Last Christmas I debunked eight anti-Christmas myths. This Easter, I wanted to add a supplementary article on Easter to the list. This article will cover both myths on Eater specifically, but also on the founding of Christianity. Sadly, or thankfully, there are way fewer myths that relate to Easter enough for them to get an article.
- Easter is based on the pagan god Ishtar
Should it surprise anyone that you never see a source of these claims? There is never an ancient document which supports this in any way. It is always presented as undeniable fact when it is not actually an even remotely reasonable claim. This entire claim rests on the similarity between Easter in English to Ishtar but “modern” English was not born until 1,000 and Easter is traced back to old English (Germanic origin) in the year 900. When Easter began to become popular among Christians as a holiday it would have been mostly known as Pascha, or a similar variant in the Romance languages, which sounds nothing like Easter or Ishtar. Pascha comes from Pesach which is Hebrew. To see how different Easter sounds from Ishtar, listen here.
But what about similar symbols? Could the holiday still be derived from the pagan goddess even if the name is not? No. Ishtar is associated with a star within a circle, a lion or other symbols of power, not a bunny or eggs. But what if pagan elements were incorporated into Easter? Christianity has always brought in elements of past cultures into it. Different Catholic rites are different because they are based off different local cultures. Each rite adopts the general dogma and required beliefs but fits the optional beliefs into the framework of their culture. There is no reason to look down on pagan who became Christian and brought in their old culture, as long as they believe in the faith and the cultural element in independent of its pagan past, in terms of belief.
2. Jesus did not exist
I covered this myth in my original Christmas article but I think it is important enough to be mentioned again. The fact is, not only does every credible historian agrees on a historical Jesus that the Gospels are based on existing, but there are multiple nonchristian sources confirming this. By every standard use by historians, we cannot say he did not exist without throwing out most of what we accept as historic fact to be consistent.
3. Jesus is based on Horus or some other pagan god
I also covered this argument in my original Christmas article but let me summarize this one also. As I said in the original article, this is a conspiracy theory that comes from a cook pseudo-historian who has been slammed by actual historians (I specifically cite an atheist historian) and has no basis in any fair reading of pagan myths and the Gospels. Hell, it does not have a basis in a creative reading of either.
4. The Easter Bunny is not real
This is an evil lie told by parents to destroy childhoods. I am credible so you can trust me.
If you want to make the argument against Christianity that is fine. We can have that debate and Christian philosophers have been doing that but can we not have these nonsensical arguments based off strawman?