Easter Week 2016
This week on Facebook is Easter week, arriving early this year by beginning on Easter Sunday March the 27th last, this being the earliest date it can arrive on until 2035. An act of Parliament passed in 1928 allowed for Easter Sunday to be fixed and in 1990 the Vatican approved a proposal for a fixed date. Something that is yet to be achieved for this most important Christian festival, above all others a time of Christian forgiveness, following as it does those — now rare — traditions of fasting, prayer, and contemplations over Lent.
This follows my Facebook activity last week about about the bombing of Libya in 2011 by western (NATO) forces in which the bombing continued throughout Easter week (including Easter Sunday April the 24th). Military forces from countries that are now secular (if not essentially atheist) in their ethos and yet have their ethos with its beginnings largely in a theist doctrine. Easter Sunday in 2011 coinciding that year on the same date for both Western Christendom and Orthodox Christianity. On the most sacred day of the calendar for two billion Christians, NATO bombed Libya when almost a third of humanity celebrated the resurrection of the Prince of Peace.
I really don’t know how many of my acquaintances (or my family) are atheists as opposed to theists. However, those of my acquaintance who are are clearly recognisable, be they atheists or theists, often express views implying that they hold some moral high ground. The implication also being that any dissent with such such views must indicate an inferior intellect. Each of them having an apparent commonality of social purpose that is yet to be realised by any known form of governance. Atheists are no more coherent as a group than theists, and each would seek to impose their doctrine — whatever that may be — on the rest of us. I’m never quite sure which moral certainty binds each into their respective groups but the one thing I am sure of is that intellectual superiority plays no part in it.
Apart from the last, my stories this week are taken from The Conversation, which you may have enjoyed reading over this Holy Week, be you an atheist or a theist and whether searching for any moral certainty or not. Meanwhile, I shall continue my coasting travails down the road not taken.
Sunday — The Venerable Bede would be spinning in his grave over plans to fix date of Easter: I have to wonder that if we discard what are in effect historic records of how we became who we are, we commit the same acts of cultural vandalism that we are so quick to condemn in others.
Monday — The very strange history of the Easter Bunny: Of myths and Ostara associated with the spring as the goddess of fertility. To amuse children she changed her pet bird into a rabbit that brought forth brightly coloured eggs and given to the children as gifts.
Tuesday — Was Jesus really nailed to the cross? This is a difficult one, which I would assume that for today’s young people comes down to which film had the most impact on them, Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ or Monty Python’s The Life of Brian.
Wednesday — Why Judas was actually more of a saint, than a sinner: A Christian conundrum now achieving a prominence that I feel may be somewhat academic. The very name being connected with betrayal and the idioms; a judas kiss, a judas goat, a judas window. We also have a Judas tree and let’s not forget Rosalind and Celia comparing the colour of Orlando’s hair to that of Judas in Shakespeare’s As You like It (Act III, scene iv):
Rosalind: His very hair is of the dissembling colour.
Celia: Something browner than Judas’s: marry, his kisses are Judas’s own children.
Thursday — Easter scuppers the certainties of modern fundamentalists: So — back to Easter bunnies the Venerable Bede and Eostra (Ostara), leaving out Robert Graves and The White Goddess referred to in this review of King Jesus, but adding Easter eggs.
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