THIS is an unusual item from the United Kingdom. One of our news scans found it at the website of the National Secular Society, which Wikipedia says is a British organization “that promotes secularism, the separation of church and state. It holds that no-one should gain advantage or disadvantage because of their religion or lack of religion.”
But their program is a bit more extensive than that. Wikipedia also says:
Under the banner “Challenging Religious Privilege”, the Society campaigns for: the disestablishment of the Church of England; the withdrawal of state subsidies to religious schools; the end of tax exemption for churches and an end to the public funding of chaplains in prisons, hospitals and the armed services …
Interesting outfit. Richard Dawkins is listed as an “Honorary Associate,” whatever label that means. So is Christopher Hitchens.
Anyway, we present to you, dear reader, some excerpts from Creationist car dealer closes showrooms on Sunday, which appears at the National Secular Society‘s website. The bold font was added by us:
Christian used car salesman Sir Peter Vardy, whose state-funded academies teach creationism, is now carrying his religious zeal into his own business. He says that he will shut his showrooms on Sundays so his staff can spend time with their families. This is quite a risk, as Sunday is usually the biggest day of the week for motor dealers.
There are certain incongruities here. One rarely sees “Christian” as an adjective attached to the occupation of used car salesmen, although upon reflection, such a description isn’t 100% impossible. And then there’s the fact of a knighthood for a used car salesman. There is much here to ponder
Ah, we found him in Wikipedia: Peter Vardy, which informs us:
Sir Peter Vardy (born 4 March 1947) is a British businessman and philanthropist from Houghton-le-Spring in Durham. His business interests have been mainly in the automotive retail business. In the Sunday Times Rich List 2009 ranking of the wealthiest people in the UK he was placed 388th with an estimated fortune of £140million.
That’s almost US$225 million. Okay, good for him. The National Secular Society‘s article has only one more paragraph:
Vardy says “The UK is one of the few countries in Europe where Sunday openings have become the norm.” His six showrooms — in Edinburgh, Perth, Motherwell and Kirkcaldy — have traditionally opened from 11am to 5pm on Sundays. Local churches applauded the move saying that “He is putting a value on Sunday that is above money.” Sir Peter, in the meantime, insisted the Sunday closure has nothing to do with the recession.
Can you figure out what’s going on here? From the tone of the article, it seems to us that someone in the National Secular Society may not like Sir Peter. So we went looking for another account of this situation.
In the Scottish Daily Record we read Christian car dealer Peter Vardy to shut showrooms on Sundays. They say pretty much the same thing, but they add:
The Vardy business was founded by Reg Vardy in 1923 and developed by Peter’s dad, Peter snr. Peter jnr became boss in 2006 of new company Peter Vardy Ltd.
It appears that the National Secular Society isn’t being flippant after all.
Our only conclusion is this — if you’re in the UK and you have a hankering to buy a used car from a creationist dealer, Sunday is probably not the best day to go shopping.
Well, there’s one more point to be made, but the National Secular Society seems to have missed it. Sir Peter didn’t use his wealth and influence to campaign for compulsory sabbath closings. He decided to shut down on Sunday voluntarily. That’s how such things ought to be done.
Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.