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(CBS) Whether you’re planning your Sunday brunch, taking a Sunday drive, or watching Sunday Morning, chances are you have your own Sunday ritual. It’s the first day of the week, and for many, it’s their favorite day.
“I don’t think Sunday will ever be like every other day of the week. It’s a special day. And it will remain a special day,” says author Stephen Miller.
For Miller, the best thing about Sunday is that it is a day of rest. “That it’s a day when you don’t have to do things, when you can just lie around, see people if you want, or not see people.”
And seeing people is a Sunday activity that Americans enjoy. According to a recent survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 40 percent of us socialize on Sundays, but twice as many – eight out of ten – sit back and watch TV, an average of four hours. And then there’s church: one in four attends religious services. And about that same number goes shopping.
But when Sunday Morning first went on the air in 1979, in many parts of the country it was impossible to shop on Sundays: Stores were required to be closed, says Stephen Miller, who’s written a book on the subject: “The Peculiar Life of Sundays” (Harvard University Press).
Americans once had a very narrow choice of permissible Sunday activities: “There were so many arguments in the United States, especially in the 19th century,” Miller said. “Sunday legislation was the second-most debated subject after slavery, because there were different opinions about what you could or couldn’t do on Sunday.”
Those opinions began with the Puritans, who settled in New England in the 1630s. They called it “Strict Sunday Observance.” Sunday was a day for church-going, and “Blue Laws” made almost everything else illegal.
“There were Connecticut blue laws in the 18th century, which said that you could not kiss your baby. You could not tell a joke. There was absolutely no frivolity on Sunday. And you could not play an instrument,” Miller says.
Church organs and hymns aside, music was taboo on Sundays. “There was a French soldier stationed in Boston, and during the Revolutionary War he started playing the flute. He was arrested. No flute-playing on the Sabbath!” Miller laughed.
Some blue laws still exist today, mostly to regulate alcohol sales. But Miller says Americans have come a long way from the age of “strict observance.”
“Gradually, in the 20th century, all the things that we associate with Sunday now started. So, there’s the Sunday drive, the Sunday dinner, Sunday sports. And the Sunday paper,” Miller says. “The Sunday paper with the comics and the crosswords became a major American phenomenon.”
“We continue to relax in front of the Sunday newspaper. One hundred and fifteen million people in America still read a Sunday newspaper. In fact, readership was up last year from the year before,” says Janice Kaplan, the editor of Parade Magazine.
For almost 70 years, it’s been a Sunday institution, now appearing in more than 450 Sunday newspapers across the country, with a parade of covers to show for it. Parade, says Kaplan, would not be Parade on any other day of the week.
“The Sunday paper is so invested with tradition. It’s got all of those different sections in it. Everybody in the family has a section they want to read. And everybody pulls the one that means something to them. And then maybe they pass it around the Sunday table,” Kaplan says.
One favorite section is Sunday Sports – two words that for millions of Americans have become synonymous with each other. Sports, like the newspapers that cover them, are now a firmly-established Sunday tradition.
“It was no small thing for Super Bowl to become an adjective for Sunday,” says historian Craig Harline, who has written about how professional football became a weekly ritual in America, in =http: www.randomhouse.com=”" catalog=”" display.pperl?isbn=”978038551039″>”Sunday: A History of the First Day from Babylonia to the Super Bowl” (Random House).
“Now you look at the Super Bowl, and it’s this odd combination of religion, strip tease show, and, you know, who knows what else. But certainly it’s bigger than football. It’s about an American civil religion.”
Which makes sense, says Harline, because football would not have been accepted on Sundays had it not first assumed a religious significance starting in the late 19th century. “Most Americans considered themselves Christians. And so they had to find a way to reconcile that. And the way they did that was, you know, this is a different day. Sunday is a special day. Most civilizations celebrate their holiest days with sports. Why wouldn’t that be true in America as well?” Harline explains.
And so Sunday became a day for games and celebrations. But not for everyone.
There was nothing festive about the song “Gloomy Sunday,” recorded by Billie Holiday in 1941. Stephen Miller says it reflects a larger theme in popular music: Sunday as a dark day:
“Gloomy is Sunday,
With shadows I spend it all.
My heart and I
Have decided to end it all.
Soon there’ll be candles
And prayers that are said, I know,
But let them not weep,
Let them know that I’m glad to go.
Death is no dream
For in death I’m caressing you.
With the last breath of my soul
I’ll be blessing you.”
“In fact, it was banned by the BBC during the war because it was too depressing,” Miller says.
“You’re talking about bein’ alone on a Saturday night, that’s sad, you know?” says music journalist Fred Goodman. “Bein’ alone on a Sunday morning, that’s tragic.”
Goodman says some songs about Sunday sadness focus on failed expectations for our day off.
“One of the great examples is Kris Kristofferson’s song, ‘Sunday Morning Coming Down.’ It’s about a guy who’s down on his luck, you know, and really has nothing. And he’s talking about Sunday morning. What do most people do on Sunday morning? You know, they’re with their family, they’re going to church, whatever. This guy’s, like, you know, sleepin’ off a drunk on the sidewalk. You know, he’s got nothing.”
Therapists have been listening to the real-life Sunday blues for years. In fact, Sunday actually has a psychiatric disorder named after it.
“There’s a famous diagnosis in the early 20th century, [when] the discipline and practice of psychology emerged: Sunday neurosis,” historian Harline explains. “The person who couldn’t bear the coming of Sunday, because it threw them out of their routine. Sunday is timeless and it’s open. There isn’t that schedule that you have the rest of the week. And some people can’t bear that.”
Not writer Judith Shulevitz. In her upcoming book “The Sabbath World,” she argues just the opposite: She wants to keep Sundays timeless. In a world of 24/7 commerce, she’s pushing for a return to laws that would shut down businesses one day a week.
“If everybody has to stop working, then they have to, sort of, pay attention to their family, to themselves, to their community,” she argues.
“So in this campaign, where do you even start?” Charles Osgood asks.
“I don’t pretend to have the answer in terms of legislation. I just start by trying to point out the benefits and to just say ‘Let’s remember the Sabbath. Let’s remember what it did for us in the past. And let’s think about what it could do for us in the future,’” Shulevitz explains.
“It’s fast becoming like other days, because of the commercialization of Sunday,” says Miller. “We’re losing a day of rest. We’re sort of ‘on’ all the time now. What effect does this have on our psyche? So I think we are losing something.”
Which brings us back to the Puritans of the 1630s: their measures may now seem extreme, but what if they were actually onto something?
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Brussels, Belgium, Feb 16, 2009 (CNA).- The secretariat of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community has welcomed a proposed EU law that would safeguard Sunday as a day of rest from work.
According to L’Osservatore Romano, the secretariat issued a statement praising the measure proposed by five EU parliamentarians to recognize the value of “Sunday rest as part of the ‘cultural patrimony’ and ‘European social model’.”
“The current economic and financial crisis has made it even more evident that not every aspect of human life can be subject to the laws of the market,” the bishops stressed.
“In fact, consumerism is not a model either for a sustainable economy or for healthy human development.” Sunday work, they continued, “puts those who work on Sunday into a socially disadvantageous position, affecting everything from family life to their own personal health.”
The proposed measure, which would need 394 votes to pass in the EU parliament, would call on member states and EU institutions to “protect Sunday as the weekly day of rest” in order “to improve the protection of workers’ health and the balancing of work and family life.” -17-February-2009 — Catholic News Agency
In policy terms, December, 2008 is not turning out to be a keeper for French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Less than 24 hours after his government was forced to delay much touted education reforms in the face of protests by high school students, Sarkozy was forced to make big concessions to plans to legalize Sunday trading in France. Far from the sweeping liberalization Sarkozy had called for as part of his plan to let French employees “work more to earn more”, the compromise bill will modestly augment the number of exceptional Sundays shops are already permitted to open.
Parliament is scheduled to begin debating the bill today, more than a week later than intended. The reform would have overturned a 1906 law that sets aside Sunday for rest and allowed shops in France’s largest cities to open as they wished. But it faced fierce opposition from both the left and right. Socialist legislators have already filed over 4,000 amendments to the draft law, while members of Sarkozy’s own ruling conservative majority have used a mix of religious and familial concerns to oppose it. With the number of right-wing dissenters growing ever larger, Sarkozy was forced to cave and save what he could of his Sunday legislation. (Read Tony Blair’s view of Sarkozy, a runner-up for TIME’s Person of the Year.)
“We’re no longer talking about a generalization of Sunday opening hours,” crowed Marc Le Fur, a member of Sarkozy’s conservative Union for a Popular Majority (UMP). “France and the French people remain fond of Sunday as a rest day. This text will conserve Sundays as a day of rest.”
Opinion polls in France show that slightly more than half the population want shops to have the freedom to open on Sundays. But a powerful range of opponents combined against the idea. Leftist politicians and unions, for example, denounced the plan as introducing a seven-day work week. That, they say, would allow bosses to force workers to work Sundays — despite measures in the original bill that stipulated Sunday hours were both optional, and higher-paid. Conservatives, meantime, brushed off Sarkozy’s assurances that the extra day of activity would boost France’s economy, and focused on the fact that Sunday trading would deprive families, associations, and church groups the one day of free time people build their week around. (See pictures of Sarkozy and his wife in London.)
Realizing he would not win this battle, Sarkozy amended the proposal. It now calls for doubling the number of exceptions to Sunday closing rules per year from the current five to 10, not counting the period prior to Christmas. Even then, however, city councils must approve local extension of Sunday openings, a green light that may prove hard to obtain after the nation-wide romp the Socialists enjoyed in municipal elections last spring. “Don’t bother voting this text, because it won’t be applied,” warned Socialist Party leader and mayor of Lille Martine Aubry. “We’ll be as ferocious in battling this project as we were the initial one.”
Perhaps. But the government still appoints regional prefects, and they wield veto power over how municipalities apply new laws. Sarkozy and Sunday-minded shop owners could yet have the last laugh yet.
2 SDA Women seek to abolish Sabbath!
God’s true calendar not a 7-day cycle?
Some Christians challenging system, say Sabbath ‘floats’ month to month
Posted: August 22, 2008
10:35 pm Eastern
By Joe Kovacs
(c) 2008 WorldNetDaily
Is it possible the entire world is just plain wrong when it comes to the current method of counting of days, weeks and months?
At least two Christian women on the Pacific Coast think so, as they claim God’s original calendar set into motion at Creation is not based on a continuous seven-day week.
Their belief is that the “true” system of counting time is tied to what is called a “lunisolar” calendar, based upon both the sun and phases of the moon. They contend every new moon restarts the seven-day cycle, rather than having a continuous seven-day cycle which currently runs the world.
Laura Lee Vornholt-Jones
“I could have gone my whole life and such a concept would have never occurred to me,” says Laura Lee Vornholt-Jones, a 39-year-old full-time mother in Spokane, Wash., who has adjusted her traditional Seventh-Day Adventist outlook of Saturday observance to this alternate method since learning of it in late 2006. “It was Earth-shattering to say the least.”
Vornholt-Jones has posted this theory on her 4AngelsPublications website, where she offers her book on the issue, “The Great Calendar Controversy,” for sale and for free viewing online.
She told WND she still observes a Sabbath – that is to say, a biblical day of rest – every seven days; but she says the precise day of the week for that Sabbath actually floats from month to month when compared to the Gregorian calendar commonly used today.
The theory suggests whatever day of the week the new moon occurs on, that particular day becomes “Day One” of the month.
Then, count seven days from Day One until you reach the initial Sabbath of the month, which would always be on the eighth calendar day of the month. The next day of rest would be on the 15th, then the 22nd and 29th.
Vornholt-Jones and her friend, photographer Kerrie French of Garden Valley, Calif., sought to bring the issue to light after reading a 2001 WND story in which Jan Marcussen, a fellow Seventh-Day Adventist from Thompsonville, Ill., was so sure there was no Bible verse declaring the first day of the week to be the Sabbath, he offered up to $1 million for clear, Scriptural proof.
French says she became aware of this concept in July of last year.
“I studied it in depth for three months before making a complete ‘paradigm shift’ from a Saturday Sabbath to what I call the lunisolar Creation Sabbath,” French said. “It was at a Hebrew-style wedding. The bride-to-be mentioned that Saturday was no longer her Sabbath, but that her Sabbath for that month of July 2007 was actually on Tuesday. I was shocked!”
The women claim according to this method of reasoning, every Sabbath in August 2008 actually falls on Sunday, the first day of the week.
“It’s total bunk. These woman don’t know anything from whence they speak,” says one WND reader. “The Bible says on the seventh day God rested and hallowed it. That was from the creation of the world, I don’t know how much clearer you can get. The weekly Sabbath has nothing to do with the lunar or solar year. It never has, not even until this day. Jesus followed the same seventh day that Jews and Saturday-observant Christians follow today.”
Vornholt-Jones claims that persecution of both Jews and Christians became so intense in the 4th century, that knowledge of the “true” system was actually lost.
As WND has reported, the whole subject of Sabbath observance is a hotly contested one in Christian circles, with believers split among Saturday, Sunday, any day of the week or even no special day of rest of any kind.
When it comes to the origin of calendars, historians don’t always provide concrete, universal answers.
For instance, the Encyclopedia Britannica explains, “The origin of the Jewish calendar can no longer be accurately traced.”
It goes on to reveal disputes among scholars between the observance of a solar year in ancient Israel or a lunisolar calendar “similar to that of ancient Babylonia.”
The online Jewish Encyclopedia clearly defines the Sabbath as “The seventh day of the week; the day of rest.” But the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia asserts, “The new moon is still, and the Sabbath originally was, dependent upon the lunar cycle … . ”
Pastor Robert B. Scott of Edmonton, Alberta, told WND: “Regardless of what Jews have done or not done in history, nowhere in God’s Word does proof exist that the new moons are to be regarded as holy Sabbath convocations for corporate worship. Whatever Jews may have done in history is irrelevant in determining whether the new moons are Sabbaths. We must obey the Word – not history.”
Most nations of the world today abide by the Gregorian calendar, a solar-based system with 365 and 1/4 days, with individual weeks cycling every seven days from Sunday through Saturday.
It was proclaimed in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII as a reform of the Julian calendar, which was instituted by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C., though not operating smoothly until A.D. 8.
Vornholt-Jones maintains she’s still a Seventh-Day Adventist, but says this concept is not exclusive to members of her church.
“I have heard of Catholics, I’ve talked to people with the Worldwide Church of God, Messianic Jews … people in Africa, Australia – so it’s not just a localized thing,” she said.
Regarding the ladies’ attempt to cash in on the million-dollar challenge from 2001, WND contacted Marcussen who said:
“The offer was to anyone who could give one Bible verse showing that God commands us to keep holy the first day of the week [Sunday] instead of the seventh day [Saturday]. …
“So I read the letter that you received, looking for the required Bible verse. I couldn’t find it. Why not? Because it’s not there. …
“Both ministers and people have responded, seeking to show the desired change of God’s holy Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week. They say many nice things, but Scripture proof is always lacking.”
Regarding the assertion the true calendar does not have a continuous weekly cycle, Marcussen said, “Any society that tried to carry on their schools, church or business without ‘a continuous weekly cycle’ would be in utter chaos. The poor people would get so confused that they wouldn’t know what to do.”
He cited 1 Corinthians 14:33 which states, “God is not the author of confusion.”
He pointed out that the seventh-day Sabbath being Saturday has so permeated the cultures of the world for so long that many languages have the exact same word for both. In Greek, it is sabbaton; Italian, sabato; Spanish, sábado; Russian, subbota; Polish, sobota; and Hungarian, szómbat. Even the French “samedi” is from the Latin “Sambata dies,” for “day of the Sabbath.”
Marcussen added: “The ‘challenge’ will continue, but society is now in such a state that I will ask for people to use either the ‘Authorized’ King James Version of the Bible, or the New King James Version, lest someone try to get the money by writing a book with the desired statement in it, and call their book, ‘The Bible.’”
When asked how many people share the lunar Sabbath belief, Vornholt-Jones said there’s no way to be certain.
“No one has ever even tried to find out how many there are as the focus has always been on the truth itself, rather than how many adhere to that truth,” she said.
But floating the Sabbath day from month to month does have ramifications.
“For me, it has not been difficult in the least, because I am self-employed, and do not have children in school,” said French. “My husband, however, is not with me in this; but I see the spirit of [God] working with him as he is studying his Bible as never before.”
I need to as that if what they say is true, and the Sabbath “floats” from month to month, WHERE in the Bible does it say God told the Jews about this back when they kept His Sabbath holy for thousands of years? NOT ONE Bible verse backs this false doctrine in any way shape or form. It appears they are confusing annual sabbaths with the weekly Sabbath. In fact, nowhere in the Word of God does God associate His weekly Sabbath with the Sun or the moon! This is just another Roman Catholic attack on the Sabbath of the Creator.
The Decline of the Sabbath
Less praying, more working and playing.
BY MOLLIE ZIEGLER HEMINGWAY
Friday, June 15, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT
Wall Street Journal
For many Americans, Sunday is unlike any other day of the week. They spend its luxurious hours curled up in bed with the paper, meeting friends for brunch, working off hangovers, watching golf, running errands and preparing themselves for the workweek ahead. But Sunday is also, for many, the Sabbath–a special day for religious reasons. Not that you would notice.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” we are told in Exodus. Of all the gifts Jews gave the world, that of a weekly day of rest is certainly one to be cherished. And yet the Sabbath is now marked more by its neglect than its keeping. Or so says Christopher Ringwald in his new book “A Day Apart.”
Mr. Ringwald notes that in the late 18th century, states banned entertainment, hunting or unnecessary travel on Sundays. The Second Great Awakening in the early 1800s spread Sabbath-keeping to the frontiers. Church membership doubled, Sunday schools proliferated and long sermons dominated the morning. It was unthinkable that the general store would remain open on the Sabbath. “Nothing strikes a foreigner on his arrival in America more forcibly than the regard paid to the Sabbath,” Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in 1840. “Not only have all ceased to work, but they appear to have ceased to exist.” The so-called blue laws that were a part of American culture–closing down bars and preventing the sale of liquor on Sunday–were commonplace well into the 20th century.
But the Sabbath today is at odds with commercial culture. To generalize shamelessly from personal experience: My brother-in-law, who manages a national retail store in Colorado, works on Sundays, following church. He was shocked recently to find out he is now required to open the store on Easter Sunday. Easter used to be the one Sunday each year when retail stores closed. No longer.
Of course, debates over the proper observance of the Sabbath date back to ancient times. One early conflict between Jesus and his fellow Jews was over what it meant to keep the Sabbath. Jesus’ failure to hew to ever-expanding rules–he healed the sick on the Sabbath–angered the Pharisees.
Not that Christians later fell into easy agreement about Sabbath conduct. In another new book, “Sunday: A History of the First Day From Babylonia to the Super Bowl,” Craig Harline shows how all sorts of complicated rules governing work, travel, sex and leisure grew up around the Sabbath in medieval Europe, creating a tangle of proscriptions that had overwhelmed the day by the 14th century. One genre of church mural at the time, known as the “Sunday Christ,” showed Jesus surrounded by tools of the fishing, carpentry and farming trades. Each ax, rake and fishing hook inflicted a fresh wound on the crucified Christ. The message was not lost on worshipers: Work on the Sabbath only added to Jesus’ suffering.
Reformation leader Martin Luther resisted such Sabbath guilt, saying that the commandment was kept by daily worship and high regard for God’s Word, not strict rules governing behavior. Discussing the Sabbath, he highlighted Paul’s relief at being free from the demands of Jewish law. And yet from the 16th century to the modern era, a Sabbath consensus emerged. Christians were to keep Sunday as a day of rest and worship, and their governments supported this pious notion. The day of rest did not become secularized until very recently.
What happened? It is hard to say. Both Mr. Ringwald and Mr. Harline note that our religious practices are more and more isolated from the habits of the broader culture. Think only of the coarseness of the Internet, gossip rags and Hollywood fare in a country that claims 45% church attendance every Sunday: We live now on two tracks, a secular and a religious one, shuttling between them all too easily.
This Sabbath dissonance was evident even in the 1950s, Mr. Harline notes. More than 90% of American homes had a television, and some 37% were tuned to Sunday football.
“Sundays changed when the world changed,” he writes. Stopping farming in the Middle Ages was easy. But to close restaurants, shut up amusement parks or clear the airwaves when Americans with money were trying to spend it that day was impossible.
The flip side to the prosperity we enjoy is that we have lost our day of rest for another day of consumption. The pace of commerce and technology provide unheard of options for ignoring family, religion and rest–not just on the Sabbath but every day of the week.
Ultimately, Mr. Ringwald would like to see the Sabbath restored to one track–if not a strictly religious one, then one not actively secular. Taking a day of rest protects us from ourselves, he writes, from “our urge to always be doing, improving, earning, getting, spending, having, consuming–all the ways we hurry on toward death.”
Ms. Hemingway is a writer in Washington.
Basketball champs refuse to play on Sabbath
League winners skip tournament, say ‘Experiencing Christ’ better than to ‘Take state’
Posted: February 20, 2008
1:48 pm Eastern © 2008 WorldNetDaily
The mission statement for Campion Academy, a Seventh-day Adventist Church school in Colorado, is painted on the outside of the gymnasium, “Experiencing Christ in a Learning Environment.” It isn’t, “Take State.”
So there have been virtually no serious complaints when the school’s basketball team, winning the Northern Front Range League title in Class 2A basketball competition with a 13-1 record this year, again will not be participating in the Colorado High School Activities Association’s state competition.
The team, the league champion for the fourth year, instead, is playing at a tournament for Seventh-day Adventist schools in Nebraska, according to a report in the Denver Post.
The academy’s athletic director and basketball coach, Troy Beans, said he knew starting out the school was “academic-oriented.”
“Sports aren’t at the top of the list by any means,” he told the newspaper.
The 101-year-old academy teaches strict adherence to the Ten Commandments, including the 4th, which is “Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.” It defines the Sabbath as the traditional Jewish day from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.
The result? No games on Friday night or Saturday.
The state association had agreed to work with the school, and allow the Cougars to continue to compete as long as their opponents were flexible on the scheduling of games.
But the members of Campion’s faculty voted against moving forward.
Beans disagrees, respectfully, with that decision, as do some players.
“I think it would be a good opportunity for our team to show who we really are, and be a good ministry for our school and our religion,” starting center Nathan Lorenz told the newspaper.
Michael Beans, the coach’s son, is a senior guard and scores 16 points per game.
He told the Post it’s “frustrating” that recognition such as a championship is available for the school, but the team won’t have that opportunity.
But his opinion couldn’t be described as rebellion.
“I love this school, and I love this atmosphere,” he said.
Many of the 155 students in grades 9-12 board on campus and work in various positions at the school, which only joined the state activities association in 1997. Troy Beans’ father and grandfather also attended, but the three were able to participate only in intramural athletics.
Another Seventh-day Adventist school, Mile High Academy in nearby Denver, also has sports teams but the school doesn’t hold a membership in the state organization.
Principal John Winslow said there’s really no reason to change the school’s priorities.
“I think of it in this realm: With all we have here, it’s difficult to extend our season … We want to have good seasons, and then we’re going to our local kind of church playoffs … and we’re going to call it good,” he told the newspaper.
“We’re just trying to keep a balance,” he said.
Pope demands respect for Sundays
Pope Benedict XVI has appealed for renewed respect for Sundays as he celebrated Mass at St Stephen’s cathedral in the heart of Vienna.
He was speaking on the final day of his three-day visit to Austria. In his sermon, the Pope said leisure was a good thing amid the mad rush of the modern world, but warned of the dangers of it becoming wasted time. Correspondents say the papal visit to Austria comes as the influence of the Catholic Church is in decline there.
“Give the soul its Sunday, give Sunday its soul,” the Pope said, quoting a phrase coined by a German bishop in the 20th Century. “Leisure time is certainly something good and necessary, especially amid the mad rush of the modern world,” he said in his sermon. The Pope added though that if leisure lacked an inner focus, it could easily become wasted time. The number of Austrians who regularly attend Sunday Mass has diminished to a tiny proportion of those who call themselves Catholics, according to church statistics, BBC’s David Willey reports from Vienna. The Pope was visiting Austria not only as a pilgrim, but also as a missionary, according to the local press. His aim during the three-day visit was to help revitalise religious practice in an increasingly secular Austrian society, our correspondent adds. -EuroNews today Austria
Pope: Sunday Worship a “Necessity” For All
Pope Benedict XVI says your life depends upon worshiping on Sunday.
“Sine dominico non possumus!” “Without Sunday [worship] we cannot live!” Pope Benedict xvi declared during a mass on September 9 at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna.
Speaking on the final day of his three-day visit to Austria, the German pope voiced a strong call for Christians to revive Sunday keeping as an all-important religious practice.
“Give the soul its Sunday, give Sunday its soul,” he chanted before a rain-soaked crowd of 40,000.
Benedict said that Sunday, which he stated has its origin as “the day of the dawning of creation,” was “also the church’s weekly feast of creation.”
Warning against the evils of allowing Sunday to become just a part of the weekend, the pope said people needed to have a spiritual focus during the first day of the week, or else leisure time would just become wasted time.
Sunday worship, he warned, was not just a “precept” to be casually adhered to, but a “necessity” for all people.
In the opening greeting, the archbishop of Vienna said a movement in Austria had been initiated to protect “Sunday from tendencies to empty [it] of its meaning.”
In Austria, most businesses are restricted from operating on Sunday. However, some business groups are pressuring the government to be allowed to open, a move Roman Catholic groups vehemently oppose.
During Benedict’s trip to Austria, he called for Europe to look to its Christian roots, to trust in God and to defend traditional values.
The pope has been very vocal about Europe’s Christian—or Catholic—roots, and is pushing to have them included in the European Constitution. Although laws concerning Sunday worship are currently determined by individual nations, look for the European Union to eventually gain jurisdiction over the work week—which is one big reason the Catholic Church is so intimately involved with the evolution of the EU. For more on the Catholic Church and Europe, read “The Pope Trumpets Sunday” by the Trumpet’s editor in chief.
‘Never on Sunday,’Scientologists told
Group considered business, not a church, in Germany – sales banned on worship day
Posted: January 27, 2007
7:10 p.m. Eastern © 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
A controversial new Scientology center that opened two weeks ago in one of Berlin’s upscale neighborhoods won’t be open on Sundays like Christian churches in the German capital – the government considers the group a business rather than a church and, as such, it falls under the country’s rigid Sunday closing laws, Der Spiegel reports.
The 43,000-square-foot center, located in the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district, is just the latest effort by the Los Angeles-based Church of Scientology to make inroads into Germany.
Scientologists have been under surveillance for years by the domestic intelligence service, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, and numerous court challenges to the monitoring have been made.
In 2003, a Berlin court ruled the group could not be monitored by German states since it was too small to constitute a threat. The ruling did not restrict the federal government.
“It is indispensable that Scientology be carefully observed in every state,” Guenther Beckstein, a Bavarian interior minister, was quoted as saying by the newspaper Berliner Zeitung.
In 1995, the German Federal Labor Court ruled that Scientology is “neither a religion nor an ideology.”
The German federal government categorizes Scientology as a commercial enterprise that takes advantage of those who are vulnerable.
Scientologists reject the charge, saying they are a religion and calling surveillance an abuse of their religious freedom.
The center’s private opening ceremony was met by protestors – primarily neighbors who worried their children might be lured into the building by the agressive offers of sidewalk recruiters offering free mental-health checkups. Some carried banners reading, “No brainwashing.”
A Berlin official, meeting with members of the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf this week, said that the city had reviewed existing laws and determined nothing could be done to limit the center’s outreach activities.
“In our view, this is a business activity,” Marc Schulte, the city district’s economic advisor, told the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel.
Community officials, responding to pressure from the center’s neighbors and armed with the legal opinion that Scientologists seeking to recruit new members are involved in marketing, have invoked Germany’s strict Sunday closing laws that prohibit business activities on that day.
Officials say they will closely monitor the Scientologists to make certain they are following the law.
Germany has been repeatedly criticized by the U.S. State Department in its annual Human Rights Report for continued monitoring of the group, Associated Press reported, despite acknowledgments by security officials no evidence of illegal activity has been found.
The Church of Scientology claims 30,000 adherents in Germany while the government estimates it has only 5,000-6,000 members.
Sabbath-Sunday Bill Survey Shows Support
by Hillel Fendel
(IsraelNN.com) MK Zevulun Orlev (NRP) has announced the findings of a poll showing 56% support amongst Israelis for his proposed legislation making Sunday a day of rest and allowing some public transportation and entertainment on the Sabbath.
Orlev’s bill would change the official approach to Sabbath as the country’s day of rest. Though businesses and government offices would continue to be closed, places of entertainment would be permitted to open – and public transportation, now banned in most cities on the Sabbath, would be available. The bill stipulates that such transportation and entertainment would be carried out with maximum
sensitivity to the religious public.
A survey commissioned by Orlev finds that 56% of the public support his initiative, while 30% object. The poll was carried out by Brain Base (Maagar Mochot) Institute, headed by Prof. Yitzchak Katz.
Orlev’s bill, which he proposed last week, also calls for a second day of rest during the week – Sunday – during which businesses and offices would be closed. This would enable Sabbath-observant families to spend more time together, Orlev explains. Work hours lost to Sunday would be made up largely by increasing the workday on Mondays through Fridays from 8 to 9 hours.
The survey divides the respondents into religious categories, such as secular, hareidi-religious, etc. However, it lumps together the religious-Zionist public with those who consider themselves “traditional,” i.e., minimally observant. The poll finds that 64% of this joint “sector” supports the new bill.
The two groups were combined in the poll, despite the expectation that the two would not have similar views of the issue. Other findings of the poll show, in fact, that support for the bill increases as level of religious observance decreases. For instance, 64% of the secular public supports the bill, compared to only 6% of the hareidi-religious public.
Asked to explain, Orlev’s spokesman Moshe Inbar told Arutz-7 that the breakdown was determined by the pollster, “in consultation with me.” Inbar said that lumping the two sectors together is in keeping with the NRP’s new policy of “opening its gates” to the traditional community.
Arutz-7: “But information is missing from the poll, in that we do not know how many of the mainstream NRP voters – the religious-Zionist public – supports this bill.”
In response, Inbar first suggested that “you can commission your own poll,” but then added, “You can extrapolate from the other findings…”
Orlev said his bill was formulated with the help of leading religious-Zionist rabbis, and does not openly permit activities that are forbidden by the Torah, “but rather does not mention them.”
MK Yitzchak Levy of the National Union party said the bill paves the way for further deterioration in the character of the Sabbath in the State of Israel. The National Union and the NRP joined forces for the last national election, merging into one electoral list.
Return the Church and moral law to their proper place in society
Return the Church and moral law to their proper place in society, Pope Benedict tells Italian lawyers
Vatican City, Dec. 11, 2006 (CNA) – Saturday Pope Benedict XVI received participants in the 56th national study congress, promoted by the Union of Italian Catholic Jurists, which is being held in Rome on the theme: “Secularity and secularities.” The Holy Father told the lawyers how the idea of secularity has been corrupted and challenged them to create a society in which the Church and the moral law are returned to their rightful place.
The concept of secularity, said the Holy Father in his address to the group, originally referred to “the condition of simple faithful Christian, not belonging to the clergy or the religious state. During the Middle Ages it acquired the meaning of opposition between civil authorities and ecclesial hierarchies, and in modern times it has assumed the significance of the exclusion of religion and its symbols from public life by confining them to the private sphere and the individual conscience. In this way, the term secularity has acquired an ideological meaning quite opposite to the one it originally held.”
Secularity today, then, “is understood as a total separation between State and Church, the latter not having any right to intervene in questions concerning the life and behavior of citizens. And such secularity even involves the exclusion of religious symbols from public places.”
In accordance with this definition, the Pope continued, “today we hear talk of secular thought, secular morals, secular science, secular politics. In fact, at the root of such a concept, is an a-religious view of life, thought and morals; that is, a view in which there is no place for God, for a Mystery that transcends pure reason, for a moral law of absolute value that is valid in all times and situations.”
The Holy Father underlined the need “to create a concept of secularity that, on the one hand, grants God and His moral law, Christ and His Church, their just place in human life at both an individual and a social level, and on the other hand affirms and respects the ‘legitimate autonomy of earthly affairs’.”
The Church, the Pope reiterated, cannot intervene in politics, because that would “constitute undue interference.”
However, he said, “‘healthy secularity’ means that the State does not consider religion merely as an individual sentiment that can be confined to the private sphere.” Rather, it must be “recognized as a … public presence. This means that all religious confessions (so long as they do not contrast the moral order and are not dangerous to public order) are guaranteed free exercise of their acts of worship.”
Hostility against “any form of political or cultural relevance of religion,” and in particular against “any kind of religious symbol in public institutions” is a degenerated form of secularity, said the Holy Father, as is “refusing the Christian community, and those who legitimately represent it, the right to pronounce on the moral problems that today appeal to the conscience of all human beings, particularly of legislators.
” This,” he added, “does not constitute undue interference of the Church in legislative activity, which is the exclusive competence of the State, but the affirmation and the defense of those great values that give meaning to people’s lives and safeguard their dignity. These values, even before being Christian, are human, and therefore cannot leave the Church silent and indifferent, when she has the duty firmly to proclaim the truth about man and his destiny.”
The Pope concluded by highlighting the need “to bring people to understand that the moral law God gave us – and that expresses itself in us through the voice of conscience – has the aim not of oppressing us but of freeing us from evil and of making us happy. We must show that without God man is lost, and that the exclusion of religion from social life, and in particular the marginalization of Christianity, undermines the very foundations of human coexistence. Such foundations, indeed, before being of the social and political order, belong to the moral order.”
An Unwelcome Rest
Politicians come under pressure to tear up France’s archaic trading laws after a flagship Paris fashion store is told it can’t open on Sundays
By PETER GUMBEL
Vuitton: The Art of Retail
Sunday, Jun. 04, 2006
What does it take to be able to do business on a Sunday? Ask Louis Vuitton. The luxury retailer’s revamped flagship store on the Champs Elysées has been attracting thousands of visitors every day since it reopened last October. But last week, a Paris tribunal ruled that the luxury-goods firm has been breaking the law by opening its huge, 1,800-sq-m emporium on Sundays, one of its most heavily trafficked days.
Although much Sunday trading is banned in France, Louis Vuitton had received an exemption from the Paris prefect by arguing that the store was a cultural landmark, not just a commercial one. But the tribunal upheld a complaint brought by a national federation representing small clothing retailers and a French Christian labor union. The federation took issue with what it sees as unfair competition, while the CFTC union — which doesn’t represent any workers at the Louis Vuitton store — insists that Sunday should be a day of rest. “The little luggage store on the Champs Elysées is not above the law,” crowed a sarcastic CFTC press release.
Yves Carcelle, Louis Vuitton’s president, slammed the decision as “an unacceptable, Malthusian interpretation of the law,” and said it puts 70 jobs at risk; the firm plans to appeal. The ruling highlights the variety of highly restrictive regulations on France’s statute books that govern shopping, including criminal penalties for promotional sales below cost. There are also gaping contradictions: while Sunday trading as a rule is outlawed, cinemas, restaurants, cafés and fast-food chains are allowed to open. In today’s Paris, it’s one thing to eat a burger and quite another to indulge in a diet of luxury
France Enforces Sunday Rest
WORLDWATCH: EUROPE September 2006
In May, French courts ruled that the Louis Vuitton flagship store must remain closed on Sundays in accordance with law. The suit was brought against the famous Paris fashion house by the French Confederation of Christian Workers. Three facts are revealing:
1) The union that sued has no employees at the store.
2) All 300 employees of the store voted in favor of opening on Sundays.
3) An Ipsos telephone survey in April showed that 75 percent of French citizens polled approve of stores opening on Sunday.
Those three facts—along with every fact associated with this case—changed nothing though. Even if every American citizen approved of it, a community that began driving 50 miles an hour over the speed limit in school zones would still be violating law. In this case, French law was clearly violated: Thou shalt rest on Sunday.
But where does a law like that come from, especially when the citizens of the nation don’t want it? How can the French government defend that law’s existence?
The popular defense of the law is that small merchants can’t compete with larger retailers that have the resources to remain open on Sundays and therefore need government protection. That is poppycock. The law itself is 100 years old—a time when said large retailers simply didn’t have that ability. The National Clothing Federation might be able to make that argument today, but it has nothing to do with the origins of enforced rest on Sunday.
Enforced Sunday worship began with the Roman Empire—specifically Emperor Constantine.
In a letter written after the Nicene Council of a.d. 325, Constantine specifically addressed Sabbath worship: “[F]rom this day forward none of your unlawful assemblies may presume to appear in any public or private place. Let this edict be made public.”
Worship on any day except Sunday was illegal, as confirmed at the Council of Laodicea almost 40 years later, in a.d. 363. At that conference, it was determined, “Christians must not Judaize by resting on the Sabbath [that is, Saturday], but must work on that day, rather honoring the Lord’s Day. … But if any shall be found to be Judaizers, let them be anathema [cursed and excommunicated] from Christ” (emphasis ours throughout).
At the Council of Tours in a.d. 1163, Pope Alexander iii was even more specific: “Whereas a damnable heresy [Sabbath worship] has for some time lifted its head in the parts about Toulouse, and already spread infection through Gascony and other provinces, concealing itself like a serpent in its folds; as soon as its followers shall have been discovered, let no man afford them refuge on his estates; neither let there be any communication with them in buying and selling: so that, being deprived of the solace of human conversation, they may be compelled to return from error to wisdom.” In other words, if you worshiped on some day other than Sunday, you couldn’t do business.
That is where Sunday labor laws have their origin. Working on Sunday marks those who do so as pernicious in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church, a stance many European governments have supported throughout the last 1,700 years.
Today, Louis Vuitton is unable to sell its handbags on the Catholic day of rest. In the future, as Europe becomes more integrated and the Vatican takes on a greater leadership role, we know that Sunday observance will be enforced as an identifying sign of the next incarnation of the Holy Roman Empire. For more information, please write for your free copy of Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast?
When Malls Stay Open on Sundays, the Pious Party
By Richard Morin Washington Post
Thursday, September 14, 2006; Page A02
Who knew Satan worked at the local mall?
While bars, cheap hotels and similar places of questionable repute may remain America’s favorite spots to sin, two economists say that giving people an extra day to shop at the mall also contributes significantly to wicked behavior — particularly among people who are the most religious.
Jonathan Gruber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Daniel M. Hungerman of the University of Notre Dame discovered the malevolent Mall Effect by studying what happened when states and counties repeal “blue laws.” Those statutes prohibit the sale on Sunday of certain nonessential items, such as appliances, furniture and jewelry, typically sold in shopping malls, as well as liquor and cigarettes.
Gruber and Hungerman found that when states eliminated blue laws, church attendance declined while drinking and drug use increased significantly among young adults. Even more striking, the biggest change in bad behavior mostly occurred among those who frequently attended religious services, they report in a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, “The Church vs. the Mall: What Happens When Religion Faces Increased Secular Competition?”
At one time, all but eight states had blue laws. Today 13 have statewide Sunday selling bans on some products or leave it up to local jurisdictions to decide, with mall owners among those leading the fight to get these statutes off the books.
It turns out those business owners may be doing the devil’s work. Before the shopping ban was lifted, about 37 percent of people in a state on average attended religious services at least weekly, Hungerman said. “After the laws are repealed it falls to 32 percent” — a drop “not driven by declines in religiosity prior to the law change.”
Instead of going to church, many of the faithful apparently were going astray. Marijuana use increased by 11 percentage points among church attendees, compared with those who never went to services, after the shopping ban was lifted. Cocaine use increased by nearly 4 percentage points, and heavy drinking increased by about 5 1/2 percentage points among churchgoers compared with those who never went to services, with frequent attendees even more likely to go on benders.
Hmmm. Interesting, but why would the elimination of blue laws suddenly provoke such an outburst of sinning among the religious? After all, there are six other days of the week to shop (or drink) until you drop. And it’s not legal to buy cocaine or marijuana on any day of the week.
“That’s the million-dollar question,” Hungerman said. He suspects that keeping businesses open on Sunday means that some religious young people have to work or choose to go shopping, which apparently increases their exposure to sinners or otherwise weakens their resistance to the dark side.
“Instead of being in church, you’re working or shopping in the mall surrounded by ‘party animals,’ ” he said.
D. James Kennedy says…
“Some claim that we are not observing the true Sabbath unless we are observing it on Saturday. They ask, ‘How did the Sabbath change from Saturday to Sunday?’…In fact, the day of the Sabbath was changed by Christ and His apostles.” D. James Kennedy, Why The Ten Commandments Matter, p. 76
“Have you ever heard the old saying, ‘As goes the Sabbath, so goes the nation?’ It’s true. When the sabbath becomes profaned and desecreated, a nation sinks deeper and deeper into the mire of sin, and that has a profound negative impact upon any country….
“Christians need to understand that keeping the Sabbath really does create a more moral climate in our culture. It promotes an awareness that God and His ways and His laws are important to all of us. Without public morality, our secular laws have less meaning; the result is that lawlessness rises, and our nation sinks into crime, fear, disorder, and injustice.
“From the witness of the early Church, from the witness of our disarrayed lives, from the witness of our society as it teeters on the brink of moral collapse, we can see the need to keep the Sabbath is truly urgent.” D. James Kennedy, Why The Ten Commandments Matter, p. 81,82
“The original Sabbath of the Hebrews of the Bible was Saturday….As custom developed, the Christian Sabbath, or day of rest and worship, became Sunday, and this was the day established by law in America. There was a time not long ago when Sunday was a very special day.” Pat Robertson, The Ten Offenses, p .104
Before reading, read what a modern day prophet said over 100 years ago…
“Satan will … accuse God’s people as the cause of the fearful convulsions of nature and the strife and bloodshed among men which are desolating the earth. -Spirit of Prophecy Vol 4 p44″
Sabbath-breaking ’caused tsunami’
Christian minister calls disaster
‘divine visitation’ on Lord’s Day
Posted: February 13, 2005
4:00 p.m. Eastern © 2005 WorldNetDaily.com
Rev. John MacLeod (photo: Grampian TV)
A Christian minister claims the tsunami of Sunday, Dec. 26, killing at least 160,000 people, was direct result of “pleasure seekers” breaking God’s Sabbath.
In the February issue of his church magazine, Rev. John MacLeod of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland writes: “Possibly … no event since Noah’s flood has caused such loss of life by drowning as the recent Asian tsunami. That so many of our fellow creatures should have perished in so short a time, and in so awful a fashion, was a divine visitation that ought to make men tremble the world over.”
He continued: “Some of the places most affected by the tsunami attracted pleasure-seekers from all over the world. It has to be noted that the wave arrived on the Lord’s day, the day God set apart to be observed the world over as a holy resting from all employments and recreations that are lawful on other days.”
The tsunami, a series of tidal waves sparked by a subsea earthquake off Sumatra, arrived on Sunday morning, the day after Christmas, in countries including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand.
MacLeod said: “To rule out the hand of God in this … is to forget that He is in sovereign control of all events. If the sparrow falling to the ground is an event noted, and ordered, by Him, how much is this the case when the souls of so many thousands are parted from their bodies?”
The 74-year-old minister, now living in the London area after spending 35 years in Stornoway, Scotland, concluded: “Do not worldliness, materialism, hedonism, uncleanness, and pleasure-seeking characterize our own generation to a great extent and does not this solemn visitation in providence reminds us that He remains the same God still? God is no idle spectator of what is happening here in time and treats men with the sharpness and severity in order that they may know their vices.”
…There have been news accounts about Muslims who believe the tsunami was divine retribution for sinning, but they have cited prostitution and heavy drinking instead of Sabbath observance.
Some have even gone so far as to claim God signed his name as Allah in the waves off the Sri Lankan town of Kalutara, as captured by satellite photography.
Waves off Kalutara, Sri Lanka, said to resemble name of Allah in Arabic, inset (photo: DigitalGlobe)
“This clearly spells out the name ‘Allah’ in Arabic,” Mohamed Faizeen, manager of the Centre for Islamic Studies in Colombo, told Agence France-Presse. “He sent it as punishment. This comes from ignoring His laws.”
“Allah first sends small punishments – like loss of business. If we ignore the warning, He sends bigger ones – loss of life. If we still ignore the warnings, the big punishments, like earthquakes and tsunamis will come.”
(click here to see my Newsletter based on this article)
Court rules for librarian fired over Sunday work
Argued her religious beliefs prevented her from coming in that day
Posted: May 6, 2006 1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
A federal district court ruled in favor of a Christian librarian who was fired after she requested to have Sundays off because of her religious
beliefs. A jury awarded Constance Rehm of Missouri damages for back pay, according to the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund.
“This ruling is very important in making sure that people of faith are not treated as second-class citizens,” said ADF Litigation Counsel David
LaPlante. LaPlante said employers “have a responsibility to respect the religious beliefs of their employees and to make reasonable accommodations.” “This decision, along with the award of monetary compensation to the Christian librarian who lost her job, is very encouraging,” he said.
As WorldNetDaily reported, ADF and the Christian Law Association filed the case against the Rolling Hills Consolidated Library in August 2004 after Rehmm was fired the previous May. Library officials claim they made an attempt to accommodate Rehm by allowing a part-time employee to volunteer to work for her on Sundays, in return for her working on Saturdays. But her attorneys called it a “smokescreen,” arguing the library did not allow sufficient time for other employees to volunteer. The library also stated, the lawyers pointed out, that even if someone volunteered, the request wouldn’t necessarily have been approved.
Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act states an employee’s request for accommodation based upon a sincere religious belief can only be denied if the employer can demonstrate that the request would cause undue hardship. The lawsuit claimed the library has not made its case for denying Rehm’s request and went too far in firing her for insubordination. “Not only did the library fail to make its case for denying this librarian’s request, library officials crossed the line in firing her for insubordination,” said LaPlante. He said the library “should not require an employee to violate her conscience, effectively forcing her to choose between her religious beliefs and her job.”
February 5, 2006 is declared TEN COMMANDMENTS DAY!
(Later changed to May 6th)
The focal point of this movement is the first annual Ten Commandments Day that will be held on Sunday February 5, 2006. On this date we are calling on all religious leaders who are concerned about traditional Judeo-Christian values to host special celebrations and/or deliver stirring messages centering on the Ten Commandments. (See Ministry Commitment Form). Many Christian and Jewish leaders have already pledged their support for Ten Commandments Day.
With the Ten Commandments Day, we will offer a powerful display of unity as we, with one voice, declare our unwavering support for the bedrock principles that made our country great-The Ten Commandments.
Some of the many Christian leaders involved with the Ten Commandments Day include:
Will you join with us?
Please take a stand and join the coalition of thousands of cross cultural interdenominational community leaders, pastors, rabbis, educators, and heads of denominations who are committed to bringing the Word of God back to our nation. Join us for Ten Commandments Day! (MAIN SITE = http://www.tencommandmentsday.com )
Let me get this straight. Obnoxious, polluting, loud leaf blowers are allowed on Sundays in bucolic Lake Oswego, but the noisy hammers, table saws, etc. that go along with just about any city work permit aren’t. My neighbor whose irritatingly loud music blasts into our backyard can crank up his stereo, but a construction worker cannot rock to his boom box.
Ah, our city leaders are at it again.
Portable CD players have been put on notice and cannot be audible on construction sites with permits. Our city leaders approved this ban last week. In August, the city also nixed construction work during what many consider their day of rest. Any work that requires building, plumbing, mechanical or electrical permits is now prohibited in residential zones on Sundays and certain holidays. Lest anyone think I don’t feel his or her pain when it comes to construction disruption: Our house borders the Westlake neighborhood. My family survived dust, trespassers, noise, lumbering trucks and general lack of privacy for well over two years during the development of that maze of houses. Construction noise is a problem, but it isn’t new to the area. Arbitrarily shutting down certain forms of work is.
This is a concern.
Who is to say that construction noise is worse than a muscle car without a muffler being repeatedly revved every Sunday in someone’s driveway? If construction is an irritant, then let’s go further in our quest for a quiet day. Why is a neighborhood store that attracts unwanted traffic allowed to open on Sundays? And what about a college student who wants to knock out a deck for extra cash on weekends? “For me, during the school year, that only gives me one day a week that I can work,” says Evan Clemson, a junior at Oregon State. Evan comes home to L.O. on weekends because of his construction business.
“If I want to do it legitimately, it doesn’t leave me many options,” he says. “One day of work on Saturday isn’t worth the drive home.” “I can play a boom box at home as loud as I want, but not if I’m working. It doesn’t make sense,” he adds. If we’re going after noise, how about no boom boxes at all? How about no lawnmowers or noisy mechanics of any kind? It is a false distinction to base a noise ordinance only on activity that requires city permits. The consequence of construction infill is that one hears more noise. The city has promoted and approved this activity.
For a city so concerned about giving people a day of peace, officials show their extremely heavy-handed way of governing when they go after permitted workers. And one last question. What about people whose day of rest is Saturday?
Karen Wallace Sorenson: email@example.com
My local area Newspaper…
Sundays should be sacred, not work time
By Tim Walker
For the Journal and Courier
I am one of the six Alcoa employees who firmly believe that our religious rights have been discriminated against. I’ve read a Journal and Courier editorial and a letter from a former Alcoa employee. Those two pieces have had me thinking.
In regard to the Alcoa retiree’s letter of last week, no, I did not agree to work 16 hours when Alcoa hired me. In fact, I was given a religious accommodation by Alcoa. They knew I was a pastor when they gave me a job, and the human resource officer and a representative from management gave me Sundays off so I could do my work as a pastor. This was put in my record (though Alcoa has not given me copies of this transaction).
I agree that Alcoa, up to this point, has been a very good employer. They respected my deeply held religious beliefs, and Sunday was never an issue. But it worked two ways. I went out of my way to do a good job for Alcoa. I have no records of discipline in my record, have never been talked to about my work ethic and was always held in high esteem by my supervisors. One of them told me that I was one of the hardest workers in the mill. And not just me, but the other five, who have filed religious discrimination complaints against Alcoa, were model employees as well.
So I’m not biting the hand that fed me. I don’t owe Alcoa an apology; I believe they owe me an explanation of how I could be accommodated for so many years, and then told my accommodation would no longer be honored.
As for the editorial in the Journal and Courier, I agree with you on some points. I feel we Christians have become hypocritical in our approach to Sundays. If we say it’s against our Christian conscience to work on Sundays, I believe it should be against our Christian conscience to require others to work on Sundays (with the exception of doctors, nurses and such). Hey, the merchants won’t be happy with me, but if we Christians truly began to use Sundays as a day of worship, rest and family, and quit filling up Ryan’s, Golden Corral and the mall, maybe businesses might return to blue laws of the past.
Others will be watching what happens at Alcoa, because if a large corporation can change its policy regarding religious accommodations, then others will follow suit. Soon, a Christian will be torn between God and church and making a living.
If religious accommodations can be so easily removed, and a group of six deeply convicted and deeply religious individuals made to toe the Sunday working line or sent packing, who will be next? Maybe single parents who only get their kids one weekend a month (the weekend they are to work)? Or maybe heavyweight people will be discriminated against in the hiring process? The corporations could simply say, “It’s a burden to our insurance premiums.” Or could it be that the older workers would be required to work longer shifts — shifts that tax their aging bodies?
I never asked for this fight, I’d just as soon be doing what I did for 10 years: working six days a week at Alcoa, and preaching and serving the Lord at Colfax Wesleyan on Sundays.
This is how it looks to me: I’m a Christian pastor who is being treated as though he were a criminal because he won’t work Sundays. The truth of the matter is, I’m already serving on Sundays. Or if you prefer, I’m involved in a labor of love on Sundays.
Walker is one of six Alcoa workers who last month took a complaint to the Lafayette Human Relations Commission about working Sundays.
The Year of the Eucharist continues, called by our beloved Pope John Paul II, to reawaken ever more, in the consciences of believers, wonder toward this great Sacrament. In this singular Eucharistic time, one of the recurring topics is Sunday, the Day of the Lord, a topic that was also at the center of the recent Italian Eucharistic Congress, held in Bari. During the conclusive celebration, I also underlined how participation at Sunday Mass must be seen by a Catholic not as an imposition or a weight, but as a need and joy. To meet with brothers, to listen to the Word of God and to be nourished of Christ, immolated for us, is an experience that gives meaning to life, which infuses peace in the heart. Without Sunday, we Catholics cannot live.
For this reason parents are called to make their children discover the value and importance of the response to Christ’s invitation, who calls the whole Christian family to Sunday Mass. In this educational endeavor, a particularly significant stage is the first Communion, a real celebration for the parish community, which receives for the first time its smallest children at the Lord’s Table.
To underline the importance of this event for the family and the parish, next October 15, God willing, I will have in the Vatican a special meeting of catechesis for children, in particular of Rome and Latium, who during this year have received their first Communion. This festive gathering will fall almost at the end of the Year of the Eucharist, while the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is under way, centered on the Eucharistic mystery. It will be an opportune and beautiful circumstance to confirm the essential role that the sacrament of the Eucharist has in the formation and spiritual growth of children.
From now on I entrust this meeting to the Virgin Mary, that she may teach us to love Jesus ever more, in constant meditation of his Word and adoration of his Eucharistic presence, and help us to make young generations discover the “precious pearl” of the Eucharist, which gives true and full meaning to life.
Pope Recalls Martyrs Who Died for Sunday Mass
Perished Under Emperor Diocletian
BARI, Italy, MAY 29, 2005 (Zenit.org).- In an age of widespread religious indifference, Benedict XVI offers as models the martyrs of North Africa who gave their lives for celebrating Mass on a Sunday.
Presiding at today’s closing Mass of the 24th Italian National Eucharistic Congress, the Pope spoke in his homily about the group of Christians who were killed in 304 during the persecution of the Roman emperor Diocletian.
The theme of the congress was the motto of the martyrs: “We Cannot Live without Sunday.”
The emperor, recounted Benedict XVI, had prohibited Christians, “under pain of death, to possess the Scriptures, to meet on Sunday to celebrate the Eucharist and to build premises for their assemblies.”
In Abitene, a small village in what today is Tunis, “49 Christians, meeting in the home of Octavius Felix, were taken by surprise on a Sunday while celebrating the Eucharist, defying the imperial prohibitions. Arrested, they were taken to Carthage to be interrogated by the proconsul Anulinus,” said the Holy Father.
“Significant, in particular, was the response given to the proconsul by Emeritus, after being asked why he had violated the emperor’s order,” he recalled.
“He said: ‘We cannot live without meeting on Sunday to celebrate the Eucharist. We would not have the strength to face the daily difficulties and not succumb,’” the Pope said. “After atrocious tortures, the 49 martyrs of Abitene were killed.
“Thus they confirmed their faith with the shedding of blood. They died but they were victorious: We now remember them in the glory of the risen Christ.”
The Pontiff called Christians of the 21st century to reflect on this experience, because “it is not easy for us either to live as Christians” in a world “characterized by rampant consumerism, religious indifference, and secularism closed to transcendence.”
Cardinal says Christians must witness together, forgive past offenses
BARI, Italy (CNS) — May 25, 2005 — Divided Christians must get beyond the prejudices and hurt feelings of the past to fulfill their mission of proclaiming Christ to the world, said Cardinal Walter Kasper. “Much work remains to be done for the reconciliation of hearts,” said the cardinal, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The cardinal spoke May 25 at the Italian eucharistic congress in Bari, the burial place of St. Nicholas, who is venerated by Catholics and Orthodox. Representatives of Orthodox churches, including Archbishop Kirill of Yaroslav and Rostov, Russia, were present at the congress and spoke to the delegates. In his presentation, Cardinal Kasper focused on how keeping Sunday as the Lord’s day unites Christians and provides a witness to their neighbors.
THE SAGINAW NEWS “I don’t know who would track that,” he said. “Some downtowns would have stores that close on Sunday. Typically, in malls and plazas, they would require specific hours.”
Stores that choose to close on Sundays do so most likely for religious reasons, Scott said.
Along with Hobby Lobby, the Roly Poly Rolled Sandwich shop franchise in Midland closes. Other well-known stores that close on Sunday are Chick-fil-A — a fast-food chicken eatery whose closest location is in Rochester — and Franklin Covey, which this spring closed its store in Saginaw Township’s Fashion Square Mall location. Typically, independently run Christian bookstores close on Sunday, although the Bible Factory at Prime Outlets in Birch Run has Sunday hours.
“Most people appreciate that we are closed on Sunday,” said Tom Hopper, manager at Hobby Lobby. “When we’re open, we do the best job we can. On Sunday, (our employees) can go home and spend time with their families. That’s what it’s all about, right?
“In this day and age, when things are so demanding … We’re not supposed to work on Sundays according to the Bible.”
The chain, based in Oklahoma City, didn’t always have the no-Sunday-work policy, said Bill Hane, vice president for advertising. President and founder David Green is a Christian.
“We began closing on Sundays in 1997 in block or regions of stores,” he said. “Our intent was to go companywide with it, and we implemented that incrementally over 18 months.
“Our bankers were nervous,” he said. “Statistically, Sunday was our second strongest retail day of the week. At that time, to close on Sundays, meant walking away from $100 million in sales.”
The decision was one of principle, he said.
“It was something we chose to do as a way of honoring God,” he said. “There was no guarantee that customers would shift their shopping habits, but it happened. There was an initial decline in sales.”
Since then, response has proved positive. v
While some Saginaw Valley customers expressed surprise after finding the store closed on Sunday, 99.9 percent of feedback is positive, Hopper said.
For Roly Poly operators, the choice on Sunday hours is left to them, said Gwendolyn Karl, who owns the Midland franchise with her husband, James.
“Almost 65 percent of Roly Polys are closed on Sunday,” Karl said.
The chain is based in Atlanta, and many of its franchise owners are Christians.
“My husband and I thought we would leave Sundays for our staff to be with their families,” Karl said. “A lot of restaurants close on Monday. We’re more of a sandwich shop, and Monday is a much bigger business days for us (than Sunday).”
On the flip side, today’s busy lifestyle prompted Family Christian Stores to open on Sundays, spokeswoman Tara Powers said, a move that has proved fruitful. It was a decision not made lightly.
“We did a lot of research before we did the change,” Powers said. “More people are running errands and doing shopping on Sunday. Our research said over 80 percent would shop on Sunday.”
A small minority has express displeasure at the added hours, she said.
“But it hasn’t been real vocal,” she said.
Then there are the positive stories.
“We’ve heard of people who have spoken with someone in the morning (at services), and then have come in to buy a book to give to that person in the evening,” Powers said.
Other independently run Christian-based retailers in the Saginaw Valley, have chosen to close on Sunday, including Holy Cross Christian Supply, 4654 State in Saginaw Township’s Green Acres Plaza; Andrzejewsk’s Marian Church Supplies, 3535 Bay in Saginaw Township; and Sunshine Christian Store, 7212 Gratiot in Thomas Township. v
Jean Spenner covers business for The Saginaw News. You may reach her at 776-9683.
Christians will naturally strive to ensure that civil legislation respects their duty to keep Sunday holy –Pope John Paul II Dios Domini p 112.
See Revelation 13:11-18…
…The Christian Coalition of America has launched a new campaign to get America back on a moral path. Michele Combs, CC’s communications director, says the “Let’s Take America Back!” campaign has a very simple goal. “We want to take America back to the moral values, back to the intentions of the founding fathers, and back to the biblical principles that this country was founded on,” she states. Combs says the Christian Coalition will be holding meetings all across the nation to help accomplish this goal. [Bill Fancher]
He took up this legacy in a message sent today for the opening of an international conference on the theme “The Call to Justice: The Legacy of ‘Gaudium et Spes’ 40 Years Later.” The conference organized by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace is being held in Rome through Friday.
In that 1965 document, the participants in Vatican II suggested to Pope Paul VI the establishment of what today is the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. The pontifical council’s mission is “to promote justice and peace in the world in accordance with the Gospel and the social teaching of the Church,” according to the 1988 apostolic constitution “Pastor Bonus.”
John Paul II’s message said: “At times, the enormous progress of science and technology can lead to forget fundamental questions of justice, despite the common aspiration for greater solidarity among peoples, and for a more human restructuring of social relations.
“The sad permanence of conflicts and the repeated manifestations of violence in very many parts of the world are proof, by contrast, of the inseparable relationship that exists between justice and peace, according to the fundamental teaching proposed with courageous clarity in ‘Gaudium et Spes.’”
“In this connection, I wish to reaffirm once again that peace is the work of justice,” the Pope stated. “Authentic peace on earth entails the firm determination to respect others, individuals and peoples, in their dignity, and the constant determination to increase fraternity among the members of the human family.”
However, the Church “does not reduce her teaching to this,” he said.
Vatican II affirmed “that peace is also the fruit of love, which goes beyond anything that justice can realize,” the Holy Father noted.
He added: “The virtue of love, which leads to forgiveness and reconciliation, and encourages the commitment of Christians in favor of justice,” must never be forgotten.
Many Iraqis Protest Their Day Off
It’s not that the Iraqis do not want time off – they just want the extra day moved to Thursday.
“We don’t want Saturday! It’s a Jewish holiday!” students chanted as they marched in protest last week to the governor’s office in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad.
A high-school student pulled out a hand grenade and started waving it, and police fired into the air to disperse the crowd. At least three students reportedly were injured in the ensuing scuffle.
At Baghdad’s University of Mustansariyah, a statement issued by a student union believed to be allied with the radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr described Saturday as “the Zionist holiday” and said the government order should not be followed.
“We declare a general strike in the University of Mustansariyah to reject this decision and any decision aimed at depriving Iraqis of their identity,” the statement said.
In predominantly Sunni Muslim Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad, the al-Mutawakal high school opened its doors after insurgents threatened to kill its teachers if they took the day off.
There is no clear-cut rule for weekends in the Middle East and other Muslim countries in the region.
In Lebanon, the weekend starts at 11:30 a.m. Friday and includes Sunday.
In Jordan, the weekend is Friday and Saturday. Bahrain, Egypt and Kuwait have Thursday and Friday off, while conservative Iran and Saudi Arabia only give Friday off.
In many Baghdad districts, including Shiite-dominated Sadr City, students and civil servants ignored the decree and went to school and work. At Sadr City’s al-Fazilah secondary girls school, all 400 girls showed up for class.
“Sadr City is a Shiite Islamic city and we reject Saturday being our holiday because it is related to the Jewish weekend,” said student union leader Safaa Dawoud Mahmoud, 18.
The student body delivered a letter to the school’s administrators demanding that Thursday and Friday be the official weekend “because both days were blessed in Islam and by Sharia,” or Islamic law.
The students, dressed in long skirts with their hair covered by dense black veils, vowed to stage sit-ins until the government reverses its decision and makes Thursday the first day of a two-day weekend.
“We will keep going to school with determination and persistence” on Saturday, sixth-grader Nassen Dawoud said.
“We can’t be like Jews. Saturday is a Jewish holiday and I hope the government listens to us,” sixth-grader Nada Alwan, said.
The influential Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars, believed to be close to the insurgency, said that by making Saturday a weekend “the invaders, the occupiers are trying to impose their principles” on Iraq.
“This decision is dangerous,” it said.
In Samarra, one teacher said on condition of anonymity that he had received death threats from militants warning him not to take Saturdays off.
In Ramadi, the heart of the insurgency in the so-called Sunni Triangle, the head of Anbar University decided to change the weekend on its own.
“The official weekend is Thursday and Friday,” the university announced.
The Holy Father’s call to reinforce the importance of Sunday Mass has been followed up in a recent meeting of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, held Jan. 18-21. The commission issued a series of pastoral recommendations on how to maintain the Sunday Mass as a central feature of Christian life.
When Sunday loses its special meaning, it becomes absorbed into the generic concept of “weekend,” the commission observed. Christians, instead, need to keep in mind that Sunday Mass should be at the heart of their religious life. Sunday Mass attendance is also an important means to ensure the Church maintains its missionary fervor, which is strengthened through a regular contact with Jesus in the Eucharist.
The commission insisted on the need for a dignified celebration of the Eucharist. This covers everything from the ornaments used by the priest, to the music used in the ceremony, to the way the liturgy is organized. This dignity must be safeguarded even in circumstances that present special difficulties, such as prisons, hospitals and nursing homes.
The Lord’s Day
Another recommendation concerns the need for an active participation by everyone in the celebration. To ensure this, the commission called upon priests and laity alike to meditate on the meaning of Sunday Mass as the central moment of the Lord’s Day.
The commission urged priests to increase their reverence at Mass, reflecting in their words and acts the great value of the mystery they are celebrating. The panel also recommended that adequate care be given to the preparation of the Sunday homily, basing its content on Scripture, the Tradition of the Church and the magisterium.
For those who participate in some way in the liturgical celebration as acolytes, readers, Eucharistic ministers, etc., the commission asked that they be given a careful preparation in the roles they carry out.
Another way in which the Christian community can value better Sunday Mass is through an adequate catechesis. The commission called for an increased effort in communicating the value of the Mass. Part of this involves a greater awareness of the connection between the sacraments, for example, baptism, confirmation and the Eucharist. As well, a more-frequent participation in the sacrament of reconciliation is suggested in order to ensure worthy reception of Communion.
The commission also noted the importance of ensuring that the whole family participates together in the Sunday Eucharist. Related to this is the need to teach within the family the importance of the Eucharist.
In Australia and Ireland
In recent weeks other countries have also responded to the Pope’s call to reinforce Sunday Mass during the Year of the Eucharist.
A Jan. 20 press release by the Australian bishops’ conference announced a program prepared by the National Liturgical Commission. The initiative will get under way during the Sundays of Easter and is linked with a proposal for a period of Eucharistic devotion from Trinity Sunday to Corpus Christi.
In the introduction to the program, the chairman of the episcopate’s Committee for Liturgy, Bishop Kevin Manning, recalled the invitation of John Paul II for Catholics to dedicate the current year to the Eucharist.
“The Australian bishops have responded to the Holy Father’s invitation and now offer the program, ‘Sunday: Sacrament of Easter,’ to the Australian Church as a means of enlivening our celebration of the Eucharist and to encourage devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament,” Bishop Manning wrote.
In Ireland, meanwhile, the Diocese of Down and Connor announced last Monday that it will be starting a series of lessons in its parishes on the meaning of the Eucharist, reported the Irish Independent.
Launching the campaign, Bishop Patrick Walsh warned that Sunday is no longer a family day, let alone the Lord’s Day, for many people. “The purpose of the Year of the Eucharist is to open the eyes of our faith so that we will come to recognize Christ more fully in the breaking of the bread, in the Eucharist, and stay with him in his presence in the Blessed Sacrament,” he explained.
This is not the first time John Paul II has insisted on the need to ensure that Sunday remains a special day for Catholics. In his 1998 apostolic letter, “Dies Domini,” he noted that the Church has always given the Lord’s Day special attention. On Sunday we recall Christ’s resurrection and celebrate his victory over sin and death. “It is the day which recalls in grateful adoration the world’s first day and looks forward in active hope to ‘the last day’, when Christ will come in glory (cf. Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17) and all things will be made new (cf. Revelation 21:5)” (No. 1).
The Pope commented that until recently is was easier to preserve the special meaning of Sunday, because in most Christian countries it was practiced by virtually all the population and was also a part of civil society. Now, however, Sunday is submerged in a series of cultural and sporting activities that can cause us to lose sight of the day’s spiritual meaning.
“The disciples of Christ, however, are asked to avoid any confusion between the celebration of Sunday, which should truly be a way of keeping the Lord’s Day holy, and the ‘weekend,’ understood as a time of simple rest and relaxation,” the Pope added (No. 4).
Achieving this requires a greater spiritual maturity and for Christians to act in accordance with their faith. Sunday should be a day that is at the heart of the Christian life, the Pope urged. “Do not be afraid to give your time to Christ! Yes, let us open our time to Christ, that he may cast light upon it and give it direction” (No. 7).
Moreover, he added: “Time given to Christ is never time lost, but is rather time gained, so that our relationships and indeed our whole life may become more profoundly human.” A lesson that the Pope hopes many will learn during this year dedicated to the Eucharist.
The Pope did not attend today as he is recovering in the Gemelli Polyclinic from a successful tracheotomy operation Thursday to ease his breathing problems.
Father Cantalamessa’s sermon, in the Redemptoris Mater Chapel in the Apostolic Palace, was a continuation of a reflection on the Eucharistic hymn “Adore Te Devote,” which he began last Advent.
The third stanza “takes us to Calvary to” relive “the death of Christ,” he said.
The fourth stanza — ”I do not see the wounds as Thomas saw them / but I confess that thou art my God: make me believe in thee more and more, / that I may hope in thee and love thee” — the object of today’s meditation — “takes us to the cenacle for us to encounter the Risen One,” said Father Cantalamessa.
It was in the cenacle where the episode of the Apostle Thomas took place.
The preacher summarized his sermon for ZENIT.
In the “Adoro Te Devote” the “profound analogy” is made “evident that exists between Thomas’ situation and that of the believer,” said Father Cantalamessa.
Thomas “asks to touch the wounds, but we can also ask him to touch ours. … Wounds that are different from his, caused by sin, not by love,” he said. We can ask him “to touch them in order to heal them.”
The “insistence on the chronological data of these apparitions shows the evangelist’s intention to present Jesus’ encounter with his own in the cenacle as the prototype of the Church’s Sunday assembly,” added the preacher.
In those moments “Jesus makes himself present among his disciples in the Eucharist; he gives them peace and the Holy Spirit; in communion they touch, more than that, receive his wounded and risen body and, like Thomas, proclaim their faith in him. Almost all the elements of the Mass are there,” he said.
Father Cantalamessa said that the theological truth highlighted in the fourth stanza “is that in the Eucharist, not only is the Crucified present but also the Risen One,” which is a “memorial both of the passion as well as of the resurrection.”
“In every Mass Jesus is at the same time victim and priest,” he continued. “As victim he makes his death present, as priest he makes his resurrection present.”
And “through the resurrection it is God the Father who enters as protagonist in the Eucharistic mystery. If in fact the death of Christ is the work of men, the resurrection is the work of the Father,” stated Father Cantalamessa.
Rediscovery of Sunday
“The profound theological link between the Eucharist and the resurrection creates the liturgical link between the Eucharist and Sunday,” the Capuchin said. It is significant, he said, that the day par excellence “of the Eucharistic celebration is not that of the death of Christ, Friday, but the day of the resurrection, Sunday.”
“There are urgent pastoral reasons that impel the rediscovery of Sunday as ‘day of the resurrection,’” the priest continued. “We have gone back to be much closer to the situation of the first centuries than to that of medieval times, when the most important aspect of Sunday was the precept of the festive rest.
“There is no longer a civil legislation that ‘protects,’ so to speak, the day of the Lord. In the present organization of work, the law of festive rest itself is subject to many limitations and exceptions.”
It is our task “to rediscover what Sunday was in the first centuries, when it was a special day not because of external supports, but because of its own internal force,” he stated.
Father Cantalamessa said that “no faithful should return home from Sunday Mass without feeling himself also in some measure given a ‘new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’”
Not much is needed to achieve this “and to put the whole of the Sunday celebration under the paschal sign of the resurrection: a few, vibrant words at the moment of the initial greeting, the choice of an appropriate formula of dismissal at the end, such as ‘May the joy of the Lord be our strength: go in peace,’ or ‘Go and take to all the joy of the risen Lord,’” he said.
From the memory of Thomas and the words of Christ — “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” — a prayerful invocation closes the stanza: “Make me believe more and more in thee, that I may hope in thee and love thee.”
“In practice, what is being asked is an increase in the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity,” which “cannot but be rekindled when in contact with the one who is their author and object, Jesus, son of God, and he himself God,” he said.
The “queen” of these virtues is love; and the “Adoro Te Devote” “speaks to us of a particular aspect of love: the love of the soul for Jesus” — “Make me love Thee.”
“It is of this loving response that an increase is requested,” said Father Cantalamessa. “A call all the more precious for us today, in order not to ‘de-personalize’ the Eucharist, reducing it solely to the communal and objective dimension. A true communion between two free persons cannot be realized except in love.”
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — U.S. Marine Cpl. Joel D. Klimkewicz says he’s willing to clear land mines and risk his life for his country.
He’s just not willing to pick up a gun.
Because of his new-found religious faith, the Birch Run native is spending his holidays behind bars as a conscientious objector, convicted by military superiors who see him as a disobedient soldier.
“I couldn’t see Jesus Christ taking human life,” said Klimkewicz in a phone interview from the Camp LeJeune military prison. “In my faith, what I believe is that we’re all citizens of heaven. Citizens of heaven are of all nations, and I refuse to take a life of a fellow citizen of heaven.”
This month, a Marine Corps court sentenced 24-year-old Klimkewicz — a combat engineer who is a member of a Seventh-day Adventist Church — to seven months behind bars for refusing an order to pick up a weapon for training. He received a reduction in rank to private and a bad conduct discharge.
Since joining the church a year ago and becoming a conscientious objector to combat, he has taken some criticism from friends who have questioned his patriotism.
Seventh-day Adventists support non-combatancy for its members who serve in the military, but leave such decisions to a member’s individual conscience, said church spokesman Mark A. Kellner.
“There are a lot of people who would view it as unpatriotic,” Klimkewicz said of refusing to pick up a gun. “At first, some of (my friends) were stand-offish, but later on, some of them saw my sincerity and saw definitely that this was a choice of my conscience.
“And that I was willing to do everything I could do without disobeying my conscience.”
He said his primary skeptic has remained the military itself.
“It’s unusual that a Marine would claim conscientious objector status after being in the Marine Corps and knowing that there’s a war going on,” said Marine Corps spokeswoman 1st Lt. Kate VandenBossche. “That’s what took everyone off guard at first.”
Klimkewicz, a 1999 Birch Run High School graduate, signed a two-year re-enlistment in 2002. After participating in on-ship Bible studies with a Seventh-day Adventist chaplain, Klimkewicz started converting to his new faith, said Seventh-day Adventist attorney, Mitchell A. Tyner.
Klimkewicz formally joined the church in the fall of 2003 and attended services in Jacksonville, N.C. Klimkewicz, however, did not learn until after he applied for re-enlistment about the Seventh-day Adventist belief that one should not become involved in combat, Tyner said.
Klimkewicz told Marine officials that he was willing to serve, but not carry a weapon or take a life. Marine regulations provide that a Marine whose beliefs crystallize after enlistment can receive conscientious objector status, Tyner said.
Tyner is based in denominational headquarters in Silver Spring, Md.
The Marines decided that Klimkewicz was not sincere and that he really just wanted to avoid serving in Iraq, Tyner said. Klimkewicz initially admitted he was less than a productive Marine, Tyner said, and was reprimanded twice for insubordination.
Klimkewicz wasn’t jailed because he requested conscientious objector status, VandenBossche said.
“He was charged with … disobeying a lawful order from a superior commissioned officer,” she said.
Klimkewicz refused an order to pick up his weapon at an armory and begin training with it, VandenBossche said. He was charged because he refused the order twice before stating religious reasons for his objection to it.
To rebut that charge, Klimkewicz volunteered to clear mines in Iraq, because those who do so do not carry a weapon. Twice, officials rejected his offer, Tyner said.
“The Marine Corps, in its zeal to prevent others from avoiding combat, has totally misread this soldier and the result is a serious miscarriage of justice,” Tyner said. “We hope the corps will reconsider the total disproportional nature of the sentence and reduce it immediately.”
Tyner said efforts from his office and congressional offices are now in motion to appeal the situation.
Klimkewicz’s wife, Tomomi Higa, a Japanese citizen, has a temporary residence permit to live in the United States. They have a 3-year-old daughter. Members of the Jacksonville Seventh-day Adventists have indicated they will help Klimkewicz’s wife and daughter as needed, Kellner said.
Klimkewicz said he is adjusting to life behind bars, and spends much of his time reading the Bible. He conducts an informal Bible study for a few fellow inmates.
He said he is willing to sacrifice his freedom for his beliefs, if needed.
“All I can say is that the Bible says people who suffer in the name of the Lord is a blessing to them,” he said. “I take God’s laws over men’s laws.”
Once he is released from prison, he said, he plans to pursue either a career in the ministry or in the health care field, possibly as a nurse practitioner.Klimkewicz’s stepmother, Rose Klimkewicz of St. Charles, said her family supports him.
“He’s a good person,” she said. “He’s a good son, stepson and brother. He believes what he’s doing is right, and we are behind him.”
Klimkewicz joined the Marine s to earn money for college and to travel, said Rose Klimkewicz, adding that she and her family pray for all the troops.
“No one likes the war and no one likes all this killing,” she said. “We are for Joe with whatever decision he’s making. He went in as a young man, and now he’s a little bit older. We hope that everything turns out well for him.” v
Darryl Q. Tucker covers courts for The Saginaw News. You may reach him at 776-9686. Scott Davis is a staff writer for The Saginaw News. You may reach him at 776-9665. The Adventist News Network also was a source for this article.
During Advent, “we will contemplate with particular fervor the face of Christ present in the Eucharist,” he said.
The Pope emphasized that “Jesus, Incarnate Word, dead and risen, is the center of history. The Church adores him and discovers in him the ultimate and unifying meaning of all the mysteries of faith: the love of God that gives life.”
Mentioning the Eucharistic Congress that the Church in Italy is organizing in Bari from May 21-29, the Holy Father recalled its main theme, “Without Sunday, We Cannot Live.”
The initiative motivated the Pope to encourage the Christian community “to rediscover with new intensity the meaning of Sunday: its mystery, its celebration, its significance for Christian and human life.”
John Paul II, who in recent years has given central importance to the rediscovery of the Eucharist, is concerned about the loss of the meaning of Sunday, as he says in the 1998 apostolic letter “Dies Domini.”
The Holy Father concluded by praying for the intercession of Mary, whom he described as “Eucharistic Woman,” so that the Christian community will receive “with joy the Christ who comes” at Christmas, and will celebrate “worthily the sacramental presence of the Eucharistic mystery.”
Evident in St. Peter’s Square was the scaffolding, used to build the Nativity scene, which will be unveiled on Christmas Eve.
October 19, 2004 Austin, Texas, United States …. [ANN Staff]
An employee fired from Dynacon, Inc. of Bryan, Texas, for religious beliefs protected under federal law is seeking reinstatement to his job. Hector Rivera wants his welder’s job restored, along with back pay and punitive damages, according to a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Representing Rivera is attorney Malcolm Greenstein of Austin.
Rivera joined Dynacon in 1988 as a welder and became a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in May 2002. He asked for, and received, accommodation for his belief that he should not work on Saturday, the biblical Sabbath. A new supervisor ended that practice in August 2002; when Rivera refused to work on a Saturday, he was terminated.
“This is only one of many examples of illegal discrimination against Sabbath-keepers,” said Mitchell Tyner, an associate counsel for the Seventh-day Adventist Church world headquarters. “Every year more than 1,000 Adventists [in the United States] are either denied employment or lose their jobs over their religious beliefs, which are guaranteed protection under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.”
According to Tyner, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports an 80 percent increase in religious discrimination cases during the past five years. Seventh-day Adventists, observant Jews, and members of other faith communities are among those who regularly suffer discrimination for requesting accommodation.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church, established in America in 1863, is a mainstream Protestant denomination with 13.5 million baptized members in 204 countries. More than 25 million people worship at Adventist congregations each week.
Source: Adventist News Network
By Mike Sorensen
Deseret Morning News
Golfer Johnny Miller once said he’d love to be leading the U.S. Open or a similar tournament going into the final day and then tell everyone he wasn’t going to play on Sunday because of his beliefs.
Miller never did anything like that during his successful PGA career, during which he played golf hundreds of times on Sunday.
However, Saturday afternoon, his youngest son, Todd, made such a stand — forfeiting his chance to play in the Men’s State Amateur finals today at the Jeremy Golf & Country Club because he refuses to play golf on the Sabbath.
Miller had defeated Clay Bingham in Saturday’s semifinals, but by choosing not to play today, Clark Rustand, a 24-year-old BYU student from Tucson, Ariz., was declared the State Am winner a day earlier than usual.
Miller, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who served an LDS mission to Chile, isn’t the first athlete to refuse to compete for religious reasons.
One of the most famous examples is British runner Eric Liddell, who refused to run on the Sabbath during the 1924 Olympics. That story was featured into the Oscar-winning movie “Chariots of Fire.”
In 1965, Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Sandy Koufax refused to pitch on the holiest Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur, during the World Series. More recently, former BYU lineman Eli Herring passed up a large signing bonus and a likely NFL career because he didn’t want to play on Sundays.
Miller, who will be a senior on the BYU golf team next year, said he made the decision not to play golf on Sundays while he was on his mission.
“What I do on Sunday is way more important than winning a tournament,” he said. “I don’t look down upon people who play on the Sabbath. I would just feel like a hypocrite in my own heart if I did. I made that decision, and I’m going to stick with that.”
Miller’s decision was surprising to everyone from tournament officials to his fellow golfers to the media covering the event.
Most said they respect him for sticking up for his beliefs, but many were also critical of him for not making the decision earlier and wiping out the final day of a tournament that has been played for 106 consecutive years, longer than any tournament in the world.
“It’s pretty disrespectful to a tournament that’s been around 106 years,” said defending champion Tommy Sharp, who lost in the semifinals to Rustand. “He knew the tournament ended on a Sunday when he entered. It should not be changed because of one guy.”
Miller had hoped the finals could be moved to Monday, and there was talk about making Miller and Rustand co-champions. But after meeting with each player for a few minutes, the Utah Golf Association board of directors declared Rustand the winner by forfeit.
“I’m surprised, I’m shocked and I’m disappointed,” said UGA executive director Joe Watts. “Although I fully respect a person and his religious convictions, it’s a matter of what process that kind of religious conviction should have shown itself. There’s lots of considerations a person has to make besides his own personal religious convictions before he enters into an activity. Volunteers . . . , golf courses . . . , contestants who have put in their time and effort. . . . It should have been handled sooner.”
Miller had known all week that he wouldn’t play Sunday and defended his decision not to tell anyone beforehand. He said had planned to forfeit his semifinal match and allow that player to go on to the finals, but when he was matched up against his BYU teammate and friend Bingham, he knew that Bingham wouldn’t accept that idea.
Like Miller, Rustand is LDS and a returned missionary, and he was understanding of Miller’s decision not to play.
“I totally respect his decision of not playing on Sunday,” Rustand said. “But I’ve made the decision to try and compete at the highest level, and that puts me in a position to play on Sundays. I wish it wasn’t the case and that I could have Sundays to relax and go to church. But at the same time if I do make it and it becomes my livelihood it will put me in that predicament even though I honor my commitments to my church.”
Miller said he wasn’t bitter about the UGA’s decision and praised Watts and the rest of the UGA board who organized and put on the event.
“I had a great time and made a lot of great friends,” Miller said.
“I appreciate all the hard work they’ve done for Jeremy Ranch, giving up their course, and appreciate the way they handled this. I’m fine with the decision.”
He said he isn’t planning on being a professional golfer and competing on Sunday like his father and numerous other LDS athletes do.
“I’m going to do something in the golfing profession, but I hope I won’t have to work on Sunday,” he said.
As for next year, Miller isn’t sure whether he will enter the State Amateur and he may not have a chance to anyway, according to Watts.
“We will be considering changes in our entry form for players to declare in advance if they’re not going to play until the end of the tournament,” said Watts. “We don’t want them taking other people’s places.
“We have people working hard to get in this tournament; they deserve a chance if someone isn’t really here to win it.”
|This article was published by F18News on: 11 November 2004
TURKMENISTAN: Adventists seek end to Sabbath schooling threats
|By Felix Corley, Editor, Forum 18 News Service|
|Leading Adventist Olga Kholopova was summoned by the secret police in the capital Ashgabad on 8 November and, two days later, to her local police station in a bid to force her to send her son to school on Saturdays, the Adventist day of rest and worship. Protestant sources told Forum 18 News Service that officers threatened not only to launch a criminal case and take her son away from her if she failed to comply, but to deprive the Adventist church of the registration it got back in June after a seven and a half year break. But Pastor Pavel Fedotov told Forum 18 he believes the threats are a misunderstanding that can be overcome. “We hope for a good resolution to this issue and are looking forward to reaching an understanding with the government.”|
|Turkmenistan’s Adventist leaders are convinced that threats to their official registration as a religious organisation are a misunderstanding that can be overcome. “We’re worried by the threats to remove our registration connected with our members’ desire for their children not to have to study in school on Saturdays, our Sabbath,” Pastor Pavel Fedotov told Forum 18 News Service on 9 November. “We hope for a good resolution to this issue and are looking forward to reaching an understanding with the government.”Protestant sources told Forum 18 that existing concerns were heightened when a leading Adventist in the capital Ashgabad, Olga Kholopova, was summoned by the National Security Ministry secret police on 8 November and threatened that if she continues to refuse to send her 12-year-old son Timur to school on Saturdays the church’s registration will be removed.”Kholopova was summoned by the ministry’s 6th department, which deals with the struggle against terrorism,” one Protestant told Forum 18. “Although officers were polite, she was threatened with a criminal case, a fine and the denial of parental rights if she refuses to send her child to school on Saturdays. They also threatened to send her son to a special centre for delinquent adolescents supervised by the police – and to strip the church of its legal status.” The Protestant told Forum 18 that officers dismissed Kholopova’s attempts to explain the importance to Adventists of observing the Sabbath.”This is also a religious freedom issue for Timur, because he is himself a believer,” one Protestant told Forum 18.
Protestant sources stressed to Forum 18 that Timur has had “excellent reports” in school and has not encountered problems with his study. They add that the secret police know that Adventists, a small minority in Turkmenistan, honour Saturday, their Sabbath, as a day of rest and worship. The Protestant sources point out that although the Turkmen school week runs from Monday to Saturday, about half the school children in Ashgabad fail to turn up on Saturdays because they are helping their families at work in markets and elsewhere.
Forum 18 was unable to immediately reach any security ministry officials to find out why such threats have been made against Kholopova and against the church. Telephones also went unanswered at the government’s Gengeshi (Council) for Religious Affairs in Ashgabad on 10 November.
Kholopova had already been summoned by her son’s school, the local hyakimlik (administration) and her local police station in a bid to pressure her to submit. Protestant sources told Forum 18 on 10 November that she was again summoned to the local police that day, though the police told her they were surprised that they had been dragged into the issue which they said was not a police matter.
Given that unregistered religious activity in Turkmenistan is illegal, Adventists are highly concerned not only by the threats to Kholopova but the threat to remove registration from the church. On 1 June the Adventists became one of the few minority religious faiths to regain registration this year after a seven and a half year period when all their activity was treated as illegal. Their church in Ashgabad was bulldozed by the authorities in November 1999. Even now they have regained registration, they still cannot meet for worship as an entire congregation in Ashgabad (see F18News 4 October 2004 http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=424).
Adventist children have faced intermittent problems in school over their desire not to study on their day of rest. Despite their religious convictions, one Adventist family in Ashgabad was forced to bow to intense pressure in September not to keep their child away from school on Saturdays.
This autumn, Adventist leaders were warned that check-ups would be carried out in all Ashgabad schools on Saturdays to make sure all children – including Adventists – were present. Sources told Forum 18 that one such check-up was carried out in the capital’s schools in October. The authorities also told the Adventists they would be looking through the church’s membership list to help verify that all the members’ children attended school on Saturdays. Pastor Fedotov was warned that if children were not attending school on Saturdays his church’s registration would be cancelled.
It is unknown if any observant Jews have encountered similar problems in Turkmenistan over compulsory schooling on Saturdays. Much of Turkmenistan’s small Jewish community emigrated in the decade after independence and little communal Jewish activity appears to survive.
All Turkmenistan’s religious public holidays are Muslim, the traditional faith of the majority of the population.
For more background, see Forum 18′s Turkmenistan religious freedom survey at http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=296
A printer-friendly map of Turkmenistan is available at
ICHMOND, Va., July 1 – On Saturdays and Sundays, rain or shine, locals and visitors fill the restaurants, boutiques, bookstores and coffee shops of Carytown, a popular residential and commercial district here. At night, restaurants bustle, and the line for the second-run movie theater wraps around the block. But thanks to an unnoticed clerical error in a new state law, some here fear that could all change.
Even after the bill’s sponsor, Senator Frederick M. Quayle, a Republican from Chesapeake, said unequivocally that the bill was in error, the mistake has Virginia’s business community reeling back to colonial times, when working on Sunday was a crime. Under the state’s new “day of rest” law, employees in the private sector can refuse to work on Sunday or their chosen Sabbath, leaving Virginia employers to wonder how they will continue to do business on weekends. The ensuing brouhaha has the governor and attorney general at loggerheads as to who should solve the problem, and how.
Meanwhile, in the midst of vacation season, frenzied Virginia employers are flooding government offices with phone calls, trying to determine just what their rights are. No one seems to have answers.
Although large and small businesses have expressed concern, and there is talk that a group of businesses will challenge the law in Richmond Circuit Court, small businesses like the ones that line Cary Street, many of them family owned, could take the brunt of the effects.
“We have 12 employees, and Saturday is our busiest day,” said Jack Burke, president of Leo Burke Furniture, a family-owned store in the heart of Carytown that sells antiques and fine furniture. “If one of our employees celebrated the Sabbath on Saturday, it would be a major hardship for us. We don’t have the luxury of hiring another person to take up the slack for one day.”
Down the street at Pink, a trendy boutique open seven days a week, Deborah Boschen, one of the owners, said she was not prepared for the worst-case scenario. “If it were left to my partner and I to work the floor on a Saturday or a Sunday, we couldn’t do it,” she said. “We have a lot of foot traffic on the weekends.”
Ms. Boschen said she feared that customers who could not get immediate service would walk out. “What am I going to do?” she asked. “Put up a sign that says ‘Lack of attention due to blue laws’?”
The new law, which went into effect Thursday, was intended to get rid of the section of the state’s so-called blue laws that restricts business operations on Sunday. But when it comes to anything 400 years old, Virginians are hard pressed to make changes. Instead of repealing blue laws, legislators over the years have layered on legislation overriding the original intent. The code itself does not change; new legislation just creates exemptions to the old.
In other words, Virginia law still holds that businesses cannot operate on Sundays. So even though added exemptions – covering retailers, movie theaters, hotels and other businesses – have made the law virtually obsolete, it is still on the books.
When the new bill was drafted, the section of exemptions was mistakenly left out. “Businesses that operate 24/7, 365 days in the private sector run the risk of substantial disruption,” said Hugh Keogh, president and chief executive of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.
No one – from the bill’s sponsor to the legislators who passed it to the governor who signed it – noticed that the exemptions were missing. Without the exemptions, employees have the right to refuse to work on their chosen day of rest.
The mistake came to light when a labor lawyer contacted Mr. Keogh to warn him of the potential dangers of the new law. After alerting the governor’s office, the Chamber of Commerce sent letters apprising its members of the possible pitfalls. When the Virginia news media began reporting the story on Wednesday, the response from local businesses was overwhelming.
“Employers are going crazy,” said Tim Murtaugh, the spokesman for Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore. Mr. Murtaugh said he had received at least 20 calls on his personal telephone line before lunchtime on Thursday. “Many dozens more are calling our main switchboard,” he said. “Everyone wants to know what this means to them.”
For now, Mr. Murtaugh said, his office is referring calls to the State Department of Labor and Industry, which, barring intervention by the governor, the attorney general or the legislature, is legally bound to live by the law as written.
Informed of the problem, Gov. Mark R. Warner, a Democrat, asked Mr. Kilgore to rule on the law’s constitutionality, said Ellen Qualls, the governor’s spokeswoman. If the attorney general were to declare the measure unconstitutional, the governor could direct the labor department not to enforce it until it could be rectified by next year’s General Assembly. But Mr. Kilgore, a Republican, quickly distanced himself from the issue.
“If the governor has a problem with the law he signed, he should get the legislature back and fix it,” Mr. Murtaugh said. “The governor should know that the attorney general cannot tell people what laws should or should not be enforced.”
Pulling legislators back to Richmond for a special session is not likely. This year’s General Assembly met for 115 days, the longest session on record for the oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere, as state lawmakers wrangled with the budget. In addition, the expense of a special legislative session could cost the already beleaguered state budget as much as $100,000 a day, Ms. Qualls said.
Mr. Warner issued a statement late Wednesday saying that he would support retroactive legislation in the 2005 General Assembly that would essentially dismantle any investigations into breaches of the erroneous law before next January, when the General Assembly meets. Unfortunately, the measure would not preclude the potentially enormous costs of investigations that would be obsolete as soon as the problem is corrected.
Mr. Keogh of the Chamber of Commerce offered this solution: “I think the preference would be to muddle through the next six months questioning the constitutionality issues and using a very reasonable approach to enforceability knowing that the whole thing will flip-flop back to what it was in January.”
John Paul II’s Address to Australian Bishops
“Pernicious Ideology of Secularism Has Found Fertile Ground”
VATICAN CITY, MARCH 26, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Here is the address John Paul II delivered today to the bishops of the Australian episcopal conference, at the conclusion of their five-yearly visit to Rome.
Dear Brother Bishops,
1. “Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord” (1 Timothy 1:2). With fraternal affection I warmly welcome you, the Bishops of Australia. I thank Archbishop Carroll for the good wishes and kind sentiments expressed on your behalf. I warmly reciprocate them and I assure you of my prayers for yourselves and those entrusted to your pastoral care. Your first visit “ad Limina Apostolorum” in this new millennium is an occasion to give thanks to God for the immense gift of faith in Jesus Christ which has been welcomed and treasured by the peoples of your country (cf. “Ecclesia in Oceania,” 1). As servants of the Gospel for the hope of the world, your coming to see Peter (cf. Galatians 1:18) affirms and consolidates that collegiality which gives rise to unity in diversity and safeguards the integrity of the tradition handed down by the Apostles (cf. “Pastores Gregis,” 57).
2. Our Lord’s call to “come follow me” (Matthew 4:19) is as valid today as it was on the shores of Lake Galilee more than two thousand years ago. The joy and hope of Christian discipleship mark the lives of countless Australian priests, Religious, and faithful men and women who together strive to respond to Christ’s call and bring his truth to bear on the ecclesial and civic life of your nation. Yet it is also true that the pernicious ideology of secularism has found fertile ground in Australia. At the root of this disturbing development is the attempt to promote a vision of humanity without God. It exaggerates individualism, sunders the essential link between freedom and truth, and corrodes the relationships of trust which characterize genuine social living. Your own reports unequivocally describe some of the destructive consequences of this eclipse of the sense of God: the undermining of family life; a drift away from the Church; a limited vision of life which fails to awaken in people the sublime call to “direct their steps towards a truth which transcends them” (“Fides et Ratio,” 5).
In the face of such challenges, when the winds are against us (cf. Mark 6:48), the Lord himself calls out: “Courage! It is I! Have no fear” (Mark 6:50). Remaining firm in trust, you too can dispel apprehension and fear. Especially within a culture of the “here and now,” Bishops must stand out as fearless prophets, witnesses and servants of the hope of Christ (cf. “Pastores Gregis,” 3). In proclaiming this hope, which springs from the Cross, I am confident that you will lead men and women from the shadows of moral confusion and ambiguous thinking into the radiance of Christ’s truth and love. Indeed, it is only by understanding humanity’s final destination — eternal life in heaven — that the multitude of daily joys and sorrows can be explained, enabling people to embrace the mystery of their own life with confidence (cf. “Fides et Ratio,” 81).
3. The Church’s witness to the hope that she holds (cf. 1 Peter 3:15) is especially powerful when she gathers together for worship. Sunday Mass, because of its special solemnity, the obligatory presence of the faithful, and its celebration on the day when Christ conquered death, expresses with great emphasis the Eucharist’s inherent ecclesial dimension: the mystery of the Church is made present in a most tangible way (cf. “Dies Domini,” 34). Consequently Sunday is the “supreme day of faith,” “an indispensable day,” “the day of Christian hope!”
Any weakening in the Sunday observance of Holy Mass weakens Christian discipleship and dims the light of witness to Christ’s presence in our world. When Sunday loses its fundamental meaning and becomes subordinate to a secular concept of “weekend” dominated by such things as entertainment and sport, people stay locked within a horizon so narrow that they can no longer see the heavens (cf. “Dies Domini,” 4). Rather than being truly satisfied or revitalized, they remain entrapped in a senseless pursuit of the novel and deprived of the perennial freshness of Christ’s “living water” (John 4:11). Though the secularization of the Lord’s day understandably causes you much worry you can, however, draw comfort from the faithfulness of the Lord himself who continues to beckon his people with a love which challenges and calls (cf. “Ecclesia in Oceania,” 3). In urging the dear faithful of Australia — and in a special way the young people — to remain faithful to the celebration of Sunday Mass, I make my own the words found in the Letter to the Hebrews: “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, … not neglecting to meet together … but encouraging one another” (Hebrews 10:23-25).
To you as Bishops I suggest that as moderators of the liturgy you give pastoral priority to catechetical programs which instruct the faithful about the true meaning of Sunday and inspire them to observe it fully. To this end I refer you to my Apostolic Letter “Dies Domini.” It outlines the pilgrim and eschatological character of the People of God, which can so easily be overshadowed today by shallow sociological understandings of community. As a remembrance of a past event and the celebration of the living presence of the Risen Lord amidst his people, Sunday also looks to the future glory of his return and the fullness of Christian hope and joy.
4. Intimately linked to the liturgy is the Church’s mission to evangelize. While the liturgical renewal, ardently desired by the Second Vatican Council, has rightly resulted in a more active and conscious participation of the faithful in the tasks proper to them, such involvement must not become an end in itself. The “purpose of being with Jesus is to go forth from Jesus, in his power and with his grace” (“Ecclesia in Oceania,” 3).
It is precisely this dynamic that the Prayer after Communion and the Concluding Rite of the Mass articulate (cf. “Dies Domini,” 45). Sent by the Lord himself into the vineyard — the home, the workplace, schools, civic organizations — disciples of Christ find no room for “standing idle in the marketplace” (Matthew 20:3) nor can they be so deeply immersed in the internal organization of parish life, that they are distracted from the command to evangelize others actively (cf. “Christifideles Laici,” 2). Renewed by the strength of the Risen Lord and his Spirit, Christ’s followers must return to their “vineyard” burning with a desire to “speak” of Christ and to “show” him to the world (cf. “Novo Millennio Ineunte,” 16).
5. The “communion” that exists between a Bishop and his priests demands that the well-being of the presbyterate be close to every Bishop’s heart. The 1998 Statement of Conclusions (Interdicasterial Meeting with a representation of the Australian Bishops) noted, with good reason, the great dedication of the priests serving the Church in Australia (cf. No. 19). In expressing my own appreciation of their tireless and unassuming service, I encourage you always to listen to your priests, as a father would listen to a son. In a secular context such as yours it is of particular importance that you help your priests to appreciate that their spiritual identity must consciously shape all their pastoral activity. The priest is never a manager or mere defender of a particular point of view. In imitation of the Good Shepherd, he is a disciple seeking to transcend his own personal limitations and rejoice in a life of intimacy with Christ. A relationship of deep communion and friendship with Jesus, in which the priest habitually talks “heart to heart with the Lord” (Instruction “The Priest, Pastor and Leader of the Parish Community,” 27), will nurture his quest for holiness, enriching not only himself but the entire community he serves.
It is in embracing the universal call to holiness (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:3) that the particular vocation to which God summons every individual is found. In this regard I am sure that your initiatives to promote a culture of vocation and to treasure the various states of ecclesial life, which exist so that “the world may believe” (John 17:21), will bear fruit. As for the young men who generously respond to God’s call to the priesthood, I again affirm that they must receive your every assistance as they strive for a life of simplicity, chastity and humble service, in imitation of Christ, the Eternal High Priest, of whom they are to become living icons (cf. “Pastores Dabo Vobis,” 33).
6. The contribution of consecrated men and women to the mission of the Church and the building up of civil society has been of immeasurable worth to your nation. Innumerable Australians have benefited from the selfless commitment of Religious to pastoral ministry and spiritual guidance as well as to education, social and medical work, and care of the elderly. Your reports attest to your admiration of these men and women, whose “gift of self for love of the Lord Jesus and, in him, of every member of the human family” (“Vita Consecrata,” 3) so enriches the life of your Dioceses.
This deep appreciation of consecrated life is rightly accompanied by your concern for the decline in Religious vocations in your country. A renewed clarity is needed to articulate the particular contribution of Religious to the life of the Church: a mission to make the love of Christ present in the midst of humanity (cf. Instruction “Starting Afresh From Christ: A Renewed Commitment to Consecrated Life in the Third Millennium,” 5). Such clarity will give rise to a new kairos, with Religious confidently reaffirming their calling and, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, proposing afresh to young people the ideal of consecration and mission. The evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience, embraced for the love of God, splendidly illuminate the fidelity, self-possession and authentic freedom necessary to live the fullness of life to which all men and women are called. With these sentiments I again assure Religious Priests, Brothers and Sisters of the vital witness they provide by radically walking in the footsteps of Christ.
7. Dear Brothers, I am pleased to acknowledge your steadfast efforts to uphold the uniqueness of marriage as a life-long covenant based on generous mutual giving and unconditional love. The Church’s teaching on marriage and stable family life offers saving truth to individuals and a sure foundation upon which the aspirations of your nation can be anchored. Incisive and faithful explanation of Christian doctrine regarding marriage and the family is of utmost importance in order to counter the secular, pragmatic and individualistic outlook which has gained ground in the area of legislation and even a certain acceptance in the realm of public opinion (cf. “Ecclesia in Oceania,” 45). Of particular concern is the growing trend to equate marriage with other forms of cohabitation. This obfuscates the very nature of marriage and violates its sacred purpose in God’s plan for humanity (cf. “Familiaris Consortio,” 3).
Raising families according to the splendor of Christ’s truth is a sharing in God’s work of creation. It lies at the heart of the call to promote a civilization of love. The deep-seated love of mothers and fathers for their children is also the Church’s, as is the pain experienced by parents when their children fall victim to forces and trends which draw them away from the path of truth, leaving them disorientated and confused. Bishops must continue to support parents who, despite the often bewildering social difficulties of today’s world, are in a position to exercise great influence and offer broader horizons of hope (cf. “Pastores Gregis,” 51). It is the Bishop’s particular task to ensure that within civil society — including the media and entertainment industry sectors — the values of marriage and family life are supported and defended (cf. ibid., 52).
8. Finally I wish to acknowledge the noble contribution the Church in Australia makes to the attainment of social justice and solidarity. Your leadership in the defense of the fundamental rights of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers, and the developmental support offered to indigenous Australians, are shining examples of the “commitment to practical and concrete love for every human being” (“Novo Millennio Ineunte,” 49) to which I have called the whole Church. Australia’s growing role as a leader in the Pacific region presents an opportunity for you to respond to the pressing need for a careful discernment of the phenomenon of globalization. Vigilant concern for the poor, the abandoned and the mistreated, and promotion of a globalization of charity will do much to indicate a path of genuine development which overcomes social marginalization and favors economic benefit for all (cf. “Pastores Gregis,” 69).
9. Dear Brothers, with affection and fraternal gratitude I offer these reflections to you and assure you of my prayers as you seek to shepherd the flocks entrusted to you. United in your proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ, go forward now in hope! With these sentiments I commend you to the protection of Mary, Mother of the Church, and to the intercession and guidance of Blessed Mary MacKillop. To you and to the priests, deacons, Religious and lay faithful of your Dioceses, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing.
[Original text: English]
POPE REMINDS AUSTRALIANS OF SUNDAY OBLIGATION
Vatican, Mar. 26 (CWNews.com) – In a March 26 meeting with the bishops of Australia, who are making their ad limina visit, Pope John Paul II underlined the importance of Sunday Mass. The Holy Father spoke to the bishops about their responsibility to confront the secularizing trends of their culture. “The pernicious ideology of secularization has found fertile soil in Australia,” he said. He encouraged the bishops to be “fearless prophets, witnesses and servants of hope in Christ,” thus directly combating that influence.
The single most powerful way to confront secularization, the Pope continued, is to highlight the obligation for all Catholics to attend Sunday Mass. He observed that the understanding of the Sabbath has been lost in modern society, so that Sunday becomes “subordinated to the secular concept of the ‘weekend,’ dominated by relaxation and sports.” The result, the Pontiff said, is that people develop “a horizon so restricted that they can no longer see the heavens.”
Pope John Paul remarked that the reports he had received from the Australian bishops show “the destructive consequences of the loss of a sense of God: the undermining of family life and a drift away from the Church.” He praised the bishops for their efforts to support family life and restore a proper understanding of marriage. And he urged them to continue that struggle, working within civil society to defend marriage and family. -26-March-2004 — Catholic World News Brief
“All businesses, including gasoline stations and restaurants, should close ever Sunday… by force of legislative fiat through the duly elected offcials of the people.” -Harold Lindsell, Editor of Christianity Today -May 7, 1976
“It seems to be plain that by these laws, the states compel one, under the sanction of law, to refrain from work or recreation on Sunday because of the majority’s views on that day. The state by law makes Sunday a symbol of respect or adherence.” - Justice William O. Douglas McGOWAN ET AL. v. MARYLAND SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES 366 U.S. 420 May 29, 1961, Decided ( http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&navby=case&vol=366&invol=420 & http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/mcgowan.html )
In the News
Seventh-day Adventist churches in the Abu Garajil and Juruf districts of the Darfur region of western Sudan have been destroyed during the escalating humanitarian and security crisis unfolding there, church leaders say.
“Our members have been displaced. They are without food, clothing or shelter to sleep under,” reports the district leader for the Adventist Church in the area.
In spite of their difficulties and constant threat to personal security, the members are eagerly gathering for worship services. Since the forest there is not thick, they find it difficult even to shelter under the trees for services. Instead they prefer to worship in the evening when the sun goes down because during the day you cannot bear the hot sun.
The Brussels-based International Crisis Group, in their May 23, 2004 report, they state, “A month after the international community solemnly marked the tenth anniversary of the Rwandan genocide in April 2004 with promises of ‘never again,’ it faces a man-made humanitarian catastrophe in western Sudan [Darfur] that can easily become nearly as deadly.”
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), the humanitarian arm of the Adventist Church, sent a crisis assessment team to the region April 24 through 30 this year. Observations published in their May bulletin are equally grim: “In general, all internally displaced people are living in miserable conditions, having lost all their belongings and all their livestock except for one or two starved donkeys. Crops and houses have been burned down and agricultural land
is inaccessible due to insecurity.”
ADRA’s initial response will be centered on the area of water and sanitation with the overall goal of improving the health of the people.
Adventist News Network, June 1, 2004
Zagreb, Sep. 10 (CWNews.com) – Labor laws in Croatia are being used to exploit tens of thousands of citizens, Catholic leaders have charged.
Archbishop Ivan Prendja, president of the Croatian Catholic charity Caritas and Bozo Vuleta , director of the Institute for the Culture of Peace, made the charge in a letter delivered to Prime Minister Ivica Racan this week. The letter accompanied a petition of calling for a ban on the Sunday opening of shops.
According to Croatiaa??s labor law, Sunday is a holiday, and therefore shops should not open. However in 2001 the Ministry of the Economy issued new rules, allowing local government bodies to make their own decisions on shop opening times. This new policy, the Catholic leaders claim, has led to violations of the spirit of the legislation.
The Croatian government is not in favor of the Sunday shop openings, but would prefer a strategy of discouragement and disincentives, rather than an outright ban. However, the prime minister himself admits that more needs to be done.
Support for the idea of a total ban is considerable. The 300,000 signatures on the petition represent 1 out of every 15 inhabitants of Croatia. Moreover, according to Caritas and the Institute for the Culture of Peace, their campaign against Sunday opening has the support of– among other powerful groups– the trade unions, the Chamber of Crafts, the Merchant Guild, members of parliament and, the Ministry of Crafts and the Ministry of Tourism. The case for a total ban is due to be discussed by the Croatian parliament later this month.
By JOANNE MAMENTA
For The Tennessean
Overworked? Stressed out? Exhausted?
Take a sabbatical.
Give your mind, body and soul a day each week — or even a few hours — to renew itself.
Sabbath is from the Hebrew word shabbat, which means, ”rest.” And think about it — even God rested on the seventh day from all the work he had done.
But do we? Not according to research. About one-quarter of U.S. workers toil 50 or more hours a week. A United Nations report found that U.S. workers put in more hours on the job than workers in any other industrialized nation. And surveys have found there is a price for overworked employees: mistakes on the job, work and family conflict, negative health effects, sleep loss.
With our frenetic lives, we all need a day of rest.
That’s why Amy and Mark Mitchell of Franklin decided to honor the Sabbath on Sunday.
”It got to be so crazy on Sunday. We were scrambling to do everything. We were running around doing housework, yard work, errands. Some nights we were still doing stuff at 10:30 p.m.,” Amy Mitchell said.
Now on Sundays, the Mitchells and their two young children focus on family time. They play games and enjoy the outdoors. ”It starts the week off right, in a calm way,” Amy said.
Indeed. Those who observe a day of rest say it nourishes and revitalizes them. And there is research to back these claims. University of Arizona studies show the biological need for rest every seventh day. According to the researcher, Juan-Cardos Lerman, failing to rest after six days of steady work will lead to insomnia or sleepiness, hormonal imbalances, fatigue, irritability, organ stress and other increasingly serious physical and mental symptoms.
So how can you keep or create your own Sabbath? It varies. Some people follow the traditions of their faith and observe Sabbath on a certain day of the week. Others pick a day in the week that works best for them.
To Rabbi Kenneth Kanter of Congregation Micah in Brentwood, the Sabbath is the day set apart from the rest of the days. ”There is to be no work, no commerce; it is a time for family worship and spiritual reconnection to God,” said Kanter, adding, ”In the Jewish faith, Sabbath is a home-based tradition. Ideally, you celebrate it together.”
For some, Sabbath time isn’t a day of the week but a few hours a day. That’s what works for Julie Robertson, a Franklin mother of three small children.
”I get up at 4:30 a.m. and that’s my time. I’ll make my pot of coffee, read, exercise, take time for myself before the kids get up at 7 a.m.,” she said.
Kanter also recommends finding time on the Sabbath for yourself.
”Even if that means taking a block of time on the Sabbath to read a book or sit out on your porch and enjoy the surroundings,” Kanter said.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – The Saturday shopping sprint is a time-honored German tradition: a frantic push through long lines for last-minute groceries as the clock ticks toward the mandatory 4 p.m. closing time.
But that tradition ends Saturday, when a new law takes effect allowing stores to stay open four more hours – until 8 p.m. – as they do every other day except Sunday, when shops are closed altogether.
The battle for the extension, which met fierce resistance from unionized store workers and some shopkeepers, highlighted the difficulty of reforming Europe’s largest economy, even as it teeters on the brink of recession.
Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s government hopes the longer hours will pump more money into suffering retailers’ tills in a country where the economy is in its third year of stagnation – and shrank by 0.2 percent in the first three months of this year.
“I hope that as many businesses as possible will use the new chance, and I hope that consumers will now be able to fulfill their wishes without time pressure,” economics and labor minister Wolfgang Clement said Friday. “That would be a boost for the economy, it will revitalize our downtowns and so help other businesses.”
However, stores are not likely to open Sunday anytime soon: The German constitution calls the day one for “spiritual elevation.”
Alfred and Tamara Steinbrecher, strolling past the shops on Frankfurt’s Schillerstrasse, said the change was overdue.
“The longer, the better, as in England or America,” said Alfred Steinbrecher, a retired businessman pulling a shopping cart.
“You simply can’t get it all done on Saturday,” said Tamara Steinbrecher, a doctor. “You spend one whole hour just standing in line.”
Shopping time used to be even shorter – as late as 1996, the law mandated a 2 p.m. close on Saturday and 6:30 p.m. during the week. Germany’s powerful labor unions have fought against the latest change, mobilizing some 20,000 people for a March protest in Berlin.
That opposition is reflected in the employee councils, which under German law must agree to new hours. But the collective bargaining agreement does not specify how much workers should get for four additional hours, so stores must cut individual deals.
Berlin’s giant KaDeWe department store, for instance, has been able to persuade its workers to agree to work only until 6 p.m and is taking the issue to arbitration.
“We hope to be open until 8 p.m. by Christmas time,” spokeswoman Dagmar Flade said.
Furniture chain Ikea, on the other hand, was able to get employees at its 30 stores in Germany to work until 8 p.m. The firm already pays workers a 20 percent hourly wage premium on Saturdays, and they will get the same deal for the extra hours.
The German Retail Federation said it found in a survey that only 42 percent of its members intend to stay open past 4 p.m.
Many among Germany’s legions of small, family-owned stores still keep to the old 2 p.m. Saturday close – and do not plan to change.
“I would have to hire more people and pay more in costs – it wouldn’t pay,” said Hans-Joachim Knapp, who runs the flower shop his father founded in 1956 on a quiet Frankfurt side street.
The problem isn’t the hours – it’s the economy, he said: “People are holding back, they have less money.”
House approves national day of prayer and fasting
Thursday, March 27, 2003
|(03-27) 11:12 PST WASHINGTON (AP) –The House passed a resolution Thursday calling for a national day of humility, prayer and fasting in a time of war and terrorism.The resolution, passed 346-49, says Americans should use the day of prayer “to seek guidance from God to achieve a greater understanding of our own failings and to learn how we can do better in our everyday activities, and to gain resolve in meeting the challenges that confront our nation.”Under the resolution, President Bush would issue a proclamation designating a specific day as a day of “humility, prayer and fasting.”
White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said officials there had not looked at the resolution but “the president believes that faith and prayer are important and frequently references the importance of praying for American troops and for freedom around the world.”
A similar resolution approved on March 17 said it was the sense of the Senate that that day should be a national day of prayer and fasting.
During Wednesday’s House debate, some lawmakers expressed concern about the measure.
Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, a presidential hopeful and an opponent of the war in Iraq, said the resolution “may be seen by some as an attempt to inject religion into this war at a time when some of America’s enemies abroad are asserting that this indeed is a war about religion.”
Sunday Dilemma in U.S.: Sports Vs. Church
By WAYNE PARRY
Associated Press Writer
November 29, 2003, 12:04 PM EST
SUMMIT, N.J. — Sports vs. church: It’s become the Sunday morning dilemma in homes across the nation. With weekend sports leagues growing in popularity, schedules have stretched further into those Sunday morning hours that were once the exclusive domain of churches.
Now, clergy of many faiths are pushing back, asking coaches and time-starved parents to keep Sunday morning holy, even if it means their children’s teams have to play some other time.
“I don’t want my kids to grow up with great football memories and no Biblical knowledge,” said Rev. Chuck Rush, senior minister at Christ Church in Summit, a New York City suburb. “You’ve got this dramatic pressure between playing sports and going to church, which isn’t good.”
The Summit Interfaith Council recently issued an appeal to public and private sports leagues to refrain from scheduling games before noon on Sunday.
Rush, who helped write the appeal, sees the church vs. sports conflict in his own home. His 13-year-old daughter, who plays soccer, is sometimes torn between religion and her loyalty to her team, where she stood a good chance of being named most valuable player.
“She was in a tournament recently and she said, `I could be the MVP, but if I don’t play in this Sunday’s game, I definitely won’t be the MVP,” he recalled.
It all boils down to time, and the precious lack of it for families. As the growing demands of homework, weekend errands and sports compete for families’ free time, church often loses.
One church in Andover, Mass., recently conducted a marketing survey to find out when congregants had free time to attend weekend services. The most common response: Saturday at 5 p.m., because Sunday was all but booked.
“You run around all week long, commuting to work and coming home, and run and run all weekend long and by Sunday night, you’re asking, `What the heck just happened?’” Rush said. “Sabbath means there’s some structured rest.”
But stacking games on Saturday isn’t the answer for everyone. Those games inconvenience Jewish families, who sympathize with the churches’ problem but would prefer their kids play on Sunday.
“Having games on Saturday morning is a huge challenge for the Jewish community,” said Allyson Gall, New Jersey Director for the American Jewish Committee in nearby Millburn. “I’d try like crazy to get the kids to an 8 a.m. game, have them change clothes in the car on the way back and rush them to synagogue.”
At St. Teresa of Avila R.C. Church in Summit, it’s not uncommon to see youngsters in the pews dressed in soccer or football uniforms, ready to be whisked off to the field as soon as the last organ note fades.
Don Rasweiler, a father of five and a football coach, must deal with both sides of the debate. He has to be at the field an hour before the 10:30 a.m. game, which means getting at least some of the kids up early enough for 7:30 a.m. Mass. There’s also a good chance one or two of his other children will have a game later in the day.
Rasweiler and his wife Kate frequently handle it by splitting up, attending different Masses with Jack, 12, Henry, 10, or Abigail, 8, depending on the week’s sports schedule.
Rasweiler said his wife isn’t pleased with the solution.
“We were discussing it a couple weekends ago, and she said, `I don’t like the effect this is having on us. We should go to church as a family.’ ”
Tom Brown, a baseball coach and St. Teresa parishioner, noted his league worked with the area churches to at least avoid conflicts between team picture day and the congregations’ First Holy Communion days.
“We talked to them, got their dates, and we moved picture day,” he said. “They really appreciated it, and we got a big thank you from the churches and the parents.”
Keeping Sunday for prayer helps witness to resurrection, pope says
August 4, 2003 – CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) — By making Sunday a special day of prayer and rest, Christians give weekly witness to Christ’s victory over sin and death, Pope John Paul II said. Sunday, the day commemorating Christ’s resurrection, “is the symbol par excellence for that which Christianity has and continues to represent in Europe and in the world,” the pope said Aug. 3. Reciting the midday Angelus with visitors at his summer villa outside of Rome, the pope said observing Sunday as a day of prayer and rest is “a perennial proclamation of the good news of the resurrection of Jesus, the celebration of his victory over sin and death and his commitment to the full liberation of each man and woman.”
Pope Asks Support for Families to Overcome Social Fragmentation
Suggests That the Sacredness of Sundays Be Rediscovered
RIJEKA, Croatia, JUNE 8, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II appealed for effective support of the family as the indispensable condition to overcome the social fragmentation typical of contemporary societies.
Celebrating the Mass of Pentecost before 140,000 people gathered in the central square of Rijeka, the Pope focused his homily on the central theme of his third visit to Croatia, “The Family: Path of the Church and of the Nation.”
“Nowadays the family, also in Croatia, requires special consideration and concrete policies aimed at promoting and protecting its essential nature, its development and its stability,” John Paul II said today during the homily, under a burning sun.
“Among other things, I am thinking of the serious problems associated with housing and employment,” he said. Croatia has an unemployment rate of about 22%.
“It must not be forgotten that in helping the family we also help to resolve other important problems, such as providing assistance to the sick and the elderly, halting the spread of crime, and finding a remedy to drug use,” the Holy Father said.
“If this is to happen, it is essential to show respect for the sacredness of Sunday, which enables members of the family to recollect themselves and to join in giving due worship to God,” he added.
Political leaders and labor unions in Croatia are debating a plan to liberalize work on Sundays. Among those at the Mass were Prime Minister Ivica Racan and President Stipe Mesic.
The Pope gave his support to a program launched a few years ago by the country’s Catholic bishops, entitled “The Croatian Catholic Family Prays Daily and Celebrates the Eucharist Every Sunday.”
When greeting Archbishop Ivan Devcic of Rijeka, the Pope acknowledged that Croatian families are experiencing “severe tests of an economic, moral and cultural nature” to which the authorities should offer solutions.
The Holy Fathe r asked Christian families to witness with their lives “God’s authentic plan for the family as a community of life founded on marriage.”
He emphasized that marriage is based “on the stable and faithful union of a man and a woman, bound to each other by a bond which is publicly manifested and recognized.”
The Pope reminded parents that they must “provide for the human and Christian education of your children, trusting also in the expert assistance of committed and well-trained educators and catechists.”
He added: “You, too, must help your children to encounter Jesus and to follow him, even amid the temptations to which young people are continuously exposed, along the path that leads to authentic joy.
“Society today is tragically fragmented and divided. This is the reason why it is so desperately unfulfilled. But Christians do not become resigned to weariness or paralyzed by inertia. May you be people of hope! May you be a people that prays.”
In the afternoon, the Pope received Prime Minister Racan at the seminary of Rijeka. Later, he was to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Trsat, Queen of the Adriatic, where according to tradition the Holy House of Nazareth was kept from 1291 to 1294, before being transported to Loreto, Italy.
John Paul II will leave Croatia on Monday from the airport of Zadar, a city where he will first preside over the celebration of a Liturgy of the Word.
Iraq, Middle East, & Religious Liberty
No doubt, time will tell whether or not we are presently witnessing the
transformation of America, as predicted in Revelation 13. There is,
however, an interesting development transpiring that may at some future
point help us better judge the success/failure of the current action.
Last year, shortly after Iraq became the target of U.S. rhetoric in the
aftermath of 9/11, I happened to meet a close relative of the president of
the Middle East Union of the SDA church. According to this relative, the
MEU president told him that our fellow church members in Iraq were
expressing a preference to remain under the current regime, as it afforded
them a degree of religious freedom that they could not be sure they would
have under another.
Today I ran across several news briefs on the Adventist News Network that
may, in fact, prove their fears to be well founded. The first two suggest
that many, if not most, of the countries around Iraq are not particularly
friendly to the idea of religious liberty, according to recent U.S. State
Department reports. These articles may be found at:
The third addresses the development of the new constitution for Afghanistan
and raises the concern that religious freedom, particularly with respect to
Christianity, may not find a place in this recently “liberated” state.
This bulletin can be accessed at:
Irrespective of where the U.S. is currently in prophetic history, I believe
we would all do well to pray that God will be with our Middle Eastern
members, guarding them and the gospel through the rocky path ahead!
Commandments still relevant to laws
I have been watching with much interest and confusion as Justice Roy Moore, the Chief Justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court, has defied federal court orders to remove the 5,280-pound granite monument from the rotunda of the state judicial building.
In this land of toleration where it has become unpopular to make someone uncomfortable in his beliefs, I cannot help but wonder if Judge Moore might be doing the right thing, even if I do not agree with his motives.
Does the granite have a legitimate place in our government buildings or hold any historical significance for our country’s founding?
Our nation’s first set of laws, the legal code of Virginia drafted in 1610, contained every one of the Ten Commandments complete with their biblical references, one right after the other. Subsequently, most of the other colonies adopted the Ten Commandments as the foundation of their civil codes.
These civil codes became the foundation of our Constitution and other state laws.
Several of the ten are unquestionably accepted by most citizens: do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, etc. But what about some of the other more religiously-entrenched commandments?
The fourth commandment’s influence can be seen in Sunday laws, still valid in today’s culture. In 1950, the Supreme Court of Mississippi stated: “The Sunday laws have a divine origin…After the six days of creation, the Creator Himself rested on the Seventh…Thus, the Sabbath was instituted as a day of rest. The original example was later confirmed as a commandment when the law was handed down from Mt. Sinai: ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.’”
Additionally, the Constitution gives the President ten days to sign a bill into law “Sundays excepted.” Even our founding fathers recognized the importance of the fourth commandment.
Another example of the Ten Commandments influencing our government can be seen in the following statement made by the 1955 Washington Supreme Court regarding adultery: “Adultery, whether promiscuous or not, violates one of the Ten Commandments and the statutes of this State.”
The tenth commandment, “Thou shalt not covet,” was viewed by John Adams, a signer of the Bill of Rights and a former President, as being vital to a successful society:
“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘Thou shalt not covet’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.”
The third commandment had a profound influence on the Continental Army during the American Revolution. Commander-in-Chief George Washington issued an order stating: “The General most earnestly requires and expects a due observance of those articles of war established for the government of the army which forbid profane cursing, swearing and drunkenness; and…requires and expects of all officers and soldiers not engaged on actual duty, a punctual attendance on Divine Service to implore the blessings of Heaven upon the means used for our safety and defense.”
Washington believed that God would not bless the Army’s efforts if the soldiers failed to observe the Ten Commandments. If any soldier was heard dishonoring God’s name, he was punished by lashings with a whip.
John Witherspoon, a signer of the Declaration of Independence who served on over 100 committees while in Congress, said: “to promote true religion is the best and most effectual way of making a virtuous and regular people. Love to God and love to man is the substance of religion; when these prevail, civil laws will have little to do.”
It is obvious that religion and the Ten Commandments played a vital role in the founding of this nation. In fact, 27 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence held seminary degrees. To argue that religion did not and should not influence government goes against the principles upon which this country’s foundations were laid.
Justice Moore’s monument has now been removed from the public eye. It resides in a locked storage room off the first floor employee lunch room of the state judicial building. Aside from any political motives Moore may or may not have, I believe the Ten Commandments played and should continue to play an important role in our government and the laws that govern our society.
By Justin Partlo
September 5, 2003
Just exactly what is dehydration and blood pressure? Water is a vital variable of the body, and also sufficient hydration is a must to permit the body to work. Almost 75 % of the body’s weight is made up of water. Most of the water is discovered within the cells of the body. The rest is located in the extracellular area, which includes the blood vessels (intravascular space) along with the areas between cells (interstitial space).
Dehydration takes place when the quantity of water leaving the body is greater than the quantity being soaked up. The body is exceptionally powerful as well as constantly changing. This is especially true with water in the body. We shed water routinely when we: breathe in and also humidified air leaves the body (this can be seen on a cool day (the breath you see in the air is water that has actually been exhaled); sweat to cool the body; and also abolish waste by peeing or having a bowel movement.
In a typical day, a person has to drink a substantial amount of water to change this reduction.
The formula to stay clear of dehydration depends upon someone’s individual weight. Usually, fluid as well as weight are determined using the measurement system below.
The body is able to manage the volume of fluid it has to function. When you are actually dried out, the thirst mechanism signals the body to consume water when the body is dry. Also, bodily hormones like anti-diuretic bodily hormone (ADH) work with the renal to limit the amount of water dropped in the urine when the body has to cut back water.
Dehydration develops due to the fact that there is an excessive amount of water droppage, not enough water absorbed, or most commonly a blend of the two.
Diarrhea: Looseness of the bowels is the most usual source for a individual to drop excess volumes of water. A really good volume of water can be dropped with each bowel movement. Worldwide, greater than 4 million little ones die each year because of dehydration from looseness of the bowels.
Throwing up: Throwing up can be a root cause of fluid reduction decrease. It is dropped in the vomitus, yet it is hard for a person to switch out water by consuming it if they have nausea along with are not able to endure fluids.
Perspiration: The body could shed large quantities of water when it tries to cool itself by sweating. Whether the body is warm because of the environment, because of working in a warm setting), extreme exercising in a warm atmosphere, or provided that a high temperature internally is caused due to an infection; the body makes use of water in the kind of perspiration to cool itself.
Diabetic issues: In individuals with diabetic problems, increased blood glucose levels produce sugar to splash in to the urine and water then follows, which could generate dehydration. For this reason, regular peeing as well as extreme thirst are amongst the very early manifestations of diabetic issues.
Burns: The skin forms a covering barrier for the body and also is responsible for moderating fluid loss. Burn patients come to be dehydrated given that the defective skin might not prevent fluid from leaking away from the body. Extra irritated conditions of the skin are additionally linked to fluid reduction.
Failing to ingest fluids: The inability to ingest effectively is the other prospective cause of dehydration. Whether it is the absence of accessibility of water, strong queasiness with or without vomiting, or the scarcity of strength to consume, this, paired with regular or amazing water decreases are able to aggravate the degree of dehydration. Grab 8 freebies and find your dehydration option by clicking here!
Remember that dehydration symptoms, dehydration signs, dehydration effects need to be checked out!
Just what is dehydration as well as blood pressure? Water is a crucial element of the body, in addition to sufficient hydration is a must to enable the body to operate. Almost 75 % of the body’s weight is composed of water. Most of the water is found within the cells of the body. The remainder is situated in the extracellular area, which includes the blood vessels (intravascular area) in addition to the spaces between cells (interstitial space).
Dehydration happens when the quantity of water leaving the body is greater than the volume being soaked up. The body is unbelievably vibrant and constantly changing. This is specifically true with water in the body. We shed water consistently when we: breathe in as well as humidified air leaves the body (this can be watched on a cool day (the breath you view in the air is water that has been exhaled); sweat to cool the body; in addition to eliminate waste by peeing or having a bowel movement.
In a common day, a person needs to drink a significant volume of water to transform this reduction.
The formula to stay clear of dehydration depends upon someone’s individual weight. Generally, fluid as well as weight are calculated utilizing the measurement system below.
The body is able to monitor the volume of fluid it has to work. When you are currently dehydrated, the thirst system signals the body to consume water when the body is dry. Also, bodily hormones like anti-diuretic bodily hormone (ADH) work with the renal to restrict the volume of water lost in the urine when the body has to cut down water.
Dehydration develops due to the fact that there is an extreme amount of water droppage, not nearly enough water taken in, or most typically a combination of the two.
Diarrhea: Looseness of the bowels is the most standard cause for a person to shed excess amounts of water. A excellent amount of water can be dropped with each defecation. Worldwide, greater than 4 million kids die each year because of dehydration from looseness of the bowels.
Throwing up: Throwing up can be a root cause of fluid reduction decrease. It is dropped in the vomitus, yet it is tough for a person to change water by consuming it if they have queasiness as well as are unable to allow fluids.
Perspiration: The body can shed large quantities of water when it tries to cool itself by sweating. Whether the body is warm because of the environment, because of working in a scorching atmosphere), extreme exercising in a scorching environment, or offered that a high temperature internally is caused due to an infection; the body utilizes water in the kind of sweat to cool itself.
Diabetes: In individuals with diabetic issues, raised blood sugar degrees make sugar to spill into the urine and water then follows, which can generate dehydration. For this reason, regular peeing and severe thirst are amongst the very early indications of diabetic problems.
Burns: The skin forms a shielding barricade for the body as well as is responsible for moderating fluid loss. Burn sufferers come to be dehydrated provided that the busted skin could possibly not prevent fluid from passing far from the body. Additional inflamed problems of the skin are additionally linked to fluid decrease.
Failing to eat fluids: The failure to consume effectively is the other possible reason of dehydration. Whether it is the absence of accessibility of water, strong queasiness with or without vomiting, or the lack of strength to drink, this, paired with normal or astonishing water decreases are able to worsen the level of dehydration. Grab 8 freebies and discover your dehydration option by clicking here!
Don’t forget that dehydration symptoms, dehydration signs, dehydration effects need to be paid attention to!
Just what is dehydration as well as blood pressure? Water is a crucial aspect of the body, as well as ample hydration is a must to enable the body to work. Almost 75 % of the body’s weight is comprised of water. Most of the water is found within the cells of the body. The remainder is situated in the extracellular space, that includes the capillary (intravascular area) along with the areas in between cells (interstitial space).
Dehydration occurs when the quantity of water leaving the body is greater than the amount being soaked up. The body is exceptionally dynamic as well as always changing. This is especially true with water in the body. We shed water consistently when we: take in as well as humidified air leaves the body (this can be seen on a cool day (the breath you see in the air is water that has actually been exhaled); sweat to cool the body; along with eliminate waste by urinating or having a bowel movement.
In a regular day, a person has to consume a substantial quantity of water to transform this decrease.
The formula to avoid dehydration depends upon someone’s individual weight. Normally, fluid and also weight are figured out employing the measurement system below.
The body is able to monitor the quantity of fluid it should operate. When you are currently dehydrated, the thirst mechanism signals the body to consume water when the body is dry. As well, bodily hormones like anti-diuretic bodily hormone (ADH) work with the renal to restrain the amount of water lost in the urine when the body needs to cut down water.
Dehydration develops due to the fact that there is an extreme quantity of water droppage, not nearly enough water taken in, or many typically a mixture of the two.
Diarrhea: Looseness of the bowels is the most regular cause for a individual to lose excess amounts of water. A excellent volume of water can be lost with each defecation. Worldwide, greater than 4 million little ones die each year because of dehydration from looseness of the bowels.
Throwing up: Throwing up can be a root cause of fluid reduction decrease. It is dropped in the vomitus, yet it is hard for a person to switch out water by consuming it if they have nausea as well as are not able to endure fluids.
Perspiration: The body can drop large amounts of water when it attempts to cool itself by sweating. Whether the body is warm because of the environment, because of working in a warm setting), severe working out in a warm setting, or offered that a high temperature internally is caused due to an infection; the body utilizes water in the kind of perspiration to cool itself.
Diabetic issues: In individuals with diabetic concerns, increased blood sugar levels make glucose to splash in to the urine and water then follows, which can cause dehydration. For this reason, regular urination and severe thirst are among the early signs of diabetic problems.
Burns: The skin forms a covering barricade for the body and also is responsible for moderating fluid loss. Burn sufferers become dehydrated given that the broken skin can not stay clear of fluid from dripping far from the body. Extra inflamed disorders of the skin are also linked to fluid reduction.
Failing to eat fluids: The lack of ability to consume successfully is the other prospective explanation of dehydration. Whether it is the absence of availability of water, strong nausea with or without throwing up, or the shortage of strength to drink, this, joined normal or amazing water decreases are able to aggravate the degree of dehydration. Grab 8 freebies and locate your dehydration option by clicking here!
Remember that dehydration symptoms, dehydration signs, dehydration effects need to be paid attention to!
Just exactly what is dehydration and blood pressure? Water is a necessary factor of the body, as well as sufficient hydration is a must to permit the body to function. Practically 75 % of the body’s weight is composed of water. Most of the water is found within the cells of the body. The remainder is located in the extracellular space, which includes the blood vessels (intravascular space) as well as the spaces between cells (interstitial space).
Dehydration takes place when the quantity of water leaving the body is greater than the amount being absorbed. The body is extremely vibrant and constantly changing. This is especially true with water in the body. We shed water regularly when we: take in as well as humidified air leaves the body (this can be watched on a cold day (the breath you view in the air is water that has been exhaled); sweat to cool the body; as well as eliminate waste by peeing or having a defecation.
In a typical day, a person needs to drink a significant volume of water to change this decrease.
The formula to stay clear of dehydration concerns someone’s individual weight. Generally, fluid as well as weight are determined using the measurement system below.
The body is able to monitor the quantity of fluid it has to operate. When you are already dried out, the thirst system tells the body to consume water when the body is dry. As well, bodily hormones like anti-diuretic bodily hormone (ADH) work with the renal to restrict the amount of water lost in the urine when the body has to cut down water.
Dehydration develops since there is an unnecessary amount of water droppage, insufficient water absorbed, or many normally a mixture of the two.
Diarrhea: Looseness of the bowels is the most typical reason for a individual to shed excess quantities of water. A great amount of water can be shed with each defecation. Worldwide, greater than 4 million children die each year because of dehydration from looseness of the bowels.
Throwing up: Throwing up can be a root cause of fluid reduction decrease. It is dropped in the vomitus, yet it is tough for a person to replace water by consuming it if they have queasiness along with are unable to put up with fluids.
Perspiration: The body can drop large volumes of water when it attempts to cool itself by sweating. Whether the body is warm because of the environment, because of working in a scorching setting), extreme exercising in a warm atmosphere, or provided that a high temperature internally is caused due to an infection; the body makes use of water in the kind of perspiration to cool itself.
Diabetic issues: In individuals with diabetic issues, increased blood sugar levels develop glucose to spill in to the urine and water then follows, which could possibly induce dehydration. For this reason, regular urination and harsh thirst are amongst the very early signs of diabetic problems.
Burns: The skin forms a safeguarding barrier for the body and also is responsible for moderating fluid loss. Burn victims come to be dehydrated given that the damaged skin could not prevent fluid from leaking away from the body. Added inflamed ailments of the skin are likewise linked to fluid decrease.
Failing to ingest fluids: The failure to ingest efficiently is the other prospective explanation of dehydration. Whether it is the lack of access of water, strong nausea with or without throwing up, or the lack of strength to drink, this, joined regular or amazing water decreases have the ability to worsen the level of dehydration. Grab 8 free gifts as well as discover your dehydration answer by clicking here!
Keep in mind that dehydration symptoms, dehydration signs, dehydration effects need to be paid attention to!
Just exactly what is dehydration as well as blood pressure? Water is a vital element of the body, along with appropriate hydration is a must to allow the body to work. Nearly 75 % of the body’s weight is made up of water. Most of the water is uncovered within the cells of the body. The remainder is found in the extracellular area, which includes the capillary (intravascular area) in addition to the spaces in between cells (interstitial space).
Dehydration takes place when the quantity of water leaving the body is greater than the amount being soaked up. The body is surprisingly vibrant as well as consistently changing. This is especially true with water in the body. We shed water on a regular basis when we: draw in as well as humidified air leaves the body (this can be viewed on a cold day (the breath you view in the air is water that has been exhaled); sweat to cool the body; in addition to eliminate waste by urinating or having a bowel movement.
In a normal day, a person has to consume a considerable amount of water to alter this reduction.
The formula to avoid dehydration depends upon someone’s individual weight. Generally, fluid and also weight are determined utilizing the measurement system below.
The body has the ability to manage the quantity of fluid it should work. When you are actually dehydrated, the thirst system tells the body to consume water when the body is dry. Also, bodily hormones like anti-diuretic bodily hormone (ADH) work with the kidney to restrain the volume of water shed in the urine when the body needs to cut down water.
Dehydration develops since there is an extreme amount of water droppage, not nearly enough water taken in, or many usually a combination of the two.
Diarrhea: Looseness of the bowels is the most regular reason for a individual to drop excess amounts of water. A good amount of water can be dropped with each defecation. Worldwide, greater than 4 million kids die each year because of dehydration from looseness of the bowels.
Throwing up: Throwing up can be a root cause of fluid reduction decrease. It is dropped in the vomitus, yet it is tough for a person to change water by consuming it if they have nausea in addition to are not able to endure fluids.
Perspiration: The body could possibly drop large quantities of water when it attempts to cool itself by sweating. Whether the body is warm because of the environment, because of working in a warm setting), extreme exercising in a warm setting, or offered that a high temperature internally is caused due to an infection; the body utilizes water in the kind of sweat to cool itself.
Diabetic issues: In individuals with diabetic issues, raised blood sugar levels produce glucose to spill into the urine and water then follows, which can generate dehydration. For this reason, recurring urination as well as harsh thirst are amongst the very early manifestations of diabetic problems.
Burns: The skin forms a covering barricade for the body and also is responsible for moderating fluid reduction. Burn victims become dehydrated given that the faulty skin can not stay clear of fluid from passing away from the body. Additional irritated disorders of the skin are additionally linked to fluid decrease.
Failing to eat fluids: The lack of ability to eat efficiently is the other potential cause of dehydration. Whether it is the absence of availability of water, strong queasiness with or without throwing up, or the scarcity of strength to consume, this, paired with regular or unbelievable water decreases have the ability to intensify the degree of dehydration. Get hold of 8 free offers and find your dehydration option by clicking here!
Keep in mind that dehydration symptoms, dehydration signs, dehydration effects need to be checked out!
Just what is dehydration as well as blood pressure? Water is a vital factor of the body, and also ample hydration is a must to enable the body to operate. Almost 75 % of the body’s weight is made up of water. Most of the water is discovered within the cells of the body. The remainder is found in the extracellular area, which includes the capillary (intravascular space) as well as the areas between cells (interstitial space).
Dehydration occurs when the quantity of water leaving the body is greater than the volume being soaked up. The body is surprisingly dynamic as well as constantly changing. This is especially true with water in the body. We shed water on a regular basis when we: take in and also humidified air leaves the body (this can be checked out on a cold day (the breath you view in the air is water that has actually been exhaled); sweat to cool the body; as well as abolish waste by urinating or having a bowel movement.
In a typical day, a person needs to consume a significant amount of water to transform this decrease.
The formula to stay clear of dehydration hinges on someone’s individual weight. Usually, fluid and also weight are determined employing the measurement system below.
The body is able to monitor the volume of fluid it has to operate. When you are currently dried out, the thirst mechanism tells the body to drink water when the body is dry. As well, bodily hormones like anti-diuretic bodily hormone (ADH) work with the renal to restrict the quantity of water dropped in the urine when the body has to cut back water.
Dehydration develops because there is an unnecessary amount of water droppage, inadequate water taken in, or a lot of generally a blend of the two.
Diarrhea: Looseness of the bowels is the most regular source for a person to shed excess amounts of water. A excellent volume of water can be dropped with each defecation. Worldwide, greater than 4 million little ones die each year because of dehydration from looseness of the bowels.
Throwing up: Throwing up can be a root cause of fluid reduction decrease. It is dropped in the vomitus, yet it is challenging for a individual to replace water by consuming it if they have queasiness along with are unable to tolerate fluids.
Perspiration: The body can shed large volumes of water when it tries to cool itself by sweating. Whether the body is warm because of the environment, because of working in a warm environment), harsh working out in a scorching environment, or offered that a high temperature internally is caused due to an infection; the body utilizes water in the kind of sweat to cool itself.
Diabetic issues: In people with diabetic issues, raised blood sugar levels create sugar to spill into the urine and water then follows, which could possibly induce dehydration. For this reason, regular urination and severe thirst are amongst the early indications of diabetic issues.
Burns: The skin forms a safeguarding barricade for the body as well as is responsible for moderating fluid loss. Burn victims come to be dehydrated given that the faulty skin could not stay clear of fluid from leaking away from the body. Additional irritated ailments of the skin are likewise connected to fluid decrease.
Failing to consume fluids: The lack of ability to eat successfully is the other potential cause of dehydration. Whether it is the absence of accessibility of water, strong nausea with or without vomiting, or the scarcity of strength to consume, this, joined normal or amazing water decreases are able to aggravate the level of dehydration. Get hold of 8 free gifts as well as discover your dehydration option by clicking here!
Keep in mind that dehydration symptoms, dehydration signs, dehydration effects need to be checked out!