Sunday, April 5, 2015

Taking back Easter

Recently, some of my fellow Thinking Atheist forum members mentioned they liked my blog, so I felt like maybe I should start writing more frequently again. And what better time to start than on Easter afternoon?

The further I remove myself from religion, the more asinine the concept becomes, especially at this time of the year. When you listen to a Christian believer tell of the hoops they "must" jump through during Lent, it's painfully obvious that indoctrination could make anyone do anything, and THAT is why religion is so dangerous.

The period is kicked off by spreading palm ash in the shape of a cross on Christian foreheads. Then an invisible deity is made happy because his followers are forced to stop eating animal meat on Fridays. (As a quick aside, I invited my parents to my house this past Friday and we were going to make pasta and red sauce for them, but my wife said she couldn't make her sauce for them because she makes it with meat. I told her we should just remove the meat from the sauce when she's done, but she correctly assumed that still violated this rule because the juice of the meat would be in the sauce. Are you kidding me? By that rationale, my parents shouldn't be allowed to eat vegetables because the manure used to fertilize the crops came from the asses of cows.)

Also, apparently this god is ecstatic that my mother has stopped using Facebook for Lent. These comical edicts are meant to perpetrate the guilt complex as only religion can. You see, Jesus, if he existed, apparently spent 40 days fasting in the desert while dodging Satan's temptations. So if he did that (apparently) for his followers, the least they could do is make some mediocre sacrifice like giving up social media and hamburgers for a month.

I also learned just yesterday that years ago my wife had a confrontation with her then boss (she no longer works for him) on Easter Sunday. She used to work in a country club and was helping decorate the buffet line. She placed a really cute bunny on the table and when her boss saw it he grunted, "Get this piece of shit out of here!" My wife said, "A lot of kids will be here and isn't that what Easter is all about for them?" He just about lost it, telling her that's what's wrong with people these days, that Easter is not about eggs and bunnies but about Jesus, yada, yada, yada. He threw the bunny on the ground and told her she could keep it.

While at the time I wasn't as militant with my anti-theism as I am now, I really wish I was there when he pulled this shit. These arrogant ignoramuses have zero clue what Easter is and how it really became this holiday. Thousands of years before this Jesus fellow came on the scene, pagans celebrated the spring equinox. It's a time of renewal and fertility, of plants and crops coming back to life, not some Middle Eastern Jew zombie.

Even the Easter name is rooted in pagan lore as the goddess of spring and renewal is called Oestar (Scandinavian), Astarte (Phoenicians), Ishtar (Assyrians and Babylonians) and even in Europe she was known as Ostrara. These goddesses were celebrated on the vernal or spring equinox.

In many of these cultures, eggs (and even rabbits) represented fertility and birth, some even going so far as to decorate these eggs to represent the bright warm sun and the beautiful colors spring would bring forth. And why wouldn't eggs represent life? That's exactly what they are.

Whenever a holiday like this comes up, I can't help but wonder why theists don't see the direct correlation between their rituals and the ones that predate their religion. It's the timing and obvious themes that give them away, yet they would never accept these facts with the shroud of indoctrination holding their eyes shut. Compare the winter solstice and Saturnalia with Christmas, Ostara and the spring equinox with Easter.

Things die in the winter and are reborn again in the spring. It's not rocket science, just critical thinking. In fact, I like to think I've coined a phrase: Atheism is the use of critical thinking, theism is the use of hypocritical thinking.

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