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.COINCIDENCE? I think NOT!
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.