Google declares war on Easter (kinda):

“On Easter Sunday, Google chose to honor an iconic figure on its front page — called the ‘doodle’ — which of course is viewed by millions around the world.

Many would have expected that figure to be Jesus, or perhaps something related to Easter.

Instead, Google went with a drawing of the late Hispanic civil rights leader Cesar Chavez, who would have turned 86. He founded the United Farm Workers Union and led the group until his death in 1993.

Google said it wasn’t sending out any type of political statement, but many took it as a snub on Jesus and Easter. Reaction was swift and strong on social media. …

There have been over 1,000 doodles since 1998 — but never one for Easter or for any other ┬áreligious holiday. Even Christmas is celebrated as the ‘Happy Holidays’ series.”

Well, whaddayaknow. Google’s run by a bunch of tech-savvy nerds who don’t take religion all that seriously. Whodathunkit!

Don’t worry, Google. I feel your pain.

As a Latino atheist, it’s nearly impossible to keep a strictly secular lifestyle, especially around Christmas and Holy Week — which in my mom’s native Honduras is more like Christapalooza.

This past weekend I was asked to lead my in-laws in prayer. Even though my suegra knows full well I’m an atheist (I once had an epic debate with her church friends at her kitchen table), she nonetheless insisted I “thank God” for all he’s done for my wife and I.

Words cannot describe how painful it was to thank an imaginary pimp in the sky, especially since I normally avoid behaving irrationally.

I was “encouraged” to persignarme and say a prayer. Pretending not to know one, I gave the most languid faux-improvised oraci├│n I could muster.

Later I rattled off the Lord’s Prayer to everyone as we ate, making sure my mother-in-law could hear me. I didn’t want her to think I was ignorant. Just dissident.

Whether you agree or not, I crossed myself and said a few words out of formal respect for my mother-in-law, even though she didn’t show me any by pressuring me to do those things in the first place.

Still, it was her house and her religion.

But when I read about the flack Google’s getting over not celebrating the popular holy day, I realized that the company was getting a macro version of what I had. Here was religion doing what it does best: muscling people into conforming.

Why should Google have put Jesus or the Easter bunny on its homepage yesterday? Because Christianity is the largest religion in the United States? Why should that make Google do anything?

These two stories illustrate why I’m so staunchly antitheist.

It’s not that religion has people believing in imaginary creatures and places. It’s not that religion is anti-science and pro-sheep mentality.

Those are very good reasons to sneer at it.

It’s that while the faithful rely on the trite phrase “To each his own” to get them out of explaining the rationale behind their faith, “To each his own” flies out the stained glass window whenever they’re trying to save souls.

Because it’s not enough that they believe in their nonsense. They want you and I to believe in it, too.

And they’re willing to go to any lengths to see you in their church, whether its launching a crusade, lighting a pyre, passing a law or converting to Bing.

 

[Photo: Google]

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