Most people refer to this time of year as being the “Easter Season,” but in this corner the preferred term is “Resurrection Celebration,” though the element of crucifixion is as vital to the observance as the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Such torture and death as that accomplished through the crucifying of a human being is certainly nothing to celebrate.
According to the Venerable Bede, the name Easter is derived from the pagan spring festival of the Anglo- Saxon goddess Eostre, and many folk customs associated with Easter (for example, Easter eggs) are of pagan origin. Even though Easter in the Christian community also incorporates Judeo-Christian elements (Passover, sacrifice, resurrection), the term “resurrection” is preferred in this corner, thus completely discounting any secular or pagan significance.
Strangely, those of the ilk availing themselves often of the services available at the ACLU locations, while having hissy fits and even physical upheavals over anything alluding to Christ at Christmas, seem not to care that the cross is displayed throughout the countryside during Resurrection, and people are (gasp) even allowed to parade it upon public streets in their various rituals connected to the work of Christ. Indeed, the cross is prominently displayed as part of the insignia worn by military chaplains. How can this possibly be, when such a thing could be claimed by the ACLU to be the recognition of an establishment of religion?
After all, the presence of a nativity crèche in the public square at Christmastime is routinely disallowed by city governments and even disallowed by school-boards, lest students be traumatized by observing the birth of a person connected to religion. Yet, something signifying an entity as bloody as a rugged cross, as much a part of religious observance as anything else, is worn by military officers on their shirt collars and uniform-jackets. Why is this?
One wonders if perhaps the reason is simply that in springtime folks are into the warm weather or off on the ritual spring-break or cleaning house or getting ready for the prom or mesmerized by the NCAA “Final Four” in the never-ending basketball season or lots of other things and are just too busy to be bothered by protesting the display of the cross, which is just as emblematic of an establishment of religion as a nativity scene. Or, could it be that the term “Christ” is not mentioned vis-à-vis the cross, at least in the same way it is with regard to Christmas, and protesters just can’t get any leverage because of that? Or, could it be that they’re so dumb they don’t realize the importance of the cross and that it’s even connected to religion?
Christmas involves attention-grabbing ostentation – slathered with much joy and merry-making – that just screams for protesters to answer ostentatiously, while Resurrection is clouded by quietness and a certain solemnity that hushes even those who are avid in trying for 15 minutes of fame. Being raucous about the birth of a baby is easy, but being disrespectful of the death of a saint is another matter, and yet the two extremes are of a piece with respect to what they represent.
Perhaps part of the answer is found in what the cross represents, as well as the subsequent resurrection, particularly at this time. In the suicides of the Muslim bombers is seen the element of sacrifice, just as it is seen in the death of Christ, actually a suicide as well, since he had the power and the option to negate the cross. But the Muslim bomber dies in an attempt to cause others to die, therefore actually being a suicide/homicide bomber, much as the Japanese Kamikaze pilots in World War II. By contrast, Christ, making no effort to save himself or kill others, died in the effort to give life – more abundantly, as he said, on this earth, and eternally, as he said, beyond the grave.
Mohammed, the creator of Islam and the doctrine of “killing infidels, with Paradise as personal reward,” is accounted by Muslims as the prophet of Allah and delivered the Koran, the Islamic holy book, in the process hijacking much of Holy Writ…but when Mohammed died, he stayed dead. On the third day after his death on the cross, Christ arose from the tomb – alive, defeating death and making eternal life available to all. That says it all.
And so it goes.