It’s a little surprising to hear fundamentalist Christians run to the defense of the Easter Bunny and Easter eggs. The fact is history teaches us that Rabbits and eggs have never been Christian symbols, but rather they had their beginning as symbols for fertility in pagan spring rituals and were later converted to the Christian spring holiday celebrating the bizarre belief in the resurrection of Christ.
Even some of the Christian Web sites have a negative impute on the rituals of Easter, and one Christian Web site, christiananswers.net, goes so far as to condemn them as “the seductive symbols of ancient ungodly religions inspired by Satan.” So on the one hand we have these Christians that are defending Easter and these rituals, and on the other hand we have Christians that say these rituals are evil. The real threat comes from the conservative Christians which are now attempting to rename Easter as “Resurrection Sunday”, and that’s a little scary.
“Some Christian fundamentalist argue that Easter should be scrubbed clean of all taints of paganism and idolatry, including bonnets, bunnies and jelly beans. Even the term ‘Easter’ they claim, doesn’t have strong biblical roots and possibly traces back to the Teutonic goddess of dawn,” and possibly other ancient belief systems.
During the beginnings of Organized Christianity, the origins and timing of Easter was debated. There is only rumor to the possibility that the Council of Nicaea, around A.D. 325 ruled that Eater was to be held on a Sunday as, so the story goes, determined by astronomical calculations. There is also some evidence that suggest, but only in non-historical letters, that the Counsel of Trent in 1563 further pinned down the date by supposedly using the ecclesiastical vernal equinox.
Unfortunately, as with all aspects of Christianity, history cannot tell us anything that was discussed at either council or how the day and date of the mystical resurrection of Christ was determined.
put together/written by Kerry Walker