The material at the end of this article will show where I stand in relation to Church and State. I am naïve enough to believe that some few people may be able to assimilate facts that directly contradict their learned dogma, not many, but some. That’s why I carry on writing against the rising tide of ignorant fundamentalist dogma and continuous Catholic dictatorship.
I am a follower of a spiritual path that is not associated with the Christian religion and has in fact been persecuted by the followers of that religion. I concede the right of those Christians to have and follow their religion, but do not concede their right to impose their beliefs upon me, or upon children through political maneuvers when the Constitution specifically designates the separation of Church and State.
I also do not concede their right to lie unashamedly about the history involved, and particularly to torment anyone whose ideas of human sexuality differ from their own narrow and bigoted spectrum.
The days from Good Friday to Easter Sunday are dedicated by many bloggers as the 'Blog Against Theocracy days.' And many of those who think that Church and State MUST remain separate in politics will write articles concerning that matter, some serious and scholarly, some lightly informative, some satirical. Check the end of this article for more details.
Here begins my Easter article.
Here we are again a couple of days from the Easter season. The Full Moon period…on which it has all actually depended for milennia before the Christian era, is on the 18th, 19th and 20th The stores are filling up with Easter Bunnies, Easter cards and Easter Eggs, trying hard to be a bigger commercial success than the other less than stellar season of Christmas that was also a Church takeover of a very ancient, pagan, religious event.
There are still many Christians who believe that it is part of the ‘original’ Christian religion to observe Lent, "Holy Week," "Good Friday," to buy hot cross buns at the bakery, to have colored eggs, to dress up and go to Church on Easter Sunday, perhaps to attend an Easter sunrise service! They obviously haven’t examined their belief system, or its origins, which come from events many thousands of years before the alleged crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
The ‘original’ Christian religion is available only in a small number of Gnostic Churches in this country. But at least one of them has a very accomplished female bishop, which is more than has happened in the heavy duty Churches mentioned.
Easter tide has been celebrated all over the world for thousands of years before the beginning of Christianity. Jesus isn’t the reason for this season either. That's why the name Jesus isn't in the tags below the title. Easter isn’t a Christian festival, merely one that the Catholic Christians took over for the Church because those persistent pagans just wouldn’t give it up. Spring comes every year and reminds them of it. Bummer!
The Protestants carried it on too because of religious inertia, a very potent force in the world. For example: the Church of England is the state Church in England, and every monarch since Henry VIII quarreled with the Pope and closed down the British monasteries, has been its titular head. Every bishop of the Church of England sits in the House of Lords. There are 26 of them at the moment, but only 5% of Britons belong to the Church of England. Inertia, not proportional representation.
For over 1700 years now the western world has been taught that Easter is to do with the time when Christ rose from the dead on a particular Sunday morning. This is a lie, and always was. By lie I do not mean error. A lie is a deliberate falsehood. Nothing unusual about that in Church history as students of it know well.
Actually the word is merely the slightly changed English spelling of the name of the ancient Assyrian goddess Ishtar, pronounced by the Assyrians exactly as we pronounce "Easter." The Babylonian name of this goddess was Astarte, consort of Baal, the Sun god, whose worship is denounced by various Old Testament prophets as the most abominable of all pagan idolatry. The Old Testament Yahweh was always insanely paranoid about rival gods and goddesses. The three Abraham based religions’ tradition of no tolerance to other religions probably began there.
Look up the word "Easter" in Webster's dictionary. You will find: "AS. (Anglo-Saxon), from the name of an old Teutonic goddess of spring". The Teutonic peoples had a goddess of dawn and fertility who had various names among the dialects of these people. She was named after the old word for spring which is Eastre. Some of the forms her name took were: Ostare, Ostara, Ostern, Eostra, Eostre, Eostur, Eastra, Eastur, Austron and Ausos.
Those of you with European DNA have this goddess in your past, whatever your current religion. EVERYONE reading this has pagan ancestors, and so do those who scorn your current beliefs, whatever they are. Your ancestors didn’t all suddenly appear on Earth immediately after the Crucifixion. Remember that little point. EVERYBODY has pagan ancestors. It may be a good idea to honor them even if you now don’t agree with their ancient viewpoints.
Those who are locked into believing the literal meaning of the Bible in God’s language, which they apparently think was English, may note that the word Easter occurs only ONCE in the Bible, and then ONLY in the King James translation, occurring in the Authorized Version as the translation of 'Pascha' in Acts 12:4, 'intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.' The Revised Version, and many others have translated the word correctly as ' Passover.’ More about this later. Of course, the fact that it occurs in the ‘Word of God’ at all is enough for those who think that Jesus and Paul spoke late Elizabethan English. That would actually be funny except for the fact of human psychology that those who can persuade people to believe anything can also persuade them to do anything. Such folks are dangerous.
The earliest followers of the teachings of Jesus always celebrated the time of his death at the time of the Passover ritual involved in the story. Which makes a lot of sense. If it happened, then that was when it happened. St.Patrick’s Celtic Christians used to celebrate their Easter at Passover time too, one of the many reasons he was considered to be a heretic by the Church authorities of Rome.
The World Almanac, 1950 edition, page 704, says: "In the second century, AD., Easter Day was, among Christians in Asia Minor the 14th of Nisan, the seventh month of the mundane Jewish calendar." This is the first month of the sacred calendar. The reference to the Christians of Asia Minor is to the Churches at Ephesus, Galatia, etc... the so-called "Gentile" churches raised up by the Apostle Paul, against opposition from the apostles.
Note that 1st Nisan - (3761 BC) is also accepted by many as the day of the Creation of the Universe In other words, Easter is always on the 14th day of the first month of the ecclesiastical or sacred calendar, and in the second century AD it was not then called by the older pagan name of "Easter", but by the later Jewish name "Passover".
Passover, the days of unleavened bread, Pentecost, and Jewish holy days were all observed by the early apostles, and the converted Gentile Christians as a memorial of the crucifixion. Passover, observed by the early believers, occurred not specifically on a Sunday or any fixed day of the week, but on that calendar day of the year based on the Jewish calendar.
The day of the week varies from year to year, as the Passover still does today. It’s based on a 13 month lunar calendar, not our Gregorian 12 month solar calendar. It’s only because of the Catholic Church interference that there is an Easter Sunday every year. It used to occur on other days too.
And if you have Jewish friends who still obey the Old Testament ruling and keep Passover, you will know that they do not fast, actually or figuratively for forty days before or after.
Lent has absolutely nothing to do with the original Christianity or Judaism.
So let’s look at how this totally foreign entity became bolted onto the Church dogma over the centuries, so that now that pious but uninformed Christians are actually celebrating several pagan festivals simultaneously when they do their Easter stuff. And the Catholic Church intelligentsia knew this, and still knows it. At least some members do. The Christianity of the trained Jesuit with several PhD’s is not the Christianity of the Irish peasant.
The original Easter stuff was based in Europe on the spring equinox festival of the goddess Eostre. She was the great mother goddess of the Saxons of Northern Europe, with all the names I mentioned above.
It was the Venerable Bede who wrote De Ratione Temporum in the 7th century who suggested this. Incidentally he was the Christian scholar who made the terms AD and BC popular for authors.
The same festivals were held all over the Mediterranean area around the spring equinox, though the goddess had different names. Here are some of them, in alphabetical order to show no favoritism: 'Aphrodite', the beautiful goddess who arose out of the sea in Cyprus…she was the 'Venus' of the Romans, 'Ashtoreth' from the mythology of Israel, 'Astarte' also from Greece, 'Demeter' from Mycenae, 'Hathor' from the Sinai peninsular, when it was part of Egypt, 'Ishtar' from Assyria, 'Kali' from the Hindus and 'Ostara', the Norse goddess of fertility. All of them and many others were or are “Easter” goddesses.
Every spring festival was to do with fertility, an essential survival component of a rural society, though slightly taboo to the Church whose hierarchy is celibate. And the Spring Equinox was the time when the light was about to conquer the darkness as Mother Earth revived from her long winter sleep, and baby animals and baby buds began to be seen and heard.
Before going into some different stories, including one with people from the Bible, about the origin of Easter, let’s look at the Easter Bunny and the Easter Egg.
It’s pretty obvious, even to the thought challenged, pious majority, that the Easter Bunny and Easter Eggs have not much to do with the story of the Resurrection of Jesus. How come they are still part of the Easter celebrations? Remember, chocolate lovers, that it was Irma Bombeck who said that her children were in 4th or 5th grade before they realized that Easter Bunnies had heads. She was very fond of chocolate. Therein is a clue.
The Easter Bunny came from the moon goddess’s favorite animal, the hare. It, like the rabbit is a good symbol of fertility. Look what happened to Australia when six pairs of rabbits were introduced into a land where the rabbit had no natural predators. Now there are untold millions of rabbits and the Aussies need anti-rabbit fences scores of miles long and going several feet below ground.
Saxons and Celts would tell their children to look for the 'Hare in the Moon,' not the 'Man in the Moon.' Check it out yourself on the next Full Moon on April 18th. Like Mary Magdalene in the Last Supper painting you only see it once you know it’s there, and have dropped previous assumptions. It’s an example of ‘skitoma’ for Scrabble fans or the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle folks.
The Ancient Greeks and Romans used eggs as obvious symbols of fertility AND rebirth. Eggs became symbols of the resurrected Sun and were used in rituals of all the many resurrected gods of the Mediterranean area. So hare and egg became symbolic of female (Moon goddess) and male( Sun) fertility and resurrection. Remember that in Germanic languages ‘Sun’ is a feminine noun and ‘Moon’ a masculine noun. Some variations in older religious practices stem from such cultural and linguistic differences. You might consider how such facts could alter translations from different languages apparently spoken by God.
When the Pennsylvania Deutsch from Germany arrived in America they brought many of their Germanic customs with them. I have mentioned some of them in the Christmas postings. They brought the hexagonal based hex signs, which were warnings of magical protection to prowling witches, and also the tradition of the Oschter Haws. This was the name of a remarkable Teutonic rabbit who could lay colored eggs in nests for children to find on Easter morning. With the ability of humans to murder each other’s language the Deutsch became Dutch in the common speech.
Now it’s another all-American tradition to hunt for eggs on Easter morning, though it’s a very recent, and currently unpopular slant on the ritual to shoot the Easter Bunny with a 12 gauge shotgun, as that famous hunter Dick Cheney did on the White House Lawn not too long ago. He always was the fun guy for small children. Family values maybe.
It should be a matter of interest to the great majority of Christians who follow the current Church teachings of Paul, including the Christian forgeries of the letters to Titus and Timothy, and not those of Jesus, that all through the Mediterranean region, there was a pre-Christian spring celebration on or around the spring equinox. In this celebration the goddess honored was 'Cybele' the Phrygian goddess of fertility. The fertility goddesses all had consorts. Hers was named 'Attis.'
Like so many of the Mediterranean area gods he was born of a virgin and was resurrected three days after his death which occurred as he bled on a tree. His story came from those of several other such gods, all born of virgins, who died and were resurrected hundreds of years before the story of the virgin born and resurrected Jesus appeared in the same area, spread by Paul.
You have certainly heard of such gods as: 'Osiris,' 'Dionysus,' and 'Orpheus,' But Attis was the major god of Tarsus, where Paul was born, and the death of Attis was always commemorated on a Friday and the resurrection was celebrated three days later on a Sunday. Maybe that’s just another coincidence, though I doubt it.
You may remember from history, or from one of my postings, that the Puritans in America insisted that Christmas should be a fast day, not a feast day, because they knew, and said, with justification, that the festivals were just old pagan festivals to Saturn.
Well there are some Christian officials today who are now willing to concede that using Easter Bunnies, Easter Eggs and cards with such things on them is actually catering to a multi-millennia old fertility ritual and they don’t want to get it mixed up with their own Christian mythology.
So they renamed Easter Sunday as 'Resurrection Sunday.' As I already said when St. Patrick was considered a heretic by many of the officers of the Roman Church, he and his Celtic Christians kept Easter on the same date as the Jews kept Passover, which made sense because the story says that was when it happened. And I have already mentioned, that this special day varied from year to year being based on a lunar calendar calculation.
But the Roman Christians made up their own formula for calculating the date for Easter so that it could NEVER correspond with the Passover Feast of those people, who until a few years ago, had been accused by the Church lie of causing the death of Jesus. The Pope did eventually apologize after centuries of deliberate lies by the Church had made the lot of Jews pretty unbearable in any country in Christendom. Only among those countries ruled by Muslims could they find any tolerance for centuries.
But about the date, which varies from year to year. This was established at the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325, when the Christians made their deal with the Emperor Constantine. They couldn’t tell the Roman Emperor, who was present, that Jesus was crucified by the Romans as a political activist claiming to be King of the Jews. So they made up a TOTALLY spurious story of a custom that allowed the Jews to choose which of various criminals could be punished around Passover, and plugged it into the politically correct New Testament scriptures that were organized after that date. They made up a lot of stories, but unlike the pagans, they insisted that these were literally and historically true.
To find Resurrection Sunday nowadays you just find the date of the vernal equinox, or the first day of spring. It’s usually March 21st or 22nd. Find the first day of the next full moon. This month it’s April 18th. Resurrection Sunday will be the Sunday after that, on the 24th.
As a bit of trivia for those with Palm Pilots, the latest possible date for this day is April 25th which will happen again in 2038, unless the Mayans were right, and not all of us make it that far, or if those that do are not among those who celebrate Easter.
I’ve mentioned a major European source of the word and celebration of Easter. What story is there in the Mediterranean area? Well, there is one that like Paul’s brilliant synthesis of pagan and Christian beliefs harks back to the Old Testament to claim the undoubted authority of the antiquity of the Jews.
I’ve already mentioned Attis, who died and was resurrected every year during the dates March 22-March 25. The story of Attis and Cybele was derived from the older stories of 'Tammuz,' 'Osiris,' 'Dionysus' and 'Orpheus.' Only the name and location changed.
Whatever the current name of the vegetation god he was always born of a virgin, died and then was reborn every year. The Roman festivals began as the god’s blood was shed on a Friday and ended after three days with rejoicing about his resurrection. Sound familiar?
Historically it is seen that whenever Christians and pagans celebrated their festivities around the same time and in the same place there were always quarrels about who was first. There are several scholarly pagan books confronting the Christians in the early centuries of the Church with the incontrovertible facts that just about everything that the Christians reported of Jesus had been done by the earlier pagan gods and sacred persons: walking on water, raising the dead, changing water into wine, healing the sick, getting killed and being resurrected.
The Christian response was that the Devil made this happen, knowing that Jesus was on the way so that he could prepare people to disbelieve in the stories. Spin doctors were always with us, and the Church authorities were and are past masters of the art. No lie is beyond the capacity of Church authorities. As my first mentor Ivor Morrish once said about some similar Church nonsense, “Anyone who believes that deserves to.”
There are currently spin doctors among the fundamentalists claiming that the healing that occurs apparently due to Reiki and other energy modalities is in fact performed by demons who are deceiving the sick. Apparently the deaths that occur when doctors do the work and patients die, has the blessing of God. I gave you their sites in a previous posting.
Remember Rev.Billy Graham’s problems with his friend, the dishonest and corrupt President Nixon. After much prayer and reflection Billy came to the conclusion that Tricky Dick’s problems were due to demons. That settled his ‘mind’ on the matter. Keep alert for the demon explanation. We shall hear it more and more as the fundamentalists become more desperate.
But the forerunner of Attis, the god of Paul’s birthplace, in the Mediterranean area of the world was Tammuz, who obtained some of his authority from Biblical stories. The celebration in this Mediterranean area was called Ishtar, pronounced Easter, to repeat myself. The day commemorated the resurrection of Tammuz who was thought to be the only begotten son of the moon goddess and the sun god. His genealogy, like those of Jesus came from the Old Testament.
You may remember from Genesis the name of Nimrod, the mighty hunter. Possibly the very first member of the NRA, but so many records were lost at that time we can’t be sure. He was the grandson of Ham, who was a son of Noah. A very powerful pedigree. It came about because Ham’s son Cush married an ambitious lady named Semiramis. Their son was Nimrod. After Cush died Nimrod married his mother Semiramis.
If you check in Genesis 10 you will see that Nimrod founded some of the greatest cities of the period: Babel, Erech, Accad and Calneh. These are names for archaeologists to conjure with from the land of Shinar, which we now know as Sumeria in history. Sumer is the city that produced over thirty historical firsts, which made even Carl Sagan say that something or someone jump started human evolution right there.
According to some findings our Nimrod had the blood of the gods, the Annunaki in his veins and married his mother, as the Pharaohs married their sisters and half sisters, to keep the god line pure.
So Nimrod, like the Pharaohs, became a god man to his subjects and Semiramis, his wife and mother became a powerful Queen of what was then called Babylon. Here the story begins to blend with Egyptian material. Nimrod was killed by an enemy and cut into pieces which were dispersed, just like those of Osiris, all around his kingdom.
Semiramis undeterred found all the pieces but one, and as in the case of Osiris the missing part was his penis. We aren’t told what happened to the penis of Nimrod. That of Osiris was eaten by a convenient crocodile egged on by his enemy Set. Isis, the wife of Osiris had to do some really powerful magic to solve that problem and beget Horus. It’s a great story.
The result was her son, the god Savior Horus, who in the best Hollywood tradition finally creamed Set and avenged his father’s earthly demise. The ancient statues of Isis and the baby Horus were transformed much later by the Roman Christians into the Blessed Mother and the baby Jesus, using blue paint. In the beginning the Church seemed to have practiced frugality.
Semiramis told the people that Nimrod could not return to earthly incarnation without the missing body part, was now co-equal with the Sun, and was to be worshiped as Baal, the sun god. She became further inspired and invented a new religion, forestalling those of Joseph Smith and his cousin Cyrus by thousands of years.
She said that Baal was always present wherever a flame was used in worship, whether sacred fire, candle or lamp. Then she pointed out that she herself, the mother of the god, was also immaculately conceived. Nothing is new.
She said that the moon too was a goddess who went through a 28 day cycle as women did, and ovulated when the moon was full, and that she herself had come down from the moon in a giant egg that landed in the river Euphrates. And this happened at the time of the first full moon days after the spring equinox. Another amazing coincidence! That’s April 19th this year for any current Ishtar worshipers, also the date of Passover of course.
All this happened without Fox TV to spread the word to the ignorant. Semiramis became known as Ishtar, pronounced Easter, to labor a point, and the egg from the moon was Ishtar’s egg. As Ishtar she became pregnant, and claimed that the rays of Baal the sun god had impregnated her. The resulting virgin birth child was named Tammuz.
According to the story Tammuz, like his spirit father Nimrod, was a mighty hunter, but unlike his father he was fond of rabbits. Tammuz was killed by a wild boar when hunting. Not the only god who had this exact fate incidentally. But Queen Ishtar told everyone that Tammuz had gone home to Baal his heavenly father and that when the worshipers lit the sacred flame they would all be there as Father, Son and Spirit. The original Holy Trinity maybe.
Ishtar by now had also acquired the titles of 'Mother of God' and 'Queen of Heaven,' which is where the Blessed Mother of the Catholics got a couple of Her names later on. She pointed out to the worshipers that when Tammuz was killed some of his sacred blood fell onto a stump of an evergreen tree, and the sacred blood acted as a divine fertilizer, and the tree became full grown in one night. So the evergreen tree joined the collection of sacred items. You may have seen them in other religious ceremonies and rituals concerning light that are familiar to you as Christmas trees.
Ishtar was obviously a very sharp cookie. Knowing that you had to deprive people of something before they valued it, she proclaimed a forty day fast from eating meat prior to the anniversary of the death of Tammuz.
When the fasting worshipers meditated on the sacred mysteries they crossed themselves with the sign of the X, the old Tau cross, the sign the Israelites put on their lintels during the Plagues of Egypt to tell the angel of Death that they weren’t Egyptians. Their sacred meatless cakes of the Ishtar worshipers were marked with a X, ancestors of the hot cross bun and the nursery song.
Let’s look at the Bible for a moment to see how this ancient custom irritated the God of Jeremiah. Check out chapter 7 of his book in the Old Testament.
"The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, TO MAKE CAKES TO THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN... that they may provoke me to anger.... Therefore thus saith the Eternal God: Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, upon beast... and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched." (Verse 18-20)
He was always touchy about perceived competition. The capitals are mine for emphasis.
The Hebrew word for "cakes" as Jeremiah originally wrote it is "kavvan," and really means "buns." It is used nowhere else in the Bible, except Jeremiah 44:19, where again, the same idolatrous worship to the Queen of Heaven is mentioned. Every other place in the Bible where the English word "cakes' is used, a different Hebrew word was used in the original.
What really irritated the jealous God of Jeremiah was that the hot crossed buns were dedicated, not to Him but to the original Queen of Heaven. And so are the buns the Christians eat nowadays. And the Church knew this all the time, and still does.
Every year, and on the first Sunday after the full moon after the vernal equinox there was a celebration of Ishtar’s Sunday, celebrated with eggs and rabbits, real ones in those days. Since Tammuz acquired his god status with the lethal help of a wild boar there was also a meal of pork on that Sunday. Nowadays of course it often comes from a can and is called ham. But it’s the same old, same old.
Catholic Christianity delicately acquired just enough of the pagan ceremonies for the Christians to be able to celebrate them without arousing suspicion in the early days. But though they celebrated the resurrection of their own version of the son of the sun god around the same time that everyone else was doing the same, with their own ancient stories, the Christians of the Church always considered that their story was special.
The monks in England were not all that pleased with the idea of going without meat for forty days at Lent, so they did what the Church hierarchy has always done...redefining.
They re-defined meat. It was allowed to eat fish at Lent. Beaver were plentiful in mediaeval England, and pretty tasty when cooked properly, so they renamed the Beaver as a River Fish, and had their meat during Lent. Doubtless they kept the peasant’s noses to the fishy grindstone. Some are always more equal than others.
It is said quite often that the whole of the current Catholic and Protestant Evangelical Christianity is based on the remarkable concept that a dead man came back to life after three days in a tomb. Rationally speaking, if he came out of the tomb alive he must have gone into it alive, though possibly in pretty bad shape. Look for just a moment at the Christian scripture on which the whole Christian myth of Easter depends. Here is a direct quote from page 6 of my book Who was Jesus really? available from the right hand column. The product of forty years of work on the subject.
...“Now that the ground has been laid we can start with a few facts about the gospels; facts that are accepted by Biblical scholars of every persuasion. The last twelve verses of Mark are an insertion by a hand other than the writer of the rest of it. They were not in the original gospel. They are what are known as editorial additions.
This has been known ever since the Greek fragments were examined. The textual critics take it for granted whether they are Protestant, Orthodox, Catholic or atheist. You can check this for yourself in the footnotes in a modern translation such as the NASB or the RSV. The Interpreter’s Bible is probably in your library, check it there too. EVERY school of criticism agrees on this matter.
So what? So this! Those twelve verses contain the first gospel account of the Resurrection and the first visions of the Risen Lord.”...
Now the gospels of Luke and Matthew relied heavily on Mark for their material. Matthew has whole sections lifted word for word from Mark. It is more likely than not that their versions of the story are either copies of Mark’s editorial insertion, or insertions by those people who always knew what the story OUGHT to say. And that part of the story was NOT in the original gospel. It was inserted by someone who thought it ought to be there.
And yes, the very word 'Easter' is in the King James Bible, as I mentioned before, which is enough for those people who are convinced that Jesus spoke Elizabethan English. You can find it in the first few verses of Acts 12. But the Greek word ‘pascha’ translated as Easter, by those who already knew what it should say, was the word used to describe the feast of Passover. In better translations nowadays the word Passover is used.
Remember Paschal Lamb, the first lamb sacrificed at Passover that the Christians made into a symbol of Christ.
Remember too that the same KJV people translated 'Elohim' in the Hebrew, which is a mixture of masculine and feminine and PLURAL as ‘God’ some 2000 times in the Old Testament, instead of ‘Deities’ because they just knew there was only one God, even though they also quote the Elohim as saying “Let US make man in OUR own image”. Capitals again are mine own.
As I have said many times before, there is no currently valid historical evidence that Jesus ever existed as an historical figure. And if he wasn’t an historical figure it doesn’t much matter how old the stories are about him from an historical point of view.
Nobody believes now in the literal truth of the Tammuz story or the Attis story or any of the other stories of the vegetation gods, and those stories are even older than the Jesus stories.
But the ancient ones had more than stories. They had Mysteries. These were the ways in which the devotees learned by an organized spiritual experience what the allegorical stories were actually intended to convey.
The current Christian religion is a victory for the literalists who actually believed the stories that all the pagans knew were allegories. We know that there was once an inner circle that taught the Mysteries of Jesus in Alexandria. The initiates KNEW that they were sons and daughters of god because of their ritual experiences. Clement of Alexandria, one of the early Popes spent nine years searching for someone who could give him the Jesus initiation.
The original followers of the teachings were altered by the initiation. The story of the raising of Lazarus is a garbled version of one such initiation. Those initiates became Gnostics, knowers, not mere believers, just as the pagan initiates of the Eleusinian Mysteries, people like Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, Archimedes, Socrates, and other intellectual giants knew the real meanings of the stories of the Greek and Egyptian gods. They were different from other people because of their initiations.
We have been given only the stories for nearly 2000 years, and have been told to believe them or else, for many of those centuries. The original Easter is NOT a celebration of Jesus, and the original believers who knew this named the Church who propagated by force a literal belief in the stories, the 'Whore of Babylon,' the 'False Church,' the 'Anti Christ.' Worth a thought or two. Maybe several hundred million or so pagans weren’t wrong. Perhaps your Easter eggs are in the wrong basket.
The strait laced among Christians whose OT god was fascinated by human sex habits, may at least be happy that it's Rabbits and Eggs that are the symbol of fertility in the West. In the East it’s different. Japanese Shinto rituals can at times be solemn affairs, like a well organized Mass, but at Tagata Shrine near Nagoya, it’s a matter of public rejoicing when an enormous 13 foot long penis rolls by in the Easter parade, so to speak. Most Christians would think that is taking the fertility thing too far from the birds and the bees.
The monstrous male member is the guest of honor at the Honen-sai festival which is held every spring in order to ensure a bountiful harvest. Many Wiccans would probably applaud instead of hiding their eyes. The Honen-sai, like Easter, is a fertility festival that has common roots with ancient fertility rituals from around the world, some of which you have encountered in this article. The Shinto folks are just more straightforward about it.
Happy Easter anyway! Here’s the stuff I promised. The dates on which these blog writers post will be from Good Friday to Easter Sunday this year.
Welcome to Blog Against Theocracy 2011
This is a blogswarm dedicated to the separation of church and state.
It is not a blogswarm against religion. Bloggers who believe in religion, and those who don't, are equally welcome here. What we share is a common commitment to the First Amendment to the Constitution and its guarantee of church-state separation.
This is also not a blogswarm against a particular candidate or party. But the rhetoric coming from the Republican side, particularly in courting Iowa evangelicals, gives us all pause. Nearly every "social issue" can be seen as a battle on the grounds of religious liberty. It is the position of this blogswarm that separation of church and state protects both, and that freedom of, or freedom from, religion is a choice every American has the right to pursue.
Here are addresses from the Blogswarm against Theocracy for 2010. You will find many interesting sites and articles there.
Blog Against Theocracy - 2010 Participants
Bloggers are also invited to participate via the #blogagainsttheocracy hashtag on twitter. Please be aware that the links below were submitted via a blog carnival form and I have not had a chance to read all of them yet. One great thing about blogswarms is the opportunity it affords to visit new blogs and engage in discussion with new voices. If you wish to engage in a discussion regarding a specific post, please do it at the blog indicated. Enjoy!
This is the website to find all those addresses. I tried five times to get them in the blog with clickable links but my technical incompetence won out in the end.