Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thursday in History: Sunday

Our culture, with its Judeo-Christian roots, gets many of its eccentricities from the time period when Christianity was first being established: during the Roman empire. Why is one of our summer months called “July”? Because of a certain Roman general named Julius Caesar. Why do we celebrate Christmas on December 25th? Because of the belief that Christ was conceived on the same day that he died (March 25th), which puts the day of his birth nine months later on the 25th of December; any pagan holiday celebrated on that day is a coincidence. (Things happen on the same day but different years all the time. For instance, Wanda Sykes was born on March 7th, and about 20 years later, Larry Asante, who played for the Huskers and then went on to play a couple of years in the NFL, was born. The only thing that really connects them is the day they celebrate their birth; what a weird coincidence.)
Why do we stay home from work on Sunday? Because on this day in 321 AD, the Roman emperor Constantine decreed that the dies Solis would be a Roman day of rest. Constantine, in case you didn’t know, was also the emperor who made Christianity the official religion of the empire.
So this Sunday, when you’re sitting on your couch contemplating a nap at 3 pm instead of doing TPS reports at work, think of what a cool, world-changing dude Constantine was. And enjoy your Judeo-Christian weekend, Western culture.

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