Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Olympian Significance of November 11

Olympianity is the religion of power. It is the oldest, most popular, yet least recognized religion in the world today.

In the United States and Canada, everyone commonly uses what is called the civic calendar. This calendar is regarded as secular and therefore religiously neutral. It is, however, a religious calendar. Its major holidays are all Olympian holy days. Today we will look briefly at the meaning of November 11 and see how this is so.

World War I ended on November 11, 1918. The anniversary of that end continues to be celebrated on that date. In the United States, this anniversary was once called “Armistice Day,” rightly enough, but is now called “Veteran’s Day.” In Canada it is called “Remembrance Day.” Whatever its name, it is a date on the Olympian calendar dedicated to the celebration of Mars god of war.

Like other religions, Olympianity has its saints. Saints are the heroes of a religion. They are people of exemplary virtue whose behavior the rest of us are encouraged to imitate.

In Olympianity, the primary saints of Mars include military people of great historical significance. Three such heroes are Alexander, called “the Great” by Olympians, Julius Caesar, and Napoleon.

Hardly anyone, however, ever reaches such heights of glory as attained by those three heroes. Like other religions, Olympianity also provides us with secondary saints. These are former and current participants in the military. Of course, there are also greater and lesser secondary heroes. Greater heroes include soldiers who receive medals for great leadership or bravery in battle.

Olympianity even inspires Olympians who can’t be primary or secondary heroes to at least be tertiary or third-order heroes. In this way, we otherwise ordinary people can still express our devotion to Mars in meaningful ways. We can do this, for example, by participating in Veteran’s Day events or by wearing a “Remembrance Day Poppy” button popular in Canada near this holy day.

Under the intense pressure of the Global Technological System (GTS), all societies and cultures around the world are now primarily Olympian. Olympian cultures commonly honor Mars by designating certain days of the year as holy or special to him. On those days Mars is honored by the glory given to his military saints in special ceremonies. We ordinary Olympians honor him by participating in these ceremonies and by wearing special buttons or ribbons. All of this is quite normal.

It is important for us as Christians, however, to understand that this very normal behavior is also specifically religious Olympian behavior. As such, this behavior is contrary to our devotion to Jesus Christ. This statement has two implications.

The first implication: Jesus calls us today, and each day, to live as radiant witnesses to him. He invites us each day to share his light, love, and life with others. Through his death and resurrection, he set us, and every human being, right with God and with one another. We share his light, love, and life with others by living as witnesses to this truth.

Jesus calls us to witness to our reconciliation with God and all people by loving others no matter what—just as he loves us. Mars would have us kill others, and do it well, as he sees fit. Jesus invites us to radically commit ourselves to nurturing and protecting others. Mars would have us constantly improving our methods of killing them. We can’t simultaneously serve both Jesus and Mars.

The second implication: today’s serious, respectable, mainstream, normal Christianity imagines no contradiction between being a clear witness to Jesus and—at the same time—being a hero of Mars (whether primary, secondary, or tertiary). Our Christianity, in other words, is thoroughly conventional. Rather than being a meaningful alternative to Olympianity, we have become Christian Olympians.

Today Jesus invites us to note the profound differences between him and Mars. He even kindly provides us with his Holy Spirit. That spirit, by burning brightly in our hearts, today enables us to bust free of the spell cast over us by Mars and sustained by the intense and nefarious GTS.

Copyright © 2012 by Steven Farsaci.
All rights reserved. Fair use encouraged.