Good Friday’s Unconstitutional laws?

By 29 March, 2013 48

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/coaca430/s116.html”>From Section 116 of the Constitution:

The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.

Seems silly that we all get a day off yet everything is closed and we’re forced to observe a religious holiday that also goes against Australian constitutional law.

I would say the Constitution would supersede any laws preventing stores to open this weekend?

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48 Responses to Good Friday’s Unconstitutional laws?
#1
PrinceOfAles5:55 pm, 29 Mar 13

Which law is preventing a store from opening on Easter? Who is forcing you to observe Easter? Can`t you go a single day without having to buy something? Does your life really suck so badly that work is the only thing that keeps you going?

#2
moneypenny26126:03 pm, 29 Mar 13

“It’s the Constitution. It’s Mabo… it’s the vibe.” — The Castle

What law has the Commonwealth made that infringes section 116 of the Constitution?

Here shops are closed because their owners choose not to open today. God forbid if shop owners or workers want a holiday too. (And… god bless penalty rates)

AFAIK there are no laws in the ACT that require you to be a Christian, nor laws that restrict shop trading hours.

In other states there are restrictive shop trading laws – but this does not force religious observance either. If you are in Queanbeyan you are not legally required to attend church today or read the bible.

Nice try though.

Enjoy your freedom. Have fun shopping tomorrow.

#3
buzz8196:08 pm, 29 Mar 13

Lets see…

The Commonwealth shall not make any law establishing any religion – does Good Friday do that….. Nope….

The Commonwealth shall not make any law imposing any religious observance – does Good Frida do that? …. Nope, you will find that it is classed as a public holiday, but like ANZAC Day, Melbourne Cup Day (Melbourne) and Family picnic day, you don’t have to go to church or undertake any religious observance – Collective agreements etc. that workers sign make it a day that shops are closed.

The Commonwealth shall not make any law prohibiting the free exercise of any religion – Good Friday – Nope still no laws made in relation to that, although my gym was shut so I couldn’t exercise, but in saying that I’m not religious…

No religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust…. Good Friday – still not really covered in that, cause it’s not really part of a job application.

So just because you found a piece of legislation that says something about religion, it does not mean that because of a religious holiday, that piece of legislation is pertinent. If that were the case then the calendar would not be able to be used, gay marriage would be legal blah blah blah….

#4
Skidbladnir6:24 pm, 29 Mar 13

What bulls*** is this?
Have you just discovered a law relating to religion and thought it was good enough to grind your axe against?

Get off my internet and back into your sheltered workshop.

#5
Heavs6:34 pm, 29 Mar 13

bush lawyers are my favourite kind of lawyers.

#6
Sandman6:34 pm, 29 Mar 13

If you were in retail would you open your shop on a day where half the city has left town and the remaining potential customers are self righteous whiners?

#7
gooterz7:10 pm, 29 Mar 13

Shop Trading Act 2008 [NSW] applies to NSW and thus somewhat to the ACT though companies that operate in both and are managed in NSW, etc. All the larger companies don’t open on good Friday (but do on other holidays), and ACT gov doesn’t seem to advertise that stores can be open.

Holidays Act 1958, makes reference to “Good Friday”, “the Saturday following Good Friday” , “the Monday following Good Friday”
How does one know the dates of these shifting events (which are tied to the moon) other than their religious observances, the only thing that determines them is the religious event, and its enforced by the forced payment of higher wages.

#8
buzz8197:32 pm, 29 Mar 13

gooterz said :

Shop Trading Act 2008 [NSW] applies to NSW and thus somewhat to the ACT though companies that operate in both and are managed in NSW, etc. All the larger companies don’t open on good Friday (but do on other holidays), and ACT gov doesn’t seem to advertise that stores can be open.

Holidays Act 1958, makes reference to “Good Friday”, “the Saturday following Good Friday” , “the Monday following Good Friday”
How does one know the dates of these shifting events (which are tied to the moon) other than their religious observances, the only thing that determines them is the religious event, and its enforced by the forced payment of higher wages.

You are wrong again, these events do not force you to observe the religious event, they do not make a law creating a religion and they do not make a law that prohibiting a religion.

They make a holiday determined by the moon yes, is that any different from saying that Canberra Day is the 2nd Monday in March, the Queens Bday Holiday the 2nd Monday in June, Family and Community Day, the first Monday in October…. They also do not make me have to observe a religion.

This piece of legislation that you are talking about has nothing to do with Public holidays. FYI NSW legislation is not followed in the ACT and can’t be enforced, so there is no point bringing it up.

Oh I should point out again, you’re a git and you’re wrong.

#9
gungsuperstar8:02 pm, 29 Mar 13

Preachers of dogmatic atheism are clearly much more hip and cool than preachers of dogmatic Christianity.

And they aren’t at all hypocritical.

#10
schmeah8:09 pm, 29 Mar 13

It’s a 4 day weekend so STFU. And ‘everything closed’ funny, I managed to get a cafe breakfast and buy some groceries.

You want ‘everything closed’ for religious observance, try anywhere in Greece on a Sunday.

#11
Deref8:16 pm, 29 Mar 13

Skidbladnir said :

What bulls*** is this?
Have you just discovered a law relating to religion and thought it was good enough to grind your axe against?

Get off my internet and back into your sheltered workshop.

Give that man a cigar.

+1

#12
shortlived8:43 pm, 29 Mar 13

buzz819 said :

You are wrong again, these events do not force you to observe the religious event, they do not make a law creating a religion and they do not make a law that prohibiting a religion.

Care to explain these exceptions to liquor licencing times, then?

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/act/consol_reg/lr2010198/sch2.html

That law actually grants [i]more[/i] access to alcohol on December 24 and the day following, so it’s not a bad law, but why is December 24 singled out for special attention in the first place? Why not have the same access every day of the year?

#13
gooterz8:43 pm, 29 Mar 13

buzz819 said :

[
Oh I should point out again, you’re a git and you’re wrong.

Uptight about a religious event?

#14
Instant Mash8:45 pm, 29 Mar 13

Call me naive, but is there actually any law to prevent people from opening their business today?

#15
buzz8199:04 pm, 29 Mar 13

gooterz said :

buzz819 said :

[
Oh I should point out again, you’re a git and you’re wrong.

Uptight about a religious event?

No, just sick and tired of people who read something they don’t understand and try and apply it to something with some similar words in it….

#16
chewy149:33 pm, 29 Mar 13

gooterz said :

buzz819 said :

[
Oh I should point out again, you’re a git and you’re wrong.

Uptight about a religious event?

Uptight about being 100% wrong?

Seriously, if you think this is an issue and you’re confident of being right, then challenge it in court.

Peanut.

#17
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd10:24 pm, 29 Mar 13

Can we all agree that it’s a holiday based on fiction. When can we get a holiday based on something good? Like Ned starkes beheading day! Far more exciting than boring old roman run of the mill death fantasy.

#18
Here_and_Now10:31 pm, 29 Mar 13

gooterz said :

Shop Trading Act 2008 [NSW] applies to NSW and thus somewhat to the ACT though companies that operate in both and are managed in NSW, etc. All the larger companies don’t open on good Friday (but do on other holidays), and ACT gov doesn’t seem to advertise that stores can be open.

Do the government often advertise that stores can be open? If they do, I’ve missed it. Isn’t it usually the stores themselves that do that?

Here_and_Now said :

Holidays Act 1958, makes reference to “Good Friday”, “the Saturday following Good Friday” , “the Monday following Good Friday”
How does one know the dates of these shifting events (which are tied to the moon) other than their religious observances, the only thing that determines them is the religious event, and its enforced by the forced payment of higher wages.

And that’s a reference that tells you when the day is, it doesn’t validate or invalidate any beliefs behind it. There are plenty of references to religion and such in our day-to-day calendar. I’ve never met an atheist who won’t refer to ‘Thursday’ because Thor’s a god and they don’t believe in him.

#19
Here_and_Now10:32 pm, 29 Mar 13

gooterz said :

Shop Trading Act 2008 [NSW] applies to NSW and thus somewhat to the ACT though companies that operate in both and are managed in NSW, etc. All the larger companies don’t open on good Friday (but do on other holidays), and ACT gov doesn’t seem to advertise that stores can be open.

Do the government often advertise that stores can be open? If they do, I’ve missed it. Isn’t it usually the stores themselves that do that?

gooterz said :

Holidays Act 1958, makes reference to “Good Friday”, “the Saturday following Good Friday” , “the Monday following Good Friday”
How does one know the dates of these shifting events (which are tied to the moon) other than their religious observances, the only thing that determines them is the religious event, and its enforced by the forced payment of higher wages.

And that’s a reference that tells you when the day is, it doesn’t validate or invalidate any beliefs behind it. There are plenty of references to religion and such in our day-to-day calendar. I’ve never met an atheist who won’t refer to ‘Thursday’ because Thor’s a god and they don’t believe in him.

#20
Here_and_Now10:37 pm, 29 Mar 13

As I think about it some more, surely there’s not a law requiring the shops to be open. In which case, there’d be nothing keeping them open even if the Constitution did suddenly blank out Good Friday. If they decide to shut, they shut.

(Disclaimer: Not a constitutional lawyer or the manager of a retail outlet.)

#21
gooterz10:39 pm, 29 Mar 13

chewy14 said :

Uptight about being 100% wrong?
Seriously, if you think this is an issue and you’re confident of being right, then challenge it in court.
Peanut.

I’d prefer to get extra annual leave off per year, than spend a day where I can’t that much if god forbid I need to buy something all the major stores are closed.

I’d rather have a holiday for something like the bushfire anniversary or the 100 year centenary celebration.

Much case law of the us finds that it does establish a religion and does impose religious observance to make good Friday a holiday.

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1225373.html

It seems odd that Australia has no official religion yet half our holidays are Christian religious events.
Are we trying to be one religion or trying to accommodate many?

I’m not sure why buzz819 can’t read.

#22
260411:34 pm, 29 Mar 13

Instant Mash said :

Call me naive, but is there actually any law to prevent people from opening their business today?

No, retail trading hours in the ACT are totally deregulated. Anyone with a shopping centre or stand-alone store can open it whenever they want, including Good Friday, Christmas Day, and any other religious or other public holiday.

#23
c_c™12:38 am, 30 Mar 13

I can make this very simple for the OP.

The provision of the Constitution prevent the Commonwealth from doing those things the provision specifies.

The provision specifically does not impose any restrictions on the states, who actually make laws over regulation of retail trading hours.

So while I do find the posts debating what can be defined as religious observance very interesting, it doesn’t matter. On the fundamental point of law, the OP has it wrong.

#24
goggles137:56 am, 30 Mar 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Can we all agree that it’s a holiday based on fiction. When can we get a holiday based on something good? Like Ned starkes beheading day! Far more exciting than boring old roman run of the mill death fantasy.

No I won’t agree with you that easter is based on fiction.

I do however think that having a holiday for the Queen’s birthday is silly. while she is the queen of this country, do many care anymore?

#25
housebound8:54 am, 30 Mar 13

Friday could be called a religious holiday (if only it was closer to the Passover event it is meant to represent, and not always on Friday), but Saturday and Monday? Not a lot of theological reasoning behind those.

OP: your slip is showing. You seem to be more upset about one public holiday than an entire calendar with gods’ names sprinkled liberally throughout.

#26
chewy149:13 am, 30 Mar 13

gooterz said :

chewy14 said :

Uptight about being 100% wrong?
Seriously, if you think this is an issue and you’re confident of being right, then challenge it in court.
Peanut.

I’d prefer to get extra annual leave off per year, than spend a day where I can’t that much if god forbid I need to buy something all the major stores are closed.

I’d rather have a holiday for something like the bushfire anniversary or the 100 year centenary celebration.

Much case law of the us finds that it does establish a religion and does impose religious observance to make good Friday a holiday.

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1225373.html

It seems odd that Australia has no official religion yet half our holidays are Christian religious events.
Are we trying to be one religion or trying to accommodate many?

I’m not sure why buzz819 can’t read.

Firstly, you’ve provided a link from the US which has completely different laws to us.

And secondly dud you even read that link you’ve provided? Notice how they also say that Christmas and Thanksgiving were now seen as secular holidays but Good Friday had never been established in the wider US the same way? The issue in your link was to do with the closing of schools on Good Friday, not with having a public holiday on the same day.

And its funny that every shop was apparently closed yesterday. I could have sworn I went to the movies, had a couple of beers at the pub and then got some takeaway on the way home.

#27
Deref9:29 am, 30 Mar 13

Regardless of its recent hijacking by Christians to celebrate the mythological death and resurrection of their particular imaginary friend, Eostre has always been a celebration of fertility and renewal – hence rabbits and eggs. You can pick any religion you like or none – having a holiday to celebrate the (northern hemisphere) coming of spring seems like a fine idea to me.

#28
poetix10:46 am, 30 Mar 13

Deref said :

Regardless of its recent hijacking by Christians to celebrate the mythological death and resurrection of their particular imaginary friend, Eostre has always been a celebration of fertility and renewal – hence rabbits and eggs. You can pick any religion you like or none – having a holiday to celebrate the (northern hemisphere) coming of spring seems like a fine idea to me.

The crucifixion and resurrection of course happened in an area with no celebration of ‘Eoster’. The spread of Christian belief gave a totally different meaning to festivals that may have predated it. Now, for some (not the majority, whatever seems to be the case with commenters on RiotACT), it’s just become a celebration of chocolate. (Which you could, at least at one stage, have said had been ‘hijacked’ by Christianity, as chocolate was minding its own business in the Americas around the time of Christ’s life.) There’s nothing saying that an event has to be unambiguously pure in origin to make it significant. That’s a funny notion, ignoring how human institutions work. It says nothing about religion or belief.

OP’s suggestions of having holidays only for purely local events are quite sad. Though if we had had another holiday for Canberra 100, I wouldn’t have minded at all!

#29
gungsuperstar12:31 pm, 30 Mar 13

Deref said :

Regardless of its recent hijacking by Christians to celebrate the mythological death and resurrection of their particular imaginary friend, Eostre has always been a celebration of fertility and renewal – hence rabbits and eggs. You can pick any religion you like or none – having a holiday to celebrate the (northern hemisphere) coming of spring seems like a fine idea to me.

Does mocking people who think differently to you make you feel smarter?

It’s just that you seem like an arrogant chump.

I’m not a person of faith myself – but live and let live. As I said above, dogmatic atheism is every bit as annoying as dogmatic Christianity – and it’s even more hypocritical.

#30
Amethyst1:40 pm, 30 Mar 13

gooterz said :

I’d rather have a holiday for something like the bushfire anniversary or the 100 year centenary celebration.

You know… I vaguely remember getting some sort of day off… with fireworks. and lots of ’100′ signs around.

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