Happy Easter! Egg hunt time…
Apart from all the chocolate and Bill Hicks’ jokes about six foot bunnies and what Jesus would make of everyone wearing crosses, Easter always makes me think of Sinead O’Connor (years ago) being booed off by a New York crowd at a Bob Dylan tribute concert and responding by stopping the house band and belting out Bob Marley’s ‘War’. Despite being the sort of people who’d pay to see a tribute gig for a ‘protest singer’, the audience attacked her because the week before, she’d highlighted child abuse within the Catholic Church on a TV show by tearing up a picture of the Pope. If you’ve never seen this, it’s well worth watching:
Jesus Christ only got angry once. It’s one of the most consistently documented stories about him, present in all four Gospels and other accounts of his life, giving it greater historical weight than many other bits of the Bible. (It’s easy to forget in amongst modern Christian flim-flam that a lot of the most well-remembered tales of Jesus only show up in one or two books, like the Sermon On The Mount, for example, which is only in Matthew.)
Anyway, Jesus shows up for Passover at Herod’s Temple in Jerusalem and there’s a bunch of moneylenders and people trading stuff (selling doves, for a start) out in the courtyard. So Jesus goes a bit nuts – he knocks over tables and shouts and even makes a whip out of chord to drive the livestock off the land, to stop people trading and money-lending on land which should be reserved for prayer.
Making a scene like this – rather than mere benign preaching and performing the odd Derren Brown-style miracle – probably contributed to his arrest and trial. He really riles the local priests and temple officials, who try to have a pop at him later but he out-argues them.
Nowadays, ‘Christian’ churches (of many kinds) prioritise whatever maintains their control over peoples’ lifestyles, well ahead of the actual words and deeds of their prophet. They’ll bang on and on about sexual manners, the peculiarities of the church-owned marriage ritual and side-issues of personal morality, none of which were of any serious concern to J.C. who was busier preaching “love your enemy”, “turn the other cheek” and getting pissed-off with people using religion to exploit the poor. Hmm…
I went to a Catholic primary school where I was taught the Stations of The Cross as fact, the Easter weekend as fact, the inevitability of hellfire (especially for me as a non-Catholic attender) as fact. So. Happy Easter! Deep in our hearts we all know Jesus Christ would be way happier to see kids getting chocolate eggs from magic rabbits than what the Bishops will inevitably boff on about over the weekend.
I think there should be full democratisation of religious organisations. They wield as much power and influence over peoples’ lives as governments. If moderates everywhere are consistent in their wish to spread democracy (like they did in such a charming way in Iraq), surely they should agree – it needs to be rolled out across any powerful organisation that holds sway over many people. Big businesses and religions are up first.