Samurai Dave: The Roving Ronin Report

Rambling Narrative of Travels, Thoughts, and Embellishments

THE JEWS KILLED JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THE JEWS KILLED JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The ridiculousness of an ancient blame

Ugh! Was it something I said?

Easter is a joyous occassion for those of the Christian faith. A day of to remember when Jesus Christ rose from the dead with the promise of life ever after. It’s a day to solemnly reflect how this Christian holiday with all its less than subvert pagan trapppings came about in the first place, namely that: the Jews Killed Jesus!!! And Thank God for that! Otherwise Christianity would be up the spiritual creek without a paddle in lacking a messiah to die for our sins and come back.

Well, another Easter has come and gone. The pagan Easter Bunny has laid his colorful pagan eggs for all the good Christian girls and boys while Jesus Christ has been crucified, buried, and risen from the grave again. Now it’s time to start thinking about Christmas shopping.

But the lingering gloomy shadow of Easter is ever present and has been for a long time. What should have been a simple celebration of a holy man’s selfless sacrifice and resurrection sprinkled with pagan fertility symbolism has long been used as fuel in the furnace of Anti-Semitism.

Comedian or Christ-Killer?

“The Jews killed Jesus” – this has been the claim of Anti-Semites for centuries during the Middle Ages until the Age of Enlightenment forced them to abandon such mystical religious nonsense and scientifically rationalize their prejudice with racism.

Jesus was accused of heresy by the Jewish high council, the Sanhedrin, and handed over to the occupying Romans to be executed for sedition against Rome by reportedly claiming the title “King of the Jews.” The Roman governor offered the crowd a choice between freeing a known murderer and Jesus and the crowd chose the murderer.

From a religious standpoint, the claim of “Jews killed Jesus” should not have created such fury. After all, if those Christians who hated (and still hate) the Jews for supposedly killing their messiah actually read the Bible (and read between the lines rather than taking things so literally) they would have understood that Jesus’ death was pretty much pre-ordained and a necessity for the Christian religion.

So Christians should keep the Jews warm in their heart every Easter season and send them thank you cards because otherwise they’d be burning in hell for being pagans never having heard about the true religion. Let’s face it, without the Crucifixion and resurrection, would Dark Age Goths and the like have been as willing to give up their bloody and fierce gods for the words of an unemployed carpenter living in the desert? I don’t think the party tricks of multiplying of fish and bread or turning water into wine would have wowed the pagan barbarians back then.


Jesus’s Death = MC Square

Personally, I’ve never really understood that bit of animosity towards Jews and I even went to Catholic School for 6 years – before someone left a window open but that’s another story. Not once in those 6 years, did I ever get the impression Jews were in any way shape or form bad people. After all Jesus was a Jew as I had been taught so a certain amount of respect was to be accorded to the Jewish people. This view may seem astoundingly strange to be espoused by a member of a religious organization that long held Jews in contempt and blamed them for killing the founder of their religion.

My Catholic upbringing was somewhat different than perhaps traditional Catholic upbringings. Being Catholic in the Southern part of America is somewhat different than being one in New England, Ireland, or Italy. Catholics are a minority that are not entirely understood. Some southern Christians groups don’t believe Catholics are even Christians. So being in a minority perhaps has lent Southern Catholics a more sympathetic disposition. In addition I grew up after a number of reforms had swept through the Catholic Church under the second Vatican Council and more importantly I grew up after the 1960s. My church was a former barn founded by former hippies. Even my staid conservative Catholic school had us singing 60s folk songs during Mass.

My Mother made me kill Jesus

Due to this different upbringing, I naively thought for a long time Anti-Semitism was just some bizarre psychological disease that only the Nazis had mysteriously suffered from. When I began studying history more intently, I couldn’t understand the reason for all the hostility towards the Jews during the Middle Ages – I could understand the anger over whole money thing since money is often a source of ill will but this whole “Jews killed Jesus” thing just struck me as absolute nonsense. Yet it was precisely this reason that Jews were so persecuted by Christian society that one of the only profession they could take up was money-lending which in turn incurred further resentment.

Emperor Constantine who made Christianity the official religion of the flailing Roman Empire had this to say about Easter and Jews:

…it appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of this most holy feast we should follow the practice of the Jews, who have impiously defiled their hands with enormous sin, and are, therefore, deservedly afflicted with blindness of soul. Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd; for we have received from our Savior a different way…

He was blaming the entirety of the Jews for Jesus’ cosmically pre-planned execution 3 centuries beforehand! Talk about sins of the father! In this case the sins of the father’s father’s father’s father’s father’s father’s… well, you get the idea. I’m pretty sure not every Jewish person was even in Jerusalem at that time.

Set Phazers to Crucifixion Level, Mr. Spock!

Even the later Anti-Semitism founded in scientific racism and Social Darwinism had its roots in this religious bias. Such hatred was so traditional that it couldn’t be tossed aside with the coming of science and reason; so the prejudice was backed up with spurious scientific theories of racial superiority.

But what they all overlooked was the huge favor the “Christ-killing” Jews did for Christianity. Christianity needed a dead savior to be more marketable back in those times. Without the Crucifixion, there’d be no Easter. There’d be no Christian symbolism to attach to and dominate pagan spring rituals. There’d be no Easter Bunny, no fish sticks on Fridays, and probably no Christmas or Santa Claus even. And more importantly there’d be no resurrection – the main selling point of Christianity to simpleminded people who couldn’t (and still can’t) look past the magical bells and whistles to the underlying message of peace to your fellow man and all that jazz.

By killing Jesus, the Jews in affect saved Christianity and we’ve shown them piss-poor gratitude in return. So if you’re Christian, hug a Jew today and say to them: “Thank you for killing my Messiah! I’d probably be worshipping trees and sacrificing virgins to the Cthulhu or some other pagan devil if it weren’t for you and your people!”

April 10, 2007 Posted by | Anti-Semitism, Catholic, Christianity, Crucifixition, easter, easter bunny, Jesus, Jews, life, Resurrection, satire, travel | 12 Comments

The Easter Bunny Conundrum

Is the Easter Bunny a Controversial Christian Symbol or a Godless Pagan Icon?

It’s Easter again. Time for young children to be forced against their will by their parents to put on uncomfortable tight-fitting new Easter clothes so they can be exploited by picture-snapping, cheek-pinching relatives. Then it’s off to Church where suffering tykes have to endure a lengthy and boring Easter Service that they can’t possibly hope to understand.

The only thing that brings them comfort and makes the day worth it is the traditional hunt for colorfully painted Easter eggs left by Santa Claus’s estranged cousin: the Easter Bunny.

Christian Symbol or Furry Pagan Idol?

The Easter Bunny is so thoroughly mixed into Easter traditions that he often upstages the main focus of the holiday namely Jesus Christ Himself. Jesus had to be crucified, buried, and resurrected in order to qualify for a second holiday. The Easter Bunny did not have to go through such ordeals and yet he gets equal if not top billing on Easter.

Due to the bunny’s traditional presence on Easter, some feel he is too Christian of a symbol to use in certain secular situations particularly in government. Recently, the city council of St. Paul, Minnesota, felt it necessary to remove Easter Bunny decorations from its premises lest someone not of the Christian faith become offended by the sight of a toy bunny with a basket of fake Easter eggs.

Apparently no one on St. Paul’s city council has ever had a chat with fundamentalist Christians on this matter. Fundamentalist Christians would have applauded the removal of the Easter Bunny but for different reasons. To them the Easter Bunny is just a bit of leftover godless pagan idolatry.

How did that wascally Easter Bunny worm his way into a holiday that seemingly has nothing to do with him? The rabbit and his close cousin, the hare, have long been regarded as the heralds of spring in ancient cultures throughout many parts of the world. They were seen as symbols of Spring’s promise of new life and fertility.

The Germans in the 16th Century incorporated the old pagan view of the rabbit/hare into a slightly modified new role as Oschter Haws. Oschter Haws it was believed would actually lay a nest of magically colored eggs for all the good girls and boys. One is hesitant to think about what he left for bad children but chances are it would have been less preferable to the lumps of coal Santa would leave for such children.

Eggs like the rabbit had long been seen as symbols of life and renewal. Servants were once given eggs as gifts from their masters on Easter during the Middle Ages. From this came the concept of the Easter Egg but it was not until the late 19th Century that the eggs and bunny would truly come together.

German immigrants to the New World in the 1700s brought over their Oschter Haws tradition. Over time the Easter Bunny tradition was born and became firmly entrenched in American culture.

Overall it should not come as much of a surprise that two completely non-Christian symbols such as the rabbit/hare and eggs have become so tightly woven into the Easter holiday.

The Easter holiday itself represents a bit of early Catholic salesmanship to potential pagan converts. It was noted by Christian missionaries that many pagan cultures already celebrated spring fertility rituals around the same time as the remembrance of Christ’s resurrection. The word Easter, according to the the 8th Century English historian monk Bede, is derived from the pagan Anglo-Saxon goddess of Spring and fertility, Eostre. The hare is beleived to have been her sacred animal.

The Goddess Eoster and her Hare

Mythologically-speaking the resurrection of Christ, the Easter Bunny, and Easter eggs are very much the same in their symbolism. They all represent new life that comes with the Spring season so it was only natural that pagan converts would retain these images and mesh them with their new faith.

Despite these symbolic similarities, however, some fundamentalist Christians see red every time that heathen bunny hops onto the scene each Easter with his hell-wrought basket of godless Easter eggs – the Easter Basket tradition actually comes from an old Catholic custom of blessing food in a basket on Easter but fundamentalists often don’t hold Catholicism terribly high either above paganism.

An Easter Postcard of an Angel that looks similar to the old Eoster

While the St. Paul city council recently felt the Easter Bunny symbol too Christian, two years ago a fundamentalist sect in Pennsylvania was under no such illusion. They demonstrated their animosity towards this pagan interloper in a religious play.

In trying to get Easter back to its roots with the fertility cults, eggs, maypole dances …. oops! that is: Jesus Christ and the resurrection, the Pennsylvanian Glassport Assembly of God during a morality play decided to whip up on the ole Easter Bunny while chanting: “There is no Easter Bunny! There is no Easter Bunny!”

They whipped and beat a person dressed up as the Easter bunny and broke Easter eggs in a frenzy of Christian cleansing. Their purpose they claimed was to show that Easter is not about the Easter Bunny but about Jesus Christ.

Needless to say many of the 3-6 year old audience members were a bit confused over the message the Glassport Assembly of God was trying to convey. The small young audience members simply wondered through their big bubbly bright tears why the Easter Bunny was getting the stuffing knocked out of him.

With both situations, it’s a case of overreaction coupled with sheer foolishness. The Easter Bunny is a harmless entity much like Santa Claus. If it gives children joy and eases their suffering on Easter Sunday, then more power to the Easter Bunny.

March 22, 2007 Posted by | animals, Blogroll, easter, easter bunny, easter eggs, fertility, life, mythology, spring, tradition | Leave a comment