Saturday, March 26, 2005

The Meaning of Easter

As we relax into the first major holiday of the spring (except for our chums in the Southern hemisphere of course) and the re-greening of the country begins as the land gently stirs from it's winter slumbers your friendly Gazette staff thought that they should, in-between stuffing their gobs with yummy choccy eggs, remind our dear readers of the true story of Easter.

Easter is, of course, the most sacred time to Chrisitans (that they knicked from the pagans) when they celebrate the death and resurrection of their messiah. But it is about far more than some man being nailed to a piece of wood you know. Cast your minds back, dear readers, some two thousand years (give or take). Jesus of Nazareth is a thirty-something who has, through a lot of hard work and travel built up a good reputation and a certain following.

Having dinner with his Disciples one evening they discuss how they overcome the plateau their movement seems to have grounded on - how do they reach a bigger audience, national and international? Yes, this is the first recorded director's and shareholder's AGM in history. It seems obvious to Judas that what their grass-roots movement has been succssful but it can only go so far, limited by it's personal touch and word-of-mouth system. What they need, Judas reckons, is a proper PR campaign to take the movement to the next level.

With much cajoling Judas manages to persuade the other disciples/directors to stump up a PR budget of 30 pieces of silver. Top ad agency Red Sea Pedestrians are brought in to work with the team. They realise after some market research that the Christians need to do two things: first they need to reach out to a wider audience and secondly they need to engage more with the female demographic. All the disciples are male and this isn't helping win over women in the Holy Land; most market surveys reveal that they see the nascent new movement as a yet another bunch of men wandering around the donkey trails talking when they should be doing some work and bringing in a few shekels to the household, chopping wood and mending that leaking oil lamp.

And so a greater emphasis is to be given to the women in the movement; threes are known to work well in PR so the three Maries are brought out to be the female face of the movement (the Holy Spice Girls of their day). For an international audience though something much bigger is needed. Entertaining conjuring tricks with fish and bread are all very well for the local papers, but to get international media coverage more is needed and so the idea of a great trial and martyrdom is born.

Every movement needs a successful logo and the crucifix is perfect - eye-catching, it comes with it's own history, is easily recognised throughout the Empire by everyone and is simple to produce for the Holy Relics market. The public martyrdom of the Christ does indeed lead to massive publicity for the following. In a last-minute master-stroke the PR agency appeals to the bowling community (then the Holy Land's favourite sport) by including a rolling rock on the resurrection from the tomb, linking Jesus with the ability to bowl the perfect game, even after death in the minds of millions of keen bowlers.

Within a few years people across the Roman Empire are wearing crucifixes, stores are selling 'authentic' replicas of the Spear of Destiny, bowlers are taking their game to a whole new level and Christianity would spread throughout the continents. So this Easter remember that those chocolate eggs symbolise something very important - go bowling and pray for a perfect strike. As the late, great Dave Allen used to put it, 'go in peace and may your god go with you.'

7 Comments:

Blogger Nogbox said...

Joe,

Shame on You!!!, How could you! At least 3 paragraphs about religion and not one mention of the sacred Python?

Blessed are the cheese makers!!! (and all producers of dairy produces)

10:48 PM  
Anonymous Alan said...

As it happens, Jesus almost certainly wasn't crucified on a cross. The Romans in Judea didn't use crosses at that point in history, they used a frame structure with two cross beams, the arms attached to the upper one and the feet to the lower. Wouldn't look so nice dangling on a chain though!

12:42 AM  
Blogger Lili said...

Did you just say the marie's were holy spice girls of their day? You did, didn't you? Man that is something I shouldn't read while drinking my morning tea....the monitor needs some cleaning!

4:36 PM  
Blogger Alexa said...

Just like Elvis, gets more popular after he dies.

2:21 AM  
Blogger Taswold said...

Hmm. Lots of knee-jerk anti-christian attitudes around at the moment. I'm not sure if you'd class your views along with them. But your irony certainly seems to belong to the anti-religion/christian groups.

Worth trying to think the unthinkable (to some) and just supposing religion did have some positive effects: moral thinking (please don't be one of the morons who say morals and religion are unconnected), inspiration for massive amounts of science, literature, art, and beautiful music.

And yes, the odd auto-da-fe, inquisition, holy war, etc. Like science, religion has been used by humans for good and evil, because humans are capable of both.

Have a listen to Brian Walden on a similar subject:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4387563.stm

He's always worth listening to.

Your writing reminded me a lot of Iain Banks, btw, with more of the M than not. All the best :)

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Eric said...

Man, by nature, is sinful, meaning we're born full of sin and spiritually dead because Adam, who was created without sin but was given freedom of choice because of GOD's love, disobeyed GOD and believed the lies of satan therefore sinning against GOD only to suffer the consequence of spiritual death and ultimately passing sin, and the penalties of it, on to me and you. Now Jesus Christ who is 100% GOD and 100% man, was born by Mary who was impregnated by the Holy Spirit who is also GOD. GOD became flesh when Jesus Christ was born only to give salvation to the very people who would not believe in Him, i.e. you. Jesus, wishing that none shall perish but recieve life willingly allowed Himself, at GOD's right time, to be chastised and crucified so that man could have fellowship with GOD and life more abundantly on earth and in Heaven. Christ's crucifixtion and resurrection is very very important because it, among other reasons, allows man to have an intimate relationship with GOD and gives man the oppourtunity to be blameless in GOD's sight therefore erasing man's transgression toward the longsuffering, merciful, graceful, omnipotent, omnipresent, everlasting, loving almighty GOD of His Holy Word, the Bible. In ending, you can curse and disrepect Christians all you want, as a matter of fact we expect it, but DONT YOU EVER and I repeat EVER blaspheme my GOD again and expect to inherite the Kingdom of Heaven. Thank you!! :)
Grace Peace Love

2:32 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Eric, you are as entitled to your views as I am, but please don't ever tell me what I can and cannot say, because no-one has the right to dictate that to me or any other person. To you this is solid belief, to me it is just another piece of mythology, therefore I cannot possibly blaspheme as you claim since I don't subscribe to your belief system and besides I consider the idea of blasphemy to be simply another way for religious authorities to supress and control legitimate debate and discussion, mostly because their belief system tends to fall apart under rational debate so it is easier to shout blasphemer and try to have someone silenced.

Oh and using capital letters repeatedly is considered very rude online, in case you didn't know, in web parlance it means you are shouting at someone. And I have no interest in entering your kingdom of your god any more than I have of entering the Elysian fields of the Classical afterlife since I don't believe in either. If you do that is fine, but don't try and push your beliefs on me or use them to tell me what I am free to express - I don't tell you not to pray because it offends me, so kindly show me the same courtesy.

10:09 PM  

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