Spring Bunny

Four years ago, the town of Walnut Creek decided to drop the word Easter from community events and the “Spring Bunny” came to life and the city held “Spring egg hunts.” They did this based on a complaint from a Jewish resident.

And no one cared. It’s all part of making holidays more accessible for everyone, not just one religion.

Michael Runzler wrote a letter to the editor to the Contra Costa Times yesterday (in a timely fashion) to argue against the change. The letter said:

The Easter Bunny isn’t welcome in Walnut Creek. Neither is the traditional Easter egg hunt.

The oh-so-politically-correct have run the Easter Bunny out of town, replacing him and all things Easter with the generic spring bunny (who probably wears the Easter Bunny’s costume) and spring egg hunt.

Those banning the Easter Bunny will claim they’re trying to be inclusive and avoiding any religious overtones. But an Easter egg hunt is about as religious as drinking beer on St. Patrick’s day or giving roses on St. Valentine’s Day. Also, if the spring bunny events have nothing to do with Easter, then why schedule them on the day before Easter? Why not move them up a couple of weeks to coincide with the first day of spring?

But that wouldn’t make sense, would it? And neither does the unholier-than-thou effort to undo a long-standing tradition for the sake of modern expediency.

Those who want to participate in a tradition should take their Easter baskets and hunt for Easter eggs in cities that know when to leave well enough alone. And on your way out of town, thank Walnut Creek for keeping the parks and children safe from the Easter Bunny.

Michael Runzler

Walnut Creek

Of course, the problem isn’t the Easter Egg Hunt. It’s that Easter itself is a religious holiday and a city government should not be promoting it. They can promote the traditions that go along with it in a way such that everyone can participate. Celebrations of Easter (the Biblical celebrations) can be had in church.

Why schedule the events on the day before Easter? Because it’s what people have come to expect. Though I wouldn’t be opposed to a celebration on the first day of spring, as Runzler suggests. That would be pretty nice, actually.

I’m not sure why Runzler is too upset. It’s not like the religious reasons for Easter have ever been a part of the holiday’s rituals in the first place. No one is replacing anything religious. They’re just updating the name.

It brings to mind the Jim Gaffigan routine:

Easter– that’s a weird tradition.

Easter, the day Jesus rose from the dead. What should we do?

How about eggs?

Well, what does that have to do with Jesus?

Alright, we’ll hide ‘em.

I don’t… I don’t follow your logic.

Don’t worry. There’s a bunny.

One voice of reason is coming from Lawrence Cunningham, a professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame:

“It’s really not a big deal… I don’t see any intrinsic value to the rabbit to the resurrection of Jesus Christ… The bunny is a fertility symbol with no religious connection to Easter… The egg, which was popularized in Greece, Russia and Eastern Europe in connection with Easter, does not have a religious connection to Easter. By taking away the term ‘Easter,’ these symbols to some extent return to their pre-Christian roots as symbols of spring fertility.”

Bill O’Reilly will start complaining about this in 5… 4… 3…

[tags]Walnut Creek, Easter, atheist, atheism, Spring Bunny, Easter Bunny, Jewish, religion, Michael Runzler, Contra Costa Times, St. Patrick’s day, Valentine’s Day, Bible, Jim Gaffigan, Jesus, Lawrence Cunningham, Theology, University of Notre Dame, Bill O’Reilly, Christianity, Christian[/tags]

  • TXatheist

    The exact same thing happened in our neighborhood. About a week before the celebration of the pagan god Oestre someone from our home owners association put up 3 foot bunnies that were hand painted inviting neighbors to the community center. On the belly had the words Spring Egg Hunt 03/07/04(or whatever date) and the next day someone painted over the word Spring in a dark color and wrote using their finger and white paint “Easter”.

  • TXatheist

    You left this out.

    Runzler said in an interview. “Everyone is welcome to celebrate what they want to celebrate, but if you’re offended by an Easter Bunny or an Easter egg, then maybe you should not participate.”

    And if he is offended by calling it a spring egg hunt he shouldn’t participate or is that just wrong to be inclusive in a tradition that is set up for xians?

  • Taryn

    I agree with the complainant – though not with the way he has phrased it. I am, myself, a bright (so no religion), but I think this over-PC term just detracts from the whole celebration – it emphasises the religious thing, rather than simply letting it fade into unimportance.

    Who cares if it’s called “easter”? Not even the Christians really know for certain what they’re celebrating here*. In the Southern Hemisphere it doesn’t occur during spring, but at the beginning of Autumn. So even that doesn’t mesh.

    The real celebration of easter is like most holidays: enjoying some time with friends and family eating far too much chocolate. My friends generally refer to this holiday as “chocolate day” – they’ve got their priorities right ;)

    * There is some evidence to suggest that Easter was originally a pagan celebration of the fertility goddess Eostre – though it is considered controversial. Some Christian sects forbid (or discourage) celebration of Easter entirely.

  • http://scepticus.wordpress.com/ Mark

    I celebrate Easter and Christmas and all of the traditions except without all of the religion mumbo jumbo. I had an argument with someone over Christmas tree versus Holiday tree a few years back. I don’t remember any decorated trees in the story of Jesus’ birth. I also missed the part about bunnies and eggs as Jesus rose from the dead.

  • Susan

    Bravo to the town for making the change, and for demonstrating that (gasp!) people of many faiths (and lack thereof) can get along AND have a fun tradition without forcing one religion on everyone!

    One comment, though–the quote at the end mentions removing the name “Easter” and thereby returning these traditions to their pre-Christian roots. I could be wrong, but I thought even the name “easter” came from pagan tradition.

  • http://stereoroid.com/ brian t

    Reminds me of a Bill Hicks routine too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROagQ8st5bs

  • Patrick Craig

    You mentioned that you were “…not sure why Runzler is too upset.” I can take a shot at that. Look at it in purely claustrophobic terms. The box containing Mr. Runzler’s belief system just got a little bit smaller. The retreat progresses on many fronts, and has been doing so for many, many years. It must be horribly frustrating. The “long-standing tradition” Runzler talks about, the one where religion ran everything and nobody questioned the authority of the priest/reverend/pastor/spiritual leader, is being replaced by a better option. That option is simply to take care of everything without the “benefit” of superstition, without the blind acceptance of the supernatural deity concept that is inherently full of self-contradiction and negativity toward the diversity of opinion and belief we have in this world.

    Having said that mouthful, it must be understood by religious persons (largely christianity here in the U.S.) that yes, the box shrinks, but it will not disappear. Its “physical dimensions” will stabilize, right around the time it gets to precisely the same size as the believer’s church building. The shrinking stops there, and I am just peachy keen with that. We have never AS A UNITED BODY gone after the believers’ places of worship (at least I hope not!), we just get riled when believers come out of them and start aggressively invading the much wider and “open air” environment that freethought represents. ID is an aggressive assault; creationism was an aggressive assault. Keep that nonsense inside your church, and when you walk out into the true sunlight, treat everyone you meet with respect and dignity. The nonreligious can ask no more.

  • http://uncrediblehallq.blogspot.com Chris Hallquist

    I’ve always thought that trying to scrub our language of references to Christianity (this, “Happy Holidays,” CE/BCE) makes about as much sense as renaming the days to avoid reference to pagan superstion, or renaming the months “July” and “August” to avoid giving implicit approval to the Roman cult of Emperor worship.

  • txatheist

    Valid point but people by the millions don’t rush out on Sunday mornings to worship July. It doesn’t make people argue that July should be discussed in science class as an alternative theory. And there is no national holiday for July and certainly no July egg hunt :) My point is people don’t care about the other religions, just xianity being removed or made inclusive in public issues.

  • stogoe

    Christianity and Jebus the Flying Semite have their noodly appendages encircling the throat of democracy. Forgive us for trying to wiggle our big toe loose from its strangling grasp.

  • Ken

    Where were the atheists 20, 40, 60 years ago? Where they all cowering in their homes on these horrible days of faith? I think not.
    I have a question. Is there some other group that wants to use the park that day? Is the practice of getting together for a party a bad idea? No. So stop trying to manipulate the name in the name of protecting people from themselves.
    Separation of church and state is not the issue here. Easter is not copyrighted and the Christians do not receive funding because the city allows or even encourage this voluntary celebration. The fact that the city encourages this is not a problem to most people.
    However, the city IS offending a great number of people by presuming they have a right to rename Easter. Will the Jewish individual who complained be fine with renaming Hanukkah, of course not.
    I know, I know. You have not renamed Easter, just the celebration. The problem is, one person complained and the city snapped into action. I have to wonder about a city council that puts so much priority on one complaint.
    Stop changing long running traditions that are harmless and enjoyed by a clear majority in favor of one whining voice.


  • Bill

    Seems to me that atheists are not so much concerned with questions of “freedom of/from religion”, as they are with the mere existence of what amounts to the popular crowd in high school, which, of course, must be forced to be more “inclusive” of all students. The supposed Constitutional concerns are just the tool being used to control the popular crowd.

    I, myself, am neither part of the popular crowd (Christianity, or any religion for that matter) nor of the crowd that wants to control them (mostly Atheists). Both sides are control freaks, to some extent—the Christians inadvertantly, as they’re the ones under fire, and the Atheists more malevolently, as they’re the ones attacking the obvious presence of religion, especially the “popular” religion of Christianity, in our society. It all comes down to the “tyranny of the majority” vs the “tyranny of the minority”. I’m not sure which one is worse. Please consider the possibility that, for all intents and purposes, Atheism is as much an “ism” as anything, and, as such, has just about all the earmarks of any religion PLUS the righteousness of victimhood.

  • TXatheist

    Atheists, minority religions and many xians appreciate the separation of church and state. No, have the easter party at your church or home and no problem arises. My dues I pay to my homeowners assocation is not to be used to celebrate easter. Easter is not copyrighted but it’s also not a day of any relevance except to xians. The city can offend atheists by having an easter egg hunt but shouldn’t offend xians by not giving xianity a preferred celebration? Do you see the conflict in this idea? It’s ok if you xians think it’s ok. It’s not majority rule when it comes to legal concepts. When the city endorses atheist day then you might be able to have something in comparison to complain about. When Jews get Hannakuh recognized as a national holiday then you can complain. As far as atheists being silent 20 years ago, yes, if you don’t think there was a good chance at being ostracized then you are misinformed. I just started telling people and some friends couldn’t handle it. There are reprocussions for some people who state they are atheists. Ever wonder why politicians don’t announce they are atheist? It’s not a popular view and a good way to not get elected no matter how qualified. Keep xianity in your church and home and you won’t hear much about atheism.

  • TXatheist

    Are the “militant” atheists going after churches? Are there any instances where atheists are saying churches should be closed? Where people are being restrained from going to the church of their choice? That people can’t have bibles or Korans in their homes? That we want the Pledge to say “one nation not under the xian god” or currency to say “In Darwin we Trust”?

    Or are the cases only when they feel religion in taking place in governmental affairs and we try to get the issue to be secular?

  • Ken

    The bottom line here is that the USA is a country with a very large Christian majority. Hence, many of the official holidays we recognize are connected to Christianity. And by the way, the “Religious Right” makes up a very small percentage of all Christians.
    I question why you seek to manipulate these holiday celebrations so they no longer represent their very origin and meaning in order to avoid offending anyone who is not Christian?
    Christmas and Easter are surely inclusive and anyone who wants to celebrate in their own way is always welcome. What you are espousing is that no one should celebrate anything in public if it is based on his or her religious beliefs and that is absurd.
    I have serious concerns with a school that teaches and celebrates Hanukkah in an effort to be inclusive but then changes the Christmas Play to the Winter Holiday Play and strips out anything having to do with Christianity.
    I suggest that we go ahead and celebrate Hanukkah in the schools if so desired, but don’t change the theme and meaning of the Christmas Play because you are afraid of “sponsoring” Christianity.
    If you are an atheist, I suggest you enjoy your time off and try to find something else to complain about. Better yet, maybe you should work that day/week and be productive?
    There are problems in our cities and towns, which are exponentially more important than whether someone publicly celebrates a religious holiday. I suggest you spend your valuable time on those problems if you are really interested in improving our society.
    After that, maybe we can concentrate on the huge problem of alleged government sponsored religion.
    By the way, I do not go to church anymore but I was raised Catholic. I had a very happy childhood, was not molested by a priest and I have never tried to convert anyone to Christianity.


  • Catherine

    Dear Haters of Jesus,
    I am appalled by your brutalities. Easter is not a holiday for atheist. It is for devoted Christians. Should we change Christmas to Atheistmas so everyone can celebrate the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ? NO. Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of the Son of God, not spring bunnies. This should not be a debate over the name of a Christian Holiday. If you want an Easter-like holiday, get your own month!


  • TXatheist

    You make some very unusual points but I’ll address them. The bottom line is that we allow xianity to intrude in state affairs when that should have never been allowed to happen. We are country of laws, not majority rule, so xianity being popular doesn’t mean anything. I suggest you explain why 44 % of Americans think Jesus is coming back or why 25% of Americans think he’s coming back in this lifetime if the religious right is a tiny minority. Or how about 47% of Americans think the earth is less than 10,000 years old if the religious right is such a small group. Their influence is huge.
    I don’t wish to manipulate these religions but keep them in your church. They aren’t public governmental affairs. If you think Christmas and Easter origins are from xianity then you have some research to do. Oestre and Sol Invictus are great places to start. These pagan ideas were where xianity stole the ideas from. Christmas and Easter are inclusive if we accept the premise of why we are celebrating them. Why should we when some of realize what that premise is? To perpetuate xianity, no thanks. You can promote xianity publicly if you want, but not the state, see the difference?
    We can agree to celebrate xmas and hanukkah but we really need to celebrate darwin day too. It’s february 12 and I think a proper play or demonstrating how evolution is a fact and any book that disagrees is simply in error and shouldn’t be taken literal. I’d gladly work 12/25 if we could all have off 2/12 of every year.
    I agree there are problems bigger than this. Yet, Texas officials did the improper thing and allowed the 10C monument to stay at the capitol building, the Supreme court didn’t take under god out of the pledge or remove in god we trust from our currency so the issue remains. It’s a simple move to uphold the separation of church and state but they make it an issue. I wish we all would jump in and do things to make the world better must a vast majority of Americans wake up on Sundays and waste 2 or 3 hours listening to mythology to fill their void of insecurity. That’s countless wasted time and energy that could be spent on things much better. I’m glad you weren’t molested and never tried to rationalize why it’s ok to allow xianity to be intrusive with our governmental affairs.

  • TXatheist

    We don’t hate Jesus, most of us think the ideas of the alleged Jesus are fine. Oestre was a nice pagan god that you xians plagurized and created the christian story of Easter from. We do have a new name for Xmas, it’s Festivus from Seinfeld. Have your Easter or Christmas in your church and home and we are fine with you celebrating it.

  • Siamang


    Care to tell us where the word Easter comes from? It’s probably a biblical word, right? ;-)

  • Ken


    However you choose to characterize Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and others for believing in God or a higher power, the fact is that they all do.
    You may be surprised to learn that I am not follower or a fanatic Christian at all, but an open minded and firm believer in science. Darwin’s theories are a little too heavily
    I guess the problem here is that this event is sponsored by the Walnut Creek Recreation Department and the city had to act on the name change because they were caught in the act of using the word Easter while sponsoring an Easter themed event. Go figure! I can see why the Jewish community might be so upset, well at least one individual was. Yippee for PC!
    You see, just because you don’t believe in something doesn’t mean you should be protected from seeing or hearing about it in a public place.
    I guarantee that the real reason Easter was removed from the name was a fear of litigation by some ACLU lawyer (your buddies). What good work they do year after year? Whenever there are feelings hurt or everything is not precisely equal for everyone, or especially when religion rears its ugly head in public, they are there. That’s great. Now no one has to tolerate anyone or be subjected to those horrific ideas and beliefs.
    And what about the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross? Remove it! How dare people of the state of California erect a memorial to war veterans! Take down that cross despite the fact that a cross has existed there since 1913. Replace it with a spire! Wait. That could be seen as Mormon. How about a giant cow? Nope. Buddhist. I know, how about something that means nothing? How about a giant question mark?
    But of course, once everyone is an atheist, there will be groups of atheists trying to knock down and silence the perceived lesser atheists. They will have names like “Allied Atheist Alliance” and “United Atheist Alliance” and they will worship science and say things like “Science damn you!” and “Oh my Science”.
    Just take a look at the “Go God Go” episode of South Park. Anytime you are struggling with an issue, South Park always has the sensible point of view, whether it is homosexuality, racism, religion or atheism:



  • Milo Shagnasti

    No Easter Bunny in Walnut Creek. How dare you support this you scum. Leave us alone. QUIT TRYING TO CHANGE OUR LIVES……!! just tend to your own selfish ways.

  • jodi

    Ok, well let’s just change all names that were not given in the last 2 years or so. Toothpicks should be called wooden food dipper (it is found to actually hurt teeth), football to egg shaped ball since most of the game the ball is held in the hand but don’t want to confuse with other “handball” games. Doorbell to housebell since the bell is technically on the house, not the door. Basketball should be renamed to “rim with a netball”, since baskets are technically not used anymore. Beware of Guard Dog signs should come down for fear that it might offend a would be burglar and just let the dog bite him in the A$$ when he walks in the door. Men’s and Ladie’s room signs should also be taken down in the wake of transgender people. Handicap parking spaces should be renamed to, “I’m not handicapped, I’m a person that has physical disabilities” . Hey, we should even have any type of sports or educational competitions for fear of offending someone that might not score as well as another. Everyone should be required to accepts an across the board salary, therefore, there will not be any status to how much a person makes. All clothing should be in uniform and if you wear something that is not in agreement with the way I want it….I’ll have it removed from the clothing racks. I am a vegetarian….so guess what? Yes, you guessed it, I think all meats should be banned across the earth. If you eat meat, watch out, the meat police might be a knocking at your door. Don’t offend my way of living or I will raise holy…ooops, not allowed to say Holy….well then, I will rise up against you! Oh, and don’t you dare name that cute bunny an Easter Bunny, I might call the ACLU. You see, I don’t have a life, I want people to have freedom of speach, but only if their freedom reflects my way of thinking. My mind is quite fragile so I may have a coronary if you dare say….E A S T E R to me. See, I can’t even say the word, I have to spell it out so as not to upset my inner cardiac muscles. If you say a prayer within 5 miles of me, I will find out and I will hunt you down and proclaim you unfit to be amongst the living. Oh and don’t get me on C H R I S T M A S, it’s the time of year I stand guard at the entrance of my town and if you dare pass thru with that dang tree on top of your roof, I’ve got a sling shot that will send it back into the ground.
    People do you get the point? I can bet the answer is a big NO, but if you say NO, I might take offense and call the ACLU and proclaim that it is my right to not have to hear or see or read anything but is in agreement with my beliefs and my beliefs only. Do you take anal pills prior to complaining? I would never push any religious beliefs I might have ( I actually don’t have many), on you, and it’s allright for you not to believe in any, but how dare any of you trigger happy fanatics think you can have a belief banned! Personally your belief should be banned and you not be allowed to take it out in public…only your homes. Imagine how you would like that? Ahh, but you will say it’s not the same. My dear people, it is the same. You are allowed to loudly proclaim your non beliefs, as other people should be allowed to loudly proclaim their beliefs. You all are hypocrits!

  • Karen

    Dear Haters of Jesus,

    Wow. Take away somebody’s chocolate easter bunny and the vitriol really starts a-rollin’, doesn’t it?

    You are allowed to loudly proclaim your non beliefs, as other people should be allowed to loudly proclaim their beliefs.

    Hey, proclaim your beliefs. Shout them to the heavens. Preach them to the nations. Sing them with your choir. That’s fine.

    Just don’t do it on the public dime, okay? Do it at church, or rent out a hall or go to somebody’s backyard for your easter egg hunt. The issue is government sponsorship of religion.

    It’s really not a difficult concept. Why can’t people get it?

    You all are hypocrits

    Oh yeah. They get so emotional their brains shut down and they’re not even listening anymore. Yikes.

    If you want an Easter-like holiday, get your own month!


    Man, I am really feelin’ the love, darlin! ;-)

  • jodi

    Oh my dear Catherine, did someone take your pills away tonite? How dare you tell me where I can state my beliefs. Catherine states we can scream our beliefs to the sky….oh yea, but as long as you do it in your house (closet), church or friends backyard. Hmmm, it’s one way or another. Where do you decide where, when and how I celebrate or state my beliefs. If you read, I am not very religious, but to think I am above anyone who is, is the most ignorant thing I could possibly imagine. Sit them in the back of the bus is your mentality. If I don’t want to pray, I won’t but I will never think to stop someone that wants to. My silence in not praying is just as loud to the devout christian as a prayer might be to me, yet, they do not force me to pray. They simply say….don’t then. I would never think to silence your fanatic ideas….you have the right to voice, but you do not have the right to dictate and or ban. Personally your “voice” offends me. Would you like it for people to tell you to only voice your opinions in your own home, non-church, and or a friends backyard. By the way, what public dime have you spend on religion? How much has the Easter bunny pickpocketed from you. Please state facts as I respond so much better to facts. I feel the more fragile the mind, the more offended the person becomes by other people’s beliefs. Now, now, honey, don’t cry, but I think sometimes a diaper is needed for such baby like behavior. The world has survived for years, with different beliefs and or non beliefs, why all of a sudden a bunch of whiners come along and take personal offense to an E A S T E R bunny. You make fun of people getting upset about the name change, but did ever think that maybe it was you who was upset by a name in the first place? That’s what I mean about being a hypocrite. Ok Caroline (the name Catherine offends me)?

  • Logos

    Carrie, you need to calm down!

  • TXatheist

    I’m repeating Karen’s theme. Do you understand that if the Easter celebration was at your church it wouldn’t do any good to call the ACLU as I wouldn’t have a case? Do you understand that since it’s on our public property that I do?

    p.s. I did serve in the Navy and was stationed in San Diego. I visited Mount Soledad on many occassions including much later after I got out and took my wife up there on our vacation to which I spoke with a vet about me not being pleased about a veteran monument that I earned a right to be on had a giant cross above it.

  • Jalestra

    What people need to understand is the words connotate *christian* beliefs…of which not all Americans share. To me it’s not PC, it’s establishing a new mindset of what our country is. All the time christians use justification for trying to push yet MORE religious doctrine through our legislature (gays can’t marry?) with well, we ARE a christian nation. Guess what, we’re not, and there’s one way to make sure you start thinking of us as a nation of PEOPLE and not a nation of CHRISTIANS…remove the christian parts of anything governmently backed.

    If it REALLY doesn’t matter if it’s an Easter bunny or a Spring bunny because it no longer is treated religiously by the public, then why does it matter if they change the name? I’m not offended by the word Easter, but I AM offended that the christians think it’s ok to promote Easter publicly and scream at anyone, ANYONE, else that has the gall to try to have their faith in public, let alone practice it there. http://www.atheists.org/flash.line/mass4.htm And while some of the things done may have been a bit off…I believe these statements are VERY telling:

    Rev. Paula P. Durrant of the Congregational Christian Church of Somerset declared that it is “a sign of sad times” when opinions of religious leaders are not promptly acknowledged by politicians.

    According to the Herald News, signatories of the letter warned: “In our region there are a variety of groups, witches, Devil Worshippers and representatives of many other religious beliefs. We fear that the creche and the menorah would be compromised even more should other groups seek to have their symbols included.”

  • Ken

    Does this mean Bugs Bunny won’t be allowed to sing “I’m the Easter Rabbit, Hooray!” in that one Forties WB theatrical cartoon short?

    According to the Herald News, signatories of the letter warned: “In our region there are a variety of groups, witches, Devil Worshippers and representatives of many other religious beliefs…”

    Why not mention D&D players, SF fans, and fursuiters while you’re at it? We’re not “SAY-TANN-IC” enough for you?

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/2007/03/07/in-god-we-trust-missing-from-some-new-dollar-coins/ Siamang

    Ken wrote:

    Does this mean Bugs Bunny won’t be allowed to sing “I’m the Easter Rabbit, Hooray!” in that one Forties WB theatrical cartoon short?

    Ken, you recognize that Warner Brothers is a corporation and not a government entity, right?

  • TXatheist

    Karen, Siamang and I asked you if you understand the difference between government and private institutions?

  • David

    The easter bunny is the single greatest isult to Jesus Christ. Why don’t you just say hanukkah is a celebration of turtles and presidents day celebrates ankle socks soaked in vodka, cause if were throwing away all logic and replacing epic moments in history with complete bullshit we mine as well smoke crack and kill ourselves.

  • Axel Durden

    You US-Americans got problems … isn’t there a war going on? At least Colbert is getting something to make fun of ;) (and the rest of the world)

  • Pingback: Friendly Atheist » Spring Bunny Article

  • Millie Fischer

    does it REALLY matter?

    as far as the whole “public dime” thing is concerned, you may want to re-read the first ammendment of the constitution. it does not say that government and religion cannot coexist in any way, nor does it say that religion cannot be publicly recognized. in fact, first amendment rights ensure that we HAVE the ability to dress up as bunnies or dance naked around bonfires or eat fish while remembering a dead guy or worshiping a squirrel that wears neon pink skin tight pants.

    according to the library of congress, the constitution says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

    now, notice how nowhere in there did it say that a private individual could not give money to support a religion, even if that person is a govt. official, nor does it say that governments MUST prevent people from publicly displaying religious practices or beliefs, in fact its the exact opposite. freedom of religion means freedom TO religion, that of anyone’s choice and not just the one you agree with, even if that is a religion of no religion. its still just beliefs that cannot be backed up with anything other than beliefs.

    also, if it is so illegal for government to support religion in any way, how is it that any religious organization of any kind is allowed to exist? think about it…for a building to be used for religious purposes, it must first be approved for said use by GOVERNMENT-be it local or city-and in addition the relegation of non-profit for tax purposes MUST be handed out by GOVERNMENT…not to mention the fact that the city must be willing to allow such establishments to be a part of it in the first place. if a city can ban a strip club or bar on Moral or ethical grounds and come up with the legal red tape to make it so, then the same could be done for religious establishments that do not meet with the personal or moral beliefs of the officials of the area. but that does not happen because…the first amendment ensures we have a right to celebrate our beliefs in whatever way we want, whatever that means.

    also, think about this one last point. freedom of religion is not just there to ensure you have the right to complain about the religions and beliefs you don’t agree with, or the ensure that you can believe whatever you want…it is there to protect those that no one agrees with, those without a voice of their own. laws based on morality are a mistake and can lead to a slippery slope of rationalizations for support of one morality over another. if a town makes it illegal for christians to celebrate easter or use the word easter publicly, it will not be long before people will be petitioning the same town to no longer allow gay youth groups to meet because they are an “affront to christianity” or not allowing pagans to pick flowers from the sides of roads on May day. can you see how once a moral rule is made to exclude one group the flood gates would be opened, and then all religious freedom could possibly become compromised?