Religion


Gather ’round, children. It’s time for the tale of why it’s not fucking okay to call Good Friday “good” and why this name bothers me so much.  As I rant about this particular tragedy in some way every year, you should have anticipated this. Now, before I begin, let’s establish that for the purpose of this post, we will assume that the traditional story of Jesus’s life, death and resurrection are legitimate. If you don’t believe in the story or God or whatever, then that’s fine. This isn’t me endorsing or promoting Christianity, so don’t get angsty. And if you’re an evangelical or conservative Christian, you might not enjoy this, so go do something else if this offends you.  Okay. Where were we?  Ah, yes.  About 1984 years ago, there was this Middle Eastern dude who got killed by a European dude for practicing the wrong religion.1 Anyway, three days later, which would be a Monday not a Sunday, the dead dude popped up & scared the shit out of everyone. We eat chocolate on Easter to commemorate the shit being scared out of people.2 Anyway, supposedly, Good Friday is “good” because the guy who died was dying to help save the world.3 His death is supposed to be symbolic, but what people don’t realize is that his death should still be considered awful. Suggesting it was good despite its horrific nature does a grotesque disservice to its victims.  Crucifixion was used by various empires, but the Romans were big fans of it. That may be because typically Roman citizens weren’t crucified. Their slaves were, as were pirates and enemies of the state. Crucifixion was meant for the lowest of the low. It was the most dishonorable death you could have. It was meant to humiliate. Death by crucifixion could take days and Roman guards couldn’t leave the site until it occurred. Since they had other shit to do, they would “hasten” death by asphyxiation, stabbing, flogging, breaking bones, and other equally pleasant measures.  Crucifixion was abolished in 337 by Constantine because of his feels for Jesus. Not because at one point 500 people per day were executed by it. No, it was because he loved Jesus. The Crucifixion is now celebrated through the symbol of the cross.4 But Good Friday is not just bad because of the evils of capital punishment, atrocities committed by the Romans, the libel perpetrated against one of the closest friends of Jesus,5 or the death and humiliation of any victims of crucifixion. Good Friday was a big player in the antisemitism that grew over the next two thousand years. You see, because it was supposedly Jews who encouraged the punishment and death of Jesus, all Jews were seen as Christ killers. They were accused of well poisoning and starting the Black Death. They were accused of greed. They were placed in ghettos as early as the 16th century. They were exiled/deported from countries for hundreds of years. They were discriminated against throughout Europe and America. They were murdered, tortured, and enslaved en masse during the Holocaust. And the big thing used to justify mass murder was the Crucifixion. So, as you talk about how “good” Good Friday is, remember millions of people died for that goodness.  As Good Friday comes around every year, I begin to feel this sense of dread and annoyance. I remember the carnage associated with it & I just feel like we missed the bigger picture. But not to worry, I’ll get over it. For a year. Of course I’ll get a little annoyed on Sunday as people commemorate the resurrection of a Jewish dude by eating ham. That’s tacky. Of course, so is eating lamb as the commemorate the resurrection of the Lamb of God. Yeah, I’m so judging y’all.  Photo via VisualHunt.com Okay, that’s a pointed summary meant to show you how little things have changed in almost two thousand years. ↩No, we don’t. But if that grosses you out & leaves more chocolate for me, then I have no regrets. ↩Who the fuck did this guy think he is? He’s not Buffy. ↩Basically, people wear little electric chairs around their necks because they think it makes them better—and more fashionable—people. ↩Judas is remembered as a villain for ratting out Jesus. If the stories are true, then he actually fulfilled the requisite action that would eventually lead to the resurrection. That should make him a hero and the people who denied Jesus the villains, but they were the ones who wrote the books, so they did a little revisionist history. Typical. ↩

“Good” Friday?!


1
As children, most of us learn that winning isn’t everything and that we need to be gracious regardless. It can be hard to understand how to express oneself in a gracious way after any competition. It can be especially hard if someone who is held with high regard or is seen as an authority figure encourages bad behavior. When that person throws insults at people who he dislikes or who challenge him, you insult them to appease him. When he says he wants someone punched in the face, you might actually punch them in the face. When that person tells a group that he will pay their legal fees if they hurt someone for him, you might think he will have your back if you do something illegal. People don’t always behave rationally when egged on by their idol.  After Donald Trump lost in Utah, his fanbase immediately started talking about how Mormons conspired to make him lose the state. Tonight, a more prominent Trump fan started stirring that pot by pontificating about why a Mormon state like Utah would turn its back on Trump & vote for Ted Cruz. This was all other fans needed to see to begin their anti-Mormon tweets.  I saw one in particular who felt the need to suggest Mormons are child molesters. He was talking about the FLDS1 cult and I pointed this out. At first, he seemed to be interested in learning the differences. I thought that maybe he was a confused, but decent person.  I. Was. Wrong.    I was so very wrong. I understand politics can bring out passionate reactions in some, but that doesn’t excuse this. Nothing can. Being me, of course I blamed myself at first. You see, I was on a Twitter account I had created to show that Trump is not really distinguishable from certain public figures and fictional characters. It was a bit of entertainment for me. So my thought as I read that I deserved “to be raped by several men for God” was that I had brought this on myself. Luckily, that thought was quickly discarded as I remembered that I was not the one making a threat or encouraging the threats.  I mainly blame this user. I also blame Donald Trump. I blame every person who has amplified Trump’s hateful rhetoric. I blame people who don’t challenge Trump. I blame the people who look the other way on the threats and violence by Trump supporters. We haven’t randomly gotten to a point where these threats are made. This has been building since Trump announced his candidacy. Maybe even before that. But it has to stop.  Trump’s threat of riots if he isn’t nominated will likely come true. If people like this guy are inspired by Trump, we are in a world of hurt. No matter whether he gets the nomination or wins in November, the hate in the hearts of people like this user has been awakened. And it won’t just go away.   It doesn’t help that many turn a blind eye to these threats of retribution. I asked in an LDS group on Facebook for people with Twitter accounts to report this user.2 Well, a user seemed to think this was an odd request.3 I explained my reasoning & pointed out that this isn’t just some random rude comment about or to a single person. This person is threatening millions of people. That’s a big deal.  Donald Trump needs to get it across to his followers that they should behave like adults. I guess he will have to learn how to act like one first, though. He needs to say the threats and violence should stop, but then he’d have to stop inciting both. Americans need to work together to stop this hateboner crowd from completely demolishing this country, its laws, and its freedoms. There is no excuse for allowing Trump or his followers to continue to encourage hatred & violence. There is no excuse for a candidate who inspires his followers to threaten rape or murder.  Speak up and speak out to end this retribution game.  Photo credit: ♥ ella minnow peas ♥ via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ↩I know that Twitter sometimes acts more quickly on threats and abuse if multiple people report the behavior. ↩Even if the threats are just some random asshole being an asshole, the first response to these threats should not be, “Well, what do you expect me to do about this?” It should be obvious what you should do. ↩

Retribution: Win Or Lose




1
Abortion is an issue that a lot of people are very passionate about whether they support it or want to abolish it. How do you feel about the issue? Do you support abortion in all cases? At what point, if any, do you no longer feel it is appropriate? Are you feelings about abortion shaped by religion or personal experiences?

Daily Debate: Sept. 30, 2015



Should Kim Davis, Rowan County Clerk, be in jail for refusing to grant marriage licenses to LGBTQ couples? Was her refusal to do so an example of injustice? Should she be applauded for standing up for what she believes in? Is it hypocritical for her to oppose marriage equality when she has been married four times?