MINDLESSLY VIOLATE THE SABBATH, BUT STILL ASK GOD TO "BLESS AMERICA"? By Patricius Anthony TRADITIO Traditional Roman Catholic Internet Site E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Web: http://www.traditio.com Copyright 2004 P. Anthony. Reproduction prohibited without authorization.
The final rout and ouster of Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein and the installment last spring in his place of a regime "friendlier" to Israeli/U.S. interests brought about a considerable outpouring of "patriotism" throughout the land, with the display of flags, the singing of catchy militaristic jingles, and the appearance on billboards of slogans such as We Support Our Troops, Proud to be an American, and These Colors Don't Run. The most ubiquitous phrase plastered about, however, was a plea for God to "bless America."
While such demonstrations are natural reactions by people expressing their hope for the safety and well-being of their kinsmen, it is ironic that it emanates from a society which, by and large, flagrantly violates one of the most basic of the Almighty's Commandments: "Remember that thou keep Holy the Sabbath Day."
For the vast majority of Americans, Sunday has become little different from any other day, being taken up with housework, recreation, shopping, and especially the viewing of television sports programming. The most notable exception that still makes Sunday "unique," although this has become less the case especially in retail industries, is that most people do not have to work. Despite the fact that many are free from work obligations, there has been a catastrophic drop-off in recent years at Sunday church services among all denominations, especially within the Novus Ordo, whose "New Pentecost," highly touted by the evil architects of the Second Vatican Council, is all the more confirmed to be an abject failure.
The argument that economic loss in revenues, wages, and employment make commercial activity on Sundays a must is tenuous. Historically, the greatest period of growth in the Western world took place, by and large, when the observance of the Sabbath was the norm. Real wages and per-capita income among all socio-economic groups dramatically rose. The fact that businesses and workers now have to operate on Sundays "to make ends meet" shows that despite the propaganda from the media and vested interests, most people are not as financially well off as either their parents or grandparents.
Worse, however, is the fact that many labor on Sundays not to sustain themselves, but to acquire a higher standard of living. Qualifying for a bigger, more luxurious home, purchasing the latest sports utility vehicle, or hankering after any other materialistic allurements available has made many Americans the servants of mammon instead of worthy children of God.
There are certainly ways to compensate for the loss of labor hours and revenues, such as the extension of store hours, especially on Saturdays. While there are certainly creative ways to make up for the time lost, the continued violation of basic Biblical admonitions will not solve the problem of stagnating patterns of growth. Instead, policies that will ensure prosperity: drastic tax reduction, deregulation, the end of the immoral welfare state, "hard" money -- these will make commercial activities on Sundays unnecessary.
In the end, however, even if balance sheets suffer, and people are poorer, what, ultimately, is more important: the accumulation of worldly gold or the attainment of heavenly treasures, which last for eternity? Sundays devoid of manual labor, gratuitous shopping, or endless television should not necessarily mean that the day be devoted to the family. While "family values" were, at one time, a popular mantra sung among certain Inside-the-Beltway think-tank denizens, the fact that over 50% of marriages end in divorce and the subsequent dysfunctional "family living arrangements" have become more and more the "norm" demonstrates again why most "cultural conservatives" haven't a clue as how to fix a broken Western world.
While the revitalization of marriage and the family are essential for the restoration of a vibrant Christian society, such a task is, nevertheless, secondary to the placement of Almighty God first and foremost, especially on the very day that He authorized to be for His honor. It should be remembered what the Divine Savior once responded, when it was made known to Him that His earthly family had arrived at the scene of one of His magnificent discourses:
And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother (Mark 3:32-35/DRV).
Although it appeared to be a rebuke, the Church has always interpreted the passage as expressing that those who chose to follow Christ may have to forgo and suffer the loss of family, friends, and homeland. Moreover, the Divine Savior's first recorded words and action, as an adolescent, were focused on doing the will of His Father despite keeping the Holy Family in the dark about His whereabouts. His response to His worried mother's inquiry when He was found in the Temple was:
How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father's business? (Luke, 2:49/DRV).
Secular Sundays are understandable within the Novus Ordo religion, with its abominable "Mess," which offers nothing inspirational and has, in fact, driven away countless souls. Traditional Catholics can, however, by not working or refusing to purchase merchandise on that day, show the corporate world and their fellow employees the seriousness with which they take their Faith and can further distinguish themselves from members of the Counterfeit Church.
Only a "holy people," like those of the maligned mediaeval era, who clearly understood the purpose of life -- to worship, honor and love Almighty God -- can realistically plead for heavenly intercession. Only when the ethos of present-day societies reflect that glorious past by observing the barest minimum, that the Sabbath be kept sacred, can supernatural assistance be expected.