Location: Granite Falls, North Carolina, United States

I'm an ordained United Methodist minister no longer pastoring churches, a former media producer with skills ten years out of date, a writer trying to sell my first novel, and a sales associate keeping body and soul together working for the People's Republic of Corporate America. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world, who was my best friend for 17 years before we married.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

On Hypocrisy

There has been a series of letters to the editor in the Hickory Daily Record of late talking about a nasty practice going on among some so-called "Christians." Preachers, evangelists, or whatever they are going to restaurants for Sunday dinner (lunch, to those from the urban North) and instead of a tip leaving a card. The card reads: "Here is your tip. It is immoral to work on Sunday."

The letter writers complain that this is stealing from the waiters/waitresses, since they have to rely on tips for their income. The latest letter says most waiters/waitresses say they get at least one such card every Sunday.

Well, hello. If it is immoral to work on Sunday why in the HELL are you patronizing places that force people to work on Sunday? Is that not the height of hypocrisy? If you wouldn't patronize businesses, restaurants, or whatever on Sunday they would have no reason to stay open.

So you go out to Sunday dinner, enjoy a nice repast, then stiff the waiter/waitress with this hypocritical card. Does that make your conscience any clearer for making them work on Sunday then condemning them for doing what you have forced them to do?

Just don't come around me calling yourself a Christian.

I was going to stop there, but I have some more to say.

I don't like having to work on Sunday, especially Sunday morning. I like to go to Sunday School, then the worship service, eat a nice lunch (and tip the waitress--very seldom do I encounter a waiter on Sunday), then go home and spend an afternoon of Sabbath rest with my wife. I wish everyone had that attitude. I hate having to work on Sunday, but as long as you work for the People's Republic of Corporate America, especially in retail, you are forced to work on the day you consider the Sabbath (literally, the Sabbath is Saturday, but that's grist for another day's mill). They claim the public demands it and ignore how much money they lose before 1:00 p.m. every Sunday.

Well, I don't have to spend any money on Sunday if I choose not to. I do choose to eat out and leave a tip. Gas stations and hospitals have to stay open on Sundays. I understand that. There are a lot of other places that need to be open seven days a week, and if I worked at one of those places I would understand.

What I don't understand is that if we call ourselves a Christian nation, why are the stores so full on Sundays? Is this the only day of the week that people get off from their own work? I doubt it.

One last reminder of American hypocrisy: A couple of years ago the state of Virginia got rid of some of their old blue laws and in the process accidentally reactivated an old law that said employers had to give their employees the day off on whatever day the employee considered the Sabbath.

The legislature wasted no time in calling a special session to get rid of that law. After all, they can't let their lip service to Christianity get in the way of their true worship of Mammon.


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