Monday, March 28, 2005

News of the weird
First Christmas was genericized, now Easter:

RIP Easter bunny
A rabbi criticizes this latest trend which I first noticed this year — the newspaper where I work reports town meetings, etc. and got press releases saying they were cancelled last Friday for the ‘Spring Holiday’. What a regression to pagan Rome!

The imagery that Rabbi Gellman uses reminds me of the perhaps apocryphal story of the Japanese shopping-centre owner (like most Japanese not a Christian) who tried to make a Christmas display: Santa Claus on the cross!

Note again that like the Muslim students who objected to taking down the crucifixes at Georgetown and like I blogged this past December about Christmas, observant Jews aren’t offended by gentile displays related to God. They aren’t threatened!

And what about the other phrase from the First Amendment about not prohibiting the free exercise of religion, even something as tangential and minor as the bunny?*

Of course in the Orthodox tradition where Easter is a bigger deal (see entry earlier today) there is no Pascha bunny (scroll down) but of course there are the eggs!

*Then again that’s about Congress: US federal laws. Actually you can make a case that the states can have established religions as indeed the Congregational Church was in some New England states until the early 1800s. One can argue from a libertarian standpoint that the malls are private property and the owners can censor whatever they like but it’s still disturbing. And the example I saw locally was from government, which I understand has to be neutral but again 1) free exercise and 2) disturbing.

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