In addressing the oft-forgot yet probably most important holiday ever, I’d like to sort of address something completely different, something that is related at least somewhat to villainy. But let me start with Easter.
I hope all of you know what a big deal Easter should be to anyone of any Christian faith. And yet, we still act like Christmas is the most important holiday of the year. It’s just a bigger holiday and involves better loot – Christmas goodies AND presents! The best non-goodie Easter present I ever got was a new Sunday dress. (Well there was that one time my mom made me a new dress AND a matching dress for my doll and both dresses were pretty sweet. Thanks, Mom!) Yes, Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, but honestly, His birth isn’t nearly as important as His death. I mean, the only thing His birth really did for anyone was get Him here on the earth. But in His death, He saved us all. One is clearly more important than the other, and I’ll give you a hint – it’s His death. (Okay, technically speaking it wasn’t the actual death, but Easter encompasses everything involved in the Atonement, so it’s still the more important holiday.) What is the deal with us just doing a few pagan traditions of the original stolen holiday, maybe reading some scriptures, and for some of you going to Church for the first time in the year and the last time until Christmas? Why don’t we have a big Easter spirit, like with Christmas spirit? I consider all of December to be Christmas – and when I say that, everyone agrees with me. People just love Christmas soooo much! But…April isn’t Easter. In fact, we barely even remember Easter. April rolls around and we go to the store and see it’s suddenly stocking chocolate bunnies and Peeps and we think, oh, yeah, there’s a major holiday in this month. Guess I better pick up eggs.
Is this honestly how we honor the single most important event in the history of history? I mean, if you’re not Christian, that’s cool. Enjoy your eggs, chocolate and painted alike. But if you are Christian, what is the deal? And this is aimed at myself, too. What is the deal, Rii? Christ died around this time for you, and all you are doing is wondering if you want to buy another chocolate bunny or if eating it will trigger gestational diabetes*.
It is at this point in the blog post that I’m going to hop off of my “Doesn’t our Savior deserve more than a line of scripture!?” soapbox and address a completely different issue. The different issue is a question that a lot of people have about me, and I’d be surprised if many of you haven’t wondered.
How can I be an evil overlord, and a devout Christian? I’m certain there are some of you who shrug and think that most/all Christians are hypocrites anyway, but this is not the same thing at all – because to me, “devout Christian” means actually following Christ and loving my neighbor rather than throwing rocks at people because they’re gay or unchaste or liberal. (Side note – I hate the party system and claim neither.) So your hypocrite is the person who says “Jesus loves me!” and adds a “but hates you!” and I am not them.
So how do I pull it off? The actual answer is “because I’m a multi-faceted human being, duh, and also the Overlord thing is much more in reference to my darker humor and my expansive knowledge of villains than my actually being a villain, making it primarily a joke. Primarily.” The actual answer is, “Argh! Please stop saying “you’ll pray for me” like I’m some rebel working my way down to hell! I’m a writer, I’m allowed to have an infatuation with villains as a major hobby! Pray for me when I’m having real trouble, like if things go south with my health or my baby’s health, or if I submitted a manuscript.”
But that’s boring and tedious, the way that explaining the punch line to a hilarious and well-crafted joke to some moron who didn’t get it is boring and tedious. Let’s talk about it instead as if it had nothing to do with my knowledge of villains and I actually was totally evil!
Let’s see if you’ve been paying attention in my previous posts. First of all, motive is everything. Why do I want to rule the world? I fall in line with Dr. Horrible. “The world’s a mess and I just…need to rule it.” That’s my reason. What would be evil about fixing the world? Well, it would involve a lot of dystopian agency-squelching, because the world cannot be trusted to make good choices when its people has agency. And remember – at least in my book, clipping someone’s agency is one of the ultimate evils. So, why would I do that? Because clipping agency is going to be required to do the massive clean-up necessary, and therefore someone has to be the bad guy and do what needs to be done, and I’m okay with that bad guy being me. Which would make me a…? That’s right, a martyr. And I’m specifically a martyr because I know that what I am doing is wrong. And I know what I’m doing is wrong because I am a Christian. See how that all works together? But how can I be a devout, Christ-following Christian and be willing to pull the martyr card? Easily enough – if I clean up the world, make it a better place, I weed out the dangerous people, not only would I be serving the whole world by making it a better place, but hey, if the Second Coming happened while I ruled, we could bypass all that super-terrible-sounding Apocalypse stuff. And for those of you who ARE religious, please understand I’m not trying to be sacrilegious here, I’m just trying to explain a concept.
So in the end, I would be doing the right thing by doing the worst possible thing. Not so confusing how someone could be devout to a loving religion and yet be a black-hearted overlord, I hope? And maybe we’ve learned a thing or two about adding in dimension to our villains in the process?
But in all seriousness, I am Christian before I am overlord. Well before. And as much as I can understand the screwed-up thinking of someone who is both totally evil and totally religious, I can’t understand the screwed-up thinking of all of us who do not celebrate Easter at least to the degree that we celebrate Christmas. So I want to leave you with two challenges. If you’re not Christian, try to make a villain with seemingly paradoxical or conflicting views and explain how it’s not paradox at all, or at least how the villain made it work together. If you are, do that, or don’t, – but try to make Easter something you remember. I know we don’t have any Easter songs (although there are plenty of Easter hymns) and I know there’s no overabundance of Easter decorations and I know Easter isn’t as “fun” as Christmas, if for no other reason than that Christmas is about a happy birth and Easter is about a solemn sacrifice – but Easter is way more important than anything else ever. Even if all we do to remember Easter is to remember each and every day that Christ died for you and He died for me, and for actually everyone else, because He loved us all – and we remember that by maybe being a little kinder to each other – I think that would be a much better way to celebrate the Atonement than just reading some scriptures and attending Church that day.
You know, my husband and I were going to spend this Easter figuring out what our Easter traditions would be. I think I just decided on one – selecting and carrying out a service project.
*Actually I’m probably not at risk of gestational diabetes, I’m just paranoid.