Beast Banner April 2007
ISSUE #115
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Features

ArrowPresident Rubber vs. Speaker Glue
Pelosiís scarf and GOP barf

Allan Uthman

ArrowIn Defense of Ann Coulter?
Conservatives have a right to be assholes, just like real people

Paul Fallon

ArrowWithdrawal Symptoms
Iraq timetable’s a political fix

Matt Taibbi

ArrowJesus Christ!
People will believe anything

Ian Murphy

ArrowWhat, Me Worry?
Iranians aren’t scared of a U.S. attack

Russ Wellen

ArrowLandslide of Failure
The battle for election integrity is led by... the Governor of Florida?

Brad Friedman

ArrowDeregulation Killed my Cat
Food contamination: the Bush legacy

Allan Uthman

ArrowThe Whining Minority
Republican congressman turns from bully to baby

Matt Taibbi

ArrowIt's tax time again and I want to maul you
A.Rabid Dog

ArrowContradictum
Self-refuting quotations from the world of politics

ArrowBonobos vs. Chimps
A Debate for Lemur Philosophers

A. Monkey

Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 3
Censored Chocolate Jesus

ArrowKino Korner: Movies
Are We Done Yet?, Grindhouse, Blades of Glory, Pride, Reign Over Me, The Lookout, The Reaping, Perfect Stranger, Vacancy, Fracture

ArrowBEAST-O-Scopes
As divined by your ethereal guide

Arrow[sic] - Letters
A Very Thin Hope, Classy, Mile High Club, Equal Rights Harassment, Kiwi Fruit and more

  Jesus Christ!
People will believe anything
Ian Murphy

Well it’s Easter time again, kiddies; time to break out your insulin and pagan-derived Christian mythology! I can almost taste the anatomically correct chocolate Jesus now. As religious narratives go, there are none that assault reason more profoundly and magically than Easter. With the possible exception of Mohammed’s (PB&J) awesome ride to heaven on the back of a man-faced, winged horse, or that time Vishnu sculpted Jeff Foxworthy out of a left over pile of monkey dung.

First of all: “Good Friday?” For me, a good Friday is leaving work early, maybe going to Applebee’s for a big ol’ plate of Riblets. Being mercilessly tortured and nailed to a cross by Centurions? Not so much.

And what’s going on with the date? Pick a month and a day and stick with it. “I’m raised from dead! Thou shalt mark this day on your calendars!” “Actually, um, Jesus, we were thinking of doing a lunar thing. You know, pick a day based on the phases of the moon, just for no fucking reason.” The moon! What does the bloody moon have to do with anything? This Jesus fella is so important that when he was born thousands of B.C. day planners and appointment scrolls went straight into the trash and had to be replaced with new-fangled A.D. models. It was an enormous strain on the papyrus and clay tablet industries. They never fully recovered. And on those new scrolls, they marked the fucking day! It makes no sense: when the dude’s born he’s by all accounts a Jew, yet we celebrate his birth on the Gregorian calendar; when he’s reborn he’s THE Christian, yet we celebrate his rebirth on the Hebrew Calendar, which utilizes lunar months. They have to shove a month in here and there to make it even out in solar years. Those meshuga Jews. I kid. I love the Jews. However, Easter is not Passover and this is not the year 5767! For an event that millions of faithful believe physically happened, the least these people could do is settle on a day, for Christ’s sake.

Of course, the most insane belief that goes along with Easter is Jesus’ literal resurrection and ascension into heaven. It’s hard to argue with that and not feel a little embarrassed. It should be obvious that’s crazy. Instead, because I’m either preaching to the choir or you’re a Christian and logic bounces off you like so many stale marshmallow peeps, I shall argue that your brain is not, in fact, a jar of horseradish. Your brain is not a jar of horseradish because brains tend not to be made of jars of horseradish. Check and mate.

Resurr

In all seriousness, Jesus wasn’t even the first god to come back to life. Osiris was all over that shit thousands of years before the Jesus. The Roman god Mithras did it before Jesus too. Mithras, incidentally, shares a birthday with JC. He’s also just another poor, defenseless deity the Romans stole, this time from the Persians. Due to the Roman occupation, Jews would have certainly been aware of this myth in the run up to Christ’s life. Now keep in mind, all of these guys are redeemer types, very similar stories. Only dif is the Persian Mithra was a Sun God and Jesus is the Son of God. Osiris, on the other hand, predates them both and was known as the Life of the Sun God. Could it be that Jesus is the bastard child, not of a virgin and a deadbeat deity, but of star-worshipping pagan sluts from the Nile valley and marauding Persian goat-bangers? More than likely.

All this birth/rebirth stuff grew out of agricultural societies (that descended from nomadic ones) whose life depended exclusively on the patterns and whims of nature. When daylight started getting longer again and spring sprung, it was exceedingly important. Awe-inspiring in the truest sense. For the whole of our evolution, specifically our more recent mammalian past, we were organisms exposed to the drastic change in seasons that comes with earth’s tilted axis. Food grows in abundance, and then it is scarce. By the time we became proper primates, and a bit later farming primates, these cycles utterly ruled our behavior. Fast-forward 200,000 years and we worship this guy who was born on the winter solstice and reborn in spring. That’s probably why people out in the sticks believe in Jesus—because they still plow fields and reap harvests and shit.

So what are we supposed to make of this perverse amalgam of nature religions in the industrialized world, where most of us have never cultivated a damned thing except copious amounts of office chair ass fat? A lot of Americans, especially, seem content to hang on to the bizarre traditions fomented during the Neolithic revolution, without giving much thought to their origins and purpose. Although there is some evidence to suggest Christ may not have existed at all, there is really no doubt that all of his superhero attributes were cribbed cold from earlier mythologies. Jesus was a latecomer to be cast in the role of undead savior. The Big J and his historical predecessors gave us a personified context with which to deal with the physically regenerative world around us and within us, as well. As Osiris was buried dead and miraculously raised in new life, so too were the seeds in ancient Nile rituals. Easter no longer holds this same purpose in the TV dinner age and its observance is no more than habit; an antiquated habit with all the functionality of a three-legged mule. You can strap a plow to him but ain’t much tilling getting done. And don’t even get me started on the Easter Bunny.

 

 

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