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Mischievous Marcus and The Once-and-Future King

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Shortly after informing me that Catholicism was a vampiric religion (see previous blog: Mischievous Marcus and Jesus the Undead), Marcus and I met again. But this time the discussion had more to do with folkloric legend than horror.

“Christianity is a fractured religion,” he began.

“Whatever it was supposed to be, it’s been shattered starting way back with a control-freak emperor’s obsession with forcing people to switch their belief systems. And the shards have filtered down, mixing with folklore and paganism until most Christians blindly follow what they’re taught. They’re good at reacting, if challenged, but most of them don’t know and don’t question their own religion’s origins.”

Considering the multitude of sects and creeds falling under the umbrella of Christianity, I could see where Marcus was coming from, but I was sure there was more…

“The emperor Constantine took a lot of artistic license with Christianity,” he continued. “Scholars say Jesus was born anywhere from April to November, depending on whose reasoning you want to follow, but Christians celebrate His birth on December 25th. Why? ‘Cause Emperor Constantine wanted to lure people away from the festivals surrounding the Winter Solstice. So…presto! Suddenly Christ gets a new birthday that has nothing to do with reality.

“And tell me if this sounds familiar: ‘Man, born of woman, with no mortal father.’ That describes Jesus, right? Well, it’s how Merlin the magician is described, too. And Christians, who refer to Jesus as their ‘King,’ expect a Second Coming. What does that bring to mind?”

I knew what he was going to say before the words left his lips.

“It has to remind you of the legend of King Arthur; resting somewhere, hidden from the world; just waiting for the time he’ll resurrect. Both of them…Jesus and Arthur are once-and-future-kings.

“Christianity is like a shattered mirror,” Marcus concluded. “You can see partial reflections everywhere a piece falls, but you’ve all lost the bigger, original image it contained when it first started.”

His smile turned wicked. “Maybe you guys broke the mirror because you couldn’t see your own reflections anymore…

“…you know…because vampires don’t have reflections.”

And somehow, Marcus and Christianity had come full circle.

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Just bitchin'

Mischievous Marcus and Jesus the Undead

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Halloween seems an appropriate time for this tale…

When I first met my friend Marcus, he stared at the silver, fleur de lys cross depending from a chain around my neck, and gave me a mischievous grin.

“So. You’re really into vampires, huh?”

My brain processed his question on a few quick-fire levels…all literary.

Did he think I wore this charm because of the traditional powers attributed to it by folklore? A cross…and silver…. Both supposedly effective weapons against the undead? Or, was Marcus referring to the jewelry design which sprang from the French Quarter of New Orleans? Was he drawing on the vampire legends of author Anne Rice and her ties to the same area that crafted my necklace?

Since I wore it because it was a gift from a loved one, neither supposition applied. My cat-curiosity gave him a sidelong look, inviting explanation.

So Marcus took it a little further, and immediately planted a firm foot on the path to becoming one of my most intriguing friends.

“Generally, people who wear crosses are Christians,” he stated. “That means Jesus Christ is at the foundation of your faith. And…” His grin grew wider. “…Jesus was a vampire. In fact, Catholicism especially, is a very vampiric religion.”

My bemused expression and the fact that I didn’t walk away, encouraged Marcus to elaborate.

“Jesus rose from the dead.” He shrugged. “Maybe if they’d pierced his heart instead of his hands and feet, he wouldn’t have. And there’s that whole bread and wine thing. You know…drinking the blood of Christ so you’ll live forever in him?” He gave a sage nod. “Vampirism. Pure vampirism.”

I forgave him the contradictions in his theory…that the cross would then burn and repel those who partook of this vampire religion, because it was, as I said, intriguing.

The second encounter I had with Marcus, he had another take on Christianity; a commingling of legends that I’ll pass on next time… But for now…

Happy Halloween!

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Human Hubris

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I know a couple verging on senior citizenship. They are professionals. They are well-off financially. They are parents and grandparents. They are educated and well-traveled.

They send me cute, little e-mail greeting cards at the drop of a hat. New Year’s. Valentine’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day. Mother’s Day. Father’s Day. Arbor Day. Thanksgiving. And Christmas…assuredly Christmas.

But not Halloween. Never, ever Halloween.

They associate All Hallow’s Eve with Satanism…Devil Worship…Eternal Damnation…

They worry about me. Because of my Celtic heritage and the way I embrace a night of costumes and folklore and imagination. They have recommended their church to me in hopes that I will join and ‘find the companionship that has so enriched our lives.’

But I know what they’re really saying. The poor girl with the Welsh ancestors needs saving. And being the good people they are, they will not shrink from the task of hammering out that pagan streak of innocence; replacing it with their own particular brand of Christianity.

I was raised Christian. I wear a fleur-de-lys cross . (I guess my French heritage passes muster with them, but I could be as wrong about that as I am wrong to celebrate Halloween.) I pray. I donate to charity regularly no matter what my financial circumstances of the moment. I cry when animals get hurt. I believe in things that are eternal and beautiful. And I have fun once a year in a shivery, fake-horror, too-many-sweets way.

And these people who cringe away from Halloween, who endeavor to live up to the standards they wish everyone would adopt, do things that horrify me. Most recently they confided that they were sorry they had to kill raccoons that trespassed on their newly-sodded lawn.

‘We spent so much to have it all made nice. We just couldn’t let animals destroy it.’

They trapped and killed the creatures themselves. ‘But we said a prayer for our souls with each one we put down.’

Well, I guess that makes it all okay, doesn’t it?

They believe such action is acceptable, because ‘animals have no souls.’

Ah, yes. The hubris of the human race. Like a story in the news some months ago. After extensive study of the electrical impulses in their brains and comparison to synonymous paths in those of humans, it was declared that dogs are indeed capable of feeling love.

Gosh, really? Did you really need to spend vast amounts of time with extremely expensive equipment to come to that conclusion? I could have told you dogs feel love. And cats. And pretty much any creature you take the time to know.

The hubris of the human race. Again.

Next thing you know, they’ll be announcing that animals…yes, even animals!…have souls. But first they’ll have to prove that humans do, so there will be something to use as a baseline comparison.

I’m not sure they can. At least, not all of us…. Must be that rebellious, Celtic streak.

 

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