Tonga is unique in its history, culture, church, and politics. While the world trashed monarchy as evil, and idolized democracy as the best form of government, Tonga proved otherwise. While world trashed the Church as detrimental to politics, Tonga proved that the Church has immensely and positively supported politics.
With such uniqueness, we need to carefully assess our history according to its time and context without unfairly bashing our past with our 21st century Westernized and Americanized eyes as Sione Mokofisi does, if we want to build a better future.
By saying that, it does not mean that I’m trying to sugarcoat the mistakes and shortcomings in this romantic dance of the Church and State. I’m simply arguing that this relationship between Church and State in Tonga had done far better job in accommodating the common good than what had happened in Europe’s history.
Keeping the Sabbath holy, though rooted in Judeo-Christian heritage, keeps Tonga ahead of the rest of the Pacific and the world in our political game. The benefits we get from this decision trump all the objections that Sione Mokofisi has suggested.
With that in mind, here are seven reasons why bakeries closure on Sunday takes Tonga back to the Future.
1. Tonga Needs Rest.
Science has proven that no human being can continually work seven days a week without destroying herself or himself. Having a national weekly day of rest complies with the law of nature. It’s a day to celebrate the fruits of our labour by resting
2. Tonga Needs to feed her Soul.
Sunday is a day where everyone is given the opportunity to be reminded that we are not just a material being only. We have a soul to feed. We need to cultivate our national character which is the “enduring personality characteristics and unique lifestyle found among the population of a nation.”
3. Tonga Needs to Remain Free.
Working for seven days a week is a sign of slavery in Biblical view, unless it is necessary for survival. The Israelites in Egypt had no day of rest since they were slaves. Sabbath highlights the freedom that God has given them. Sabbath elevates human dignity that he is a free being.
4. Tonga Needs to Keep Her National Identity.
Keeping the Sabbath separates us as a nation from the rest of the world. Our culture, our tradition, our history, our language, our form of government, our national character, and our Constitution define who we are as a nation. Keeping the Sabbath holy makes Tonga unique.
5. Tonga Need to be Healthy.
Since Tonga is the fattest nation on the planet, and obesity has become a national epidemic, closing the bakeries on Sunday is a wise decision. Having lu sipi for brunch and bread for dinner is a national suicide. Tonga is on the death row not because of hunger but because of overeating.
6. Tonga Needs to Anchor in a particular World view which accommodates the Common Good.
Europe is reaping the consequences of building a wall of separation between Church and State.
First, they started idolizing man as the point of reference to define right and wrong, good and bad, and morality, ethics, and justice. They desacralize life, and they push every moral boundary to its limit. They eliminate the weakest members of the society through abortion, and tossed away the belief in God as myth for the ignorant.
Relying on secularism to strip naked the public square from anything sacred, they provide a cultural vacuum ripe enough to become a breeding ground for Muslims to Islamized their country and youth in particular.
Sabbath keeping is not about sending people to heaven; it’s about providing a safety net from powerful destructive religious or irreligious ideas that can destroy our common good.
7. Sabbath Keeping Can Improve our Economy.
There is no empirical evidence that Keeping the Sabbath have been detrimental to our overall economy as compared with other Pacific Islands.
Utah is one of the most Sabbath Keeping states in U.S yet she remains as one of the top 15 best economy in U.S
n 2015, Chick-fil-A dominated the fast food restaurants in America and sold three times as Kentucky Fried Chicken according to Business Insider.
Comparing with other popular restaurants, Chick-fil has only 1,887 restaurants while McDonald’s has more than 14,000 locations, Taco Bell has 5,921, and Kentucky Fried Chicken has 4,370, and yet Chick-fil-A outsold them in 2015. And most if not all of them open on Sundays while all Chick-fil-A restaurants close on Sundays since the owners are Christians
A sign of intellectual and political maturity is the ability to thinking independently, assess our political situation independently, and making judgment based on the facts we gather from our history, our experience, and our current events without copying the experience and the judgment of others.
Just because everyone else say that democracy is the best form of government means that we should believe their solution. Just because France and atheistic Americans of the 20th century believe in building a wall of separation of Church and State so Tonga must do what they believe.
Tonga can move forward politically with her own political solution, custom made in Tonga, by Tongans, for Tongans.