Easter, ABC-Style: Cluster Bombs, 'Pagan' Easter Bunny

You might think that Easter would be an occasion for an MSM outlet like ABC to invite in a serious Christian theologian or minister to discuss issues of death and resurrection. Please. I did say "an MSM outlet." ABC's Good Morning America decided the best way to celebrate Easter today was to devote one segment to an anti-war activist who had organized a "cluster bomb hunt" to parallel the White House's Easter egg hunt, and another segment to a mocking examination of the Easter bunny.

In the first segment, GMA's Kate Snow interviewed Brian Hennessey, organizer of the "cluster bomb hunt" outside the White House to protest the use of the weapons. Small children were shown constructing the mock bombs, and later would be sent out to search for them. Claimed Hennessey "we're not trying to politicize kids in any way." Right. When he later mentioned that the kids' parents would be "looking for weapons of mass destruction which of course aren't there," Snow didn't bother to suppress a laugh. Not surprising. This is the same Snow who a couple weeks ago who was moved to laughter by a painting that depicted Christ and his disciples as dogs.

Next, it was time for ABC's Marisol Castro to explore the origins of the Easter bunny. "Why is one of [Easter's] most popular symbols a bunny rabbit? We went far and wide posing that question to the masses." The masses? Ah yes, let's explore how the little people celebrate their quaint religious customs. "Do they really know anything about him?" wondered Castro. And sure enough, there she was, putting kids, adults and even a shopping mall Easter bunny on the spot: "do you know where the Easter bunny comes from?" Subtext: don't you rubes know you're propagating a pagan custom?

To clear things up, Castro brought in someone from Beliefnet to explain: "The holiday started off as a fertility festival celebrating the goddess of Oestera, whose sacred animal was a bunny rabbit. Eggs have been a symbol of fertility for even longer than that."

CASTRO: The holiest date on the Christian calendar, Easter got its name around 325 A.D. Over the centuries, these pagan symbols have become synonymous with the Christian holiday.

BELIEFNET SPOKESMAN: The existence of the Easter bunny and Easter eggs has actually been a very powerful and effective way of drawing children into the Easter celebration. After all, the story of the crucifixion and resurrection is a tough story.

Too tough for ABC, at least, to treat respectfully.

Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net

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