Overview:

We shelter our kids from blood and gore in movies, but for some reason the Christian story of murder and reresection gets a pass.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

As a little kid, I was not allowed to watch horror movies. In the early 80s, they were all the rage. Such masterpieces like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th were favorites of my older siblings. And they knew that because I was prone to nightmares, my mother didn’t want me watching them. But they were good babysitters, and when they put on these cinematic gorefests, they always made sure to throw a blanket over my head. The one Grandma made.

You know… the crocheted afghan with all the holes in it.

But when Good Friday rolled around, I was not spared from such violence and gore. Actually, we seemed to be celebrating it. Perplexed as to why the day would be called good when it was in honor of the torture and execution of God’s only son, my child mind tried to compartmentalize it. If only because pointing out the terrible nature of the story could leave my Easter basket empty. Or at least lacking a chocolate egg or two.

Tempered by the promise of cheap toys and sticky jellybeans, I went along with the hypocrisy. I allowed my overly powdered and perfumed aunties to kiss my cheek and tell me how big I was getting and how much I liked to talk. I smiled when I was supposed to and tried really hard to not say something that would earn me a frown from my elders, a task I inevitably failed at every time.

I tried to block out the image of the person who was supposed to be the model of morality and goodness, dying a horrible and painful death nailed to a cross. I desperately dismissed the thought of how long he hung there—hurting and probably wanting his mother, with no big brother to throw Grandma’s blanket over his head for comfort. It was a far scarier scenario than any nightmare Freddy Krueger could come up with.

Because it was real. It really happened. My family told me so.

And if the whole bloody murder wasn’t scary enough, our Lord and Savior came back as a zombie.

Yup, on Easter, amid the ham and chocolate and old aunties, there was a zombie.

Of course, Jesus was a good zombie. He was our ticket to heaven after all.

But in my little head that begged the question, “If God was a perfect example of love and goodness, why all the gore?”

And why was this horror story okay when others weren’t?

Much to the chagrin of my Sunday school teacher, I actually made this argument when Little Shop of Horrors came out and I tried to make a case to be allowed to watch it. I lost the argument, but the seed of doubt was nonetheless planted.

And yet, I loved Easter. Lots of people do. My mom always hid my basket and I had so much fun hunting for it. And she let me eat whatever I wanted when I found it. My mother was awesome, not because of, but maybe in spite of her fundamental Catholic upbringing. I enjoyed every part of the holiday.

As I grew up, I began to think of the feast, the candy, and the games—basically all the borrowed pagan traditions of the day—as my Grandma’s blanket to the horror of the Christian meaning of Easter. And although it didn’t work for the horror movies my brother was watching, when it came to Easter, I became grateful that I could see through the holes.  

I'm a former adult entertainer and author of Dirty Money: Memoirs of a Stripper and Expose Yourself: How to Take Risks Question Everything and Find Yourself- Humor and Insights from my life as a Stripper....