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The Hypocrisy of "Zombie Jesus Day"

By April 24, 2011

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I know a fair number of people who are both liberals and non-Christians.  They are huge into tolerance of all forms, including religious tolerance.

And yet, they think it is appropriate to refer to Easter as Zombie Jesus Day.  (Because Jesus rose from the dead, for those of you who don't immediately get it.)  Mock a Jew or a Muslim for his religion, and these people are likely to be all over you.  It's not appropriate, it's bigoted and juvenile and no longer accepted in our pluralistic culture.

And yet "Zombie Jesus Day" somehow doesn't fall into all of those categories?

There are conservative Christians who complain how picked on Christianity is, how it's considered acceptable to "persecute" Christians but not those of other faiths, and by and large I find their claims unsubstantiated.  But this is one example which proves the conservatives right: it seems to be acceptable among some to mock the holiest day in Christianity, even though similar behavior toward other faiths would be immediately condemned.

It's name-calling, pure and simple.

Comments
April 25, 2011 at 2:37 pm
(1) Greg says:

I completely agree. I chastised a friend of mine yesterday for the same thing. She is usually so politically correct that it surprised me she would say that. If it is not okay to mock witches for their beliefs, then it is certainly not okay to poke fun at a religion’s holy day.

April 25, 2011 at 6:39 pm
(2) David says:

It is okay to poke fun of religion. How are we supposed to take them seriously when they say that Jesus comes back to life after being dead for two days.

April 25, 2011 at 7:24 pm
(3) Chuck says:

I think a lot of people mock Christianity because of all of the abuses that they dish out against anyone of another religion, gay people, feminists, environmentalists….you name it. And they spew out this absurd religious cult kookery with threats that if you don’t join their cult, you will burn and choke and puke and scream in a fiery pit for ever and ever. Now tell me that’s not laughable and quite worthy of a good mocking! I think they have earned it.

That being said, there are a lot of liberal Christians who are quite different and I don’t include them in my above description.

April 26, 2011 at 10:46 am
(4) Gotrootdude says:

Religious tolerance is always preached in attempts to make religious superstitious claims immune from any criticism. But, true tolerance is a two way street, meaning the ability to freely criticize and accept criticism.
If religions can’t accept criticism, then the religions are not tolerant.

April 27, 2011 at 5:20 am
(5) Borsia says:

While I am an equal opportunity mocker I think we tend to give Christians an extra jab because they spew their poison relentlessly on everyone else.
I’ve never had a Jew, Muslim, Wican or anyone else show up at my door, interrupting my day, to tell me that I am going to hell because there aren’t any gods.
So I admit to making fun of zombie Jesus but hey I’m already going to hell according to them.

April 27, 2011 at 10:33 pm
(6) Guinis says:

You are absolutely correct. Easter is Easter, an important religous day for Christians. To call it anything else is a fine expression of ones stupidity.

May 2, 2011 at 12:12 am
(7) Catherine Beyer says:

Gotrootdude: There is a difference between criticism and mockery.

There is also a time and a place for criticism. There are plenty of religious beliefs that I disagree with. But I don’t walk around repeatedly and publicly voicing my opinions on the matter. And I certainly wouldn’t expect my targets to put up with my presence if I did.

Likewise, I don’t run around telling people how silly their fashion sense is either. Certainly I have the right to do so, but that doesn’t make it polite, responsible, in good taste, or even particularly adult.

May 8, 2011 at 10:58 am
(8) Dani says:

“Freedom of speech means freedom from interference, suppression or punitive action by the government—and nothing else. It does not mean the right to demand the financial support or the material means to express your views at the expense of other men who may not wish to support you. Freedom of speech includes the freedom not to agree, not to listen and not to support one’s own antagonists.”

– Ayn Rand, “The Virtue of Selfishness”

March 27, 2012 at 12:51 pm
(9) JesusPhreak says:

But Jesus is a Zombie. Is it because he never rotted that people are so up in arms? You don’t need to have rotted to be a zombie. I guess he’s a reverse zombie. Instead of eating people he wants others to eat him. Still, zombies are cool and so is Jesus.

April 2, 2012 at 2:45 pm
(10) Atheist Mom says:

On Religious Tolerance:

I do not respect your religious beliefs.
I respect your right to have them.
I respect your right to express them.
I respect you as long as you respect me.
I do not respect your “right” to tell me I am an evil person.
I do not respect your “right” to tell I am going to hell.
I do not respect your “right” to impose your beliefs on me or my children.
I do not respect ignorance.
I do not respect brainwashing.
I do not respect cults.
I do not respect hatred, biogrtry, misogyny, sexism or tyranny.
I do not respect your religion. And I don’t have to.

April 5, 2012 at 2:52 pm
(11) Fitz says:

Outrageous, unsubstantiated claims (a man rose from the dead, space aliens abducted my cow, a leprechaun lives in my yard, etc.) warrant mockery. Classifying them as a “religion” doesn’t give the ideas special immunity. Have you, Ms. Beyer, never mocked an outrageous idea? If so, does that make you a bigot?

April 5, 2012 at 8:13 pm
(12) CMG says:

Perhaps it is as a response to Christians feeling perfectly comfortable inflicting their beliefs on the unbelieving or the uninterested in every aspect of life, school, healthcare, reproductive rights, etc. And when people say that spirits speak to them and people rise from the dead, we medicate them and put them on a psychiatric hold. But somehow we are just supposed to be completely accepting of a religion/holiday which has been piecemealed together from other religious and seasonal customs. Puhleez! If you are that offended, go whine about it at church.

April 7, 2012 at 11:15 pm
(13) Loki says:

I love zombie jesus day. When you combine two creepy things in a humorous way, it makes them less creepy! I enjoy mocking anything that seems silly to me, I am an equal opportunity sadist. Some christians whine that they get teased about their religion more than any other… Hello? Ever heard of scientology? Jehova’s witnesses? Mormons?? Usually the ones that get mocked the most are the ones whose followers annoy people the most. In my opinion, christianity wins that title hands down. Not that there aren’t very nice christians out there, there are, I’ve met them. But the obnoxious ones take the cake. Just my little two cents there.

April 8, 2012 at 12:39 am
(14) David Ehecatl says:

You’re wrong, not all liberals are wishy-washy, feel-good new-agers. I mock all faiths equally. Religion is the worst kind of delusion and to not deride it would be to lend legitimacy to psychosis. That would be morally reprehensible in my point of view.

April 8, 2012 at 12:46 am
(15) Rick says:

Learn to not get butt-hurt by people’s jokes.

April 8, 2012 at 1:10 am
(16) Joel says:

Well, by definition, it is appropriate to say that.

Def: A zombie is dead body that has been brought back to life by a supernatural force.

1 Corinthians 15:20-22 Paul states, “But Christ really has indeed been raised from the dead.”

So, according to the Bible, Jesus does fit the definition of a zombie to near perfection. Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter. Therefore, it is quite appropriate to use ‘Zombie Jesus Day.’

April 8, 2012 at 8:06 am
(17) ME or maybe YOU says:

WTF! WHERE ARE ALL THE LIKE BUTTONS! Haha i love the zombie jesus bashes! <3 zombie jesus day!

April 8, 2012 at 8:32 am
(18) Jason says:

Why is there an editorial on a website that is supposed to be objective and opinion-free? This is a website to guide people on things, not to editorialize.

April 8, 2012 at 8:32 am
(19) Derek says:

As soon as christians allowed the Easter Bunny to represent Easter and Santa Claus to represent Christmas you brought it upon yourselves to get mocked. I’m an equal opportunity mocker.

April 8, 2012 at 9:16 am
(20) Jack says:

Religion, as Thomas Jefferson suggests, should be treated with ridicule.

When you see fully grown adults (who can own guns, vote, and raise children) jabbering about some immoral cult and their figures, they should be informed that their views are repellent and fit for humor.

April 8, 2012 at 11:32 am
(21) chris says:

I love zombie jesus, and all religions are just storys. Ur a lil off if you whole heartedly believe any of it. please turn ur walking stick into a snake if u dont agree.

April 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm
(22) monica says:

HAPPY ZOMBIE JESUS DAY EVERYONE!

April 8, 2012 at 1:46 pm
(23) laughing says:

You have this all wrong. We don’t mock the people we mock the belief. Zombie Jesus day and other crazy religious beliefs of any faith are fair game. The frustration towards Christians mocking PEOPLE of other faiths is that they honestly think they are better than people who are just as crazy as them. They use that to justify ill will (for fairness so do many other religious groups).

Not surprised your Christ colored glasses filtered that out though.

April 8, 2012 at 3:55 pm
(24) Alexander says:

saying the words Easter or Easter Sunday is boring im roman catholic and I call Easter “Zombie Jesus Day” im not mocking the day or anything im useing an alternate name for the event such as santa being called st. nick. Now calling it zjd is not innappropiate my preist said at the end of easter vigil mass “and have a safe and happy zombie jesus day”
there is no right or wrong here. those that argue that its mean or wrong are just getting butt hurt over a name for something. like somepony said before zombies are the dead who return to life through some supernatural force and jesus rose from the dead through the power of god. and for your info when the romans adopted the religion they placed easter and christmas on the pagan holidays for the spring and winter. your freaking out at zombie jesus day when Halloween( all hallows eve) a catholic holiday is utterly distorted by society and all saints day isnt even noticed anymore. any of you catholics or christians who are up in arms at this should be ashamed of yourself. now everypony lets all sit down and chill maybe watch some my little pony or something

April 8, 2012 at 3:59 pm
(25) Hunter says:

I’m a zombie and I find this offensive.

April 8, 2012 at 4:41 pm
(26) Connor says:

I am not sure where you all live, but I live in a highly Catholic area where most people attend/ attended Catholic grade school, high school, and college, myself included. Out of thosr people, about 30% tell me Happy Zombie Jesus Day instead of Happy Easter. My thoughts are that if people who worship Jesus call it Zombie Jesus Day, why can’t the Non-Christians?

April 8, 2012 at 7:44 pm
(27) bugs says:

It’s more disrespectful to knock on my door while I’m eating dinner to tell me I’m doomed to hell for being who I am. If Zombie Jesus is real, I think he would understand that I am who I am and let it be.

April 8, 2012 at 9:35 pm
(28) erma says:

listen if you want attention and hits stop covering nonsense like this. Obviously people will bash every holiday whatever the meaning of it may be. Get over it you troll.

July 29, 2012 at 4:10 pm
(29) dick says:

Is” Jewish zombie day okay “??

October 14, 2012 at 9:53 am
(30) Takashi R. says:

It is just a matter of stating the facts. The reason that people refer to the Spring festival as Zombie Jesus day is:

1. If Jesus rose from the dead, then he is by definition a zombie

2. Jesus exhibits zombie like behaviour (In the main gospels of the “canon”, he calls his followers to “eat his flesh and drink is blood” – although in some other competing gospels, I believe he calls his followers to “eat brains”.

March 28, 2013 at 1:25 pm
(31) Greg says:

1) I think we should all keep in mind that zombies are just a pop culture fad right now and that this will all blow over and Easter will still go on being Easter long after the zombie craze is done.

2) I don’t see any problem with folks trying to understand a supernatural event such as the resurrection of Jesus – at least they’re acknowledging it so consider it a step towards understanding Christianity (even if it starts out in jest). It’s no secret that people make fun of the things they fear in order to cope. Instead of this article griping about Zombie Jesus Day as a form of “religious mocking”, it should have been written to help the understanding of what makes Jesus’s resurrection different or better yet, just not written at all.

3) I’m not offended by Zombie Jesus as a liberal Christian – in fact, I find the comparison pretty intriguing! I’m more offended that ol’ Catherine Beyer (the author) feels Easter is the holiest holiday because I think Christmas is more holy (yes, this is all just that silly).

March 29, 2013 at 10:08 am
(32) Doug Meredith says:

Belief in things for which their is no evidence deserves to be mocked.

March 29, 2013 at 3:30 pm
(33) DF says:

Lighten up Francis.

March 30, 2013 at 9:25 am
(34) Paul says:

Really? You know what I find much more upsetting? I find the fact I live in a secular society that chooses to make one religions religious holidays a series of public holidays and allows this religion to enforce, upon me, a set of arbitrary rules, such as not being able to but alcohol from a shop on good Friday. Also I own a cafe in a small town in Australia and I am unable to open the entire Easter weekend because to do so would mean paying my employees double time and a half, if your not Australian, that means I have to pay them over $58 an hour, business is not that good…..and why do I have to do this, because of a religious holiday for a church that I am not a member of. If I was forced to fast for Ramadan or Yom Kippur, or had to pay my employees a ridiculous reward rate for these, I would also make fun of them. So stop your whining.

March 31, 2013 at 4:35 am
(35) Paul 2 says:

I agree with what Paul (1) said!

Plus, Catherine Beyer, I am free to mock any and all religions, so don’t be so presumptuous in saying that “us lefties” only mock your religion. They are all equally unbelievable and merely a bunch of made-up stories… in my *humble* opinion, of course :-/

March 31, 2013 at 5:07 am
(36) Cindy says:

Religion is ridiculous at best and extremely harmful at worst. Mockery, to turn it into a joke, is the best we can do. This is no different than laughing at racism or sexism or any other horribly detrimental elemental of society.
Any one who isn’t an atheist and attempts to argue that religion is wonderful is deluding themselves. People want so desperately to think that when they die they might face something besides oblivion that they’re willing to believe anything, even that a long dead guy is waiting for them in a magical place with a mansion just for them, but only if they do precisely what he says.
Jesus is the Santa Claus for grown ups. He only gives you nice things if you’re “good” and you can’t ever prove he doesn’t exist. He could be 500 feet below the polar ice cap, where we’d never find him, or in another dimension undetectable by our technology. Deities are the imaginary friends of otherwise perfectly sane adults, and it’s high time they were recognized as such.
Happy Zombie Jesus Day! :)

March 31, 2013 at 9:14 am
(37) AK says:

Happy zombie jesus day!

[If it has any influence on civil law, or creates mistreatment, and unfairness between people, then I mock all religion supporting those beliefs equally, feel better that your presumption is not accurate?]

So remind me how it is again that people of certain beliefs can be in support of saying others who haven’t done anything wrong, are going to hell if they don’t follow the same beliefs, or the right path to jesus or whoever else they worship, but can’t tolerate a little mild joke?

March 31, 2013 at 9:52 am
(38) MF says:

#10 – Atheist Mom – Right on! Great take on what religious tolerance is and is not. I agree that Catherine Beyer’s column complaining about non-religious people making fun of Easter, in particular the concept of a person rising from the dead, has no place in About.com. There’s nothing hypocritical about mocking something that seems silly to anyone who doesn’t share your beliefs; this is a word that I think Catherine may want to look up. Just because many people refuse to listen to overtly ridiculous claims with a straight face because you call them “religious” doesn’t mean they are being intolerant. If you put your beliefs out there to a skeptical and diverse world be prepared to hear about what it thinks of them.

March 31, 2013 at 12:25 pm
(39) happy easter 420 says:

@ MF…Fair enough however if the christians take a stance on an issue it is deemed biggotted and hateful. You label Jesus rising from the dead as “ridiculous” and have a hard time not laughing which is your right but how is that an example of being tolerant?

should people of faith laugh at you? have a hard time taking you serious for your lack of beliefs? It’s clear when this does happen you want to claim discrimination or call for equal rights?

No matter what your beliefs are to mock people on a special day really shows the kind of person you really are. We’re not fooled as you think you hide behind a cloak of tolerance when actions like this expose your true agenda.

I find christians to be the most accepting helpful people on the planet

April 1, 2013 at 3:15 am
(40) Chris says:

Get over yourselves.

Everyone gets made fun every moment of every day; instead of getting your panties in a twist, take it for what it really is: a lighthearted jab at a holiday based on what is, to modern eyes, a fantastic and magical fairy tale. Just because we call your Spring festival (which originally contained many elements of and was based upon earlier pagan festivals, just like your Christmas) “Zombie Jesus Day” doesn’t mean we think you’re bad people or that you need to stop being Christians. Laugh along—roll your eyes at our ignorance if you feel so inclined—and then eat a piece of chocolate. Life goes on.

April 4, 2013 at 10:14 pm
(41) Paul says:

I’m a priest. I’m not offended by mockery. I expect it. And Jesus predicted it (Matthew 5:10-12).
The biggest issue here (as seen in most of these comments) is a lack of civility. So many people simply don’t care enough about others to be mindful of their words. They couldn’t care less. They act rather uncaring and even beastly. Rather zombie-like, in fact. Is Jesus the zombie? Or his mockers?

August 26, 2013 at 10:25 am
(42) Me Zombie says:

As our lord once said, “Braaaaaains! braaaaaaaiinns ! Braiins!”

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