Zombieaster

Like most people with kids, we do the annual Easter thing. It is pretty much an orgy of chocolate bunny desecrating and peep-eating. This is also for our health, as people who eat a lot of chocolate have lower blood pressure and fewer heart attacks than those who don’t. Dutifully the kids dye festively-colored fart bombs, set out the Easter baskets, and generously leave out a plate of carrots for the Bunny, in case his blood sugar level drops after being up laying eggs all night.

The first thing we were asked when we moved to our small, rural town was not, “What do you do for a living?” or “What are your hobbies?” It was instead, “What church to you belong to?”  Obviously, as in many small towns, a person is first judged not on his contribution to society, but on the potential destination of his soul after death. We are not religious, so it became apparent that we would have to at least send our kids to church occasionally so they could have some social contacts outside of school, thus preventing almost certain ostracization.

This civilization borrows so much from the traditions of Western religion that any educated person must school himself in those traditions to have a full cultural understanding. All  citizens  need a background in the main form of religious thought prevalent in their country- but they should not be forced to choke down the dogma that goes along with it. It would have been certain social death for her to loudly betray her Humanistic Unitarian upbringing by announcing that she questioned the tenets of the town religion– even if it was because she just didn’t understand them.

Since small town America had nothing to offer except various flavors of Christianity, we chose the lite beer version of it. So despite our being a family of Godless Heathens bound for the fiery furnace in an air-conditioned handbasket, I felt less than hypocritical about sending my non-Christian kids to Sunday School at a Methodist church.

It was just after Ash Wednesday when our 2nd grader started asking me about some of the “weird ideas” she was being “exposed to” at church. I think something must have been mentioned about the Resurrection- and the “true meaning” of Easter. She wondered if “those church people” were really serious in thinking that Jesus came back to life. She wondered if he really had died in the first place, but as the medical knowledge back then was “probably pretty crappy” maybe he was merely “put in his tomb only lightly killed- and then woke up later.”

I explained that the way it is written, it could be taken to mean that he indeed came back to life and went ahead to the next town, or that his body was moved before Magdalene got there. Since people claim to have seen him up and about after his supposed death on the cross, it is assumed by Christians that he really died, then came back to life in a miracle. He can’t exactly sacrifice himself for everyone’s sins without dying, can he? That is what they are celebrating.

I tried to clarify that the Easter Miracle wasn’t quite the same as reanimated dead tissue, as is a zombie. (Actually, I was laughing too hard to make a good point.) She had already been heavily questioning all the teachings so far- and found little logic or sense in the verses she was memorizing. Frequently she complained about clumsy syntax or excessive verbiage in the verses- though she didn’t put it that way. She mentioned that many stories were “crazy and make no sense”- and I had the suspicion she looked at the whole thing with the same skeptical eye through which she viewed other mythologies. In the spirit of humor and freethinking, she was allowed to decide for herself how to feel about the holiday and its meaning to her.

After contemplating this for a long while, she remarks on the Bible verse, “On the third day he rose from the dead. So they’re saying that Easter isn’t about springtime and baby chicks and cute little bunnies and flowers- it is really about the zombie Jesus back from the dead and walking around? Gross.” (She was expressly forbidden from sharing her “zombie hypothesis” at church.)

As disturbing as that sounded, what is really horrific is the account of the days leading up to that moment: a graphic depiction of the gruesome torture and execution of a nice Jewish boy. His wretched suffering is now  immortalized on crucifixes and black velvet paintings, not to mention reenacted for numerous Passion Plays. How such a barbaric symbol of torment and agony ever become a fashion accessory for the self-righteous is something perhaps a Christian will have to explain to her. I don’t get it.

What I do understand is zombies. Unlike sparkly vampires that are really just actors in a bad teen romance, zombies represent the essence of the non-thinking consumer. Everybody knows that zombies are basically risen corpses walking the earth. Depending on the source, they possess a mindless insatiable hunger. (Please note we are not discussing voodoo zombies here, as they are actually still alive, in a trance like state of subservience, not unlike Dittoheads.)

But it did get me thinking. What do zombies do once risen? Usually destroy (and eat) brains, and create more zombies. And given the state of Christianity today, it could be argued that there are many mindless types waiting to obey any commands given them by their (equally mindless) leaders, all on the supposed authority of the Bible.  People “infected” by hate ignore the teachings of the Jesus I know and love, the peaceful advocate of the poor. Entire movements, better off dead, have been resurrected as well. The country does need to be saved- from the insanity and hate spouted by the idiocracy of the Right.

Just like in December, every Spring us secular types have to listen to the fundies rant about the “reason for the season” as they strive to throw a wet blanket over the (naughty! pagan! sinful!) vernal reawakening. For some reason, this religious holiday is still called “Easter”, after the pre-Christian goddess of the dawn. Let’s call a spade a spade. In keeping with the true “reason for the season”- I recommend renaming the holiday especially for the wingnuts, with a focus on what is really important to them: Zombieaster.

Spring is a time for rebirth after dormancy, so it does make some sense to have a zombie representing it. It is a time to watch the life cycle renew. The holiday coincides with the first full moon after the vernal equinox- rebirth, moon cycles, fertility, fecundity, .BUNNIES. Not this holiday! This is Zombieaster, a celebration of the dead coming to life… and eating. If you can’t legally eat human brains, like a true zombie, you can at least eat the other white meat- HAM! It isn’t about cute little chicks and bunnies at all. Or chocolate. It isn’t about hunting for fertility symbols in the new spring grass.  That is the old Easter, fit only for the seculars.

Zombieaster is all  about acting like you don’t have a brain of your own, or two thoughts to rub together. It is about being a mindless follower who is incapable of thinking for himself. It is about forcing other people to be just like you. After all, Jesus’ death on the cross gives you a free pass to do anything you want at all, as you have only to apologize on your deathbed for all your iniquities, your greed  and hypocrisy to be forgiven. It is about celebrating the ability to be granted the keys to Heaven, no matter how much of a brainless jackass you were to your fellow man while you were alive.

We are all about the baby chicks and chocolate.

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Posted by on March 31, 2010. Filed under Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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15 Responses to Zombieaster

  1. Stimpson Reply

    March 31, 2010 at 12:18 am

    Is your town famous for having a church minister who forbade dancing, until Kevin Bacon showed everyone that dancing wasn’t so bad after all? Just wondering.

    The Jesus torture-and-execution story isn’t as bad as some of the stuff in the Old Testament, like God drowning nearly everyone (children included) in a great flood because they weren’t sufficiently obedient.

  2. Stimpson Reply

    March 31, 2010 at 12:18 am

    Oh, and once again: Welcome, MH.

  3. Urban Pink Reply

    March 31, 2010 at 2:26 am

    I was raised by a liberal Christian minister who was originally born Jewish without religion in his home. Only my grandmother had the mannerisms of her old community. As a child, I never related to the Christian bible stories and became sad at every communion and horrified every Easter. As an adult I converted to Judaism and have since found Christianity more and more of a lie and focused on death and suffering, but I don’t judge people who practice it at all, it’s a tradition, as is my adopted religion (I don’t find my view of God in Passover in some ways!)! Our once a week babysitter is Catholic and I really wanted to stop her from explaining all the dark symbolism of Lent and Easter to me the other day!! But I still buy my sons chocolate bunnies and consider the Easter egg a symbol of life for Passover. So we will probably be decorating eggs this weekend, but we’ll skip the hunt (or maybe we could hollow out the eggs and fill them with matzoh)!! Still not sure what bunnies and eggs have to do with the resurrection…

    • Holte Ender Reply

      March 31, 2010 at 7:57 am

      What the bunnies and eggs have to do with Easter is “fertility, life” the early Christians tied the existing Pagan rites with their new found business model, like they did with Christmas and the Pagan winter solstice celebrations.

      The early Christians were good salesmen.

  4. Bee Reply

    March 31, 2010 at 7:46 am

    I’m an atheist. I don’t buy any of it. However, I have no qualms about co-opting any religious holiday, language, icon, etc. to serve my own purposes. Hence, we celebrate Christmas and Lil’Bee gets a basket of goodies and hunts eggs every year at easter. She’s got a Dove chocolate bunny this year. I’m a little jealous.

  5. Mother Hen Reply

    March 31, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Even though I’m an agnostic, I’ve loved the idea of Jesus since I was a child. That JC Superstar musical is to blame. The Christmas Story is such a sweet, benign little tale compared to the Easter myth, which is just…scary. But Holte is right, hardly anything can compare with Old Testament atrocities. Thankfully we have the Germanic traditions to make the Xtian holidays more palatable for us (lighted trees and fertility rites- woohoo!) Bee, it is in the interest of health that I urge you to buy yourself a dark chocolate bunny right now and eat the whole thing.

  6. Bee Reply

    March 31, 2010 at 9:19 am

    MH, I intend to run out sometime Monday and do just that. They’re half price then – and those f’ing little things have gotten expensive!!

    • Jessica Reply

      March 31, 2010 at 5:34 pm

      Do what I do Bee. Stock up right after and keep them in the freezer for a year round treat. I am still working on Cadbury’s creme eggs from last year out of the freezer. I’m atheist too and don’t go in for all the hoopla. Hubby does baskets for our niece and nephews, so I can stay all the way out of this holiday. I just don’t get the connection with chocolate bunnies and Jesus dying on the cross. all commercialism, all the time for the holidays.

  7. Infidel753 Reply

    March 31, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Good post. That zombie metaphor really applies in a lot of ways.

    When my parents first immigrated to the US (granted this was in the 1950s) they were startled when people asked them what church they went to. In britain nobody asked such questions.

    She won­dered if “those church peo­ple” were really seri­ous in think­ing that Jesus came back to life. She won­dered if he really had died in the first place, but as the med­ical knowl­edge back then was “prob­a­bly pretty crappy” maybe he was merely “put in his tomb only lightly killed– and then woke up later.”

    Well, that makes a heck of a lot more sense than the official story.

    If it were me I’d just tell a kid that this was a badly-written story that doesn’t make any sense, but she shouldn’t say that to people because they think it’s true.

    • Mother Hen Reply

      March 31, 2010 at 11:12 am

      She found it senseless and disgusting, and like most of the rest she has read, a poor guide to history or science. We have told her not to tease others about their superstitions. For instance, she would never tell a little kid that there was no Santa, so I doubt she’d mention anything about zombie Jesus. At least I hope not.

  8. Gwendolyn H. Barry Reply

    March 31, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    If folks would only turn and really see / observe the natural world surrounding them… they might discover their spiritual nature. That’s my experience. I am much of a ‘show me’ kind of woman who has searched and explored science in concert with the many spiritual expressions of our planet…hell, that’s my job description. Until someone’s dogmatism or theology hurts or hinders me (yes, it happens a good deal) then I have no right to judge or consider their personal faith. Still
    dinoman with Noah and the very obvious inconsistencies that little children don’t even swallow… well, fear is slowly loosing it’s place in our society… I am hopeful.

  9. Krell Reply

    March 31, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Good post, Hen! I had always wondered about that resurrection thing when I was a kid. Would he have decomposed any? Was he like a ghost? Maybe he was just in a coma and came around?

  10. MadMike Reply

    March 31, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    I live in South Georgia, or the “Heart of Darkness” as I am fond of calling it. From time to time I will find myself curious as to the culture that surrounds me and will attend a local function, invariably a chicken/hot dog/fried everything gathering, accompanied by Jesus “kick me through the goalposts of life” type music. In my first year I visited a mini-carnival type thing, you know the type, with cotton candy, silly rides that make you puke, goldfish in bowls, and etc. While waiting in line for a giant chili filled hot dog, I was approached by several locals who were curious about my K-9 hat.

    First redneck:

    “Howdy! You some kind a cop or sumpin’?”

    Answer:

    “retired.”

    Second redneck:

    “You new around here?”

    Answer:

    “Yup.”

    Third redneck:

    “What church you go to?”

    Answer:

    “I don’t sin.”

    Silence…..

    It was a great hot dog and I didn’t puke on the Tilt-a-Whirl.

  11. Bee Reply

    April 1, 2010 at 6:55 am

    “I don’t sin. Why do I need to go to church?”
    Silence…..
    It was a great hot dog and I didn’t get sick on the Tilt-a-Whirl.

    MadMike: LOL!!! 🙂

  12. Mother Hen Reply

    April 1, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    1. Ate chili dog without puking
    2. Rode Tilt-a-Hurl without puking
    3. Listened to Jesus Jumper music without puking
    4. endured toothsucking rednecks without puking
    5. All of the above at the same time without puking PLUS able to think of a snappy comeback simultaneously….EPIC WIN!!!!

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