I just love Christian holidays. During the winter, Christmas day the ski slopes are near empty and Christmas Eve is always the best for Chinese food. For Easter, depending when the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox falls, it’s golf or just a long hike. Most Christians are at family gatherings; very accommodating to non-Christians that way.
Quite frankly, I did not realize that it was another Christian holiday weekend. The only indication I had was the relentless showing of Charleston Heston as Moses parting the waters to kill the Egyptians. I have speculated in the past seven-years or so why Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of Christ” is rarely seen. Isn’t that the correct story to tell? If that movie was too radical, how about Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Jesus Christ Superstar?” Maybe too modern.
Then there are the endless reminders that the only way to celebrate the Christian holidays is to spend money at your local retailer.
Born and raised Jewish, and in the retail business (my dad owned a bicycle store), the latter has been my own view of Christian celebrations of their holy days. Spend more money than you can afford to celebrate, buying presents, lights, chocolate bunnies and buying new clothes to be worn once.
As an adult and atheist, Easter’s just another Sunday. The Christian resurrection myth, for me, follows the resurrection stories of the many faiths accept as true on our small speck in the universe.
Rhetorical Question: If resurrection is a myth for other faiths, way is it not for the Christians?
The 2013 Easter controversy does not come from radical atheists, Muslims or Pagans, but is being perpetuated by the god-fearing religious-right. Their target? Google. Their voice? Fox News and the Daily Caller, among other conservative and religious organizations.
Google decided to honor the life of American labor activist Cesar Chavez in their Google doodle on March 31, the civil rights leader’s birthday; not Jesus of Nazareth. My initial reaction – “Cool!” Fox News noted the event with as much neutrality as Fox News gives any “liberal” event reporting that Glenn Beck said “Cool for Google to not celebrate Easter… HAPPY Caesar Chavez day everybody!”
OK, I pulled my own Foxie quote reporting methodology. That is not the complete Beck quote and it was meant as satire.
I am reading a biography on Fox’s leader extraordinaire, Roger Ailes, and know for sure that all Fox reporting is “fair and balanced.” The first line of Sunday’s column if proof positive.
“Google’s decision to mark Easter Sunday with a doodle of leftist icon Cesar Chavez atop its search engine angered some users in what they see as a snub of Jesus on the day Christians mark his resurrection.” (My underscore and italic.)
They only mention that Chavez was an activist came when speaking to Chavez’s death in 1993 and when quoting President Obama. That same holds true with the Daily Caller’s report. The indication is that supporting human rights and nonviolent actions to improve the life of the working class is part of a greater communist plot. So Google doodlers must be commies.
Fox’s report freely quotes the angry sentiments of their “fair and balanced” commentators (I certainly am not) and Christians angered by Google’s irreverent doodle. Not one word from those who appreciate the recognition of a great American leader being honored by a private corporation.
Fox does acknowledge that their own research of “Google’s past doodles for phrases like “Jesus” produced zero results,” something I can verify from my own research. But the implication is clear, that Google is not a Christian company and, therefore, un-American; maybe even liberal commies. Or worse, progressive Democrats. Oh my!
However, there appear to be no doodles concerning other religious icons and few for religious holidays. Easter in 2000 and Holi in 2001, 2010 and 2011, and Rosh Hashanah in 2006, but if you search for Jewish High Holy Days, you will find a basketball doodle. There is nothing for Ramadan or Hajj, or many of the other world religious holy days. So why is Christianity different?
The religious-right also conveniently forgets that Google is a company serving an international community and represents a multitude of traditions, religions and secular observances. Their job is not to promote an American Christian agenda.
Those who so proudly proclaim that the American First Amendment provides them the freedom of religion seem to forget that the Amendment also guarantees the freedom from religion.
I praise Google for their selection of a real person who did real things to protect the poor and working class. I condemn the forcing Christian beliefs and holidays on all believing that these actions are as un-American as one can get.
David Rosman’s “A Christian Nation? An examination of christian nation theories and proofs” is available at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.