Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Leave my [Durkheimian] religion alone

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Everyone knows that football is a religion, in a purely Durkheimian sense of course. I'm a follower, and I'm also a firm advocate of religious freedom. This weekend couldn't be a better example – Friday's Good Friday, one of the holiest days of the Christian calendar, but on the same day millions of Muslims will head to the mosques. What's more, the Jewish festival of Passover starts tomorrow, the Jewish Sabbath is on Saturday, and then it's the even-holier-than-Good Friday Easter Sunday on Sunday. Meanwhile, millions of football followers up and down the land will gather for worship on Saturday and Sunday. Some may worship false idols – the day before Christians celebrate the resurrection of their Messiah, yet another Geordie Messiah will attempt to perform a great miracle – but they're entitled to do so all the same. Surely all would agree that people are free to do all of the above in the same country and the same time is a great positive?

Wait, what's that? The new head of the Catholic Church in England wants to ban football on Easter Sunday? Well that's shattered my idealism.

Update: It just occurred to me - does the Most Rev Vincent Nichols have a problem with any Easter Sunday sport, or just football? Because Sunday's the fourth day of the Masters - does the Catholic Church also want to annoy legions of golf fans?


PersonalFailure said...

And, being a USian, I couldn't figure out what football games would be on this Sunday.

Joe Hayhurst said...

The bishop was on the radio the other day trying to claim that he was complaining because the football would cause problems with parking outside churches!

The fact that we have this every year, and the fact that far more people will watch footy on Sunday rather than go to church, tells its own story. The bishop, like his religion, is an irrelevance to most people in this country.

Anonymous said...

Germans and Swiss are trying to get the complete ban on any kind of cultural event lifted. Cinemas are closed, you can have "private" screenings only, and only with an "educational" purpose. See

Anonymous said...

No comment of the churches about the poor football players who have to work on Easter?

Entdinglichung said...

why not banning Christmas because it could violate Roman pagans' right to an undisturbed Saturnalia?