Sunday, April 16, 2006

Murdering tall poppies -- that's what Easter is about

Every religion has their own myths that go to the very heart of their beliefs. The Easter Myth is central to Christianity, and somewhat revealing. Watching a performance of Bach's 'St Mathew Passion' last week I was struck by Bach's dramatisation just how revealing the Easter Myth really is.

Just think, Christians revere Christ as their ideal, and indeed Bach had his chorus praise him, worship him, eulogise Him. And then they killed him.

That's the story. That, says Bach, is what Christians revere. The murder of their ideal.

According to the scriptures which Christ's contemporaries worshipped, this man was the one they sought, the one they were waiting for, the one who was their hero. And they killed him. They couldn't wait to kill him. In the name of their own mediocrity, he just had to go: his perfection was an affront to their own imperfection; his nobility an affront to their own ignobility. So, in that Easter week they denied him, killed him and disowned him, after which they bewailed his fate, and they bewailed what they had done. BUT THEY STILL DID IT! And they would do so again.

Such is the nature of the Easter Myth.

The clear insight that it seems Bach wants us to take about the myth of Easter is one of sacrifice, and the nature of that sacrifice: in that name of religion he shows us that the good (by Christian standards) are sacrificed to the rotten, the constant to the inconstant, the talented and inspirational to the lumpen dross. Why? Because the good are a constant affront to the mediocre, the talented to the untalented, the superhuman to the less-than-human. They can't be allowed to remain -- they're an affront to us all. In the name of God they just have to go! Only once they're dead are they safe to revere once again. After all, the dead can't talk back.

In other words, it struck me that the Easter Myth is not unlike Ayn Rand's Fountainhead, only without the happy ending, and with a bloody awful ethic to boot.

LINKS: The Fountainhead - Objectivism Reference Center

TAGS: Religion, Objectivism, Ethics, Music, Books

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16 Comments:

Anonymous george said...

Really? I thought Easter was about resurection. Christ rose from the dead, or he didn't. Take your choice. It is the key difference to all other beliefs.

4/16/2006 10:56:00 pm  
Blogger Oswald Bastable said...

And you can't buy a bloody six-pack at the supermarket!

Now if I had been nailed to a tree, I could really go for a beer, yet these crazy xians say you can't buy takeaway- how do you get to the bloody pub with six inck nails through your hands and feet.

Bloody loons!

4/17/2006 08:32:00 am  
Blogger Rick said...

Yeah, I'm fairly certain there's a whole second part to Easter. The noble and talented cannot be kept down, there's no killing them. Jesus didn't sacrifice his life at all, he knew what he was doing all along and there was a happy ending!

It's a good story for Christ's sake.

4/17/2006 10:13:00 am  
Anonymous Robin Thomsen said...

What a pity the Labour Department doesn't practice what it preaches and shuts up shop during the Easter weekend http://xtramsn.co.nz/news/0,,11964-5659513,00.html

I guess they have a job to do- oh wait, so do garden centers, camera shops etc...

Lousy lowlife hypocrites...

4/17/2006 10:54:00 am  
Anonymous Ruth said...

What makes me laugh about all this is that Catholic chick on Sir Humphrey's getting the vapours about Catholicism=Islam.

Catholicism is the most murderous ideology in history - what with their martyrs and all the rest of the Dark Ages and Inquisitions- they are EXACTLY LIKE ISLAM - and we have these Christian Conservative wingnuts spewing bile about MUSLIMS??

Catholics would still be on the rampage today against the infidel if they hadn't been deservedly marginalised by the political process - the only difference is that Islam hasn't been marginalised yet. But no conservative can see this truth.

4/17/2006 03:09:00 pm  
Blogger Craig Ranapia said...

Ruth:

What really makes me laugh is that you live in some alternate universe untroubled by any reality. Of course, we've all been shocked in recent months by the hordes of Catholics burning out embassies, marching though London waving banners reading "Behead Those Who Offend Jesus", and the sight of Benedict XVI marking Easter with another bowel-ful of anti-Semitic bile and reminding the faithful that the only good fag is a dead one. (And while we're talking about the most murderous ideology of all time, I'd suspect good old fasioned Marxist-Leninism still takes the cake.)

Now, why don't go pedal your crazy somewhere else - we're all full up here.

4/17/2006 06:18:00 pm  
Anonymous ruth said...

So what is actually incorrect in what I said Craig? Maybe you can't read too well.

Catholics would still be on the rampage today against the infidel if they hadn't been deservedly marginalised by the political process - the only difference is that Islam hasn't been marginalised yet. But no conservative can see this truth.

Analyse THAT - you disagree?

4/17/2006 06:26:00 pm  
Anonymous James said...

Ruths right...to a degree.Catholicism has a history of murder and domination that Islam could aspire to but why the suprise...? They are both anti-reason faith doctrines that appeal to a higher supernatural power for final authority.The difference is Catholicism has had centurys of "wearing down" from Liberalism (in its classic sense)so that the worst aspects of its authoritarianism have been tempered and restrained. Islam has had no such tempering as so is as vial as it was in the past...which was only last week as far as Islam is concerned.

Remember that Islam was a beacon of reason and civilization itself once while Europe was a dark,Catholic wasteland of ignorance but it was reversed by fundies and slipped into savagery from which it has still to really emerge today...

4/17/2006 07:41:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ruth:

I'd like you to take your own advice, and try not to resort to snide bitchery whenever anyone has the gall to disagree with you. I can read perfectly well - well eenough to recognise someone who can't be taken seriously. I don't know what the hell the world would have been life if the last five-odd centuries of European history basically hadn't happened - but neither do you.

Now was the satricial picture I painted actually correct? Once more:
Of course, we've all been shocked in recent months by the hordes of Catholics burning out embassies, marching though London waving banners reading "Behead Those Who Offend Jesus", and the sight of Benedict XVI marking Easter with another bowel-ful of anti-Semitic bile and reminding the faithful that the only good fag is a dead one.

Please, Ruth, keep setting up your straw men but some of us are actually living in the reality-based community.

4/17/2006 08:32:00 pm  
Anonymous Ruth said...

Catholics would still be on the rampage today against the infidel if they hadn't been deservedly marginalised by the political process - the only difference is that Islam hasn't been marginalised yet. But no conservative can see this truth.

I would rather be right than popular. Haven't I touched a sensitive spot on you godbags?

Cresswell likes to pretend he is like Lohengrin come to battle for righteousness -he's too scared to agree with me though ;-)

Catholiscism is just as evil as Islam - it has just been side-lined. As Islam will be in due course.

4/17/2006 08:52:00 pm  
Anonymous ruth said...

Oh - and Celebrate Easter with A Rational Being and a Godless Carnival http://nonsequitur2.blogspot.com/2006/04/38th-carnival-of-godless.html

The 38th Carnival of the godless.

Shame on me.

4/17/2006 09:17:00 pm  
Anonymous tincanman said...

Well, technically speaking Christians didn't kill Christ. Christians came into being during his lifetime and after the death of Christ.

"Christian (n) : One who professes belief in Jesus as Christ or follows the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus."

Point stands though that it was the group of people waiting for their Messiah that killed Christ. Have you read the (I think it's by Garry Kilworth) short story "Let's go to Golgotha"?

4/18/2006 02:32:00 pm  
Blogger Bernard Darnton said...

Well, the Romans had a hand in it too - crucifixion was a Roman punishment. If Jesus had been executed by the Jews he would have been stoned. However, the "Romans killed the Messiah" story wouldn't fly to well when Paul was trying to flog the new religion in Rome so he changed the emphasis. The Roman Empire is long gone but Jew-hating is still as fashionable as ever in some parts.

4/19/2006 07:55:00 am  
Anonymous Dave Mann said...

Whichever way you cut it, Christianity is still a sick death cult. Their symbol, for fuck's sake, is a barbaric method of torturous extended execution!
Christianity and Islam both grew from the rotten vine of Judaism which is also a mad belief in an anthropomorphic 'jealous' god (!) and Islam is the most putrid stew of the lot of them, as we are learning daily to our horror and fascination.
I agree with pc. Reason, individuality and capitalism are the only trinity we need.

4/19/2006 08:29:00 am  
Blogger Bernard Darnton said...

Absolutely agree Dave. I've commented previously that if you walked into someone's house and saw gallows and guillotines strewn around the place you'd always make sure there was nothing between you and the nearest exit. A crucifix with a dead bloke attached on every wall, however, is perfectly sane...

4/19/2006 09:40:00 am  
Anonymous tincanman said...

Dave, you've just illustrated your absolute ignorance on the subject. Maybe if you actually learned something rather than just blanketly sprouting garbage you'd actually seem a bit more intelligent, no?

4/19/2006 03:48:00 pm  

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