The Roman Church usurped the pagan spring festival of rebirth which follows the European winter and turned a joyful celebration into an acceptance of the primitive concept of sacrificing a human being to appease a blood-thirsty ‘god.’

As the Christian rite is tied to the Jewish Passover it is necessary to recall the story of the slaughter by Yahweh of the first-born children of the Egyptians to secure the release of the Hebrews from slavery. As the Pharaoh was the only person involved in the negotiations and the only person able to grant or withhold freedom it therefore follows that he alone was punishable. Any punishment inflicted on the innocent population was clearly vindictive.

From the Bible story the number of Hebrews involved in the so-called exodus was around three million. Obviously the exodus of such a large number would have been physically impossible and all avenues of research show that no large body of Hebrews were ever slaves in Egypt or were granted freedom to wander for forty years on their journey back to their ‘promised land’. The Exodus is a potent reminder of the power of myth.

The Jesus of the gospels accepted the story of the Exodus and obviously saw nothing immoral in celebrating the slaughter of the Egyptian firstborn children. Not being Hebrew children their deaths were of no consequence. Jesus was supposed to have been crucified at the time of the Jewish Passover.

According to Christian dogma he was the innocent son of the god Yahweh and for believers his sacrifice secured immunity from punishment for wrongdoing and gained for them entry into eternal heavenly bliss instead of everlasting torment in Hell. Clearly this is precisely the same concept as that of our primitive ancestors. It is morally wrong and ethically unacceptable today.

Whilst it is possible for an innocent party to pay the penalty for the wrong doing of another person they cannot be made into the guilty party. Penalty can be transferred but guilt cannot.

The history of the Roman Catholic Church has been a record of the ways in which breaches of the laws of the church could be expiated by payments in various ways – ‘Hail Marys’ and penances. It has nullified the sense of individual responsibility for acceptable social practice and led to Catholics being involved in an unproportional level of crime. To a lesser extent this applies wherever the concept of vicarious sacrifice is taught.

Vicarious sacrifice is unacceptable in modern ethics and research and common-sense explodes the belief that a ‘god man’ died and came back to life again almost 2000 years ago so that human beings could rise from their graves and enjoy everlasting bliss in ‘Heaven’. How gullible and infantile is the rank and file of humanity!

By Keith S Cornish