Home > religion, World Issues > The horror of the Passover celebration

The horror of the Passover celebration

Passover is sick and wrong in so many ways.  Let me just explain a few reasons why I think that the world needs to pay more attention to this holiday as a reason for many of the problems in the Middle East.

Pretend for a moment that the terrorist act of 9/11 killed only African American children.  Pretend that the 2973 people who died were all young African American boys under the age of 18.   Now imagine that every white person in America celebrated every year the fact that no white boys died in the terrorist act.  Then imagine that every white person praised the terrorists for not killing white boys.

That is what outsiders need to understand about the Passover Celebration.  Egypt is Israel’s neighbor.  The countries border each other.  Each year Egyptians have to sit and watch Israel celebrate the death of tens of thousands of Egyptian children. That is the celebration of Passover.  It is the celebration (worship) of the terrorist that killed tens of thousands of Egyptian children.  Every year Egyptians endure what most Americans would never endure.  If this was New York, and this was whites celebrating the day of death of African American children there would be rioting in the streets.  Maybe you need to rethink your stance on Arab cultures being “lovers of war” to that of pacifists.  Every year they sit and watch the celebration of the death of their children and do nothing to retaliate.

I know that this blog entry will be considered anti-Semitism by some.  This is the insanity of the world we live in.  An article that speaks out against the celebration of a terrorist act can be considered anti-Semitism?  This is exactly how Israel currently gets away with the abuses against the Palestinian people.   Ooooops, there I go again with another anti-Semitic comment.  Remember, you have been programmed into believing that any statement against the Jewish culture, race, or government is anti-Semitic.  Doesn’t that mean that the Jewish culture, race and government are error free?  That they are prefect and above reproach in every way?   Shame on you for making any culture or society on this planet above reproach.  The only hope we have of world peace is the examination and voluntary ending of practices and celebrations that are inhuman.

I am a human being.  I seek only equality in this world.  I seek only peace in this world.  I seek the change on this planet from life as a struggle to life as a blessing.  This is why I call for all Jews around the world to end this celebration of horror.  Passover is the celebration of the fact that during a night of mass murder the Jewish children were spared.  Congratulations.  I am truly happy for you.  All I ask is that you have some respect for the dead.  Have some respect for the tens of thousands of Egyptian children who were not spared.  Think of others on a night of horror and not yourselves.

I know that many brave Jews fought in World War II.  When two men were in a foxhole and one man dies, does the other man celebrate the fact that he survived AND celebrate the one who decided to put the bullet in the other man’s head?  No.  It is good and right to mourn those who have died and chastise those who kill.  I know that all Jewish men (and women) do mourn those who fought next to them in battle and died from the violence.  I just ask you to give the same respect to the children of Egypt.

As an atheist, this is one of the more difficult religious celebrations to endure on a yearly basis.  The one thing that gets me through it every year is a hope that it did not really happen and it is just part of the Jewish folklore of ancient history.  My reason for believing this is the fact that not one Egyptian text speaks of the terrorist act that took a child from each household in the nation.  I do know that such a horrific event would have become part of the body of writings we have from the Egyptians of that period and it is simply not there.  So take heart my fellow atheists.  While it may be sick and wrong to celebrate the mass murder of others in a Passover holiday, chances are it is simply evidence of a sickness in a society rather than an actual event of unspeakable horror.

Help, I am ItiA

  1. April 3, 2010 at 10:29 am

    I think your analogy is messed up.

    If you compare the black children who would have died in 911, this would be analgous to the Jews dying in Egypt.

    The Jews were slaves, and they wanted their freedom. The Pharoah DENIED this to them, and issued punishments against them for even asking.

    God sent Moses each time to warn Pharoah, but he would not listen, so the plagues came, gradually increasing in severity until the worst one.

    If anyone is to blame for the deaths, it is Pharoah.

    The lesson here is not that God killed innocent children, but that Pharoah allowed them to be killed, by refusing to obey God. The blame is on Pharoah, not god.

    when jews celebrate passover, if you actually look at their prayer book, they do NOT celebrate the deaths of innocent children. They only celebrate their freedom.

    Remember also, that Pharoah had all the male Jewish babies killed at the time Moses was an infant. Only Moses escaped, because his sister hid him in the Nile.

    So, in a way, Egypt was being punished also for killing a generation of male Jewish children. So God let them know what it felt like.

    Egypt had committed murder against the Jews, in addition to enslaving them. Egypt was the terrorist here. This was its punishment.

    Again, Passover is a celebration of the escape of the Jews away from slavery, oppression, and murder by the Egyptians.

    • April 3, 2010 at 11:12 am

      Thanks for your reply, but I miss your point. How can you celebrate part of a night of mass murder? All of the rest of your comment flew around many more events that should be discussed, but please concentrate on one event. If we concentrate on a single event at a time then we can make sense of everything, eventually.

      In one statement, you blamed a leader for the death of civilians. I am sorry, but I disagree. Only the person who raises the knive, draws the sword, pulls the gun, or drops the bomb is to blame for the death of another human being. I don’t understand how people get confused on that issue. A murderer is a murderer, end of story.

      I also noticed that your second to last paragraph stated that killing children is good and just as a punishment. Please feel free to comment again, but I am against killing in all forms. I simply do not understand how others justify it.

      Lastly, the overtone of your statement suggested that sending an ambassador first to speak with a foreign government is reason enough to begin killing children. Would you really support an American effort to kill the first born of every family in Iran? We have sent ambassadors there. Are we now justified in killing their children?

      Help, I am ItiA

      • April 3, 2010 at 12:20 pm

        You are blaming the Jews, who were victims.

        Pharoah killed the male Jewish babies.

        God killed the Egyptian Jewish babies.

        So your argument is not with Pharoah, who killed all the Jewish babies, but with God who killed the firstborn of Egypt.?

        you said

        you blamed a leader for the death of civilians. I am sorry, but I disagree. Only the person who raises the knive, draws the sword, pulls the gun, or drops the bomb is to blame for the death of another human being. I don’t understand how people get confused on that issue. A murderer is a murderer, end of story.

        Pharaoh was a murderer. Why don’t you condemn him?

        We do not kill Iranian children.

        I think your argument is with God. He chose to punish the Egyptians for persecuting the Jewish people. They had a choice to repent.

        Also, they could have obeyed God, and saved their firstborn, if they wanted. No one stopped them from applying the blood of the lamb on their doorposts. If they had, the Death Angel would have passed over them too.

    • Zanna
      April 5, 2010 at 12:34 pm

      It’s an interesting twist, but I think I agree with ItiA. I mean, it’s nice to celebrate freedom, but I don’t know if I’d like it much if African Americans had a holiday to celebrate the fact that their God killed a whole bunch of white people on a final day of the civil war for standing in their way of freedom. And I certainly wouldn’t like to believe in their God! The Passover is ancient history, but Egypt still exists, and the people who live there are real. I’ve never talked to an Egyptian about how they feel about the Passover, but I imagine that if they truly take it to heart they wouldn’t like it much, and it probably doesn’t make for a pleasant international climate. Personally, I can only believe in a God that embraces all nations and is kind and good to all people. The entire story and holiday troubles me too.

      • April 5, 2010 at 1:23 pm

        Today the egyptians are doing fine. They enjoy their freedom and so do the Jews. Both want their freedom, and do not want to repeat past mistakes.

        the story should not bother you. it is history. Jews were slaves in Egypt, and they got free. they have never gone back there since. Likewise, the egyptians have never tried to enslave the Jews since then, either.

        I think the misplaced emphasis here is on african americans being compared to egyptians in a false analogy. Their situation does not fit into the Passover picture.

        but if it did, it would look like this:

        …. a multitude of white people died in the civil war, to free the slaves. a multitude of white people also supported civil rights, to further the cause. a multitude of white people also are still acting today to continue to help african americans and other ethnic groups.

        it was not an act of God, but an act of righteous man

        if African Americans celebrate the end of slavery today, do they think of the white people who died for them, or sacrificed for them, to make this possible? most likely not.

      • Zanna
        April 5, 2010 at 2:35 pm

        Marianne, I think you missed my point entirely. Of course the true story of Africans and the civil war does not fit the Passover. They do not celebrate death to the white Americans (their persecutors as the Egyptians were to the Jews), and they do not claim that their God brought them the victory by killing off the whites. That’s my whole point. If they did, it would be an equally idiotic holiday as the Passover is.
        You final comment about the position of the minds of black American is also quite revealing,namely that they don’t consider the sacrifices of whites for their cause of freedom. Hey, let’s have a shared holiday for the whites who lost their lives in the civil war and the Egyptians who lost their lives at the Passover while they helped the slaves to escape, even while the Hebrew God was killing off the sons of their friends who didn’t support the cause!
        I will also in turn ask you this: Do you think that white Americans think of the multitude of black people who were tortured for them, who died for them, who sacrificed for them, to make this country the great country it is today? Do you think that many people understand that the reason why we came to be a world power so incredibly quickly was due to the fact that we had an enormous free labor source?? How many white people honor and respect the black people they meet and thank them for all that their families have done for this country? I don’t see too many.

  2. April 3, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    oops…that should read…..

    God killed the Egyptian babies.

    • April 3, 2010 at 8:12 pm

      When humans do good things, no matter what the reason or excuse, they should be singled out as people who do good things.

      When humans do bad things, no matter what the reason or excuse, they should be singled out as people who do evil things.

      I didn’t bring any god into the discussion because in my opinion, the god of Abraham does not exist in any form that has been discussed by any of the religions that claim him as their forefather.

      On a funny side note, a friend once asked me the significance of the sheep blood on the doorway. His comment was, “Are angels so stupid that they cannot tell a Hebrew from an Egyptian?”. I just laughed and told him that the angel must have been an American.

      I am sorry that my blog caused you anger. I would simply like to see all holidays celebrated on this planet to be commemorative of happy events, not horrific ones. Here in America, many of us “observe” V-Day instead of celebrating it. Too many people died to make it a celebration. I feel the same way about passover.

  3. April 4, 2010 at 5:37 am

    I am not angry. I am just trying to help you understand Passover.

    The Jews did not kill the Egyptian firstborn, God did.

    But, since you don’t believe in God, you will not understand that this was an act of God.

    But you should understand that the Jews were victims of Egyptian murder and slavery, and needed freedom.

    They celebrate their escape from this, nothing else.

    Angels are quite smart. They can tell an Egyptian from a Hebrew.

    They also know what blood looks like, so when they saw the blood of the lamb on the doorpost, they “passed over” the house. This is where the name Passover comes from.

    Anyone was free, who wanted their child to live, to put the blood on the doorpost.

    So, the Egyptians could have saved their children’s lives by doing what the Hebrews did. But they didn’t.

    In the bible, God states there is no forgiveness of sin without the spilling of blood. This is because of the serious nature of sin, and how it is an offense to God’s holiness.

    This is how animal sacrifices got started.

    The passover was also a foreshadowing of Christ offering his life for the redemption of others, by paying the price of their sins for them.

    The self sacrifice of Jesus took the place of the animal sacrifice, because it was the ultimate sacrifice anyone could make on behalf of others.

  4. April 5, 2010 at 5:16 pm


    None of the Egyptians tried to help the Jews escape, so there are no noble Egyptian actions to celebrate. They were the slave owners, and wanted the Jews to stay.

    In contrast, in America, while there were some who had slaves, and abused them, there were many others who did not own slaves, and worked to liberate them. They were the ones who gave their lives for the blacks.

    This civil rights effort has going on even since. We are the only nation in world history that freed its own slaves, except for when Cyrus let the Hebrews go home after 70 years in Babylon. All other nations in history, and even today, hold onto their slaves, and do not free them.

    While the KKK is still around, it does not represent the majority of Americans. I would say almost all Americans support civil rights of black and other minorities.

    I think freedom is a precious thing, and we should celebrate it as much as possible while we still have it.

    • Zanna
      April 5, 2010 at 8:00 pm

      Marianne, I think you’re exaggerating. NONE of the Egyptians tried to help? Uh, I seem to remember that it was an Egyptian who pulled Moses from the Nile in the first place and raised him herself in the palace? But hey, you’re entitled to your opinion and you can keep your sacred holiday. For myself, I agree with itiA on this one. I think freedom is a precious thing too, but I wouldn’t appreciate it as much, and certainly wouldn’t celebrate it if I knew that it had been bought at the expense of innocent babies and children, and I don’t care what nation they’re from. And I don’t think I’d pray to a God who would do such a thing! But while you celebrate the passover, I suppose you are also pro-life. . .? And it is supposedly the same God who’s behind you on this issue? That’s pretty funny. Help, I think I must be itiA too!

      • April 6, 2010 at 12:17 pm

        No I am not exaggerating. There was not ONE Egyptian who helped the Jews escape. The pharaohs’ daughter only pulled Moses from the river when he was a baby 80 years before ( where he was hiding and safe, but the way) because she thought the Egyptian River god had sent her a present. Go look it up. She did not care about the slave issue, and never did anything to free the slaves. She raised Moses as an Egyptian, not a Jew.

        Too bad you are so narrow minded. It is ultimately the pharaohs’ fault, not God’s that the babies died. Too bad you do not care about all the Jewish babies that got killed 80 years earlier, when Pharaoh wanted to kill off the predicted redeemer of the slaves.

        You seem more concerned about the children of evil people, who will raise their children to be evil also, than the children of innocent victims of slavery.

        That is hypocrisy.

      • April 6, 2010 at 12:27 pm

        There is a difference between exaggeration and making a blanket statement without full knowledge. Do you think that all Hebrews left Egypt? Do you think only Hebrew slaves escaped?

        There are still descendants of Abraham that live in Egypt to this very day. There are Coptic Christians living in Egypt that tell a completely different story of the passover.

        Isn’t it possible that your teaching within the American Christian Church could be mistaken, especially when the Christian Church in the very land of Egypt disagrees with your statements?

        Just food for thought.

      • April 6, 2010 at 12:36 pm

        It is also irrelevant whether all, or most, Hebrews left Egypt. According to the bible, they all left. There are some traditions, which are not verified, that some could not make it, and remained behind, and died in Egypt.

        If you read the bible, you will find out what happened.

      • Zanna
        April 7, 2010 at 3:52 pm

        If you read history, you’ll find out what DIDN’T happen. There is a lot more evidence to support the fact that there never was an exodus and never even a large population of slaves in Egypt, than there is evidence saying there was. One who wishes to be open minded reads it all, not just one book. But of course the bible covers for this total lack of record by saying that Pharaoh erased Moses’ name from all the books. Convenient little statement. . .

      • April 7, 2010 at 4:37 pm

        Well, I think you have proven that you are as stupid as a rock then. Whining over a passover event (exodus) when it never happened, at least to you. If the Jews – to you – were never in egypt, then the killing of the firstborn never happened…. at least according to what you say. How far did you get in school? I suggest go back to grade school and see if you can pass the 3rd grade before you come back and make more stupid remarks.

      • Zanna
        April 7, 2010 at 3:20 pm

        So Marianne, if God wanted the slaves to be free, why didn’t he justly kill all the slave owners? Why did he go slinking around through the night with his angel of death killing all the babies? It’s weird, don’t you think? Why didn’t he kill Pharoah and his soldiers? Probably what happened (if any such thing ever actually occurred at all) was that some normal and natural plague hit Egypt that killed all the weakest people, mostly children and old people, and it got retold to say that God did it. That’s just as stupid as both opposing NFL teams praying to God and then saying it was God who made them win. Or worse yet, when our soldiers pray for God’s help when they drop bombs (all in the name of “freedom”) and then praise him when only innocent civilians die and they go home without a scratch. And they do it all the time, just like everyone celebrates the Passover. But hey, I’ll be narrow minded if that’s what I am, and now I suppose I’ll also be called anti-American because I cry when I see bloody Iraqi children too. I still won’t believe any story or condone a holiday about a supposedly loving God who goes around killing babies in the middle of the night! Next time you eat your unleavened bread, think of innocent African childrens’ flesh and enjoy!

  5. April 7, 2010 at 4:43 pm


    your other comment, just as foolish, demonstrates a complete lack of comprehension of simple facts. God did not slink. And a natural event would not select out ONLY the firstborn males of egypt….

    the innocent people (jews) escaped egypt….the evil ones Egyptians) were punished.

    If you see bloodly Iraqi children, then look at the terrorists killing them, instead of blaming the american soldiers who are fighting to protect them.

    I am not going to think of anything as sick as “african’s children’s flesh”……

    african children have nothing to do with passover……

    you are mentally disturbed

    • Zanna
      April 7, 2010 at 9:28 pm

      What do you mean African children have nothing to do with passover? You just said that God’s angel of death came through and killed African babies to punish their parents. I’d say that has something to do with the Passover, doesn’t it??

  6. Zanna
    April 7, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Actually, I have a college degree if you’d like to know. I’m not whining, Marianne, I’m simply sharing my opinion just as you are. I don’t celebrate Passover because I think it’s nonsensical and also horrific – first of all because it has no historical backing, and secondly because even as a religious belief it’s horrible! I think that it makes good sense and I fail to see how that makes me as stupid as a rock. But now you’re getting personal, first by calling me closed minded, and now by calling me stupid. Does your belief system also forbid that we should approach things with both intelligence and love for one another? You should read itiA’s latest entry about how Christians get defensive and angry and finally shut up when confronted by evidence that what they believe in doesn’t make sense. I consider myself more of a Christian than an Atheist, but I think I see what she was getting at now after experiencing this conversation. Interesting.

    • April 7, 2010 at 5:58 pm

      You cannot have a college degree. You are making that up, as you are making up other false claims. You do not conduct yourself as someone of that caliber, you have poor reasoning, and you are unteachable.

      You have no evidence to back up your delusional comments. I tried to explain the truth and accuracy of Passover, and you refuse the truth.

      Passover has historical backing. The bible, records of the Jews, archeology, all support the history of the exodus, slavery in Egypt, and their final deliverance. They have found the chariot wheels of the Pharoahs’ army in the red sea crossing, evidence that they were flooded as they chased the Hebrews.

      The Hebrews made it safely, but the army was destroyed. There is also evidence in the Sinai desert where Moses made a sacrifice to God in thanksgiving. There is an altar there, with hebrew letters. Jesus himself, who is a verified historical figure, celebrated the Passover.

      • Zanna
        April 7, 2010 at 9:17 pm

        Okay, Marianne, I’m impressed. Those are a lot of facts, and if you can show me actual references for these things that you state and not just some sermon from some church pastor, I will change my opinion. Show me pictures of the chariot wheel that they took from the Red Sea, historical backing other than the Bible or Torah that documents 600,000 Hebrews exiting Egypt on a given day after several thousands of Egyptians died, the evidence that you speak of showing that Moses made a sacrifice to God, and ESPECIALLY honest, unfabricated historical documents that say there was a verified historical figure named Jesus who celebrated the Passover. Since you’ve made these claims, I’d love to see these things, and I’ll bet itiA would appreciate it too. If you can’t, then you’re still completely entitled to believe whatever you choose, but I feel you should state them as beliefs and not facts, and I don’t think you have reason to call me stupid for not believing in things that have no proof.

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