When Good Easter Bunnies Go Bad
Hold everything. Let's get this whole Easter Bunny thing straight. There's a rabbit. He carries a basket. In the basket is candy. And eggs — dyed eggs. Sometimes the rabbit wears clothes... and sometimes he doesn't. A rabbit... carrying eggs. Did he steal them? Were they dyed before he stole them? Or did he steal them and dye them? (Creepy.) Then he comes to your house and leaves eggs there? No, wait, he brings them for your kids, but then he hides the eggs from them? Along with mini edible chocolate renditions of himself? How messed up and strange is that? Who is this random rabbit anyway? What does he have to do with Easter?
Well, eggs are a fertility symbol, the giving of which seems to be attributed to practices begun during the Holy Roman Empire. The bunny (another fertility symbol) bringing the eggs likely started as a tradition in Alsace and was brought to America by Germans immigrating to Pennsylvania Dutch country. What ties them to the Easter's religious traditions?
"I don't see any intrinsic value to the rabbit to the resurrection of Jesus Christ," said Lawrence Cunningham, University of Notre Dame theology professor in an article published a few years ago. "The bunny is a fertility symbol with no religious connection to Easter. The egg, which was popularized in Greece, Russia and Eastern Europe in connection with Easter, does not have a religious connection to Easter. By taking away the term 'Easter,' these symbols to some extent return to their pre-Christian roots as symbols of spring fertility."
So they're pagan symbols of fertility that mirror the religious story of rebirth that is at the center of what this Christian holiday is all about. OK. And this has spawned giant rabbits made of hollow chocolate, chocolate covered marshmallow rabbits, and even marshmallow rabbit Peeps in six different colors, including purple? So, given the Easter Bunny's tenuous link to any actual religious beliefs, it's time to talk brass tacks.
If he stole the eggs you don't think he's the kind of bunny who dyed them himself right? They must have been pre-dyed. Or, he tricked someone else to do it for him, like Santa. Yeah, that's probably what happened. Well what happens after he hides all these eggs from these kinds. Preparation for next year? Doubtful. He probably hangs out late into the wee hours getting himself in trouble with Punxsutawney Phil and the Tooth Fairy at 3 o'clock in the morning. And you know what happens then — nothing good. Drinking beer and whiskey, eating butter-drenched steaks, and deviled eggs. Without further delay then...