It Is Either/Or
This is the backstory. I’m teaching an online survey class in world religions, and by sheer happenstance, this week will deal with Christianity. Probably, the background of 70% of the class is Christian, and 30% are Muslims. Interestingly, Islam will be the topic for the following week.
I never miss a teaching moment, and my announcement was precisely that. I told the class that the announcement was a precursor for our week addressing Christianity, particularly Easter. I sounded like Professor Keating in Dead Poet’s Society.
My carpe diem comment and moment was about a quick quiz. I wanted the class, both Christians and Muslims, to name the most important Christian holiday. Which observance for Christians is most celebrated, enjoyed, done with family, ad infinitum?
While my question was merely rhetorical, I guessed that most of the class would say Christmas. At one level, that answer was correct. In the past 2000 years, Christmas is the biggest holiday above all other…for the past century. For the past 95% of the history of Christianity, Easter was the main holiday. I also guess that many students would be surprised by that fact.
The shift from Easter to Christmas had to do with the English writer, Charles Dickens. A Christmas Carol was one of the main reasons for Christmas becoming the predominant Christian holiday. As an aside, I reminded my class that a Jewish holiday called Hanukkah was a second-tier Jewish holiday. However, Judaism quickly moved Hanukah to a first-tier one in the wake of Dickens’ novella.
Another teaching moment had to do with Easter. I asked the class to jot down all the things that come to mind regarding Easter. The resurrection of Jesus, life after death for his followers, ham for dinner, Easter Bunnies, Easter eggs, Easter egg hunts, ad infinitum. Oops. I forgot marshmallow Easter Bunnies.
Then I ended my teaching moments with one of my oft-repeated opened ended questions. I wanted my class to think about Easter regardless of their backgrounds. It wasn’t any of my business what they come up with after thinking. Nonetheless, I wanted them to think, ponder, wonder….
I want my readers to do the same. Please ponder regarding the theological and/or the ethical issues of Easter. To assist you, allow me two vexing questions facing people in two different worlds. One world is America, and the other world is Myanmar.
In Georgia and behind closed doors, Gov. Kemp signed a piece of legislation that would suppress the voting rights of communities of color.
Gov. Brian Kemp signed this restrictive legislation several days ago. However, some black business executives saw this photo and decided to carpe diem. It didn’t take long before a handful of companies with their corporate offices in Georgia responded. Home Depot, Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, and Aflac all negatively responded to this new law. Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian wrote to his employees,
Last week, the Georgia legislature passed a sweeping voting reform act that could make it harder for many Georgians, particularly those in our Black and Brown communities, to exercise their right to vote. The entire rationale for this bill was based on a lie: that there was widespread voter fraud in Georgia in the 2020 elections. This is simply not true. Unfortunately, that excuse is being used in states across the nation that are attempting to pass similar legislation to restrict voting rights.
James Quincey, Coca-Cola CEO, said, “Let me be crystal clear and unequivocal. This legislation is unacceptable. It is a step backward and it does not promote principles we have stood for in Georgia around broad access to voting, around voter convenience, about ensuring election integrity.”
Nearly 200 other corporations, including Uber, Microsoft, HP, PayPal, Twitter, and Target, came out against Georgia and other states voting on voter suppression laws.
The owner of the Atlanta Falcons, Arthur Blank, responded to Kemp who defended his legislation, “We shouldn’t apologize for making it easy to vote and hard to cheat.” Blank’s retort was, “The right to vote is simply sacred. We should be working to make voting easier, not harder for every eligible citizen.”
Major League Baseball has already canceled have the All-Star Game in Atlanta.
The other world that is facing a vexing problem is Myanmar. Myanmar is getting close to an all-out civil war between the generals and the rest of Myanmar. I saw this photo about Easter in Myanmar on my Facebook account. Myanmar is a prominently Buddhist country, but they are having an Easter egg strike against the generals.
Easter egg strike in Myanmar Anti-regime protesters launched #EasterEggStrike campaign, by drawing different messages on the egg and shared on social media as well as to the community on the Easter Sunday, April 4, in Myanmar. (Photo: CJs) #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar Source: The Irrawaddy
On a scale of one to ten, one being unethical and ten being ethical, how would you rate Kemp’s legislation? How would you rate Myanmar’s Civil Disobedience Movement, CDM?