Rise Up and Take Back Easter

Why doesn’t the resurrection of The Savior qualify for a bigger celebration than His birth? Habitual Christian churchgoers everywhere will tell you that the two top days for church attendance are Christmas Eve and Easter Sunday, so you would think that Easter could have handily trounced Christmas—celebration-wise.

I’ll be the first to admit that a new life should always be celebrated, but even on the religiousness-importance scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being “kinda pointless without it,” Easter would certainly qualify as top banana. Imagine celebrating Easter Sunday with a blow-out party followed by a Rose Bowl parade, a traditional rabbit stew, and fireworks in the evening. And speaking of rabbits, maybe Christians are not the ones to blame for this reversal of fortunes.

Maybe we should fault the Easter Bunny.

Excuse me, I'm a little bit freaked out right now
Excuse me, I’m a little bit freaked out right now

After all, he does not have the brains to hire helpers, he shows up on a different Sunday every single year (making it impossible to dress for the weather), and he lacks cool wheels. He does not leave a map to the eggs, so there’s a really good chance that on that first real scorcher of a day in June, you are bound to find one that was previously MIA just by following your nose.

Plus in a head-to-head competition between Santa Claus and Good ‘Ol E.B., my money is on the Bunny to scare the Beejezus out of little kids. Have you seen this guy at an egg hunt lately? Somebody, from Pixar ought to get on that, partner with Marc Jacobs, and get some fun-looking, high quality threads for the dude.

From a purely secular standpoint, Santa Claus sure has a helluva lot going for him that the Easter Bunny cannot compete with. Mrs. Claus has his back, the elves have marketable skills, and let’s not forget his mall helpers. In addition there’s the whole winter wonderland thing and the collaboration with the likes of Frosty the Snowman and Charlie Brown and his crew. He’s got lights, and twinkly, sparkly things and literally thousands of musical recordings. What’s the Bunny got? One hip-hop song, a basket full of pastel colored eggs with stickers, and a mentally-challenged Bugs Bunny cartoon character to pick up the slack. In retrospect, yeah, I take it back. Maybe it’s not the Bunny’s fault entirely; Santa is some stiff competition. How about a Bunny app or a Twitter so the kids get on board?

Perhaps I have a defective Bible. Maybe the book of Peter Cottontail was left out when the Council met at Trent and it never became part of the Apocrypha. We do not really know, but if that is the case, it might explain the connection between the Bunny, Jesus and plastic eggs with jelly beans, but we may never know. They do not teach that in Catechism.

Then again, maybe Christians are the problem. It cannot go unnoticed that without the birth of Jesus, there would have been no Christ followers, but without His death, there would be no Christianity at all. It is possible that some Christians lost sight of the importance of Easter Sunday so they put other days, even Christmas before it. Both religiously and secularly, Easter has been slighted, and that seems wrong. Rise up and take Easter back.

*Republished from a March 30, 2013 Letter to the Editor Wilkes-Barre Times Leader



Much of the late 70s and early 80s album cover art focused solely on a closeup of the artist.  Few were as riveting to me as that of Patti Smith’s Easter album.  Her rebellious poetry caught my attention.

In a single frame, the artistry of the photograph bares the intensity of her soul, a task made to look simple.

Few of my friends thought Smith was worth listening to at the time of the album’s release, aside perhaps from her radio hit Because the Night (a Springsteen creation.) I count myself fortunate to have had excellent seats to see her perform locally.  On stage, her fearless bravado provided the ultimate example of punk artistry.

Look what I found…

I cheered her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and appreciate her memoir, Just Kids as an exhibit of raw honesty.