April Fool’s or Easter, we’re all of same human race

April 1, 2018
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According to the science staff at Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands, the number of times the Christian religion’s Easter Sunday will fall on April 1st, from AD 1583 to AD 3000 (Gregorian calendar) is 46 numerical with a frequency rate of 3.383 percent.

I acknowledge in advance the triviality of the above information.  On one hand you can look at it that I just wasted forty three words of column space and fifteen seconds of your time.  OR, that I just handed you the most unique comeback to whatever April fools prank you may encounter today. “Sure, ok, you got me, but while you were playing some silly 18th century prankster game, I was looking up its mathematical correlation to Easter Sunday and the Gregorian calendar.  OH, and by the way, Mr. “ha ha I got you”, I bet you don’t even know who invented said calendar?  Well, DO YOU?!”

Not impressed?  Oh well, with what floats around in this head on any given day consider yourself lucky it wasn’t worse.

Aforementioned factoid aside, the several “born on this day” sites visited for research did produce one cognitive thought; How amazing it is that for all our common humanity, for all our sameness, just how divergent the paths of each of our individual lives.

From the first week of April’s past, a few examples for your consideration:

1823 – “Boss” William M. Tweed the New York City politician who ran a corruption racket that nearly bankrupted the city.  In one of the first amendment’s greatest moments, Tweed and crew were brought down by Thomas Nast and his editorial cartoons in Harper’s Weekly magazine.  Tweed died in prison.

1783 – Balancing against the bad of Boss Tweed is the brilliance of Washington Irving bringing to life Rip Van Winkle and Ichabod Crane of  The Legend of Sleepy Hollow fame.

1884 – Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the mastermind of the attack on Pearl Harbor and who in the movie Tora! Tora! Tora! is shown saying afterwards: “I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.”  While there’s no historical record of him uttering those words, they none the less proved prophetic as America mobilized and in less than four years had defeated Nazi Germany and developed that atomic bomb that finally forced the surrender of the Imperial Forces of the Empire of Japan.  He was killed fifty nine years and two weeks after his birth when on April 18th, 1943 American P-38 fighters, acting on decrypted Japanese naval transmissions, intercepted his plane and sent it crashing into the Bougainville jungle.

1805 – And what would our world be without the tales of “The Ugly Duckling”, “Thumbelina”, The Little Mermaid”, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, and so many more that have fueled the imaginations of children the world over now for over 150 years.  On April 2nd, the man that brought them to life, Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense, Denmark.

And then there’s this guy; a man with the most divergent path of all:

A.D. Thirty Something – One Jesus Christ, born a mortal to mother Mary in the town of Bethlehem, was born again three days after his crucifixion at Calvary on the outskirts of Jerusalem.  God’s only begotten son, sent forth to this Earth that through him, the salvation of mankind and eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Resurrected from death at Galilee he instructed his disciples: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”  (Matthew Chapter 28, vs 18 – 20, King James Version)

Whether you’re a believer or a skeptic, a disciple or doubter, agnostic, atheist, or member of one of the many other faiths around the world, the fact remains that whatever we individually believe we are all a member of this thing we call the human race.

A race that while it has done remarkable good, has also wrought upon itself unspeakable horrors.

And a race that whether you’re playing April Fool’s pranks or sending Easter Sunday prayers today would be a lot better off if all its members spent a little more time reflecting on a message of peace and forgiveness and a lot less time contemplating how to kill each other.

And that’s no April Fool’s joke or a leap of faith, that’s just plain common sense.  Have a Blessed Easter all.

Publisher Note:  A version of this column first appeared in the Sunday, April 1, 2018 print edition of the Joplin Globe.

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