26 March 2010

Nanny and the Easter Bunny

I feel like a bit of a heel today. I'm not sure if I actually offended Dear A. I definitely came across as kind of ignorant. Which I am…. especially when it comes to religion.

If pressed to qualify, I’m a Hindu. K’s daddy is Anglican and K, like everything else in his life is both. We’re mostly non-practicing, though. We don’t go to church regularly or address anyone specifically in our prayers. Dear A, on the other hand, is a practicing Catholic. She attends church every Sunday, and is very strong in her faith.

According to the retail calendar, its Easter. All the commercials and in store displays got me thinking about themes for crafts, so I asked Dear A to help K pick out some library books about Easter. Then I clarified, “Books about the Easter bunny.” While I didn’t actually say “No Jesus books please,” I still feel like a heel.

Dear A has never pushed her religious beliefs on anyone, let along K. And, really, even if she did want to explain another aspect of Easter to K, it wouldn’t bother me. It’d take it off of his daddy’s plate. Probably be a relief.

So me, today = Heel. I think the only thing that will make me feel better is Mini Eggs. The 1lb bag. God bless the Easter Bunny.


Jenny said...

Easter is a tricky one. It comes out of so many different traditions. Many, perhaps most, Pagan religions in the Mediterranean area had a major seasonal day of religious celebration at or following the Spring Equinox. Cybele, the Phrygian fertility goddess, had a consort, Attis, who was believed to have been born via a virgin birth. Attis was believed to have died and been resurrected each year during the period MAR-22 to MAR-25.

Gerald L. Berry, author of "Religions of the World," wrote:

"About 200 B.C. mystery cults began to appear in Rome just as they had earlier in Greece. Most notable was the Cybele cult centered on Vatican hill ...Associated with the Cybele cult was that of her lover, Attis (the older Tammuz, Osiris, Dionysus, or Orpheus under a new name). He was a god of ever-reviving vegetation. Born of a virgin, he died and was reborn annually. The festival began as a day of blood on Black Friday and culminated after three days in a day of rejoicing over the resurrection." 3

Wherever Christian worship of Jesus and Pagan worship of Attis were active in the same geographical area in ancient times, Christians:

"... used to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus on the same date; and pagans and Christians used to quarrel bitterly about which of their gods was the true prototype and which the imitation."

Many religious historians and liberal theologians believe that the death and resurrection legends were first associated with Attis, many centuries before the birth of Jesus. They were simply grafted onto stories of Jesus' life in order to make Christian theology more acceptable to Pagans. Others suggest that many of the events in Jesus' life that were recorded in the gospels were lifted from the life of Krishna, the second person of the Hindu Trinity. Ancient Christians had an alternative explanation; they claimed that Satan had created counterfeit deities in advance of the coming of Christ in order to confuse humanity. 4 Modern-day Christians generally regard the Attis legend as being a Pagan myth of little value with no connection to Jesus. They regard Jesus' death and resurrection account as being true, and unrelated to the earlier tradition.

Wiccans and other modern-day Neopagans continue to celebrate the Spring Equinox as one of their 8 yearly Sabbats (holy days of celebration). Near the Mediterranean, this is a time of sprouting of the summer's crop; farther north, it is the time for seeding. Their rituals at the Spring Equinox are related primarily to the fertility of the crops and to the balance of the day and night times. In those places where Wiccans can safely celebrate the Sabbat out of doors without threat of religious persecution, they often incorporate a bonfire into their rituals, jumping over the dying embers is believed to assure fertility of people and crops.

I prefer to focus on the arrival of Spring and with it bunnies who bring chocolate!!!

Shorty said...

Wow, Jenny, faunt of amazing information! I like the idea of tying it to Spring. K definitely has Spring Fever...now if only I could get him in on Spring Cleaning

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