Friday, March 29, 2013
On this solemn and yet joyous occasion, we at the Dallas–Fort Worth Coalition of Reason would like extend our kindest regards and best wishes:
Indeed, without the death of Jesus as God, atonement within Christian theology would be impossible. So great is this event, that Christians around the world commemorate it as “Good Friday.”
On this point, we can hopefully find no small level of agreement.
The death of God is of incredible significance for those who have moved beyond traditional religious beliefs and practices, and seek now to advance a humanistic ethic in a world where we have no benevolent deities to beg for blessings, nor tyrant gods to blame for miseries.
Humans have been commemorating the deaths of gods as far back as the Mesopotamian culture, in which the goddess Ishtar dies and ventures into the underworld, only to return days later in triumph. In the ancient Greek and Roman cultures, the goddess Persephone goes below and her return marks the beginning of Spring, as celebrated by the Eleusinian mystery cult during the time of Jesus. Among the Old English tribes, the goddess Ëastre (also called Ôstara by the Germans) represented rebirth and new life; the Christian scholar Bede noted that her name had been appropriated by Christians to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.
It is my sincere hope that we can celebrate together during this season of death and rebirth; while you and your Christian brothers and sisters are able to find joy in the sacrifice of the figure of Christ Jesus, your Humanist siblings are likewise jubilant at the death of God, and we embrace the necessity of sacrifice from one for each other, in the interest of advancing a human-centered ethic that benefits us all.
A very Good Friday to you, and a very happy Easter to your friends and family.
Dallas–Fort Worth Coalition of Reason