Once again this Eastertide there have been the inevitable questions about the inconsistencies of New Zealand’s Easter trading laws. It happens every year. Shop keepers and right wing politicians complain about the laws keeping some shops closed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Unions and church “leaders” seek to protect workers and the their holy days.
Some examples (found easily AFTER writing the above):
- Easter Trading Negative Effect on Pacific Families
- Catholic bishops on Easter Sunday trading bills
- Govt could have sorted out Easter trading circus
I support more holidays and breaks for workers. I think it is a bad argument made by some that families need to be able to shop together to be together over Easter. This elevates consumers over retailers, who must be away from their families to serve others.
On the other hand it is worrying that the churches makes arguments that are indistinguishable from those of unions. Surely our theological traditions are richer than that? But if theology was used it would still be sill be in support of the trading bans. It is as though God needs favours from parliament. Yeah Right! Why assume that Christian holidays need the support of the state? In some ways the churches are seeking through the state and its law-making apparatus ways of making it easier for Christians to behave like Christians. They probably fear that people will not take leave on Good Friday to attend worship should it not be a national holiday.
Churches need to do some theology rather than jump on secular bandwagons. Otherwise they find those wagons taking them into unfamiliar and disturbing territory.