Category Archives: Easter Origins

Discussing the numerous Christian, Catholic, and secular sources of Easter.

Epic Whitney Conclusion

When I first found out Whitney died, part of me was very angry. Drug overdoses are for mere mortals… like me.

Then it dawned on me: Whitney dying was exactly because she was a mere mortal- like me. That mindset changed everything.

Unless you’ve been strung out before, you can’t and won’t know how hard, bumpy, and disappointing recovery can be.

Losing one’s self in work, politics, church, or any number of things let them forget what f*ck-ups they actually are. The escape can be addictive.

Knowing, and even admitting, that these things, are having a mostly negative affect on one’s life, though, is only the start of recovery.

One must be willing and able to leave behind everything they know. One must recognize the consequences of drug use on one’s self and others.

One must also realize a relapse or new addiction are always possible.

These are the things I had to face once meth and coke nearly killed me in Dallas in 2001. I still have to, 15 years after not doing either substance.

I was willing to leave a town and my friends. I was willing to move back home, and have my every minute accounted for. I did it for six months.

It’s sad to say that I don’t think Whitney Houston stood a chance in the long run. The entertainment world is a very dangerous place for an addictive personality.

She brought a drug habit dating back to her teens with her into a world filled with yes-people, enablers, and users. She had NO place to get away from it all, either.

Neither Whitney Houston, nor anybody else, has ever suffered an “untimely death”. People are not gallons of milk with an expiration date on them.

Life is not, nor should it be, determined by the quantity of years a person has. The quality of life they had in them is what makes the difference.

In the 48 years she was here, Whitney brought a literal soundtrack to millions of people’s lives. She also serves as a precautionary tale against the dangers of drug abuse.

Those are quality things… in her favor, for better or for worse.

Next up: Why so many people fall in love from February to May…

Any time somebody asks my favorite Whitney song, this automatically comes out. The simplicity of the song, with an equally simple video premise, done as only THE VOICE could.

The New Number One: Are Math and Biology REALLY That Hard?

My first time on Posterous, I had not written anything in almost three years. The first blog I did was proof of it. It was so bad I decided to redo it, just in time to debut on WordPress. Posterous had a lot of quirks I couldn’t work around, so let’s see how this works out. All the previous blogs will subsequently  be posted here.

I’ll admit it. I was a sh*tty sudent. I had so much chaos in my life as a teenager, I often wondered why I was still alive. When I felt like actually doing homework, I focused on math and biology, and that was only because I liked the teachers. Most of the teachers knew about my home life, and seemingly had mercy on me. Somehow, I managed to graduate high school. Looking back all these years later, I realize how we as adults take things for granted. Math and biology are the very building blocks of society. Both have been around since the beginning of time, and we’d be wiped out without them. Biology is needed to figure out when we’re sick, and math tells us how much medicine we need to recover. And some of the worlds most absolute truths are in both. Nobody questions 2+2=4, or “the birds and the bees”. Then religion gets involved.

If you got overcharged at a restaurant, you’d damned sure bring it to somebody’s attention, wouldn’t you? What if some woman walked up to you and said she got her husband pregnant? You’d either laugh you *ss off or be totally freaked out. Yet people over the next several days will dib and dab in something just as absurd, with situations like the aforementioned all the sudden making perfect sense. Somehow, religion makes it rational. You see, next week is Easter Sunday, the “Christian” day commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Never mind that it’s held on a different Sunday every year. Never mind that it’s named after a bunch of pagan goddesses. And never mind “Protestant Christians” indulging in a holiday created by the church they claim to want nothing to do with.

Christian preachers and theologians spend hours upon hours debating the origins of Easter, and there are several trains of thought regarding it. Many of Easter’s adherents are quick to claim it is an amalgam of the Jewish Passover and the resurrection of Jesus. Opponents of the tradition point to the fact that Easter was an ancient springtime fertility festival, with various nations worshipping some form of a fertility goddess. She was called, among other names, Ishtar (in Assyria and Babylonia), Astarte (in Egypt and Phonecia, among other places), and Eostre (in the lands surrounding what’s now called Germany). The prevailing opinion is also the most arrogant. Most Christians indeed acknowledge the pagan origins of Easter, but just like they’ve done with rock, rap, and weightlifting, they claim to have “Christianized” the season.  The popularity of Easter all but forced the early Christians to keep people interested in the growing group, so they engaged in it, amalgamating it into worship of Christ. In later years, the unity between the pagan Easter and Christianity was strengthened by… the Roman Catholic Church.

The customs of Easter are entirely pagan. You will not find a single thing in the Bible that describes its trappings. Thus, people have to seek information on the customs have to search elsewhere. Ironically, I ran across an interesting piece from Christian website allaboutjesuschrist.org concerning the Easter ham, Lent, the Sunrise service, and the name “Easter” itself:

“… Noah’s grandson (Cush) and his wife Semiramis had a son named Nimrod…After Cush’s death, Nimrod married his own mother and became a mighty king. He too was eventually killed. His mother then began the deceit of deifying her son/husband, claiming he had become a “sun-god” (the origin of “Easter Sunrise services), and he was then to be called Baal. (Baal was worshipped as a god of fertility and promoted sexual sin.) She proclaimed that the people of Babylon should worship him…This wicked Queen, doing the work of Satan, was creating a new religion and set herself up as the goddess called “Ishtar.” Hence the root of the pronunciation “Easter.” After she became pregnant, she bore a son named Tammuz claiming he was the product of a sunray, which caused her to conceive. But Tammuz grew to be a hunter and was later killed by a wild pig. “Ishtar” then designated a forty day period (the source of Lent) to mark the anniversary of Tammuz’s death. During this time, no meat was to be eaten. Every year, on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, a celebration was made. Ishtar also proclaimed that because a pig killed Tammuz, that a pig must be eaten on that Sunday.”

Nimrod was reportedly responsible for building the Tower of Babel in the Bible. This meant this tale was out at least a hundred years (probably closer to a thousand) before the Passover feast was created, so you know even Jews had heard this tale. Another thing: did you notice how Semiramis/Ishtar claimed she was impregnated by a sunray? I recall another young girl making a similar claim around 2000 years ago. And how do you combine a Jewish passover day with eating a pig, which Jews abhor?

Then we get to one of the most controversial aspects of Easter: the Easter Bunny laying Easter eggs. No doubt when you ask the average Christian about it, you’ll hear something to the effect of “Oh, that’s just for the kids to have fun with.” Well, that does have some validity, but the original reason why there were eggs and bunny rabbits go right back to the name of the day. Easter was originally a springtime fertility festival honoring the fertility goddess, and rabbits are the most fertile animals around. Thus, they symbolized the goddess. Eggs are also an ancient fertility symbol, so the pagan observants of Easter simply decided to combine them and have the bunny rabbit (which, by the way, could be female or male) lay eggs as a symbol of the festival. This of course morphed into Peter Cottontail and the Cadbury bunny. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what the Roman Catholic Church, the first church to make Easter an official state holiday, had to say about it, via the Catholic Encyclopedia:

“Because the use of eggs was forbidden during Lent, they were brought to the table on Easter Day, coloured red to symbolize the Easter joy. This custom is found not only in the Latin but also in the Oriental Churches. The symbolic meaning of a new creation of mankind by Jesus risen from the dead was probably an invention of later times. The custom may have its origin in paganism, for a great many pagan customs, celebrating the return of spring, gravitated to Easter. The egg is the emblem of the germinating life of early spring…Both coloured and uncoloured eggs are used in some parts of the United States for this game, known as “egg-picking”…The Easter Rabbit lays the eggs, for which reason they are hidden in a nest or in the garden. The rabbit is a pagan symbol and has always been an emblem of fertility…”

View ImageA bunny rabbit laying eggs of Jesus and the twelve. It’s only as sacrilegious as anything else you do for Easter.

I can see parents footing the bill for their child’s college going clean the hell off if they found out one of the professors was teaching the type of biology in the picture above. Yet they go along with this in the name of religion. Writer Dan Brown gets slammed for claiming Jesus was married to Mary Magdelene and had a daughter, and people go along with this in the name of religion. And Christians deem homosexuality biologically incompatible, but go along with this in the name of religion.

Adults in some places saw the absurdity in such a thing, but felt it better to let children go through childhood believing such nonsense. Besides, they’d get some great candy out of it. I mean, come on, is there any real harm in a little white lie?

Another long-brewing query has to do with the date of Easter. Actually, it’s not hard to figure out. Well, maybe it is. The easiest way to do it is to find the first day of Passover, and add eight days to it. Passover does not have an official one day to begin, seeing that it’s based on the moon phases. And to figure out Passover it depends on what part of the world you’re in. The Western world uses one calendar (Gregorian) the Eastern world another (Julian). Both, however, base their Passover on the various phases of the moon. In other words, Jews, Roman Catholics and Protestant Christians (who claim to want no part of Rome) all celebrate their respective springtime festivals based on the same formulas used to calculate the damned horoscopes in the newspaper.

The last major aspect of the Easter season is easily the most baffling of all. The chronology of Jesus’ life has been up in the air forever. People, who use the modern Christian calendar, are arguing even now on what year he was born (thus the B.C.E. acronym). His long-alleged birthday, December 25th, is proven wrong by the Bible itself. And then there’s the day he died. I’ve been led to believe that Jesus only died once. It only takes one day to die; hell, it only takes one second to die. On top of that, in the Bible, Jesus himself said he’d be dead and buried three full days and three full nights before he rose from the dead. So the concept of a Good Friday and an Easter Sunday (or as some like to call it, Resurrection Sunday) is mathematically impossible. Would you let your HR department at work calculate your vacation days using just any old math formula? But then again, religion can rationalize anything, can’t it? Let’s look at the Catholic Encyclopedia’s take on Good Friday:

“From the earliest times the Christians kept every Friday as a feast day; and the obvious reasons for those usages explain why Easter is the Sunday par excellence, and why the Friday which marks the anniversary of Christ’s death came to be called the Great or the Holy or the Good Friday”

If you’re a fairly honest person, you’d have to admit that just saying you like to do sh*t on Friday as opposed to trying to religiously rationalize something that makes a lot more sense. There’s not a Christian anywhere that can justify all those extra-Biblical activities involved with Easter. All they have to justify them is piety. So do Islamic jihadists, Tim McVeigh, and abortion center killers. The evil people engage in for religious purposes is incredible. And to think people wonder why folks believe the Bible. Look at the absurdity its adherents cling to, and wonder after that.

Later.

DWT

Number Four: The Final “H”

The previous post was shorter, but it related to something that, I feel, more people have had happen than would ever admit. The beauty of the “blogosphere” is that thoughts and opinions can be expressed without the fetters of political correctness. It’s freedom of speech in its simplest form. Until you’ve been somewhere that has no such freedoms, you can’t appreciate the ability to “vent”. I guess that’s why I don’t get upset about Fred Phelps, the KKK and other fringe groups. Hell, they’re actually more honest about their beliefs, right or wrong, than most people on the street. It’s this freedom that will allow me to elaborate on the previous two parts of this series, and post the third. And if you didn’t figure it out, yes, the final “H” is homosexuality.

Gay rights have come a very long way since the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York. In the span of three decades, homosexuality went from being a taboo, subversive subculture to a group of oppressed, capable people just wanting to live their lives without shame. For the most part gays did indeed assimilate into mainstream society, not because so much because of acceptance of their personal lives, but because of their positive contributions to society. Homosexuality began to be viewed in a positive light, even as AIDS, a disease long believed to be caused by sex between males, ravaged the gay community, and eventually seeped into heterosexual society as well. Shoot over to 2011. The US military is proposing that openly gay soldiers serve. Gay characters are almost a prerequisite in entertainment. And the US government is pushing all kinds of legislation to allow same-sex couples official marital status. Gay people are depicted as basically the equivalent of straight couples. And that’s a good thing. Or is it?

When people see something in the media regarding gay rights, it generally plays out with same script, different cast: a photogenic, White, middle-class, middle-aged couple of women or men, revealing the rejection they have felt from loved ones and peers. The couple allows us to see their unconditional love for each other. And we see their fervent commitment to being able to set their love for each other in stone. And, just to drive the point of homosexual acceptance home, some “scientist” will show all kinds of damned studies that show that sexual orientation is a genetic trait, just like eye and hair color. In view of this great medical discovery let’s break this paragraph down and see what we’ve got to work with.

“A photogenic, White, middle-class, middle-aged couple of women or men.” This is not me railing against the middle-class. It’s the biggest and most important group of people in ANY progressive society. But it also has some pratfalls. The ratio for substance abuse, mental health issues, and marital chaos are comparable to crime in violence in the inner cities. In other words, two guys getting married won’t change their propensity towards these problems. Moreover, NO dollar amount can protect children from the inevitable taunts they’ll get over their parents, no matter how rosy a picture the media paints. And the reason why you’ll hardly ever see the white trash and the ghetto queens trying to get married is that they don’t need a big production to validate their affection.

“The couple allows us to see their unconditional love for each other.” Hmmm. Here’s where you get behind the veil. Yes, these couples are more committed to each other than others. It’s common for a couple to stay together even after one of the spouses has caught an STD. I’d say they’ll last just as long, maybe longer, than heterosexual families. But “unconditional”? The most popular gay dating website in America is flooded with committed male couples seeking a third guy to get with, and some knowingly expose said third party to HIV. And sometimes, gay couples stay together simply because the dating scene goes to hell after age 30. Granted, more than a few heterosexual couples do the same thing, but they do it on a much smaller scale.

“We see their fervent commitment to being able to set their love for each other in stone.” You can issue rights, but you can’t issue OPINION. Do you not see that the gay rights bills have to be passed on a stately basis, and not a federal one? The fact that this is one of the few issues that is being discussed on such a level should let gay couples know what they’re in for.

“Sexual orientation is a genetic trait, just like eye and hair color.” Talk about some bourgeois b*llsh*t. The same “scientist” who discovered this “gay gene” is the probably in the same room smoking a blunt with the folks who found the “fat gene”. Anytime I hear this type of thing, two questions come to mind: Are the “scientists” being paid to say that, and how come nobody found the gene before now? The gay gene is a card played to make homosexuality a matter of science, over which man has no control, as opposed to a matter of selection, which man does control. This leads me into the one aspect I left out. When you get down to brass tacks, this is the main reason why there are gay people here. It’s the least popular explanation, but the most logical…

“…revealing the rejection they have felt from loved ones and peers.”

My biological father left my life while I was an infant, and my relationship with my stepfather was volatile at best. It took me years to actually have Black male friends because of the “faggot” chants I heard while suffering beatings at their hands. My relationship with male classmates was nonexistent. Sound familiar? You ever notice that when a gay couple discusses those who support their decision, only ONE, if either, parent is mentioned? It cannot, repeat, cannot, be coincidental that every single guy in that ex-gay group I went to had a f*ck*d-up parent/child relationship, or were abused. The ex-gay worker I ran into at the bar? Same thing. Pretty much every guy I have ever dated? Take a guess. Did I choose to bring all this on myself? Nobody’s that nuts, not even me. But it’s the hand I was dealt, and I’m just going to have to play it. I don’t see my sexuality as some kind of curse or impediment. It’s a part of me but not ALL of me. That’s why I don’t need pride flags anymore than a “Black Power” flag. There was a time when I felt I had to be all up in somebody’s face with it, but that’s just as intrusive as the preacher or holy roller doing it to me. By coming out in this forum, people have a right to choose whether or not they read it. I owe it to myself to make peace with it which I feel I have. In the end, it has to be this way.

And being at peace now, I have different views than some I’ve held over the years. Knowing my past and the hurt I endured, I think it’d be very selfish to bring a child or woman into this. That Presbyterian Church I was in was basically filled with White guys wanting to fulfill their racial fantasies and Black women trying to marry themselves out of the hood. They ended up with conflicted, hateful biracial children. Now you have gay celebrities kind of sort of getting girls pregnant with children who’re never able to publicly acknowledge their mothers. Or worse, they go to Africa and buy a child like they’re at a damned Wal-Mart, and assimilate them into “normal” life here. How outlandish do you have to be to seem normal? The big stars and those church members are ultimately being motivated by their own egos, and don’t give a decent damn about the cost to others, including their own offspring. I just can’t do it. And suppose I did get married. Would that change what’s happened to me? Why, hell no. Wouldn’t my wife have a right to know about my sexual past? Some will accept me, sure, but man, are you in for an uphill battle to find one. And, most importantly, why am I with this woman, and she with me? Am I doing something I really don’t want to, to keep people satisfied, knowing how displeased people-pleasers usually are? Are we serious about this?

I think that gay marriage stands as good a chance as any heterosexual marriage, even with the catches. Hell, when you look at all the bastard childbirths and abortions taking place in America, there is no moral high ground to oppose it. The thing that will hinder it is not the GOP, Pat Robertson, or Sarah Palin. It’s when gay people refuse to face the past that has shaped their present, and show so little concern for gays of the future. If a person wants to be credible, they can’t explain away the things that they know shaped who they are. It’s a brutal type of honesty, but it’s honesty all the same.

I really had a blast doing this series, and thank you for joining me. BTW, can any of you guess who this character is in my profile pic?

Later.