at noon, between the first and second sessions of the Semi-Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”6 Another article records: Sunday Service happened on a rather particular Saturday in Salt Lake City — the same day as the 189th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City was already bubbling with a religious thought and mood, fans said at the event. Somewhere between 7,000 and 10,000 people attended the event. Fans first lined up at 4 a.m. Students from universities packed Salt Lake City’s public transportation system en route to the show. Many sauntered in around 9 a.m. — two hours before the worship service kicked off. Fans leaned on barriers to see the stage. About 9:50 a.m., the gates opened and fans rushed the stage from three different entrances. It was pure chaos. West’s biggest moment came when he took the microphone and talked about the dangers of social media — a theme expressed multiple times during the opening session of general conference.”7
Kanye West is not the first celebrity to advocate Sunday rest, and he will most certainly not be the last. Popular singer, Katy Perry and Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post “Start a New Movement: Shutoff Sundays. Take a day for yourself” in which they have chosen Sunday because, in their words, “it feels very holy in a way.”8 It must not be forgotten that Katy Perry met Pope Francis in May of 2018.9 Pharrell Williams has also openly promoted Kanye West’s Sunday services, who is also a proponent of something very dear to Pope Francis—climate justice. “Pharrell Wears Kanye West's Sunday Service Coachella Merch at His Hometown VA Festival.”10 Musicians played an integral role in forcing individuals to bow down and worship an idol in Daniel 3. Likewise, music is playing a significant role in causing people to worship on Popery’s day of worship, Sunday, an idol Sabbath in these last days. We must purpose in our hearts to be like the three faithful Hebrews who did not fear death but stood firmly against false worship even at the peril of their lives.
There are many scoffers today who believe that the United States could never become other than what it has been, the defender of religious freedom. However a change is coming, the culture is changing and individuals are now being primed to accept Sunday as a day of worship and will urge their lawmakers to enforce it. “The dignitaries of church and state will unite to bribe, persuade, or compel all classes to honor the Sunday. The lack of divine authority will be supplied by oppressive enactments. Political corruption is destroying love of justice and regard for truth; and even in free America, rulers and legislators, in order to secure public favor, will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance. Liberty of conscience, which has cost so great a sacrifice, will no longer be respected. In the soon-coming conflict we shall see exemplified the prophet's words: ‘The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.’ Revelation 12:17.”11
White, Ellen. The Great Controversy (1911), page 592.