Belief Beat

Belief Beat

Fun Friday: Pope Takes a Holiday, Israelis Disagree on Days Off

In the spirit of summertime and my own recent hiatus, I’ve enjoyed the “Pope takes a vacation” stories on this appropriately slow news week. (Perhaps he’s already burned out from tweeting?)

Unlike the rest of us lazy bums, Pope Benedict plans to bang out another book — his usual preferred method of kicking back in those red Prada loafers — during his time off. Still, I think we can all agree that it’s good for the spirit to periodically scale back as much as possible; even God reportedly rested on the seventh day.


Speaking of the Sabbath, The New York Times reports Israel is debating whether to add Friday (the Islamic holy day, observed throughout the Middle East) or Sunday (the Christian holy day, observed by the western world) to Saturday (the Jewish holy day), forming a proper two-day weekend. But why not go with something like 4 p.m. Friday to 4 p.m. Sunday? That works for everyone, doesn’t it — Muslim Friday evening prayers and Sunday morning church services? What am I missing? (Then again, in the hellish Middle Eastern summertime, why not just be Cypriot and close every afternoon for siesta, plus random Wednesdays off?)


P.S. Wonder what the Vatican would say about the spiritual benefits of Christians vacationing… to contested Israeli settlements? Hmmm.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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posted July 8, 2011 at 7:15 pm

The US hurts its workers by cutting vacations so short. Likely also its productivity. So good for the Pope for siding with workers this time.

Nicole I hope you can and will start getting more news columns out because the j**k who’s turning most of them out does not allow serious criticism, though many people have pointed out how he deserves it, and he can easily drive Beliefnet into the ground.

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Somtimes God Is Like That

posted July 8, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Two miscreants take on the derivative world of evangelical publishing by inviting the entire internet to write a devotional together! Join the madness at Sometimes God Is Like That!

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posted July 8, 2011 at 11:04 pm

SGILT, I went to your site. It’s a hoot. People could learn so much more from y’all than from even people with hallowed titles like Senior Editor.

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posted July 9, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Europeans take far more vacation than Americans and I believe are far less involved / apt to identify with organized religion (not to question their spirituality necessarily, but just their church-going-ness is lower).

More vacation, less religion…true correlation or just a spurious relationship (statistical coincidence)?

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posted July 14, 2011 at 11:35 am

I have to agree strongly with nnmns. The other person who generates articles for this portion of B’net has made the site seem less open to a variety of religions and more about defending a very particular expression of one religion. I am detecting some not-so-subtle turns that is making me consider a time away from B’net. I am going on a sabbatical from the church for a few months, and I may do the same with B’net (though stll undecided about this particular fast – I have truly enjoyed getting to know folks here and have misgivings about leaving it to the more narrowly ideological types to rant unchallenged)

One of the things I hope to do is to go to a presentation in September, sponsored by the United Church of Christ Office of Communications, featuring the founder of Beliefnet. I think his vision for this site is still good and viable. I hope the current leadership does not get so myopic that they lose the greater, wider, and deeper purpose for which B’net was intended.

By the way – when we visited israel more than 20 ears ago, I thought there was something undefinably positive about the three day sabbath. It made everyone think about the other people and their faith, and provided a period for some intentional reflection. There is a stretch of road in northern Virginia (Rt 7 near Bailey’s Crossroads) where traveling from noon Friday through noon Sunday is constantly complicated by the various religious groups on their way to prayers/worship. I think it is one of the most enlightened stretches of pavement in all of America.

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