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Mar 31 2013

Y’all going to church today?

I think I’ll skip it, even though I’m staying at my mother’s house, which is right next door to some freaky conservative Protestant shitbox church. They aren’t promising to talk about evolution, which would at least be interesting.

evo_lie

I do like the little addendum someone pasted on to the sign, at least.

It is a little weird to think that all across the country round about now, in every church, some guy is standing up and lying and saying the magic words, “He is risen”, when he’s not. He died, people, and he rotted away, and his myth has been used ever since to oppress and delude and confuse and frighten people.

69 comments

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  1. 1
    petejohn

    What a horribly fucked up holiday this Easter thing. Some lady ate the wrong piece of fruit. God curses all of humanity for this ghastly crime. To redeem humanity, God sacrifices a version of himself called Jesus to himself. God forgives humanity, kind of, and now people can go to heaven for kissing his ass.

    Here’s the question I always have… what kind of a sacrifice is it for God to sacrifice himself, when God can live forever? I feel like being crucified would pretty much suck horribly, but then after that you live forever. So what really did God/Jeebus lose by “dying?”

    Again… Easter is fucking weird.

  2. 2
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Petejohn:
    To to that a bit, if jesus died for “our” sins, but was resurrected, did that cancel out the sin nullification?

  3. 3
    shouldbeworking

    Your problem petejohn is that you connected all the stories. There’s a reason why the stories are in different books. Just think of them as weekly episodes of a TV series, just remotely connected to the previous episode through returning characters.

  4. 4
    rorschach

    Someone mentioned on twitter how peculiar it was that they didn’t name it “Bad Friday”, considering.

  5. 5
    Marcus Ranum

    I’m spending the evening with a bottle of red wine and some spaghetti and a massive collection of Dr Who episodes. So, yeah, I’m sort of going to church.

  6. 6
    marcus

    petejohn @ 1 Not to mention the part where Jesus fucks the bunny rabbit. I find that part really confusing!

  7. 7
    Moggie

    What, there’s something special about today? They kept that pretty quiet!

  8. 8
    Sastra

    The Christ story only makes sense if you are part of an honor culture. In an honor culture disrespect to an authority requires immediate revenge and retaliation. Honor has been insulted. Human imperfection thus demands the payment of blood. The only way to get all teary-eyed and grateful that Jesus “paid the price of sin” is if this ancient honor culture system still makes sense.

    It doesn’t. Substitutionary atonement fails on multiple levels.

    I wonder how many Christians are secretly retranslating the Easter message into something which sounds more reasonable to them.

  9. 9
    brazenlucidity

    Church? No. Flying Spaghetti Monster Dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory with other Minnesota Atheists? Yes.

  10. 10
    Rich Woods

    @Sastra #8:

    I wonder how many Christians are secretly retranslating the Easter message into something which sounds more reasonable to them.

    ‘Gimme chocolate’ is as far as most will get.

  11. 11
    frankb

    I do like the little addendum someone pasted on to the sign, at least.

    I noticed the addendum was photoshopped in, but “pasted” is a term used in photo editing. We wouldn’t want people vandalizing signs in meatspace would we.

  12. 12
    rorschach

    The only way to get all teary-eyed and grateful that Jesus “paid the price of sin” is if this ancient honor culture system still makes sense.

    Or, as in the case of the Philippines, if the savages you originally converted weren’t able to read or write, and you had to teach them this Christianity business by demonstration. And since the Catholic death cult stories fused seamlessly with the animism cults of the time ater some centuries, they have crucifictions and drastic replays of Christian myths to this day.

  13. 13
    Larry Poppins

    We begged out of church with the folks to clean the house for Easter dinner. Some family traditions go on especially when backed by feasting and wine. My six-year-old helped me put things in perspective. “I don’t believe Jesus can come back from the dead,” he says. All that stuff about spring and Ishtar flew right over his head. Today isn’t about resurrection, or rebirth, Jesus or the Easter Bunny, nor even family and food. Today is about candy, and he’s really excited.

  14. 14
    Ysidro

    Hmmm, might the south’s religiosity be related to the idea that they possess an honor culture inherited from their forefathers?

  15. 15
    Randomfactor

    Christianity might be saved with a reframing starting from the beginning. For example, the whole concept of “original sin” from Genesis has got it backwards. Human beings should be celebrating the story of Eve and the “forbidden fruit.” The Original Virtue lies in “find out for yourself.”

    Atheists (IMHO) ought to reclaim the story and celebrate her mythical action, which made us human instead of spending life with the other animals. Sure, it’s a mixed blessing/curse, this “being responsible for our own actions” thing, having foresight to see potential consequences and sometimes doing the wrong thing anyway. But without it, we wouldn’t be exploring Mars.

    Now, about that Pandora story…

  16. 16
    Argle Bargle

    But Jesus didn’t die. He spent a lousy afternoon hanging around the cross and then a day and a half later he’s good to go again. What’s the sacrifice?

  17. 17
    Lynna, OM

    I said a few things in a joking way, (one of which might have been suggestive of crucifying bunnies), on another forum and was kicked off, removed, deleted for not being polite and respectful.

    I come here to find Jesus fucking bunnies. Ah, home. Put your feet up. Relax. Enjoy.

  18. 18
    robro

    He lived?

  19. 19
    shouldbeworking

    You should be safe here. Just don’t mention that you like a certain seafood dish that starts with “ca” and ends with “mari”.

  20. 20
    Algonquin on the Bayou a/k/a Sharon

    I am. I’ll be back with my field notes later.

  21. 21
    chigau (違う)

    Algonquin on the Bayou
    Be careful if you take pictures.
    Some of those folks think you’re trying to capture their soul.

  22. 22
    tbp1

    @1 & 16: Indeed. Even when I was nominally a believer I was a little puzzled by the concept of Jesus dying for our sins, considering that a core belief of Christianity is that no one dies, ever. Death is just a transition to another kind of life.

    Likewise, if you consider that Christians think that Jesus rose from the dead and is sitting in glory at the right hand of God, co-ruling the Universe, there doesn’t seem to much of a sacrifice involved.

    Granted, being scourged and crucified is a pretty awful way to die, but it’s by no means uniquely awful. Some diseases are at least as bad, and go on much longer, not to mention the tortures humans still sometimes inflict on each other (not infrequently inflicted by Christians on other Christians over theological disputes).

    As someone else put it, “Jesus had a really bad weekend for your sins.”

  23. 23
    anuran

    I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s celebration – Cheap Candy at Walgreens Day

  24. 24
    Cosmic Teapot, not the Antichrist.

    Or, as in the case of the Philippines

    I know Paul was a bit of a galley setter *, but I don’t think he made it that far.

    * A bit like a Jet setter, except the second class seats are seriously not recommended.

  25. 25
    Ed Seedhouse

    In order to understand why Christians (of which I am most definitely not one) call it Good Friday you have to be willing to think about christian theology.

    Some of these early christians were actually fairly sophisticated intellectually even if they were basically irrational on the main points. IF you believe in an all loving all powerful GOD then you have a problem when you notice that there is bad stuff happening in the world. This is the so-called “problem of good and evil” and the early christian theologians came up with the answer that “God has a plan, it is an infinitely great and wonderful plan, and when we are reborn in heaven we will all see exactly how and why all the so called evil events in the world were actually necessary for the eventual working out of this vast, wonderful plan.”

    Thus in the “God’s plan” myth, Evil is actually Good in disguise. And as these same people believed (or said they believed) that it was the death of Jesus that was the pivotal moment in this plan, it was, they reasoned, not actually evil, but in fact the greatest good of all.

    And so, in a propaganda triumph, they named it “Good Friday”.

  26. 26
    rorschach

    I know Paul was a bit of a galley setter *, but I don’t think he made it that far.

    Well, Magellan did(and got himself killed rather unceremoniously on some beach 50 years before the main Catholic invasion force arrived), and the Conquistadores did who came after him…And they managed to fuse the natural religions of the Phils with the whole Catholic zombie cult pretty good, you really have to admire it.

  27. 27
    Rey Fox

    The Easter stuff gets picked over pretty quickly from my experience, so I say get in early and get the candy today unless you want to be stuck with stale Peeps.

    (Or any Peeps, for that matter)

    Someone mentioned on twitter how peculiar it was that they didn’t name it “Bad Friday”, considering.

    Well, it’s “good” that the son of God who was really God got crucified so that he could fill that…yeah, I can’t make it make any more sense than anyone else thus far. Funny though, one of my old childhood friends, who seems to have converted to Islam in the meantime (nice liberal Islam though) wished everyone a “Happy Good Friday”. We were both raised Catholic, and I’m pretty sure that, as good as that Friday is supposed to be, you’re not supposed to be happy on that day.

    I don’t know. Easter tends to come near the tail end of what is usually the worst time of year for me, and this year is no exception. So la de dah.

  28. 28
    Stardrake

    Google (USA) didn’t got to church either. Apparently some folk are miffed.

  29. 29
    cag

    When I was a computer operator, one of our customers was a school board. Their interface with us was a Christadelphian. If he was an example of the honesty and integrity of that cult, then it is no wonder that they would lie about evolution.

    This product of biblical morality worked on a biblical card file (this was the early 1970′s) and had us run, list and print his output. This was all done “on the job”. I did record the billable time against account “BIBL” in the hopes that someone at the school board would ask what it was about. Unfortunately no one did.

    Our relationship was not mutually respectful, but I remained professional in my interactions. My fellow operator (also an atheist) once told me that Alex C. and I had a personality conflict. I immediately corrected him by stating “he has no personality to conflict with”. I once remarked that AC and his identical twin (imaginary) could share a toilet seat, what with him being a half-ass.

    I recognize that it is a generalization, but if this guy was any indication of what his cult attracts or creates then they must be a sorry group indeed. Humorless, stealing and lying for the “greater glory of god” and generally disagreeable. How many other cults would this description fit?

  30. 30
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    Someone mentioned on twitter how peculiar it was that they didn’t name it “Bad Friday”, considering.

    In Spanish it’s “viernes santo”, which translates to Holy Friday. Seems to make more sense.

    He spent a lousy afternoon hanging around the cross and then a day and a half later he’s good to go again. What’s the sacrifice?

    PTSD.

  31. 31
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    In Spanish it’s “viernes santo”, which translates to Holy Friday. Seems to make more sense.

    Ours (Veliki Petak) translates into Great Friday (in the sense of “of an outstanding importance” not “I had a bloody great time just hanging around on Friday”).

  32. 32
    Lausten North

    I went, to keep the peace in the family. Got a free egg bake out of the deal. The pastor actually said that, part of the proof of the missing body is that “wouldn’t Pilate have searched for the body, to prove that he really hadn’t risen?” No, he wouldn’t have, he wouldn’t have cared, assuming Jesus even existed, he had just crucified him, he would have had no idea that we would still be talking about this today and would have felt no need to nip the movement in the bud. Statements like the pastor’s demonstrate the self-centered view they have of their legend.

  33. 33
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Petejohn:

    Here’s the question I always have… what kind of a sacrifice is it for God to sacrifice himself, when God can live forever? I feel like being crucified would pretty much suck horribly, but then after that you live forever. So what really did God/Jeebus lose by “dying?”

    What always confused me was the role of Judas. Like, he had to betray Jesus to get the whole shebangabang moving, right? Why isn’t he seen as a hero– someone who is willing to do the dirty job that no one else will– instead of a villain?

    Anyway, today I’m celebrating by eating too much chocolate and hanging out with Esteleth. Boom.

  34. 34
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Some years ago, when Boy was attending college out in western Pennsylvania, we went out to pick him up for spring break (which coincided with Easter). A church we drove by had a big billboard out front that read:


    Help us Celebrate the Reserection! HE IS RISEN!

    Damn near drove off the road while laughing.

    And it was on the 10th anniversary of a certain blue pill.

  35. 35
    Lynna, OM

    Help us Celebrate the Reserection! HE IS RISEN!

    Thanks for the laugh, Ogvorbis.

    Here are some more humorous church signs: http://probablynotagoodsign.com/category/funny-chuch-signs-marquee/

    “The tongue being in a wet place is apt to slip”

    And then there’s the church sign that invites everyone, “except the Lord.” Seems wise.

    more at the link

  36. 36
    patrickna

    If only Jesus had been the first human…

  37. 37
    tbp1

    When I lived in Central America in the 70s, I knew a couple who were Christadelphian missionaries. They were a very strange pair. Extremely well educated and worldly in many ways, but obviously not in others.

    Of the missionaries I have known (including some in-laws), they were the most reluctant to talk about their beliefs that I ever met. Maybe they sensed I was just being polite when I asked about what they believed, but it was exceedingly difficult to get them to say anything about, you know, the stuff I presumed they became missionaries to talk about.

  38. 38
  39. 39
    Anne C. Hanna

    Audley Darkheart @33,

    In re the role of Judas, check out the Gnostic Gospel of Judas. It retells the Judas story in pretty much exactly the way you suggest.

  40. 40
    petejohn

    @Audley, 33

    I’ve always felt that way too about Judas. Jeebus had to die to set the whole thing off, so what’s the big deal about what Judas did? But then I suppose we’re expecting consistency, and that’s just, like, foolish or something.

  41. 41
    niftyatheist, perpetually threadrupt

    Someone mentioned on twitter how peculiar it was that they didn’t name it “Bad Friday”, considering.

    Maybe this was me :D The twisted Xian morality (bad = good, cruelty = love, etc) has been on my mind a lot lately, too. I posted about exactly this last night- (“Easter” is not about the torture and execution and alleged resurrection of Jesus, so these holidays should be called Resurrection Sunday and Crucifixion Friday) – and I found totally legit (!!111!!!!) Xian sources to back it up!

    The War on Easter

  42. 42
    twas brillig (stevem)

    Jesus paid for our sins by DYING, which is bloody painful, resurrection was his reward for that pain he experienced. Or so they say… To say, “If God can’t die, then what was the ‘sacrifice’ to pay for our sins?”, kinda misses the whole points of the Christian theology. Death is nasty and he wouldn’t have gone through that at all if we weren’t sinful (by being descendants of bad Adam and evil Eve. And it wasn’t just dying, but all the torture of hanging on that cross for a whole afternoon (when most could hang for days). And Easter is celebrating his return from there to bless us all afterwords (if we don’t doubt like poor old Thomas).

    Geewiz, I dunno, it’s all too silly to be comprehended. It’s so inconsistent and all….

  43. 43
    chigau (違う)

    There is also The Gospel According to Biff.

  44. 44
    David Marjanović

    Speaking of Nobel Prizes and cargo cults about science! Two words: Melba Ketchum.

    I wonder how many Christians are secretly retranslating the Easter message into something which sounds more reasonable to them.

    Plenty. There have been Catholic bishops who have been shut up for saying the crucifixion was God solidarizing Himself with humanity, saying “I feel your pain” like unto Bill Clinton.

    Ishtar

    Random similarity of name. What’s really related is Aurora and, yes, the east.

    In Spanish it’s “viernes santo”, which translates to Holy Friday. Seems to make more sense.

    German: Karfreitag. The Kar- part, which doesn’t occur (anymore?) anywhere else other than in the name of the next day (Karsamstag), is said to mean “grief”.

    Anyway, today I’m celebrating by eating too much chocolate and hanging out with Esteleth. Boom.

    *pours liters of envy into USB port*

    I do have chocolate, though. The good stuff. :-)

  45. 45
    Ichthyic

    kinda misses the whole points of the Christian theology

    to miss the point of something so dull is not hard to do though.

  46. 46
    Ichthyic

    Why isn’t he seen as a hero– someone who is willing to do the dirty job that no one else will– instead of a villain?

    Because the only time the janitor was seen as a hero was in The Toxic Avenger.

  47. 47
    Ichthyic

    *looks at sign in OP*

    Christadelphian?

  48. 48
    niftyatheist, perpetually threadrupt

    Some years ago, when Boy was attending college out in western Pennsylvania, we went out to pick him up for spring break (which coincided with Easter). A church we drove by had a big billboard out front that read:

    Help us Celebrate the Reserection! HE IS RISEN!

    Damn near drove off the road while laughing.

    And it was on the 10th anniversary of a certain blue pill.

    Bahaha! It always cracks me up how often these typos seem to occur in the belief set, and how very frequently the typos wind up being ironic!

  49. 49
    chippanfire

    @Rich Woods #10

    ‘Gimme chocolate’ is as far as most will get.

    Since that particular church is in Bournville, home of Cadbury’s chocolate, I think that’s more than probable.

  50. 50
    anuran

    Jesus died and came back? Big. Hairy. Deal.
    John Barleycorn does it every fucking year

  51. 51
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    John Barleycorn does it every fucking year

    Not only that, but he gets his revenge.

  52. 52
    cyberCMDR

    IIRC, the crucifixion was bit of sympathetic magic. The Jewish priests sacrificed a lamb at Passover, echoing the lamb’s blood on the doorways in Egypt that kept the Angel of Death away. Jesus was supposed to be the ultimate sacrificial lamb.

    Sympathetic magic is symbolic, one thing representing another. That is the basis of Christianity, the same kind of symbolic reasoning as having voodoo dolls represent an enemy, and sticking a needle in causes harm. Very primitive reasoning, yet still accepted by Christians.

  53. 53
    DLC

    Hideous Iron-age death cult. co-opts ancient pagan fertility rite and celebration of spring.
    For me, Easter means — Candy on Sale!

  54. 54
    md

    his myth has been used ever since to oppress and delude and confuse and frighten people.

    True that. His myth has also been used for inspiration to fight oppression and civilize and educate and medicate people.

  55. 55
  56. 56
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    His myth has also been used for inspiration to fight oppression

    *snicker, teehee, Bwaahahahahahha*

  57. 57
    chigau (違う)

    His myth has also been used for inspiration to fight oppression and civilize and educate and medicate people.

    April Fool!!!!

  58. 58
    Inaji

    Jesus was supposed to be the ultimate sacrificial lamb.

    Perhaps. Mighty poor sacrifice, if one can even call it that. Now Judas, there was a sacrificial lamb.

  59. 59
    Snoof

    You know, if we’re honouring sacrifices made by fictional characters, I’m quite fond of Prometheus. He gave us fire, freeing us from the cold and the dark and the terrors of the wild, and actually got tortured for eternity for it (at least until Herakles showed up). Sure, fire allowed us to destroy ourselves in increasingly inventive new ways, but he gave us the option, when that bastard Zeus and the other Olympians would have had us frightened and shivering forever.

  60. 60
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    Iiiiiiiiiiin West Christadelphia, born and raised…

    /sorry, I couldn’t resist

  61. 61
    Inaji

    Snoof:

    He gave us fire

    He gave men fire back – it was his pulling a prank on Zeus that made him so angry he took the fire away in the first place. Prometheus returning fire seriously enraged Zeus, and in retaliation, he created Pandora, the evil of evils. Y’know, woman.

    Pandora was fashioned by Hephaestus out of clay and brought to life by the four winds, with all the goddesses of Olympus assembled to adorn her. “From her is the race of women and female kind,” Hesiod writes; “of her is the deadly race and tribe of women who live amongst mortal men to their great trouble, no helpmeets in hateful poverty, but only in wealth.”

  62. 62
    Snoof

    He gave men fire back – it was his pulling a prank on Zeus that made him so angry he took the fire away in the first place.

    Hmmm. I appear to have completely forgotten that part. I need a proper reference text – my old childrens’ ones aren’t really cutting it. Any recommendations?

    Prometheus returning fire seriously enraged Zeus, and in retaliation, he created Pandora, the evil of evils. Y’know, woman.

    Yeah, Hellenic mythology is pretty heavy on the misogyny. Zeus truly was a scumbag of epic proportions.

  63. 63
    Inaji

    Snoof:

    Any recommendations?

    Hesiod? I can’t come up with anything modern right now. Sleep deprived.

    Yeah, Hellenic mythology is pretty heavy on the misogyny. Zeus truly was a scumbag of epic proportions.

    Zeus has nothing on El Shaddai (aka Yahweh/Jehovah). The Pandora myth is the basis for the Eve story in Genesis, just reworked a tad.

  64. 64
    cyberCMDR

    From Wikipedia:
    M.L. West commentaries on Hesiod, W.J. Verdenius commentaries on Hesiod, and R. Lamberton’s Hesiod, pp.95–100.

  65. 65
    Algonquin on the Bayou a/k/a Sharon

    OK, back with my field notes from my observations yesterday at the Gonzales Second Ward. Here’s the takeaway: “What makes us unclean is disobedience.”

    Aargh! How did the church invented by Joseph Smith…one of the most disobedient men of the 18th century…devolve into this?

    On a more positive note, here’s what Marie Osmond recently had to say about gay marriage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=oAz4HJ-IFf0

  66. 66
    petejohn

    True that. His myth has also been used for inspiration to fight oppression and civilize and educate and medicate people.

    Like the Congo Free State? And slavery? And the massacre of native peoples of, well, almost everywhere?

  67. 67
    Worldtraveller

    And the massacre of native peoples of, well, almost everywhere?

    Well, sure. They were much more ‘civilized’ after that…..

  68. 68
    Furr-a-Bruin

    “He is risen!”

    “Great! Let’s get him baked!”

  69. 69
    yankonamac

    Martyrdom has only occurred when the martyred party has been rendered demonstrably and permanently dead by a dominant religious or political authority in retaliation for the promotion of religious or political views not in keeping with those of the aforementioned authority. With regard to his failure to remain dead, Jesus does not meet the parameters of a martyr, so his case has been re-filed under “briefly tortured, escaped after weekend of solitary confinement.”. Please update your records accordingly.

    (Having your hands and feet bound and being thrown into an erupting volcano in front of your followers as punishment for your beliefs? Martyrdom. Tripping over your shoelaces and landing face-first in an erupting volcano? Gruesome accidental death. Going hiking in a forest in a 7,000 year old crater, then going to the pub and telling everybody you’re back after three days in an active volcano? Moron.)

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