Why I Love Zombie Jesus Weekend

Drunk Zombie Christ
"Drunk Zombie Christ" by davidgolbitz (CC BY-SA 2.0)

I have made no secret of my love for Zombie Jesus Weekend and my belief that it should be an atheist holiday. Judging by the number of zombie parades, parties, and the like, many atheists feel the same way.

I'm sure some of the fun has to do with the broader love of zombies, but I'd like to think that Zombie Jesus Weekend also provides a perfect excuse to celebrate our escape from the clutches of faith. That is what makes the holiday so perfect. It is an ideal blend of silly fun, an excuse to acknowledge how absurd the whole Jesus-returning-from-the-dead thing really is, and an opportunity to reflect on our personal journeys to atheism.

The image of a decayed Jesus corpse emerging from a tomb to munch on the brains of believers is a great metaphor. You've got the fun observation that if Jesus came back from the dead, this would make him a zombie. You've got his feasting on brains highlighting how Christianity (and faith in general) afflicts the mind. You have the spread of the zombie virus from person-to-person and the similarities it bears to the viral nature of religious belief. You have the highly resourceful nature of the holdouts - small groups of uninfected survivors banding together to oppose the infected hordes. You get the idea.

Some will protest that celebrating Zombie Jesus Weekend amounts to little more than mockery of the Christian faith. It does have that aspect to it. But there may be some value to poking fun of absurd beliefs from time to time. Besides, Zombie Jesus does not have to be limited to this goal. Some of the Zombie Jesus celebrations look like they are all about fun. Think of something like Mardi Gras but with zombies. The connection to Easter and Jesus is not always the centerpiece.

I cannot think of many holidays where the meaning and how people celebrate haven't changed over time. Most modern holidays look different from how they did during my childhood. I think we should embrace this. As times change, holidays are bound to change. Along with this change, I see little reason not to welcome new holidays like Zombie Jesus Weekend.