So, of course, this Sunday is Easter Sunday, and while it has not reached the heights of commercialism that Christmas is entangled with, there are some secular elements that many of the faithful wish would go away. I don’t hear anyone talking about a “War on Easter”, but there is some muted (in comparison to Christmas) grumbling in these parts about the Reason for the Season and the overemphasis on a huge bunny who hides eggs in baskets and the over indulgence in jellybeans and other sweets rather than reverent focus on the betraying, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
As a child I was always puzzled by the correlation between “Abused , Betrayed Savior on a Cross” and “Peter Cottontail Crapping Eggs on My Lawn and Leaving Me Candy“, but unlike Santa Claus, no one seemed to have any real explanation for it. After a while I figured it was smarter to just keep my mouth shut, put on the overly-cute Easter outfit Mom would pick out for me. go to Mass, and then enjoy my jellybeans, chocolate bunnies and other tooth-rotting fare before gorging on Easter Ham and watching The Ten Commandments (am I the only one who always secretly hoped that just once, Yul Brynner’s Ramses would kick Charlton Heston’s Moses’ ass?? Anyone?????).
Flash forward a few decades, and Easter for me consists of baskets of crap for the little ones, colored eggs that no one really eats ,and a big get together at my in-law’s that always seems to last just a hair too long, though I love them all dearly. All of my immediate family is pretty religious, and most of my husband’s is too - not “in your face religious”, but religious, nonetheless with the exception of his three nieces who are godless, hell-bound heathens like us.
So where the fark am I going with all of this, you ask?
THIS is where the fark I’m going with all of this:
A wonderful invitation for Easter services at The Rock Church in lovely Conway, South Carolina came in the mail today, and apparently they are not too down with the whole “Peter Cottontail” thing.
Not down with it to the point of RUNNING HIS ASS OVER and then taking pictures of his dead carcass and SLAPPING IT ON A POSTCARD.
My kids realize that the Easter Bunny is not real, even the four year-old, and realize that it is not the “Easter Bunny” in that photo .
They ARE, however, lovers of animals great and small, and while Peter Cottontail is a fantasy, the very real rabbit in that picture also looks VERY dead. And that upsets them – even my crazy, rough and tumble nine year-old son , who gets teary at those Sarah McLachlan ASPCA commercials (so do I , dammit – SO DO I!!!!) was not happy with that postcard.
Is it just creatively placed dirt on a very compliant rabbit?
Or is it actual Road kill put to horrible, soul-fearing use?
I don’t know.
All I do know is my kids saw it and feel badly for the poor dead rabbit, and they think the “Jesus people” who killed him and took pictures are douchebags.
(Seriously, they do. Judge all you want – they know Mom’s favorite word, but they only use it at home…….they know their boundaries, and they don’t cross them.)
The church sent the cards out via a Direct Mailing List, and while the message was a hit with some, it was a definite miss, it seems, for more. One local news channel’s Book of Faces page had enough mentions of the postcard to warrant an actual news story on the evening broadcast and a poor re-mix treatment on YouTube. A lot of the target Christian audience was turned off by the dead animal image, citing it as cruel to the animal and children, and just plain distasteful ; for the other target audience of non-believers like myself, the card did nothing to make them go “hmmm……maybe there’s something to this, I should go check it out!“. At least, not for the reasons they’d like……I kind of want to go just to see if it lives up to the freakshow that postcard has conjured up in my head, ’cause I’m picturing snake-handlers and tongue-speaking epileptic fits and maybe a dash of Marjoe Gortner -styled faith-healing.
And that is probably the furthest thing from what this church is all about, but you know that old saying about first impressions……………… The Rock Church of Conway, South Carolina just made a pretty shitty one.
I’ll be sticking with Team FSM . We have tasty noodles.
And no dead bunnies.