Sunday, March 27, 2005

Positive Option #4

Mrs. Expat Teacher and I were having coffee at Starbucks tonight and reflecting on how different living in Britain is from America. I have the next two weeks off for Easter break and most of Britain has a 4-day holiday for the Easter weekend. This blog entry is inspired by the fact that Britain gets that four-day weekend for Easter and my best friend's wife, who works at a Christian school in America, only gets a 1/2 day off on Good Friday and is back to work on Easter Monday. Therefore, I suggest this as a new "values-friendly" law.

I envision it as the "Religious and Civic Responsibilities Act". I propose that all Americans get 3 paid days a year to celebrate religious festivals and services. Therefore, Christians could take off Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Christmas (or maybe Epiphany or Ash Wednesday). Jews could take off for Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Purim. Muslims for the two Eids and Islamic New Year. Anyone not affiliated with a religion could take the days off to work with civic groups (i.e. the Elks, Girl Scouts, AARP, etc) to help others and to be involved in local community. Work with political organizations would be specifically exempt.

Each business would have its own rules and accepted organizations (the Friends of My Mattress, for example, would not be acceptable), but all state recognized groups of faith would be covered. Employees would be required to show attendance at religious festivals, services or civil event. This could be anything from a flyer to a written letter by the organizer. This new law would encourage people to be involved in their faith group or a local community organization. Getting and keeping people involved in local groups is so important in our increasingly fragmented society. Deep relationships pay dividends far beyond the simple interactions we have with others in our day to day life.

Everyone should love this (except the extreme left who still believe that religion is the opiate of the masses)! It offers diversity awareness/celebration for liberals, clear rules for recognizing non-American Christian holidays for the right and respect for others that appeals to centrists. Heck, who doesn't like a few days off? This is a clear values-friendly winner. Any takers?