Living with both Christian and Jewish relatives has taught me many things about history and the misleading accepting history pushed on our society by consumer products and the media.
Today Catholics around the world celebrate how much love they have for a man whose brutal death is worshiped around the globe once a week…
Little kids will be scarred for life taking a picture with a giant bunny (what does that have to do with Jesus by the way?) and get a sugar-high until nap comes a few hours earlier than normal (or if you’re unlucky enough, they don’t nap and act like miniature asylum patients for a few more hours than usual). It’s sad that the meaning is lost.
I remember getting my Confirmation and having to stay at my local church for a retreat weekend. Being forced to fast didn’t really bother me. Being forced to watch Passion of the Christ (mind you this had just hit theaters and the media was nuts over this movie) bothered me a lot more. Some person at my congregation thought it would be a great idea and an educational experience to pretty much force the “to be catholics” into watching one of the most brutal movies I’ve ever seen. It’s the obsession about violence. It’s like the crusades never happened. The mass genocides of pagans all over Europe in the name of who you primarily worship…they don’t teach you why violence is such a big part of Christianity unless it’s concerned with the Crucifixion.
I don’t want to be looked at funny for not participating in Ash Wednesday or for not going to church. I don’t want to be labeled by anyone. Nor should I have to be. And I feel bad for people who fail to live as they preach. I am not a mutt or religiously confused having been brought up with two religious backgrounds, if anything I have learned that much more about the world, this life, and my spiritual beliefs.
I may have been raise Catholic but I think I prefer this history of Passover over Easter. Not that I don’t feel that Jesus was more of a true christian than I know many modern-day Christians are, but because the history of abused people finally being freed is a lot happier and more inspirational versus obsessing over the abuse of an already free and good man.
Giving something up for Lent has just become so superficial (oh I’ll give up chocolate or shopping). I can’t even believe some of the things I hear walking down the street in Boston or on the T.
The point of it all is to be able to appreciate the other people…people that are alive around the world right now don’t have what you have and suffer and struggle more than you could ever imagine. Millions of people right now are suffering and no one bats an eye, one religious man is murdered and the media revolves the religious holiday around spending your money on meaningless “things”. It’s like a springtime version of Thanksgiving (only instead of native american’s getting the sharp end of the stick, it’s Jesus).
It’s become frustrating to feel spiritual with the modern day church institution… although I will say I think the new Pope is totally on the right page with all this. I’m practically labeled as pagan, which is fine only I’m not really. Nor am I atheist, christian, Jewish, or agnostic. If I had to define myself it’d be more Buddhist, but the honest truth is that I find beauty and value in all of the religious (well except the satanic and cults…that’s no bueno).
I hope that I have not offended anyone, that is not my intent at all. It’s hard to look over these little details but I love history, real history, and I have researched much of the history of the religions from both sides of my family and have researched many others. For school and for fun. And what have I gotten from this…
Whatever God is. Whoever God is. Whatever his name or symbol may be…fighting over these details will not change what we cannot know for certain. The past is far behind us and the future is far ahead. We will either find out someday, or we’ll never know. Either way, let us all not be judged for our differences but come together for our similarities.
Every religion is founded on the idea that if you are good in life, good things will come and you will be happy. Do good to others and spread love. That is what people should try to remember during these holidays and through your religious ceremonies.
This is a time we spend with our families. A time to be spent with the people we love, being grateful that we have food on our table (and it’s even better if it’s kosher!) and have little children around that we surprise with baskets of the things they love…even if that happens to be candy and toys, kids will be kids.
I think that instead of people getting so constricted by religious expectations everyone today should take a good look at themselves, find peace, and tell the others around you that you love them. Appreciate all the good things in life and the happy endings. Learn to let go of our dark pasts and not obsess about our mistakes.
So sit back with the ones you love today and feel the happiness. Revel in the happiness of life. Of being alive. Be grateful. Be kind. Cause really…we are all in this together and the world needs more happy, giving people. And if you’re celebrating that other holiday today…pass it to the left and spread the love! ;)
- tiny spirit
red hong yi renders chinese scenes from makeup
Close-up (top) from- Hearken, 36” x 40”, oil and varnish on canvas, 2013, by Samantha Keely Smith.
Zoom in on the full painting here: