Why we have cookouts and don’t work on Vocation Day

Our efforts to turn Labor Day into a Christian feast commemorating the doctrine of Vocation may be catching on.  I am reading and hearing more and more posts and sermons that are making the connection.

Moving from “labor” to “vocation” helps to explain the central question that always comes up about Labor Day.  If “labor” is so great, why do we celebrate it by not working?

If you think in terms of vocation, you realize that how we make a living is only one facet of our God-given callings.  In addition to the workplace, we also have vocations in the family, in the church, and in the society.  Each of our many vocations has its own “labor.”  And each has its own “neighbors” whom we are to love and serve.

So celebrating Vocation Day by spending time with our families and friends is perfectly appropriate.  What we do in the workplace day after day is, in part, to provide for our families.  They and our friends, as well as the general public, are our “neighbors.”

Loving and serving our neighbors is the purpose of every vocation.  Even Christians do not always realize this fact, so our posts are going to delve into this teaching a little today.  But having a cookout, doing summertime stuff, having a last mini-vacation before the busyness of the Fall–these are good ways to celebrate Vocation Day.

Not naming the holidays on the school calendar

The school board in Montgomery County, Maryland, just outside of Washington, D. C., has voted not to name the holidays associated with religions on the school calendar.

School will still be dismissed for Christmas, Easter, and the major Jewish holidays.  But when Muslims wanted time off for their holidays, the school board decided to think about holidays like this:  We aren’t observing the religious holidays; rather, we are dismissing classes when large numbers of students are likely to be absent.  So on the school calendar, instead of so much as mentioning “Christmas,” there is just a notice of “no class today.”

Is this silly, does it make sense, or should the schools dismiss classes for Islamic holidays too? [Read more…]

Happy National Day of Reason!

In their attempt to become, in effect, a socially-acceptable religion–getting military chaplains, vaunting how moral they are, and evangelizing the unenlightened–atheists are trying to start a holiday.  May 5 is the National Day of Reason!

I love holidays and I love reason, so I am willing to celebrate. . .uh, what is it we are celebrating?  I will try to set aside time to think.  But don’t we need something more to inspire our observance, to give it some meaning?  It turns out that May 5 was chosen simply to counter something else that is on that day, the National Day of Prayer.  The atheists are protesting that by trying to take over the day for themselves.

This demonstrates the weakness of atheism.  It is purely reactive.  Its doctrines are purely negative (there is no God; there is no life after death; there is no meaning in life).  And even when its teachings are put in a positive way–we believe in reason! we believe that material things are all that exist!–there is nothing, really, to celebrate, or even to be happy about.

Actual holidays, on the other hand, commemorate some meaningful event and we celebrate the meaning.  They usually involve some kind of story.  They are deeply, richly, human, evoking family and good memories and inspiration.  And Christian holidays–widely recognized even by devotees of other religions are the best of all–are full of wonder and joy.  The root of “festival” is “feast.”  “Holiday” means “holy day.”   You can’t have a holiday without some sense of holiness.

It’s hard to celebrate an abstraction, such as “reason.”  But, hey, let’s give it a try.  How could we do to make the Day of Reason work as a holiday?  What would be the equivalent of a Christmas tree or Easter basket for the Day of Reason?  What foods should be associated with this day of rationality?  If it ever rates a day off, what should individuals and families do?

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