Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Secular Easter

For some reason this feels like our first secular Easter, which is weird because...well, it's just weird. And it's not our first. I don't quite know how to feel about it. People have been passing around pictures of Jesus in a bunny suit, holding a cadbury creme egg (/swoon) instead of a lamb--and, you know, I've laughed even though the point is hardly an original one. We all like to point out that hey, Easter is a pagan holiday. And it is. But somehow Christians have fanagled it to be one about Jesus--and considering the timing, I have to wonder if that's really all that fair. Passover and all, you know. It's not like Christmas for god's sake.

It is ridiculous to equate a really frightening looking bunny with the resurrection of Christ, but you know. Whatever.

I've been walking the atheist walk lately, generally unbothered by everything. Unimpressed. I'm writing my rhetorical analysis paper on retention in the church--24 pages long now--and happily feel nothing about it. The church, I mean. Once you get down to the nuts and bolts of something that isn't true you lose all feeling for it. I'm okay with that. I'm happy with that. I wonder if it's a for real, permanent thing now or if sometime in the future I'll go back to being pissed off enough to rant and rave on a semi-regular basis about it.

I'll just ride the wave, I guess.

But on holidays like this and, it seems, Easter especially I find myself wanting to watch the History channel shows about the life of Christ. I also curiously find myself really interested in shows discussing the Catholic church. I don't want to become Catholic, but I wouldn't be against attending a service or two--preferably in an older building. It's something how influential the Catholic church is, and I often wonder if it bothers the LDS church that the Pope is so revered by all. I learned last night that it was the Catholic church that made our new year begin on January 1st--apparently once upon a time it was sometime in late March.

And I love the music. Maybe it's a nostalgia thing. Maybe it's simply the music itself. But I like it.

There's something reassuring about religion, let's face it. When you get rid of...well, most everything, it's not so bad. Throw in the "you're a horrible person who doesn't deserve Christ's mercy but you're getting it anyway SO BE GRATEFUL, DAMMIT" and it's not so pretty, but when all is silent there's something comforting about it. As a budding constructionist I tend to believe it's just how we've been molded, but that doesn't really matter anyway.

So we're staying home today, away from the drama. I was told it was "okay" but that I needed to "get over it." Whatever. I need to stay home as my anxiety has been through the roof, through the roof, but being away from a crowded home of people who you both love and drive you insane does make the holiday different. Maybe that's what makes it feel secular.

I'm all for celebrating the beginning of Spring, the budding of flowers and the warming of the earth. New life, fertility, the impending and welcome end of a school year. But it is different, and I find that we're not really talking to the kids about it all. Religion, the meaning of a holiday. I'm not really sure how to, if we ought to. I think we ought to, considering the climate of the rest of the family and what they come in contact with. How to handle it. How to feel about it.

I'm still taking the temperature of a few things, but you know. It is what it is.

Happy Easter, everyone. <3


  1. Happy Easter to you too.

    "Throw in the "you're a horrible person who doesn't deserve Christ's mercy but you're getting it anyway SO BE GRATEFUL, DAMMIT" and it's not so pretty ..."

    Ah yes, fundamentalist Christian guilt. I don't miss it either.

  2. Other than preparing lamb chops later, we're just having another blissful Sunday sans church. Happy Easter to you as well!

  3. bahahaha, donna. lamb on easter. i've been thinking about that.

    Ahab: oh god, neither do i. in fact, the more detached i get from it the more ridiculous it all seems anyways.

  4. Apparently the "Thou shalt not steal" commandment applies for everything except pagan holidays...because Christianity has not one holiday without pagan roots. Unless you count the Mormon "Pioneer Day," which I don't, even though we get the day off for it in Utah.

    We've avoided Easter Bunny issues this year just by simply ignoring it. However, we are headed to a dinner party with about 2/3 TBM's. We'll see how it goes.

  5. @ George - lolz

    I feel the same way Lisa. Once I stopped believing, I stopped having so much feeling about it all. So, I went to the Easter vigil last night and participated and sang happily enough - except that I had a monstrous headache that still hasn't gone away. I'm glad that I'm apathetic enough that participating or not doesn't make any difference. Saves me the conversation with my parents. And I like guilt-free religion too.