Why Do the Church Bells Have to Ring at 6:20 Every Morning?

bellsEvery morning at 6:20AM, the church bells ring.  I’m not sure which church they are coming from (there are several within sight of my apartment), but I know they’re near because they are fairly loud.   I don’t know why the church bells ring at 6:20 in the morning, nor who is ringing them.  I don’t know the significance of the time.

If I lived near a mosque, I would expect the prayer call at certain times of day.  I could probably predict it and set my watch to it.  I do live near a few churches and, on Sundays, I expect the church bells to ring out.  I do not expect the church bells to ring out at 6:20 every morning, as I wouldn’t expect a prayer call at that time.  What is the significance of the church bells each morning?  What’s going on?  It’s like some giant alarm clock for the entire neighborhood, set for 6:20AM.

I’m sure that people who live near the church are probably awakened by these bells every morning.  Jerking them out of a deep slumber earlier than they need to be.  They are large, loud bells.  I am usually awake when they ring, so it doesn’t disturb my sleep, but it disturbs my morning.  It disturbs my morning because the church that the bells are attached to is ALLOWED to ring them that early.  They are waking up the neighborhood by setting up this communal alarm clock, and nobody bats an eye.  After all, they are a church, they should be allowed to do whatever they want, right?

In Singapore, there are a lot of noise ordinances in place.  Things like no construction before 8AM and no horn honking in residential neighborhoods keep the peace and quiet when it needs to be kept (in the sleepy times).  This church just blatantly defies those laws and creates this sleep-shattering noise every day at 6:20AM, and they are allowed to do it!?!?  Why are they allowed to do it?!  Is it because they are “places of god?”  Who cares?!?!?!  They should be subject to all the same laws and restrictions as the rest of us.  Construction isn’t allowed to begin until after 8AM because it will disturb people while they sleep, so why is this church allowed to wake the world with its bells each morning.  This double standard for religious organizations is ridiculous.  Churches and all other religiously affiliated organizations should not be exempt from the same laws that everyone else is made to follow.  Who cares if they are “houses of worship,” they are part of the community and should they not adhere to the rules and regulations of that community!?!

I am an atheist.  I don’t believe in anything but myself.  In my views, there is no god, there are no angels and Christmas is a holiday to celebrate a fat guy in a red suit and some elves.  Religion has no place in my life and it never will.  This is not, however, why I’m so frustrated by the church bells.  I would be frustrated if it were an orphanage, hospital or school as well.  These community centers need to coincide with the community in which they reside, no matter what.  There should be no exemptions, not even for “god’s house!”  I wonder what Singapore would have to say about construction that starts before 8AM……if it was the construction of a new church!  Ah….there’s a good question……

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