The National Sabbath Protection Act
 

The National Sabbath Protection Act

We must band together as one,
We must speak in one loud voice,
We must ensure our religious freedom!
We are working to guarantee religious equality in the workplace by ensuring the rights of those who worship.
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The Problem

Modern business practices have made it possible for businesses force their employees work on days previously set aside for worship.

This country was originally settled by religious pilgrims in search of a place where they could worship freely.  Our founding fathers, knowing the importance of worship, incorporated these ideals into the Constitution by ensuring religious freedom in the Bill of Rights.  Over the years, however, the United States has been falling away from its firm stance on religious freedom by letting businesses force their employees work on days previously set aside for worship.  The solution to this problem is simple.  Congress needs to pass a law designed to protect the individual person's right to worship, because it would ensure that people can exercise their constitutional right of freedom of religion. 

Exercising freedom of religion through worship is an important value of this country.  Employers are ignoring the importance of worship by forcing their employees to work.  There are those who will say that employers have the right to prohibit employees from participating in worship if the employer is inconvenienced.  However, the United States Constitution’s first amendment reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...”.  A fair interpretation of this could be that Congress does not have the authority to prohibit the free exercise of religion.  If this is true, how can a business prohibit free exercise of religion without be more powerful than Congress?  Businesses should not be more powerful than our Congress. Businesses need to recognize the importance of freedom of religion in this county.

Many businesses have taken advantage of judicial rulings against blue laws and are now open on Sundays, in areas dominated by those who worship on Sunday.  This was shown in Utah by the Deseret Morning News, where only “Fifty years ago, almost every major shop and store in Utah was closed on Sundays”, and now, “84% of major Utah stores do business” on Sunday.   Having so many businesses open on a day of worship in a place where over half the occupants identify themselves as Sabbath keepers is begging the question of who is working in those stores that stay open.  Making employees work on weekends has become a standard practice for many companies.  Many of them, unfortunately, have come to a point where they are forcing their employees to work during times that the individual worker believes should be set aside for worship.  These people have the unfair choice to choose between their right to worship, or the job that puts food on their table. 

Business preventing employees from attending worship services may also be affecting church attendance.  In a survey reported by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, there has been a steady decease in the average number of people attending church services.  In 2003 the average number of people attending Protestant church services was 89 compared to 102 in 1992.  The decrease in attendance has, however, been echoed by a major increase in spirituality.  An increase in spirituality with decreasing attendance is a good indicator that there is something else to blame for preventing church attendance.  Business practices cannot be ruled out as a possibility.

Businesses today are mandated to follow the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which is supposed to protect employees from religious discrimination in the workplace.  Unfortunately, there are many loopholes in the enforcement of this act.  An employee is protected “unless an employer demonstrates that he is unable to reasonably accommodate to an employee's or prospective employee's religious observance or practice without undue hardship on the conduct of the employer's business.”  The problem is that the term "undue hardship" can be defined in many different ways.  The broad language of this act allows employers many loopholes.  Under the wording of the act, an employer can deny you the right to attend worship services for just about any reason. 

Businesses have made it clear in their actions that their priorities are centered on how much money they can make.  They have no care for the people and religions that stand in their way.  It’s time we made them adhere to the Constitution that so many fought and died over.  We can make them adhere by passing a law that closes up the loopholes of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Regardless of what religion a person is, we need to have a law to protect everyone's right to worship freely.

Works Cited

Davidson, Lee.  “Open on Sunday? 84% of major Utah stores do business on the

Sabbath”  deseretnews.com. 2005. 23 Jan 2005

< http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,600106453,00.html>

 

Robinson, B.A.  “Trends Among Christians in the U.S.” 

Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. 2006. 18 Oct 2006

< http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_tren.htm>

 

 The Civil Rights Act of 1964.  “Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964” 

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

< http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/vii.html>

 

The United States Constitution.  “The Bill of Rights Amendments 1-10 of the

Constitution

< http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/funddocs/billeng.htm >

 

 

The Answer

Congress needs to pass a law designed to protect the individual person's right to a day of worship.  Regardless of what religion that person is, the law needs to protect everyone's right to weekly worship.

Our proposed act:

"Employers must allow employees twenty-four consecutive hours per  week for the observance of religious Sabbaths, or other religious practices.  Employees not applicable include any employee whose duties necessitate a constant presence to ensure public health and/or safety.  Employees must give written notice to employers stating when the religious Sabbaths or other religious practices are to take place.  Notification is to be given either before the employee’s work schedule is decided, or at least one month prior to the observance of the religious Sabbath, or other religious practice."    

We need your help!  In order to get this idea in front of congress, we need to make ourselves heard.  You can do this by signing a copy of our online petition.  The link is on the top right corner of this page.  

We encourage all people to take charge of ensuring the message gets out, and the petition is signed.  We can not allow our rights to be ignored anymore.  Lets work together to ensure that our children will be able to worship as they believe.

This website is paid for and  maintained by the National Sabbath Protection Association.

 
Online Petition
 

FAQ's

Will this ACT just protect Christians?

Will this ACT make me take a full 24 hours off of work?

Will this ACT just provide protection for those whose Sabbath is on Sunday?

Who's not eligible for a day off?

Will this act be abused?

What effect will this act have on businesses?