Politicians can't stop you from celebrating Easter
It's a year ago now that Donald Trump, then president of the United States, mused about how wonderful it would be if the country opened up again by Easter. It didn't.
Although some states have taken a few steps in that direction, most of us are still actors, willing and unwilling, in a weird germophobic paranoia play. Even many conservatives have been well conditioned: they've convinced themselves that the country really is opening back up because all they have to do is comply, comply, comply with the order to wear a mask or get an injection or engage in mandatory cringing. After all, they're not doing whatever draconian, misanthropic insanity Joe Biden is threatening them with today. They're only taking "reasonable precautions"; they're not doing any of the unreasonable stuff.
This Easter Sunday, two quotations from Scripture come to mind: "Nothing under the sun is new ... for it hath already gone before in the ages that were before us" (Ecclesiastes 1:10) and "Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation" (Psalm 145:2–3). The first quote, because I'll never forget the flyer I got in the mail from President Trump last summer, commanding me to obey my state's governor and health officials as they tried to forbid me to get groceries to feed my family unless I half-smothered myself. Talk about "#icantbreathe" — and the president, with Dr. Fauci daily at his hip, iced the cake with a thumbs-up to all that in my mailbox.
And the second quote because, well, I got that flyer twice.
The new boss tells us he might permit us to get within Sistine chapel distance of a single relative, maybe two, on Independence Day if we're very good boys and girls. Neither he nor the old boss seems to understand that millions of Americans are working hard to be good boys and girls for Someone more important than the American president. Today, part of being good is heeding God's and the Church's call not to fast, not to abstain, not to be miserable at all — because Christ is risen, He is risen indeed, and those who follow Him will rejoice even if it makes Caesar throw a flaming fit.
Many Christians remember what their forebears suffered to celebrate on this day, and they'll celebrate, too. They might even shake hands, hug, kiss, and ruffle their grandchildren's hair. They're not relegated to the catacombs — not quite yet — and many still have an independent enough American spirit, and a fierce enough Christian one, to remind Caesar that worship and human fellowship are not among the goods to be rendered unto him.
Don't forget: Eastertide lasts forty days. Christ is risen! Celebrate, and keep celebrating.
Image: Lawrence OP via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
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