Every religion has their own myths that go to the very heart of their beliefs. The Easter Myth is central to christianity, and intensely revealing. Bach's 'St Mathew Passion,' which musically dramatises 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, and eulogise Him. This was their hero, the man that god sent to earth, and that same god went and had him killed.
That's the story. This, says Bach, is what christians revere: The murder of their ideal.
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 suffering and one of sacrifice, and in particular the very nature of that sacrifice: in the name of religion he shows us that the good (by christian standards) is sacrificed to the rotten; the constant to the inconstant; the talented and inspirational to the lumpen dross. The ideal to the worthless. In the name of God, then, the' good' just has to go!
Easter, for christians it seems, is a time to revere sacrifice. Oh yes, there's a 'rebirth' of sorts, but not one in this earthly realm, and not before a celebration of intense pain and suffering that supposedly bought redemption and virtue for those who possessed neither.
In other words, it struck me that the Easter Myth is not unlike Ayn Rand's Fountainhead, only in reverse. Unlike the heroes of Bach's Passion, Rand's heroes shun sacrifice. The ethic of The Fountainhead, one for which each of the leading characters fights for in their own way, is one in which genius has the right to live for its own sake. Contrast that with the Easter Story, in which The Good is revered for the act of suffering and dying for the expiation of others.
In my book, that's not really an ethic worthy of reverence.
LINKS: The Fountainhead - Objectivism Reference Center
TAGS: Religion, Objectivism, Ethics, Music, Books