Sunday, April 24, 2011

Anything but 'Happy Easter'

Bah humbug. In my book, reducing Easter to a banal American idiom is the quickest way to wrench all meaning from it. And yet we dumbly grin and blissfully wish each other "Happy Easter" as if the Christ figure, real or imagined, is nothing more than a smiley face button wrapped in a bow. For much of humanity, Easter is indeed a special day. Devout believers engage in joyous prayer and worship. "But from this earth, this grave, this dust, My God shall raise me up, I trust," as Walter Raleigh said. Secularists (or Spring fertility pagans) might deeply contemplate life and its meaning. "For I remember it is Easter morn, And life and love and peace are all new born," as Alice Freeman Palmer said. In any case, why do so many of us insist upon reducing this day to a weekend party slogan with "Happy Easter?" Ironically, on this most Christian of Christian holidays, an ancient Muslim greeting is probably the most appropriate of all: "Peace be upon you."

No comments:

Post a Comment