Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Easter Story from a humanist perspective

"I think the Easter story has meanings even for an agnostic like me. I accept that it is a Christian takeover of pagan spring festivals. But it is different, because it combines spring renewal with the Crucifixion, and what the Crucifixion teaches is that the sufferer is superior to those who inflict suffering. Merely by willingly submitting to torment, and dying, he triumphs because he remains innocent - and his triumph is, for me, not affected by whether he comes back to life again as Christians believe he does. It is just his pain, his helplessness and his endurance that make him superior.

I know it is irrational to believe this (as irrational as to believe in the Resurrection) but I believe it all the same. I connect it with the innocence of nature which can be crushed by brute force but will always return. As D. H. Lawrence said: 'The Pyramids will not last a moment compared with the daisy'."

John Carey, author and Oxford academic, quoted in The Times, 14 April 2006.


  1. Have you read "Proverbs of Ashes," by Rita Nakashima Brock & Rebecca Parker? They're make a very convincing argument about the dangers of glorifying "willingly submitting to torment."

  2. Dear Nagoonberry:

    I have skimmed the book and I think they make very good points and provide information that I have never read anywhere else.

    The idea that being a victim of violence is a good thing because we can "offer it up" is a pernicious idea that sanctions some of the worse apsects of patriarchy. Deconstructing this discourse is very significant and important if we are to mature as a society.

    Thank you for bringing the reference up.

    All the best,

    David Markham

  3. A very refreshing post as it departs from the usual mythology, non-rational delusional mysticism, and manipulative old church doctrine that has so ill-served humanity for centuries. A breath of fresh air
    ! It shows, IMO, how truth can be inspirational. More of this please.


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