Tuesday, April 7, 2015

It Is 2015 For All That Is Holy!



I am a non church attending secularist who understands when my brain ceases to function I will be dead, deceased, passed, gorn.
I have no belief in an afterlife and I have no belief I have been here before 0428 January the 3rd 1943 except as a growing thingy in my mums womb.

All that said there is a whole lot of belief in what I try to be, based in Judeo Christian beliefs that sustain so many of my circle, a good number of whom are practising Christian church adherents.

In the 1991 census, Christians were said to be almost 70% of our population that has dropped every half decade since to slip just below 50% in 2006 to lie at 43.47% by 2013, with the no religion/object / not stated nudging over 50% for the first time.

Two of our major stat holidays are based around Christian celebration of the Birth of Jesus and then  his execution and subsequent rising from death at Easter. Toss in the New year, the Maori holiday, NZ Labour day 4th Monday in October and  The Monarchs official birthday (April 21st actual) was left around the date allotted to the previous member of the house of Windsor so as not to clash with the only one I personally care about, when we honour the sacrifice of the many who fought and those who gave their life that we might enjoy our current freedoms, April 25th, ANZAC Day.

I understand why we have holidays and I accept that some will be required for some of many valid reasons
What really lights my wick is there is little or zero effect from January 1, February 6th, 4th Monday in October or the 1st Monday in June but in 2015 I am totally mystified as to why I am proscribed on Dec 25th, Good Friday and Easter Sunday by archaic laws based in the mists of time because, 'why'.
Anzac Day from dawn until 1200 hrs is a lot different, the sanctity, the depth of feeling and the rights of those who regard that day as different should remain sacrosanct. It is a date seared in the psyche of so many with real and often raw connection to the Landings at Gallipoli and every other military campaign since.
Hell I personally knew veterans of the Dardanelles and even the Boer wars some 15 years earlier in my early life.

On Good Friday the sanctions were of little consequence  and we as a group activity following the scheduled morning coffee, in a nod to the feelings of those who cared,  our gathering did not run the raffles that sustain our activity and part payment. Same for Easter Sunday but, and I mean "But", because our activity places restraint in normal planning and storage we personally, due to unexpected consumption ran very low on Bread and Milk that required replenishment and it became very apparent that popping down to the Supermarket was not an option due to the unintended consequences of the archaic imposition of the Law, it required a much further afield search to make good the deficit.

On Good Friday we attended a longstanding morning coffee that swmbo's Class of 59 maintain as an every Friday event and it is held at Oderings Stourbridge St Café attached to where the garden supplies empire was created 84 years ago.
Parking was a little more fraught but we had a delightful well attended morning coffee with an above average attendance.
The Café  was having a good trading day but the Garden Centre was going gangbusters.

The fact is Christians and non Christians find the movable Easter Weekend to be one in harmony with home gardener's desire to set up for winter.
Oderings commercial interests dictate that  Easter whether it falls in March after around the 22nd until April just prior to Anzac Day represents a very good time to rationalise their stock levels.

Now there is very little interference with what goes as a legitimate activity for the longest weekend outside the Christmas New year break and there are innumerable organisations and other entities formal and casual who embrace the extra long weekend for any number of events that find no trouble in law.
Wings over Wanaka, Omaka Air Show, Mckenzie Easter show, Auckland Easter Show Thurs 2nd to Monday 6th, The list is almost limitless

Padres and preachermen of all Christian denominations take no step back in carrying on their calls for funds employing all the added pressure that the Easter pageant offers.
Meanwhile followers of Islam, Buddha, Hindu, Shinto and all non Christian cults shrug their shoulders and enjoy the extra time off.
Whereas Nurses, Doctors, Ambos, Firemen, Police and all those deemed essential by edict continue to serve and get penalty rates of pay and time in lieu.
The self employed do what has to be done but Oderings will probably be fined $1000 plus court costs for each of their ten shops and I will wonder why.

Darren Odering, spokesman for the company assured media on Thursday no employee would be penalised if they chose not to work over the Easter Weekend. Staffing the stores was never a problem.
A member of his family would attend to her Christian devotions and not work Friday.
The $13000 odd penalty levied by a law long passed its use by date was just an annoying additional cost of doing business.

For me the inanity just cost a few road miles, some diesel, and produced  the absolute pleasure of fresh baked wholemeal bread sliced by the Halswell Bakery on Hwy 75.
As an aside I asked the delightful young lady who served me how she felt having to work the Stat Sunday and without pause she smiled and  said it was her job, she enjoyed it and would also enjoy the extra dosh and the extra day in lieu.
 
Is anyone going to try and see things are a whole lot different in 2015.

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