Why Isn't There a War on Easter?
By Tina Dupuy
Why haven't these clever secularists tried to take over Easter just like they've allegedly hijacked Christmas? What's taking them so long?
Bill O'Reilly deciphered the secret scheme to de-Christian Christmas. On his Christmastime program last year he said, "I absolutely agree 100 percent that the diminishment of Christianity is the target and Christmas is the vehicle because the secularists know the opposition to their agenda - legalized drugs is in that as well - comes primarily from the Judeo-Christian traditionalist people."
Smother the Christmas and then couples with two grooms will get survivor benefits! Afterwards it's meth and abortions for all! A reasonable plan.
Every year O'Reilly and his ilk talk about this plot, evidenced by major retailers using the phrase "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." Of course "holiday" is a contraction of "holy days," so their dander is clearly canned snow. But that doesn't stop it from showing up every December.
Part-term Alaska governor Sarah Palin recently announced her bandwagon hop onto the seemingly one-sided War on Christmas with her upcoming book, "A Happy Holiday IS a Merry Christmas." (Which is like saying, "A happy Administrative Assistant's day IS a joyous Secretary's Day!") In a statement, Palin said the book "will encourage all to see what is possible when we unite in defense of our faith and ignore the politically correct Scrooges who would rather take Christ out of Christmas."
Dickens' Ebenezer Scrooge was a rich miser who had contempt for the poor and the working class. He would totally be against food stamps, social security and Medicare. In short, Scrooge, like Palin, would likely be invited to speak at CPAC and other Americans for Prosperity-sponsored conferences. Palin would hang out with Scrooge in the greenroom.
But let's say those who are convinced there's an effort to downgrade Christmas by not commercializing the religious aspect enough are right - why have these cunning secularists left Easter untouched?
Why does the outrage machine not crank up around the end of February to "take back Easter from the godless?"
After all, Easter is named after the Teutonic goddess of fertility, Ēostre. So Walmart using the term "Happy Easter" isn't playing up the Christian part of the holy day. Eggs are pagan symbols of fertility. Same with bunnies (as in "reproduce like a"). It's ripe to accuse secularists of trying to make it more about spring and re-birth than Jesus' resurrection.
So why haven't they?
I'll try to answer that with numbers. Americans spend about $16 billion on Easter ($2 billion just on candy) and on Black Friday (Friday named after the Anglo-Saxon goddess Frige), the day after Thanksgiving which marks the beginning of the Christmas buying season, Americans spend around $52 billion. In total we spend in the area of $500 billion on Christmas.
There is a "war on Christmas" because there are spoils to be had over Christmas. There's a giant Christmas pie and each slice is worth fighting for. If Easter raked in nearly half a trillion in sales, the outragemeisters would suddenly claim it was under attack by pagans trying to obscure the Christian message by making it about pastel colored eggs.
Yes, there would be books, possibly one by Palin's ghostwriter, about the War on Easter and the over-commercialization of the holy day means you need to buy the book. Better yet, buy some as gifts--there's a price break at 10!
This stems from the prosperity gospel. It's where Christians conflate Jesus with Ayn Rand and believe that wealth is a sign of god's grace, and poverty is proof of his contempt. It makes for profit-seeking prophets. So instead of indignation that materialism is corrupting the message of Christ, the umbrage is aimed at mall Santas having the gall to sit near signs reading, "Happy Holidays!"
So why isn't there a war on Easter? Because there's really no money in it. It's not worth the fight since there's so little payoff. It's the same reason no one has ever invaded Antarctica.
But conversely, if there were a plan to destroy Christian holidays, Easter would be a great place to start.
The self-appointed watchmen are too busy cashing in on Christmas to notice.
Tina Dupuy is a nationally syndicated op-ed columnist, freelance investigative journalist and comedian. This article was originally published at L.A. Progressive.