A Voice in the
February 21, 2002
Mardi gras is French meaning, literally, "Fat Tuesday". The way it is celebrated, the "fat" part of that title suggests the excessive feasting prior to Ash Wednesday, beginning the Catholic period of Lent, where catholics supposedly 'deprive' themselves of various things prior to Easter.
The traditions come from the "merrymaking" of "Roman Catholic countries" in the days prior to Lent, in medieval times in some places called, "Carnival". The "carn" part of that word likely coming from the Latin "carnem" having to do with meat; since Catholics give up the eating of meat, and limit their diets to fish (meat). [Ed: anybody see any hypocrisy there?]
In the European Middle Ages it was also called "Shrove Tuesday". Shrove coming from "shrive"; or, the confession of sins in preparation for Lent. These traditions included the eating of pancakes "because eggs and fat, forbidden during the Lenten fast, were used."
This last little item I found 'interesting', because I -just- recently for the first time ever, heard of "Pancake Race Day" at a certain place in England. And 2-3 days later, saw a pre-newscast teaser about "pancake races" in this country somewhere. Being that these happened at a similar 'pre-lent' time of year, I wonder if it's related to the same thing?
[Update: Indeed it is. See: History of Pancake Day]
You ask if I can share anything "Biblical" about it. Well, you won't find any of these terms in the Scriptures. But, if we know that it is Catholic in its origins, and is part of catholicism's "Lenten" observances, that is enough, right there, to assure us of its "religious" underpinnings. The Greek Olympic games worship Zeus. The Japanese O-Matsuri worship all their myriads of deities. Mardi Gras worships the Queen of Heaven. One of the Britannica articles even speculated some of its ancient traditions being oriented towards Saturnalia, the same Roman deities worshipped at X-mass time.
Notice the utter hypocrisy of it all! What they observe as "Lent" (not even a Scriptural observance) they claim to be 'depriving' themselves of things; much as Israel would observe humility and fasting at Yom Kippur (Atonement), the only single time of year the high priest went into the Holy of Holies, and then laid the sins of the people onto the scapegoat. And yet, how do they 'prepare' for these "austere 40 days of Lent"? By partying, drunkenness, debauchery, immorality. This year San Diego and a few other places experienced riots coming out of Mardi Gras, where there was much property damage. All this, in preparation for being so-called "holy"? Yes "god", I want to worship you, but first, let me get all the "fun" out-of-my-system. Like the bachelor/ette parties where the ones getting married the next day, have their "final-fling" of infidelity before they exchange their "I dos". Yes, I love you and want -only- you, but let me have this "one-last encounter"...THEN, I promise to be faithful to 'only' you.
When Jesus called some to follow Him and they made their excuses, "Let me first go bury my father...let me first go bid [my family] farewell..." what did Jesus reply? "Let the dead bury their dead... No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (Lk9:59-62)
The jokes are made about "collecting beads" at these events. That, they will do "whatever it takes" to collect as many beads as possible. Among other things, exposing their nakedness, etc.etc. Now, I've never heard what these Mardi Gras "beads" are supposed to represent; but considering that the whole thing is "catholic", what I recognize is their prayer/rosary beads. The more beads one has, the more "prayers" they offer. Thus, again, the hypocrisy... to get as many beads as possible (for "prayer"?), by being lewd and lascivious..??
Even if it weren't "religious" in nature, there is something God says about such things, "Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know; and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, We are delivered to do all those abominations?" (Jer7:9-10) Of course now, Mardi Gras is not to the Most High. It is pagan. But there are many who call themselves "christian" who are of 'just' such a heart and mentality.
But again, in Jesus' words, any who are of such a mentality and heart are -NOT- "FIT" for God's Kingdom. This word "fit" means, "appropriate, suited to, in agreement with, belonging". They are hypocrites. They are liars. And "..all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (Rev21:8) They -DON'T- 'BELONG' in Heaven.
But regarding your 'confrontations' with the school officials, what else can one expect, really! Many of the so-called "church" are busy trying to "unite" everybody. But you have seen, the world ALREADY KNOWS who is not like them. The school systems of the pagan world readily accept Mardi Gras, Lent, X-mass (with santa claus), TM, Yoga, Evolution. Yes, many of TM and Yoga's methods are the techniques by which charismania functions. And most recently since 9-11, American schools in various places have added another 'religion' to their curriculum : Islam. Many children are now being taught, and are memorizing from, the Koran. Being taught about Islam, and learning how to bow to Mecca.
It's all being taught as "science", "culture" and "history".
One personal experience regarding this "culture/history" thing: Years ago I was involved with the local "Spokane Area Children's Chorus". The first year (season) I accompanied the youngest choir on piano. The next year, for part of the year, I directed the youngest ones, and accompanied for the oldest ones. The oldest ones performed here and there, throughout the area, so I got to see what the organization was all about. One of the "performances" was at the local "St. John's Cathedral". I thought it was to be a "performance". But the night of the performance, the procession into the 'sanctuary' included the priests promenading in ahead of the choir children, bearing their official religious staffs and scepters. It was more than a mere "performance". It was a "worship" time. Being the accompanist, and considering where the piano was situated, I was able to quickly on the spur-of-the-moment, duck out and not be in the procession. But later, at one of the organizational board meetings, as various politics of the organization were being discussed, it was appropriate for me, as one of the musical 'directors', to add my two-cents' worth; and so, brought up the matter of all these kids (and their unsuspecting parents) from all their various 'different' religious backgrounds, being deceived into participating in "worship" in that manner. Well, one of the officials of the cathedral was also a board member (which I only discovered at 'that' meeting as he replied), and he retorted (somewhat 'offended' at my comments) that it was a "historical enactment" of the type of music that had been performed, and that it was "educational" for the choir children. And further intoned that he didn't know why anybody should object... after all, the cathedral "is Spokane's church".
That is the nature of the world we are in. And it will not get any better until the King of kings sets up His rule. We, as Christians, are the 'minority' right now. But then, let's not forget that we are in a "foreign land" (Ps137:4); our "citizenship is in Heaven". (Php3:20) Therefore, we cannot expect the world to understand and/or sympathize. They will teach and promote all the various religions that are compatible ("fit" see comments above) with the "ruler of the authority of the air". (Eph2:2) Anything that has to do with the Most High they will refuse.
In today's world, if a person is concerned about their childrens' training, Home-schooling sounds like a pretty good idea, eh! At least, until the government decides to insert its restrictions in educational content, there, too..!!