Threat to Christian holidays: deadline for comments extended

HANDSOFFThe deadline for submissions to the South African Law Reform Commission (SALRC) on its proposal to remove Good Friday and Christmas as public holidays, has been extended from May 31, 2015 to June 30, 2015.

During a telephone conversation with the SALRC yesterday (Wedensday, May 20) they also confirmed that in addition to the substantive submissions received (which to date amount to 25), they will accept petitions regarding the issue and will record each name included on the petition. A petition to keep Christian holidays on the national calendar, can be signed at

In Gateway News earlier this year I wrote of the SALRC’s proposal to remove the two Christian holidays as public holidays on the SA calendar on grounds of unfair discrimination towards people of other faiths, and I posted guidelines on how and where to submit written objections to the commission. Don’t miss the opportunity to make your view count! Churches, Christian ministries, businesses and individuals, may all express their views.


  1. ChristopherBlackwell

    I have never understood why government is supposed to give support to only Christian a holidays over all other religions. Remember Christianity was forced on Africans as a way of conquering them and to justify white take over. Africans had their own religions that had served them well for tens of thousands of years. The result is the poor black Africans of today ad a history of Christian lying about the old religions ever since. Nowhere has Christianity improved the lives of native people anywhere in the world. It has instead subjugated them, kept them powerless, and under control of foreign interests ever since.

    • Christopher, your comment about black Africans is simply not true. He who Jesus sets free is free indeed as many South Africans from many different backgrounds who have encountered Him will tell you.The point of view that you express in your first sentence is addressed practically in this article:

    • 1. Two Christian holidays out of 12 is an acknowledgement that 79,8% of the population of South Africa profess their faith to be Christian. The other ten are for the religion of secular-humanism.
      2. Christianity was NOT ‘forced on Africans’ as you put it – Europeans had been in South Africa for about 200 years before ‘Africans’ started coming to Christ in meaningful numbers. People are drawn to Christ by conviction of the Holy Spirit; as a rule, Christianity does NOT convert by the sword or at gunpoint.
      3. Before Christianity reached sub-Saharan Africa, the religions in existence were, in the main, Islam, Animism and ancestral worship. Explain how these religions ‘served them well for tens of thousands of years’ – is there any historical evidence/record to support your statement? For one, Arab slave traders took an estimated 10 to 18 million African people into slavery between the 8th and 19th centuries. David Livingstone and other Christian missionaries fought the Arab slave trade in East Africa.
      4. Your last sentence needs some elaboration – how has Christianity ‘kept them powerless, and under the control of foreign interests’? Firstly, on the African continent, Christianity freed people from the grip of Islam and the superstitions of Animism. In almost all countries, people are subjugated and kept powerless by their own governments, usually backed up by the ‘foreign interests’ of marxist-humanist organisations such as the United Nations and the World Bank. These organisations are fundamentally anti-Christian.

  2. Christopher, it never ceases to amaze and astound me how ignorant of the facts the general public is – and God even takes THAT sad fact into consideration through His prophet Hosea, but that not what I’d like to address on this forum. Sir, I respectfully request that you make an attempt at understanding the facts that lie behind something you (and several billion other people) take so for granted – and that is the seven day week. To wit : An often-overlooked testimony to the fact of creation is the strange phenomenon of the seven-day week. Almost universally observed in the present world and often observed in the ancient world, it is so deeply rooted in human experience and so natural physiologically that we seldom think about its intrinsic significance.

    All the other important time markers in human life are clearly based on astronomical and terrestrial constants. The day, for example, is the duration of one rotation of the earth on its axis; the year is the duration of one orbital revolution of the earth about the sun; the month is the approximate interval between new moons; the seasons are marked by the equinoxes and solstices.

    But the week has no astronomical basis whatever! Yet we order our lives in a seven-day cycle, doing certain things on Monday, certain other things on Tuesday, and so on through the week. Furthermore, the common pattern is one of six normal working days, then a day of rest or change, then six normal days again, and so on, with the special day regarded as either the last of the seven preceding it, or the first of the seven following it.

    How could such a system ever have originated? Most encyclopedias and reference books treat the subject very superficially, if at all. One can easily find extensive discussions about the length of the year and the length of the month in different eras and cultures, but it is very difficult to locate information about the week. Most of the discussions that do try to deal with it attribute the origin of the week to the use of “market days,” pointing out also that the interval between market days was different in different nations, though rarely varying more than a day or so above or below seven days. With the exception of an occasional Biblical scholar, almost none of these writers even considers the obvious explanation—namely, that the seven-day week was established by God Himself, at the beginning!

    Every effect must have an adequate cause, and the only cause which is truly able to account for such a remarkable phenomenon as the week is that it was established at creation and has been deeply etched in the common human consciousness ever since. Even if the week is noted in some cultures in terms of regular market days, this still does not explain how the market days happened to cluster around every “seventh” day, instead of every fifteenth day or nineteenth day or something else. Besides, there were various ancient nations whose weeks were quite unrelated to any marketing customs.

    A related phenomenon, equally remarkable, is the almost universal significance attached to the number “seven,” as a number speaking of completeness, usually with special religious overtones. This number is not “natural” in any physical way. It would be more natural to use the number “ten” (the number of a man’s fingers), or the number “twelve” (the number of months in the year), or perhaps the number “365,” to represent fullness. Why “seven”? Yet “seven” is everywhere the number of completeness.

    This absolutely fascinating article is written by a Dr. William J. Bauer and the rest of it can be read for research purposes at

    Armed with these FACTS – is it not therefore reasonable to believe in a SINGLE Deity that does just as He says He does? Commands worship through a SINGLE relationship (you like the world ‘religion’ – yecch! Phooey! Ugly word that!) Even God Himself doesn’t like that word – see James 1:27.

    Wise up Chris, and come into the REAL world!

    I do invite your comments…


    Graham Ries

  3. The only purely Christian holiday, Ascension Day, was removed as a public holiday by the ANC government in 1994. Easter and Christmas, which both have pagan origins and influences, are celebrated by Christians and non-Christians alike.
    All the rest: Human Rights Day, Freedom Day, Workers Day, Youth Day, Women’s Day, Heritage Day, Reconciliation Day are humanist in origin and orientation. Eight out of twelve recognised by the state for the celebration of humanity; these holidays form part of the religion of secular-humanism/atheism, sponsored by the state education system, in law, in the media, in politics and in the culture. In reality, it is this tax-funded religion being forced on all South Africans.
    So either leave the public holidays as they are, or do away with ALL public holidays and increase the annual leave entitlement to 25 days – this would give South Africans the freedom to choose, at their own discretion, the days they wish to celebrate or take rest on.