In France, easily one of Europe’s most secular states, the government asked workers to forego Monday’s paid holiday to raise money for the nation’s elderly. Apparently socialistic compassion only goes so far. The request sparked outraged protests from union workers sporting signs such as “No to Free Work.” Thousands more simply took the day off as usual. France, home to the 35-hour workweek, grants workers more than generous vacation time, so the protests left naive government officials nonplussed. One other bit of irony: The holiday French “workers” are taking such umbrage at losing is the Monday after Pentecost Sunday, commemorating the advent nearly two millennia ago of the Holy Spirit to the church, 50 days after the resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ. These are profoundly religious events, and to see secularized Frenchmen fight to keep this formerly religious holy-day is amusing, to say the least. Kind of like the ACLU fighting to remove all vestiges of Christmas from the public square–and then giving its employees December 25 off.