For those who have never seen it, have lost it, or did not know of it, here is that seasonal classic
The things you are liable to read in the Bible, they ain't necessarily so.
Porgy and Bess
Easter is the High Holy Day of the Christian religion. In its many manifestations, Easter celebrates the myth of the reanimation from death of the god Jesus, AKA the Christ. Like its wombmate Christmas, Easter is a marvelous blend of Christian and non-Christian nonsense. The Christian side is represented by "Handel's Messiah" and hot cross buns (a seasonal pastry with a sugar cross on it) and the non-Christian nonsense side by "In Your Easter Bonnet..." and hunts for Easter Eggs (dyed boiled eggs in the shell--laid, young minds are taught to believe, by rabbits).
To understand the phenomena of Easter, one must understand the Christian "Gospels." These four small propagandist tracts, written long after the supernatural fact, by unknown authors who did not know Jesus, contain the only known evidence for the existence of Jesus. Believers will argue other historic proofs, but these are provable forgeries added centuries later by pious priests who copied or translated Jewish, Roman and Greek texts. If the ancient writers had deliberately omitted Jesus merely because they had never heard of him, this error was often fixed for later Christian editions. The only evidence for Easter beliefs comes from the gospels.
Here's a neat bible study exercise for non believers. It will help you learn something of the Christian belief system and will prove useful in the civil war when believers try to force you to play in their sandbox. Read all four gospels and, including every fact contained within them, write a concise, noncontradictory chronology of what happened between the time Jesus was crucified on a stake (the Greek word translates "stake" not "cross"--tell that to your preacher and watch him ring them bells) and the moment he went up to Heaven. Then you will know what Christians believe. To make the challenge more exciting, be sure to include facts, for the same time frame, from "The Acts of the Apostles" and from the letters of Paul. Paul really got Christianity going. He claimed to have seen Jesus after Jesus had gone to Heaven. Lots of people believed him. Lots of people believed Joseph Smith too. Joseph Smith wrote "The Book of Mormon" and claimed an angel helped him translate buried gold plates the angel later reburied. At least Paul had honest delusions.
The reason the death of Jesus is of importance to Christians is because if they believe Jesus died for their sins they get to live forever with him when they die. Because Jesus survived death, believers will too. Somehow Jesse’s "sacrifice" doesn't seem like such a big deal, being a god and all, and getting to come alive again after being dead only one day and two nights. Many people have died for others and have stayed dead. There should be no shortage of volunteers willing to die to save everyone forever and be worshipped as a god if they could come alive again after being dead between Friday evening and Sunday morning.
Once you finish the bible stories about Jesus, you may well wonder how anyone could believe this stuff, and you should understand why the events were omitted from every other history of that time. When Jesus died on the stake, the bible reports that dead people came out of their graves (whether decomposed or not isn't revealed), walked around the city and were recognized by many. This should have provoked some interest by the scandal sheets of the day, but no other reference is found of it. We might wonder if the risen dead sued to get their property back from their useless heirs.
You will note from your Easter biblical studies that the primary witness to the resurrection of the Christ was one Mary Magdalene, a woman thought to be a prostitute who had been possessed by seven demons, i.e., she was nuts. Wouldn't it have been nice if the risen savior of the world had appeared in all his glory to the Roman Senate where literate rational humanists could have recorded an accurate account of this miracle? Why have your immortal soul hang in the balance on less than credible evidence? Should one accept that laws of nature have been broken and that a dead body has come alive again on the word of a deranged hooker? Would a just, rational, compassionate god condemn one to eternal torment for doubting such evidence? Clearly the Senate, or even a meeting of the Aqueduct Committee, would have been a better place to break the good news of salvation.
But we are not dealing with a rational god or even decent moral behavior in the Easter story. The god the myth says was the father of Jesus believed in child sacrifice. Previously content with blood drained from the slashed throats of sheep, goats and such, god needed more gore to save everyone. He wanted his own kid killed as a blood sacrifice for the sins of the world. This is what little children (kids) are taught in Sunday School (that's where Christians violate the Fourth Commandment by worshipping on the first day of the week instead of the seventh as god ordered--no wonder we are in such trouble). But if child murder for the sins of others isn't bad enough, consider this. Christians celebrate the death and rebirth of the god Jesus in a grotesque cannibalistic ritual of literally (or symbolically--depending on choice of sect) eating his flesh and drinking his blood! This bizarre custom is known as "Holy Communion"--dare we call it "swallow the leader?"
If Jesus rose from the dead, and if he went to Heaven, and if Heaven is outside the known universe, and if the laws of nature invented by god apply to god, then Jesus could not travel faster than the speed of light. If he left for Heaven two thousand years ago, he isn't there yet, and won't be there for some time. Therefore, we really need not concern ourselves at this point about his return to earth. Presumably he will return sometime after he gets there.
So now you know about Easter. You will probably be a happier and better adjusted human being if you stick to the Easter Parade and pass on the eating of human flesh and blood. And please remember that this disgusting rite is practiced in buildings owned by Christian groups who do not have to pay taxes on their property or income.
And the next time some un-American lunatics want to have forced Christian prayer in public schools, tell them you are a spiritual vegetarian. Happy Easter.
by Edwin Kagin