In the past, I’ve discussed how Easter has been co-opted and corrupted by Christianity from what had been a pagan festival of fertility. What was once a celebration of life and our sexual nature has become for most Christians a mythology of a composite character drawn from Ishtar, Horus and Eostre. This wild tale of “an all-powerful god from outer space who decided to send his unborn son on a suicide mission to planet Earth” has been correctly mocked by Bill Maher. But even worse is the idea of a God-man who died for the expiation of human “sin,” then made a bodily resurrection. If true, that would be a horrifying refuge–a “get out of jail free” card for the most immoral and irresponsible among us. But that’s what they’re claiming. That’s what they would have us celebrate, instead of the “circle of life.” That transition from something primal and real to a pallid and degenerate mythology is well documented, so I don’t need to elaborate further.
But trying to prop up this house of cards at Easter 2010 must be like living in a carnival fun-house. The distortions, lies and fantasies have piled on top of one another so quickly, there isn’t time to even evaluate them any more. The only thing that’s left for a person of faith to do to maintain their world view is to just stumble from the crooked floor to the warped mirror: deny, deny, deny and keep praying. When that fails, accuse the secular of persecution, and all manner of imaginary crimes, while appealing to people’s paranoid fears of a “godless” society.
The real arguments over religion have lost any of the relevance they might have once had. Even ‘debates’ have become a joke, with believers increasingly recycling every fallacious argument, no matter how many times or ways they’ve been called on it. It’s now just “defend the faith at all costs.” “Whatever you’re claiming, it’s wrong,” they repeat in various ways with growing desperation to anyone who remains sympathetic.
But even the religious are being forced to admit the news has become surreal. For an atheist, it’s hard to muster any more than feeble outrage. The scandals keep rolling in, and nothing ever gets done. I mean, at what point do you just throw up your hands? Should that be my response to the Pope protecting child rape and torture? Really, who thought they’d live to see that day? Who thought they’d live to see the day those demanding Papal accountability would be compared by the Vatican to persecutors of Jews.
I guess I’m not quite that cynical. I’m with Christopher Hitchens, who recently called for the arrest of said Pope. I still think people can snap out of their stupor to see religion for what it is. I still think we’d live in a better world if we got rid of our double standards and held people accountable for their delusions. Whether we’re talking about the Tea Party or the defenders of the Vatican in 2010, we’re having a far-right flameout of epic proportions. The only good news is that it can’t last.
The future still points toward greater rationality and coming to grips with age-old human follies. Those who have reaped the short-term benefits of the cover-ups, the lies, the unasked questions, the failure to challenge authority, or just plain incuriosity are in for a rude awakening. It can’t come soon enough. So to that end, here’s a few samplings from today’s Easter-basket of denial:
“Also with you are the faithful who do not let themselves be influenced by gossip,” Sodano said in Italian, using the word “chiacchiericcio,” which means chatter or gossip. “May the Lord continue to sustain your mission at the service of the church in the world.”
In his Easter message, the pope did not address the scandal that encompasses high-profile abuse cases in several countries including Ireland, France, the United States, Mexico and his native Germany. More and more people have come forward complaining that as children they were victims of abuse by religious leaders, and that the church did little or nothing to stop it.
So now the heinous crime of sexual abuse by trusted priests has become “gossip.” That’s almost as rich as Bill Donohue’s outrageous claim on Larry King Live that priests were not pedophiles because their victims were post-pubescent. You think I’m kidding:
The head of the influential Catholic League says that the priest who allegedly sexually abused 200 deaf boys in Wisconsin did not engage in pedophilia because ‘the vast majority of the victims [were] post-pubescent.”
Bill Donohue made the argument during a raucous debate on Larry King Live Tuesday night, during which he repeatedly pointed the finger to homosexuality — rather than pedophilia — as the cause of the church’s sex abuse problems.
“You’ve got to get your facts straight,” Donohue said, addressing sex abuse victim Thomas Roberts. “I’m sorry. If I’m the only one that’s going to deal with facts tonight then that’ll be it. The vast majority of the victims are post-pubescent. That’s not pedophilia, buddy. That’s homosexuality.”
A rather surprised panel of commentators — which included pop icon Sinead O’Connor — then began to debate at what age, exactly, does sexual attraction to children cease to be pedophilia.
Donohue argued the age at which children become “post-pubescent” is around 12 or 13.
Coming from the likes of Donohue, this line of reasoning is not even shocking. But wait, there’s more. Secularism is now not only responsible for “hatred of God,” mass murder and man-boy love, but now also loneliness in old age:
“I have emphasized human loneliness this Easter because that is what expert observers of our society are saying is a real problem,” Dr Jensen said.
“It is what we would expect to occur given the secularist philosophy we have embraced.
“This philosophy emphasizes the individual and individual rights, it invites us to invent our own lives and it undervalues commitment to other human beings.
“It is a recipe for loneliness and the path to a very lonely old age.”
Bishop Fisher said godlessness in the 20th Century led to Nazism, Stalinism, abortion and mass murder in his Good Friday address while in a similar address Dr. Jensen said atheists hate god.
And finally, here’s the worst rotten Easter egg hiding under the fake plastic religious grass, an unrepentant murderer using the Bible to justify his killing:
Scott Roeder Gets Maximum for Tiller Murder–Life, With No Parole for 50 Years
In January, Roeder was found guilty in Tiller’s murder as well as of assault charges stemming from his attack on Tiller. It took a jury just 37 minutes to find him guilty.
During today’s day-long sentencing hearing, Roeder read a lengthy statement in his own defense that included details descriptions of abortion procedures and the fetal reactions to them.
Roeder admitted that he killed Tiller and compared an abortion to premeditated murder. He said that the state of Kansas was to blame for the abortion “holocaust” through its law legalizing abortions.
“The blame of George Tiller’s death lies more with the state of Kansas than with me,” he said. “George Tiller was their hit man.”
The statement cited the Old Testament of the Bible, as well as a book by Paul Hill entitled, “Why Shoot an Abortionist?”
Roeder also criticized the court’s handling of his trial, arguing at one point that prosecutors were allowed to show “pictures of George Tiller lying a pool of blood,” but he was not allowed to introduce pictures of aborted fetuses.
“If I didn’t do it, those babies would die the next day,” Roeder testified, describing how he shot and killed Tiller in a church vestibule.
Roeder’s testimony, gruesome at times, proved immensely difficult for Tiller’s family, who openly cried in court. He detailed how he walked up to Tiller at the Reform Lutheran Church, put a gun to the doctor’s head and pulled the trigger.
He told the jury of how his religious faith had convinced him that what Tiller was doing was wrong and how he had considered cutting off the doctor’s hands with a sword. When told Tiller’s clinic had closed and asked if he felt regret, Roeder replied simply, “No I don’t.”
Cutting off a doctor’s hands with a sword. Seems Christianity and Islam are not that different, after all. In what crazy alternate universe do the good people of Earth let such systems go unchallenged–and even celebrate them?