Tag Archives: Jesus

Hippity Hop Hop Hop

23 Mar

There’s only a few more days until Easter Sunday, which means those who have given up things for Lent are probably arguing amongst each other about when they can legally light up their first cigarette in weeks (it’s not my business, of course, but I’d say if you wait until the Mass of the Last Supper is over, you can safely smoke your way through the Holy Triduum). Even though I’m not a follower of the faith, I happen to love Easter. Why? Because it’s absolutely crazy.

As anyone who’s ever received a Happy Birthday Jesus card from that woman who took a shine to you on the one day you agreed to pick up your grandmother at church knows, the Lord was born on December 25, and no Santa Claus with his presents and reindeer will ever take that fact away. However, when it comes to his being re-born, it’s all a little hazier, and it appears the head church honchos basically just said, screw it, let’s let the moon decide. Of course, three days before the rebirth celebration is the acknowledgement of Christ’s crucifixion and death, known as Good Friday, which seems a little harsh to me, but whatever, he’s your god. In fact, some Christians spread the whole holiday season out for weeks before, and I guess that makes sense because being born of a virgin is pretty good, but being born again after being killed, well, come on, that’s quite worthy of celebration.

Believe it or not, though, the being brought back to life thing isn’t even the craziest part of Easter.

The ways we celebrate the holiday are mad, and for some reason, animals are at the forefront. Pigs gets killed and spiral sliced onto plates for Easter Sunday, though to honour the porcine sacrifice, we decorate their carcasses with pineapple slices and Maraschino cherries. I’m sure that must soothe their departed souls.

Vintage-creepy-easter-bunny-3Of course, the Easter Bunny is the main animal associated with the holiday. He is a human-sized hare who shows up at shopping malls to judge and frighten children. Parents are cool with this, because the bunny then comes round the house to hide a basket full of plastic grass, cheap toys and jelly beans for children to find on Easter Sunday, thus allowing the adults a couple hours of free time while the little ones run off their sugar highs in the back garden. There are usually eggs in the basket as well, though anyone who believes the bunny laid those eggs is just not thinking right.

Because chickens lay eggs and even the craziness of Easter can’t change that. When I was growing up, we’d take hard-boiled chicken eggs, drop them in vinegar and dye, and marvel at the lovely colours. Sometimes we’d write on them first with crayon, with the promise that our names would appear once they emerged from the dye. I’m telling you, it was fucking magical. Now, I’m sure, kids use 3D printers or whatever to do their eggs, since technology is the magic of the day and everything good gets ruined. Sometimes adults hide these coloured eggs outside, and kids have to go find them. When I was growing up, my family held Easter egg hunts every year, and Grampy Carmichael used to hide one special silver egg (one of those plastic ones ladies hosiery used to be sold in), and the lucky child found it would get to enjoy the dollar and dirty joke inside. It seems hide and seek is a real theme of this holiday. Whether or not this is some kind of comment on the myrrhbearers not finding what they expected to find at Jesus’s tomb, I do not know.

However, eggs aren’t the only way that we mess with chickens’ minds at Easter. We often place the chicks whose development wasn’t stopped by being boiled in their shells in the baskets next to their siblings’ coloured tombs. Sometimes we dye the chicks pastels, just because we can. Or we form chicks out of marshmallows and cover them with sugar. (Suggestion: let them go a little stale before biting their heads off — yes, they’ll rip out your fillings but, trust me, it’ll be worth it.)

There are also Easter parades where people show off their hats. I mean, who doesn’t love hats?

Whether you’re into Easter for its religious significance or just for the insane traditions, I truly hope you have a good one. I was part of the parish’s planning committee, so naturally I’ll be donning my Easter bonnet this Sunday out at the egg hunt on the village green. Christopher will be suited up nice and smart next to me, though he won’t be taking pictures again, thanks to his police caution last year. Good luck to the little ones looking for the eggs — if you find the silver one and aren’t sure what that word means, I’m sure your father will be happy to explain it to you.

Who Would Jesus Kill?

26 Oct

On the upcoming election day, Americans are going to make a lot of important choices. They’re going to choose a President, some governors, senators and representatives and other more local officials. They’ll also be voting on some propositions and laws. In honor of election day, my Facebook fans can even vote on which hat looks most fetching atop my head. November 6 is going to be a very crucial Tuesday!

As you might guess, I’ve got a few words to say about the Presidential election, but I’ll share those next week. Today, though, I wanted to say something about a specific proposition which will be voted on in California, Proposition 34. Here’s a summary:

  • Repeals death penalty as maximum punishment for persons found guilty of murder and replaces it with life imprisonment without possibility of parole.
  • Requires persons found guilty of murder to work while in prison, with their wages to be applied to any victim restitution fines or orders against them.
  • Creates $100 million fund to be distributed to law enforcement agencies to help solve more homicide and rape cases.

I know many are amazed that the death penalty still exists in America. When we look at the wide world, what countries share the death penalty stage with the US? China, Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Iran are a few—all famously countries the US really respects on a human rights level, yes? No. The US is happy to get up in the faces of these guys with “You’re bad,” “You’re mean,” etc, yet Americans enact the same ultimate punishment as these countries. What up with that?

Now before you start saying, “Oh, Agatha, don’t be so soft on criminals,” please let me clarify. There are lots of criminals who do horrible things and these things should not go unpunished. Not unlike Wolfie Smith, I personally have a list of those I’d gladly put first up against the wall come the Glorious Revolution and, quite frankly, not all of them have even committed illegal acts. But those who do murder, rape and torture—no doubt about it, those people deserve full punishment.

But what is full punishment? The Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution prevents “cruel and unusual punishment.” Here’s where it gets a little sticky. Is murdering someone cruel? Look at a murderer—I’m guessing you’d probably describe his act as cruel. So if murder is cruel, then murder is cruel, n’est-ce pas?

Many would say the difference is the murderer didn’t have a good reason to murder whereas the death penalty is a good reason to murder, because it acts as a deterrent. Yes, definitely. This is why in places where the death penalty is legal, there are never any murders.

But surely the death penalty is cheaper, you may say. Why should we pay to house those bastards—giving them three meals a day, health care and a television? Okay, first off, it ain’t cheaper. Look it up. Secondly, what does it say about a person that they see access to a television as a good life? Yes, I know that the person will never see the light of day again, never get to hug his child or go to his parent’s funeral, but he gets to watch television so life’s not that bad for him. Hmmm . . .

Of course, we cannot ignore the victims and their families. No one deserves the pain they have to suffer. I understand their desire for vengeance. I think we all do, even the Pope (I doubt he’d admit it). I’m going to be bold and even suggest that perhaps the desire for vengeance is human nature. Yet, should that desire be law? When do we draw a line? If we say a life for a life, do we also say an eye for an eye? If someone shoots me in the eye, should it be law that I get to shoot him in the eye (or the state can do it for me)? Would that really be the right thing to do even if we really, really wish it were?

Many Americans have one definite moral compass: the big G-o-d and his son, JC. The Bible is pretty clear that only God can judge. Jesus himself met a few murderers in his time—can you remember what he did to them? Did he strap them to a table or electrocute them until their blood boils? I’m no biblical expert, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t. I know you aren’t Christ, I know judges aren’t Christ, I know victims’ families aren’t Christ. I know it would be pretty damn hard to face a murderer and forgive, even if they’re sentenced to life in prison. But those bracelets remind us to consider ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ and I don’t think there’s a caveat that says “unless it’s really hard, then kill the person if it makes you feel better.”

I know not everyone who reads this will agree with me. I forgive you for that.

Fab Five Freddie Told Me Everybody’s High: The Rapture 2011

20 May

When I was a mere slip of a girl, my mother was reliant on threats to get us to “behave.” She’d say, “Eat your lima beans or I’ll never cook you another meal” and “Clean your room or I’ll sell you to the circus” and “If you ever serve a martini in a highball glass again, I’ll step on your neck.” Needless to say, I never went hungry nor was sold to a circus (I went voluntarily), and my neck remains elegantly unstepped upon. Even as a child, I could see that the problem with giving ultimatums is that they only work if you keep your end of the bargain.

I bring this up because, as many of you may know, according to Mr Harold Camping, tomorrow is Judgment Day. I’m not going to go into the science of his calculations—it’s a little too number-heavy for my liking—but he’s well serious on this, people. From what I understand, sometime tomorrow Jesus will rise from the dead to gather his saints and all the Goodies will be caught up together with him and his lot in the air to meet God.

Anyone still left on the ground has five months to suffer until everything is annihilated in October. So those who are skewing tomorrow as the end of the world just need to keep quiet: don’t you know how foolish you look talking crap?

Anyhoo, back to the Rapture. If we are to believe Mr Camping (and why shouldn’t we, he certainly has a trustworthy face), some of you may find this a bit alarming. You needn’t fear. You’ve already been judged, mate, so there’s little you can do to learn more or change fate.  At this stage, there’s no time left even to request a free bumper sticker or put up a billboard (though oddly Family Radio is still accepting donations). Instead you should probably just concentrate on preparing for your ascension to meet the lord. You should definitely be wearing your Sunday best Saturday. I would suggest, whatever the weather, you choose something clean, light, but still relatively durable (I’m thinking Egyptian cotton for its breathability). Do not wear any item that could easily get caught on something. Men, you may look dashing wearing your Salvatore Ferragamo tie, but you’ll look a right fool when you get stuck dangling from an electricity pylon. And, please, women who decide to don dresses, be sensible about your unmentionables. Remember, there are bound to be some curious eyes below as you fly up into the sky. Don’t leave your modesty behind. Lastly, use your common sense as you would on any high-traffic day: bring some crosswords and travel sweets to keep you occupied in case there’s a hold up somewhere along your journey (but be careful not to drop them; it’d be the ultimate faux pas to put someone’s eye out right before being introduced to God).

When you think about those who are going to be left behind, do not feel sad. They’re the scum of the earth, remember? Maybe you thought you loved them, but you didn’t: you love Jesus! Get your story straight before you get to Heaven, why don’t you. Besides anyone who isn’t going tomorrow doesn’t believe they’ll be meeting their doom soon anyway, so why should you be fretting on their behalf? Grow up.

I truly hope tomorrow goes swimmingly. The threat of the Final Judgment is one doozy of an ultimatum, and I don’t doubt that God (unlike my mother) has got the balls to follow through. Besides if I know Jesus like I think I know Jesus, he’s pretty much a man of his word. So bon voyage, Christians, have a great flight!