Monday, February 21, 2011

Canadian Christians Just as Discriminatory as Americans?

I've always thought of Canada as a bit more progressive than the United States. Their health care is way ahead of ours, and they don't go around blowing up other countries for no reason.

But apparently the Canadian Christians (in this case, it's mostly Catholics) take their cues straight from the same playbook as Americans. When it comes to religious discrimination, they're in the big leagues.

The city council of Saguenay, Quebec refused to take a crucifix down from the City Council's chambers. It took a lawsuit from a local atheist and a court order to settle the issue. But is it settled? No. The mayor still refuses to take the crucifix down! Not only that, he's vowed to fight the court order and has started privately gathering funds for the battle.

But what's even more amazing is that he's claiming discrimination!
"Why is it us Christians that always have to bend?" [Mayor] Tremblay told the Globe and Mail newspaper. "Our values have no importance. I am the first mayor in the history of the world to be punished for reciting a prayer."
Sorry, Mr. Mayor, but Christians have been killing each other for 2,000 years for reciting the wrong prayers. In fact, after Christianity was legalized in ancient Rome in AD 313, more Christians were killed by other Christians than the Romans had killed in the previous 150 years of persecution. I'll bet there was a mayor or two in there somewhere.

The thing that bugs me the most is the way these people keep using the Underdog Meme. It's the idea that somehow Christians, who make up 96% of the town's population, are being persecuted. It's laughable on the face of it. But it's also effective. People fall for it.

It's also a perfect illustration of this meme. Humans instinctively will band together and forget their differences when faced with an outside foe. George Bush and his cronies knew this all too well. They kept America in a constant state of paranoia by keeping their bogeyman, Osama bin Laden, highly visible.

The Underdog Meme for religion does the same thing: it makes people feel attacked so that they band together more tightly. The Underdog Meme fosters the idea that Christianity is a persecuted minority under attack. It claims that everyone is out to get Christians. It somehow works even in places where Christians make up the vast majority of the population and control the political machinery.

Many religions have a strong Underdog Meme because it works. In the classic survival-of-the-fittest fashion, religions that foster paranoia are religions that survive. The Mayor of Saguenay learned this lesson well and is using it with great effect.

But it won't fly. The truth is that Mayor Tremblay and the Saguenay City Council are the ones who are trampling on the rights of non-Christians. All citizens should have the right to address the government without having someone else's religion thrown in their faces. It's just common sense, and it's the law.

These Saguenay Catholics are unrepentant about forcing their religion on Jews, atheists, Muslims and people of other faiths. Apparently they don't understand nor believe in freedom of religion. Alas, my stereotype that Canadians are all open-minded progressives is shattered. It sure doesn't apply to these Catholics! They're just like their American counterparts. They still believe they have a lock on morality and truth. They think that a meeting of grown men and women won't be productive unless they recite incantations to their deity beforehand, and hang an idol of him being tortured on the wall for everyone to admire.

But I will say one thing about this story: I learned about a new place. Saguenay, Quebec actually sounds quite interesting. It has about 143,000 residents and is WAY up north, roughly 200 kilometers north of Quebec City. Wikipedia says Saguenay "can be described as an isolated 'oasis' in the middle of the vast remote wilderness of Northern Quebec ... the last roads north end just a short distance from the city... There are no human settlements due north of Saguenay all the way to the Canadian Arctic island..."

If I'm ever up that way, maybe I'll stop in for a visit. It actually sounds like a nice place.


  1. Yeah the Irony is the Ahtitss claim to be discriminated agaisnt because of the presence of a Crucafix... yet somehow thats OK.

    Whats th difference between the WEHiney Athiests who want it removed then?

  2. Zarove, it's hard to take you seriously when your post is riddled with misspellings and random capitalizations.

    To answer your question, there should be a separation of church and state. I, as an atheist, should have the same rights and representation as a religious person. For a government institution to display a religious affiliation insinuates that the entirety of the government and/or everyone in the town is of the same religion and if you aren't then you don't matter.

    This doesn't just apply to Atheists but Muslims, Jews, Buddhists etc. Everyone should be represented and not forced to conform to one religion.

    If your local government had a Star of David on the wall would you be upset about it as a Christian? If you asked to have it taken down, even filed a lawsuit that ruled that it should be taken down and they still didn't comply how would you feel?

  3. 1: I am dyslexic.

    2: You are also as Religious person. The idea that as an Atheist you are not Religious is one thing I've contested, and while Mr. James will not concede I even have a point and say I'm not interested in Honest debate on the topic, and am just using Semantics, I already won this one.

    Religion is our beliefs regarding the fundamental nature of our existence. Everyone has this, and being an Atheist doesn’t make you non-religious.

    3: Canada is not America. The Canadian Charter of Rights as well as its Constitution acknowledge God.

    4: Official Religions are rarely oppressive to those who do not share then, especially in the Western World and most particularly now. My Native England has a State Church and no one is forced to attend and there is no Favouritism in Law.

    5: Why assume I’m a Christian? I never said I was. I am, but could have been a Jew. Heck, I could be an Atheist. I actually have an Atheist friend who agrees with me broadly on this “New Atheism”.

    6: Actually no, I wouldn't be upset over a Star of David, or a Star and Crescent, or a Statue of Ganisha. I also didn't quiet get why it got so many upset when a Hindu opened prayers in Washington.

    As one who believes that what really matters is my personal liberty to live as I wish, with minimal Governmental intrusion, then a Nation that is officially Buddhist that displays Buddhist artwork in Government buildings wouldn’t bother me so long as Tolerance and equality in law extends to all other members of society.

    Despite the claim that is often made (Particularly by Americans) possessing a State Religion doesn’t automatically come with the price of complete subservience to said Religion or people not of said Religion being treated as if they are not Equals.

    And people of your own Religion, and yes you are Religious, also imposed State Atheism in the USSR, and that certainly wasn’t Free, so an officially "Religion free" Government is no guarantee of anything either. Atheists can and have been oppressive, and Secularism can be taken well too far.

    7: Canada is a Constitutional Monarchy. It is not based solely around Representative Government. I myself am a Monarchist who finds a balanced system that checks the Powers of the Crown by Parliament, and checks Parliament by the Crown, much better than a purely Republican Affair. Still, neither the Canadian Senate nor the Office of Her Majesty the Queen (As executed in her Absence by Her Majesties Governor General of Canada) are actually Representative of the people, but are accountable to them. Only the House of Commons is directly voted for and only the Commons is Actually about Representation.

    Still, by Canadian law, all Authority flows from the Crown, the Courts rule by Right of the Crown, and the Parliament is Her Majesties Parliament Governing on her behalf. Her Majesty the Queen and her Lawful successors are the Seat of Authority.

    And, by the way, Her Majesty Rules by Divine Right under God himself, whom has by his Grace given her as Supreme Governor of her Realm, Canada. God is acknowledged thus as the Final Supreme Authority in all Matters in the Canadian System of Governance.

    I suppose I have not much less to say but, God Save the Queen!

  4. Anon, exactly how did the above response contribute to the discussion?

  5. I'm somewhat at a loss for words. I don't know how to reply against someone who supports Monarchist, Christian government.

    Government should be derived solely from the people, and your lineage shouldn't matter one whit. Each person has the right to be judged and held accountable for their own actions. I mean, those of us in America and Canada already won the "birth jackpot", as did others born into fairly free, open, democratic societies of relatively great wealth.

    I do not want my government to endorsea given religion. I would encourage individual persons to follow their own life's journey, absolutely, but I do not want the organization that hands down judgment, that creates laws and regulations, to openly bow to one religion's god. That creates, IF NOTHING ELSE, an impressio of favoritism. In reality, these symbols uphold religious favoritism. How can I count on a politician who worships one god to respect my beliefs?

    You can call it religion as much as you like, Zarove, but I don't attend church, and my worldview is not impacted by a "holy tome" or a series of survivalist memes designed to further a movement of thought. I do not give money to a tax-free indoctrination group, and I do not support the idea that a given school of religious or non-religious thought has any place in a government that purports to support the freedom of religion.

    I admit I am not familiar with Canada's Constitution, but any Constitution that bows to a deity is fundamentally flawed.

  6. I would like to amend the last sentence of my third paragraph. I meant to say a politician who operates out of a building and/or office that openly supports a given religion.

  7. Why IS IT THAT Americans have such an incapacity to understands legal Concepts that are not American? Mr. Leary, you provide only rhetoric here, I’m afraid. None of your comments really provide a reason for what you have said. EG, you say that all Political power should be derived from the People. Well, why? Because you said so? Because Thomas Jefferson said so?

    Monarchy has a much better track record of securing individual freedom, and for producing Stability, than does a Republican government. Americans Imagine a Monarchy as an oppressive force, with one man, or woman in our case, that simply barks out orders and whose word is law. They also imagine that any absolute ruler whose word is law will automatically remove all Individual Freedom.

    There really is no evidence of either proposition though. Nothing inherent in absolute rule means the ruler who rules absolutely must remove Freedom, and nothing in Monarchist Theory indicates the Crown should be given absolute power. As stated, the British system, of which Canada’s is an offshoot, limit’s the role of the Monarchy, and even when the Monarchy had the ability to exercise real power (in theory she still does, its just customary for the Crown to avoid political involvement) that power was never absolute. The system of Checks and Balances Americans imagine was the product of their Founders was, in fact, already existent in the British system of Governance, and so was the concept of inviolable rights. The entire feudal system was, for Instance, based on a series of interlocking rights that even the King could not violate or remove, and by which the Common People possessed.

    I realise its part of your founding Myth that America broke from Britain (usually just England for some reason, as if the Act of Union in 1701 never took place. Americans have the animosity towards England alone, not Scotland or Wales.) and that this was because of an evil and oppressive King George the Third, but the reality is farm more complicated than this.

    Then again, as his is an Atheist site, its probably accepted that all of Americas founders were deists, without regard for the fact that the 52 men who signed the Declaration of Independence included a Clergyman, and that each man often disagreed with the others over several issues.

    As to Christian Government, I see no reason why this would be upsetting either. If said Government allows one to be free and secure in ones own Religion, irrespective of what that is, and doesn’t impose the Christian Faith onto anyone, and if said Government allows its Ministers to belong to any given Religion, and if no ones Freedom is abolished or hindered, of what consequence is it?

    Also, as a Monarchist I support Governments with other Religions as well, such as His Majesty the King of Jordan, an officially Muslim State, or the United Arab Emirates. I am also a supporter of a Free Tibet under His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

    Monarchy is a Principle, not confined to a single Religion.

  8. Continued From Above.

    Government should be derived solely from the people, and your lineage shouldn't matter one whit.

    Why? And how do you really derive a Government from “The people”? You do realise that as easy as it is to mock Hereditary Monarchy, its even easier to mock the so called “Government of the people” which never really yields anything remotely close to a unified peoples choice. Elections are over glorified popularity contests in which politicians scheme for power but claim to want to help the people, and aspire to power yet try to pretend to be Humbled. The people divide into camps, and endlessly attack one another, and whoever has the biggest mob of angry and agitated people on election day wins.

    Yes, that makes a lot more sense…

  9. As above, so below.

    Each person has the right to be judged and held accountable for their own actions.

    How does Monarchy really prevent this?

    I do not want my government to endorsea given religion. I would encourage individual persons to follow their own life's journey, absolutely, but I do not want the organization that hands down judgment, that creates laws and regulations, to openly bow to one religion's god.

    What about Religions that don’t have a god? Even if I accepted that some people have no religion, such as yourself, I’d still wonder how I can reconcile using the word “Religion’ as if it simply is another word for Theism given the existence of Theravada Buddhism.

    I also see no real distinction, as you Nonreligious people still have a comprehensive philosophical outlook that defines your existence and you still want to seek converts to it.

    The whole thing is really a comfortable delusion, that there is a distinction between Atheists and Religious people, when it all really boils don to simply differences in belief.

    Incidentally, there is still no real connection between State Sanctioned Religious belief and tyranny. Does it matter if Parliament opens each day in Prayer to God if, at the same time, you are permitted to live as you like? Canada is a nation whose supreme power rests on God but I doubt you can find how that alone has produced misery and untold oppressive cruelty in the Land of the North, can you?

    Really you provide no real reason why God shouldn’t be in Government or why a State Religion ought not be included other than personal preference and a very biased view of Religion as a Virus that always causes Harm. Where’s the real data to support this from Canada though?

  10. Once Again from me. Continued form the above.

    That creates, IF NOTHING ELSE, an impressio of favoritism. In reality, these symbols uphold religious favoritism. How can I count on a politician who worships one god to respect my beliefs?

    No, it doesn’t. Simply believing in God doesn’t mean you believe God can only be expressed in a single Religion, and the same Constitution also clearly says that one can worship God according to the dictates of ones own conscience and is free not to worship God if one so chooses.

    Furthermore, your last question is rather odd. A politician who worships one god is rather easy to find even in America which has no State Religion and who is officially Secular, though not in the way Modern Secularists use the term.

    You can call it religion as much as you like, Zarove, but I don't attend church, and my worldview is not impacted by a "holy tome" or a series of survivalist memes designed to further a movement of thought.

    Memes really don’t exist. Richard Dawkins created them out of whole cloth to fit a personal pet theory.

    That said, I find it hard to believe that you don’t have a “Series of Survivalist Memes” designed to further a movement of thought given how the Atheist Movement of today is clearly definable in what it believes, and is not solely defined by what it doesn’t believe in. Its fairly obvious that you lot always make the same arguments and always argue in favour of the same sort of moral codes and same basic understanding of the world. These beliefs can even be found written down in the three ( if you exclude the two not quiet fully endorsed) Humanist Manifestos, which outline a system of thought and an approach to the world.

    The Modern-Day Atheists who prattle on about Memes and Religion as a Mind Virus also tell us exactly how to think about the world we live in and how we should lead our lives.
    It is, clearly, a movement of thought, an if Memes exist then its fairly obvious that they would be equally behind this as behind any Religion.

    So what’s the difference? Other than the comfortable self delusion that somehow yours is not a Religion and you arrive at all your conclusions on your own without anyone else guiding those thoughts.

    I do not give money to a tax-free indoctrination group, and I do not support the idea that a given school of religious or non-religious thought has any place in a government that purports to support the freedom of religion.

    This makes no sense. All Governments operate on Schools of thought. Else they’d have no basis for their governing policies.

    I admit I am not familiar with Canada's Constitution, but any Constitution that bows to a deity is fundamentally flawed.


    Because you said so?

    This is why Americans seem to come off as Arrogant.

  11. Also, my reply was before I saw your correction.

    Still, I see nothing inherently wrong in operating a Government out of a Building that acknowledges a Religion

  12. Oh, and just to ad it, when Mr. James claims that Christians killed each other with more ferocity after Christianity became Legal than had occurred in the 150 years of persecution (really 300 years, on and off), he's simply not Historically accurate.

    Really, Christians did not descend into mass killing spree’s against other Christians who simply recited the wrong prayers and his claim seems to be base don nothing. I'd wager its like how St. Bacchus and St. Sergius were a gay married couple, something he read off some website somewhere and just repeated as if its True because it appealed to his Prejudices.

    I will be told this was an insult, but it snot intended to be. its just that I can't really see why I need to pretend that History reads differently than it really does, and no I am not simply being an apologist, the Christian History that’s ever so common these days is broadly speaking farce.

    Does Mr. James have anything tangible to really prove this assertion?

    Why should I believe that Christians killed each other in much greater numbers than the Roman Empire did before it was legalised?

    Exactly what evidence exists for this? Why should I believe something with no Historical data offered to back it up?

  13. Zarove, this is why nobody is interested in your posts. You waste our time. Even a cursory internet search would have taught you about the history of Christians killing each other. The quotes below took me about three minutes to find.

    Or, you could go to the library or any bookstore, as I did, and get a real history book which will give you the same story. Will Durant, one of the greatest historians of all time, wrote about it in detail.

    "As a matter of fact, in one year, Christians killed more Christians in the city of Alexandria than the Roman Empire executed during all of the existence of the Roman Empire. Yes, one hundred thousand Christians were killed in one year by Christians in Alexandria."

    "As for Tacitus's remark about burning of Christians. Yes some were executed. But not as many as the Church later bragged about. Even Christian historians have agreed that Christian persecutions were not as intense nor ongoing as often portrayed in cinema or in martyrologies. Christians killed more Christians in a few years after the convert Constantine took over the Empire, than were killed by all the Roman persecutions in the previous three hundred years."

  14. Mr. James, I realise that in this game you “Nonreligious” people think you are always better educated and when I come along and say something that contradicts you I must be wrong. I play a silly game by redefining words like Belief, Religion, and Faith, and now I have proven I don’t know History.

    But, is this True?

    I can prove to you that Faith doesn’t really mean belief without evidence, and can prove to you that Religion doesn’t mean belief in a god, and that Atheism is not the opposite of Religion, though you make no comments towards those and simply claim that I’m wrong and clearly don’t know what I am on about.

    The same exists here.

    The problem isn’t that never learned History, its that I have, and know enough not to Trust things you find on random internet sites. The internet is replete with horribly inaccurate History, catering to whatever one wishes to believe. EG, many Atheist websites persist in claiming that Easter was originally a Pagan Holiday named after the goddess Oestara, and that Easter Eggs and the Easter Bunny were originally Pagan fertility Symbols of the Spring. This is of course total hogwash, as Ester is only called Easter in Germanic Languages, and is called Pashe or some other variant in most other Languages in Europe. Its connected to the Jewish Passover, not a pagan calibration of Spring. Easter Eggs were a High Middle Ages concept, created to celebrate the end of Lenten fasting, and the Easter Bunny came bout much later.

    Yet I hear often how Easter is a Pagan holiday, and such claims are made all the more familiar this time of year, spoken as if true.

    Or look at how you said that St. Sergius and St. Bacchus were joined in a same sex marriage. Do you really think that this is valid History?

    The same applies here.

  15. You really are simply looking for History to support a prejudice, and its no different from when I talk to a Glenn Beck fan about the American Revolution, and inform them that a lot of what Mr. Beck says is erroneous tosh. A good deal of what Beck says refers to true events, and a lot of it is accurate, but he always slants it his own way, and invariably introduces elements that are utterly false. EG, that Jamestown nearly failed because of Socialism, and only Capitalism saved it. I would wager if I criticised the Historical Inaccuracy of Beck, though, your’ agree with me. Its only when I challenge your interpretation of History regarding Christianity that I’ll come off as uneducated and foolish.

    The first blog you posted quotes L. Ron Hubbard as saying that Christians in one year killed more of their own than the whole of the Roman Empire. Is L. Ron Hubbard that credible a source to you?

    He doesn’t even back this up with anything.

    Also, do you believe that Sigmund Freud was out to poison peoples minds and trap them? Hubbard did, or at least said he did. What about the idea of Thetans from Scientology?

    Or is Mr. Hubbard only accurate in regards to how Christians killed more in Alexandria than the whole of the Roman Empire, and how the Empire didn’t kill that many?

    It also seems that Mr. Babinski simply repeats the same claim. Or perhaps both quote the same source.

    And just who is Edward Babinski?

    Alas! Not really a Historian. He speaks about Creation VS Evolution and seems to be one of those sorts who left Fundamentalist Christianity and thus decided to embrace Agnostism, which also brought him to the general Humanist views you hold to. (Though he seems less aggressive in that regard, from what I have read.)

    He seems to fall into the same traps too. EG, he seems to readily accept an Anti-Christian slant to History.

    Still, it seems to me that the two men are quoting the same source, or one is quoting the other, who quote an external source. (Or in the case of Hubbard, perhaps just making it up. Hubbard was known for that.)

    Is this really your evidence? L. Ron Hubbard, a Scientologist who hated Christianity, as well as Psychiatry, and Edward Babinski, a man who allows himself to read stereotypes about Christians and has shown a penchant for believing negative claims regarding Christianity as it reflects his own disappointment?

    Do you honestly think these two links prove that Christians were more violent and bloodthirsty than the Roman Empire before them? That thy killed each other in greater numbers?

    This is your evidence?

    This is why I had to ask why I should take seriously any claims you or others like you make about using reason and getting the Evidence. Buying into these sorts of things isn’t reason, it isn’t looking honestly a the Evidence. Its simply finding someone saying what you want to hear and accepting it as fact because it reinforces what you already wanted to believe. That, Mr. James, is why I don’t really see you as speaking for Reason, and logic, and Science, and Evidence.

    If I did the same thing you just did only for Christianity, you’d scoff at how stupid I am, and tell me how I don’t know how to do proper research. You’d tell me that I can’t just Trust Christian Sources. You’d tell me that I shouldn’t be so gullible. You’d tell me that I should read a real History book, and not just take the word of those who have Vested Interests. Yet you do the same htign and it becomes Rational.

    Come on.

  16. Zarove,

    I must ask you: what is your evidence to the contrary?

    Babinski has gathered quotes from a multitude of sources about Christian infighting and warring and exclusion practically from the start right here. These are wellr-esearched volumes that he is referencing to show a consensus:

    Easter as it exists today is an amalgamate of fertility, equinox, and spring celebrations. Christianity did not invent the holiday, as Ishtar predates Easter (and was pronounced "Easter").

    From an article on "Eostre’s feast day was held on the first full moon following the vernal equinox — a similar calculation as is used for Easter among Western Christians. On this date the goddess Eostre is believed by her followers to mate with the solar god, conceiving a child who would be born 9 months later on Yule, the winter solstice which falls on December 21st."

    I don't anticipate holding many debates iwth you, Zarove, because you calim that all information that disagrees with your preconceived notions is invalid. There is an overwhelming amount of information that clashes with your understanding of the birth of Easter and the persecution of Christians. You can willfully ignore it or you can call it false, but the rest of us will choose not to.

  17. Zarove, you're being a total doofus here. I pointed you to Will and Ariel Durant, two of the best-known and best-respected historians of all time. I also spent about 60 seconds doing a web search to illustrate that even you could find this information for yourself. If L. Ron Hubbard, one of the biggest frauds in the history of religion, can find out basic facts about the sordid history of Christians murdering one another, then why can't you spend 60 seconds doing the same thing?

    Every time you write, you just dig yourself deeper into your hole.

  18. Gentlemen, you still seem to avoid my central point.

    Whenever I ask you why I should see you as not having a Religion by simply being an Atheist, you act as if its self evident. There is a sharp difference between Religious People and Atheists. Well, what is it?

    Given that Religion is not, nor has it ever been, defined as belief in and about gods, and given that several notable Religions actually don’t hold to believe in gods, its difficult for me to take seriously the idea that an Atheist is someone who has no Religion.

    I further note that the problems you claim exist because of Religion exist within you. Part of that is how you selectively interpret things. Mr. James, you say if even L. Ron Hubbard can discover the murderous Truth about Christianity anyone can. However, Hubbard was known for perpetuating false History as well, so one can always ask if what Mr. Hubbard said was actually legitimate. You seem not to in this case, because what he said agrees with your preferences, not because its factual information he presents.

    You shut off your Scepticism.

  19. Still, the question is, do you have anything at the moment to back up your specific claims? Anything form a credible and accessible source?

    Or is this like when you say I redefine Religion: I present a Dictionary Definition and the entry in Stanford, yet I am wrong. Atheists are not Religious by definition, because they don’t belie in a god. Regardless of the fat that Religion is not so defined.

    Mr. Leard, I shall answer you in regards to Easter in a moment. However, as to if I have evidence tot the contrary, how does one prove a Negative? Also, I made no assertions, I merely asked if Mr. James had any evidence. This is because I have learned not to Trust when people give the “Real History” of Christianity.

    I prefer evidence over the shocking revelations given by those with a clear Bias, if its all the same.

  20. Mr. Leard, in regards to you sang you don’t anticipate many debates with me, I see the same thing. Of course I realise I come off as a loon to you, who clearly only knows Christian Apologetics. However, I assure you this much, what I say is backed by real evidence. It does contradict the Popular narratives that have permeated the culture we live in, and as such I am constantly told how I’m clearly wrong, but may I ask, are you certain I am?

    Just because something is common knowledge doesn’t mean its actually True. Easter being Pagan is one of these things that even many Christians accept as True, some even to the point of rejecting the Holiday for its Pagan Origins. Its something we all know, but I would assert that its simply fallacious. And I will back this up.

    But before I do, I would like a moment to discuss George Washington, He had wooden teeth. Everyone knows this.

    The problem is, everyone is wrong. He did have false teeth but never ones made of wood. Ivory was used, and a few other materials, but never Wood. However, I tell people this and it’s the same reaction; I’m clearly a nut who doesn’t know Real History.

    Just because I am contradicting a well established fact known by all doesn’t mean I’m wrong, and all I ask of you is that you give me a fair hearing and actually look into it yourself.

    By which I don’t mean simply look for evidence that Easter was Pagan.

    Now, I shall need two final posts on the matter of Easter and perhaps Christmas as you brought it up. (I did not.)

    All I ask is that you read what I have to day.

  21. Mr. Leard, the first aspect of Easter that we see that is clearly Pagan I its name. The word Easter is a reference to the goddess Ishtar. Or so it is told. The reason the Christian Calibration ifs referred to as Easter is because the Babylonians celebrated the goddess Ishtars return to live in the Spring, at the time of the Equinox, heralding SPRIUNG!

    But is this True?

    If so, then as soon as Christians began to Celebrate it, it should be called Ishtar or some variant.

    And that’s when you hit the first major problem for those asserting that Easter is Pagan. Its not actually called Easter in most Languages, or anything remotely close to Ishtar. Its called Easter in English, and Ostern in German. But in Italian its Pasqua, and in French its Pâques. In fact, its Pascua in Spanish, Pasti in Romanian, Páscoa in Portuguese, and Pask in Welsh. The Latin, Greek, and Hebrew are however the most important. They are, respectively, Pascha, Pascha, and Pesach.

    The terms above are all loosely Translated into English as “Passover”. They do not conotate, nor derive from, Ishtar in any way. The name is thus not consistently associated with the Pagan goddess Ishtar even if we assume that Easter itself is. Is it not odd that the only place the Pagan Origins of Easter as a Fertility Festival Honouring the goddess Ishtar and the coming Spring is in Germanic Languages? Should not the Semitic Languages like Aramaic and Hebrew also reflect this? Yet, they don’t. The languages closest to Assyria, Greek, Aramaic, Latin, and Hebrew, find no correlation with Easter at all.

    But it becomes stranger when you realise that it is in Germanic Languages that it sounds roughly similar to Ishtar. The first place that does is Anglo-Saxon in Britain, hundreds of Miles North, in place Ishtar was never actually worshipped. That’s a problem because the Assyrian goddess Ishtar was never worshipped that far North. The Germanic Tribes did not Honour her at all. So how did the name “Ishtar”, pronounced “Easter”, wind up with the Celts?

  22. Or are we suppose to assume that all Christians at one time called is some variant of Ishtar then decided to change it and it remained the same only in English and German?

    The Wikipedia article on Easter is also rather telling.

    “The modern English term Easter developed from the Old English word Eastre or Eostre (IPA: ['æ??stre, 'e?ostre]), which itself developed prior to 899. The name refers to Eostur-monath, a month of the Germanic calendar attested by Bede, who writes that the month is named after the goddess Eostre of Anglo-Saxon paganism.[6] Bede notes that Eostur-monath was the equivalent to the month of April, yet that feasts held in her honor during Eostur-monath had gone out of use by the time of his writing and had been replaced with the Christian custom of "Paschal season".
    Using comparative linguistic evidence from continental Germanic sources, the 19th century scholar Jacob Grimm proposed the existence of a cognate form of Eostre among the pre-Christian beliefs of the continental Germanic peoples, whose name he reconstructed as *Ostara.”

    Jacob Grimm gave us Oestara, not ancient Pagans. This was an attempt at reconstruction of an old Pagan goddess, not something handed down from olden days, and certainly not the root origin of Easter.

    Oestara has her own entry.

    From this evidence, I should like to submit that Easter did not, in fact, begin as a Pagan Holiday in Honour of Oestara.

    I should also like to submit that Oestara is not Ishtar.

    I should now like to give you Newsweek, which is not a Christian Publication, though the author of the article may be Christian.

  23. See Below.

    I’m afraid there is Ample evidence that the Origins of Easter lay in Judaism and the Passover, and how Jesus Christ was Crucified after Passover, and none at all to support the Pagan Origins of it.

    But what about the Pagan Customs? Surly the Easter Egg and Easter Bunny are derived from Pagan sources?

    Alas, no.

    The Easter Bunny is also German.

    So are Easter Eggs.

    So, despite being a common, well known fact, its not True. Easter does not have Pagan Origins.

    Whether you believe me or not is up to you, but I am not merely quoting apologetics sites and am not as ignorant as you should claim.

  24. One last in closing. The About article is woefully inaccurate. I’m sorry but, Ishtar mates with the Solar Deity and gives birth at Yule?

    That neither represents the True Myth of Ishtar, nor does it make any sense to associate her with a Germanic Holiday. Further, Yule was not a day, but an entire Month. Yule was the Winter Month in which he Germanic Tribes Celebrated the good Harvest and prayed to e gods, especially Odin, for Future good fortune. It has nothing to do with the Babylonian and Assyrian goddess Ishtar. It only marginally even connects to Christmas by coinciding with it.

    While Christmas does have a somewhat Pagan Origin, though not the one you hear frequently on these sorts of sites, that Holiday was Saturnalia, the Roman Celebration of Saturn, who brought Agriculture to Humanity thus teaching them to grow crops, and who established Civilisation.

    When the Holiday Saturnalia was Celebrated (For about 30 days) , all were free to participate. Slaves were temporarily freed and no apprentice would be compelled to labour by his Master.

    Christians were by and large Slaves, or persecuted, but even they had time off at Saturnalia in order to celebrate and pay Homage to Saturn. Not wishing to worship a false god, (Yes this is form their perspective) the Christians devised an alternate Celebration.

    The Holiday was not Stolen by Christians, nor was it a Pagan one Christianised to make the Transition easier on the Pagans. It was created by Christians for Christians, to give them an alternative to Saturnalia.

    It has nothing to do with Ishtar, either.

    As to her mating with the Sun Deity, well…

    See also

    She dos not mate with SHamash, that I can see. She certainly doesn’t mate with him annually to give Birth at Yule.

  25. I posted in my origional comment to Mr. James a critisism of Durant. It seemed to me to not go through, so I posted another. Now it also is missing.

    It is odd, but unless r. James is deletign any critisism of Durant, I do not know wnot know why it is not present, but I did speak of these concerns.

  26. I’ll do this again.

    Its on Durant. I provide no links and am short. With apologies.

    You claim that the Durant’s were amongst the best respected Historians in the world. No, they weren’t. They were Armature Historians who simply managed to write an 11 Volume narrative tome.

    They were actually highly criticised by Historians at the time, and as much is admitted to on Durant’s website, albeit attributed to envy.

    Further, you did not provide a reference which could readily be looked up, and I suspect you didn’t really read Durants works, you merely got the name from a website or a Prometheus book.

    As “The Story of Civilisation” is online, why not link us to the exact place these matters are discussed, and let us look at what actual Historians said of the matter?

  27. "2: You are also as Religious person."

    This again? Really?

  28. Anonymous, its why I showed up.

    But its all rather like Easter. You lot know you aren't religious and how bad Religion is and rightly deserves mockery so you shant listen to someone who suggests anything different.

    And Easter was a pagan Holiday co-opted by Christians, and really celibate d Eostre, with her Hares and Eggs.

    It doesn’t matter that what you believe is easy to disprove, all that matters is that you prefer to believe it so insist that it is True.

    All in the name of Reason no less.


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