Olly olly oxen free

So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.



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Romans 13 and the Gettysburg Address
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Romans 13 and the Gettysburg Address
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Romans 13 and the Gettysburg Address

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  • I’d be scared shitless too if I knew grave robbers could move a huge frakkin’ stone and steal someone’s body. :O

  • Foreigner

    The stone can’t have been that big. Some poor sod had to roll it shut in the first place.

  • EllieMurasaki

    As the priest pointed out today at Mass, the burial cloths were expensive, and abandoned, while the corpse was worthless, and taken.

    Of course he cited that as evidence for why the resurrection occurred. And then went on to say that while the evidence all points to the resurrection (all the non-Christians here, let’s say it together: BULLSHIT), no one can believe in the resurrection without taking a leap of faith. And then he said that Jesus swore to keep the Church from error, meaning everything the Catholic Church has always taught (and he specifically mentioned abortion, euthanasia, and marriage) is right by reason of the Church having always taught it.

    And then my mother, who was lectoring, read out a prayer that the Supreme Court uphold the definition of marriage that ensures I cannot marry, uh, just about any of the people I’d like to marry. (Sick of heterocisdude bullshit, which kind of narrows the penis-people side of my partner pool.)

    Yeah, I’m not setting foot in a Catholic church again without an EXCELLENT reason, and family harmony (which is why I’ve been going at Christmas and Easter the past several years) no longer counts. And I’m thinking about lettering the editor of all the papers in the area to ask why, since the Church has no interest in holding to its side of the politics-stays-out-of-religion-and-religion-stays-out-of-politics deal, the Church isn’t first in line to insist that the Church should be taxed. Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s.

  • P J Evans

    ‘right by reason of the Church having always taught it’

    And another round of BULLSHIT.. Because they *haven’t* always taught that. (Never mind that the church has been off on its own and making errors since at least the time of Constantine.)

  • The stones weren’t that big. You can see some examples here.

  • > “Jesus swore to keep the Church from error”

    [TW: rape]

    It’d sure be nice if he had kept the Church™ from the error of facilitating an international, multi-generational criminal conspiracy of enabling and protecting child rapists.

    Ah, but nevermind. At least he took care of the important things, like preventing brown people from access to family planning services.

  • ReverendRef

    As the priest pointed out today at Mass, the burial cloths were
    expensive, and abandoned, while the corpse was worthless, and taken.

    Okay . . . it’s an interesting start to a potentially interesting sermon. I like it so far.

    And then he said that Jesus swore to keep the Church from error, meaning everything the Catholic Church has always taught (and he specifically mentioned abortion, euthanasia, and marriage) is right by reason of the Church having always taught it.

    And now I’m done liking it. What a way to ****up an Easter sermon. One of only ONE DAY in the year when it should be easy to preach good news (“Why are you looking for the living among the dead?”) and he did this???

    Nobody should have to sit through that on Easter.

    I’ve been sitting at my keyboard for ten minutes trying to come up with something to say that might convey what I’m thinking, but it all seems . . . not enough. As a priest, I’m sorry you had to sit through that.

    Go order some take-out — maybe it’ll help.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Thank you.

    My aunt picked out a wine to go with my mom’s pineapple-glazed ham, and I do not dislike this wine. This is the most complimentary I have ever been about alcohol. Bottle’s empty, which is probably a good thing, considering that glassish of wine is also the most I’ve ever had at once.

  • Wednesday

    I am so sorry, Ellie.

    What an effing awful sermon. Nothing says “let’s celebrate life and love” like by reiterating how people don’t deserve these.

    And on Easter, too. Is he trying to alienate moderate Catholics and push away the twice-a-year churchgoer? I mean, I thought it was bad when I attended a Christmas Eve service and was treated to a Glurge-story-style anti-atheist sermon, but at least the priest wasn’t arguing against my basic civil rights.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Yeah, tell me about it. I ain’t going back, that’s for sure.

  • hamletta

    You are so funny. Did Our Lord weigh more than a duck?

  • hamletta

    The Lord is risen indeed! Hallelujah!

    My parish baptized three children and welcomed three adults into the life our our congregation.

    And our choir (me included) got through “Worthy Is the Lamb” without serious incident.

  • LoneWolf343


  • There are certain people (gods are included in people) who I really feel have important and interesting stories that we’re never told. Mary Magdalene is one of them. She clearly was an important figure but we don’t know much of anything about her. Hell, most of the story we do have on here was grafted onto the name by saying, “Let’s take these nameless women and say they’re the same person as Mary.”

    Hecate is another person who I think we’re missing the story of. The Theogony, one of the earliest extant Greek works features her prominently and leaves no doubt that she’s damn important, but it never says why. Her importance wanes over time so it seems like writing was introduced to the Greeks just a tad too late for us to get her story.

    Theoclymenus in the Odyssey is another example. He shows up in the story for a short time as if he’s just passing through, like he was making a cameo in Homer’s show before returning to his own series. Or, for a more period appropriate reference, like Hercules’ appearance in the story of the golden fleece. It’s only one tiny section of the story of Hercules. The difference is that Theoclymenus’s story outside of Homer isn’t recorded in any extant work (another person of the same name does get mentioned in one place) where Hercules is well known outside of the Argonautica.

    So forth.

    Also the snake from the Garden of Eden, but in that case I think it’s not that the story was lost and more that the story never existed. Unlike me the author didn’t give a damn about the snake’s motivations. That’s my theory at least.

    Anyway, Mary Magdalene: clearly an important figure but the reason for that importance has basically been lost to us.

  • Alix

    I’ve seen it suggested, re: Hekate, that she was much more of a local goddess, and Hesiod was a devotee of her cult, explaining her otherwise-odd prominence in the Theogony. Not sure how well that’s backed up by other sources, though.

    As for the snake: a number of Gnostic sources do elaborate on the snake and his or her motives, just not from anything near an orthodox point of view. Many of those texts are lost or fragmentary – but a lot of tantalizing fragments survive in the anti-heresy writings of the Church Fathers.

    I’m totally with you on wanting the stories behind all of these people.

  • Alix

    (can’t edit my own posts, sorry)

    Re: the serpent – my favorite Gnostic interpretation is that the snake was an agent of the True God (or perhaps the True God him/herself), deliberately trying to eff up the plans of the God of This World (i.e. Yahweh), who was trying to create a slave race that worshipped only him and not the True God. In that version, eating the fruit gave Adam and Eve knowledge of the true reality, which is what really pissed off Yahweh.

  • Alix

    Not to mention that two or three women (depending on the account) were planning to go down and anoint the body hidden within. Were they going to call a squad of soldiers to roll the stone away for them?

  • Less on the specific verse quoted and more on Easter in general, at my blog I had a thing where I quoted David Sedaris about Easter and faith in French class. Here I’ll read from the Gospel according to Eddie Izzard:

    (Er… Note that this should not be read by those who lack of sense of humor when it comes to their most sacred beliefs. Which is a perfectly fine position to take given the whole “most sacred” part.)

    The pagans had big festivals on Easter and Christmas. Christians had big festivals at Easter and Christmas. Jesus died on one and was born on the other.


    Cos…Jesus I do think did exist.

    He was a guy who had interesting ideas in the Gandhi area, the Nelson Mandela area – relaxed and groovy.

    The Romans thought, “Relaxed and groovy? No.”

    So they murdered him.

    And kids eat chocolate eggs because the color of the chocolate and the color of the wood on the cross… Well, you tell me.

    It’s got nothing to do with it! Has it?

    People are going, “Remember kids, Jesus died for your sins.”

    “Yeah, I know, it’s great.”

    “No, it’s bad.” [beat] “It’s bad. lt’s terrible.”

    “Whatever you want. Just keep giving me these eggs.”

    And the bunny rabbits, where do they come into the Crucifixion?

    There were no rabbits going, “You putting crosses in our warrens? We live below this hill, all right?”

    Bunny rabbits are for shagging, eggs are for fertility. It’s the spring festival.

    Christmas time, Jesus born to a big jolly guy in a red jacket. “Ho, ho, ho, baby Jesus. What would you like for Christmas?”

    “Peace on earth and goodwill towards men.”

    “What about a clockwork train?”

    “Yes, much better. Forget peace on earth, I don’t care.”

    Regarding marriage equality, I’ve already shared my biblical argument for it; short version: “there is neither male nor female” so says the New Testament (you know, the Christian part of the Bible) try to make an argument against marriage equality without using the concepts of male and female. If you can’t (and you can’t) then it isn’t a Christian biblical argument.

    Also facebook introduced me to this thing on traditional marriage. Apart from spelling it seems pretty accurate.

    Regarding Easter Sermons, how can people fuck up, “God loved the world a lot, so Jesus lived as a human and suffered as a human and such, then died, and then came back to say to everyone, ‘Hey, don’t give up, all that stuff I said about being nice to one another still applies. The fact I died for a little while doesn’t change that,”?

    Seems like it should be hard to fuck up Easter. And if you are going to fuck up Easter a better direction would be a sermon on the ability of bunnies to lay cream filled chocolate eggs.

  • SisterCoyote

    Damn. That is a horrible thing to preach, on Easter of all days. “Life! Joy! Alleluia! Eternal fountain of love! Homo/Transphobia! Baby-killing Satanic Nazis!” What a jackass.

    I’m sorry you had to deal with that, Ellie.

  • EllieMurasaki


  • I know this is cold comfort, but I am grateful that you shared this, because it reminded me of why it was the right decision for me to stay away from Catholic services again this year. I miss it a great deal, and like someone who’s walked away from a bad relationship I sometimes find myself thinking “well, maybe it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was, maybe I could go back and things will be different…” Nope, it’s still a toxic place for me, for many of the reasons you spoke of, and many more. I’m not a priest, but like ReverendRef I also want to apologize for that sorry excuse for a homily; my inner theological geek is cringing at seriously messed up theology you were subjected to.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I’m glad my rant benefited someone.

  • frazer

    In the 16th chapter of Mark’s Gospel, the women were asking themselves exactly that. “Who is going to move the stone for us?”

  • Alix

    Ah, true. I forgot that!

  • Jessica_R

    Happy Easter to those who celebrate. And may you walk in springtime, and never see one of these abominations cross your path, http://www.happyplace.com/15235/the-creepiest-easter-bunny-photos-ever-taken

  • Random_Lurker

    >>heterocisdude bullshit

    I have a new favorite word. I knew exactly what you meant the moment I read it, and it would probably have taken me half a page to say the same thing. Thanks!

  • Thomas

    Sing the joyful Easter cry
    Sound it to the souls in prison
    Shout our triumph to the sky
    Sing Christ Risen
    Sing Christ Risen

    [James McAuley]

  • Requesting permission to hug you :/

  • Dash1

    Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!

    No, seriously, I was talking about that. I have often said, as Easter approaches, that Fred’s “olly olly oxen free” is the finest (and shortest) Easter sermon I’ve ever heard.

    (Except that, of course, he’s departed from the true and original text, “all-ee all-ee out’s in free.”)

    (On the other hand, there are those who argue that St. Lucy van Pelt made a solid case for “ollie ollie olson free-o.” And was persecuted for it. Worth mentioning because today, April 1, is the feast day of St. Lucy van Pelt, also known as St. Lucy of the Football.)

  • The_L1985

    I have been to Mass exactly once since I moved out. It was last Christmas, because since my bro and I weren’t living with the folks, and we were on vacation together, I thought it would be nice to my dad to let him have one more Mass with the whole family together.

    The priest thankfully avoided saying anything political (and if he had, I would have ruined Mass for my dad by yelling back at him), and the smell of frankincense has always been pleasant to me, but something about sitting in Mass itself made me feel deeply uncomfortable, and the “everything’s my fault” focus of the New Mass just made it worse.

    Like you, I don’t think “family togetherness” is a good enough reason for me to go back.

  • The_L1985

    You didn’t read the other stuff there. It clearly says that because the groove was slanted, it was easy to close the tomb, but much more difficult to open.

    Reading comprehension is a good skill to have.

  • The_L1985


    I am suddenly glad that my parents never had us wait in line for an hour to get Easter Bunny or Santa Claus photos.

  • EllieMurasaki


  • P J Evans

    We must have been heretics: I got it as ‘all-y all-y auction free!’l

  • Worthless Beast

    What’s with this new system? I clicked the vote up button and it voted twice.
    Some of those bunnies are freakin’ scary! I feel a bit bad for laughing at the little girl screaming and throwing her Easter basket. I’m glad my parents never did that to me.. Then again, I grew up in southern Arizona… and it’s kind of warm there this time off year, so people dressing up in full-body furry costumes was kind of… not popular.
    I spent this weekend enjoying the opening of fishing season in pursuit of the Easter Trout. Elusive bugger…

  • Cathy W

    Long, long, ago my niece was so traumatized by the Easter Bunny at the mall that in October of that year she was still refusing to go to the mall just in case the bunny was still there.

  • Dash1

    “All-y all-y auction free” sounds like money-changers in the temple on the playground, to me. So yeah, HERESY!!!

  • Stop that. Stop it, will you stop that. Now look, no one is to stone anyone until I blow this whistle. *Even*…and I want to make this absolutely clear…*even* if they *do* say “Jehovah.”

    Wait, that was blasphemy. Um, heresy… let’s see…

    I got nothing.

  • That last singlehandedly proving for another year that miracles sometimes do happen when they’re most needed. I remember being in a choir that was almost as good as the director thought, and programmed for.

  • ohiolibrarian

    Does anyone else feel that “Good Friday” has a smell of Omelas about it?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Yes and no. The kid in Omelas wasn’t a volunteer. Jesus, we’re supposed to understand, was.

  • ohiolibrarian

    But, we still are the beneficiaries. It is our attitude as manifested in the phrase “Good Friday” that bothers me.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Yeah, that would be the ‘yes’ part of ‘yes and no’.

  • Right.
    Also, as I understand the Christian narrative, we’re supposed to understand that Jesus had no other purpose to his existence than to be tortured and thus atone for the sins of mankind… had he lived a long happy life as a carpenter God would have no choice but to keep damning everyone’s soul’s to Hell.
    Whereas, as I understand the Omelas narrative, had that kid lived a long happy life and some other kid been tortured, the consequences for everyone else would have been essentially the same.
    Whether that makes any difference, I have no idea.

  • ohiolibrarian

    The following is a William James quote that inspired the story:

    Or if the hypothesis were offered us of a world in which Messrs. Fourier’s and Bellamy’s and Morris’s utopias should all be outdone, and millions kept permanently happy on the one simple condition that a certain lost soul on the far-off edge of things should lead a life of lonely torture, what except a specifical and independent sort of emotion can it be which would make us immediately feel, even though an impulse arose within us to clutch at the happiness so offered, how hideous a thing would be its enjoyment when deliberately accepted as the fruit of such a bargain?

    The bold is mine.

  • As a child, I had this old book of children’s activities where everything was slightly off in a kind of old-timey sort of way (Weird archaic usages and SERIOUSLY deprecated terms for the peoples of various parts of the world). In their rules for hide-and-seek, they gave it as “All ye all ye urchins free”

  • frazer seems to have answered that, but in rather *lighter* fiction working-class women go places that the hero has trouble with. In the novel _Lorna Doone_ the old nurse seems to trot up and down the cliffside to bring her darling clean laundry. (What there isn’t, in _Lorna Doone_, are shortbread cookies. Odd.)

  • frazer seems to have answered that, but in rather *lighter* fiction working-class women go places that the hero has trouble with. In the novel _Lorna Doone_ the old nurse seems to trot up and down the cliffside to bring her darling clean laundry. (What there isn’t, in _Lorna Doone_, are shortbread cookies. Odd.)

  • Dash1

    Not to distract from the basic discussion, but, as someone who spends a lot of time with English teachers, I can’t resist pointing out that that quote sat there for decades, quietly informing the scholarly class, until Ursula K. LeGuin made it into a story and made it real for anyone who could read.

  • kadh2000

    For the first time in a few years, I went to Catholic Mass this Easter. We were visiting my parents and my sister-in-law was joining the church. She had her first communion and was confirmed then and there, along with over a dozen other people, plus there were two infant and four adult baptisms. The service was performed by an Monsignor and a Priest. They fumbled a bit (one had a cold and Easter service isn’t one you practice often).

    At one point in the Mass I noted that the Catholic Church can really put on a show when it wants to. Candles, incense, the Rite of Sprinkling (I know that’s exactly what it is, but isn’t there a better name for it?), trumpets and drums. The homily (sermon) wasn’t controversial in any way. I felt very Catholic again. (I’m a Lutheran now).

    Then came communion. We weren’t sure we were allowed to go up. I remember us being able to a few years ago. I looked it up on my iPhone. Nope, not allowed. I unfortunately read the full article. Full presence of the Body and Blood of Christ not being a Lutheran belief, we’re not allowed communion at a Catholic Church. Lutheran communion (per the article anyway) is a mockery of the real thing as done by the Catholics. (We don’t believe it is the same thing right and we don’t have a valid priesthood). I wasn’t feeling so Catholic anymore. We were allowed to come up for a blessing. Didn’t want to make a scene and ruin anyone’s feast so we didn’t.

    Apparently (having just looked it up) it was never officially allowed by the Catholic Church. So, those times I did I was wrong. I thought it was the Lord’s Supper, but apparently not.

    My family (especially my parents) really appreciated the gesture we made by coming. For them, I’d do it again. However, I feel kind of left out. Like I missed something. No communion on Easter. I wonder if I can drop by my home church and get some belatedly…