Thursday, April 21, 2011

It’s Easter. [updated]

IT'S EASTER. GOOD FRIDAY. A day off. A day out. A day to get nailed up and talk about torture.

A day to sing hymns, sit in traffic and eat hot cross buns and Easter eggs. A day not to go shopping, of course, because today is one day the religionists still have control over us. A day when flunkies fan out around the country bearing clipboards,  hoping to fine someone for the crime of selling someone a pot plant, or a pint of milk. Seeking to sacrifice shop-owners to the God of zealotry.

Meanwhile, the Christians who insist on this sacrifice of shop-owners to the gods of unionism and bureaucracy celebrate the sacrifice of their ideal man two-thousand years ago.

Any way you look at it, it’s hardly a happy story to celebrate.

EVERY RELIGION HAS ITS own core myths portraying the very heart of their beliefs. The pagan Greeks told stories of their gods, those Attic super-men, consuming Ambrosia and gambolling on Olympus.  The Norse heroes told stories of their gods lustily wenching and feasting in Valhalla while waiting for Ragnarok.  And the Christians? They tell about the time when their god sent his son down to be nailed up to a piece of wood.

As a myth, it’s hardly something to celebrate.

The Easter Myth is central to Christianity, and all too revealing of the ethic at Christianity's heart. 

Art reveals that core. Look at that painting above, by Salvador Dali. A great, powerful, awe-inspiring, revealing piece of art.  What does it represent? It represents man-worship -- the presentation of an ideal.  Note how the main figure is larger than life and seemingly immune to pain or destruction; a figure, incongruously in this context, portrayed without pain or fear or guilt.

The figure at left is Dali's wife Gala, who looks up at the Christ figure with a look of literal man-worship. If we have a question here, when looking at a man nailed up to a piece of wood, it might be this: "How can you worship the destruction of your ideal?”  “Why would you celebrate his torture?” Fair questions, especially when confronted with splatter-fests like Mel Gibson’s Passion, which lovingly depict every act of torture and every drop of blood in high-definition Technicolor.

That’s what paining and film can do. How about music?  Bach’s St Matthew Passion musically and beautifully dramatises this Myth while revealing the true nature of it.The Passion’s thematic centre occurs when Jesus appears before Pilate and the mob.

_QuoteWhen Pilate asks the crowd who should be freed, Barbaras or Jesus. The crowd replies, "Barabbas!" and Pilate asks, "When what should I do with Jesus, who is called the Christ?" The crowd shouts, "Let him be Crucified!" This final shout is musically rendered in such an awful way that the hearer is almost struck dumb. One can feel the terrible doom being called down. Pilate then asks (in Part 56), "Why, what has this man done?" His question is answered by what is probably the loneliest Soprano ever, who says, "He has done good to us all, He gave sight to the blind, The lame he made to walk; He told us his father's word, He drove the devils forth; The wretched he has raised up; He received and sheltered sinners, Nothing else has my Jesus done."
    Following this is an even more poignant aria that begins, "Out of love my Savior is willing to die." After that the chorus repeats the sentence, which is made worse by what we have just heard.

Just think, Christians revere Christ as their ideal, and Bach has his chorus and soloists praise him, worship him, and eulogise Him – this, above all, was their hero (Bach tells us); a man known only for good deeds; the man they believe their god sent to earth as an example of the highest possible on this earth -- and then they and that god went and had him killed. Tortured, Crucified.

That's the story. This, says Bach in the true honesty that great art reveals, is what Christians revere: The murder of their ideal man.  

It’s an astonishing ethic to celebrate, isn’t it: the sacrifice of the ideal man just to appease and placate the mob.

THE SACRIFICE, YOU SEE, is the thing. Sacrifice is the central ethical thesis of Christianity—so important that an all-powerful god was supposed to sacrifice his own son (who is also himself) to himself just to make the important point: that sacrifice of a higher value—of the very highest—to everything that crawls on earth is central to the Christian ethics.

In the Easter Myth giving voice to this ethic of sacrifice, we are invited to praise the willing sacrifice of the man they hold up as their ideal to a mob of the vilest  sinners--sacrificed as a point of ethical and religious necessity in the most vile and bloodthirsty way imaginable.

It's of no avail whether in the Christ myth we hear that he was arrested for blasphemy, or for preaching without a police permit, or that he came to replace one stone-age form of witch-doctory for another. It's of no avail because none of those points are central to the Easter Myth, or of the central Christian ethic portrayed therein: they’re all just plot devices to get the story to Golgotha, and the god-son nailed up.

That is the vile story we are invited to admire and the ethic we are enjoined to emulate. What would Jesus do (WWJD)? Why, he would give his very life up to the mob, and his very body up to be tortured by it. Why? To save (somehow) all you miserable sinners.

The sacrifice, you see, is the thing. And just to be clear:

_Quote “Sacrifice” is the surrender of a greater value for the sake of a lesser one or of a nonvalue. Thus, altruism gauges a man’s virtue by the degree to which he surrenders, renounces or betrays his values…

That a story is celebrated in which a divine sacrifice, a human being, a son of the “all-powerful” is offered up in the most vile, most bloodthirsty way possible--to "save" a mob who, according to those same Christians, are created as vile sinners--and to "appease" a bloodthirsty and omnipotent God who intended all this to happen, and (according to the story) sent this ideal man down to earth to make sure that it did …. now if that's not a vile story, even if t'were true, then my name is Odin.

And there's certainly nothing enlightening there on which to base an ethics. And base an ethics on it the religionists certainly do. One they insist is “sublime.”

No wonder the religionists see nothing to apologise for today when priests quietly sacrifice young children to their own misbegotten lusts.

HANS HOBEIN’S ‘CHRIST AFTER CRUCIFIXION’ lays bare the reality of the sacrifice even more directly than Mel Gibson’s splatter movie.

It’s not a pretty painting, as this detail makes plain:

A good subtitle for this 1521 painting might be ‘A Christian Confronts Reality.’  That, at least, was how the Russian novelist Dostoyevsky felt when confronted with this naturalistic depiction of the battered Christian corpse in 1867: confronted with the horrific reality of crucifixion and its results, Dostoyevsky was struck by the importance of this confrontation for his faith, and inspired to dramatise in his next novel what that confrontation meant. Said his wife, “The figure of Christ taken from the cross, whose body already showed signs of decomposition, haunted him like a horrible nightmare.  In his notes to [his novel] The Idiot and in the novel itself he returns again and again to his theme.”

Holbein confronts the Christian viewer with a powerful choice: One must either believe that God raised this ravaged body from the dead, and that the Christian myth, therefore, “offers hope for humanity beyond this life”; or else accept that the dead stay dead, that such an event did not and could not occur, that reality is what it is – with all that follows therefrom. As Dostoyevsky has a character in The Idiot explain it,

_QuoteHis body on the cross was therefore fully and entirely subject to the laws of nature. In the picture the face is terribly smashed with blows, swollen, covered with terrible, swollen, and bloodstained bruises, the eyes open and squinting; the large, open whites of the eyes have a sort of dead and glassy glint. . . .
   Looking at that picture, you get the impression of nature as some enormous, implacable, and dumb beast, or, to put it more correctly, much more correctly, though it may seem strange, as some huge engine of the latest design, which has senselessly seized, cut to pieces, and swallowed up–impassively and unfeelingly–a great and priceless Being, a Being worth the whole of nature and all its laws, worth the entire earth, which was perhaps created solely for the coming of that Being!

Good art need not be a thing of beauty, but it must have something to say.  This certainly does that. If you believe the Creation myth and all that goes with it, the idea that all this was designed by something supernatural and omnipotent, then you must believe this torture too was designed. That it was intended.  That the God who once insisted that Abraham sacrifice his own son now makes the mob insist on the sacrifice of their ideal.

Let me ask you again, Don’t you think it astonishing to celebrate this barbarity?

IT WOULD BE EVEN MORE astonishing if that were what Easter really meant.  Thankfully, it’s not.

In Pagan times you see, Easter was the time in the Northern calendar when the coming of spring was celebrated -- the celebration of new life, of coming fecundity.  Hence the eggs and rabbits and celebrations of fertility. Indeed, the very word "Easter" comes from Eos, the Greek goddess of the dawn, and means, symbolically, the festival celebrating the rebirth of light after the darkness of winter. 

But with the coming of Christianity, the celebration was hijacked to become this veneration of torture and sacrifice.

And the story itself was not even original.  In the Norse myths (to quote just one of many similar myths) the head god Odin hung himself on the World Tree Yggdrasil—not to sacrifice himself to himself, but to achieve greater understanding. As the Icelandic Edda tells the story,

I ween that I hung of the windy tree,
Hung there for nights full nine;
With the spear I was wounded, and offered I was,
To Othin, myself to myself,
On the tree that none may ever know
what root beneath it runs.
None made me happy with loaf or horn,
And there below I looked;
I took up the runes, shrieking I took them,
And forthwith back I fell.
Then began I to thrive, and wisdom to get,
I grew and well I was;
Each word led me to another word,
Each deed to another deed.

As Joseph Campbell observes,

_QuoteNo one can miss the parallels here to the Gospel themes of Jesus’ three hours on the Cross (3 x 3 = 9), the spear in his side, his death and resurrection, and the boon of redemption thereby obtained. The phrase “and offered I was/To Othin, myself to myself” is interesting in the light of the Christian dogma of Christ and the Father as One.”

These are the stories the Christian myth supplanted.  And in hijacking the pagan celebration of spring,  they overtook a joyful celebration of growth and fertility, of peace and new understanding, and added to it a new ingredient: the ethic of sacrifice -- the murder and torture of tall poppies -- the sacrifice of the Christian's highest possible for the sake of the meanest most rotten 'sinner,' whose redemption Christ's murder was supposed to buy.

To put it bluntly, the Easter myth that Bach dramatises so well is one of suffering and sacrifice and murder, and the collusion of a supposedly omnipotent and omniscient god in the murder of his own son -- and if you subscribe to the whole sick fantasy then that is what you are required to believe—to believe in every rotten, blood-dripping detail. For in the name of religion Bach shows us that the good (by Christian standards) must be sacrificed to the rotten; the constant to the inconstant; the talented and inspirational to the lumpen dross -- the ideal to the worthless.

For Christians, then, Easter is a time to revere that sacrifice and to remind themselves (and us) of the centrality of sacrifice to their fantasy. Oh yes, there's a 'rebirth' of sorts in their fantasy, but not one on this earth realm, and not before a celebration of intense pain and suffering that supposedly bought redemption and virtue for those who possessed neither.  

As Robert Tracinski says so bluntly, "Easter's Mixture of the Benevolent and the Horrific Reveals Religion's Antagonism to Human Life." And so it does.

IT’S SAID BY SOME THAT the real point of the Crucifixion Myth is not the torture but the resurrection; not death or the manner of it, but life.  This is just nuts—but then, without the resurrection, there is no Christianity.

The myth erected by Paul on the back of some poor slaughtered Jewish prophet is intended to tell you how to live your life. To do so it offers a tale of torture grafted onto a fairy story about resurrection. (WWJD, eh?)

Even in the unlikely event the whole tawdry tale from earth to sky were proven true (and I invite you to take the Easter Challenge to tell us all precisely what happened on Easter), what would it prove for life here on this earth: It would still tell the story that the bloodthirsty Sky God who inflicted that torture on his son requires of you unconditional fawning of him, and unconditional sacrifice of yourself to others. As I said, that's just vile in and of itself, let alone as a basis on which to construct an ethics.

So it's an ethics based on a fairy story and founded in rottenness.

No wonder the early Christians grafted the tale about a murdered Jewish carpenter on to the Pagan Easter festival (which really did celebrate rebirth and fertility and new life) and then weaved the two together in this way--because they hoped to somehow that sacrifice is life-affirming instead of life-destroying. Sadly, however, all that their story shows is that unless you add a the supernatural to your fairy story, the result of sacrifice on this earth is not life and fertility and rebirth, but death, and destruction and torture.

In other words, if you want to erect a morality for life on this earth , then a good place to start is not one based upon sacrifice and suffering and torture. Not unless you wish to ensure the destruction of everything that you value.

THERE IS ANOTHER STORY that stands in complete contrast to this one however, that is in all senses its polar opposite. Unlike the anti-heroes of Bach's Passion—who murder their hero in a vain attempt to save their desiccated souls—or Dostoyevsky’s—who torture themselves with thoughts of a mechanistic “malevolent universe” in which they are somehow “trapped”—the heroes of Ayn Rand's novel The Fountainhead shun sacrifice and suffering and the temptations of another world, and venerate instead their own human powers on this earth. 

The hero of that novel, Howard Roark, appears in court before another baying mob, in a similar position dramatically in which Bach places his own hero. Thrown to the mob and fighting for his life in court, rather than acquiesce as Bach’s hero does, Roark states instead—as clearly and categorically as he knows how—his own terms.

_QuoteI came here to say that I do not recognize anyone's right to one minute of my life. Nor to any part of my energy. Nor to any achievement of mine. No matter who makes the claim, how large their number or how great their need.
    "I wished to come here and say that I am a man who does not exist for others.
    "It had to be said. The world is perishing from an orgy of self-sacrificing.
    "I wished to come here and say that the integrity of a man's creative work is of greater importance than any charitable endeavor. Those of you who do not understand this are the men who're destroying the world.
    "I wished to come here and state my terms. I do not care to exist on any others.
    "I recognize no obligations toward men except one: to respect their freedom and to take no part in a slave society.”

This time, the hero says, the sacrifice demanded by the mob is rejected.

The contrast to the other story is stark,wouldn’t you say?

The ethic of The Fountainhead, one for which each of the leading characters fights in their own way, is one in which genius has the right to live for its own sake.  The contrast with the demand of Christianity that The Good inheres in the act of suffering and dying for the expiation of others could not be stronger, or the question more important!  Rather than demanding and worshipping the sacrifice of the highest to the lowest -- or as Nietzsche did, retaining the ethic but reversing the beneficiary of the sacrifice by demanding the sacrifice of the lowest to the highest -- the ethic of The Fountainhead insists that The Good is not to suffer and to die, but to enjoy yourself and live -- without any sacrifice at all of anyone to anyone else.

In my book, that really is an ethic worthy of reverence.

NOW, I'M ALL TOO aware that if you believe the Easter Myth, then anything I say here is going to pass right by you. 

You might call my "world view" a "mechanistic one," which is odd really because because it's that view which is taken by Dostoyevksy in the passage I cite above (where he whines about being "trapped" in a malevolent "mechanistic universe").

But the universe is not "mechanistic": it is knowable; it is not causeless; it is open to our manifest human powers—it is  not a mechanistic nightmare in which we are trapped, but a benevolent one in which we can both achieve our values and keep them, with no sacrifice at all from anyone, by anyone or to anyone.

I would have thought any honest commentator would find that idea compelling—if, that is, he weren't already imbued with the fatuous corruption of ethics that upholds sacrifice and suffering as a "noble" moral ideal.

SO IF, DESPITE MY best exhortations, if you still insist on venerating sacrifice this weekend and making yourself suffer, and especially if you're intending a bit of crucifixion yourself (or even just a mild bit of flogging or self-torture) then here are a few simple Easter Safety Tips for you from the Church, which are not unfortunately intended as satire. They include advice on how to whip yourself safely, how to flay others without major injury, and which size nails to use to have yourself fixed firmly to a piece of wood. 

And accept Richard Wagner’s sublime ‘Good Friday Spell’ from Parsifal, and a gorgeous Parsifal Fantasia, as balm to soothe your wounds both mental and physical.

And  for all the bureaucrats who are working while they insist that others don’t, here's that Nick Kim cartoon again celebrating the sacrifice of the Easter Bunny...

Easter_Trading

Have a happy holiday!

PS: By the way, did you know that Jesus was Yahweh's 111th Killing? Pretty cool god, huh?

_QuoteIt's hard to imagine something worse than a father planning to kill his own son. Except maybe a father killing his son in order to keep himself from torturing billions of others forever.
    ‘‘He that spared not his own son’ shouldn't be trusted by anyone.

UPDATE: Good Christian folk complain that “it’s not about the torture,” that “it’s all about the resurrection.”

Really?

Who are you trying to kid.

Good Xtian folk LOVE the torture.

Good Xtian LOVe the suffering.

It really is all bout the suffering—all about sacrificing human joy to human pain.

No surprise then that suffering is the very thing thing that unites the crusaders against abortion (a hatred of sex plus a love of suffering) with the crusaders against voluntary euthanasia (a hatred of human choice plus a love of suffering).

The total, evil, vicious bastards.

On this day of rebirth, Easter Sunday, in the weekend named after the Persian goddess of fertility, I suggest we replace that Xtian symbol of torture, the cross, with this unabashed symbol of human joy below. Who’s with me?

HumanSpirit Image source: Temple of the Human Spirit

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22 Comments:

Anonymous Bizarro #1 said...

Because I'm interested in this sort of edge case: would you support changing Easter Sunday's status so that it is a public holiday? That would remove the ban on trading, but would introduce various other things, so I'm wondering if you think that the net result would be to "increase freedom" or not (which iirc is the party's litmus test for whether it would support any particular piece of legislation).

4/21/2011 04:00:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apollonius of Tyana was also said to have been crucified and arise from the dead, before the carpenter's son did his party trick. Unsure if Apollonius was a 112th victim of god, but escaped mention. Maybe institute Easter kebabs in his honour?
Peter

4/21/2011 04:10:00 pm  
Anonymous MacDoctor said...

Where would Easter be without the Peter Creswell Rant? As usual, you miss the entire point of Easter, which is not the cross - merely a particularly nasty form of Roman execution - but the resurrection. Without the latter, the cross is as meaningless as you suggest.

Of course, that is hardly helpful to someone like yourself, who reject all forms of the supernatural. Nevertheless, I wish you a blessed Easter - whether you want one or not!

:-)

4/21/2011 04:25:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christ was who he said he was the son of God--or he was a liar or deluded.
He taught that he would bear man's sin and be put to death--not easy to verify anything but the death
He preached that he would rise from the dead after three days--those that witnessed it wrote about it.
Those that read those accounts have a choice--admit it as the truth or dismiss it.
Those of us that confess it take seriously all else that is written of Jesus.

Rising from the dead is the clincher. Easter is the celebration of life over death.
'if Christ rose not from the dead we are the most foolish of men'--Paul.

But I'm convinced he did.

George

4/21/2011 05:18:00 pm  
Anonymous Richard McGrath said...

@Bizarro # 1:

Libz would support any move to allow free trade on Easter Sunday ... or any other Sunday.

We also support separation of religion from the state, and would push for an end to compulsory religious holidays.

4/22/2011 12:49:00 am  
Anonymous James said...

So MacDoctor...a state registared physician practising here in NZ holds the belief that dead flesh can reanimate in complete contradiction to all human medical knowledge thus far attained.

And yet he has the gall to call homoeopathy quackery.....mmmmmm.

4/22/2011 04:54:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahm..Peter, Apollonius of Tyana died in 100AD and there is no convincing evidence that others believed in his "resurrection". Do you make stuff up for the fun of it?

James...unlike the quakery that is homeopathy, a patient is not required to subscribe to the good MacDoctor's faith in Christ to be treated. And like every other believer, MacDoctor would be highly sceptical if someone came to his practice asking for a cure for dead flesh.

NotPC, its hard to see how the formidable Christian terror that you speak of has not allowed you to read Ayn Rand, become and architect, write eloquently about art and architecture (which you do very well), plot incessantly for the Libertarianz and rail electronically continually against a God you seem to have destroyed. Yes, you have been oppressed. My commiserations and Happy Easter.

Chris Pemberton

4/22/2011 07:32:00 am  
Anonymous Sam said...

Well-written and thought-provoking. While I disagree with your blanket disregard for the Christian aspect of the season (ie its focus on resurrection as opposed to horrific death), I remain opposed to the nonsensical non-trading laws.

"No wonder the religionists see nothing to apologise for today when priests quietly sacrifice young children to their own misbegotten lusts."

Unfair and untrue in its blatant collectivism. Unworthy, I would have thought, of a true proponent of individual freedom.

4/22/2011 08:26:00 am  
Blogger Dave Mann said...

Christians who assert that the focus is on the ressurrection rather than the hideous tortured death dipicted in this perverted fantasy are barking, frankly, because their whole argument is based on their belief in this fellow being the 'son of god' (whatever that implies) and all the counterintuitive contradictions which go with this idiotic package.

The people who thought up this nasty introverted twisted crap must have been really sick and there is nothing in their religion which could stand up to even the most rudimentary rational analysis by a sane mind. But this mental pus gradually mutated over centuries as more people and 'saints' developed pieces of the 'story' through 'revelations' etc - it didn't just spring out of thin air. So a compelling conclusion is that Christanity is the product of a culture which glorifies ignorance, fear and guilt above rationality, individual courage and enlightenment.

Singly, mental illness and psychotic fantasy are not uncommon in any culture of course, but I find it both macabre and fascinating that this perversion of thought should have gripped such a huge proportion of humanity for two thousand years. That's really wierd. What does this say about the mental processes of its adherents?

4/22/2011 11:40:00 am  
Anonymous Sam said...

'Polite and intelligent' with regard to leaving a comment - as instructed above - seem to pass you by, Dave Mann. Civility costs nothing. More, the alternative actively discourages discourse, a point still lost on many bloggers.

1. "Christians who assert the focus, etc" is a nonsensical comment in itself, inasmuchas Christianity, by definition, is based on the resurrection of Christ. In other words, those who disbelieve (that) are not of the Christian faith, period.

2. Re "mental fantasy"/"psychotic illness" and all that, you ignore the facts.

Christ existed. He was a revolutionary who didn't like that the religion (and political power base) of the day had become formulaic as opposed to being practically concerned with making life better - something we all do for ourselves and dependents unless we don't give a shit - and corrupt. He openly said so, which didn't win many friends with those in charge. He had women in his entourage which was unusual at that time.

The vileness and barbarity of crucifixion as a form of punishment was not uncommon then, so hardly cherry-picked for the man himself. True, they didn't usually use nails, but I guess the grey ones wanted to make a point. Christ was, after all, a serious pain in their arses.

He chose (yes, chose - as in free will) to go through with the whole thing. PC rails against the concept of sacrifice - and I've never bought the whole "He died for us" crap either - but what of the brave souls who choose to go to war, for example, knowing that they may pay the ultimate price. They're willing to take that risk because it's important to them.

(It's Anzac Day on Monday. PC has posted more than once an excellent piece on the horror of war of which sacrifice for something perceived to be important is a fundamental - like it or not).

Enlightenment? Get your head out of past centuries and stop equating current Christianity with those pricks. When has a friend or colleague with Christian beliefs ever fucked with your freedom? And don't quote the non-trading laws to me because that has jackshit to do with Christianity - and everything to do with state power. Those bastards will happily use any excuse to extend their power.

Historically, individuals have created movements that gathered followers for better or worse. Whether one believes in the Divinity of Christ is a matter for the individual, but the person himself *existed* and chose a bloody awful fate for something important to him. Individual courage? You bet.

Perhaps that's why, a couple of millennia later, billions of adherents still acknowledge that.

Having said all that, free will automatically allows you to ignore/disagree as you wish. :)

There's just no need to be rude about it.

4/22/2011 12:51:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

@MacDoctor, George, Chris et al:

There is nothing in the Resurrection Myth unique to Christianity. Many cult leaders have been "seen" by their followers after their deaths. Many myths are told about death and rebirth--and many subjects of these myths have been worshipped as gods or prophets.

Indeed, the very subject of rebirth and regeneration is right there in the pagan myths that first formed the celebration of new life and fertility that was the original pagan Easter Festival that the early Christians usurped.

And there is certainly nothing historically certain or even clear about the resurrection accounts of the murdered Rabbi called Jesus (as I say above, I invite you to take the Easter Challenge to tell us all PRECISELY what happened on Easter).

The early Apostles who wrote the only accounts of this miracle are themselves hopelessly confused. Did the resurrection involve the resuscitation of a corpse? (Paul at least didn't think so.) If not, where did it go?

Where did the resurrected Jesus first appear? In Galilee? Yes, says Matthew. On the road to Emmaeus? Yes, says Luke. In a room in Jersualem? Yes, says John. They can't all be right, can they.

And to whom did he first appear? They're all over the map on this one too. Was it the two Marys, as Matthew says? To Mary Magdalene herself, as Mark and John assert? To Cleopas, as Luke recounts? Or to Cephas, as Paul says?

And where did this resurrected corpse (or non-corpse) tell his friends to meet him? In Jerusalem, says Luke. No, in Galilee, say Mark and Matthew.

Thomas Paine insists that outrageous claims require outrageous proofs. It's a fair point. Yet the only "proof" of this outrageous "miracle" on which the whole un-superstructure of the church is based is these hopelessly confused accounts. There's barely enough on which to base a good Saturday afternoon drinking session, let alone a reason to get out of bed the next morning for wine and crackers--not to mention no reason at all to impose a two-thousand-year-long guilt-ridden yoke on all humanity.

And there's nothing in the account of the corpse's disapearance that can't be explained by simple reason. The corpse was likely not there in the tomb for the very same reason that Hitler's corpse was quelty removed and "never found": Because the authorities did not wish to have the tomb of either become a focus for cult-worship. (In the latter case, making sure it was thoroughly burnt and destroyed and locked up in a filing cabinet in Magdeburg was enough. In the former case, taking the corpse and leaving the tomb open was perhaps the best way to make clear to any of the dead man's followers that his body was gone. Leaving behind a messenger to tell everyone to go Galilee was probably a uniquely devious master stroke--the ideal way by which the master mind (Caiaphas?) could get the trouble-maker's followers the hell out of Jerusalem, and troublig someone else.)

There is nothing in the myth itself, not at least the healthy, non-morbid part, that wasn't there in the early pagan myths themselves. On top of the stories celebrating the physical coming of a new year, a new spring, a newly fertile cycle of life, we have the idea of a casting off of ourselves into something new (nothing wrong with that), of returning to our true values (nothnig wrong with that either).

But in the Christian Myth, this new life and new recommitment to values comes only with the appetiser of torture and the added sauce of bloodshed--and lot's of it. Because you can't have your Resurrection Myth without your Crucifixion. And it also comes with a lurid main course teaching that suffering and sacrifice are the means (somehow) to new life.

What a sorry bloody story it all is--with and without the alleged Resurection.

4/22/2011 01:30:00 pm  
Blogger Geoff said...

Yes Peter, but its even worse than the way you describe it, because this idiotic religion teaches its drones that a) humanity is born in a state of 'original sin' and b) the only way to wipe these sins away is to acknowledge this Jesus character as your 'saviour' and thats all you have to do! Fuck... this is seriously sick shit. This is irrational and a perversion of sane human values. How did so many people get sucked into this crap for so long?

@ Sam. Sorry if you think I'm being rude.

4/22/2011 05:32:00 pm  
Anonymous Dirty Mind said...

I read somewhere on the net that some scholars have written that Jesus was in fact not sacrificed on the cross as the bible stated but he fled from the Roman's authorities to Southern France and got married or lived with a woman there till he died of old age.

If that story was true, then Jesus was a fuck'n horny bastards.

4/23/2011 09:53:00 am  
Anonymous Simon said...

Became interested in Christian teachings after watching Da Vinci Code on TV.

As books are often different to the movie could someone let me know what book of the bible the Da Vinci Code is in? Thanks

4/23/2011 01:13:00 pm  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

Easter is one of the most memorable religious/public holidays in my childhood years. In fact Easter is more like a Christmas day in the Pacific Islands. Its a day for feast and I remembered that my family always had 2 pigs killed for 'umu (ie, hangi), one pig for Easter Good Friday afternoon lunch & the other one for Easter Sunday Resurrection feast. People go to the church service on Easter Friday morning (usually from 11 am to 12 pm), then after that everyone goes home to a nice feast of pig umu.

By the time I was old enough (my high school years), I was exempted from attending the Friday Easter service, since I have to stay back home and prepare the pig and the umu. Vegetables (taro/yam/cassava) go into the umu, while I sat there by an open fire roasting the pig (spit roast) for 3 hours. It was always an aim to get it cooked by the time the church service ended at 12pm, the pig would be ready by then.

I remembered that our home was always full of people coming to join us for Easter Friday afternoon feast. Since my dad was the local church minister in the village, the homeless (well mainly young men who got kicked out from their homes by their parents or relatives for being too lazy to go farming) have always been welcomed in our home, when they came seeking food.

Those were the days of what I used to do on Easter holidays from my childhood years.

4/23/2011 02:18:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

changing Eoster Sunday's status so that it is a public holiday?

Of course not. Rationalization of employment law will ensure that Eoster Sunday is just like any other day.

The whole idea of "Public Holidays" is - necessarily - communist.

4/23/2011 07:12:00 pm  
Blogger Dave Mann said...

Sam... You are joking, surely...?

4/23/2011 11:25:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

It's all about the resurrection?

Really?

Who are you kidding.

Good Xian folk LOVE the torture.

Good Xian LOVe the suffering.

It's the thing that unites the crusaders against abortion (a hatred of sex plus a love of suffering) with the crusaders against voluntary euthanasia (a hatred of human choice plus a love of suffering).

The total, evil, vicious bastards,

4/24/2011 12:14:00 pm  
Anonymous Dirty Mind said...

Jesus didn't die on the cross after all. Jesus went into a shock induced coma, and probably they (authorities) thought he was dead.

BBC Four: If Jesus was revived in this way where then did he go?

Richard Denton: One story is that he gets out and goes to the South of France with Mary Magdalene, there is a certain amount of evidence that she went there. And the other is that he goes to India and there are a number of versions of this. One of which suggests that in fact he had already been to India during the missing years between 12 and 29.


Source : Did Jesus died on the cross? (BBC Interview)

There are also other stories on the net which say that Mary Magdalene and Jesus were actually lovers. In public Jesus acted in a way the public perceived him as a virgin, however in private, he fucked Mary Magdalene on a regular basis.

4/24/2011 05:43:00 pm  
Blogger Dinther said...

Did a road trip and ended up in Tauranga on Friday. Nothing "Good" about it because the place was DEAD!

After a walk decided for a quiet drink at Mount Manganui. No sir, no drinks unless I would also eat. Food being of course at the inflated 20% prices thanks to the public holiday.

How dare they call it a "Public" holiday if the public is punished with these weird arbitrary laws.

It was heartening to find that I was no alone in my quest for a drink without being hauled over a barrel. Many others roamed from bar to bar to find a place to buy a beer.

In the end a tiny unlicensed restaurant was happy to serve me a drink which I rewarded later by dining there (For normal prices of course)

You never realise how incredibly backward this stupid law is till you actually are exposed to the immediate consequences of this stupidity. I hate christians a little bit more now.

4/24/2011 06:02:00 pm  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

PC said...
It's all about the resurrection?

Regardless of one's own belief, I think that you like the harmony in the following hymn. I'm sure you've heard us (myself, Papa, 'Ofa, Hateni) the vocal quartet sang it (the Tongan version) in one of the party's at the Castle some years back, you guys thought it was beautiful (the harmony) only to be told afterward by 'Ofa that it was a hymn that we sang! Despite revealing that, it didn't stop you guys applauding us. A lesson to learn here is that music can touch our feeling irrelevant of where it originated.

Christ the Lord is Risen Today (Mormon Tabernacle Choir)

4/24/2011 06:18:00 pm  
Anonymous Bizarro #1 said...

The whole idea of "Public Holidays" is - necessarily - communist.

Indeed, I assumed that Libertarianz members are opposed to public holiday legislation in general. The question was whether making Easter Sunday an ordinary public holiday (like, say, Labour Day or the Queen's Birthday) would be considered an improvement (in terms of "freedom") over the status quo, not whether public holidays are in general a good idea on the merits.

4/26/2011 07:12:00 pm  

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