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Why I Love Easter

I love Easter. While my wife loves Easter for the chocolate, I love this holiday because I get to take advantage of Christian laziness. You see, while it is common knowledge that Christmas was stolen from the Pagan holiday of Yule or the Winter Solstice, at least the Church had the good sense to change the name. During this time of year all I really have to do is ask Christians about the meaning of the Easter. They of course start telling me about how it is the most important holiday to Christians and how Jesus died and was reborn for them. I usually have to stop them and restate the question.

“No, no,” I say, “what does the name ‘Easter’ mean?”

And the crowd goes silent and I have to explain to them that it actually comes from the Pagan Goddess Eostre. Of course many Christians don’t believe me so I have to ask them about the Easter Bunny. I don’t recall anything in the Bible talking about Jesus owning a hare. And what is the deal the Easter Eggs? Where does the Bible talk about that? Of course, the Bible doesn’t talk about Easter at all nor did Jesus have a pet Easter Bunny. In fact, the modern holiday of Easter is actually a combination of various Pagan beliefs.

For starters, the idea of death and resurrection was a common theme during this time of year. Winter is ending and Spring is the rebirth of the world. This was the idea of the half God Attis who like Jesus was born of a virgin, died on March 22nd and resurrected on March 25th. Count that one out for me. How many days was he dead for again? Three day? Just like Jesus. What a coincidence.

Then of course there is the story of the Goddess Eostre herself who the holiday is STILL named after. The story claims that the Goddess came upon a little girl who had found a dying bird. The girl asked Eostre for help because the bird was not use to the cold weather. Eostre then melted the snow and brought about the Spring. She then turned the bird into a hare that laid rainbow eggs and told the young girl to watch every year for the hare as a sign of the Spring Season. Traditionally, the Eostre Festival has always been a holiday focusing on change to mirror the changing of the seasons and fertility to mirror the new life of Spring from Winter.

While Christians have put their own story in place of the older stories their lack of imagination clearly shows that the Jesus story, like that of Attis and Eostre is fictional. Perhaps we should remember the old stories and what they symbolized. I think the idea of fertility and change are still very value to today’s society.

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  • http://shaunphilly.wordpress.com Shaun

    Meh…

    Pagan, Christian, or whatever, they are all myths to me. Let’s just say that such things are commonly myth-understood.

    In all seriousness, I am still surprised how little Christians are unaware of the history of their religious beliefs, holidays, and rituals. I suppose I should cease being surprised, but I just have to keep having hope that the day will come when people will actually think about and investigate their beliefs.

    I may be waiting for some time…

  • Burch

    The Eostre story would be a far better one to acknowledge than the rather strange and macabre events of a guy who got nailed to a cross and then rose from the dead.

  • Corporations8MyBaby

    And the easter bunny lives in ancient Nazareth.. which also apparently never existed… and may have pagan roots.

  • Mr. X

    I just ran a quick search on the etymology of “estrus,” a term for the female’s fertile period of her cycle… not only Easter, but also estrogen and East (the direction the “reborn sun” rises from!) all come from the same etymological root – Eostre.

  • http://Facebook Ed Baker

    I love Easter for the coconut cream eggs and Reeses Chocolate eggs .
    I guess I am just like the children of christians,being lured by Candy into the dark alley-way of believing .I do believe in Candy though ……not the idea of christianity .

  • Barry

    This will make for some interesting conversation around the Easter table, at my mom’s (yes, I go and “celebrate” Easter with my family of Xtians every year. Keeping the peace! LOL!).

  • http://www.myspace.com/andrewtheatheist AndrewtheAtheist

    So the egg-laying rabbit IS based upon a legend! I didn’t know that. I did know that Easter falls on the first Suday following the first full moon following the Vernal Equinox. Sounds like a very Pagan way of marking a holiday to me.

    I can imagine the first Christians evangelizing to the pagans saying, “Yeah, we celebrate the same thing! Ours just falls on Sunday!” We are Christians. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

  • Philosopher Loic

    Ha Ha ha! Love the Post i swear Mr.Dangerous Talk Should get a talk show. Nice way to lay the truth down through textual evidence. I’m “forced” to go to church sunday because of this fucking holiday i have no interest in better words *religion*; people in there are so ignorant to the truth. In the great words of my philosopher before my time,
    “Ignorance is the greatest evil.” – Plato

    • http://www.myspace.com/illicit_paradigm Illicit Paradigm

      I love Plato myself. Thought I’d input a few of my own favorites.

      Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another. ~Plato, The Republic

      The partisan, when he is engaged in a dispute, cares nothing about the rights of the question, but is anxious only to convince his hearers of his own assertions.
      ~Plato, Dialogues, Phaedo

      We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real
      tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
      ~Plato

      Gotta love interpretation and context.

  • http://shaunphilly.wordpress.com ShaunPhilly

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyLQIKl97Es&eurl

    makes as much sense as Christianity.

  • CW

    C’mon, do your homework. No one has ever claimed the word ‘Easter’ as being Biblical or even theologically based. The name stuck because of the month Christ’s resurrection was celebrated in the middle ages. It’s the name of the MONTH that has the pagan roots you refer to, not the Christian celebration that takes place in this month.

    I’ve noticed in reading through your previous posts that you make a habit out of exaggerating half truths like what this post is based on. If you spent half the time actually researching or even thinking about your topics rather than continually beating down straw men you might produce a cogent thought.

    • http://www.myspace.com/andrewtheatheist AndrewtheAtheist

      Which month? The month of Easter? Who said Easter was Biblical? I thought he said it was pagan. Is the bible based upon pagan rituals?

      Scarecrows, indeed.

    • admin

      The name of the month was because that was the month that the Goddess Eostre brought Spring. The month was named after HER. So by extension, the Christian holiday was also named after her. Also, as I mentioned before, Jesus died and was resurrected on the exact same days that the half-god Attis was. What a coincidence. It’s amazing. Did the Romans plan it that way? I wonder…

      As for half-truths, name them and give examples.
      -Staks

      • http://www.myspace.com/illicit_paradigm Illicit Paradigm

        The base of the word meant “to shine” , “to bring light upon”, or “to shimmer with life”. Whether they meant it as a religious reference to Eostre or simply was referring to an actual, physical light is unclear. The actual root of the month is muddled, so stating that SHE was the namesake is assuming quite a bit. It roots back to PIE “au’es” thus the definition above. The monk, Bede, was a scholar and normally given credit for surfacing the root, but many scholars have since questioned his surmise based on the true root of the word and earlier accounts of its use. Keep in mind Bede wrote a single passage dedicated to her, that’s it and that encompasses most of the earlier knowledge surrounding the subject. As for Attis, he was a minor semi-god among the more prevelant at the time. Cybele was the main character in the story, Attis on par with Noah of the Bible. There were stories, but hardly a deity that the church would find threatening. Especially due to the overwhelming knack of self/religious castration as followed by worshippers of Cybele, she wasn’t the deity of choice you’d say. Attis’ resurrection, if you call it that, into a fir tree is a stretch for comparison. It can be made, but if you’re going to tell the story, do it completely. Oh, and with such horrid records of the actual beliefs and teachings of Cybele, I’d like to know which scholar pinned down the date for Attis’ death/rebirth. I’ve done an extensive amount of research because this isn’t the first time this subject has raised itself and have yet to come across anything solid. Sate my curiosity? Since the date of Easter wasn’t set for centuries later, long after the religious peak of Cybele, how can it be said that he was the driving force for the church?

  • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

    Things have meaning because we give them meaning….it doesn’t really matter what the original meaning of Easter was, well I mean it does matter but not in regards to how Christians celebrate it. However, it is sad that people don’t know where it came from….but we give days meaning, and meanings such as these can change.

    • admin

      So Matt, you don’t think it is odd in the slightest that your God just happened to die and be reborn the the exact same day as the Attis? And that both clearly were attempts to explain the changing of the seasons? Just admit that your God is a false God and that people stole the old stories.
      -Staks

      • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

        hmmm I find it interesting that you capitalized God…you usually don’t. Hmmmmmmm

        I don’t know who Attis is…there are so many various pagan god’s….probably because humans are spiritual beings and have always been inclined to believe in a “higher power” or something that “guides” us….go figure.

  • MIkka

    Easter, its another day off of work. Its more of an excuse than anything else just like all the other holidays that are on the calendar with the bold print.Stores bank on these days and airlines raise their prices on these days and families use these days as an excuse to hang out with each other (sad excuse). Most people expect to get paid double their wages to work these days while some kill themselves because it represents going with out and or a screwed economy.The church expects their biggest pay day on these days from the sheep with no faces.It’s all about monetary gain on easter sunday for the church from their mass of weak victims that need to be told what to do and how to love and how to be saved and at what cost for this affection.Sad that they can’t come up with a more exciting tale to tell. Lack of imagination! I do like the cannibalism and the walking dead parts. Makes for a good horror flick.
    This is really random but its what came to mind tonight after reading this.

  • http://dp-spot.blogspot.com/ dP

    Could it be that Christians kept the name and date in a sort of concent with the Pegans? Just to make it easier to convert them, I mean. I can imagine such dates always have been important to people.

  • CW

    In your quest to believe nothing, you folks will believe anything.

    Happy Easter!

    • admin

      That is such a ridiculous statement Chad. You never even asked what I believe, so how can you assert that I “believe nothing.” Just because I don’t believe dogmatically with 100% certainty that your deity of choice exists (or any other deity for that matter) doesn’t me that I have no reasoned and continually questioned beliefs of my own. But history is history and you have chosen to ignore the obvious history of former gods in order to justify the continued unquestioned belief in your own deity. So sad,
      -Staks

      • CW

        Forgive my attempt at sarcasm. Obviously it’s impossible to believe in nothing (for even believing in nothing is something), yet you seem to be trying so hard to accomplish the impossible. In your own words you have continually questioned your own beliefs (I applaud your choice of ‘beliefs’ over ‘knowledge’, btw). But by what standard do you evaluate your beliefs? By reason or logic? That’s fine, except when you continually deny a transcendent deity you also throw out any meaningful basis for the existence of reason and logic. Ultimately you’re left with no absolute, independent norm by which to assess your epistemology; you’re left with nothing.

        This post is a classic example of your dogmatism. On one hand you have thousands of years of Judeo-Christian scholarship, hundreds of thousands of pages of theology, and scads of architectural evidences of scriptural authenticity. Yet, you would rather attribute the Christian affirmation of the resurrection to a half baked theory involving a rainbow egg laying bunny! And you accuse me of ignoring the obvious?

        I apologize if I insinuated that your beliefs are unquestioned. I’ve enjoyed the few discussions we’ve had and I look forward to more, that is if you’ll extend me the same courtesy and not accuse me of unquestioned belief.

        • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

          Very nice CW…..this is often the standpoint I will argue from regarding the existence of logic and reason for the atheist. I have never gotten a decent answer as to it’s basis without the existence of an absolute standard. (God)

  • Mike

    To CW,

    To quote Mulder, “I want to believe.” That desire is what initially led me to question and search for proof that the Christian version of god was real, but despite my desire to believe, I could not look past the logical problems and patchwork leaps of faith. Wouldn’t one rather believe that there is a god who will take care of us, and that when we die we will go to heaven and live eternally in paradise with all of our past family and friends? Who is more likely to delude themselves into their beliefs, the Christian or the Atheist? I want to believe, I just can’t.

    • CW

      Well, I’d like to believe that you want to believe, but first you need to be honest with yourself rather than exchanging the truth for a lie (Romans 1:25). Let’s look at how you’ve done this in each of your assertions:

      - “I could not look past the logical problems…” I’ll admit that Christian Theism often clashes with our understanding of logic. But as I’ve been discussing with Staks in the above dialogue, atheism on one hand clings with all its might to reason and logic, yet on the other hand can offer no justification for their use.

      - “…patchwork leaps of faith.” The Christian wholeheartedly embraces and acknowledges his faith. The atheist rails against the concept, but yet is every bit as dependent upon it as the Christian. The atheist faithfully trusts his proof-deprived belief that his species randomly evolved from a puddle of goo and that his existence will cease upon assuming room temperature.

      - “Wouldn’t one rather believe that there is a god who will take care of us…” Reminds me of Pascal’s wager, which in my opinion is a intellectually lazy rational for belief. Besides, all of human history stands in opposition to your statement; mankind has a continual habit of turning our backs upon God and His promises. This started with Adam & Eve, continued with the Hebrews, and unfortunately continues to be present in the church as well.

      - “Who is more likely to delude themselves…?” The Christian can point to a source of absolute truth, though as I just mentioned, we often delude it. The atheist has no absolute claim, therefore can’t really differentiate between truth and delusion.

      - “I want to believe, I just can’t.” Neither can I; on my own at least. I’m no smarter, more moral or better in any sense than you are. I’m completely dependent upon God’s grace to turn me away from the delusions that I’m naturally prone to.

  • http://www.myspace.com/1225truth 1225truth

    Good points! For more information, see
    http://stellarhousepublishing.com/easter-resurrection.html

  • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

    Interestingly enough….Josh McDowell has published a new book with his son that is called something like “Evidence of the Resurrection”…I need to pick it up. He references outsides sources besides the Bible, but also attests to the fact that the Biblical account is accurate and reliable.

  • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

    No, I think you guys have to move here and help us fight the religious right. ;-) They aren’t just going to stop once they take America. On the other hand, there is a certain appeal to moving to the Netherlands. My wife and I actually did discuss that at one point.