I like religious pluralism for keeping Catholic fanaticism in check

Here’s a fine Easter message for you: The world would be better if every man, woman, and child were Catholic. You are misusing freedom of religion when you use it to promote pluralism and false religions.

Oh yeah, the Church Militant never fails to provide entertaining intolerance for public consumption. It’s a strange mixed message, though. This guy is yelling about how pluralism is a good thing, and you shouldn’t be angry about it because everyone should be free to make the right choice (Catholicism) and the wrong choice (every other religion), but you should be getting mad that every single minor Catholic festival isn’t promoted as heavily as Christmas and Ramadan and Diwali. But have you ever looked at calendar of Catholic holy days? This week alone we had Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday, Holy Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Maundy Thursday, and Black Saturday. Get to work and complain to your HR department that they aren’t sending out announcements and memos about every single Catholic holiday! If my university started spamming me about every single religious holiday — Catholics aren’t alone in packing the calendar with noise — I’d have to block their email.

And darn those rainbow flags. Offensive to the Church Militant! There are no gay people in the True Catholic church.

Anyway, I’m doing nothing for Easter at all other than grading and making a vegetarian lasagna for dinner. I hear that my granddaughter is going on a family Easter egg hunt, and that’s about as religious as we’re going to get. I guess I better get started on the holy rite of marking my students’ sins with a red pen.


  1. rietpluim says

    The greatest threat to religious freedom are the religious themselves.
    Religious freedom is a secular value, not a religious one.

  2. chigau (違う) says

    Does he include all the Saint days? Every day has several saints associated.

  3. Snarki, child of Loki says

    “…and on the third day emerged a Bunny, which laid eggs filled with chocolatl, and the children over-ate, and smeared it on their faces, and enjoyed until they became sick and hyperactive.”

    …something something….Holy Hand Grenade…

    Isn’t it wonderful when the fundy religious types tell everyone how they should hew closely to their ancient writings? Ha!

  4. says

    If we lived in an officially Catholic state, especially of the type the Church Militant wants, you know that every single saint day would be advertised and enforced.

  5. gijoel says

    I’m not joining a religion that insisted that a woman must in order to save a non-viable pregnancy. Nor one that says I’m not allowed to have a vasectomy.

    Also I hated it when my grandmother dragged me to Mass. The constant ringing of bells and waving of thuribles, as the audience constantly kneels, stands and sits like a geriatric aerobics class.

  6. twoangstroms says

    I had to go deep dive into this to make sure it wasn’t a very elaborate Poe! It feels like this character was (at least early on) dancing on the edge of genuinely enjoying being funny – the sock hop part actually made me laugh, and it felt like laughing with.

    Though then, yeah. It’s fascinating how close to self-awareness this rant gets, but then re-anchors in the “but WE are right and others are wrong” and cannot flip perspective about how others see Catholic displays. And so close to liberation Catholicism, in recognizing how capitalism co-opts and leverages.

  7. raven says

    I’ve been busy with a lot of things and didn’t bother with the War on Easter this year.
    I just looked on Google and no one else bothered either.
    This is likely because this year, we have a real war to worry about rather than a fake war about magic rabbits, chocolate candy, and colored eggs.

    There really is or was a War on Easter.
    Fundie xians don’t actually have holidays, they have Wars on Holidays, i.e. Halloween, Xmas, and Easter.

    The fundies don’t like Easter because it is a Pagan holiday named after the Germanic goddess of dawn, fertility and spring, Eostre.
    They keep trying to call it Resurrection Sunday instead, although it never seems to catch on.

    One year, the local fundie churches distributed hundreds of tacky white cardboard signs advertising Resurrection Sunday. Fortunately, they weren’t very durable and never appeared the next year.

  8. says

    I guess I better get started on the holy rite of marking my students’ sins with a red pen.

    The red letters are where Jesus talks.

  9. drew says

    I’m fine with all the vitriol. Hate speech is free speech and it’s protected, too.

    But could we stop subsidizing these hate groups with our tax dollars already?

  10. says

    As a result of personal experience and thoughtful objective research, I must deem religion, along with Crapitallism as major manifestations of destructive, feverish, human fantasy. With a dab or two of sarcasm, I have always enjoyed ‘Saint George of Carlin’s’ presentation ‘religion is bullshit’. I can’t remember which if these vids of that presentation is the best
    Just the name militant (as in murderous military) catholicism tells you how decent, tolerant, and loving they are.

  11. says

    @11 Jazzlet referenced SkepChicks latest.
    I reply, I saw the vid and find it credible and well researched. But, I hope you will agree that easter, like most xtian holidays is just a rip-off of older pagan-like observances. For thousands of years, the xtian terrorists have almost never come up with anything original. And, I find it obscene that their major symbols are of an instrument of death or of a man dying on that symbol of execution.

  12. Jazzlet says

    shermanj @#12

    I do agree that the christians hijacked preexisiting holidays, however in the case of easter it was definitely from Jewish tradition originally. It may have been tweaked to fit in with local traditions outside of Israel, but that doesn’t mean Eostre existed or rather more to the point was ever worshipped as a god in Roman or later era (what is now) Germany. It’s good to be careful not to spread untrue stories about that, especially ones that feel as if they ought to be true given what we know about how christians behave.

  13. NitricAcid says

    Today I’m marking lab reports about the synthesis of isoamyl acetate and methyl salicylate, so I’m wishing my students happy esters.

    But not in red. I’m reading the pdfs of their lab reports and writing emails back.

  14. says

    @14 Jazzlet said: It’s good to be careful not to spread untrue stories
    I reply: I agree. You hit on an important point. We should be very careful not to compound a hijacking with another one that has dubious validity. I have read so many conflicting stories, blurred and maybe distorted by the antiquity of their reporting, regarding the origins (or as tRUMP would say: the oranges) of holidays that I am skeptical of them all. So many of stories started as oral traditions which, like the game of ‘telephone’, are mostly distorted through inaccurate repetition over the centuries, that few are verifiable.

  15. René says

    “False religion”, the mother of all tautologies. ‘Mother’ as in GBU-43/B MOAB/

  16. kaleberg says

    In NYC, the only religious holidays that count are the ones where they suspend alternate side of the street parking rules. It’s a measure of the political clout an ethnic group has. You knew your people had arrived when people got a day off from having to move their cars. Even if you didn’t own a car, it was a sign that one’s group had a place in its new home.

  17. Rob Grigjanis says

    shermanj @12:

    easter, like most xtian holidays is just a rip-off of older pagan-like observances.

    Dunno about easter or most other xtian holidays, but I’d be surprised if “ripping off” older observances wasn’t common practice among religions seeking to displace other religions.

    And don’t forget, Judaism itself derives from older polytheistic traditions. There is nothing new under the sun…

  18. raven says

    Or not, see SkepChick’s latest (link to transcript as weel as video: –

    I saw it.
    In fact, I saw it two decades before Rebecca Watson even made it.

    We go through this every year as an Easter tradition. Like Bunnies, discount Peeps the day after Easter, and chocolate candy we shouldn’t be eating anyway.

    I’ve never found it at all convincing.

    .1. It’s true that the main source is Bede. OTOH, he was alive and writing in the 7th century and Rebecca Watson isn’t even in the same millennia. Bede is generally considered a reliable and scholarly source.
    We actually have very few sources about anything from that period of time in what is now Great Britain.
    One real source makes up for no real sources that Bede was wrong.

    .2. The telling fact is that hardly anyone even calls Easter, Easter. It’s basically us and the Germans. ” Known as Pascha, the Greek word for “passover,” Easter in the Orthodox Church…” I checked a bunch of European languages and almost all of them call Easter some variation of Pascha meaning passover, because its origin from the bible is clearly the Jewish day of passover.

    We don’t have any other good explanation for why the English word is Easter.

    .3. What is for sure is that all the European traditions around Easter are Pagan. I’ve never heard of Jews decorating colored eggs for passover or the magic Seder bunny, It’s clearly the old Pagan spring holidays grafted onto a xian holy day. Nobody even tries all that hard to pretend otherwise.

  19. raven says

    @14 Jazzlet said: It’s good to be careful not to spread untrue stories

    How do you know Bede was making things up?

    Wikipedia: The Old English Ēostre is therefore a distant cognate of numerous other dawn goddesses attested among Indo-European-speaking peoples, including Uṣás, Ēṓs, and Aurōra. In the words of the Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, “a Proto-Indo-European goddess of the dawn is supported both by the evidence of cognate names ,…
    Bede: “Eosturmonath has a name which is now translated “Paschal month”, and which was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month. Now they designate that Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honoured name of the old observance.[21]

    You have no idea and no way of knowing that Bede was just Making Stuff Up in the 8th century.

    In fact, he isn’t pursuing any agenda here. Bede was just writing about the old names for the months and how they have changed.

    So far we have One real source to Zero real sources.
    Plus a lot of indirect evidence i.e. why even bother with the word Easter and it isn’t like there aren’t a lot of Indo European goddesses of the dawn and spring. It would be surprising if the old Germanics didn’t have such a goddess.

  20. hopeleith says

    One key reason to think the rabbit part of Easter celebrations is pagan in origin rather than Jewish — rabbits aren’t kosher and the Torah forbids eating them. Whereas Bede mentions the association between rabbits and the supposed spring goddess Eostre, 1300 years ago, and certainly rabbits are a well-established symbol of fertility.

  21. birgerjohansson says

    I wish it was possible to do a retcon making the stuff less distasteful.

    Anne Rice 1941-2021 got so disgusted with the path of American Christianity that in the last vampire novels she altered the fundamental nature of her narrative universe from gothic to science-fantasy with a materialistic explanation for the magic-seeming phenomena.
    No more soul-searching about God and devil.

    In the last two novels, the vampires even encountered androids that had been in hiding since the end of the plesticoene, created by less than benign aliens that had messed with early humans.
    Having cut the links with their former masters, the small group of androids even helped the vampires deal with an existential problem.

  22. says

    Well, I see the commenters here providing carefully researched and thoughtful input. They mostly are logical and/or have documentation. I must conclude that what I said before is likely accurate: the origins of these old celebrations is rather clouded in the mists of antiquity where most of the validation is from oral tradition or from historical documentation that is not unquestionably validated. However, the bottom line I see is that Xtian observances are clearly a rip-off of older established observances and are an attempt to impose their fantasies on people and thus, to supplant and obliterate the older ones.
    Happy Chocolate Bunny day everyone.

  23. onefatbroad says

    Wow, that reminded me of my very Catholic upbringing. Mass every Sunday – unless you had a legitimate illness (temp over 100) followed by Sunday school for those of us attending public school. Holy days of obligation scattered through the year – also mandatory Mass, but you got a pass on Sunday school if the Holy day was not a Sunday. You had to give up 2 things you enjoyed for the 6 weeks of Lent. Also, in my family, there was mandatory Stations of the Cross (the kids called them deep knee bends) Fridays during Lent. Three hours of silence on Good Friday – noon to three- EDT -while Christ hung from he cross So the crucifixion apparently took place in the eastern US, go figure.

    I was an atheist from a young age, but in Mother’s house you lived by Mother’s rules. When I left home, I left the church and returned only for weddings and funerals. (I got married in a Virginia City saloon)

  24. birgerjohansson says

    Returning to the retcon idea- Christianity has reinvented itself almost countless times.

    This may seem parochial, but the current Swedish church – and possibly the Anglican church – seem rather harmless. It would be tempting to hope for others to follow suit.

    Unfortunately so many American churches have gone full MAGA that they will not return to some mild consensus Christianity untill pretty much all the current members have met their maker.

  25. raven says

    Fallacy of Appeal to Authority by laziness. That is link dropping.

    Here is a thoughtful discussion of the origin of the word Easter by historians.

    Eostre: The Mystery Goddess Who Gave Easter its Name
    Morris H. Lary | Gods and Goddesses, Norse Gods and Goddesses | December 9, 2022


    “In 2011 Philip A. Shaw wrote that the subject has seen “a lengthy history of arguments for and against Bede’s goddess Ēostre, with some scholars taking fairly extreme positions on either side” and that some theories against the goddess have gained popular cultural prominence. Shaw noted that “much of this debate, however, was conducted in ignorance of a key piece of evidence, as it was not discovered until 1958… ”

    That the English holiday Easter came from Oestra, the Germanic goddess of Dawn is taken seriously by many scholars of the era.

    Once again, we don’t have any other explanation for why Easter is called Easter. The original xian name for it was Pascha which is passover.

    Pascha was in common use in 325 AD when Constantine made xianity the Roman state religion. It predates the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Britain. “This holiday was called Pascha in Greek and Latin, but somehow acquired the name Easter. How this happened exactly is unknown..”

  26. asclepias says

    A friend of a friend on the hated Facebook commented on that there is irony in celebrating the presumes resurrection of a Jewish rabbi with a traditional meal of ham (or other pork dishes). Frankly, lasagna sounds better. (I like pork, but I always end up feeling sorry for the pig that provided it.)

  27. birgerjohansson says

    This is not about Easter, but I am going off on a tangent about making people understand you do not need sky magic when “deep time” is doing its thing. Creationists beware.

    Here is a video by a very good educator explaining the formation of the Appalachian mountains, the Pennsylvanian ridge and valley landscape and the formation of coal, oil and gas west of the mountains.
    He manages to make the subject as interesting as any David Attenborough documentary!

    If schools could afford to have brilliant educators like this, things like creationism would be confined to the unlucky home-schooled individuals.
    As for Catholicism… it is tied to a human-centric worldview and a time scale of ca 3 millennia. Not a match for the wonders of nature.

  28. John Morales says

    Erp, “ultra-orthodox-catholic”? No such thing. No flavours in Catholicism.

    If they don’t follow what the Pope claims regarding matters of faith, then they are heretics.
    If they don’t act according to Canon Law, they are heretics.

    (This was sorted out over a thousand years ago)

  29. Jazzlet says

    The original christian holiday still wasn’t nicked off pagans, it was nicked off the Jews. Like I said christians undoubtedly tailored their existing holidays to fit in with any new place they go to, but they didn’t start in Germanic lands, so regardless of the truth or otherwise of Eostre the timing of the holiday is to do with Passover.

  30. StevoR says

    The youtube clip here literallymade me laugh aloud & wonder if serious or satire.

    Sadly seems eg from comments #33 Erp & #6 twoangstroms that its for real and he name does ring a bell from somewhere (probly here) before.

    How utterly silly and messed up to be offended by other peoples and cultures having and wishing others their respective happy holidays. How bizarre tothink other religions and groups having their own festivals and events and significant days somehow detracts from the one’s you celebrate.***

    As for Easter’s orgins, well, seems syncretic to me and depends on whose varying versions and practices and ideas of it really..

    PS. A belated happy Easter, Ramadan Mubarak* and Zissen Pesach** to all who celebrate them! Peace & good will towards all.

    .* See : https://time.com/5583680/ramadan-guide-date-greeting/

    .** See : https://parade.com/1336509/marynliles/happy-passover-greetings/

    . *** Admittedly, I’m strongly backing the native marsupial Bilby (not a monotreme so still non-egg laying but anyhow) over the feral destructive pest rabbit over the easter Bilby is something in Oz but still.. See :


  31. birgerjohansson says

    I have invented a non-toxic abrahamic religion. It is centered on Zlorf, the cook on Noah ‘s ark.
    He was not exactly the smartest guy in the room, but he was fun company when drunk.

  32. Rob Grigjanis says

    John @34: Very binary! So, Catholics who publicly disagree with the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, but have not been excommunicated, are the same ‘flavour’ as those who agree with them?

  33. magistramarla says

    I made pastitsio, or the Greek grandma’s version of lasagna.
    Served it with a nice Greek salad.
    Since it was a beautiful warm day, we spent part of the afternoon cleaning up our patio.

  34. John Morales says

    Rob, exactly so. To be a Catholic requires rites and oaths and conformation with Church doctrine as espoused by the Vatican.

    “The Archdiocese of Detroit unequivocally condemns the offensive language used in reference to Archbishop Gregory and advises the faithful that Church Militant is not affiliated with, endorsed, or recommended by the Archdiocese of Detroit; it is not recognized as a Church apostolate. The organization formerly operated under the name “Real Catholic TV” from its headquarters in Ferndale, Michigan, until 2011 when it received notification from the Detroit archdiocese that it lacked the authorization required under Church (canon) law to identify or promote itself as Catholic. It subsequently changed its name to Church Militant.”

  35. Rob Grigjanis says

    I’ve known Catholics who are pro-choice (there are some in Ireland, I’ve heard), those who favour the ordination of women, those who are for social justice, etc. I’ve also known Catholics who disapprove of the current Pope, and reject Vatican II. So saying there are no flavours in Catholicism seems weirdly dogmatic.

  36. John Morales says

    I’m telling you how it works, Rob. Whether or not they are heretics depends their belief in what the Church says and their belief of what the Pope says about matters of faith etc. There are rules, all written down, and administered by the Vatican.
    For every Catholic in the entire world — there are no sects within Catholicism.
    (cf. Edict of Thessalonica)

    BTW, even an excommunicated Catholic is still a Catholic; there’s this thing called ‘baptism’, which is an irrevocable Sacrament as far as Catholicism is concerned.
    It’s literally a magical spiritual mark, far as they are concerned.

    Again: No flavours in Catholicism. There is Catholicism, and there is everything else.
    In Protestantism, sure. Lots of flavours.

  37. birgerjohansson says

    Most cultures have some spring holiday. The Caananites surely had one. The proto-jews dedicated it to their boss god.

    The European pagans dedicated their spring holidays to whichever god/goddess they found appropriate.
    If the Old English kept the name from Oestre while transitioning to Christianity it is just a different label.
    You say potato…

  38. Rob Grigjanis says

    I’m telling you how it works, Rob.

    No, John. You’re giving me your own definition of ‘flavour’ in this particular context. Radically different beliefs/worldviews. but only one ‘flavour’. Sure.

    BTW, the Edict of Thessalonica was about accepting the Nicene Creed. Every Lutheran service I attended as a kid repeated it. Does that make me Catholic?

  39. John Morales says

    No, John. You’re giving me your own definition of ‘flavour’ in this particular context. Radically different beliefs/worldviews. but only one ‘flavour’. Sure.

    Yup. Only one Catholicism.

    You keep equivocating between the adherents’ own belief with the dogmata to which they supposedly adhere. If they don’t adhere, they’re (at best) heretics.

    In short, I’m talking about the religion itself. No flavours.

    People themselves, sure, they might believe other stuff and yet call themselves Catholic. And their priest may turn a blind eye to it, because pragmatism.

    You want to imagine that there are as many flavours of Catholicism as there are Catholics, go ahead. But there aren’t, there is only one.

    BTW, the Edict of Thessalonica was about accepting the Nicene Creed. Every Lutheran service I attended as a kid repeated it. Does that make me Catholic?

    I think you missed the relevance of the reference.

    “It is our desire that all the various nations which are subject to our Clemency and Moderation, should continue to profess that religion which was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter, as it has been preserved by faithful tradition, and which is now professed by the Pontiff Damasus and by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, a man of apostolic holiness. According to the apostolic teaching and the doctrine of the Gospel, let us believe in the one deity of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, in equal majesty and in a holy Trinity. We order the followers of this law to embrace the name of Catholic Christians; but as for the others, since, in our judgment they are foolish madmen, we decree that they shall be branded with the ignominious name of heretics, and shall not presume to give to their conventicles the name of churches. They will suffer in the first place the chastisement of the divine condemnation and in the second the punishment of our authority which in accordance with the will of Heaven we shall decide to inflict.”


    Anyway, to answer your intendedly rhetorical question, no.

    “Those who have been validly baptized outside the Church become Catholics by making a profession of the Catholic faith and being formally received into the Church. This is normally followed immediately by confirmation and the Eucharist.”