So, another Easter long weekend has finished. Going by what the media and people online portray, Easter means one of several things:
- The most significant event in the Christian calendar
- A chance to meet up with family
- An excuse to sell novelty chocolate
- Four days to do home improvement projects in
- “Zombie Jesus Day”
Australia is apparently a Christian country. It (as a nation and not a collection of tribes) was founded by Christians, its laws and system of justice are based upon Christian ethics, the collective morality was initially highly Christian, and the society in general was Christian. As part of this last point, we have a four day long weekend for Easter (with Good Friday and Easter Monday both being public holidays), and another public holiday for Christmas (with Boxing Day being thrown in as part of the English heritage of the nation). The purpose of these holidays? To let the good Australian Christians go off to commemorate and think.
Yet now, that first point is hardly ever mentioned: I’ve just flew back to Canberra a few hours ago from spending Easter with my family back in Brisbane and picked up the Sunday paper, to find the only mention to do with the Christian relation to Easter is to tie in the latest round of sexual abuse scandals to this most sacred time of the year. Being a Christian is now out of vogue; maybe there is something to the Pope’s allegations of anti-Catholic sentiments being promoted. But I digress.
I can accept the second rationale for Easter being at least partially true, especially for those who are not “religiously” (if you’ll excuse the pun) Christian or indeed are of a different faith but who take advantage of the long weekend. However, I find the latter three “reasons” rather offensive. Crass commercialism is bad enough, but for Ferrero Rocher to suggest that ancient Greek gods celebrated Easter?!?!? Where is the sense in that? And why is it that the only reason people have to not go to work is so that they can go and spend time working at home? What is wrong with just relaxing and enjoying yourself rather than feeling guilty because you know that you have a wobbly front step but you’re not taking advantage of a sale at the local hardware store to fix it?
Finally, let’s consider the “Zombie Jesus” supposed joke that’s going around. Why is it that only Christians lean over so backwards that they can’t even consider offending anyone else’s beliefs but are more than willing to let theirs be ridiculed? I’m not proposing a crusade against whoever first coined that phrase, but the willing acceptance and joking usage of it is detrimental to our own selves. In fact, if anyone ever tries to promote Christianity then they’re usually declared some kind of fundamentalist. (Disclaimer: I believe in everyone being able to make the decision themselves with no-one advocating for or actively degrading any particular belief system.)
But OK, you disagree with all my arguments. You think religion is overrated, you think people should be able to do whatever they want to do, etc. Fine. But in that case, spread it around. There are plenty of other beliefs to impune whilst you’re at it: Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. So why don’t hardware stores promote Ramadam as the perfect time to paint the house, or have ancient Greek gods partying for Passover, or have Zombie Vishnu day?
Fair’s fair: you pick on one, you pick on all of them. Go on, I dare you.
Didn’t think you’d do it. And isn’t that the saddest thing of all: that we’re all such cowards that we know that Christians won’t actively fight back so they get picked on, whereas we don’t dare say anything mean about Muslims, Jews, etc.
Edit: Thank you for reading and commenting on this article. However, if you’re going to keep missing the point by trying to point out the problems with Christianity, etc. then I’m just going to delete your comment. I frankly care what you believe in; the point of this blog post was to vent about companies and people either ridiculing or down-playing Christianity when they wouldn’t have the balls to do so about other religions (and yes, I’ve talked to people about this who admitted that they would never dare talk about “Zombie Mohammed” or the like for fear of personal attack).
Edit 2: Due to the number of personal attacks I’m getting (and people still not getting what I consider to be the point) I’m disabling any future comments. Don’t like it? That’s your opinion, but I’m not talking about persecution here; I’m talking about mockery and devaluing of belief systems and whether people do it to all beliefs or just to one. Feel free to disagree with me; that is your prerogative, but quite frankly I don’t care. I write here because I want to, not to cater for anyone in particular.