Happy Easter, everyone! He is RISEN, seize the day! Or whatever. Perhaps I’m jumping the fence a bit here and I pray my grandmother never sees what I am going to write, but recently I have seen a Facebook graphic with a picture of Jesus risen and a caption that reads:
“I come back to Earth and they’ve put all these crosses everywhere and I’m like, ‘What the fuck? . . . ‘ You think if JFK comes back he wants to see fucking sniper rifles everywhere?”
I see the point, but-
Are? You? Kidding? Me?
Kennedy was assassinated, died quickly. Did not suffer.
Hardly comparable to a blood sacrifice.
* * *
As a former Catholic School Girl whose family always made a monumental deal of Easter and Palm Sunday, I know good and well what happened. The nuns told me. Repeatedly. Every Easter I was made to relive it- reminded cruelly of the Stages of the Cross!
Mind you that my mom had to cover up all the mirrors in the house because of Bloody Mary! I would not have a mirror in my bedroom until I was ten! My brother’s *My Buddy* doll was given away because it looked too much like Chucky! I cried all through Space Mountain! I could not watch or read the Ugly Duckling because it was too sad! I once spent a whole night staring at a clock without blinking because I had a loony cousin tell me that every night at midnight, a UFO landed in their Alabama cornfield!
But 9 am on Good Friday?:
“Brianne, Jesus has picked up his cross.”
Then it would continue all day! ALL DAY! “Jesus is being whipped, spit on . . . crowned with thorns . . . he’s falling and no one is helping him! He’s being laughed at and stripped . . . and still no one is helping him! NOW he’s being hung with nails! NOW he’s coughing! NOW he’s crying!”
And you know the rest. Then at 3 pm, Jesus would die. Every year.
To ME, “Good Friday” always kinda sounded like a BAD Friday.
* * *
It was traumatic, this isn’t supposed to be funny! Also telling me that Judas hanged himself out of guilt and crapped himself when he died? Doesn’t make me feel better, sister! Oh! And telling me that Jesus came back from the dead? When you know I’m scared of zombies and ghosts? Who does that to a helpless kid?!
I used to wake up with night terrors and my grandma used to pray over me and tell me it was miracle- that I was a holy child!
But I was little girl! Not a tortilla!
That’s just what *happens* when you make an innocent kid relive a barbaric blood sacrifice! Every year!
Oh! That was just *Easter*!
* * *
The Catholic Church scared me all year long as a kid, I was sensitive! Stigmata! Three days of Darkness! Fatima was a good one too, my mother loved telling me about *this* beautiful tale! I had a hundred CHILDREN’S books on the subject!
“Brianne, these three kids were herding sheep over in Europe one day when a holy lady appeared to them in the sun! The ghost was on fire and she told the kids they had to tie tight cords around their waists to do the farm work and beat each other with sticks! To end His suffering!”
Jesus! Not only are these children being forced to herd sheep when they should be jumping rope, but now a flaming ghost is haunting them? Showing them visions of hell? Telling them to inflict pain on themselves to help ease the suffering of a man who died two thousand years earlier?
That’s a MIRACLE?
I have *seen* miracles and I’m not one of those silly folk who will claim they haven’t! I’ve seen money manifest from nothing, I’ve gone jogging with people who were never supposed to walk again! Seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing . . . and dude!
As a child, I actually *saw* the CHICAGO CUBS win a game or two.
*That’s* the kind of MIRACLE a kid should see! Not visions of the seat by the brimstone that’s waiting for them in the Lake of Fire if they don’t straighten out!
Man. You think not having a FATHER messed me up?
* * *
Which brings us back to the original point- Jesus was sentenced to death. Capital Punishment. These days an execution is quick and quiet, as painless as possible- even Ted Bundy (killer, rapist, kidnapper, and necrophile) was offered a yummy *last meal* before spending THIRTY SECONDS in an electric chair. TIMOTHY MCVEIGH HAD TWO PINTS OF MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP ICE CREAM! TWO PINTS! Not wine mixed with gall, MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP ICE CREAM! The crucifixion was no jolly little gathering of villagers, banding together to watch a flipping LETHAL INJECTION!
This was a CRUCIFIXION! It was brutal!
It has to be one of the worst ways to die. I’ve heard of some crazy forms of capital punishment, but this? THIS? Being skinned alive or burned alive would be better! Even being trampled by elephants would be a few steps up! I don’t care whether JESUS CHRIST was the son of GOD or the son of a GOAT, you don’t do that to a PERSON! The Passion of the Christ? Who wants to watch that more than once? It’s awful!
It was not a happy movie! Worse than the Wicker Man! I hated the Wicker Man, but at least I didn’t see that ending coming! Oh wow.
All of a sudden, they dress the guy in robes, drag him to a cliff where the poor man is horrified to find a giant, hollow wicker man statue. He yells, “OH, GOD! JESUS CHRIST! NOT *THAT*!”
But yes. THAT.
They lock him inside and torch the bitch, do a little chanting, a little folk dancing, and LA DEE DAH! Inside, the man probably passes out very quickly from smoke inhalation and then the burning head of the Wicker Man falls, revealing the setting sun in the distance.
All in all, it took four minutes.
Compared to the Passion of the Christ, death by Wicker Man kind of seems like a stay at the Plaza!
Yet suppose Jesus *had* died this way; what then? Would we all wear little Wicker Man charms around our necks and torch Wicker Branches at church? Would the KKK chant and burn Lawn Gnomes in human effigy?
Sounds ridiculous, right?
But after years of church and Catholic School, I am supposed to wear a cross around my neck? Drink wine and believe it’s blood? Kiss a crucifix with a dead body, hanging bloody and lifeless from a cross?
No, thank you! Not for thirty pieces of silver and not for you!
I realize I am ranting, I am emotional. Sorry. Still to this day, my grandma will walk through every room of my house sadly and say: “Brianne. You don’t have a crucifix.”
No, Grandma. I get nightmares.
Bye, everyone! Happy Easter!