- he National Repentance Day should be repealed because I don’t see any reason why it should be a public holiday.
First of all let’s look at the public holidays that we have and why we have them.
- Good Friday: Christians commemorate this day because it marks the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The majority of Papua New Guineans are Christians and so Good Friday is very much part of our Christian culture and it is well rooted in history and tradition.
- Easter Monday: The Monday after Easter Sunday is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. Again this holiday is part of our Christian tradition and is rooted in history.
- Queen’s Birthday: This is the birthday of the Queen of England, who also happens to be the Queen of Papua New Guinea because we are part of the Commonwealth.
- Remembrance Day: This day helps us remember our fallen war heroes. It is an honour to commemorate this day.
- Independence Day: This day marks the birth of our country. It has historical and legal basis. Every nation celebrates its national day.
- Christmas Day: Christians celebrate Christmas to remember the birth of Jesus Christ. It is a Christian tradition.
- Boxing Day: Boxing Day was traditionally a day off for servants and the day when they received a ‘Christmas box’ from the master. The servants would also go home on Boxing Day to give ‘Christmas boxes’ to their families.
So all our public holidays are well rooted in history and tradition.
Secondly, I would like to challenge the legality of Repentance Day. How did it come about? What’s the significance of it?
From my understanding, this public holiday was born simply from the idea of some parliamentarians who thought it was good to have a national day for repenting.
- disagree with this because:
- It lacks historical basis;
- It lacks theological basis;
- It hurts productivity in the private sectors, which pay taxes.
- Less than half the country take this day seriously while most people use it to go out and socialise.
Finally, as Christians, we should see a repentance day as the oppo-site of what Jesus taught. Remember that the Pharisees would do everything noticeable to the world to prove their righteousness, and this public holiday is exactly the same thing.
I believe that repentance is about a person’s relationship with God. It is not a ceremony to be commemorated to show to everyone that we are repenting.
It should not be taken as a political incentive to further political agendas so as to assert influence. This is exactly what hypocrites do – they will always find a way to project their image to the public.