Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Obama Misses the Message

“And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Pretorium, and they called together the whole band.  And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, and began to salute him, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’  And they smote him on the head with a read, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees, worshipped him.  And when they had mocked him, they took off the purpose from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.”  Mark 14: 16-20

Apparently, Obama didn’t get the good news on Easter Sunday:  Christ is risen.  Not only did he not get the message, but he didn’t bother to put it out, either.

On Good Friday, he also neglected to put out a message – about Good Friday, that is.  However, last Friday was also Earth Day (April 22) and he was all over the Earth Day message.  He wasn’t about to let those deceitful Christians sack the holy day of the Earth.

Funny, because that’s exactly what the early Christians did:  they transformed the pagan holiday of Ostre, a spring festival, to the celebration of Christ’s resurrection from death.

The modern English term Easter developed from the Old English word Ēastre or Ēostre which itself developed prior to 899. The name refers to Eostur-monath (Old English "Ēostre month"), a month in the Germanic calendar attested by Bede, who writes that the month is named after the goddess Ēostre of Anglo-Saxon paganism. Bede notes that Ēostur-monath was the equivalent to the month of April, yet that feasts held in her honor during Ēostur-monath had gone out of use by the time of his writing and had been replaced with the Christian custom of "Paschal season".

Ēostre derives from Proto-Germanic *austrō, ultimately from a PIE root *aues-, "to shine" and closely related to a conjectural name of Hausos, the dawn goddess, *h2ausōs, which would account for Greek Eos, Roman Aurora and Indian Ushas.

The modern English term Easter is the direct continuation of Old English Ēastre, which is attested solely by Bede in the 8th century. Ēostre is the Northumbrian form while Ēastre is West Saxon.   Bede states that the name refers to a goddess named Ēostre who was celebrated at Eosturmonath, one of the months of the Anglo-Saxon calendar.  In the 19th century Hans Grimm cited Bede when he proposed the existence of an Old High German equivalent named ōstarūn, plural, "Easter" (modern German language Ostern). There is no certain parallel to Ēostre in North Germanic languages though Grimm speculates that the east wind, "a spirit of light" named Austri found in the 13th century Icelandic Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, might be related.

Using comparative linguistic evidence from continental Germanic sources, the 19th century scholar Jacob Grimm proposed the existence of a cognate form of Ēostre among the pre-Christian beliefs of the continental Germanic peoples, whose name he reconstructed as *Ostara.  Since Grimm's time, linguists have identified the goddess as a Germanic form of the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European goddess of the dawn, *Hausos and theories connecting Ēostre with records of Germanic Easter customs (including hares and eggs) have been proposed.

Modern German features the cognate term Ostern, but otherwise, Germanic languages generally use the non-native term pascha for the event.

According to reports, when White House press corps reporters asked White House spokesman Jay Carney why President Obama had not released an official statement commemorating Easter, the press secretary laughed at them and mocked their line of “important questions.”  

The White House also failed to release a statement marking Good Friday.  However, they did release an eight-paragraph statement heralding Earth Day. Likewise, the president's weekend address mentioned neither Good Friday or Easter.

"Ha ha!” Carney laughed, “You know, the President went to church yesterday, it was well covered, I'm not sure if we put out a statement or not ... "

A surprised reporter noted that Easter was the holiest of Christian holidays and asked Carney, “You don't KNOW if you put out a statement?”

Carney snickered again, bowed his head, and retorted, “I'm glad you're asking me these important question, guys."

Christ, we’ve been told, was born to transform the world, not Barack Hussein Obama.  The early Christians transformed the Roman holiday of Saturnalia into a celebration of Christ’s birth.  They transformed the German pagan holiday of Oestre into a celebration of His triumph over death and our salvation from sin.  We owe Jesus Christ everything – our unspeakable remorse, our everlasting gratitude, our joy at His resurrection, and our prayer of thanks for a debt that can never truly be repaid.

What do we owe Obama, besides eternal taxes?  Who will celebrate Aug. 4th?

Alas, I did not write a message on my blog on Easter, either.  I, too, had done so last year.  This Easter, my mother and I were watching the various Hollywood versions of the Easter story.  In any case, after reading the Four Gospel accounts of Good Friday and Easter Sunday, I just felt I couldn’t improve on the Bible and Jesus’ own words.  After all, you can’t improve upon perfection.  Who cares about Obama’s message, anyway?  I had a much better one in front of me.

“Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.  And when they say Him, they worshipped him.  But some doubted.  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, ‘All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.  And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.  Amen.’”  Matthew 28:16-20

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