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It is another exciting Easter weekend, when Punxsutawney Jesus comes out of his tomb and looks for his shadow to see if we’ll have six more weeks of damnation. For those readers who find this to be an inappropriate or irreverent association between two holidays, ask yourself how in hell a giant painted-egg-hiding rabbit found its way into the modern religious holiday about the resurrection of Jesus. More about that in a moment.
First, this is a weekend when most government offices are shut down either on Friday or Monday or both, following a Passover weekend where most government offices were shut down for a day, in a country that proudly touts its “separation of church and state.” I’m not advocating fewer holidays for American workers, that would be suicide. But I’ve always found a lot of things our government supports and denies to be of obvious religious origin and in conflict with the supposed separation of religion and law.
Take polygamy, for instance. Is there a good reason that three or four consenting adults cannot be married other than Judeo-Christian tradition? I’m not talking about cults that live in the wilderness and let their old men marry girls as soon as they are 12 – that violates what most people consider to be healthy for children. I’m talking about three or more consenting people over 21 years of age wanting to be married and raise a family as a group. I certainly don’t want to do it, but why should I care if someone else does?
Most of us would say, “That’s weird!”, or “The children would be warped!”, or my own reaction, “One spouse is a big enough hassle, who in their right mind would want MORE than one?!” But the only reason we think these things is because it doesn’t happen with regularity. Is there really any clinical or logical reason that this could not work? Many children are raised by their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles simultaneously. Surely this isn’t significantly different to the child. People said the same things about gay couples raising children and since that taboo has been toppled, we have not seen generations of insane children roving the streets in gangs.
The United States’ institutional bigotry toward homosexuals is another prime example. Until recently – and still in many backwater areas – gays were not allowed to marry, teach school, adopt children, serve openly in the military, be scout leaders, etc. These fears are no more based on fact than the belief that epilepsy is caused by demon possession. But humans are so naturally superstitious that it takes us decades, sometimes centuries, after science and logic explain away these notions for us to drop our religious myths. A strong testament to the power of indoctrinating children with myths. Once it is in your young head, it’s damned hard to shake.
Clearly, our laws are often slanted toward Judeo-Christian theology. I’m not a person who gives in to the natural human notion that “different” is necessarily “bad,” so I’m all for changing these kinds of laws to reflect logic instead of superstition. On the other hand, I’m a realist and have no expectation of that happening anytime soon.
Speaking of weird myths, here is a cartoon that features a sneaky, giant bunny and its role in a modern Christian celebration. If you’ve never wondered how the “Easter Bunny” got entrenched in Jesus’s resurrection story, you’ve been napping. But apparently, the notion that the bunny was stolen from a Pagan ritual and appropriated by Christians is a myth as well, though the rabbit and egg as symbols of fertility in spring do date from before Christian times. Read about it here. Unless that article, too, is myth.