Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Rising Dead, or: Happy Easter!

I'm not here to beat up on the millions of Christians who believe that Jesus rose from his grave three days after his crucifixion to ascend to heaven. Of course, if you're a regular reader (with one or two exceptions), I doubt you actually believe that particular story, anyway. I know I don't. But if you do, more power to you. Whatever lets you sleep at night is just fine with me - unless of course that includes the killing, torturing or otherwise molesting of your fellow humans. If so, you're sick and need help and/or imprisonment.

Like many atheists and/or agnostics, I just can't buy the whole "He Has Risen" thing. And while historic documents other than the New Testament agree that Jesus* was an actual person who probably lived about 2011 years ago, I personally have an issue with his supposed divinity. No doubt, Jesus espoused many true and positive things about the way we should treat one another as fellow human beings. And while there are several accounts of Jesus attending and/or officiating at weddings; there is nothing to indicate what he thought about them (and certainly nothing to say he only thought they should be be exclusively between a man and a woman). 

On the Julian calendar, Easter is celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Confusing, no? So why is Christmas, the traditional celebration of Jesus' birth, always celebrated on December 25th? Shouldn't Easter be celebrated on the same date every year, just like Christmas? I mean, if Jesus rose from the grave on April 6th, 33 AD, shouldn't Easter always be celebrated on April 6th? Here we see simply another example of the Church co-opting a pagan celebration (often mistakenly attributed to the supposedly pagan goddess Oestre) in order to maintain power over the ignorant.

But enough (if you'll forgive the expression) preaching to the choir. Religious celebrations of any kind seem silly to Uncle P. What we should be celebrating is the fact that we exist at all. I think the most important lessons any of us can learn from the New Testament are to be kind to one another, do no harm and live life to its fullest. You never know when the pharisees might look poorly upon you and have you strung up simply for being true to yourself.

Whatever you believe, I hope you enjoy your chocolate bunnies, jelly beans and Cadbury Creme Eggs. I hope your lamb, ham or turkey dinner is delicious and succulent, and that the company with whom you share them is warm and loving. 

Anyway, here's an Inappropriate Soundtrack clip that seems somehow appropriate:

More, anon.

*Jesus, by the way, is actually a corruption of the Greek word for the Hebrew name Joshua. And you might also note in my link to the New Testament, it says "Out of the Original Greek," which makes absolutely no sense since Jesus and his contemporaries probably spoke a version of Aramaic, a language that hasn't been actually spoken for over 2000 years. Even the most devout among you must admit there just might have been some translation issues along the way.

More non-religious nonsense, soon.



Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I agree (being a fellow atheist). However, that doesn't stop me from saying Happy Easter and offering you this little goodie

Prospero said...

Thanks, Michael! That looks yummy! And Happy Easter to you!