Cue the faux outrage – Easter is under attack! At least that’s the latest cause undertaken by Bill O’Reilly over on Fox. With his assistant in shrillness, Laura Ingraham, at his side, Bill-O is defending Easter from the secularists and evul libruls. What incited this battle, needless as it is? Apparently some schools have taken things a bit too far, banning the use of the word “Easter” in reference to Spring break and other school events (which is just silly, IMO). Even though this is not an attack on Christianity – being inclusive is always seen as an attack by the crazies at Fox – Bill and Laura have drawn their battle lines. Overdrawn, more like. Here’s Bill-O’s little rant – try to follow the verbal and mental gymnastics:
“Secular progressives are running wild with President Obama in the White House. They feel unchained, liberated, and they’re trying to diminish any form of religion. The goal is to marginalize religious opposition to secular programs. For example, in Canada and China a woman can have an abortion for any reason at any time. Secular progressives want that here. But traditional forces in America are in opposition. Therefore in this country, you can’t terminate a baby about to be born without a damn good reason. And if you do abort a late term baby, you could be charged with murder. SPs hate that. In Scandinavia, there are laws that say you cannot criticize minorities and if you do, you could be arrested. Secular progressives want laws like that here. Also the legalization of drugs, well under way in many places, and that is a secular cause. So, if the far left can marginalize Santa and the Easter bunny, of they can tell the children those symbols are obsolete and unnecessary, they then set the stage for a totally secular society in the future.” (source)
Uh huh. So, let me get this straight… we hate religion in any form (Strike one). We want to abort all the babies (Strike two). We want to muffle free speech (Strike three). We want to legalize all drugs (Yer out!). It all boils down to, “Oh noes, those horrible secular progressives (a term we don’t use) are taking away everything we hold dear! Be afraid!” Typical right-wing fear-mongering. It’s more of the old “liberals are trying to destroy Christianity” idea, an old stand-by for Bill-O. He and his ilk just cannot seem to understand that the First Amendment is not about whether or not you are allowed to practice your religion, it’s about compelling others to profess and practice a religion that is not theirs. The government is not allowed to grant privileges to any one religion, whether that be their doctrines or symbols. Or holidays.
But I’d also like to address the idea that Easter is the only spring holiday. Much like the Christmas season, there are several religious holidays that fall during the early spring season. But since they are not Christian holidays, I’m guessing that Bill-O and his outrage brigade don’t really care about them. But true religious freedom doesn’t protect only one religion.
Some non-Jews know that Passover or Pesach falls during this time but that’s about as far as it goes for most folks. But there are many other holidays celebrated in the early spring including the Baha’i New Year, Yom Ha Shoah ((Holocaust Remembrance Day), Ostara, Holi and Paryusan. Easter itself has its roots in the ancient pagan celebration of spring. “Easter” is an adaptation of the name of the Eastern European goddess, Eostre, which was derived from the ancient word for spring, “eastre.” The eggs, the bunny, the flowers… all of these are totemic symbols of Eostre. But no matter what the origins, Easter is now the most important holiday on the Christian calendar, a celebration of the most important aspect of their faith: the resurrection of their Savior.
So, once again, we see that O’Reilly has glommed onto something with which to stir up fear and outrage. Those two emotions should have no place in any of the holidays celebrated in the springtime. This is a time of rebirth, a time of renewed hope. Yet all Bill-O wants to do is whine and make up attacks against people with whom he disagrees. What a sad little man he is.
T. Steelman is a life-long Liberal. She has been writing online about politics since 2007. She lives in Western Washington with her husband, daughter, 2 cats and a small herd of alpacas. How can anybody be enlightened? Truth is, after all, so poorly lit…