Tyra Damm, a Dallas Morning News columnist, has recently admitted that she flinched when a manager complimented her on her Easter Bunny socks. "They're my spring rabbit socks," Damm says she hastily explained. (April 10, 2009).
Damm (email her) now says she was wrong to flinch. But she also feels obliged to turn what might once have been an "Easter" column into a pious celebration of the need for "tolerance" of those with "different faith vocabularies", whatever that means.
The same ideas that drive the War On Christmas affect Thanksgiving and Easter. In 2005, Peter Brimelow wrote "Fans of our ever-popular annual competition to determine the most egregious attempt to abolish Christmas will not be surprised that Easter is being abolished too, even in its most inoffensive furry form."
Yes, it's War On The Easter Bunny. It's been going on for some time. This is from the Catholic League back in June 1996:
"There appears to be a growing trend to secularize Easter. More and more greeting cards and gifts are centered around bunnies, not Christ. And when it comes to Christ, attempts to debunk his divinity are given broad coverage. The three major weeklies, Time, Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report, all featured cover stories at Easter that questioned the historical Jesus.
"One of the most significant changes occurred when New York's Radio City Music Hall announced that its annual 'Easter Show' would now be dubbed the 'Spring Spectacular.' In 1995 the 'Easter Show' was renamed the 'Easter Extravaganza' (an acceptable change), but this year the closest association with Easter was found in the small print below 'Spring Spectacular,' which read: 'The Glory of Easter.'
"We got curious and called Radio City and the ad agency that handles its business. What we were told was that the change in name was done in the interest of broadening the appeal of the program.
"The reason we called was because someone in Catholic circles had given us a tip. It seems that when he called the person in the ad agency that handles the account for Radio City, he was told that the reason for the change of names was, 'We're trying to take the Christianity out of Easter.'"
There's been a lot more like that since. See the Catholic League's 2006 roundup here, with things like the "Spring Bunny." Tyrone Terrill, [Email him] the black Human Rights Director in St. Paul, Minnesota, banned the Easter Bunny in St. Paul's city hall, because it might annoy non-Christians. (No one had actually complained.)
You can see his point. Minnesota is full of rebarbative Muslim taxi drivers, Somali jihadists, Hmong mass murderers, Mexican illegals, and other multicultural types who may act out if they get offended. (Who let all these people in, anyway?)
So this year there are "Spring Egg Hunts" springing up (hopping up?) across the nation, and anything that might look like it's too Christian or too American will be pushed to the back.
But multiculturalism or no, some 77 percent of Americans are still Christians. Although Obama recently told the Turks that "We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation", some 71 percent of Americans still do think that they belong to Christian nation. Which is why Good Friday was a public holiday.
So Easter remains part of America's public life for another few years. But it will still have to be defended, like other traditions, against people who will start by claiming we're imagining the whole thing, and end by claiming that the whole thing is a relic of America's racist past.
But until then—Happy Easter!
Easter Columns from this year:
From previous years: