Monday, April 5, 2010

They went there...

So I'm driving around D/FW a week ago, and I see that the "I Am Second" sign has changed. For those unfamiliar with the program, it's a Christian (but theoretically nondenominational) ad campaign which - until now - features an image of someone's face, the words "I am second" and a website. I've talked a little about this before; for the most part, it just strikes me as... odd.

There is a curious conceit among certain sorts of Christians that if someone is not a Christian, it must be because they have never heard the Good News of Jesus. As far as I can tell, this is mainly a holdover from two thousand years ago, when it might actually have been the case. In modern North America, however, people who have never been introduced to Christianity are few and far between. So the idea that Christians must spread the word (or spread the Word) seems a bit, well, silly.

(There is another possible explanation for why this view persists in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary: if Christianity represents Ultimate Truth, then you need an explanation for why some people don't agree with it. The idea that they must not know - or, more insultingly, must not understand - fills that need. By the same token, if they do understand but still don't believe, they must be angry at God or unwilling to turn away from their sins. The part where these views deny the possibility of any legitimate disagreement with Christian teachings is not a bug; it's a feature. Truth be told, I think that this explanation works in tandem with the leftover-from-long-ago explanation.)

...But I digress. Anyway, the ad campaign so far has been just abunch of people saying, basically, that they're putting God/Jesus first in their lives. While this strikes me as a bit useless (and/or unnecessary), that's fine.

The new sign said:

It's not about the bunny

After I'd finished my moment of blank incomprehension, and finally managed to parse that, I realized that they must be talking about Easter. The implication is that the holiday is not about chocolate bunnies and hidden eggs, it's about the resurrection of Our Lord And Savior.

Now, I could point out the actual origins of the bunnies, eggs, and other fertility symbols; I could talk about Christianity's long history of co-opting pre-existing pagan holidays; and I could point out that if Christianity had actually established its own holy days instead of taking over others, this confusion wouldn't exist in the first place. I won't, because that wasn't what really disturbed me about this.

What really disturbed me about this was the prospect that now, every spring, we're going to have to listen to moronic talking heads on the television as they blather away about the War On Easter.


  1. Found you at My Sister's Farmhouse. Hate to see her go, but thought I would hop by and say hi.
    Interesting read, will be back for another visit.

  2. Of course it's not about the bunny.

    It's about the Cadbury Creme Eggs.

  3. You know, for next year I need to put together a post on the true origins of Easter, starting with that cult of Assyrian bunny-worshippers in 2200 B.C. and their eventual incorporation into the Worshippers of the Sacred Egg in Babylon around 1000 B.C.


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