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.
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]