Ashes, ashes; dust, dust, dust

February 21, 2007

Before you get on your Skype account and give me a call (the number is 201-793-8255, that’s 201-793-TALK), realize that the comments I’m about to share came from a friend of mine. His beliefs might not quite align with mine, but they are sometimes enlightening.

According to a friend I’ll just call Mike, the origins of many holidays are misrepresented. In fact, Mike says we have too many holidays overall and an ungodly number of holy holidays.

The other day, Mike decided to tell me how he believes Lent came about. Here’s how he sees it…



Jesus was just like us. He wanted to wander around in his sandals in the sun. He wasn’t allowed to join any country clubs because he was Jewish, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t enjoy the outdoors.

Then one day some people from the KKK saw Jesus and thought he was an African American. (Realize now that Mike has no concept of time as it relates to history and doesn’t understand that a person of African decent is not always an African American – especially in a day and age before America existed).

So they got a large tree and whittled it down into a cross. Then they nailed Jesus to the tree and burned him and the cross together. This created ashes.

Ash Wednesday

And that’s why people who are fanatical Catholics rub ashes on their bodies this time of year.

Well, that’s not exactly how I see it. I’m definitely not religious, but I don’t really think Lent was the result of fanatical gangs capturing Jesus and burning him like a witch. Essentially, I think that Lent is the time when many Catholics choose to make the rest of us feel guilty.

They forgo treats and mention how well they’re doing every four and a half minutes. This is great for those of us who like to march chocolate and snacks and drugs and sex and booze in front of these abstaining people. And it’s just another illustration, in my mind, of how some things that organized religions do is essentially a follow-the-leader, self-imposed, cultish, mob-mentality exercise.

If you want a real perspective from a Catholic site, go see 40 days and 40 nights of pain.

Finally, I wonder if Mike was right when he asked if the ashes we see on everyone‚Äôs foreheads this Ash Wednesday came from the burned body of Jesus? That’s just wrong. Bad Mike!!

Oh, yeah. When you get a chance, go feed the duck named Duck. Thanks.

More to come…