From the EastWing, Talking About Not Talking About Easter

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

 Why didn’t you say something about Easter? It was the first email I opened five days after Easter. I asked the lady what should I have said? She had nothing to propose, just thought I should’ve  said something about Easter. Maybe I should’ve said something about Easter. In fact, the more I think about  it the more I think I shall.

I didn’t talk about Easter from the EastWing on Easter Sunday. The reason I didn’t talk about Easter is quite simple. Easter is the one Sunday that the whole world hears the message. Nothing I could possibly say or do at the EastWing would add anything to the public knowledge of Easter Sunday. And so I talked of other things.

Of all the religious holidays throughout the year, Easter is the very foundation of  Christianity. Had Christ not risen from the dead on that third day, then Jesus and his disciples would have been just JC and The Boys, another out-law band, put down by the power of the Roman Army.  And life as we know it today would not exist. The sad part of the Joy of the Risen Christ is how soon we forget about Easter Sunday after its passed into yesterday. Forever forgetting how it changed this world we live in, we, as a people, do forget quick.

In the Catholic Church we have what’s called  “Holy Week” Holy Week is simply the week before Easter. There are all kinds of special events during “Holy Week”, all leading up to Easter Sunday. Then once Easter Sunday has passed, for many Catholics as well as many others, we wanta put Jesus back in the bible, and read some more bible stories come Christmas Eve, while hopping for a White Christmas. What we Catholics don’t have is a “Holy Monday After Easter” It would serve the faith well to have a Holy Monday After Easter.

 And that, boys and girls is the sad part of the joy of the Risen Christ. The Catholics have a name for us, they call us “Easter & Christmas Catholics”. Our numbers are great, and growing.  It’s so much easier to be a Easter & Christmas Catholic. Society supports our efforts at being Easter & Christmas Catholics. We see and hear reports in the national news that less and less people attend church on a regular basis. So there ya are, the main stream media supports Easter & Christmas Catholics. In fact, they promote our cause. It makes news when the faithful numbers are shrinking away from the cross.

The best thing about being an Easter & Christmas Catholic is we get to choose. We get to choose what part of the Catholic Faith we want to follow. Now those everyday Catholics, well, they have lots of rules of do’s and don’ts. Why they have rules about life and death. They even have rules about what to eat, and when to eat it. Even rules of what not to eat and when not to eat is. Why they’ve probably got rules they’ve even forgotten about, ‘cause they’ve been in the rule making business for over 2,000 years. And anybody who’s been making rules for over 2,000 years, why for sure, they’ve got some extra ones laying around unused for right now. Maybe they use those as backup rules.

It’s a lot easier being an Easter & Christmas Catholic. Going to church twice a year, why most anybody can put up with that. And besides, it’s well publicized, so the chance of missing the right day is pretty small. And if you’re lucky, you won’t get one of those long winded priest that loves to hear himself talk and takes forever to say what can be said in 5 minutes. Another advantage of being an Easter & Christmas Catholic is you get to see people you’ve not seen for a long time, for many it’s been a year or more.

 An interesting concept of picking and choosing in the beliefs of the Catholic Faith.  Interesting indeed, yet many do so, sad to say, many do. And all the while they somehow consider it acceptable to God.

I propose that Hell will be filled with Easter & Christmas Catholics. Along with the “enlightened” Catholic Politicians who very publicly support “A woman’s right to choose”. To see a nationally recognized political figure make such  a statement and not be challenged by the Catholic Church is repugnant to the faithful. To see the funeral of the same Catholic Politician broadcast live from the major Catholic Cathedral  in the United States is even more repulsive.

Does the American Catholic Church not have a single true defender of the faith?  Do American Bishops still lead the flock or have the sheep decided on the direction of the heard?  Are the American Bishops taking a cue  from the White House, and leading from the rear? Unanswered questions on the mind of BobbyRay.

 Any Catholic Politician who openly opposes the teaching of the Catholic Church is picking and choosing the faith. I don’t care who you are, it’s picking and choosing. They’re just adding another wrinkle to the Easter & Christmas Catholic Program. They simply go to Mass more often than  needed to qualify as a true E&CC.

If it sounds like I’m picking on the Catholics, I’m not. I’m just telling you the way it is. Been there, done that. Been on both sides of that rope. For those who may not know, I’m from an old school Baptist background, came from a line of Baptist Preachers. Been there, preached that.

In the first year at college I stumbled upon one of the most fascinating fields of study ever, Comparative Religions, it was called. I took it as a “soft A” ‘cause I was a Baptist, from a line of hillbilly preachers, and I knew all about it.  Then I fell in love with Comparative Religions and stayed around for six semesters. I just hung around till they started talking ‘bout something I knew about, the Baptist. It took 5 semesters, but when the class got there, I was ready to preach the gospel according to BobbyRay. And so I did.

 When it comes to religion, it’s faith. Faith in the unknown. A belief in something that cannot be proven or disproven. You can make your argument and defend your position just as well as anybody can oppose your position.  What you cannot do is use stupid arguments. You can use science to defend your position just as well as those who use science to make the argument against your position. Keep in mind, some force had squeeze the trigger on the Big Bang!

Years ago, while teaching CCD, that’s kinda like Sunday School for Catholics, we were talking about faith and why we believe what we do. I asked my kids to bring me something the next class to defend their faith. They brought me a rosary, holy water, several  pictures of Jesus, a Catholic Bible, and one little guy brought a dandelion.  When I asked why the dandelion, his answer forever endeared me to the little dandelion for the rest of my life. “Nobody can make dandelions except God, not even you, Mr. Howard.” And that very day the dandelion became “that pretty little springtime friend of mine”.

It seems that most all religions suffer from the pick and choose syndrome. The  Baptist, God love ‘em, are as guilty as the Catholics when it comes to pick and choose of the faith. Not quite as distinct  as the Easter & Christmas Catholics, yet just as picky and choosy. One of the good things the Baptist have going for ‘em is they’re not required under the pain of mortal sin to go to church every Sunday. So right there a big load is lifted.

 The major areas of contention with the Baptist is not so much disagreement on the matters of faith, rather issues of a social nature. In some Baptist congregations, pride, envy, and jealousy reign supreme. All the while, those attributes do create an interesting mix on the way to Calvary.

 The part about it being a mortal sin to miss mass on Sunday, well, that’s one of the parts we Easter & Christmas Catholics choose not to believe in. Like I said before, It’s easy to be an Easter & Christmas Catholic. We choose not to use that “no meat on Friday” rule way before the Catholic Church decided to do away with the rule.  So guess we won that one.

Like most everything in life, choices are made. Right or wrong, choices are made. And your whole life is ordained by those choices made. So when it’s time to make life changing choices such as becoming one of the Easter & Christmas Catholics, please ask yourself a simple question.  What happens if I’m wrong?

In matters of Heaven and Hell, it may be best to error on the side Heaven. After all, if you’re wrong, ya got Hell to pay.  And then a really long time  to wish you’d been on the other side of the rope.

 Now for the one out there in northern California, who accosted me for not saying anything about Easter, Is that enough said,  girl? J

 Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From the EastWing, Talking About Not Talking About Easter

I Wish You Well,