Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Year I Forgot Easter

I completely forgot about Easter this year. It's a weird feeling. Three and I went to Wal-mart to pick up trash bags, and I noticed all this pastel-colored candy and decoration and asked, "Wait, didn't Easter already happen? Are the Cadbury eggs on sale??" Luckily, I remembered before being called by my mom Easter morning, wondering where we were.

I'm not going to lie. It was kind of embarrassing. Plus, people heard me and gave me all sorts of side-eye. Mind you, I live in a more rural part of the South, where a lot of life is dictated by religious (cough Christian) holidays, with a few others added in for spice aka fireworks. There are actually days that I yearn to live in an area where multiple faiths and cultures are openly and proudly embraced, so I don't just see a small section in stores dedicated - begrudgingly, I might add - to other religions*. But I don't, so yay for me.

What bothers me the most is that I'm not bothered by it, if that makes any sense. I guess it stems from the same place that told me, nope, going to church is actually hurting your relationship with God, so anything that I connect with the legalistic aspect of Christianity is not really something I espouse. I mean, I'm still a Christian, albeit a very liberal one that also incorporates other aspects of other faiths, such as Buddhism, but I really dislike the way the church is headed. And Easter is such a hodgepodge of pagan symbolism (bunnies = fertility), church dogma (there were so many eggs available at Easter because Catholics couldn't eat eggs during Lent and they had to do something with them), and pageantry (passion plays) that I'm just, ugh, over it. And it's not like I need a day to specifically celebrate Jesus' crucifixion, which sounds kind of macabre actually, if you take it out of context. I guess you could say that about Christmas** and celebrating Jesus' birth, too, but that's a whole 'nother fish to fry.

I'm in this strange place these days when it comes to religion, Christianity specifically, although I think a lot of people, both inside and out of it, are in the same boat. I'm tired of having to argue with people who disagree with my interpretation of the Bible, which I do not believe is the word of God, anyway***. I'm tired of hearing about the attack on Christians whenever someone wants to remove religious views from government policy or whenever someone who does not practice Christianity is given a voice to express his/her opinion. Most of all, I just want to do what I'm supposed to do: love people and love God, and I'm tired of people telling me how I'm supposed to do that.

So I suppose it makes sense that my brain shut out anything related to Easter, at least the current version of it. It also helps that I've kind of been a shut-in the past few months, where most of my contact with others has been through the internet or phone. Maybe being a hermit is the path to spiritual enlightenment. Who knows?

(In addition, Mom, since I know you're reading this, I expect my Easter basket again this year. As long as I am childless, I will reap the benefits of a grandchild.)

* And it's not like those are well-stocked or diverse, either, mainly focusing - again, begrudgingly - on Judaism. The craptastic menorahs they had on display was actually more offensive than if they didn't have any at all. I mean, come on, Target.
** It does amuse me that both Easter and Christmas - centered on Jesus - are so close to, if not directly on, pagan celebrations (Vernal Equinox and Samhain, respectively). It's like the church wasn't even trying to be subtle about appropriating pagan holidays. Way to go, guys.
*** And that always opens up fun doors full of spikes and angry zombie dogs, waiting to attack me.
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