Today as I type this billions of Christians all over the world are celebrating the "Holy Day" known as Easter, the celebration of the supposed resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Today, hundreds of thousands – perhaps even millions of atheists are delighting themselves in calling it Zombie Jesus Day, much like I did last year. This year, for me, the joke is old – I get it and all and of course it makes sense but I just don't find the same humor in it that I once did because I know that it offends some of my dear friends.
As a result of perhaps maturing another year I've chosen to make this day a different sort of holiday for me at least and I wonder if my atheist cohorts would decide to do the same.
A New Proposal
Rather than trolling message boards, Reddit, and Facebook all day today calling Christians out on their worship of a man that may never have existed I intend to make this day, and any other Christian holiday a day of reason – and I'm going to do so respectfully.
On this day, now and until we are all dead I propose that we should approach the Christian multitudes with facts and reason rather than taunts and hate. Lets talk about the historical context, pagan origins, and logical fallacies of this belief system in meaningful ways in order to promote a reasonable dialog between our two groups because I honestly don't feel that Zombie Jesus Day promotes anything more than anger and hurt feelings.
Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying Christendom is innocent of causing massive amounts of harm to our society because it most certainly has – I just don't believe that you can fight fire with fire any longer. If we are going to attempt to put out the flames of hate, intolerance, and myth we must stop being hateful, stop being intolerant, and start presenting facts even IF they will fall of deaf ears.
What to do
Here are the things that I think we, as atheists and overall reasonable people should do on days such as this:
- Know the history of Easter and the similarities between Jesus and other Christ-myth deities past such as Mithras and Glycon.
- Ask believers why there are so many religions that existed PRIOR to Christianity that share a nearly identical story.
- Discuss the Burden of Proof that Christians have since they are making positive claims as to the existence and person of God.
- Discuss and present the evidence for the superiority of the Scientific Method and why God is unnecessary for life/the universe
- Don't act like an ass – Sure I'm guilty, but it's never done anything positive for me or anyone else.
I'm not saying that we are necessarily wrong to ridicule Christianity, what I am saying is that ridiculing Christianity is fruitless. Yes, the premise of Christianity and all religions are regurgitated myths and belief in them often has very dangerous results but the only way to dispel those myths is by presenting the facts regarding them. No, this won't change every Christian's mind but at the very least it provides the opportunity to reason and grow if they are open to it.
The header picture on this post shows (L) Isis and Child – an early Christ and (R) Mary and Child – The Modern Christ