Saturday, November 3, 2012
What day is the Sabbath?
For some reason I found the whole thing hilarious and thought it would be a good idea to weigh in. Actually, I probably never thought it was a good idea, but my response amused me so I replied. I asked the simple question "What if you started counting on Monday?" The rage that got sent my way was hilarious, you would think I had gone to a star trek convention and wouldn't shut up about how awesome the millennium falcon was. I was...informed...that the week does indeed start on Sunday and that is the way it always has been. I countered that the work week starts Monday and it wouldn't be unreasonable for someone to consider that the beginning of the week and therefore Sunday would be the seventh day. Apparently I was wrong :)
I never expected to convince anyone of anything, I really didn't even have a point, I just laughed at my stupid joke and figured I'd share. I was a bit surprised at the volume at which they shouted back at me. After thinking about it for a bit, I came up with 2 reasons why. First, they are surrounded by people who celebrate on Sunday (most of the area is other kinds of protestant, and there are also a fair number of catholics), I wouldn't be surprised if they have a lot of friends and family who harass them for having church on Saturday and it made them defensive about it. This part of it completely makes sense to me, and I completely understand their overreaction.
But there was another aspect to it, a general perspective on the way the world is that I found interesting. When I brought up the (admittedly stupid) point that we could have started the calendar on Monday instead of Sunday, they rejected the very notion outright. It wasn't just that the week starts on Sunday, it's that the week has to start on Sunday. I didn't press it, because I was just screwing around, but as I was thinking about it later, I think they really believe that there would be no other logical way to do it. Creation took 7 days, the next day was a Sunday and time marched forward from there. Under this paradigm it doesn't make a lot of sense to start on a different day. Of course, from my perspective, the earth is a few billion years old, at some point people showed up and decided they wanted to count the days. At some point they chose some arbitrary date as a Sunday and moved forward from there. There's no good reason they couldn't have started the day after that, it's all arbitrary. I find it interesting when these types of fundamentally different views of the world get in the way of a proper dialogue.