Skip to main content

As we enter Holy Week, I listened to the Homily at Palm Sunday Mass.  The priest talked about how this week is the reason for our faith.  He mentioned that our most sacred and high rituals derive from this week.  As he went on, I realized that he was right.  And that sent me off on a train of thought that was a little bizzarre.  

On this Good Friday, Christians around the world gather and reflect upon the death of Jesus.  It's more than reflection, actually.  It's celebration.  And you see, this brought me to the thought that Western Religion--that is, the Abrahamaic faiths--are really Cults of Death.

I first started thinking about Easter itself--the holiest day of the Church Year, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, meaning the ultimate forgiveness of our sins and eventual entrance into Heaven.  A truly happy day.  But then I realized--we spend more time and energy on the Crucifixion than anything else. From Holy Thursday with the Last Supper, the Stations of the Cross, and all of the Good Friday solemnities, everything in the Church revolves around the torture and death of a man who said how cool it would be if everyone were to be nice to one another.  Much like Xipe the Flayed God of the Aztecs, Osiris, Dionysius, and any number of others, a HUGE part of Christian belief centers around a person who is tortured, killed, and ultimately resurrected.

But that's not the worst part about Western Religion.  I've just talked about something relatively unique to Christianity among the Three Abrahamaic faiths.  The thing that makes all three faiths more like a Cult of Death is the fact that they are all apocalyptic faiths.  That is, EVERYTHING is based on the End of the World and what happens as a result.  We look for it, we pray for it, we prepare for it.  Even us "normal" Christians always have that in the back of our minds.  "He will come again in Glory to judge the living and the dead, and His Kingdom will have no end...We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come".  Right from the Nicene Creed.  Now, I know very little about Judaic or Islamic theology, but the Bible tells me that deep in Judaic faith is the awaiting of the Messianic Age and the rebuilding of the Temple.  Islam has the yawm al-dīn, or Day of Judgement, similar to the apocalyptic version of the book of Revelation.

Most faiths have some sort of mythology concerning the beginning and end of the world.  However, most portray the "end" in terms of a renewal of a cycle, or of a significant Change, from one world to the next.  Even Ragnarok only heralds a birth of a new cycle.  It's only the Western faiths that present a Finite world, with a cataclysmic ending.

Religion, at least to me, is a corruption of faith.  Faith is believing that there is something bigger out there, be it a creator, the Force, or whatever.  Religion takes this belief, and corrupts it to where the faith acts for the religion's own ends, instead of being an affirmation.  I realize that may not make too much sense, but to be preoccupied with a theoretical end is not to celebrate the the life we are living.

Case in point:  The BIGGEST Christian holiday of the year is Christmas.  While Easter and all the death accompanying it is the HOLIEST, it's not celebrated as widely or as devoutly as Christmas.  Why?

Christmas is about BIRTH, and the celebration of renewed LIFE.  Life and Peace are the two main elements of Christmas.  They are also the center of many Pagan faiths, whose tenets have been co-opted by the Church as part of their Christmas celebrations.  Think about it.  At Yule, we have a whole season of Peace, laughter, life, and celebration.  At Oestre, during the Equinox, a time that is supposed to be all about fertility and the creation of life, we have a season (Lent) of Death, Sacrifice, privation, etc.  It's not until Easter itself that we allow some of the Pagan Life rituals and symbols to manifest themselves--eggs and bunnies, both strong symbols of fertility.

Yet I still believe, and partake in the rituals of my faith, but only now I focus on the message of Peace, Love, and Hope.  After all, when you take away all the rigamarole about the end of the world, and strip Western Religion of all its trappings, you find a Way and a Path that is all about "doing unto others" and NOT about thinking about one's place in the "end times".  It's a very Eastern concept, almost Buddhist in nature.  Strange, isn't it?

Originally posted to zenbassoon on Fri Apr 02, 2010 at 07:11 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for finding one's Way (19+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Fri Apr 02, 2010 at 07:10:23 AM PDT

    •  As far as I can remember (5+ / 0-)

      from history classes way back when, Christianity was considered a death-cult - like Osiris, etc - in its early days, it just got a deeper foothold for some reason.

      Though I find it unfair to think of Easter as centered around death, or even the resurrection itself. The idea I had gotten through years of theology schooling was that we reflect upon the crucifixion as the last sacrifice. Early Passover customs dictated that a lamb be slaughtered in sacrifice; the whole concept of the New Testament seemed more like a revision of the old. The crucifixion is the last sacrifice, and the old days of blood, fire and brimstone end when one man willfully gives up his life. It's meant to be a new beginning. So even though the Christian observance of Easter starts with a death, it ends with new life - for everyone. So the fertility and life symbolism adopted into the Christian celebration from other faiths can be quite fitting.

      Not to be preachy. I don't even go to church and I have tortured memories of Catholic Calisthenics, bka Stations of the Cross - kneel, stand, sit, stand, kneel, sit, stand... over and over for two hours!

      I just think sometimes that people have so fudged up the initial message of the Christian faith that we can become jaded and not see that there WAS some good in there, at the start.

      "May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." - George Carlin

      by dew on Fri Apr 02, 2010 at 07:30:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's a MIRACLE! (7+ / 0-)
    You know, there must be something to this whole religion thing.

    Because somehow ... presumably by some miracle ... everyone simultaneously decides to become devout christians every Good Friday ... at around noon ... when it's 80 out.

    "Oh well, gotta go - time for happy hou - ... er, I mean ... CHURCH!"

    Catholic Church: Example of Religion thats TOO BIG TO FAIL

    by Detroit Mark on Fri Apr 02, 2010 at 07:15:10 AM PDT

  •  Lately I've begun to consider myself... (9+ / 0-)

    ...a Taoist with Quaker leanings and a side of Buddhism.

    Become an Eclectablog fan on Facebook.

    by Eclectablog on Fri Apr 02, 2010 at 07:18:57 AM PDT

  •  The return of the Messiah and the rebuilding (5+ / 0-)

    of the Temple have nothing to do with death or the end of the world.

  •  what's worse than coffee on computer screen... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    QuestionAuthority, zenbassoon

    Banana!  Caught me off guard!  Well, now...
    I long ago gave up on religions, and their tedious death-dogmas.  It has been my four-leggeds who have given me more "God" than any human or human related entity.  I can never repay them for their gifts.  I also know there is something far beyond this speck called earth.  
    Question: What really was the big bang?
    Answer: God farting.  
    So, that means we are floating on a piece of celestial fecal matter in a cloud of holy gas.  Thanks for your diary.  Please, while on your journey, keep in touch!

    Never walk into a public restroom while breathing through your mouth.

    by quityurkidding on Fri Apr 02, 2010 at 07:28:08 AM PDT

  •  My definition of religion is (4+ / 0-)

    "Faith perverted by being leashed for temporal purposes by imperfect humans."

    Your faith is your own business. When you try to force it on others, it becomes religion. Anathema to me.

    I don't care what you believe, as long as your beliefs stop where my nose begins, so to speak.

    People (especially evangelicals) need to learn to mind their own business. There's a good reason why it used to be considered crass to talk sex, religion or politics in polite company. We need to go back to that again.

    "Ridicule may lawfully be employed where reason has no hope of success." -7.75/-6.05

    by QuestionAuthority on Fri Apr 02, 2010 at 07:52:02 AM PDT

  •  With all due respect (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dew, dirkster42, Mariken, zenbassoon

    I think the diary's focus is a touch skewed.

    The whole point of Easter is the resurrection, but part of it was the death of Jesus. The holidays and time spent reflecting on this don't necessarily mean that the violence and death "itself" are what is celebrated, rather of the gift that he experienced this and then was resurrected.

    To focus solely on the resurrection, I think might err by seeing only one half of the story. That is, it ignores what happened in order to achieve the end result. In some way, one could claim that such a view is incomplete, or even cheapens the perspective of the gift. I don't necessarily make that argument here, but I raise it to show how it could be interpreted.

    As for the eggs and bunnies, their presence in society and in believers' repertoire is undoubted, but that doesn't necessarily have much relevance to the topic at hand.

    A final note. I see the theme of anti-religion but pro-faith (more often, anti both), but I don't think religion is always and necessarily a bad thing. It is corruptible just like anything else.

  •  Christianity a cult of death? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zenbassoon

    Yes, and?

    The earliest Christian 'mass' involved a dead person in a coffin, with holes drilled in the top for bread (?) and wine.  They would apparently eat their meal around the coffin while feeding the dead person through the holes in the top of the sarcophagus.  If that isn't a death cult, I don't know what is.

    This comment was brought to you by Goldman-Sachs: Our clients' interests always come first.

    by Kingsmeg on Fri Apr 02, 2010 at 08:20:04 AM PDT

    •  Hmm (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mariken, zenbassoon

      Were they celebrating the death of the person, or their belief in the resurrection?

      I don't know the veracity of this story, but it seems to me that a "cult of death" would celebrate death in itself, and would not celebrate a possible rebirth. Maybe there needs to be a definition of what this is per se.

      •  Regardless of this particular practice, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bablhous, Kingsmeg, zenbassoon

        The holiest sacraments of the Christian churches involve ritualistic cannibalism and vampirism.  This sick practice - "taking communion" - happens year round and IS largely the focus of the religion.  

        Yes, Christianity is a death cult, a sick death cult.  And between the holy wars and the morality wars - against women's health, against contraception, for male domination of women's lives, driving homosexuals to suicide, the witch burnings   - Christianity is responsible for causing a great deal of death and suffering.  It is the ultimate authoritarianism.  Some big mean man in the sky is going to punish you for all eternity if you fuck up.

        •  And if you read the Gospels, especially (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kalmoth, kbman

          Matthew and Luke, it almost sounds like a Buddhist text:  "I am the Way..."  meaning "follow my path and example..."  Some of the things Jesus says in the Gospels could have been said by the Buddha.  THAT'S the message that should be focused on.

          "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

          by zenbassoon on Fri Apr 02, 2010 at 08:45:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've believed for a long time that the phrase (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            zenbassoon

            about "the way to Him is through me" was intended to mean through ME, the individual, not through Jesus by "accepting him as your personal savior."  It makes a whole lot more sense.

            •  So does that mean (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dirkster42, zenbassoon

              That works are sufficient for redemption alone, without faith? Why does he talk of faith then? I'm interested in how you view the concept of redemption.

              •  Seems like two different issues, actually. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                zenbassoon

                Medieval Catholicism definitely saw Jesus as the way in the sense as "salvation through Jesus", but the Protestants saw it as a works-righteousness religion.

                On the other hand, you've got someone like Ralph Waldo Emerson, who has a kind of religion of the self, but it's not through works that you get there.

              •  Why do you need redemption? (3+ / 0-)

                Did you piss off the big mean man in the sky?  The whole context in which you operate is dictated by this authoritarian view.  Free yourself from this yoke of the fear of punishment by unseen forces.  Be a good person just for the hell of it.  Other people treat you better when you act that way.

                Some Riane Eisler might be a good thing for you.  She writes about the evolution of western religions and how they were invented to perpetuate male domination and authoritarianism.

                •  Hmm (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  zenbassoon

                  I wonder if I told you to follow my faith if I would get yelled at for proselytizing (especially in such a mocking fashion). But that is probably beside the point in this case.

                  Why can't people treat me well for doing good out of a faith? Does it really make it less sincere? I don't think so (though it seems you might).

                  •  If you only do it out of fear of divine (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bablhous, zenbassoon

                    retribution then it is indeed less sincere, not authentically you but rather you under coercive circumstances.  

                    Why would you think people might be less likely to treat you well for doing good out of faith as opposed to doing good as an authentic expression of yourself?  I can see if you act self-righteously churchy while doing good that it might rub some folks the wrong way and they might treat you differently as a result.  But if you just treat people well without making an issue of your faith then why would they treat you any differently?  Unless, of course, they're assholes ... which we all are from time to time.

                    •  I would agree (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      zenbassoon

                      That if it was out of fear then that would be the case.

                      Perhaps you will disagree that this could possibly be the case, but I believe that one can do good out of this faith out of a sense of spiritual maturity and thanksgiving, that is, that is divine to do good and that it simply is the right thing to do. One can something good as an expression of one's self through secular and faith rationales.

                      And I believe Christians are called to do good not to boast, but simply to do it. It may come from faith, but it doesn't mean it comes from fear automatically.

                  •  Oh, I see how you read my comment ... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bablhous, zenbassoon

                    When I said, "other people treat you better when you act that way", I meant when you "be a good person", regardless of the unstated motivation.  Some religious people have argued in the past that without the morals of religion people would lie and cheat and steal and otherwise be selfish jerks.  I'm suggesting that religion is not needed, simply the recognition of our shared humanity.  And besides, some of the biggest liars, cheaters and thieves are also highly religious people, some of them religious leaders.  Think, Ted Haggart and all of the kiddie-raping priests.  Religion is largely about structuring authoritarian power.  God is just a convenient boogeyman to scare the masses and keep them in line.  That is why kings historically have claimed to rule by divine right - they speak with all of the authority of God.  How convenient.

                    •  I guess I would refer to my above comment (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      zenbassoon

                      Yes, one should do good acts and not boast about why per se (as in that they feel like they are righteous per se or morally superior), but I don't think there is anything wrong with stating a motivation. If I did something good for a stranded motorist, because I would want someone to do it for me, or because someone helped me once before, or because there is a good samaritan law, I don't see how that would be more objectionable than someone saying "I feel called by faith to love and be kind," especially if that person does feel a genuine desire to do it out of compassion, rather than fear or obligation.

                      Of course, there are going to be hypocrites. In fact, there aren't any non-hypocritical Christians (in that sense, everyone sins, hence the need for redemption--but another discussion).

                      Has "divine right" been misused for political and 'kingship' reasons--yes it has. But I don't think it necessarily extends to say that all religion is meant to do that. Why is it not possible that some religion or faith is what it claims to be?

                      Finally, I agree that people can do bad or good without religion.

                      •  If they do it from compassion then it is (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        bablhous, zenbassoon

                        sourced from their shared sense of humanity.  Being called by faith to act in any particular way means that you're doing what you're doing because your religion told you that's how you should act.  And while constrained by the fear of an angry God it is impossible for a human to freely and authentically choose ANY action, as everything they do lives in the context of "Big Daddy is watching."

                        Part of "faith" is accepting as absolute truth that which is unproven, interpretation, theory, story.  I hold nothing as absolute truth.  Life is, and my conception of life is constantly expanding as I gather new information.  I am willing at any time to discard my existing beliefs about X, Y, or Z if reliable new information becomes available to me.  It is ALL contingent.

                        •  Two issues (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          zenbassoon

                          Can a shared sense of humanity be a part of faith? Or are they always mutually exclusive? And if you were told how to act, can't you accept that it is the right thing to do?

                          It seems you won't admit that faith isn't necessarily driven by fear of an angry God. I just don't see an argument for why that has to be the case, necessarily.

                          I see we disagree on absolute truth.

                          •  Religious faith means holding your beliefs (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bablhous, zenbassoon

                            regarding what you've been taught by your religion as absolute truth, not to be questioned.  The content of those religious teachings may include acting with compassion, but if it lives within the context of one believing they need to lead their lives in this manner to avoid roasting in a fiery pit for all eternity then the actions are ultimately arising from fear of punishment.  There is no freedom to choose.

                            And not only do we disagree on absolute truth, I suspect we profoundly disagree on the ultimate nature of reality.  No time for that discussion as I have a kitchen sink and counter to install.

        •  Hmm (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zenbassoon

          Actually, the whole point in Christianity is that you can find redemption. As for the "vampirism" and cannabalism, that just seems like a stock label tossed on a ritual celebrating the last supper.

          You disagree with the religion, but that doesn't mean what you said about it is accurate (or unbiased for that matter)

  •  Your claim that christmas is celebrated (3+ / 0-)

    more than Easter is certainly true many places, but not everywhere I believe.

    In the Orthodox churches Eastern is celebrated more devoutly than christmas, and I think that traditionally has been a case in Southern Europe.

    For man´s heart life is simple - it beats as long as possible.

    by Mariken on Fri Apr 02, 2010 at 08:31:33 AM PDT

  •  Both Nietzsche and Mary Daly (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bablhous, Gracian, zenbassoon

    have made the point, rather trenchantly, that Christianity at least is necrophilic.  

    I don't think you can say this of Judaism, which spends very little time thinking about the afterlife.  

    Reading the Qur'an, I saw a lot of emphasis on the Final Judgement, but the point I got from that was more an intensification of what the significance of your decision is in this moment, while you live, is.

    But, back to Christianity, the tradition I know better than the other two, the problem is always in trying to boil down a complex historical phenomenon into a simple "it's this or that."  There's a world of difference between Francis of Assisi and Thomas of Kempis, to just take two medieval figures.  Thomas of Kempis is about as necrophilic as you can get, whereas Francis of Assisi still inspires Christian environmentalists today.

    My teacher of Methodist doctrine, Joanne Carlson Brown, who studied with Mary Daly, wrote a blistering critique of the idea that Jesus' death was in any way salvific in an essay called "For God So Loved the World?" published in an out-of-print book Christianity, Patriarchy, and Abuse.  She wrestled very hard with the contradictions of being a Christian feminist - contradictions she was able to resolve on several fronts, but which left nagging doubts on others.  She still finds much to value in the tradition.

    I think to date, the most extensive answer to the concerns of your diary are in the book Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire by Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Ann Parker (the latter author co-wrote "For God So Loved the World?").  I haven't read that book (and it's thick), but I've read much of their other stuff, which is very rich in insight.

    Anyway, that's what I've got this morning.  Hope something in there was helpful one way or another.

  •  I always preferred the "fish" logo, to the cross. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth, dirkster42, zenbassoon

    The "fish" symbol is said to date back to Jesus' quote about being "a fisher of men," and was used by Christian dissidents in Rome.  As such it has an additional message of subversion of illegitimate authority.

    Whereas the cross was an execution device used by the Regime against its most celebrated dissident.  

    The story of the Resurrection can be seen as celebrating the ultimate act of revolution against not only the illegitimate regime but its entire worldview.  

    So, celebrate life asserting itself in the face of murderous imperialism, but let's not take on a leading symbol the imperialists used to assert their power.  

  •  Oooo.....I'm getting excited... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dirkster42

    There's some deep theological thinking going on...I'll have to check out some of these sources.  More Learning!!!

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Fri Apr 02, 2010 at 09:09:17 AM PDT

  •  "the Abrahamaic faiths-are really Cults of Death" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zenbassoon

    Jews don't have end times eschatology.  

    You may want to learn a bit more about Rabbinic Judaism before parroting Hitchen's errors.

    •  What about Messaianic Judaism? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Plubius

      Is there such a thing?

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

      by zenbassoon on Fri Apr 02, 2010 at 09:24:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  not really n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zenbassoon
        •  Yes there is (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dirkster42, zenbassoon

          Its just different.  Though not so different in its essence as I would like. Take out the Jesus and you still have a Christ (mesiach means Annointed One) and even for a few the resurrection of the dead.

          Here are many of the myths about the Return of the King('s) Line

          The Sanhedrin will be re-established (Isaiah 1:26)
          Once he is King, leaders of other nations will look to him for guidance (Isaiah 2:4)
          The whole world will worship the One God of Israel (Isaiah 2:17)
          He will be descended from King David (Isaiah 11:1) via King Solomon (1 Chron. 22:8–10)
          The Moshiach will be a man of this world, an observant Jew with "fear of God" (Isaiah 11:2)
          Evil and tyranny will not be able to stand before his leadership (Isaiah 11:4)
          Knowledge of God will fill the world (Isaiah 11:9)
          He will include and attract people from all cultures and nations (Isaiah 11:10)
          All Israelites will be returned to their homeland (Isaiah 11:12)
          Death will be swallowed up forever (Isaiah 25:8)
          There will be no more hunger or illness, and death will cease (Isaiah 25:8)
          All of the dead will rise again (Isaiah 26:19)
          The Jewish people will experience eternal joy and gladness (Isaiah 51:11)
          He will be a messenger of peace (Isaiah 53:7)
          Nations will recognize the wrongs they did Israel (Isaiah 52:13–53:5)
          The peoples of the world will turn to the Jews for spiritual guidance (Zechariah 8:23)
          The ruined cities of Israel will be restored (Ezekiel 16:55)
          Weapons of war will be destroyed (Ezekiel 39:9)
          The Temple will be rebuilt (Ezekiel 40) resuming many of the suspended mitzvot
          He will then perfect the entire world to serve God together (Zephaniah 3:9)
          Jews will know the Torah without Study (Jeremiah 31:33)
          He will take the barren land and make it abundant and fruitful (Isaiah 51:3, Amos 9:13–15, Ezekiel 36:29–30, Isaiah 11:6–9

          •  Well, there is a line in the Scriptures... (0+ / 0-)

            for everything, including four-legged crickets. Messianic movement is way out on the fringe, about three sigma away from the mainstream. And Rabbi Schneerson is still dead.

      •  Yes there is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zenbassoon
      •  There is - (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zenbassoon

        but from what I can tell, it works very, very differently than one might expect.  I haven't really figured it out, but every thing I come across on the topic so far is really much more about ethical behavior than an event in the future.

        I'll be digging into that this summer some more, because Jewish Messianism is a key component to the thought of Walter Benjamin, a modernist thinker from early in the century.  I have to do a bunch of research on him for a paper I'm giving in November.

  •  Easter was NOT a major Christian holiday... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bablhous, zenbassoon

    until the necessity arose to subvert Ostara - the pagan spring festival of Northern Europe. Same applies to Christmas and the winter solstice.

  •  So, a Sunday School teacher asks her class (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bablhous, zenbassoon

    "What do you think was the first thing Jesus said when he came out of the tomb?"

    The class thought and thought and then a little girl raised her hand and said, "I know, I know ...

                                  "Ta daaaaaa!"

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site