The Jewish festival of Passover may celebrate a myth, or more likely the Passover story is part mythology, with a germ of truth. The basic tale is in the second book of the Bible, Exodus, Chapters 11 and 12. The key point is that when the Jews were getting ready to leave Egypt, all the first born Egyptian children and cattle died on an appointed night.
If the whole story is not a myth, and if you don't believe in supernatural crimes against humanity, then there is only one conclusion. Gangs organized by Moses went around and killed a bunch of innocent children, and cattle, in the night.
And so the Jews celebrate passover. They make it a celebration of freedom from slavery in Egypt, and I am all for freedom, and for celebrating freedom.
But given at least 3000 years have passed, would it not be a good idea to stop reminding the world every year that instead of killing the Pharaoh that night, which would have been justifiable tyranicide, they killed an untold number of Egyptian children?
Imagine if Germans annually celebrated the Holocaust like it was a good thing, or if Americans celebrated Wounded Knee or some other massacre of native American Indians.
Good Friday is pretty weird too. If there is anything that whips up Christians to kill Jews, besides high interest rates, it is Good Friday. The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the Son of God or at least the Messiah or a Prophet or some sort of rabble rouser who was against the quaint Jewish custom of stoning people to death for sex outside of one man to one woman marriages.
Good Friday follows Holy Thursday, at which Jesus had his last meal with the Apostles. This was on or near the Passover, according to Mark Chapter 14. Mark is the Gospel with the best pedigree. There is reasonably good evidence that it was dictated by the Apostle Peter in Jerusalem, and in it Peter confesses to having denied Jesus three times. It contains no childhood account of Jesus, the account of the resurrection is short and sounds appended, and Peter is not marked out as the head of the church. According to most Bible academics, the other three Gospels make up stuff to add to Mark's version.
I doubt the crucifixion is merely symbolic. Taking everything into account, it was probably a historic event. Psychologists have documented how it is common for bereaved people to imagine a visit (while asleep or even while awake) from someone who recently died. If even one Apostle (or Mary Magdalene, the first person to see him in Mark) had such a vision, it is easy to understand that a decade later every survivor in the inner circle would at least refrain from contradicting the story that Jesus rose from the dead. It is notable that in Mark there is no "doubting Thomas" story to counteract the cynicism of the less gullible.
In time the false Apostle Paul made the Jesus cult into a story about Jesus's triumph over death. This was not a new story: Osiris, Hercules, and Cybele all had cults promising some sort of life after death. Passover became part of the tradition of non-Jewish Christians. Paul also began wrangling for control against Peter and James, Jesus's brother, who led the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem. This led to the hatred of Jews that became such a strong component of Christianity and led directly to the Holocaust of the 20th century, not to mention 19 centuries of Jew killing in between.
But perhaps the best (as in most uplifting) interpretation of Good Friday is that, since Jesus was the first born Son of God, that God is an Egyptian. The Jews murdered Jesus like they murdered the Son of the Pharaoh back in Egypt. Tie that into the story of the Good Samaritan and a few choice other sayings from the Gospels, and you can argue that it is bad to kill people just because they don't belong to your religious or ethnic group.
What a concept.
Many of the parables of Jesus clearly speak to peasants, who were in the majority for most of the world's post-hunter-gatherer history but are now becoming a rare breed.
5 Broken Cameras was nominated for an Academy Award this year as Best Documentary Feature. In it we see arrogant expatriate European Ultra-Orthodox Jewish settlers stealing land from and beating up lovable Palestinian peasants just east of Jerusalem. Some (but not all) Zionists believe that God hands out title deeds, that they are not subject to the commandments in Exodus: "Thou Shall Not Steal," and "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house ... nor anything that is thy neighbors."
Think of how many people get recruited into Islamic Jihadist groups after watching such obvious injustice. They won't think "Just a few bad Jews are doing this." They won't even think "All Jews are doing this." They will think "Jews are doing this with American help."
We (Americans) should not be helping anyone steal anyone's land. In fact, American's might want to consider all the land (and other stuff, including labor) we've stolen (including by fraud) over the past 300 or so years. In the name of Justice, or Jesus, or Osiris, or Nature, we should make restitution. Or at least stop killing and stealing.