Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company in New York.
Among the peeves I keep as pets, chief is my loathing of the Easter Bunny. There are many reasons to hate the Bunny. I will get into why in particular the Bunny, but first to some other pressing business.
Why is it that religious holidays require mascots to make them palatable to secularists who otherwise wouldn’t give a fig about the celebration? While some mascots are cool in their own right, most add nothing and typically detract from the holiday’s expressed purpose.
Take the leprechaun. Actually, don’t take the leprechaun. I am pretty sure that taking a leprechaun is bad luck. But the leprechaun as a symbol of St. Paddy’s Day? A hard-drinking short guy consumed with greed is not a good mascot for a celebration of a great saint’s feast day. A good mascot for Christopher Hitchens’ Day perhaps, but not for St. Patrick’s Day.
Another egregious example of the trend is that stupid cupid. St. Valentine, priest and martyr, gets a pagan symbol of lust as his mascot, it’s not right. It’s not even a good pagan symbol of lust, not that I am an expert in pagan-lust symbology, but I am quite certain there must be a better symbol than an overweight baby with wings and a bow. I am not sure for which day a fat baby with wings is a good mascot, but the feast day of a priest and martyr isn’t one of them.
But here is where my bigger problem begins. Nobody tries to convince children that leprechauns and flying fat babies o’ lust are real. Not so with the Easter Bunny. While many Christians understandably object to the distraction the Easter Bunny causes for the highest of holy days, that is not my real beef. My main issue with the Bunny is the problems he causes for the big man, you know, Santa.
I am convinced that I could get my kids to believe in Santa until they are fifteen if it weren’t for the Bunny. Santa is a real guy, after all. And not just any old guy but a heretic punching Bishop and saint. That is a mascot suitable to his adopted holiday. I mean Santa has some magical abilities, chimney squeezing and faster-than-light animal-powered travel, but at least he maintains the air of plausibility.
But kids know by 3 years old that bunnies don’t talk and they don’t hide eggs. The Bunny doesn’t even have a decent backstory for how he does his perennial breaking and entering. Kids pick up on these things and begin to question early. Oh sure, with bribes of chocolate and jelly beans, they are willing to suspend disbelief for a time, but the questions build. How does the Bunny obtain the plastic eggs and the candy baskets with the Walgreens sticker still attached? OK, that last one may be my bad, but you get the point.
Once the kiddies start asking questions, it causes nothing but problems for the big guy. My children rightly wonder, “If the whole bunny thing is a ruse, what other lies is the man trying to shove down my throat?” And the man doesn’t have a good answer.
It is time something is done about these dumb mascots and an example must be set. Let’s face it, nobody cares if a short drunk or an annoying cherubic aviator bite the dust. Nope. For people to take notice something more dramatic must be done. Something cute and furry must pay the ultimate price.
The Bunny must die.
Long live Santa.