Sunday Morning Coming Down

There’s something about a Sunday, so the song goes. And I am not the only one who thinks so. The church tends to take the view that it is a special day. So it is worried that the precedent set by the temporary lifting of the Sunday trading rules for the Olympics will become permanent. And we get the standard concerns being wheeled out:

“It just breaks up that regular time where people can be together.

It’s a form of idolatry – it’s the idol that boosting the economy is the absolute which over-rides all other considerations.”

Except, of course, idolatry is only a sin if you are a believer. If you don’t believe, if you aren’t a member, the rules don’t apply –  much like blasphemy.

The Rev Sally Hitchiner, curate of St John’s, Ealing, added: “We’re concerned it could become a precedent, that we could lose some of the specialness of Sunday.

“Sunday should be a time for relationships, there should be a time when we put some boundaries on consumerism, so you can go to the park and play football with the kids, and take your mum breakfast in bed.”

But no one is stopping you. The worry, of course, is that the few people who still attend church will be so overcome by the desire to go out shopping that they will eschew the Sunday service. Frankly, given that shops are already open anyway for several hours, those that would do this have probably already done so. And outside of that, it’s none of the church’s business. If we are not believers, if we are not members of the club, then it is up to us to decide whether we keep Sunday special and do all those social things or if we nip down to the DIY centre and gorge on decorating materials or whatever. It is not up to the church or anyone else to make us observe a particular day –  especially as many of us work then anyway.

So, actually, no, it is not the place of the state to impose boundaries on consumerism, because, as with the church, it is none of the state’s business. There should not be any Sunday trading laws at all. So if they go as a consequence of the Olympics fiasco, then at least one good thing will have come out of this monstrous waste of money.

4 comments for “Sunday Morning Coming Down

  1. March 19, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Exodus 34:21: “Six days you shall labour, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the ploughing season and harvest you must rest.”

    More particularly, Exodus 23:12: “Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest and the slave born in your household, and the alien as well, may be refreshed.”

    So, the requirement was originally a labour protection law (and more).

    That the organisation of labour has now changed, such that the days of rest can be staggered, is just a minor change. The common sense of the original constraint still stands.

    It is not unusual for good sense to be hijacked by those in power (secular power as well as religious power) and then later perverted to their own agenda.

    Best regards

    • March 19, 2012 at 11:52 am

      Well, yes, we don’t usually work for seven days a week. At present, my days off are Wednesday and Thursday.

  2. March 19, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    You hit the nail on the head in that it’s not the State’s business. I keep Sunday free of commitments but that’s my choice. I’m also free to suggest to people it’s not a good thing to work seven days because there needs to be a down day somewhere, for reflecting, communing with nature etc. and even reflecting on life. There is good reasoning behind it. You can choose not to agree.

    But the bottom line is it’s not the State’s business.

  3. March 20, 2012 at 5:44 am

    When the weather’s right, I spend most of my Sundays taking my mother to boot sales. You know what we see lots of on the way back? Churchgoers!

    Let everyone make their own choice.

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