In the usual mysterious way, there’s been a step-up in Main Stream Media coverage (a.k.a. sneering at) of what the George Soros-funded Media Matters is calling Fox's Week-Long "War On Easter". Of course, this is painfully stupid. It’s not Fox’s “War On Easter”—it’s the Christophobes and bureaucrats demonstrating their “sensitivity” to religious minorities who are making war on Easter. Fox is just reporting it. (Media Matters pulled the same trick with the War On Christmas, which has been going on since 1906.)
Other examples this year:
Actually, the editors of Macleans Magazine, up there in Canada, apparently didn’t get the memo. They claim there isn’t any War on Easter, and that “the pleasant lack of springtime controversy suggests the possibility of a peaceful coexistence between religion as heritage and a secular society.”
I should add that the editors of Macleans Magazine are not really working in an igloo without internet access—they have heard of the War On Easter, but dismiss it as the concern of a “few over-eager culture warriors”.
The truth: the War on Easter has been growing with each Eastertide for quite a while. It’s gotten perceptibly stronger while we’ve been covering it. In 2011, my column on it was headed Yes, Virginia, There Is A War On Easter—And Also War On Easter Denial.
The news focus this year: a black middle school principal in Madison, Alabama named Lydia Davenport who decided that the Easter Egg hunt at Heritage Middle School—a series of quiz questions—couldn’t be called that.
Davenport initially canceled the egg hunt, which was also to include kindergartners, to avoid any issues with mixing religious observances with school events.
"We had in the past a parent to question us about some of the things we do here at school, so we're just trying to make sure we respect and honor everybody's differences," Principal Lydia Davenport told The Times' news partner, WHNT News 19. [Madison elementary school takes Easter out of egg hunt, sparks national reaction (poll), by Mark Heim, AL.com, March 27, 2013]
If anyone wants proof that there’s an attempt to suppress all reference to Easter, you only need two words: “Spring Bunny.”
A Google News search for “Spring Bunny” finds not only O’Reilly complaining about the spring bunny, and people complaining about O’Reilly complaining about it, et cetera, but a story from Norwood, Massachusetts in which Norwood Recreation Department Program Director Linda Berger says, apparently with a perfectly straight face, that “The Spring Egg Hunt is a Norwood Tradition.”
At the Spring Egg Hunt
Toddlers to first graders are invited to the school, where they can hunt for eggs spread all over the Willett Field. They will also get to meet with the Spring Bunny.
[Norwood Recreation Department hosting spring activities, By Brad Cole, Wicked Local Norwood, March 22, 2013]
The “Spring Bunny,” of course, is already a euphemism. It’s just another sign of a central reality of modern American culture: Christophobia,
I discussed this just over a year ago: “Christophobia”—The Prejudice That Barely Has A Name. I was writing partly about Iowa journalism professor, Stephen G. Bloom [email him], who in an Atlantic piece called Observations From 20 Years of Iowa Life (Dec. 9 2011) had said
"After years and years of in-your-face religion, [Bloom, born in New Jersey, moved to Iowa in 1992] I decided to give what has become an annual lecture, in which I urge my students not to bid strangers 'Merry Christmas' or 'Happy Easter,' 'Have you gotten all your Christmas shopping done?' or 'Are you going to the Easter egg hunt?' Such well-wishes are not appropriate for everyone, I tell my charges gently. A cheery 'Happy holidays!' will suffice. Small potatoes, I know, but did everyone have to proclaim their Christianity so loud and clear?"
Bloom was lucky that he picked as his target Christianity, the only religion in America that you’re allowed to attack. If he’d attacked Haitian devil worship, or “dissatisfied, aggressive, brutal, and uncivilized slave-trading Moslems,” it would have been national news.
But what really puts the “phobia” in Bloom’s Christophobia is his memory of an Easter headline in 1994. As James Lileks pointed out, the first online version of the story, and therefore the Atlantic Magazine’s tree-based edition, says this:
When my family and I first moved to Iowa, our first Easter morning I read the second-largest newspaper in the state (the Cedar Rapids Gazette) with this headline splashed across Page One: HE HAS RISEN. The headline broke all the rules I was trying to teach my young journalism students: the event was neither breaking nor could it be corroborated by two independent sources. The editors obviously thought that everyone knew who He was, and cared.
The word for that, aside from words like offensive and blasphemous, is (see above) snarky.
If we were to respond in kind, we would point out that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John make four sources.
But never mind. The main thing you need to know is that while professors of journalism talk about corroboration, they are not actually capable of checking facts.
No one is in a better position to verify what the Cedar Rapids Gazette said on Easter Sunday, 1994, than a professor of journalism at Iowa State University. But it was the staff at the Gazette who actually did so: See Here’s The Gazette’s Easter Sunday front page in 1994 (plus others) | The Gazette, December 14, 2011.
So the online version of the Atlantic piece now says this:
When my family and I first moved to Iowa, our first Easter morning the second-largest newspaper in the state (the Cedar Rapids Gazette) broke all the rules I was trying to teach my young journalism students in its coverage of an event that was neither breaking nor corroborated by two independent sources. An archived edition of the paper shows it with a verse from Matthew 28:5-6 above-the-fold on Page One, along with an illustration of three crosses. The front-page verse—which in its entirety read, "And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said"—took up two columns and was played against a story about the murders of six people in the Iowa town of Norwalk.*
So, here, graphically, is what everyone in Iowa saw:
And here is what Stephen G. Bloom saw in his mind—and reported in the Atlantic Monthly, just about the ultimate in mainstream journalistic respectability. (A mock-up)
It’s no wonder Bloom was lecturing his students on their “In-your-face-religion”.
And it’s no wonder his students didn’t take him seriously.
It’s paranoid in the literal and pathological sense. And all part of the Calvary of the historic American nation.
But at this season we can at least hope that, one day, the headline Bloom will be complaining about will say: America Is Risen.
Happy Easter, everyone!
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