The WeekDay, Keep it Holy

Did it ever strike you that it is a most absurd and semi-barbaric thing

to set one day apart as "holy?"

If you are a writer and a beautiful thought comes to you, you never

hesitate because it is Sunday, but you write it down.

If you are a painter, and the picture appears before you, vivid and

clear, you make haste to materialize it ere the vision fades.

If you are a musician, y
u sing a song, or play it on the piano, that it

may be etched upon your memory--and for the joy of it.

But if you are a cabinet-maker, you may make a design, but you will have

to halt before you make the table, if the day happens to be the "Lord's

Day"; and if you are a blacksmith, you will not dare to lift a hammer,

for fear of conscience or the police. All of which is an admission that

we regard manual labor as a sort of necessary evil, and must be done

only at certain times and places.

The orthodox reason for abstinence from all manual labor on Sunday is

that "God made the heavens and the earth in six days and on the seventh

He rested," therefore, man, created in the image of his Maker, should

hold this day sacred. How it can be possible for a supreme, omnipotent

and all-powerful being without "body, parts or passions" to become

wearied thru physical exertion is a question that is as yet unanswered.

The idea of serving God on Sunday and then forgetting Him all the week

is a fallacy that is fostered by the Reverend Doctor Sayles and his

coadjutor, Deacon Buffum, who passes the Panama for the benefit of those

who would buy absolution. Or, if you prefer, salvation being free, what

we place in the Panama is an honorarium for Deity or his agent, just as

our noted authors never speak at banquets for pay, but accept the

honorarium that in some occult and mysterious manner is left on the

mantel. Sunday, with its immunity from work, was devised for slaves who

got out of all the work they could during the week.

Then, to tickle the approbativeness of the slave, it was declared a

virtue not to work on Sunday, a most pleasing bit of Tom Sawyer

diplomacy. By following his inclinations and doing nothing, a

mysterious, skyey benefit accrues, which the lazy man hopes to have and

to hold for eternity.

Then the slaves who do no work on Sunday, point out those who do as

beneath them in virtue, and deserving of contempt. Upon this theory all

laws which punish the person who works or plays on Sunday have been

passed. Does God cease work one day in seven, or is the work that He

does on Sunday especially different from that which He performs on

Tuesday? The Saturday half-holiday is not "sacred"--the Sunday holiday

is, and we have laws to punish those who "violate" it. No man can

violate the Sabbath; he can, however, violate his own nature, and this

he is more apt to do through enforced idleness than either work or play.

Only running water is pure, and stagnant nature of any sort is

dangerous--a breeding-place for disease.

Change of occupation is necessary to mental and physical health. As it

is, most people get too much of one kind of work. All the week they are

chained to a task, a repugnant task because the dose is too big. They

have to do this particular job or starve. This is slavery, quite as

much as when man was bought and sold as a chattel.

Will there not come a time when all men and women will work because it

is a blessed gift--a privilege? Then, if all worked, wasteful consuming

as a business would cease. As it is, there are many people who do not

work at all, and these pride themselves upon it and uphold the Sunday

laws. If the idlers would work, nobody would be overworked. If this time

ever comes shall we not cease to regard it as "wicked" to work at

certain times, just as much as we would count it absurd to pass a law

making it illegal for us to be happy on Wednesday? Isn't good work an

effort to produce a useful, necessary or beautiful thing? If so, good

work is a prayer, prompted by a loving heart--a prayer to benefit and

bless. If prayer is not a desire, backed up by a right human effort to

bring about its efficacy, then what is it?

Work is a service performed for ourselves and others. If I love you I

will surely work for you--in this way I reveal my love. And to manifest

my love in this manner is a joy and gratification to me. Thus work is

for the worker alone and labor is its own reward. These things being

true, if it is wrong to work on Sunday, it is wrong to love on Sunday;

every smile is a sin, every caress a curse, and all tenderness a crime.

Must there not come a time, if we grow in mentality and spirit, when we

shall cease to differentiate and quit calling some work secular and some

sacred? Isn't it as necessary for me to hoe corn and feed my loved ones

(and also the priest) as for the priest to preach and pray? Would any

priest ever preach and pray if somebody didn't hoe? If life is from God,

then all useful effort is divine; and to work is the highest form of

religion. If God made us, surely He is pleased to see that His work is a

success. If we are miserable, willing to liberate life with a bare

bodkin, we certainly do not compliment our Maker in thus proclaiming His

work a failure. But if our lives are full of gladness and we are

grateful for the feeling that we are one with Deity--helping God to do

His work, then, and only then do we truly serve Him.

Isn't it strange that men should have made laws declaring that it is

wicked for us to work?