Easter is honoured by nearly all of contemporary Christianity to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The holiday often involves a church service at sunrise, a feast which includes an “Easter Ham,” decorated eggs and stories about rabbits. Where did all of these customs, which have nothing to do with the resurrection of Jesus, come from?
Here’s one theory, courtesy of Wikipedia and http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org.
Early professing Christians were not the only ones who celebrated a festival called Easter. Ishtar, pronounced “Easter,” was the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility, war, love, and sex. Ishtar was also a day to commemorate the resurrection of one of their gods they called Tammuz.
Some explanation: Noah’s grandson Cush married a woman named Semiramis. They had a son they named Nimrod. After Cush died, Nimrod married Semiramis and became a god-man to the people, and Semiramis became the powerful Queen of ancient Babylon. Nimrod was eventually killed by an enemy, and his body was cut in pieces and sent to various parts of his kingdom. Semiramis had all of the parts gathered, but his penis could not be found. Semiramis claimed that Nimrod could not come back to life without it, and told the people of Babylon that Nimrod had ascended to the sun and was now to be called Baal, the sun god. Queen Semiramis also proclaimed that Baal would be present on earth in the form of a flame, whether candle or lamp, when used in worship.
It’s said that with the help of Satan, Semiramis set herself up as a goddess, claiming that she was immaculately conceived. She taught that the moon was a goddess that went through a 28-day cycle and ovulated when full. She further claimed that she came down from the moon in a giant moon egg that fell into the EuphratesRiver. This was to have happened at the time of the first full moon after the spring equinox. Semiramis became known as Ishtar which is pronounced “Easter,” and her moon egg became known as “Ishtar’s egg.” Ishtar soon became pregnant and claimed that it was the rays of the sun-god Baal that caused her to conceive. Her son Tammuz was noted to be especially fond of rabbits, and they became sacred in Ishtar’s religion, because Tammuz was believed to be the son of the sun-god, Baal.
Tammuz, like Nimrod, loved to hunt but was killed by a wild pig while hunting. Queen Ishtar told the people that Tammuz was now ascended to his father, Baal, and that the two of them would be with the worshippers in the sacred candle or lamp flame as Father, Son and Spirit. Ishtar, who was now worshipped as the “Mother of God and Queen of Heaven,” continued to build her mystery religion by telling the worshippers that when Tammuz was killed by the wild pig, some of his blood fell on the stump of an evergreen tree, and the stump grew into a full new tree overnight. This made the evergreen tree sacred by the blood of Tammuz. Hence we have the Christmas tree?
She also proclaimed a forty-day period of time of sorrow each year prior to the anniversary of the death of Tammuz. During this time, no meat was to be eaten. Worshippers were to meditate upon the sacred mysteries of Baal and Tammuz, and to make the sign of the “T” in front of their hearts as they worshipped. They also ate sacred cakes with the marking of a “T” or cross on the top.
Every year, on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, a celebration was made. It was Ishtar’s Sunday and was celebrated with rabbits and eggs. Ishtar also proclaimed that because Tammuz was killed by a pig, that a pig must be eaten on that Sunday. By now, readers should have deduced that paganism infiltrated the Roman Catholic Church and that Easter has nothing whatsoever to do with the resurrection of Jesus. The forty days of Lent, eggs, rabbits, hot cross buns and the Easter ham originate in the ancient pagan mystery religion of Babylon. These customs of Easter honour Baal, who is still worshipped as the “Rising Sun” and his house is the “House of the Rising Sun.” How many churches have “sunrise services” on Ishtar’s day and face the rising sun in the East? How many will use coloured eggs and rabbit stories, as they did in ancient Babylon?
- There are no gods. Religion was created as a way to try to explain mysteries and to control primitive people. Modern civilization has science to take care of the mysteries, and primitive civilizations continue to exist either of their own volition or of their own ignorance. Instead of observing gods, we should give our attention to love for our families and friends, artistic creativity as well as intelligence and the knowledge and technological innovation it continues to provide us. Those things sustain us.
- Just as there are no gods, there is no heaven, nor is there a hell. Heaven and hell were created by the same notions that created gods. If there were gods to be in charge of us, then there had to be rules we had to follow. If we followed the rules, we deserved a reward; if we did not follow the rules, we deserved a punishment. Since there is no proof that gods exist, there is no proof that heaven and hell exist.
- Each of us is responsible for our own actions. Don’t blame someone else because things didn’t go the way you wanted them to. Since there are no gods, there is no divine plan to predetermine our lives. Speak honestly and live with purpose.
- The universe was not created in six days so that the seventh could be observed as a day of rest during which we should worship god(s). One day is no different — or more special — than any other. Any day is as good as the others to put aside time for thinking, meditation and rest.
- Nobody deserves respect unless they’ve demonstrated they deserve it. If you want to be respected, show respect.
- Life is not sacred; it’s a cosmologic fluke. We should consider ourselves lucky to be alive. It’s up to us to make the most — physically and emotionally — of the time we have.
- When you make a promise to someone, keep it.
- If it’s not yours, don’t touch it.
- Tell the truth so people will know you’re not full of shit.
- Dreams and aspirations are fine, but in the end, dwelling on them will take you away from the fact that you have bills to pay. Focus on reality.
Someone I used to know decided today that if I happen to state my views as an atheist on an atheist Facebook page that she can tell me that I’m forcing my religion down her throat. People might say that I could have directed the comment to be read by friends only or by acquaintances only; I always try to make sure that I direct any of my comments to those who I know will not be offended or feel as if I’m forcing things upon them. This woman (who I know is a Christian) told me that I was “forcing my religion down her throat.”
If I remember right, I was giving my opinion about the new Pope. I don’t recall forcing her to read what I wrote, or telling her to read it, or telling anyone else to tell her to read it. She knows that I’m an atheist, and that a great many things I write on FB have something to do with atheism or skepticism or freethought or agnosticism or science. But I put up comments about music, classic television, sports, weather, my family members, my friends, teaching, the education system, epilepsy, vertigo, cats, my students, other people’s children, my wife, my opinion of the medical profession, and anything else that crosses my mind.
She’s as welcome as anyone else to read or to ignore anything I post on FB. I do the same for about 1/4 of what gets put on my wall; I’m not always interested in everything people have to say, and some of it, frankly, just makes me want to grab people and shake them. I don’t think I’m smarter than anyone else, because how smart you appear has a lot to do with your surroundings. I’d be an idiot in front of a sewing machine or in a mechanic’s shop, but when it comes to trivia, I’m genius-like. But I do know that I know enough about being an atheist to be able to tell when someone doesn’t know the first thing and is trying to force their beliefs on me.
I refuse to compromise my thought process to satisfy the bronze-age thinking of someone who doesn’t know that atheism is not a religion, nor is it even a belief system. Atheism is the absence of belief in the existence of gods. An atheist is a person who does not believe that gods exist, plain and simple. There are more complicated concepts within that idea, but for the beginner, that’s the essence.
It has no connections to politics, it has no great philosophical beliefs, and it implies no beliefs about society, science, or religion (Buddhism, for example, is an atheistic religion). Each atheist has their own beliefs and attitudes. If you know that a person is an atheist, all you know about them is that they do not believe in gods.
I am an atheist. I do not believe gods exist.