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33 CE - Ye almighty Chocolate Bunny came out of his cave three days after being nailed to a plank. Upon seeing his shadow, he began laying chocolate eggs.

325 CE - A bunch of old men wearing strange hats met in Nicea and decided rewrite the whole idea of Jesus. In the process, they assigned JC the role of an actual, not figurative, son of a god. They also concocted Easter, to celebrate JC's return from a cave. All bishops who disagreed were banished to Illyria, (now Albania) which would be similar to being given a one way ticket to today's Eritrean-Ethiopian border. No chocolate bunnies were harmed during the council's deliberations.


Let's passover the Great Orange Scrambled Easter Egg and head to the Church of Ineffable Stupidity:

You have to admire the Quakers. Not only do they studiously ignore holy days, including the biggies, Christmas and  Easter, they claim every day is holy, ergo, they must behave properly at all times, not just on sunday after a night out with the boys, ogling their neighbors' daughters at the local titty bar, drinking up a storm. (Strip clubs mostly populate the bible belt. They are mostly located across the street from the local Baptist church and next door to the 24 hour IHOP. Must be a zoning requirement)

So let's look into the real history of Easter and investigate how this mythical Chocolate bunny craze came to passover our land.

First, there was this dude named Abraham. Hearing voices in his head, he convinced the  other 40 Hebrews then alive that they were entitled to all the land between Egypt's River (The Nile) and the Euphrates. Despite already being quite well populated with infidels and pagans, in fact, by seven major civilizations far more populated and sophisticated than the 40 or so Hebrews, they all became convinced that they were entitled to take over this Promised Land.

Some time after Abraham died, and after his son Isaac got quite rich, Jacob sold Joseph and all other remaining Hebrews into Egyptian slavery. (A total of 70 people made up the whole tribe by then).

A couple of centuries later, apparently using the best breeding technology available, Hebrew slaves numbered 3 million. (including Moses' claim of 600,000 "men of war") After suffering from similar delusions as Abraham, this time in the form of a spontaneously combusting shrubbery, Moses decided to free his  people from Egyptian slavery.

If this god character is all powerful, all knowing, and all seeing, why did he need a Moses to beg freedom from the Pharaoh? Why didn't god just ring up the Pharaoh himself? Did he run short of burning bushes? Did god forget his matches? Was there no holy cloud coverage in Egypt?

Anyway, after a couple of misfires, bloody rivers, frog, lice, and fly infestations, boil attacks and hailstorms, Moses finally was allowed to contact all 3,000,000 Hebrews, including the young, lame, and infirm, and immediately take them into the driest, deadliest, lifeless, and most hellish land called the Sinai.

40 years later, after a boring diet of manna, god ordered them to assassinate all Canaanites (apparently the Canaan god had some conflict with the Hebrew god, quite possibly over a favored parking spot).  Voila, Passover was born.

Early christians not only stole whole parts of Ye Olde Testament from the Hebrews, they also stole Passover and other rituals. By the time of the Council of Nicea,  christianity had multiple competing doctrines, isms, and rules. Their biggest problem? A lack of standard rules and texts.

What we now call the "New Testament" had a bloody, deadly and violent history. For the first 10 decades, most christian cultists were true to their hatred of education and learning.(which is still present today) They did not trust putting any words into paper. Part of the reason was that literacy was not one of their strengths. Another reason was that by being able to repeat only the words as they chose, in the order that they chose, these cult leaders could adapt and adopt the words at will. Not wanting to “cheapen” god’s words with pen and ink, they relied on the inaccurate and mistake filled method called Oral Tradition.

The pseudo-historian Papias (d. 130 CE) was one of the earliest people to gather the statements of actual witnesses, such as John the Evangelist, and put pen to paper. One of the reasons was he was one of the very few who learned how to read and write. He included some of his favorite, new and improved apocalyptical theories that called for a reign of peace a thousand years long after which the world as we knew it would end.  Some of his many critics suggest that he might have authored them as part of his own fraud.

Around 200 years later, Eusebius made a point of showing that Papias got it mostly wrong. (He also called him “a man of exceedingly small intelligence”, a serious insult, even in those days.)

By then, christians were well along with their “creative” gospel writing efforts. Some gospels’ authors were against war, others were against having priests and bishops, and still others were decidedly against all organized religious organizations. There were even women's rights gospels, which pissed off the bishops something fierce.

The bishops faced a serious problem. The drafters of all these new and improved gospels were gathering more attention and support than the ruling class. These competitors had to be stopped at all costs, before the “favored” cults lost all that access to money and power. Even worse, the more popular cults had ideas which did not sit well with the bishops.

The Gnostics claimed that their members receive “revelation” from above, based mainly on intuition. Their growing popularity was the biggest reason that the orthodox “in” christians, refocused their attention on the apostles’ version of the gospels. This also led directly to the “canonization” (think of editing with a heavy hand) of the New Testament.

The Montanic cult started up in the second century. Their popular message about spirituality created yet another serious problem for the bishops. They responded with the Council of Nicea, an effort to clean up their instruction manual, with the previously mentioned “canonization”. They also murdered or exiled anyone promoting a competing cult.

At that time more than eighty competing Gospels existed. In many of them, Jesus didn’t even exist. The four gospels that first mention Jesus’ existence weren’t written, edited or concocted until around the start of the 4th century. Even in those, they contained horrible historical errors. Despite what their “inerrant” book says, Nazareth did not even exist in Palestine at the alleged time of Jesus’ life.

Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria was the first to make inter-cult peace between east and west christian leaders (But only on his terms). He was also the first to decide that 27 books of the New Testament were “canonical”. (translation: only they were good enough for him to include in his version of the bible.) His ideas, more than any other, during Nicea, created modern christianity and led to the wholesale destruction of Arianism and the eradication of competing gospels (and often, their leaders).

His Easter letter (367 AD), cemented the whole idea of Easter, which was originally based on Passover. Eventually, it became a much better defined holiday, although issues of dating and serious calendar problems, caused religious battles for centuries to come.

So from a burning bush, a 40 year desert-based Manna diet, and the destruction, even murder of competing cultists, Easter was concocted. All the stories about a last supper, rising from the dead, and moving a huge rock from a cave? Think of it as filler as Athanasius and his coconspirators had to work hard in order to fill in the blanks in their story.  

It took us 1700 years to recover from this claptrap, only to find groups like The Family, televangelists, and others trying to force their religion back into politics and the rest of our lives.

This morning, on Morning Joe, every single person unzipped and compared sizes, in this case, the size of their religious beliefs and the importance of Easter and the inerrant truth about  JC's resurrection. No wonder our country is being laughed at in Europe and Asia. Our leaders are fools, our politicians are whores, and our journalists and MSM are tools, intent on keeping us dumb and religious. But I repeat myself.  

Let me end this sermon with one bit of wisdom, in honor of this holiday.

"But though, speaking for myself, I thus admit the possibility of revelation. I totally disbelieve that the almighty ever did communicate any thing to man by any mode of speech in any language . . . .

"The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties and the greatest miseries that have afflicted the human race have had their origin in this thing call revelation or revealed religion. It has been the most dishonorable belief against the character of the divinity, the most destructive to morality and the peace and happiness of man, that ever was propagated since man began to exist.”

- Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason, Part II.

Originally posted to Church of Ineffable Stupidity on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 10:26 AM PDT.

Also republished by DKOMA.


How will you celebrate Passover or Easter?

3%1 votes
7%2 votes
18%5 votes
25%7 votes
22%6 votes
7%2 votes
0%0 votes
14%4 votes

| 27 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 10:26:52 AM PDT

  •  Strip clubs in the Bible Belt, not to mention (6+ / 0-)

    the XXX book stores. I went road tripping from San Antonio to Nashville with a carload of friends a couple years ago and we couldn't help but notice the adult book stores -- sometimes two or three -- at practically EVERY truck stop across Arkansas and Tenessee. Which gave us pause -- it's almost frightening to think that large swaths of the country still don't have the internet.

    There are two types of republicans, the rich and the stupid. The rich ones strive to keep the stupid ones stupid and the stupid ones strive to keep the rich ones rich.

    by frankzappatista on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 10:36:52 AM PDT

  •  What Easter REALLY means to me (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agnostic, Wee Mama, ChiTownDenny, txcatlin

    Is a delicious ham dinner with sweet potatoes.

    Shallow, I know...

  •  There's always Wittgenstein: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SpamNunn, Pinto Pony, Satya1, txcatlin
    Where of we cannot speak, thereof we must remain silent.

    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 10:46:39 AM PDT

  •  I confess (5+ / 0-)

    I have consumed 3 packages of Peeps... (sobbing hysterically) the little pink bunnies Peeps.  They were out of my favs, the little yellow chicks or I would have bought 5 packages.  Gawd, I love Peeps!  I have consumed so much sugar and dye that I'm damn near outta control.

    •  Try them frozen (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pinto Pony

      Mmm, this year the upscale market had chocolate ones dipped in chocolate but sadly the chicks looked like little ummm "turds".

      Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. Robert A. Heinlein

      by txcatlin on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 08:26:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Given your handle, the answer should have been (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not sure.  Also, Christ being a proper name, Christian should be capitalized.  

    [T]here is no more dangerous experiment than that of undertaking to be one thing before a man's face and another behind his back. - Robert E. Lee

    by SpamNunn on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 10:59:40 AM PDT

  •  Never ceases to amaze me (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agnostic, Wee Mama, txcatlin

    That the single-most important religious event in the Christian calendar is not observed as a Public Holiday.

    Maybe they haven't found a way to truly monetize Easter yet.

    I come from the UK where Easter is a four day break for most everyone.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 11:10:36 AM PDT

  •  The four canonical gospels were all written (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    before 100 AD. The other historical errors in your essay are too numerous for the time I have available today.

    Dates of canonical gospels

    You may have been confused by the fact that "earliest surviving complete copies of the gospels date to the 4th century. "

    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 11:27:27 AM PDT

    •  That debate has been going on for years (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jonathan Hoag, txcatlin

      if not centuries.

      While there is a degree of agreement among some scholars as to the age and provenance of the canonical gospels, those who have an interest in pushing the dates of creation back as far as possible also promote their theories the loudest. And the agreements are far from universal, which you don't quite seem to accept.

      But there are differences, some insurmountable, between the "final and complete" language and the earlier partial writings. Jerome's Vulgate surely aided in the process, but even there, there are many versions of the Vulgate, often with contradictory passages.

      Transliteration, translation and getting the exact meaning is tough. Not all languages contain identical words. Some words simply do not exist in other languages. This was particularly true when moving between Hebrew and Aramaic,  or moving on to Attic Greek and Latin.

      Aramaic’s own rudimentary beginnings created other problems. It consisted of 22 consonants, and contained no vowels or punctuation.  Cheney’s famous suggestion that an opposing Senator beget himself, would read “gfkrslf.” It is easy to see how differences and errors arose when translating anything from Aramaic to more modern languages. Already the idea of a virgin Mary is becoming laughable, given the probable translation of "young woman" instead of "Virgin."

      I only wish I could have had a chance to read some of the other, non-canonical texts, like Balisades, or 12 apostles, or even Thecla. Pity that the church managed to either destroy or hide away most of the documents. Luckily, the Gospel of Judas has reappeared, apparently, giving a unique view from a rather different perspective. Unless, of course, that is a very well done fraud. Hell, one penguin who tortured me in catholic school claimed to have a piece of the original timber from the cross hanging in a pendant. Right.

      Still you have to admit that some heavy handed editing took place, long after the "fact", especially at the Council of Nicea, and even more so, the Council of Trent.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 12:55:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is a rumor that the Papal Library has (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        a copy of a Gospel from the early 9th century that was written by Jesus' older brother.

        “Science is like sex: sometimes something useful comes out, but that is not the reason we are doing it.” – Richard Feynman (-9.00,-8.86)

        by Jonathan Hoag on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 01:11:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The problems of translation are separate from (0+ / 0-)

        those of source criticism, which has well defined methods that are applied to secular texts as well as to ecclesiastical ones. Even so great a skeptic as Bart Ehrman acknowledges that the two main Greek New Testament texts, UBS and Nestle-Aland, developed independently, have no significant differences.

        I know of no "heavy handed" editing done at the Council of Nicaea and would want a scholarly source for that before I would believe it. The church did not destroy most alternate sources; time did that. The church had no organization capable of seeking out and destroying them, even if they had wanted to (speaking now of the early centuries). The Oxyrhynchus papyrus cache gives a reasonably random and representative data set for the early fourth century.

        I have no idea what might have happened to the Latin text at the Council of Trent. Since that is a translation it has no interest for me except as a historical document about the Roman church.

        As to dates, as that article summarizes, the majority group the writing dates toward the end of the first century. The minority place it earlier, and even closer to the events. I myself am persuaded by JAT Robinson's case for them being written before the fall of Jerusalem, in part because it helps explain why none of them mention the fall.

        Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

        by Wee Mama on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 03:08:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What passover means to me: (0+ / 0-)

    A great family holiday, great food, and a time to think about my ethno-religious identity and heritage as a Jew.

  •  What Easter means to me: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agnostic, Jonathan Hoag, txcatlin

    chocolate bunnies
    jelly beans
    and most importantly

    Greek Roast Leg of Lamb with Potatoes
    8 Servings Size

    6 lbs bone-in leg of lamb (about)
    14 cloves garlic
    2 tablespoons dried oregano
    2 tablespoons rosemary
    1/3 cup olive oil
    1 cup red wine
    2 lemons, zest of , of grated
    3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 pepper
    8 large potatoes (1 per person) or 16 -24 small new potatoes , 2 to 3 per person
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1Wash lamb well and pat dry.2Finely chop 8 cloves of garlic and place in a glass dish or sturdy plastic bag large enough to hold the lamb.3Stir in 4 tsps each of oregano and rosemary, 1/4 cup of the oil, the wine, zest and lemon juice.4Place lamb in marinade, turning to coat well on all sides; cover and refrigerate overnight.5Crush remaining 6 cloves of garlic and stir together with remaining 2 tsps each oregano and rosemary.6Remove lamb from marinade (keep marinade) and pierce in several places with the tip of a sharp knife.7Rub garlic-herb-mustard mixture over lamb, pressing into incisions.8Coat with remaining 2 tbsp of oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.9Place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.10Peel potatoes and cut into large wedges or like cottage fries (or if you are using small, new potatoes, leave them whole).11Toss in the marinade kept from the lamb and 2 additional tablespoons of olive oil and pour all of this mixture into your pan, around the lamb.12Roast, uncovered, in 190 degrees C (375 F) oven for 1 ½ hours, turn lamb over to make a crust on the other side, give potatoes a stir and continue to roast for another 45 minutes (total roasting time – 2 hours and 15 minutes).13Greeks do not like to eat lamb anyway but well-done.14My Big Fat Greek Wedding was SO WRONG when they showed the platter of (red-pink lamb being passed around).15Do it the way you prefer in terms of timing, but this is the way it would be served here.16Serve with plenty of crusty bread to dip into the pan juices, a large, leafy salad, and lots and lots of red wine!

    Koch Industries, Inc: Quilted Northern, Angel Soft, Brawny, Sparkle, Soft 'n Gentle, Mardi Gras, Vanity Fair, Dixie

    by ChiTownDenny on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 11:36:20 AM PDT

  •  Happy pagan fertility celebration, ev'body. eom (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agnostic, slatsg, txcatlin
  •  Although raised a Catholic... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agnostic, Jonathan Hoag, txcatlin

    I am atheist in all but name, and have been for a long time.  Unlike Christmas, which has taken on a secular significance for me, Easter is irrelevant to me.  True, the kids color Easter eggs and we have the traditional ham (I do love a good ham!), but it has zero significance for me.

  •  Nice diary to publish on "Dead Jew on a Stick" Day (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We've had a week of theist/antithesis/agnostic diaries, and now this?"

    “Science is like sex: sometimes something useful comes out, but that is not the reason we are doing it.” – Richard Feynman (-9.00,-8.86)

    by Jonathan Hoag on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 01:14:45 PM PDT

    •  Well, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jonathan Hoag, txcatlin

      to be honest, I wasn't going to touch the subject, until Morning Joe began rubbing it in everyone's faces. I know they are not a news program, but damn, they got under my thin skin.

      I have not heard it called that before. A Classic.
      Happy holidays, however you celebrate them.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 01:21:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No worries, my remark was more than 50% snark. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        agnostic, txcatlin

        I try not to be too insulting to what other people believe but I kee coming up against Archie Bunker:

        It ain’t supposed to make sense; it’s faith. Faith is something that you believe that nobody in his right mind would believe.

        “Science is like sex: sometimes something useful comes out, but that is not the reason we are doing it.” – Richard Feynman (-9.00,-8.86)

        by Jonathan Hoag on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 01:40:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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