Monday, April 9, 2007

The Easter Bunny...Cute, or EVIL?

Well, let me start off by apologizing for my posting infrequency of late. Work has been crazy, and then we had family birthdays followed by the Easter holiday, which brings me to the subject of this blog:

My brother-in-law and his girlfriend decided to dye some Easter eggs this year, and while doing so, they got into a heated debate over a random but thought-provoking question: “Could Jesus have ever had an Easter Egg hunt?” Apparently it was a very spirited discussion, which was finally settled once they decided to ask the source of all knowledge…Google.

As it turns out, Easter is an ancient pagan holiday that got its start with one of Noah’s great-grandsons, Nimrod, and his wife, Semiramis. Nimrod became a highly influential political force and built some of the greatest cities of the era, including Babel. He rebelled against God and built a religion around himself.

When Nimrod died, Semiramis deified him as the Sun-god, and he later became known as “Baal,” worshiped prominently in the Old Testament. Sometime later when Semiramis gave birth to an illegitimate son, Tammuz, she claimed that he was supernaturally conceived and that he was the savior God had promised. Legend further claims that Tammuz was killed by a wild boar and went into the underworld, but his mother’s weeping resurrected him as the season of Spring. Does any of this sound familiar?

Over time, Semiramis became deified as the goddess of Spring and fertility. She was originally called “Ishtar,” which evolved into Eostre, Astarte, Ostera, Eastre, and finally…Easter!

Next, enter the Bunny and the eggs. The rabbit is a notoriously fertile creature, and was the symbol for the Mother Goddess. The egg was also a sacred symbol for the Babylonians, who believed a fable about a giant egg that fell from heaven and hatched Easter herself.

So if Easter is a pagan goddess and rabbits and eggs are her symbols, how did Easter become a Christian holiday? It seems that pagans were willing to give up their gods to become Christians, but not the festivities surrounding them. So to help assimilate mainstream culture, Christians simply turned the pagan fertility festivals into celebrations of the resurrection of Christ – thus, Easter as we know it was born!

Back to the original question – could Jesus have hunted Easter Eggs? I’d say he could have, but there’s no way he actually did. He would have emphatically rejected anything related to false gods or idol worship, so egg hunting would definitely have been out.

So did the Easter Bunny hop straight out of Hell? Should we head down to the PAAS egg dye factory and hold an exorcism? Nah. Easter is just another example of how society is constantly changing around us without our even noticing – yesterday’s pagan sacrament is today’s good clean family fun.

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