On the heels of complaints about a left-wing "war on Christmas," now there's fuming from the right about a supposed "war on
Bill O'Reilly of "
This argument is, well, exaggerated. First, Easter bunnies and Easter eggs aren't Christian inventions. Even the word "Easter" is, at its root, not Christian; it's derived from the name of an ancient Germanic goddess of fertility and sunrise.
As they did for other observances, early Christians co-opted pagan festivals for their own purposes. (The egg was a pagan symbol of new life, the rabbit of fertility.) Thus the secular tradition of welcoming spring and the religious tradition of the resurrection merged, much as the celebrations of the
It's absurd to suggest that President Obama could have anything to do with some town's decision to rename an Easter event. Monday, he and the first lady will host the White House's annual Easter egg roll — and that's its official name.
Why some areas decided to hold "spring" egg hunts this year is anyone's guess. Perhaps with so many people ready to sue municipalities at the drop of an Easter bonnet, officials decided to err on the side of caution by renaming anything that sounded religious.
Both sides need to observe some common sense. Towns that move toward "spring" egg hunts out of respect for non-Christians deserve credit for sensitivity. Conservative commentators are fulminating against a "war" that does not exist.