So the holiday/holy days are over; another passion play has ended. Eggs colored and eaten, lots of lily plants on tables, left-over ham, and relatives now back at their own homes. Enduring Christians are once again satisfied that ‘He has risen’ and somehow that reenactment will satisfy them for another year. By the way, is it really important that he rose from the dead? Or is it more important that he rose to a higher human spirit which revealed the God inside?
Our Jewish brethren are still celebrating Passover- reenacting another biblical myth about angels, blood and demons. The Orthodox Christians have not yet had their Easter because they cannot celebrate until the Jewish Passover is finished.
Of course the celebration of Easter, the ‘most important celebration’ in Christianity, is of pagan origin. Even the name- the name Easter comes to us from Ostera, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, or Eostra, the Teutonic goddess or from Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of spring. Astarte to the Greeks. About the Easter Bunny- Eostra was the goddess of spring and fertility, and feasts were held in her honor on the Vernal Equinox. Her symbol was the rabbit because of the animal’s high reproduction rate. The eggs? Pagan symbols of fertility, too.
So what do fertility celebrations have to do with crucifixion? Go figure. That’s an extra-credit assignment. And when is the date of Easter? Check the sun, not the Son.
I’m sure that in some evangelical/fundamentalist circles there was talk both inside the churches and at the dinner table about non-Christians and/or atheists and agnostics or liberal churches. And I’m quite sure that it was unanimously concluded that ‘they’ were all doomed for hell. And would you please pass the ham. Did Jesus eat ham?
Religion surely is a satirist’s dream bag. And a killing field too boot, both figuratively as well as in reality. I wonder in which future century the word ‘religion’ will finally fade from the human vocabulary? And I wonder where the last bastion of religiosity will be found? Maybe it will be not unlike those Japanese soldiers found hiding many months after the end of WWII- the soldiers who didn’t know that it was over.
Or will there always be pockets of holdouts scattered throughout the world, clinging to their ancient holy books, knowing that they alone know the righteous path?