Kathleen

I caught wind of the story of a girl who was volunteering in a Seattle public school over her spring break:

“At the end of the week I had an idea to fill little plastic eggs with treats and jelly beans and other candy, but I was kind of unsure how the teacher would feel about that,” Jessica said.

She was concerned how the teacher might react to the eggs after of a meeting earlier in the week where she learned about “their abstract behavior rules.”

“I went to the teacher to get her approval and she wanted to ask the administration to see if it was okay,” Jessica explained. “She said that I could do it as long as I called this treat ‘spring spheres.’ I couldn’t call them Easter eggs.”… “When I took them out of the bag, the teacher said, ‘Oh look, spring spheres’ and all the kids were like ‘Wow, Easter eggs.’ So they knew,” Jessica said.”

This is silly on a few levels and it seems like there are two opposing ideas at play. Secularists want religion out of schools. The religious likely see no harm in expressing their religious position. Personally, though, I see two reasons either side would want to embrace the opposite of the aisle:

Secular: If you honestly find no truth or legitimate grounds in the claims of the religious despite the majority of Americans believing in some celestial being, there is very little reason to think some candy is going to reverse your decision. It’s totally possible to embrace the human element of other group holidays without believing in the spiritual aspect. After all, the most capitalist/consumerist elements of Easter are the candy, the eggs, the rabbits, which brings me to my next point…

Religious: I think that the religious could embrace this “attack.” After all, the message of Easter is about the salvation of mankind and a supernatural rise from the dead, far more impressive feats than a giant rabbit passing out empty calories. When I was growing up, a lot of the “big picture” was lost amidst my desperation to eat as much chocolate as my parents would allow (or poorly hide). Granted, it’s probably impossible for a child to appreciate sacrifice or death but an overemphasis or fierce protection of the more vapid elements of the holiday almost signals that they are more central to the celebration or appreciation of the feast than the message of the story. Simply put, that is not the case. What makes Easter important to Christians should be their promise of salvation, not what people call plastic eggs. Maybe if that element is absent in schools, it can be an opportunity for parents to teach their children at home.

Please don’t get me wrong, I think the school is absolutely wrong by enforcing this. I think the fact that they are trying to secularize the idea of Easter is offensive to all parties involved, those who don’t believe that it has any significance and those whom believe it means their salvation. (I just felt like playing Devils Advocate, twice.)

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