Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Little Heresy in Honor of the Equinox

Happy spring, readers! I was thinking yesterday about the then-approaching equinox and about how early Easter is this year. Actually, my initial thought was "Damn! Four days to Easter, and I haven't bought chocolate bunnies or egg dye yet!" but we can pretend that I was thinking something more profound, yes?

A few weeks ago, I was in the car with YFU, and she was asking me why Easter moves every year, and I had to explain to her that Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. (Thank God we live in a Christian society, right?) She thought that seemed, well, inefficient. I told her that I found it odd that the most important Christian holiday seemed to carry the greatest number of trappings from its pagan forebears, but she had trouble getting her mind around the idea that any holiday, for any reason, could be more important than Christmas. So I gave her my spiel about how the birth of Jesus is important, yes, but what really gave us the Crusades, the Inquisition, and Pope Hitler is the belief that Jesus rose from the dead. (I may have phrased it differently.) She still maintained that without Jesus' birth, none of that would have been possible, but I countered that, if you drink the Jesus Kool-Aid, what really matters is not so much that a virgin gave birth. What really matters is that a virgin got knocked up in the first place. Once you're pregnant, giving birth is, well, it's still a big deal, but it sort of follows as a matter of course. And if you count back nine months from the putative birthday of Christ, you're right back at Easter time. In the end, YFU decided to accept my premise, so long as I could assure her that it would not lead to any fewer Christmas presents.

I tend to go with the notion that humankind's post-religious era began with the publication of On the Origin of the Species and that the subsequent three centuries (of which period we are now about halfway through) is the amount of time that it will take before everyone gets away from the concept of a divine mover. I'm almost certainly mistaken, of course: opiate of the masses, and all that. I'd love to see our spirituality move away from its current commandments and deism foundation and towards something based on non-deistic mythology, but I'm not holding my breath.

Anyway, I can't help thinking about Easter without thinking about what a horny lot the disciples must have been. Conservative Christians become positively apoplectic if you mention it, but it's pretty clear from the Gospels that Jesus and John were a couple. Clearly, Jesus had to sleep around some to keep all the disciples in line, but most nights, I'm sure, found him spooning with John after the post-coital, historically accurate cigarette precursor. Thousands of years of history could have been radically different if Jesus had kept in mind the fundamental rule of group sex situations: even numbers! I'm sure he thought that by having twelve disciples, he was assuring himself a constant supply of cock and/or ass, but in a sexually repressed society, nobody gets much beyond pairing up (however briefly the pairings last), and that means that with thirteen people, somebody's going to get left out. Hello, Judas.

Sexual jealousy has always struck me as the most likely reason for Judas to sell Jesus out, and I'm sure that if you had a close-knit group of thirteen guys wandering around, there would have been plenty of rumors and a close-minded populace only too willing to sacrifice a sacrilegious nancy boy. It's hard for me not to see the crucifixion as an early gay bashing. As it happens, Judas appears to have miscalculated. Clearly he hoped that with Jesus out of the way, he'd have a clear shot at John, but when that didn't happen, he killed himself. Drama queen.

Anyway, none of this is meant to keep you from enjoying your chocolate bunnies. As with all things oral, I am a reverse size queen. I prefer my bunnies small, solid, and dark. I will confess, however, that I enjoy a prominent set of ears. It's very satisfying to grin mischievously as you bite them off. Not that anyone would see the grin. I prefer to eat my bunnies privately and, if possible, with the lights out. But chacun a son gout, I reckon. If you like to make a big show of eating your giant hollow milk chocolate Easter bunny, I am not going to judge you.

I'm totally judging you, though, if you're going to eat Peeps. Jesus wouldn't approve, either.


Lewis said...

Oh, hell....and here I ate three of the original yellow chicken peeps just last night. I guess I'm in major trouble.

The Neighbors Will Hear said...

Tsk, Lewis. I won't say any more right now. After all, you ate the peeps, so you're kind of like the seventeen-year-old kid who went to a party and got really, really drunk on vodka and fruit punch and who's up all night worshipping the porcelain goddess, and I'm kind of like the father who wakes up at 3 am, walks by the bathroom, and says, "I reckon he's suffered enough."

Jason said...

By the time Jesus and his entourage entered Jerusalem, hadn't John's head already ended upon a platter?

I agree that our spirituality are not to be based on commandments, but of the mythic nature [of Truth]. Our spirituality fulfills the commandments, tho.

Now, do I get the most bunny and carrot candy, TED?

franck said...

I think Jason has his Johns all mixed up (as well as his grammar - I wonder why Easter brings out the bitch in me)

Anyway, I suppose I could have googled it, but I'm glad someone finally explained to me why Easter moves.

Jason said...

Franck, Easter didn't bring it out. Just get rid of her.

The Neighbors Will Hear said...

Don't be so hard on yourself, Franck. I'm sure your inner bitch is out at all times. ;-)

Jason, you have indeed mistaken John the Baptist, who was something of a proto-bear hermit, with the disciple John, the putative author of both the eponymous gospel and the Revelations.

I never comment on the size of a man's bunny, but I'll certainly reserve a carrot for you.

Anonymous said...

And Jesus entrusted John to Mary and Mary to John. I'm not sure I could do that level of mother in law commitment. Could you?

The Neighbors Will Hear said...

Good point, anon. I'd say that mother-in-law relations in our household, on both sides, are cordial. But if either of us were being crucified, I think we'd rely on our sisters to look after our mothers. Maybe Jesus' failure to do so is why the Catholics are so insistent on the idea that Mary remained a virgin and Jesus was an only child.

Personally, I think Jesus was just still holding a grudge from when he was little and his sisters yelled at him whenever he played dress-up in their clothing, but the record is distressingly silent on that count.