Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented today on efforts to make Easter disappear:

“Last year, the tolerant folks who run the malls in Palm Beach, Florida decided to rename the Easter Bunny ‘Baxter the Bunny,’ etc.  Not that such sensitivity is new: John Leo reported in 1995 that the annual Easter Egg Roll at the Bronx Botanical Garden was changed to the Spring Egg Hunt (‘hunt’ had to be used lest people expected a Chinese appetizer, Leo said).  We decided to track this phenomenon by doing a Nexis search.

“There were no reported Spring Egg Hunts in the 1980s until 1988 and 1989; there was one in each of those years.  From 1990-1994, there was an average of 2.6 Spring Egg Hunts.  From 1995-1999 the average jumped to 10.8.  And from 2000 to date, the average is 28.

“What’s driving this?  The owner of the Apple Holler farm in Racine, Wisconsin explained in 2003 that ‘Big Bunny Weekend sounded better than Easter Bunny Weekend’ because ‘there’s absolutely nothing inferred there.’  Not even that he joined the sensitivity police?  A local official living in Milford, Connecticut confessed last week that ‘One person said we’d offend someone if we call it an Easter Egg Hunt, that’s all it took.’  Isn’t that sensitive?  No one complained yet the decision to neuter the event was done anyway.  Aaron Burgin of the Porterville Recorder showed how insensitive he was this year when he wrote a short piece about the California town of Porterville having a Spring Egg Hunt: he mislabeled his article, ‘Easter Egg Hunt.’  Those who think this is a blue state trend, think again: four towns in Georgia have censored Easter events by calling them ‘Children’s Egg Hunt,’ etc.  Best of all was the eviction of the Easter Bunny from St. Paul by Tyrone Terrill.  We hope the Easter Bunny suit we sent him fits.

“Look for Irving Berlin’s ‘Easter Parade’ to be renamed the ‘Spring Parade,’ though we doubt the author of ‘I’m Dreaming of a White Holiday’ would approve.”

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