Two bills have been introduced into Congress pressing for the adoption of blank-day calendars to go into effect January 1, 1950. This time their sponsors and supporters are determined to succeed. They have organized themselves most thoroughly and are bringing all their influence to bear to enact their new calendar into law, get the President to recommend it to the United Nations, and then have it approved by the United Nations for use by the whole world.
They were defeated in 1930. They were defeated once more in 1945. They do not propose to be defeated again. Taking to heart the lessons of their former failures, they confidently expect to have the world reckoning time and counting days under a new calendar in 95o. There is grave reason to fear they might succeed.
At any rate the time has come for the forces of the church to be summoned to immediate and effective action. We must rely on our ministry to alert our people and lead them in a suprent drive to prevent disaster. For it would be disaster of major proportions for a blank-day calendar to go into effect in this world.
Some may be inclined to minimize the danger, but it is not imaginary. It is real. Its reality cannot be exaggerated. And it is right upon us.
The calendar changes proposed contain impressive advantages which instantly win the enthusiastic support of people generally, especially when their effect on religion and religious observance is not mentioned. They particularly appeal to men of business, industry, banking, and transportation.
H.R. 1242 proposes that the Edwards Perpetual Calendar be put into use January 1, 1950. This is a 364-day calendar, having equal quarters of 91 days each, and the months arranged in a quarterly pattern of 30-30-31 days. Each quarter begins on Monday and has 78 - working days and 13 Sundays. Each month has 26 working days, plus Sundays. Thus comparisons between months, between quarters, between years, are made easy. Holidays, birthdays, and anniveraries all fall on the same day of the week each year.
H.R. 1345 proposes that the World Calendar be put into use January I, 1950. This, too, is a 364-day calendar with equal quarters of 91 days each. The months are arranged in a quarterly pattern of 31-3o-3o days each. Each quarter begins on Sunday and has 78 working days and 13 Sundays. The months also have 26 working days, plus Sundays. And here, too, holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries are stabilized on the same day and date each year.
It is H.R. 1345 which has more chance of approval. It has greater and more impressive support. Consider what will occur if the World Calendar goes into effect in I950.
No change would be noticeable at once—none at all in the Sabbath until a year later. January, I950, would be identical with the Gregorian Calendar. The first difference would be observable in February. This month would have
30 days instead of 28, but there would be no alteration of the days of the week. March would have 30 days rather than 31. April would have
31 rather than 30. May would have 30 instead of 31. August would have 30, not 31. December would have 30 rather than 31. During the entire year under the new calendar no change in the days of the week would occur. That change will take place at the beginning of 1951.
The last day of 195o under the old Gregorian Calendar would be Sunday, December 31, but not under the new World Calendar. The year I950 would close with Saturday, December 30. The following day, Sunday, December 31, would be lifted out of the calendar altogether, not reckoned or counted in the week, in the month, or in the year. It would occur, of course, but be dateless, and, so far as weekdays are concerned, nameless.
It will not be Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. It will not be the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, or seventh day of the week. It will not be the first to the thirty-first day of the month. It will be a day apart, a spare day, an outsider, an interloper, a no-day, a blank day, a bothersome hanger-on, which the calendar reformers wish would not happen.
But they cannot keep the sun from rising on that day and going on its appointed rounds. Consequently they must do something with that day. To admit it to a place in the calendar would destroy all the regularities, the conveniences, the precision of their new reckoning of time. They must have 364 days in their year, not
36574. The number 364 can be divided into exact 91-day quarters; 365% cannot. The annoying 365th day must be banished, eliminated, put to one side. It cannot be counted among the days.
And so Sunday, December 3, 1950, is set aside. It will be designated United Nations Day, or World Peace Day, or simply December W, but with no place in the week, no place in the month.
Then Monday, January I, 1951, the second day of the week, will be re-christened and moved up to Sunday's place. It will be given the name of Sunday. It will be made the first day of the week. Every year, as well as every quarter, of the new calendar must begin with Sunday. This is the way it is done.
The second day of the week is made the first day of the week. Monday becomes Sunday. Of course Tuesday, the third day of the week, must then be made Monday, the second day; Wednesday, the fourth day, moves up to become Tuesday, the third day; Thursday, the fifth day, becomes Wednesday, the fourth day ; Friday, the sixth day, is made Thursday, the fifth day; and Saturday, the true original seventh day, which God blessed and made holy and set apart for worship—Saturday, January 6, 1951—will become Friday, January 6, and be called the sixth day of the week throughout that year, and known as Friday.
In this connection you will not fail to note, and be wise and aggressive in using, the fact that the true first day of the week, Sunday, January 7, 1951, will become the seventh day of the week and be called Saturday throughout 1951.
At the end of 1951 the same procedure occurs again. Another day is dropped. Again, the following day is moved up to take the dropped day's place. Thus in 1952 the true seventh day will be called Thursday, the fifth day of the week. In 1952 this process will occur again at end of June, 1952 being a leap year; and during the last six months the true seventh day will be called Wednesday, the fourth day.
In 1953 the true seventh day will be known as Tuesday, the third day ; in 1954 as Monday, the second day; in 1955 as Sunday, the first day (an interesting year, that, when Seventh-day Adventists would be keeping Sunday). Only in 1956 would the true seventh day resume its original place as Saturday, the seventh day. But only for six months, for 1956 is a leap year. So at the end of June the confusing round begins all over, and continues through all coming time so long as the World Calendar remains.
Consider what it would mean to observers of the true Sabbath to ask for Fridays off from work in 1951; Thursdays and Wednesdays off in 1952; Tuesdays off in 1953; Mondays off in 1954; and so on through the years, if any years remain.
Consider what it would mean for church schools and publishing houses and business offices of sanitariums and conference offices and Book and Bible Houses, and Adventist places of business to close their doors one year on Friday, another on Thursday, then on Wednesday, next on Tuesday, then on Monday.
Consider what it would mean to go to Sabbath school and church on Friday, then Thursday, next on Wednesday, and so on the rest of the days.
Sabbathkeeping is not easy now. It would be infinitely harder then.
Our people are being asked to deluge Congress with letters of protest to H.R. 1242 and H.R. 1345. We ask you, their pastor, their district leader, their spiritual counselor, their conference president, to encourage them in this. We ask you, too, to lead them in it by writing a letter yourself.
Letters from clergymen will exert extra influence. For our protest is on religious grounds. The proposed calendar puts consistent observers of the Sabbath, of Sunday, of any fixed day, under heavy disabilities, and interferes with their religious observances. Let us say so, for every pressure is being brought on the Committee on Foreign Affairs to hurry this legislation.
We ask every worker in the United States to write a letter to Hon. Charles A. Eaton, House Office Building, Washington, D.C., the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in which these bills are now under consideration, letting him know you are a clergyman, or a Christian worker, and want to be recorded as opposing H.R. 1242 and H.R. 134 believing them to be antireligious, anti-Protestant, anti-Catholic, anti-Jewish.
Please write this letter now. And have your members write their letters now.