03.20.2012 – Easter….BLAH!
In our annual travels around the sun each year, we humans mark milestone occasions with celebrations of all kinds. The timing of these events are often the same (if not very close) for all of us, but the content of the celebratory phenomenon vary wildly. Most have some kind of religious origins. Even if those origins just served to explain some kind of natural occurrence that our ancestors were too primitive to understand.
Most of these ‘holidays’ are opportunities to unite with family, relax with time off work, and generally just blow off steam. And as a secular member of our species, there are generally ways to enjoy the day without having to acknowledge the religious implications that most of the rest of humanity projects onto the day.
Then there’s Easter. Oy…Easter! I realize that the origins go back to the spring equinox celebrated by pagan civilizations far back into antiquity. However, in fundamentalist America, there’s little one can do to avoid the seemingly endless poundings of “He is Risen”. Or “Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice”. Or “The powers of Hell are defeated”. Yadda yadda yadda!
In my atheism, I’ve grown more and more weary of this day each year. I know I could just ignore it, but I’d have to nearly live as a recluse in order to avoid all that mumbo jumbo. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about living in a world where the M.O. is “To each, his (or her) own”. However, it seems the reality is that I’m living in a world where that viewpoint is very much a minority perspective. I don’t, however, want to be a grumpy old man when it comes to these things. I’m trying to find a way to leave it be, and not drive myself nuts in the same breathe. That’s the challenge. I never want to tell someone what to believe or think or how they should celebrate (and I never would). I just wish that was reciprocated more. And Easter seems to be the one holiday where that reciprocity is violated more than any other.
On that note, I’m going to send out a Happy Equinox and Happy Spring to ALL members of humanity. I will be doing my best to enjoy ushering in longer, warmer days, green and multicolored landscapes, and the prospect of life beginning once again.