Easter Sunday. 2016. A very big day at the Vatican, among other locations where the Christian faithful pay homage to Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, three days after his crucifixion by order of Pontius Pilate somewhere around (it is speculated) A.D.30-33.
Those who speculate on more than the exact date of the crucifixion, as in the veracity of the entire narrative of Jesus’ healing powers and being the son of god (hmm, should that be Son of God, punctuation-wise?) and all the rest, are the notorious agnostics. Those who don’t bother to speculate at all, and just dismiss the narrative, along with just about every last word in the Old and New Testaments, are called atheists. Or Infidels, in some circles.
In various parts of the world not being a true believer can get you killed. No, wait. I must be more specific. In some places, not being the true believer can get you killed because you DO believe in a god–just the wrong one. Think, of course, of the current conflict between the Christian and Muslim faiths. Jesus and Mohammad. Oh, there are other, different gods and faiths and followers of each, from Buddhism to Hinduism to Rastafarianism, with threads of Christianity woven through some, others not so much.
Call me an atheionostic. As such, I doubt (how can I know for certain?) there is a god or supreme power or major mojo domo that conforms precisely to any organized religion or system of belief. Hey, realize that atheism is a system of belief. So, to not believe in any religion/god is to believe in something. I, you, everyone thus does believe. Even when you don’t. And regardless, as noted above, any of these “beliefs” can get a person killed. Usually in the name of some god or other. So, if you want to believe in a specific god, best keep it to yourself, eh?
Never has so much blood been shed as for that of the kingdom of god…
So, happy Easter Sunday, you true believers of that Christian narrative. It’s your day. Peace and love!
But, alas, just today in Lahore, Pakistan, over 60 people, many women and children, died in yet another terror attack–targeting the Christian minority in that area. Muslim extremists are the suspects. A few days ago it was Brussels. And countless others before that; long, LONG before that. Perhaps some of these horrific acts are more political than religious in their antecedents, but political movements are systems of belief. In my world, that’s the same as being a religion, though it does seem that religious factions usually claim responsibility.
Jesus Christ may or may not have literally risen from the dead, but what does it matter, anyway, if there is an ultimate god of any sort or not?, because that god sure isn’t directly, assertively doing anything to stop the carnage that takes place in its name. When someone dies in a suicide bombing or car bombing or other means of snuffing out precious human life (or maybe not so precious?) those left behind likely pray for their departed. Those who survive, many times, immediately thank “god”.
Why is their god so arbitrary as far as who lives and dies when the terror comes? And, again, why does this “almighty” deity not intervene, strike the terrorist dead in his or her tracks before detonating and let innocents live? What? This god permits free will? If so, why bother having this god if it includes the will to kill others simply because they have backed another deity? Wait, the sinner will pay in the next life? There’s no logic in that line of thinking. Just blind, desperate, wishful thinking in order to feel the guilty will endure punishment. Unknowable, however, logic would dictate.
That’s why I can’t buy into any religion that has a “book” behind it (that the whack jobs interpret to justify the terror attacks on perceived “enemies”) and temples and churches (where those same loose cannons likely lurk). It all defies logic. As someone who once actually was present at THE Vatican on Easter Sunday, I sincerely can state that I simply sensed a lot of people gathered there in front of a big, lavishly designed building. What I witnessed was not much different than showing up at Soldier Field to watch the Chicago Bears and hoping for salvation in the form of a victory. (Sports. Another religion). Anyway, I wasn’t stricken dead by a bolt from above for not being enthralled or spiritually elevated that Easter Sunday. Fortunately, there were no nasty incidents of any kind that morning in Rome. Whew!
Then again, logic also dictates I can’t help but feel there has to be some kind of creator behind our existence. But what that is? What?! We came from something. From somewhere. Somehow. Big Bang theory? Yeah, well who set the fuse to ignite that explosion? Madness…
Well, if Jesus came back from the dead, maybe someone else eventually will, too. Then he or she can explain in plain, universal, language the coming and going and coming again and who is the operator behind that curtain, that one over there, that we’re not suppose to pay any attention to whether we believe it’s there or not because it’s impossible to see anyway. If you see the Buddha by the side of the road, kill him! Why? Because it has to be an imposter. The Buddha, as with all deities, is merely a mental construct, held together with spiritual brick and mortar.
In the meantime, do unto others as you would have them do unto you…
Wait. Never mind. That scripturally derived advice doesn’t seem to be working. But keep that belief/faith, baby!, whatever it is. You have one, whether you want to admit it (or even know it) or not. But don’t kill anyone for not sharing whatever that mind-set is, okay?