Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter Reflections

I'm writing this on Easter Sunday, the day Christians around the world celebrate for the Resurrection of Jesus. Later this morning, I'll be attending church with my family as we, too, are Christians (Roman Catholics). Next month, my son will be making his First you might guess, I come from a long line of Easter celebrators, and I'm raising my own children in the same belief system.

I consider myself to be a fairly rational, reasonable person. I believe in the science of climate change. I believe that the creation story found in the Bible is allegory, not historic fact. I believe that FOX News is something very different from "objective journalism" and that it's important to seek information on current events from other sources. All reasonable, rational things.

And yet I believe that a human born of another human (we can discuss the issue of His Father elsewhere) literally came back to life after being dead for a couple days. That's a trick you can't even pull off in the fantasy world of Dungeons &'s just impossible to wish or speak the words of a resurrection spell when there's no longer breath in your character's body. In the face of something so fantastical, so unheard of (at least, I haven't heard of anyone else pulling it off in the last couple thousand years), one might ask why I...a rational, reasonable human being would believe such a thing. Even folks who acknowledge there's "something out there" that created and/or is the basis for everything ("God" or whatever) aren't going to buy into the idea of Christ's Resurrection. It's a difficult thing to believe...even for many Christians.

For me, I choose to believe it. There are a lot of things in the Nicene Creed that I interpret in a different way than some of my fellow Catholics, but the Resurrection of Jesus, for me, is a literal truth, i.e. Yes, He died. Yes, He was dead. Yes, He came back to life, miraculously, by the power of God (as He said) and then walked around, chatting up his buddies, eating and drinking, etc. I consciously choose to believe this, in spite of incredulity of others. Why do I? Hmm...that's a tough answer. The honest answer is: I just do. Barely. But making the choice to do so gives me firm ground to stand on with respect to my spiritual beliefs, a feeling of rightness (not righteousness, more like "centeredness"), and an "okay, things are going to be all right" feeling.

Some might say it's because of my Catholic upbringing that it makes me feel comfortable (I wouldn't...I'm a lot more comfortable sitting on my ass Sundays then going to church). Some might say I'm a dude who longs for a bit of the miraculous in my life (look at how I've continued to play this "fantasy game for children" for 35+ years). Some (Catholics) would say I've just been blessed with faith by the Grace of God...but that's heaping a whole ‘nother strange/weird belief on top of the first one.  I choose. That's the why.

Likewise, I choose to be Roman Catholic. That one's a much easier choice (at least, once I've made the first choice). Being a part of a community has lots of benefits, and this is the one I'm most familiar with. Plus, there's a power to the institution...based on its age, its ritual, its tradition...that I'm partial to. I want my religion to be something larger and grander than myself; I want it to have centuries of development to iron out the kinks (yes, it's an ongoing process with a "living" church; still it’s a process to which I can relate).

But that's me; not everyone feels that way. I've known many former-Catholics who have chosen different paths (different churches, different faiths, different paths of spirituality, or nothing). I don't begrudge them their choices at all.

Which is a little weird, considering how much grief I give to different editions of D&D. Why should it bug me (that someone prefers 3rd or 5th edition), when I care so little for whether someone is a Catholic or Protestant or Muslim or whatever. Heck, I’ve had acquaintances that were Satanists, witches (not Wiccans...straight witches) and neo-pagans...and THAT didn’t bother me like someone who esteems 3E/Pathfinder as the “pinnacle” of D&D. Why? Because religion is a personal thing and  everyone should have the freedom to pursue their own beliefs? Isn’t one’s choice of D&D personal, too?

[of course it is]

Anyway, those are my thoughts of the day. Originally this was going to be my A-To-Z post for the day, but it’s gone a bit off the rails. I’ll try to get to the letter “R” later today.

Happy Easter everyone (and Happy Sunday to those who make different choices from me). Have a good one.
: )


  1. Good Easter to you and yours, JB.

  2. Drop the politics. Especially today.

  3. Scott: I really don't understand this sentiment. This is a personal blog, in which the author blogs about things that interest him personally, whether that be Dungeons and Dragons, Television, the Seattle Seahawks, or, yes, politics.

    Do you really think that someone can completely divorce their personal political beliefs from a personal work that examines and expounds on every other aspect of their personal lives? And if they can, do you really think they should?

    Do you really think that anyone owes you to reign in their expression just because you only want to read about Dungeons and Dragons? On their own platform?

  4. Thanks JB. For what it's worth (coming from a long-time reader who doesn't blog), I don't always agree with you But, from where I sit, your grapple with faith is an honest one, especially in the context of a game where we can just 'raise dead'. Keep grappling.