Easter Bunny Banned…But Is that Going Far Enough?

In the so-called “culture wars”, this is low-hanging fruit:

The Easter Bunny was to have made a stop at a craft fair at the Tiverton Middle School tomorrow, appearing for photos with students as part of a fundraising effort sponsored by the school’s Parent-Teacher Council.
But Schools Supt. William Rearick called a halt to the use of the word “Easter” at a school event, just as the word “Christmas” is out of bounds in school publications and activities.
Instead of the Easter Bunny, the Parent-Teacher Council booth will offer photos with Peter Rabbit.
Similarly, Rearick said, he has told officials of the Tiverton Land Trust that a flier inviting children to an egg hunt cannot include the word “Easter.”
Rearick said he planned to review the proposed wording — which a Land Trust official said does not include the word “Easter” — before deciding whether students can take the flier home. Rearick said yesterday, “We’re trying to walk a fine line between promoting any religion” while permitting celebrations.

Look, it would be easy to get into a discussion over the fallacy that somehow referring to the Easter Bunny in school functions is a violation of the Establishment Clause in the Constitution. But the Catholic League is doing something better: showing the absurdity of it all by being absurd (via 7to7):

“It is unconscionable that in this day and age Supt. William Rearick would choose to honor a thief,” Donohue said. “As every schoolchild knows, Peter Rabbit stole from Mr. McGregor’s garden. To now hold him up as a role model to impressionable youngsters sends the wrong signal. At the very least, grief counselors should be dispatched to tomorrow’s event.”
Donohue continued: “There is also a more serious matter going on. The event smacks of sexism: Peter Rabbit had three sisters — Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail — and there is no historical record of them ever having committed a crime. So why were they passed over? Looks like the glass ceiling is still in place.”
Donohue then urges “everyone to register their outrage” by e-mailing Rearick and providing his address.

All very clever. But I wonder if Rearick and the School Committee really meant to call him “Peter Cottontail“? They obviously don’t know their Rankin/Bass productions!

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Santa Claus
Santa Claus
17 years ago

Does this mean the end of other favorite springtime religious characters like the Passover Mohyl and the Mawlid al Nabi Jihaddist – or are we just taking a whack at Christians again???

17 years ago

Did you see Rearick interviewed? A prime example of the femanization of the American male. This element involved in our public education system is why it is spiraling downward.

17 years ago

This is political correctness rum amok. Contrary to Mr. Rearick’s belief, the Easter Bunny is NOT a religious figure!
I don’t find Rearick’s approach surprising. The trend in American education is towards removing religion completely from the classroom because professional academicians are afraid of running afoul of their own interpretation of separation of church and state.
On a broader level, educators such as Mr. Rearick will be responsible for young Americans not having the religious knowledge to engage in international problem solving in the coming years.
I would strongly advise Mr. Rearick to read some of Professor Stephen Prothero’s writings. Prothero is the head of religious studies at Boston University most recently highlighted in US News and World Report.
In our attempts to create a multi-cultural and tolerant society, secular-based religous education has attempted to reduce all religions into one generic view, eradicating religious differences in an attempt to eliminate potential conflicts among religions.
The only problem is that only the US sees religion in this context. Islamic countries don’t view the world in these terms. They firmly believe that the path to God is only through practicing Islam.
Yet, educators such as Rearick attempt to eliminate all references to religions. In the process, American students have neither the knowledge of other religions nor the understanding that certain faiths do not promote religious toleration as a positive ideal.
This will make understanding an increasingly globalized world difficult for students when they become adults.
Attempting to eradicate the “Easter Bunny” is ridiculous. It would be far better to educate children on how the concept of the Easter bunny developed and the significance of Easter in the Christian world.

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