I'm definitely of the latter school. I didn't realize that the "Easter Holiday" was upon us until last Wednesday, when a customer said "Happy Easter." To which I said, "Thanks." I know what he meant and my thank-you was sincere. But the truth is, for anyone who cares to take a look, that there is no day on the so-called "Christian calendar" more corrupted by pagan symbols and rituals than "Easter."
The name itself is a fraud. In the AV the word "Easter" occurs only once, in Acts 12:4, where it is a deliberate mistranslation of the word for "Passover." The word "Easter" derives from a fertility goddess, called "Ashtaroth" in the Old Testament (a.k.a. Eostre, Ostera, Astarte, Ishtar, etc.), which was the companion goddess to the god Baal (see Judges 2:13). This goddess was said to rule the dawn of the day and the spring season (see Babylon Mystery Religion, by Ralph Woodrow, p. 143), and its most important annual ritual was a "sunrise service" held at the spring equinox (c.p. Ezekiel 8:16).So lemme see if I've got this "Easter" thing straight. Every April an "Easter Bunny" visits every house overnight, like Santa Claus, and hides colored eggs (Rabbits? Eggs? Is there a connection here?) which directly after a sunrise service, we send the kids out in the yard to hunt. Oh yeah, and all the young girls are wearing brand-new spring dresses.
What do we have here but symbols and rituals derived directly from the worship of the fertility goddess Ashtaroth?
I know what a lot of folks are thinking about now, "You just want to spoil everybody's fun, Jeff." Yeah well, believing Christians have stood accused of that for centuries, so I'm in good company. And, "After all, it's just innocent fun." And, "Why do you care anyway?"
The short answer is: For the most part, I don't. For instance, I'm not going to try to lobby to get the particular months and days with names derived from pagan gods renamed. (Anyway, "Thor's Day" sounds kinda cool in my book.) Nor the words "east" and "west," for that matter, which derive from the self-same roots as "Easter." In fact, if in the middle of The Mall in Washington D.C. they were to (ahem) erect the world's tallest phallic symbol, dedicated to "the father of our country," and ring it with fifty flag poles flying fifty American flags, one for each state in the Union (this is an ancient design, straight from the "groves" that the Old Testament talks about: the phallus represents god Baal, the ring represents the goddess Ashtaroth), it wouldn't bother me at all. I'm glad to let the unbelievers do what they want, so long as they remain kind enough to return me the favor.
But when Christians worldwide have been willingly duped into preempting an observance of the greatest event of all history and all time -- the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ -- with symbols and rituals derived directly from a fertility goddess, it's time to rattle the cage. Most children being raised in allegedly "Christian" households have more vivid memories of coloring eggs and cutting construction paper into rabbit shapes than they'll ever have of learning about and envisioning an empty tomb and an angel sitting on top of a rock next to a collection of soldiers sprawled on the ground unconscious.It's my understanding that there's a tradition in the Russian Orthodox Church, that all day long on "Easter" (yeah, they call it that too) members greet one another by saying "He is risen," and answer the greeting by saying, "He is risen indeed." As traditions for "regarding" a day "unto the Lord" go, that's not a bad one. It makes me feel like I ought to take back everything bad I've ever said about the Orthodox Church. Almost.
BTW, Jesus Christ was executed, not on "Good Friday," but on Wednesday (and there was nothing "good" about the day), and he rose from the dead, not on the morning of "Easter Sunday," but on Saturday sometime shortly before sunset. For those who care to know, answers are available
So, Happy Resurrection Saturday everybody ... "HE IS RISEN." "HE IS RISEN INDEED!"