Views on politics and current events

Friday, March 16, 2007

Random Thoughts On Lent And Easter

Such a wonderful time of year for Christians, Lent and Easter.

We get the holy sign of the cross made on our forehead with ashes on a Wednesday. We get to wave palm leafs around in church on Palm Sunday, and shout HOSANNA. We get to go to church on Thursday, (Maunday Thursday to be exact) and hear glorious stories, and partake of the communal cannibalistic ritual otherwise known as Communion (or The Eucharist, according to the religion).

We get to hear all over again the beautiful story of how a man (well, God actually) was brutally beaten and horribly executed, and all because WE ARE SINNERS! We get to hear covert accusations (and sometimes not so covert) how it was THE JEWS that killed our man-god. And the equally beautiful story of how our man-god rose on the third day (not spiritually, but LITERALLY) and PROVED IT ALL! And if I need more graphic proof, I can always watch the movie by that fine Christian Mel Gibson. I bet there's even some movie theatres that will 'resurrect' the film to show to us Christians. No doubt, seeing it all on the big screen. larger than life , in Surround Sound and living color, it would make a more profound impact.

I dread Lent and Easter more and more each year. Perhaps it is time that I excommunicate myself totally from a religion that is in some ways as much of a cult of death as the Nazis. I still go to church most Sundays, for there are folks there I have known all my life. And I try to support the good things that the church does in the community and around the world. To be sure, Christianity is not all evil.

But look at what traditional Christians believe in. The inherited evilness and wickedness that we are born into, all because two mythical 'first humans' that were overtaken by the curiosity that their God gave them, and did what that same God told them not to. The preordained horrible death of the literal son of God to atone for our sins. The absolute necessity for the 'Prince of Peace' to die a painful death, all because of OUR SIN! For that is what some of the message is, that the death of Christ was OUR FAULT. So we are burdened from birth (and perhaps even from conception?) with guilt, sin and wickedness. Is there any chance for peace among Christians, let alone with any other beliefs in the world, as long as these things are the cornerstone of Christianity?

I look out over the congregation in church and am curious. If there was a way I could peel back all the layers and get to the pure truth of what people believe, how many actually believe this crap? Or do most just mouth the words out of tradition, habit, or fear?

I think of the quote by Mark Twain (not verbatim, but close enough) "Religion is somethin' you say you believe in, that you know ain't so." So on this coming Easter, perhaps instead of going to sunrise service, I'll stay in bed. But then again, they do serve a hell of a breakfast at church after service on Easter Sunday! So much for my belief, I guess. I'm a part of the problem of Christianity myself.

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