Thursday, April 5, 2012

Happy Easter

This Sunday many people celebrate the Christian holiday of Easter. To all of you who celebrate this, Happy Easter!

I like Easter from the standpoint it represents the beginning of spring. Flowers, sunshine, green grass, colored eggs, chocolate. All very pleasant things.

Unfortunately, I work with a man who is a Christian fundamentalist zealot. Such people are, well .... He has brought a variety of religious symbols to work this past week. He set up a wooden cross by his desk and has draped a purple ribbon over it. He has set up some children's books on his desk that are about the resurrection of Christ. Here is a picture of how this man believes Jesus looked - he has various pictures of Jesus that look like this on his desk or walls.

I always find it ... interesting ... that a lot of people believe Jesus looks like he grew up in Norway as opposed to having lived in the Middle East. I believe he grew up around Nazareth and, at that time, that was in Palestine. In any event, I have a strong suspicion he most likely did not have relatives named Sven or Ole.

I do believe it is very possible Jesus was married given his culture and the nature of the times in which he lived. Of course that is not a popular belief among many people who adhere to the bible but I think it is probably realistic.

In any event, I respect my co-worker's beliefs. I also respect people of any other religious persuasion. What I do not respect are people who believe they need to try and make me believe what they believe. Additionally, I do not respect people who refuse to respect other beliefs that do not line up with their own, and frequently very rigid, beliefs.

Still, I do think the Easter celebration is nice. Any time people can feel good about life - and, yes, Easter is a celebration of life over death - that is worthwhile. And I suppose it is harmless if people want to picture Jesus as being from Norway and having flowing blonde hair. Why not? No one was around to take pictures and we always like to think of our heroes as tall, good looking and strong.

Personally I find the Jewish celebration of Passover very interesting. I was not raised in a Jewish home and do not have much knowledge about Jewish religious beliefs, but I have found them to be most fascinating.

To me the Jewish religion is very dignified and often understated. I have worked with Jewish co-workers and they have never attempted to convert me to their beliefs - unlike the nutty guy I have to be around these days.

So though I will not be formally celebrating either Easter or Passover or any other religious holiday, if I were, I would most likely opt to go with a Passover celebration at this time of year.

To me, Easter is a time of year to celebrate spring. As for the religous observances that take place this time of year, they are best left to be celebrated in their place of worship and not in the work place.


Hilary said...

I'm leery of anyone who tries to persuade others that their way is the right way. I also like the idea of Easter representing the rebirth of life.. spring.. etc. I was raised Jewish and have attended many Passover seders through my life, though through not so many these latter years. Nice post, Russell.

Jo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jo said...

Very interesting subject. I used to discuss this a lot with my father when I was growing up. Both my parents were raised in very religious households, and I used to sing in the choir in the Anglican Church.

I watched a History Channel program about this very subject, and according to the Jewish laws and traditions at the time, Jesus could not have been a rabbi if he were not married. We really know very little about him, but I do believe he was married and had children as well. Why not? The message he gave was still the same, and a good one for everyone to follow today. I think he must have been a fabulously interesting person, and obviously was well-loved by everyone who met him.

Leslie: said...

As a believer, I do strongly disagree with this evangelical pushing of converting people to Christ. I know it says in the Bible you should go out and spread the word, but honestly, in this day and age most have heard "the word" and have the right to believe or disbelieve. I never go to Good Friday services because they're such a downer; I prefer to think of this time as you do - the coming of Spring which also brings with it new life. Take that as you will. Oh, and Happy Easter, Russell. :D

A Lady's Life said...

Today its all gone hay wire.
But I love Christmas and Easter.
Our ceremonies are so beautiful.
Religion is supposed to teach people to be nice to one another and the stories are examples of things which do repeat themselves through generations.I think kids benefit from learning something other than swear words from the modern culture.People take comfort in religious objects as they suggest kindness, mercy, forgiveness humbleness.Things we don't see much of in todays cold world. I have an icon I always carry and I truly believe I have an angel sitting on my shoulder which protects me from harm.I can tell you I've walked through some very dangerous paths unscathed.It makes a believer out of you.It never hurts to believe but from experience I've learned that when the time comes, God touches everyone. In the end it is between him and you .lol
Thats just the way it is.

Theresa McG said...

I was searching for a picture to represent Easter/spring that was not religious and landed on your blog. Nice post!