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Friday, March 24, 2006

 

Catymology goes bunny hunting



Bloggers are piling onto the March 23 Associated Press story, St. Paul City Office Boots Easter Bunny, like a herd of sheep.
A small Easter display was removed from the City Hall lobby on Wednesday out of concern that it would offend non-Christians.

The display - a cloth Easter bunny, pastel-colored eggs and a sign with the words 'Happy Easter'' - was put up by a City Council secretary. They were not purchased with city money.

Tyrone Terrill, the city's human rights director, asked that the decorations be removed. Terrill said no citizen had complained to him.

Council Member Dave Thune called it a shame.

"This has just gone too far,'' he said. "We can't celebrate spring with bunnies and fake grass?''

The council president, Kathy Lantry, said the removal wasn't about political correctness.

"As government, we have a different responsibility about advancing the cause of religion, which we are not going to do,'' she said.

It's not the first time a holiday symbol has been removed from City Hall. In 2001, red poinsettias were briefly banned from a holiday display because they were associated with Christmas.
Predictably, most bloggers who've taken up the story are against the ban, calling it an overreaction inspired by misplaced political correctness. In my opinion, the rush to defend the Easter Bunny is just another example of the human herding instinct. Many humans have said they enjoyed Easter-egg hunting as children. They have fond memories of chocolate bunnies, which, oddly enough, they consumed. These protesters of the bunny ban are confusing their childish pleasures with religion.

Personally, I'd rather hunt the rabbit.

In today's follow-up, Ouster of the Easter Bunny draws unwanted attention to St. Paul, the HR person responsible for suggesting the display be removed said:
"My issue was not about the rabbit or the egg, it was the sign on the door that said, 'Happy Easter,' " Terrill said Thursday. "We talk about diversity, respect, inclusion. When you put that on the front door of a government office, it could be offensive to someone who's a Muslim, a Jew, an atheist, what have you. That's my job to bring it to someone's attention."
As a cat, I respect all religions, especially those that worship animals. But wait, Christians don't worship rabbits, do they? The Easter Bunny, as far as I know, is a symbol left over from Pagan times. It seems as though many who protest the bunny ban are just sentimentalizing the rabbit. As humans often do, they mistake a symbol for the thing it represents. Dave Thune was right when he referred to the Easter Bunny as a symbol of Spring. Not just spring, but fertility and (goodness gracious) sexual promiscuity. As one authority explains it:
In second century Europe, the predominate spring festival was a raucous Saxon fertility celebration in honor of the Saxon Goddess Eastre (Ostara), whose sacred animal was a hare.
Understandably, such festivals were quite popular, and they still are today. That's why Easter is named Easter and not Resurrection Day: the early Christians were quite skilled in appropriating traditions that people were going to follow anyway.

And have I mentioned that I can't wait till Spring actually comes? Cherchez le lapin!

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4 Old Comments:

you are kidding me. if Easter Bunny is offensive to non-Christian, how much more is the city office name, ST PAUL city office. they better go right ahead and CHANGE THEIR NAME - Paul's City Office (and we mean Paul from our mailroom dept).

By Blogger animalfamily, at 9:09 PM  

My point: the Easter Bunny derives from a Pagan symbol of fertility, which today has become just part of our folklore.

By Blogger Aloysius, at 1:42 PM  

the spring I like it!! I like the easter too ñam-ñam ^^

By Blogger Luna, at 3:40 PM  

yeah, just boggles me about the human rights director's decision.

By Blogger animalfamily, at 11:11 PM  

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