Is Easter a dirty word?
As I pick up an Easter Egg from the shelf at the local supermarket, I wonder how many people would object to me calling it an “Easter” egg and not simply chocolate.
This train of thought is not one I often have when buying chocolate, and has been caused by the recent controversy surrounding this year’s Cadbury’s “Egg Hunt” who have not included the word “Easter” in the marketing campaign. But how do these relatively subjective views really affect those who celebrate the holiday?
Hailing from a Christian family myself, I’ve spent years surrounded by other Christians who are fierce in their beliefs and really drive home the idea of religion around Easter and Christmas. So why, when I hear that “Easter is in trouble” do I feel fairly apathetic?
I understand that for worshippers of any religion, a large majority of their time is spent thinking about the religion and living by its moral standards. So if your religion was being challenged by a large corporation you might strike back. But many of the people who have commented are arguably only doing so because they feel the need to protect Britain’s national identity.
I have spoken to Atheists, Muslims, and those from other religions, who have agreed that in a country with a Christian identity such as England, it is absolutely fair to put the word Easter on various campaigns; arguing that they are allowed to worship freely, so why can’t Christians? It seems the idea of offending those from other religions doesn’t actually bother the majority of those from the religions at all.
I do believe in religious freedom as we are, in fact, a free and uncensored country. But I also think that it is possible to pick battles on more substantial problems than an egg hunt marketed for young children, who may be more bothered about the potential for free chocolate than they are about the religious implications. It is up to the family themselves to teach their child about religion, or not teach their child about religion, depending on their personal beliefs: it is not up to a corporation.
If the phrasing was a conscious decision by Cadbury to leave out the word so as not to offend anyone, it does seem a bit excessive. However, it’s likely that it’s not all part of some conspiracy aimed to take away from anyone’s religion, but rather a campaign that calls for unity among those who don’t necessarily believe the same things as each other.
As I further examine my “Easter” egg, I decide to continue calling it by its usual name, not because of personal beliefs or any controversy, but because I have the freedom to make that decision. The air feels tense around me as I pay for this chocolate egg, which perhaps reflects society’s tensions itself, but, for now at least, I can console myself with chocolate.