Since moving out to Central Seminary for graduate and then post-graduate work, I have always had “secular” jobs, jobs outside the scheme of church and para-church organizations. Working closely with many non-Christians on a daily basis, I have been able to observe closely an interesting religion to which my co-workers adhere. I speak, of course, of their complete and unending devotion to the god Friday. The day of worship for the barbarians is, as one would expect, the fifth day of the week, which I presume to be named after this god. The entire week of labor is done to the glory of Friday.
Observing the congregants, one notes many interesting characteristics of their cult. The attire is aptly called “dressdownfriday” or “casualfriday,” presumably so that their dress can more conform to the spirit of the holy day. You can sense their anticipation as they pronounce the third day of the week “hump day,” the day where their god is nearer than before the previous day. All their work is done on the second through fourth days so that they can more devotedly worship on Friday. On the holy day itself, they pronounce sacred greetings such as “T.G.I.F.” and “It’s Friday,” whereupon they expect even those undevoted to their god to respond in joyful chorus. Libations and feasts accent the cult, and where they will wait for hours on end at restaurants to join in the worship and celebration. Without question, it is on this most sacred and holy day that most people observe “Out-to-Lunch,” a minor feast that takes an added nuance when done in connection with Friday.
Then the cultists go to worship in the evening at the holy temples, called “Cinemas” or in more private sanctuaries called “Home Theaters.” There the priests and cult leaders called “Stars” and “Celebrities” engage in “Acting,” a special rite of purgation and catharsis for those who attend these special meetings. By this, they are able to experience what they call “entertainment,” which helps them feel otherworldly and alleviates some of the psychological duress of the real world. Here they love to watch and be affected by all sorts of actions that they could not usually experience for themselves because they remain outside the broader social norms, such as sexual immorality, leering, violence, injustice, and flying rocket ships around in the third heavens.
From my observation, the god Friday seems to be a god tied to a grotesque form of leisure, or, better yet, entertainment. Those devoted to this liturgy seek it above all else, spending hundreds of dollars per month to propagate and further their continued enjoyment of this deity. The communicants’ homes are built around it and they structure their work schedule so they can devote more hours to this very sacred god. And they very much enjoy the worship of this god. The more devoted the worship gathering is to entertainment, the greater enjoyment in Friday. So powerful is the influence of this god and his followers, that you see certain unmistakable signs of religious syncretism, where other religions try to incorporate elements of the worship of Friday into their own cultic rites.
Of course, I don’t think this religion can really last that long, despite its large and devoted following. It offers absolutely nothing by way of transcendence and permanence. It has no way of speaking to the world as we really know it. The god Friday, as far as I can tell, in no way offers a compelling vision of ultimate reality. I expect this faith to remain parochial and its adherents to die out quickly, despite its immediate popularity.