I was watching the O'Reilly Factor last night and saw the teaser for an interview on a school in Alabama where they were not calling it the Easter Bunny anymore. O'Reilly and his guest seemed to be sounding the clarion call that all Christians should be riding forth to save the Easter Bunny from a fate worse than death ... secularization! Maybe I am overstating things a little bit, but it was striking to me that so much time was being spent agonizing over an aspect of Easter that Christians might actually be glad to get rid of. I think the larger point that O'Reilly was trying to make was that this is one more way that it is okay to attack things which are Christian but not other things. Of course one might also point out that Jews have never bothered to create a Passover Otter, nor is the there the Ramadan Raven for Muslims to have to defend.
Years ago, when Christianity was even more synonymous with mainstream culture we created these media friendly images like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and now we are being forced to defend them as mainstream culture moves ever so slightly (or dramatically depending on your view) away from Christian culture. My question is this ... is the Easter Bunny really worth fighting over? I mean, not only is it not at all connected to any theological understanding of Easter, but the term Easter is one we stole from another religious culture anyway, so we might not want to go making the term Easter too sacred either.
Holy Week is a time where we remember the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, it doesn't need a Hallmark friendly bunny to be more powerful. In fact I think that by defending such secular images we actually weaken the message of Easter. Ramadan is a powerful and important holiday because of how it is treated by Muslims, not because of some mascot that goes with it. Easter can be powerful and important for Christians, but probably more so because of what Christ is doing, not the Easter egg hunts we are holding. Is this what Christ lived for? Is this what Christ died for? Is this the new life Christ is promising? Maybe if we focused more on those questions we might see some of the real changes we are looking for in society and more importantly in our own faith journeys.