In honor of Easter, the Christian holiday millions of people around the world will celebrate this Sunday by eating chocolate and ham and looking for colored eggs and possibly attending Mass, comedian Ricky Gervais has submitted an essay titled, A Holiday Message from Ricky Gervais: Why I’m a good Christian, a title which he admits is “a little misleading.”
His point, of course, is that as an atheist, he’s free to treat all religions equally and that he’s got the freedom to not have to pit one faith against another (the way Christians and nearly all organized religions do)— whether it’s by subtly denying an opposing religion’s worth or by waging a decades-long war against those with a slightly different belief system.
Obviously I’m biased. I love comedians. And I happen to think that even if the best comedians don’t have all the answers to the world’s most difficult questions they can at least distill the concepts surrounding those quandaries into something easier to swallow. Most times, this occurs when a comedian employs something called logic; also a popular tool: common sense. Such is the case with Gervais, who, as part of his Easter essay, writes the following:
Jesus was a man. (And if you forget all that rubbish about being half God, and believe the non-supernatural acts accredited to him, he was a man whose wise words many other men would still follow.) His message was usually one of forgiveness and kindness. These are wonderful virtues but I have seen them discarded by many so-called God-fearers when it suits them. They cherry pick from their “rulebook” basically. I have seen such cruelty and prejudice performed in the name of Christianity (and many other religions for that matter) that it makes me wonder if there has been a bit too much selective reading and reinterpretation of the doctrines.
By all means, you should mosey on over – if your religion permits moseying – to Gervais’ official site and read the entire thing. There’s a lot to sink your teeth into, including a 10 Commandments scorecard, in which Gervais awards himself points for each commandment he hasn’t broken. You can score yourself. It’s like one of those Cosmo quizzes without all the sassy blowjob talk.
Oh, and Happy Easter…or whatever.