Saturday, July 1, 2023

SCOTUS Honors the Lord's Day Against the USPS

In a less publicized case by the liberal media, the Supreme Court decided in favor of Mr. Gerald Groff who is an evangelical Protestant Christian who did not accept an assignment to work on Sunday due to his religious beliefs.  The USPS did not accommodate Groff. Groff argued that the U.S. Postal Service violated his religious freedom and should accommodate employees and their religious persuasions. He got reprimanded because of this. The justices of the Supreme Court took on their task of explaining and clarifying the law for the USPS. They stated that employers cannot discriminate against employees based on their religion and that they have to accommodate them as long as it does not create an undue hardship for the business. However, with this decision, the case simply returns to a lower court. Nevertheless, the USPS has a new precedent that it must follow with the Supreme Court's decision.

The requirement to not work on Sunday stems from Exodus 20:8-11 which says, 

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work,  but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."

However, the sabbath here is Friday evening into Saturday evening. This applies to the Old Covenant with the Jews. Some sects like the Seventh Day Adventists believe the sabbath is solely on Saturday. So where does Sunday come from?  The Catholic Church along with the Eastern Churches that separated from Rome and the majority of Protestants observe Sunday as the sabbath because of the Resurrection.  The Catechism states:

Sunday is expressly distinguished from the Sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians, its ceremonial observance replaces that of the Sabbath. In Christ’s Passover, Sunday fulfills the spiritual truth of the Jewish Sabbath. . . . Those who lived according to the old order of things have come to a new hope, no longer keeping the Sabbath, but the Lord’s Day. . . . The celebration of Sunday observes the moral commandment inscribed by nature in the human heart to render to God an outward, visible, public, and regular worship. . . . Sunday worship fulfills the moral command of the Old Covenant, taking up its rhythm and spirit in the weekly celebration of the Creator and Redeemer of his people (2175-76)

The Scriptures also tell us why Christians celebrated the "sabbath" on Sunday.  St. Paul tells us that Christians are not bound by the Jewish Sabbath.

Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in regard to food or drink or in respect to the festival, or a new moon or a Sabbath day—things which are a mere shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ (Col. 2:16-17).

The early Christians celebrated Mass on the first day of the week or Sundays (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2). There is a reason behind this. Jesus came to make "all things new" (Revelation 21:5). The Passover meal and Passion took place on Thursday and Friday showing Jesus is linking His work to the Old Covenant and "bringing" it along to the New Covenant sealed in His Blood.  The Resurrection took place on Sunday which sealed the work of Christ showing He did what He said He would. He opened up salvation to all, not just the Jews.  So Sunday became the new beginning, the new day when "Jesus rested," so to speak. He was dead but came back. We have Mass every day, but Sunday Mass is always the "Resurrection Mass" or Easter Mass.  

In light of this, we see why Christians must rest and worship on Sundays. We Catholics can go to Mass every day except Good Friday and early Easter Vigil where there are no Masses, but Sunday is specifically the day we must observe the Lord's day and are required by faith and love of God to attend and participate in the Holy Mass.

The Supreme Court made the right decision for obvious reasons. No business can force an employee to betray his or her faith. 

Here is the Court's opinion: 22-174 Groff v. DeJoy (06/29/2023) (supremecourt.gov)

What do you think? Post below on Disqus. Remember to follow the rules so your comment can be posted.  

 


Source:

Supreme Court rules against USPS in Sunday work case : NPR

https://www.npr.org/2023/06/29/1182121772/supreme-court-religious-freedom-postal-worker-decision

Supreme Court rules for Christian mail carrier who refused to work Sundays (nbcnews.com)


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