I don’t believe in God or Jesus. I’m willing to accept that Jesus, the person, existed, but I don’t hink he had magical powers. Jesus was the David Blaine of his time, except with a motivational message.
That’s part of the reason why I’m not a Christian, the other part being a deft command of my powers of reason.
What gets me is that Christianity is ultimately very, very silly. I find it amusing when Christians make fun of other religions for the same crime.
Christianity is a radical offshoot of a much older religion. The parent religion has a whole library of stories about a big, scary baby in space who manipulates humans into doing his work and then pays them back by destroying their enemies. There’s also a lot of stuff about killing babies and burning foliage.
Most religions have an end. That is, the book has a last chapter where the world ends. Norse types called it Ragnorok.
The Jews had an end of the world cenario: God sends the Messiah. Right around the year 0, some dude shows up at the temple, declares himself the son of God and suddenly everybody’s supposed to stop going to temple and start going to church. Chrsitianity is the post-apocalypse belief system, the Mad Max of religions. Christianity is what happens when the religious nuts crack themsleves open and reveal that there’s nothing inside.
The end of the world happened and life goes on. The Christians think that the Jews are misguided fools because the Messiah came to earth already. The Jews don’t think that’s true, that the messiah hasn’t come back yet at al, and that the Christians are misguided fools for believing that David Blaine actually can tie his shoelaces without touching them.
Magic tricks aren’t enough by themselves, so Christians upped the ante – our Messiah is super powered because he died and came back from the dead. The Jews didn’t believe it and now they’re all going to hell. No, Really! Straight to hell. Do not pass Gehenna, do not collect 200 shekels. Why the roaster? Because they applied reason. I can’t speak for ancient Jews, but I bet they had a similar reaction to the news that I do: “If the Messiah really did come back, then we would probably know it.” Some stuff would have gone down, Old Testament style.
The Christians agreed, sort of. “Wait, you’re right! Um, a lot of bad stuff should happen when the Messiah comes to earth. So that will totally, absolutely happen. Er, the next time he comes back from the dead. Then you nonbelievers are gonna have a really bad day! Whenever that happens.” And then somebody wrote Revelation and quietly twiddled his thumbs.
So now the radical offshoot is back to going to church while the Jews go to temple and get blamed for everything even though they’ve been minding their own business for pretty much the whole time.
One of the nice things about having an ancient religion with lots of stuff written down about it: you don’t have to revise it all the time.
You know why Jews are cheap? Because it’ a nasty, filthy stereotype, sure, but it comes from somewhere – in the descending years of the Dark Ages, the Catholic church decided that lending money was sinful. Because of rampant anti-Semitism, the Jews were forced out of every business except that the ones that no Christian wanted to do. Usury and other unsavory professions (most of them involving money and the burgeoning idea of capitalism and loans and stuff) became the purview of the Judaic peoples. Therefore, Jews are cheap and rich and will take advantage of you if you let them – and we cut to the late 1930s and the ghettos and you can pretty much take it from there.
Anyway, back to the superheroes.
We were all at home on Sunday, enjoying what might have been a day of rest, because the David Blaine of Jerusalem had buddies who didn’t think he was dead, rolled back the stone and found his grave empty. Hallelujah! He is risen, yadda yadda. Sorry, Jews. Here’s your ticket. Don’t bother packing anything with long sleeves.
The Mormons think that Jesus came to America. The Scientologists believe that thetans make us do bad things. They’re both silly, but so is David Blaine.
Our way of celebrating Easter is pretty cool, though. The bunnies and eggs have nothing to do with Jesus. But bunnies and eggs meant something pretty important to our European ancestors. While they lived in round houses and spiked their hair with lye and became target practice for the professional armies from Italy, they were putting women right up there with thunder, lightning and plagues – Important Stuff that they should probably consider worshipping.
Women are the source of life, after all. Men plant the seed, but women do all the work, and anybody who has ever spent time in the vicinity of rabbits knows that the lady bunnies do an awful lot of it.
Eggs are like that, too. You can eat an egg, and that gives you life. If you have a hen and you feed it regularly, it will feed you. Sometimes, its eggs can create more chickens to feed you, too. And when you get sick of all that egg salad, you can have some chicken salad instead.
When Christ’s Marketing Department started selling its product to the forest-dwelling hairy dudes in western Europe, they needed a hook. After all, Christianity and its parent religion are all about a bunch of swarthy people in the desert a few thousand miles away. So they created the world’s first corporate synergy – by adding some light polytheism and ancestor worship in the form of Patron Saints, and by fudging some of the dates to coincide with holidays the heathens liked best.
We eat candy and eggs on the day of Christ’s resurrection because of an ancient, well-crafted marketing ploy that makes Wal-Mart’s falling prices look like the retarded meanderings of a heavily sedated chimpanzee.
Keep that in mind the next time you start piling hate on Cadbury for commercializing your religion. You’re a Christian now because your dumb ancestors did the Celtic equivalent of licking the frosty filling out of a Creme Egg.
Same shit, different century.