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Faith isn’t reason to persecute Easter Bunny

All the Elmer Fudds of the world are out to get that “Wascally Wabbit.”

But I’m not talking about Bugs Bunny. Everyone seems out to get a rabbit of different breed — the Easter Bunny.

Apparently, some people feel that the Easter Bunny should be put out to pasture. These are likely the same people that want to see Santa Claus get stuck in a chimney.

Somewhere along the path of trying to keep the real meaning of Easter and Christmas, we may have lost our way.

I read a recent complaint that, by including the Easter Bunny in the holiday celebration, we are worshipping a false idol.

That argument is similar to the ones used by critics who say that Santa Claus has no place in the Christmas celebration because he in someway diminishes the true meaning of the holiday, the birth of Jesus Christ.

Both claims are ridiculous.

True faith can certainly make room for common sense and understanding, can make room for religion and tradition.

Are we truly so shallow that we cannot understand that these holidays can include all these traditions, religious meanings and personal significances?

It is extremely important each of us recognize the true meaning of these holidays, as they apply to our individual faiths, and convey that to our children.

Hopefully, everyone will spend some time today to reflect on the meaning of Easter and that this is in recognition of the resurrection.

But nothing is wrong with coloring Easter eggs, wrapping a basket or taking a child to see the Easter Bunny.

The same goes for Santa Claus.

We have to keep “Christ” in our Christmas celebrations, reflecting on what that holiday means.

Those who want to sterilize the holiday by removing “Merry Christmas” from the accepted greetings are way off base. But the other side of that coin is that Santa Claus needs to keep on sledding.

Ultimately, these holiday traditions have evolved over the years as a way to engage children and give them something to celebrate.

This provides the perfect avenue for parents to teach their youth about the true meanings of Easter and Christmas.

We must all remember that America was founded by individuals who were fleeing religious persecution, individuals who were seeking to create a place of religious freedom and tolerance.

And while this certainly extends to the fact that we must all be accepting and understanding of religions different from our own, it also means that we have to allow each person to honor their faith and celebrate religious holidays in their own ways.

The Easter Bunny can keep hopping; Santa can keep flying in the clear blue skies. But we mustn’t ever lose sight of why the icons are relevant in the first place.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at mike.caldwell@irontontribune.com.