Yes, I know it's a bit late to post about Easter, but then again, this is an Easter report, which makes it necessarily after the fact. Besides, I was too
In the photo above can be seen one of many childhood Easter mornings; mornings that had everything to do with chocolate eggs and bunnies and nothing (that I can recall) to do with a god-man rising from the dead. In fact, the only supernatural or magical being my sister and I associated with the Holiday was the Easter Bunny, pictured, in my mind at least, as a giant rabbit with a prominent cotton-tail that delivered baskets of candy once a year.
This mental image was no doubt partly created and reinforced by my mother's claimed encounter with the big bunny when she was a child. She told the story many times of waking up way early one year to beat her sister to the chocolate cornucopia that awaited them on Easter. As she came around to the back of the house she was surprised by the sight of what appeared to be a huge puffy tail disappearing down the hill. She ran after it and just as it was hopping out of view completely, saw it turns its head. "It was real. It was really the Easter Bunny!" she would tell us. Now, Mom wouldn't have lied to her own kids, would she? This was eye witness testimony, after all, better even then the "evidence" for Santa Claus, another magical being, but one that no one (at least no one I knew) ever claimed to have seen. Certainly our parents had never suggested that either of them had seen the jolly fat man in the flesh at any time.
When, years later, I finally did do a little contemplating on the alleged resurrection of Jesus, I asked myself why he had to leave the planet at all, especially since he was soon to return anyway (so he said). Why not stick around for a spell, do some more miracles, prove his back from the dead status beyond any reasonable doubt (which Christians claim is the case now anyway, when it obviously is not) and then go to "Heaven" if he felt like it. No one, no army for that matter (not even an Army of One) could threaten him bodily harm again. He'd already been killed and now had even more amazing magical powers than before. He was Super Jesus. I mean, this is God we're talking about, not just some guy, right? If belief in Jesus and his divinity is essential to avoiding a terrible fate (hell fire forever) then the real proof of the whole wonderful thing is not an empty tomb and some alleged post-resurrection appearances that exist only in what became the Christan scriptures, but the person making their identify publicly known to as many as possible over a considerable amount of time. Why disappear and float (ascend) into the sky (Heaven is in outer space? Why not just dematerialize like in Star Trek?) unless the whole thing is made up, unless none of it ever really happened and you need a story as to why he's not around any more (though he's comin' back real soon, you know). It doesn't make sense.
But back to this Easter. I was again at Mom's for another Holiday. She had a ham, and of all cured meats, I think ham is the most irresistible. So, as I filled my plate with food, I was ready for a real Easter dinner, an Easter of eating something other than chocolate bunnies and candy eggs. This was my thought until I sat down, and fork in hand, began to consume the variety before me. The ham itself was heavily glazed and very sweet, but worse was the fact that everything else seemed to be also. The yams were candied to the point of being more Willy Wonka in origin than Gordon Ramsey, and even the vegetables (green beans and carrots) had not escaped a sugary fate. I'd had my Easter candy after all, only it was disguised as real food, though I'm sure my body couldn't tell the difference.
Later, as I lay on the couch recovering, I searched in vain for a showing of The Ten Commandments, an erstwhile Easter television tradition (broadcast time four and a half hours or so) that I miss. I don't mean to say I believe a word of the Moses tale, but the movie is fun to watch, in the same way one can enjoy Clash of the Titans without believing the Greek gods are real.
I enjoy stories of critical thinker's childhood encounters with the absurd.ReplyDelete
For me, I first remember learning about Hinduism in school at age 8 or 9. My friends and I had great fun laughing at the sacred cows and multiple gods. But then I started thinking about our religion. Were our beliefs somehow more connected with reality? No.
A few hours reading about world religions in The World Book encyclopedia and the scales fell from my eyes.
I remember when I was quite young being taken to see some Jesus epic - it might have had Max von Sydow in it - and afterwards my dad telling me it was all fairytales. And indeed - it is just another myth, But the Easter Bunny does exist you know.ReplyDelete