War on Easter?


I’ve been slacking. I haven’t been fighting the War on Easter with the fervor I should. Bill O’Reilly has identified our open hostility to Easter already.

Gosh, I didn’t realize that our assault on Easter was a linchpin of our plan to get abortion on demand and free drugs, or I would have engaged in the battle earlier.

I was also amused by O’Reilly’s statement that “Easter is a good holiday, you don’t have to believe in Jesus…” Does he realize that that is a wonderfully secular statement?

Hooray! We’ve already won! Check your mailboxes for your free packages of cocaine and marijuana!

(via Kick!)

Comments

  1. says

    The real war on Easter is being conducted by those right-wing Christians who insist on calling Easter “Resurrection Sunday” because, you see, “Easter” honors various pagan deities (Ēostre, Ishtar, etc., etc.). You know, like “Thursday” honors Thor. We need bumperstickers that say “Happy Easter!” to get in their faces! Remember: the Easter Bunny died for our sins!

  2. PatrickG says

    PZ, the stuff you sent me is cut with baby laxatives. Are you sure we’ve won?

    I mean, c’mon, we should be getting the good shit.

  3. chigau (違う) says

    Easter is the whole point of Christianity.
    If JesusGod really existed Bill would be going to Hell.

  4. says

    It’s surprising the crankier elements of right wing US Christianity haven’t tried to have the days of the week renamed to something more Christian.

  5. Alverant says

    Zeno has a point. Easter has hijacked a lot of pagan symbols of spring and rebirth. It’s the christian purists who have declared a war on Easter-as-we-know-it. I’m content to let the day come and go if the restaurants weren’t so crowded and so many stores in my neighborhood were closed.

  6. Thorne says

    I love how they think it’s horrible for ‘secularists’ to protest and boycott ‘Christian’ businesses, but he revels in the idea that ‘Christians’ were able to force stores to allow their employees to say “Merry Christmas”. Plus the litany of so-called abuses that Christians are having to ‘endure’, which sound remarkably like the kinds of abuses that those same Christians have been inflicting upon non-Christians for the last 2000 years!

    You just can’t make this stuff up.

  7. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    OT,

    This reminds me of the time I asked my dad where he got his rabbit fur lined gloves and he gravely informed me that there wouldn’t be an Easter that year.

    He had a similar tale about why there was a hole in his Santa hat.

    Yeah, Daddy and Mr. Teatime shared a sense of humor.
    We loved it.

  8. Marcus Hill (mysterious and nefarious) says

    Why do they keep trying to rope the Jews in on their side? None of my Jewish friends are big defenders of Easter…

  9. raven says

    Bill O’Reilly is such a slacker.

    I’ve been fighting in the War on Easter for years now.

    I was also amused by O’Reilly’s statement that “Easter is a good holiday, you don’t have to believe in Jesus…”

    Oh well. At least he is on our side.

    Easter is a Pagan holiday stolen by the xians. It is named after the Pagan goddess of spring and fertility, Estre. The Pagans are stealing it back.

    Not sure what War is next. Xians don’t have holdays, they have Wars. IIRC, it is the War on Pentocost. Not sure where the xians stole that one from, the Jews maybe?

  10. borax says

    “Traditional People.” Who are those folks? Let me guess…Good white Christian people who just love themselves some Jebus? I’ll make sure to shoot any heathen bunny that might try to lay some eggs in my yard. Silly rabbit, mammals don’t lay eggs. Those that do ain’t no true mammal.

  11. borax says

    Easter. The time of year that Christians celebrate a Jewish guy getting murdered for civil disobedience.

  12. Owlmirror says

    I’ll make sure to shoot any heathen bunny that might try to lay some eggs in my yard. Silly rabbit, mammals don’t lay eggs. Those that do ain’t no true mammal.

    Anti-Monotreme speciesist, eh?

    Tch.

  13. raven says

    It’s surprising the crankier elements of right wing US Christianity haven’t tried to have the days of the week renamed to something more Christian.

    Or the months of the year, most of which are named for Roman gods.

    Oh well, today is Freya’s (or Frigga’s) day in the month of Mars, son of Jupiter and Juno.

  14. thumper1990 says

    Hooray! We’ve already won! Check your mailboxes for your free packages of cocaine and marijuana!

    Add some rum and you’ve got the perfect party! You could even have a Colombia theme, people can come dressed as FARC members!

  15. doublereed says

    I think Bill O’Reilly needs to learn the term “pogrom” and how they’re related to Easter…

  16. Randomfactor says

    The Christians have already lost Easter to the same folks they surrendered Christmas to: corporate retailers. O’Reilly’s “Merry Christmas” example just underscores that fact.

  17. says

    Oh the humanity! Imagine living in a horrible Scandinavian place where minorities can’t be criticized! And what will Jeebus say when he finds out that his sacred bunny and chocolate eggs no longer have their traditional, religious meaning? I have to go now, as a Canadian I spend my Fridays trying to getting pregnant so I can run around having abortions whenever I want.

  18. blf says

    It’s surprising the crankier elements of right wing US Christianity haven’t tried to have the days of the week renamed to something more Christian.

    It’s Past Time to Rename The Days of the Week:

    Look, we all know that this (the USA) is a Christian nation so I think it is well beyond time to get rid of the pagan influence that sits upon ever day of our lives — the names we use for the days of the week. They are horribly offensive and are helping lead our nation down into a pit of abyss. Over the centuries these names, and the meaning behind them, have weakened our national resolve and have led to a general decay in our morality.

    oldname: Sunday
    proposed New Name: Day of Our Lord
    reasoning: let’s just be honest with everyone; that is what Sunday is so why obfuscate the fact with foul pagan symbology?

    oldname: Monday
    newname: MonkDay

    oldname: Saturday
    newname: SaintsDay

    There is no way anyone could be opposed to these suggestions so I say we get working on getting these legally changed. Maybe then God really will Bless America again!

    Tip: Pay careful attention to the tags…

  19. scottrobson says

    What is with Bill O’Reilly’s confusion with Easter being a _Judeo_Christian thing? It’s a christian thing. It’s not part of Judeo-christian tradition since Jews don’t celebrate easter they celebrate passover – and no they are not “kinda the same thing”. Easter is purely a christian thing… except it’s not…. its a pagan thing.

  20. Scr... Archivist says

    raven @14,

    One could just use “first-month”, “second-month”, etcetera.

    .

    timgueguen @5,

    I just made this up, using the first chapter of Genesis:

    Lightday, Heavenday, Earthday, Starday, Animalday, Manday, Holyday.

    The notion that the stars and sun came into existence after Earth highlights the ridiculousness of Biblical literalism.

  21. Sastra says

    I was raised without religion and as a child I celebrated Easter without any idea that it was supposed to be connected to something in a Christian church. It was a spring celebration and that was that. I remember my mom buying the Easter egg kit which had the decals you could put on the died eggs: bunnies, chicks, flowers … and then some weird configuration of something I didn’t recognize — a large cross with a giant lily twined around it. “What’s this?” I think I was probably told it was for something our family didn’t do and maybe a little bit about what it meant. As I recall I put it on the eggs anyway because the giant lily was cool.

    I didn’t even hear about the “Easter story” till I was older. I knew about the Baby Jesus story in Christmas (though not its implications) — but the crucifixion was simply off my radar. Why wouldn’t it be? Bunnies, chickies, baby lambs, tulips, chocolate candy, pretty hats, basket hunts — what the hell kind of connection does all this have to do with someone purportedly named Jesus who is purportedly the son of a purported God who purportedly dies as some sort of substitutional honor killing to avenge the purported human sin of not being sufficiently pure? “Spiritual rebirth” my ass. If you live in the Midwest then celebrating spring for its own sake makes perfect sense.

    Keep the Estre in Easter. Good Friday is a Christian holiday: Easter has jack shit to do with Jesus unless you want to celebrate it that way. And I don’t.

    I was also amused by O’Reilly’s statement that “Easter is a good holiday, you don’t have to believe in Jesus…” Does he realize that that is a wonderfully secular statement?

    Bingo. Great tactic, O’Reilly — push Easter as a holiday that has nothing to do with Jesus. Then watch what happens to your victory.

  22. raven says

    The notion that the stars and sun came into existence after Earth highlights the ridiculousness of Biblical literalism.

    Not to mention that there are two creation myths and the order differs between them.

    “raven @14,

    One could just use “first-month”, “second-month”, etcetera.”

    The numbers are Arabic. And the Arabs are mostly Moslem, Using Moslem symbols seems sort of heretical. Using pagan Roman numerals is just as bad.

  23. intransigentia says

    So is Bill-O going to try arguing that businesses should be doing the traditional Easter greeting of “he is risen” “he is risen indeed”? Welcome to Walmart, he is risen, would you like a shopping cart?

  24. eveningchaos says

    We all know, thanks to Matt Stone and Trey Parker, that Peter Cottontail is the real first head of the Church. The Papacy has been hiding this secret for hundreds of years. Now we have a fraud in Vatican City who knows that his power hangs from a thread. A thread that will be snapped by the sharp ever growing incisors of our true Pope. We need to get back to the real traditions of Easter if we are going to survive the secularization of our sacred traditions and values. Hippitus Hoppitus.!

  25. robro says

    Amusing that it’s “Traditionalism” that is under attack, not religion…per se. Traditionalism? Cue Tevye, I think we need a song here. Traditionalism = the irrational clinging to a fantasy past. Just what we need to solve our problems.

  26. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    I love Easter myself. It’s when our local Science Fiction/fantasy/horror/etc convention is usually on.

  27. charlessoto says

    I don’t really do pot, and I’m probably too old so cocaine would kill me. Can you throw in some MDMA instead?

    Joyest Ēostre everyone!

  28. robro says

    @ raven #25 — “Not to mention that there are two creation myths and the order differs between them.”

    I recently learned that some Bible scholars find other creation myths scattered around the books, not just the usual two. For example, the author* of one book sees Eve’s incantation in Genesis 4 (“With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man”) as a remnant of various Mesopotamian creation myths in which the goddess Tiamat is the creator.

    * I think it was Randel Helms in The Bible Against Itself or perhaps Tim Callahan’s The Secret Origins of the Bible.

  29. elpayaso says

    me, i want to make up the KEEP JESUS IN GOOD FRIDAY bumper stickers, with a picture of a hammer

  30. Rawnaeris, FREEZE PEACHES says

    Easter? Oh you mean the weekend that Doctor Who: The Bells Of Saint John comes out?

  31. janiceintoronto says

    Will the Cocaine and Marijuana be delivered by the postal service, FexEx, or UPS?

    I want to make sure I’m home to received them.

  32. kantalope says

    per Raven
    Iday
    IIday
    IIIday
    IVday

    Just doesn’t work for me. EyeEyeday just sounds too nautical and IVday? I don’t like needles. If you use the Latin words, it just sounds French or Spanish and you just know BillO doesn’t like either of them.

    If the cross is a generic symbol, I don’t see why the resurrection (two r’s really? guess I don’t use that word very often) of a particular savior isn’t a generic symbol too?….haha I could be a Supreme Court Justice – If I just didn’t care.

    And dubocn74: tell us more about this Canada Friday set aside for trying to get ‘pregnant’. Practice, Practice and nobody wearing anything but hats and condoms, I’m guessing??!!

  33. Irmin says

    Yeah, if you really wanna emphasize how much of a Christian holiday Easter is, you should babble about Easter bunnies and Easter eggs non-stop. Really, it’s probably in the bible, a funny crossing of platypus and rabbit that lays coloured eggs.

    And did I miss something or is there really no mention of Jesus and his Zombie version in this seven-minute piece at all?

    I’m always baffled that Christians keep on talking about some of the most obviously forced-upon “Christian” holidays like they are supposed to be the essence of their religion or something like that. If you want to protect “your” holidays, talk about Pentecost. Yeah, nobody gives a fuck about that (or even knows what supposed to have happened then), but actually, you probably can’t get any more “Judeo-Christian” than that.

    Oh, and those evil Scandinavian countries… Funnily enough there isn’t any “war” on Easter over there, in fact, Easter is celebrated with something special (at least I think this is also traditionally done there, as it is in Germany): Easter fires all over the country. Granted, that’s also more a pagan tradition than anything else, but…

    But you can’t criticise minorities, so they have to be evil. Seriously, what does he even want to say with that? Abortion is “but babies!”, drugs is… well, evil, I guess. So criticising minorities is “but free speech”? Well then…

  34. says

    I’ve instructed the disbursing agents to throw in a grab bag of psychedelic agents, as well as oxycontin and meth to keep the conservatives happy. Also, a coupon book for free abortions any time you want one!

    Happy Easter!

  35. some bastard on the net says

    Onesday, Twosday, Threesday, Foursday, Fivesday, Sixday, Sevenday.

    You silly person, that would never keep people like Bill O’ happy (seriously, you want ‘em to do math? That started with Babylon, and look what happened to them!).

    Clearly the only solution is to name every day Jesusday! That oughta keep ‘em quiet!

  36. Rich Woods says

    @PZ #45:

    Also, a coupon book for free abortions any time you want one!

    Thanks, PZ, I’ll put those to good use!

    *checks genitalia*

    Damn, lost out again.

  37. jefferylanam says

    Which Easter, the Western one or the Eastern one? The computations are different; the Western churches celebrate it this year on March 31, while the Eastern Orthodox churches have just started Lent and don’t celebrate Easter until May 5. How can we have a war against a holiday when they can’t decide when it is?

  38. chigau (違う) says

    How can anyone consider the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox to be anything but pagan?

  39. peterh says

    Bill’s version of traditionalism is under attack? The traditionalism that burned heretics at the stake? Ah, traditionalism (wotta uggggly wurd!), where is now thy sting?

  40. dianne says

    Is it really time for the war on Easter already? It feels like we just had this year’s war on Christmas. Can I still eat the chocolate bunnies after the war on Easter is won? Oh, I know. Chocolate squid!

  41. says

    Among my people, we don’t celebrate the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox. But the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Autumnal Equinox is honoured here in the following manner:
    * Two days off work, yay!
    * Bake and eat spicy fruit buns with lots of butter.
    * Eat good chocolate.
    * Have a feast with old friends.
    * Dress in one’s finest feral hippy folky garb, and attend the national folk festival.
    * Purchase more shiny colourful items of clothing & jewellery.
    * Purchase CDs of some bands you just heard. (I lean to gypsy & klezmer but if Irish fiddle is your thing, go for it.)
    * Drink lots of dark beer. Stout season is here!

  42. chigau (違う) says

    I don’t hold with idolatry.
    I think chocolate should be in the form that Nature® intended.
    Bars.

  43. yazikus says

    Jeffreylanam

    Which Easter, the Western one or the Eastern one?

    As far as it relates to this discussion, from what I understand eastern christians do not celebrate “Easter” they celebrate “Pascha” and are down on the pagan connections with the western name. Which brings up back to… yeah- everyone is waging a war on Easter- even the other christians!

  44. poose says

    Gotta add to the whole Oestere crowd-it’s a co-opted Pagan holiday. Seriously, how, in this enlightened world do people like O’reilly gain traction?

    Are people that easily lead?

  45. chigau (違う) says

    Alethea #55
    I apologise for my hemispherecentrism.
    (but Jebus was from ‘up’ here, right?)

  46. poose says

    “I’ve instructed the disbursing agents to throw in a grab bag of psychedelic agents, as well as oxycontin and meth to keep the conservatives happy. Also, a coupon book for free abortions any time you want one!”

    Yeah! Free Hillbilly Heroine! (The oxycontin-not the meth…)

  47. sugarfrosted says

    @10 “The Pagans are stealing it back.”

    For the love of squid, stop calling secularists “pagans”. Pagan implies a person who is religious, but not to an Abrahambic faith. So seriously stop saying this.

  48. Muz says

    Forgive me if I missed it, but did any companies actually tell their staff not to say “Merry Christmas”? Or is it one of those tabloid beatups like the fuss over Winterval in England>

  49. says

    There is an interesting passage in Anthony Shaffer’s script for “The Wicker Man” (the 1973 version, not the remake), in which Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee) balks at being called a pagan but concedes he might be a heathen, suggesting a distinction in which “pagan” means “godless” but “heathen” means “old-god(s) worshipper” (i..e., pre-Christian). I imagine that fine distinction is quite lost today, even if it was ever dominant.

    Sgt. Howie (Edward Woodward): He brought you up to be a pagan!
    Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee): A heathen, conceivably, but not, I hope, an unenlightened one.

    The exchange occurs at the end of this video clip

  50. Irmin says

    #53, peterh:

    Bill’s version of traditionalism is under attack? The traditionalism that burned heretics at the stake? Ah, traditionalism (wotta uggggly wurd!), where is now thy sting?

    Well, to be fair to Bill (not that he deserves that): If the traditionalism that burned heretics at the stake ruled, poor ol’ Billy would be there burning with us, considering all his talk about Easter bunnies…

  51. conway says

    My city’s government takes a Good Friday holiday. I don’t have a problem with that. I’d prefer that they called it a Spring Break, but whatevs.

    My gripe is that since I work in the tourist trades, I NEVER get a holiday! I work Easter and Christmas and New Years and Labor Day and the Fourth of July! They are our busiest days!

    I want a National Tourism Dark Day. Let us sleep in for once. Maybe the third Tuesday in September. Anything. Throw us a bone!

  52. says

    My Very Catholic Sister-in-Law™ was mortified, mortified!, that my family won’t be attending her Easter brunch this year. Really, she knows we’re a bunch of atheists and she knows that I hate every single goddamned holiday†, so I have no idea what she expected.

    The only good thing about Easter is Cadbury Mini Eggs.

    †Except Thanksgiving‡ ‘cos who doesn’t love a little gluttony?
    ‡And Halloween, obvs. I start planning my costume months in advance.

  53. bad Jim says

    Careful about the Eostre business. That’s based on one mention by the Venerable Bede, who wasn’t in a position to know. Germans call it “Ostern” and there’s no suggestion that that is linked to a goddess. The obvious surmise is that “East” is the referent.

    I keep hoping that Easter will fall on April 1. “He is risen!” they proclaim. “Wow! Really?” we ask. They reply, of course, “April fools!”

  54. Red-Green in Blue says

    PZ,

    …the disbursing agents…

    Oh hurrah! Not only are we getting Free Drugz, but also those cool tablets that go “fizz” when you drop them into a glass of water!

    …oh wait. I was thinking of dispersible tablets, wasn’t I? Now I haz a sad.

    PS. Can’t quite decide whether watching a bunny laying multi-coloured chocolate eggs on magic mushrooms is more dangerous for my sanity than watching O’Really?

  55. John Morales says

    bad Jim,

    I keep hoping that Easter will fall on April 1. “He is risen!” they proclaim. “Wow! Really?” we ask. They reply, of course, “April fools!” not long now, then.

    Hopes can come true.

  56. randay says

    Just when you think Billo couldn’t get any dumber, he surprises you. He is always lowering the bar, but I doubt that he is good at limbo. Both the woman and Billo lie. Haven’t they heard of Robert Ingersoll who in the 19th century was very popular for saying many more mean things about religion, particularly Xianity? The U.S. is going to become weaker and lose its empire because of secularism? Who is going to replace it? China, that well known country of the faithful. Furthermore, Europe seems to be dealing with its problems, but could do better if it weren’t for the bad influence of the U.S. bank Goldman-Sachs, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund. All of which favor corporate domination..

    How much aid has the U.S. given to Mali where the French went in to destroy the terrorists and keep them from taking over the country?

  57. says

    You can always tell what it’s about from the wrap-up in the last ten seconds. The bottom line in this one was, we need to pack the benches with “better judges” and get public leaders and christians out spreading the good word. Cuz, ya know, we live in a christian nation. Jefferson said so.

  58. Rey Fox says

    It’s surprising the crankier elements of right wing US Christianity haven’t tried to have the days of the week renamed to something more Christian.

    You’re assuming that they know shit. Knowledge is the root of all evil, you know.

    Why do they keep trying to rope the Jews in on their side?

    Well, because since the Holocaust, they haven’t been able to bash Jews openly. More importantly though, because of Israel.

    Seriously, how, in this enlightened world do people like O’reilly gain traction?

    Ha ha, you’re being silly.

    Are people that easily lead?

    Seriously, stop it, you’re going to run that joke into the ground.

  59. Rey Fox says

    I was also amused by O’Reilly’s statement that “Easter is a good holiday, you don’t have to believe in Jesus…”

    You don’t have to believe in Jesus, but you should pretend to. So that everybody is on the same page and no one gets uncomfortable. Except you. Because you don’t believe in Jesus. But you don’t have to believe in Jesus!

  60. UnknownEric: A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama? says

    A goldfish left Lincoln Logs in my sock drawer.

  61. gravityisjustatheory says

    Easter is a Pagan holiday stolen by the xians.

    I’m doubtful about that.

    I’m pretty sure that it is a Christian festival in origin. It just happens to be that the English name for the festival comes from the Old English name for the month in which it occured, which (according to Bede) was named after a pagan goddess.

    “Pascha” isn’t just the Eastern Christian name, it (or varients) is the non-English name.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter#Etymology

    (Unlike Christmas which is generally accepted to have bee a take-over of / graft on-to the old pagan winter solstice festival).

  62. Arn_Thor says

    As someone living in Scandinavia and having visited the US it’s odd to hear it used as a threat. One would think it would be invoked as a place to go if you behave good for 10 years, sort of like heaven. At least by comparison