Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Eostre?

Well, today is Easter--as it is called in the English speaking world.  The day on which Christians celebrate the supposed resurrection of Jesus.  The day on which they dress up in brightly colored clothes, eat chocolate bunnies and hide brightly colored eggs for their children to find.  What?!!  What does all that have to do with Christ's resurrection, you ask?

Good question.

The truth is those things have nothing to do with Christianity.  They are fertility symbols that were retained by some Christians who had formerly worshiped the Germanic Goddess Eostre or Easter.  Easter was the Germanic Goddess of the dawn (which is why we English speakers refer to the direction of the rising sun as the East) and of fertility.  Her yearly festival was celebrated at the time of the Spring Equinox.

That, however, is all we know about Easter the Germanic Goddess.  Why don't we know more?  Because her religion was eradicated by Christianity--not merely supplanted, deliberately eradicated.

One of the reasons that Karl the Great (or Charlemagne) was called "great" was because he championed Christianity and set about eradicating the pagan religions in areas within his reach.  He had 4,500 Germanic tribal leaders beheaded for refusing to cease worshiping their pagan gods.  In that particular case, it is interesting to note that the Germans were Saxons--the same people who would somehow keep the name and some of the traditions of Easter alive even until the present day.

This nasty incident is also significant because of the extent to which it proves that Europe was converted to Christianity by the sword.  This is something that Christians often lie about, in part because they don't know the truth.  The truth was hidden from them by previous generations--deliberately so, and for political reasons.  Just as modern Christians are trying to have textbook authors and school boards adopt a false history of the U.S., there has been a startling prevalence of false history taught in U.S. public schools regarding the history of Christianity.

I personally witnessed this deliberate teaching of lies.  Attending U.S. public schools, I was taught that Islam converted Arabia, much of Africa and the Middle East by the sword.  This was deliberately compared with the conversion of Europe to Christianity by virtue of persuasion.  The implicit lesson was clear:  Christianity was civilized; Islam was not.  Christianity was true; Islam was not.  (After all, forcing people to believe is only necessary if the belief is false--n'est ce pas?)  The lesson was also a deliberate lie.

Consequently, I celebrate Easter for much the same reason that I celebrate what the Christians call Christmas.  These aren't really Christian holidays; they are pagan festivals designed to mark the passage of significant points in the solar year.  Spring is here.  Why shouldn't we celebrate the renewal of life?  I would prefer to celebrate it closer to the Vernal Equinox, but I am willing to follow the new tradition to this small extent in order to blend in better with the lynch mobs, er, I mean Christians surrounding me.

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