Wednesday, March 07, 2007

How About We Call It the Passover Bunny?

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John Gibson of FOX News reports that Easter is under attack in Walnut Creek, California:

GIBSON: You might call it the War on Easter. Ever heard of the spring bunny? What about the spring egg hunt? Well that is what several California towns are calling what used to be the Easter bunny and the Easter egg hunt. Now there’s an objection coming from somebody in Walnut Creek, California, a suburb of San Francisco.

The question is why does the word Easter have to be expunged? Is this political correctness gone too far? With me now the San Francisco columnist who has been looking into this incredible development. What did you find Chuck? Has Walnut Creek banned the word Easter?

CHUCK: It has become a flashpoint for Easter controversy. And no one is more surprised than the residents of Walnut Creek. As you may know, they actually made this change five or six years ago. And frankly, nobody said peep, if we can use another Easter term. A guy wrote a letter to the editor in the Contra Costa Times, a small paper out there in the east bay. And little by little this has become a national controversy.

GIBSON: I understand there are several towns in northern California that have done this. Have you figured out why it is that somebody decided you could not call this bunny the easter bunny?

CHUCK: Technically, the reason is, we are using public money and we cannot do something that is strictly religious for a single religion to promote that. Now if you can explain to me how a rabbit works out with the whole Easter thing and the egg, that would be difficult for me to explain. It is the buzzword of Easter that’s causing all the problem.

GIBSON: Well that’s just it. There really is no religious connection between that bunny and the Christian celebration of easter other than the fact that it is spring, renewal, and rebirth. So has Walnut Creek decided that they are fully behind this notion of being so inclusive you cannot say the word Easter as attached to that bunny — is this political correctness gone too far?

CHUCK: I think they were blindsided, they had no idea this would be a problem. They surveyed 10 cities around the area in Contra Costa county. Eight of them do something like an egg extravaganza or an egg hunt. It has gone back as far as 10 years. I think more than anything, the whole Christmas controversy, I have not written a book on this like some people, the Christmas controversy has heightened awareness. I think we are a little hair trigger with the whole thing. When you throw in the idea that it is the Easter bunny — oh my gosh, what’s wrong with the bunny — that is what is setting everyone off. Walnut Creek is flabbergasted that they are in the cross hairs of a national controversy.

GIBSON: You might want to call them and tell them that at the White House they have an Easter egg roll.

CHUCK: Right, and you might point out that the Lion’s Club and some private clubs have it. Churches have it all the time. They just feel — as the city of Walnut Creek — they can’t promote it.

GIBSON: Thank you and be sure to have a nice Easter.

If there is "no religious connection" between bunnies and the Christian observance of Easter, then why would Christians care one way or the other if the bunny or the eggs are called the Easter bunny and Easter eggs, or the spring bunny and spring eggs? How can that be "an attack on Easter" when bunnies and eggs have nothing to do with Easter?
If eggs have a connection to any major springtime holiday, it's Passover, not Easter. Boiled eggs are traditional at a Passover seder, and a roasted egg is one of the items included on the ritual seder plate.

Bunnies, on the other hand, have nothing to do with anything except spring, and feeling warm and fuzzy.


Elayne said...

Actually, it's the crucifixion which has nothing to do with Easter. The name "Easter" is derived from the Saxon Eostre (synonymous with the name of the Phoenician Goddess of the Moon, Astarte), a Germanic goddess of spring and the deity who measured time. Eggs symbolize fertility, and the spring festival was a celebration of fertility. Because Eostre's symbolism dealt with renewal and rebirth, the Christian belief in the resurrection of Christ fit well with these themes, so they appropriated Easter for their purposes.

Chief said...

I understand birthdays. I understand the "4th of July" in the US, I understand Boxing Day in Canada, I understand Cinco de Mayo in Mexico. All of these holidays are held on the same day every year.

What escapes me, if Easter is supposed to remember Jesus being Crucified, why it changes every year.

Just another pagan holiday expropriated for Christian use.