QuestionMark 2

Christians have their Sundays.

Jews have their Sabbath  Saturdays .

Hairdressers have their Mondays.

The Chinese have their own special calendar.

Muslims have their own Sharia Law.

Difference is what makes the world spin around. We humans  all have all our little idiosyncrasies too .That’s why we strive to have some kind of  laws and structures built into our modern lives. Life would be unmanageable without a set of rules that everyone could build their lives around. Those rules need to supercede all our other notions of right and wrong.They need to trump all others and be fair to everyone , no matter what personal perceptions, eccentricities  or theories that the febrile human mind can conjure up.

There was a time before steam trains and the Industrial Revolution…only a few years ago, really …when we got up when the sun shone and slept when  darkness fell. Clocks only made sense when trains began to run. We began to need them then. Before that , time was a very elastic thing. Electricity and its powerful lighting system  finally  put paid to our natural sleeping patterns. For the first time in thousands of years , we could work at any time of the day or night .It was also the beginning of making the days of the week and the idea of “weekends” almost irrelevant.If you are retired or have spent a lifetime unemployed , that may already be your natural state of mind, anyway .

What if you were a worker , reliant on that  wage coming in?You might be working for a company or have a boss.You’d expect a certain kind of behaviour in the workplace.It would  be expected that everyone was treated fairly, for example. In fact there are now employment laws built into the system to insure this.What if your boss broke those rules and attacked you verbally or even physically?.

I suppose you’d all react differently dependant on personal circumstances. You might  be thinking of all the debt  you’d managed to accrue or you might think about the mortgage. You might simply feel affronted or you might storm out of the room, get into your car , and get away as fast as you can. You might fear for your family’s future and simply take the hurt.

Your boss has just stepped over a social line.

He may have decided he had good reason for dragging you from behind your desk or from your place in that production line .You may not have dug that hole to his satisfaction or the fruit and vegetables you were sorting may have not been to his liking. He might be having his own problems at home. Whatever the reason he had for lifting you by the collar , lambasting you for twenty minutes before  your assembled workmates , and finally winding himself up so tightly that he felt the only thing to do to firmly establish his point of view and critique at your errant performance was to  smack you across the teeth with his balled-fist…..

I’m sure he felt a whole lot better for that.

You’d feel differently of course. You might think you’d been wronged and feel there should  be some lawful redress…

The strange thing is that around a million people signed  a petition in favour of Jeremy Clarkson , the television presenter ,who obviously didn’t think he had a case to answer ,for doing something similar to his producer. They thought he was somehow beyond the laws that might apply to themselves in a similar situation and that because he was the “talent”, he was a special case . Well, he wasn’t a “special” case, as he soon discovered. He was just a man with a bad temper who ‘d violated his work colleague. Barely a word has been spoken about the man he smacked.

Now look at the situation of the Asher’s Bakery dispute where the company  decided that for religious reasons  that they could not supply a customer with a cake slogan  supporting gay marriage.Apparently they had no such   Christian “problem” with a Halloween cake displaying a witch and its roots in Paganism, so you might think they were being  a little choosy .Will there be similar problems with Easter cakes or Easter eggs which celebrate the great Saxon  goddess Eastre of Mother Earth fame ? Apparently thousands of Christians similarly gathered en masse recently , just as Clarkson’s petitioners  had,   at a hall in Belfast ,to also loudly sing and proclaim that their favoured chosen  bakery should  be beyond the law and that this “talent” was similarly a “special” case  . Again , the person who was slighted , like Mr Clarkson’s producer, barely gets a mention.

It has been stated in court that the case against the bakery will not be decided by whosoever shouts the loudest. We can only hope that that is the case here too.

Before we have time to draw breath, another band of Christians are complaining that a football match is to be played on a Sunday. No-one has actually asked them to  take part in the game or  even to attend it as spectators , but they appear incensed that the game should even take place.Are they saying that their entire  religious beliefs are also a “special” case and not just a personal choice, and we should all take heed and make our personal choices to suit  them alone? They would want atheists  to live as they do too.

What if some of us have to work on Sunday? What if our job demands it? There are many shops,  restaurants, hospitals and assorted social services such as transport where it is a necessity to work every day of the week  . Should we heed these people and simply sit on our hands for a specific twenty four hours , every seven days that the earth revolves around the sun? Even if we do not believe a word they say.

Sunday, being the day of the Sun, as the name of the first day of the week, apparently  derives from Egyptian astrology, where the seven planets, known in English as Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury and the Moon, were each assigned a particular  day of the week .The planet that was  brightest on the first hour of the day was given the name for that day.During the 1st and 2nd century, after the Christian demarcation of time became the fashion, the week of seven days was introduced into Rome from Egypt, and it was  the Roman names of the planets that were given to each  day.Of course the names of the week also took on the  old Norse gods like {W}odin, Thor and Freya , so they  are now a right old mixed bag of connotations .

The thing is , do these rabid, hell-fearing Christians, who treat this nominal day as somehow unique, not know any of this or have they given it any thought at all? If laws were left to them alone, we would soon descend to a level of some near religious fascism.


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