1Now upon the first [day] of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain [others] with them.
2And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
3And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
4And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
5And as they were afraid, and bowed down [their] faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
6He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
7Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
8And they remembered his words,
9And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.
10It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary [the mother] of James, and other [women that were] with them, which told these things unto the apostles.
11And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.
12Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.
Luke 24:1 – 24:12
King James Version
The highlight of the Christian calendar, Easter celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Resurrection transformed Christ’s followers from a band of rebels with heretical ideas into a religion, and provided pretty convincing evidence that He was who He said He was. The early Church had a rocky beginning, with leaders and layperson alike persecuted and executed. By the Western Middle Ages, the Church had become the dominant sociopolitical power in the Western world,, and had in fact started the decline into decadence. For the last several centuries, the Church has been a stabilizing force in quieting the baser human tendencies and steering them toward more productive and socially useful endeavors.
For the Christian, today is a day for joy and celebration. It’s a day to renew their faith in a way that Sunday service doesn’t quite do. But even on this day, Christians are aware of an increasing intolerance toward their faith: in Syria, Iraq, Armenia, and Kenya. Outside the US, the primary instigator against, and killer of, Christians, is Islam. Places where Muslims and Christians have peacefully coexisted for centuries are being turned into terminally inhospitable places to practice the Christian faith.
In the US, a place founded on religious freedom by predominately Christian individuals, the situation is only marginally better. Intolerance of Christians is almost exclusively the agenda of the LGBT Progressives and their water-carriers, the major media outlets. There has always been tension between these groups and Christians, but recently the tension has exploded into outright persecution. The flashpoint was Indiana’s passage of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act, based on a 1993 Federal law. No matter that some 26 states already had similar laws on the books, it was somehow intolerable that a 27th State should enact such legislation. The cynical might note that this outrage came during the Hillary Clinton State Department email scandal. Leaving aside the very likely possibility that Progressive outrage over Indiana’s law has little to do with actual harm, and everything to do with protecting a Democrat, the Progressives have used this situation as a wedge issue to persecute Christians.
Let a Christian private business owner operate according to their belief, or let a private school (many of which are faith-based) fail to teach a pro-gay curriculum in California, and fire and damnation will ensue. But let a Muslim business owner refuse to serve an LGBT customer, and it’s crickets all the way.
There is an unholy tacit alliance between Progressives and Muslims regarding Christianity. Both seek to eliminate it: Progressives because Christianity threatens their secular humanist religion, and the Muslims because persecution of Christians and Jews is explicitly stated in the Koran. Progressives appear to operating on ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ principle, a stupidly ignorant modus operandi given Islamic teachings regarding the liberties of Western civilization. This does illustrate the basic bullying nature of Progressives, as the perception is that Christians are much less likely to make life uncomfortable for them than Muslims. That may change. And needs to change. Progressives may find that Christianity isn’t synonymous with ‘meek and mild’.
US Christians aren’t entirely blameless in the creation of the current climate of intolerance. Persecution of Christians has increased rapidly the last several years, yet no call to action from US pulpits. Most churches I’ve attended seek some sort of global humanitarian effort. What better and more pressing effort than protecting and empowering fellow Christians? Yet few, if any, churches are taking up this most important of causes. If the religion’s adherents are being systematically persecuted and eliminated, where then will the church be?
The primary persecutors of Christians do have the same blind spot: the inability to see that freedom and liberty are messy. The Muslims are out of this conversation, as there is little personal freedom under that religion. But Progressives, who purport to support liberal ideals (although they don’t), should understand that freedom means that others aren’t going to agree with you. This will make you uncomfortable. The current climate of religious intolerance violates not only the standards of human decency, but most of the First Amendment. The mature person would learn to deal with this in a constructive manner, but that’s not in the Progressive nature.
Today was the putative Opening Day for MLB. But there was only one game on the day. One game? On Opening Day? I understand that today was Easter, but should that really make a difference? If MLB wanted to honor the holiday, why not move Opening Day to 6 April?
Cards over the Cubs: 3 -0
Anyway, baseball is back. Now the year can really start.
On the menu today was:
Asparagus with home-made Hollandaise sauce
2011 Chardonnay from a California winery