A Christian-based legal defense alliance wants to make sure everyone understands that schools in the U.S. may talk about Easter in the historical sense of what is written in the Bible about the time of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection – not just about chocolate Easter bunnies.
The Alliance Defense Fund published a memorandum last week which states that courts have long held that it is permissible to objectively discuss the different holidays (including Easter) that are celebrated and what their meaning is to those who celebrate them.
ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman wrote in a blog posted last week – titled “Easter: Bunny or Jesus?” -that simply talking about Jesus does not violate the “so-called separation of church and state.”
“Easter brings different thoughts and holds different meanings to different people,” Cortman stated. “Some think first of that chocolate Easter bunny that you may get (if you’ve been good, maybe it will even be solid chocolate and not just that thin outer shell with nothing inside but air). Or those marshmallow peeps (my kids love those). Or the Cadbury eggs. But to many, Easter is first and foremost about the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Arguably the most important day in Christendom.”
Historically, students and teachers in America have freely celebrated holidays like Easter and Christmas by decorating classroom bulletin boards, learning traditional songs, and exchanging cards and gifts with classmates, ADF stated in its memo.
“In recent years, certain groups opposed to public religious expression have spread misconceptions – through fear, intimidation, and disinformation – about the legalities of celebrating these holidays in public schools,” the officials at ADF continued. “As a result, many school officials have removed nearly all religious references to Easter and replaced them with secular symbols.