First, I want to wish all a Happy Easter. I'm a Christian, so my holy day this time of year is Easter. If I were Jewish, it would be Passover, and I would wish everyone a good Passover. I'm not sure what the Muslim holy day is this time of year, or even if they have one. For the Earth/Sun worshippers and/or Druids, the holy day is the vernal equinox, I believe. My point?
"When I was a kid. . ." But yes (see previous), winter break was Christmas vacation, spring break was Easter vacation. On Good Friday, everything in town was closed from 1-3 PM, and nary a soul was to be found outside of church-Catholic and Lutheran. The grocery store in town closed at noon on Sundays, and was closed completely on holidays like Christmas, Easter, July 4th, Memorial and Labor Days, Thanksgiving and New Years. Granted, I grew up in a dinky little town, but we spent Christmas in Chicago more than once, and nothing was open. Everybody, American or not; these are American holy days; was given the day off to spend with family and friends. I vaguely knew about Rosh Hoshanna, Yom Kippur, Hannuka, and Passover, but my childhood was steeped in the Christian traditions of my beloved country.
The American holidays are no longer days on which everyone, American or not, is given a day off to spend with family and friends. Why not? In the quest for the almighty dollar, greed has stripped us of our national holy days. Have you ever gone to the local convenience store on a holiday? Did you commiserate with the clerk about having to work? Did it ever occur to you that by patronizing a business on an American holiday, you encourage that business to be open on those days? Why? Not the Freedom From Religion Foundation or the ACLU, but greed. Make more money, make more money, makemoremoney, makmoremoney, makmormoney, makmormony, mkmormony, mkmrmony, mkmrmny.....
My place of employment is a small neighborhood Cafe and the most consistently busy day of any week is Sunday morning. We close only for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and two of the owners are Catholic. There is no choice but to stay open for American holy days like Easter in order to stay in business. Today, on Good Friday, was one of the better Fridays I've had recently.
My point is that the Christian traditions of my beloved country have been passing away for a long time. The prevailing god of America is money, the quest for money has turned our eyes away from the Judeo-Christian ethics and holy days. Is it any wonder Mr Madoff was able to run his scheme? His investors wanted to believe in the fantasy Mr Madoff said they could have. Their eyes were on money. This allowed literally thousands of people to end up losing everything.
President Obama knows that the god of the USA is money. (I'll say it now, follow the money. See Dick Morris regarding the G20 agreement on a world bank.) That is why the President is allowed to fire corporate executives and set the wages of others--pretty much any others he wishes. When he says "We aren't a nation of Christians, .." he knows he is correct, because the outrage is always over the money.