Daily Archives: May 8, 2003

Exact Dates

“Liviu Mircea and Tiberiu Oproiu claim to have pinpointed the exact time and date of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.

The pair, from the Astronomic Observatory Institute in Cluj, Romania, say Jesus died at 3pm on Friday, April 3, 33 AD, and rose again at 4am on Sunday, April 5.” – Astronomers ‘pinpoint time and date of crucifixion and resurrection’, Avanova, 5/8/2003

Yeah — but in which time zone?

There’s also the matter that this would make Jesus a bit older than his traditional death age, since it’s generally historically accepted that, despite the labeling of “B.C.” and “A.D.,” Jesus was not born in 1 AD (or even 1 BC — there is no “zero year”), but probably in 4 BC. Jesus is legendarily 33 when he died, but this new calculation would make him 37 or thereabouts. So there goes that “By the time Jesus was my age, he was dead,” joke I was so looking forward to telling on Saturday (which is my 34th birthday, you know).

I think the exact dating of Jesus’ death (and subsequent events) is immaterial in a number of ways, most obviously, of course, because his resurrection is consistently marked by the occasion of Easter, which always happens at the same time: The first Sunday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox (that’s the start of Spring — March 21).

Yes, the date of that event moves around on our calendar, but that’s a function of the calendar itself (the Gregorian calendar is not lunar-based). From the perspective of always being on the Sunday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox, it is indeed always on the same date, and has been since Jesus was crucified. Giving it a specific date on the Gregorian calendar is neither here nor there — I’m unlikely to get an extra day off for it in any event.

Incidentally, other famous deaths on April 3 through the years: Persian emperor Chosroes II (murdered by his kid — rough), Pope Honorius IV, Arctic explorer James Clark Ross, the outlaw Jesse James, Cabinet of Dr. Caligari actor Conrad Veidt, composer Kurt Weill, and US Commerce Secretary Ron Brown. Other famous resurrections on April 5:

…Hmmm.

The Loneliest Group In America

I think you’d have to look long and hard to find another group so willing to alienate itself from its naturally consonant ideological partners than the Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians. The reasons for this are fairly obvious, I think. Most anti-abortion types are religious conservatives, many of whom, as Rick Santorum so delightfully illuminated recently, consider homosexuals in the same class as sheep-fondlers.

On the other hand, gays and lesbians are classically pro-choice, part of that whole “we gays are pretty liberal” package that comes almost naturally in a society which seems works on the polite assumption that anyone who deviates from the missionary position is unregenerate straight-ticket Democrat. Also, of course, for many gays and lesbians, anyone who finds common cause with religious conservatives on any subject is likely to be treated with deep and abiding suspicion.

For these reasons, I suspect PLAGAL members find themselves in the position of being the proverbial turd in the punchbowl no matter where they choose to hang out. Perversely, however, I find that I have to respect the PLAGAL folks, just a little bit. It takes guts to to intentionally be the most unpopular people in the room, regardless of the room. And these guys and gals are it. So shine on, you crazy diamonds! And, I suppose, at least they have each other.

Interestingly, I can’t seem to find any pro-choice, anti-gay groups. Odd.