Because this is the holiest week of the year on the Judeo-Christian calendar, it might be useful to look at how theology is faring in the age of secularism.
As you may know, there is a movement in America to remove the word God from the currency, to replace the word “Christmas” with “winter,” and to replace the word “Easter”‘ with “spring.” On Long Island where I live, one school is running a “spring egg hunt” with a special appearance by the “Spring Bunny.”
Of course this kind of stupidity is insulting to Christians, but it’s been going on for years. Committed secular folks feel no shame or fear whatsoever in attempting to diminish Christian celebrations.
But those same people would never intrude on Ramadan because they fear reprisal. And you very rarely hear the anti-religious loons go after Jewish traditions because the Jews have powerful organizations that will respond quickly to anti-Semitic behavior.
It is, however, a different story in the Christian precincts. Here there is no organized resistance to attacks despite the fact that about 80% of the U.S. population describes itself as Christian.
Perhaps the lack of response to assaults on Christian tradition can be attributed to the “turn the other cheek” mandate that the theology espouses. But more likely the Christian community is complacent. Unlike Jews and Muslims, they generally don’t feel urgency when their faith is attacked.
Recently at Florida Atlantic University, a communications instructor, Dr. Deandre Poole, ordered his students to write the name “Jesus” on a piece of paper, drop the paper to the floor and stomp on it. Dr. Poole contended the exercise was necessary in order to develop “critical thinking.”
One of the students, Ryan Rotela, a Mormon, refused the order. He was quickly disciplined by the university and removed from the class.
After my TV program began investigating the situation, FAU quickly reversed their decision, apologized to Ryan Rotela, and allowed him to continue in the class without answering to the instructor who, incredibly, is a Democratic Party official in Florida.
What struck me about this case was the lack of outrage by the Christian community in Florida. Ryan’s story was reported in the local media but nothing really happened until it got to the national level.
There is no question that secular forces in America feel emboldened and are pushing their anti-religion envelopes as far as they can. They know the media is largely behind them and they also have seen little pushback from Christian leadership. So why not demand that the Easter bunny be rechristened? Why not attack manger displays in public? What’s the downside?
While contemplating the resurrection of Jesus this week, American Christians might want to resurrect themselves. Because if the anti-Christian movement continues and does not see opposition rising up – in twenty years the spring bunny will be placing spring eggs into a spring basket everywhere.
The Easter bunny? Extinct.