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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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Amorphous. Offline
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National Religions. - April 20th 2014, 11:51 PM

A very good afternoon to all you beautiful people . It took me four attempts to find the colour Black and then two sentences in I had to start all over again, because I accidentally tapped my finger and changed where the cursor was.

iPads for the win.

Anyways, today is Easter Monday, a day for Christians all around the world to celebrate and recognise the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and what that means for all of us. But today is also a public holiday, along with Sunday and Friday as well.

On Friday, me and my brother decided to go out to the library and see whether there were any movies on and go to the movies as well. We rocked up to the library and it was an absolute ghost town in the City Centre. No cars in the car park, all the shutters were closed, and the only shop that was open, God bless them, was Blockbuster, a movie store here. So we just bought some of the world famous Ben and Jerry's ice cream and continued through this ghost town. Me and my brother joked that you could film a zombie apocalypse movie here LOL.

The scene was repeated across the country, for two whole days afterwards.

On the way back, we saw three massive posters saying "Life Can Be Transformed By Jesus Christ." I was shocked. I mean we're Muslim, so we can't relate to any of this. So here's my question.

Do you think it's wrong for countries to make generalisations as to the religions of their citizens and force businesses to shut down the city on a Christian holiday? 66.3% of Aistralians are Christians and from what I saw, about 98% of businesses we closed for the long weekend. There were some shops run by Muslims that still welcomed customers, like pizza shops and stuff like that but I mean it was ridiculous.

What do you think though, about nation wide dedication to Christian holidays?


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Re: National Religions. - April 21st 2014, 09:56 AM

I am personally a strong supporter of state secularism, since it tends to avoid marginalising those who aren't part of the "chosen" religion in the country.

As such, I don't think the state should force anyone to close if they don't really want to (in the UK, shops are only allowed a short number of trade hours on Sunday, which is great for giving the staff time off, but weird really) - but by the same virtue, I don't think anyone who wants to have Easter Sunday off (although obviously not something like the whole of Lent, you know - that would be ridiculous) should be forced to work. That would be something employers could work out.

Posters I don't mind unless, again, they're funded by the state. If someone else has wasted their own disposable income on them...why not? I mean, you're perfect entitled to do the same.

Have a good time off - and maybe be thankful that you don't have to re-enact a crucifixion and that you can do without all the ritual.


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Re: National Religions. - April 21st 2014, 09:56 AM

I was in the same boat on Friday, the city centre was deserted. Also, most places in town didn't sell meat and the only place to get alcohol was the stadium's bar when the local football team played that night.

While, nominally speaking, 84% of Irish people are Roman Catholic, that's not an accurate reflection. In the same year (2011) that the census was carried out, a Gallup poll found 53% of people in Ireland did not believe religion played an important role in their lives. The amount of people who adhere to different religions (I know just less than 20% of my city are Muslim) or no religion is rising. While Catholicism is not, de jure, our state religion, the preferences given to it are unacceptable, given that less than half of the country's population could be practicing Roman Catholics. The more than half who aren't should be allowed get a drink or a chicken roll on Good Friday if they want.

In terms of other religions, there is the argument that people who are from different ethnic backgrounds who reside in a country should be obliged to live in the way of life of their new country. I personally don't believe in that concept at all, and besides, given that so many countries and cities pride themselves in being cosmopolitan and accepting, part of having such a liberal ethos is extending the same personal freedom to everyone, rather than just one group of people.

My view on the topic is that more secular societies have freer people. That is something we should all strive for. So, yes, I believe that countries should not force their populations to observe holidays for any religion, not just Christian holidays. At the same time, they should be allowed to privately do so if they want to. I mean, if someone wants to use their own money to pay homage to Jesus Christ via posters, then why shouldn't they be allowed?
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Re: National Religions. - May 4th 2014, 03:05 AM

I worked on Good Friday, because to me it was just another normal weekday; a work day. My workplace is closed on Easter and Christmas, but if it were open, I would have no problem working. I'm an atheist; I don't care what the Christian calendar says the holiday is.

I'm overwhelmingly secularist, and I find that closing state and federal offices for Christian holidays is (at least in the United States) is an affront to one of the founding principles of this country. Any time the U.S. government closes, reduces or shuts down a service or department because of a Christian holiday, it's technically a constitutional violation.

Yes, I know that I'm being a bit of a stickler about this, but I can't stand having to play by someone else's rules because their imaginary god tells them something needs to be so.


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Re: National Religions. - May 5th 2014, 12:57 PM

I'd be surprised to learn that 66% were Christian by any standard other than census selection.
To be honest, most of us treat it like a national holiday and ignore the religious themes allegedly inherent in it. Take it from me, I'm an atheist.


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