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Is Easter Pagan?

04/04/2012 Comments (25)

You often hear that Easter is "a pagan holiday." This claim is made, variously, by some Christian Fundamentalists (who want to do away with or re-brand Easter), by some atheists (who want to undermine Christianity), and by some neo-pagans (who want to undermine Christianity and claim Easter for their own).

People advancing this argument will argue that rabbits, eggs, and other symbols associated with Easter are fertility symbols--and we all know that fertility symbols are a dead giveaway for paganism, right?

They'll also say that the very name "Easter" is itself a giveaway--that it's derived from the Mesopotamian goddess "Ishtar." (Hear how her name even sounds like "Easter"?)

Or else they'll say that it's derived from an Anglo-Saxon goddess named "Eostre." And when they say th, they even have a saint and scholar--who just happens to be a doctor of the Church!--on their side. (It's the Venerable Bede.)

But there's more to this story than they suppose.

In fact, it turns out, only a person whose native language is English, or perhaps German, would even advance this kind of argument. If your horizons are a bit broader, the true origin of Easter is devastatingly obvious.

In this video, I go into the whys and wherefores of it all.

If you think the video is helpful, please share it with friends--especially those who have heard or who themselves make the "Easter is pagan" claim.

By the way, this Easter Sunday I'm going to be sending out "7 Reasons Jesus Rose from the Dead (Defending the Resurrection)."

If you'd like to get that, sign up here by Holy Saturday and you'll have it in your email inbox on Easter morning.

It'll give you something to help people understand the true essence of Easter, as well as the basis of the Christian faith.

In the meantime, what do you think about all this "Easter is pagan" business?

Filed under atheists, easter, fundamentalism, goddess, holidays, neo-pagans, pagan, paganism, pagans

About Jimmy Akin

Jimmy Akin
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Jimmy was born in Texas, grew up nominally Protestant, but at age 20 experienced a profound conversion to Christ. Planning on becoming a Protestant pastor or seminary professor, he started an intensive study of the Bible. But the more he immersed himself in Scripture the more he found to support the Catholic faith. Eventually, he entered the Catholic Church. His conversion story, "A Triumph and a Tragedy," is published in Surprised by Truth. Besides being an author, Jimmy is a Senior Apologist at Catholic Answers, a contributing editor to This Rock magazine, and a weekly guest on "Catholic Answers Live."