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.