As another vaguely defined cultural and spiritually significant holiday rolls around, doubtless too will another slew of rhetorical strategies to suggest that the marketing departments of global corporations have been bound by the seemingly impenetrable spell of political correctness.
While not much attention is offered to the exploitative practices of child labour, mass deforestation or responsible supply chains among the World’s most prolific chocolatiers, the absence of a particular word on the front of the packaging of a nation's favourite egg-shaped treat is sure to rouse the pink cheeked shouty-men of the Question Time audience.
Almost like clockwork, they will be spurred into action by the sworn enemy of free speech. These valiant upholders of all that is good and great will soon be taking to their keyboards and smartphones to inform us that has once again PC Culture has set about in it’s toxic ways to pollute the very foundations of Christendom and, by extension the values upon which our forebears crafted this great nation.
As much as one may tire from constant, whining utterances of people claiming to be patriotic while simultaneously holding the opposing positions of both loving their country and also hating everything about it, I actually think they have a valuable contribution to make here.
The Bible offers perilous warnings about worshipping false idols, so as a good Christians just maybe we ought not to be rearing our young to worship an overgrown rabbit who sneaks around our gardens at night hiding junk food. After all, the iconography underpinning our spring celebration of Christianity is rooted deep in very Unchristian traditions.
The time of year this celebration occurs is in direct correlation to the pagan celebration of the spring equinox - the first day of the year on which daylight outlasts the night. Ending a great time of concern for our prehistoric ancestors who saw the coming of the light as welcome relief from the months when crops stopped growing and the weather took a decided turn for the worse.
The closest resemblance to biblical teachings that a chocolate egg holds is it being the same colour as the cross Jesus’ life ended on. You see, the egg is a symbol of fertility and regrowth and the rabbit holds similar meaning owing to their natural propensity for huge litters. Rabbits having been traditionally celebrated in Northern Europe as a symbol of Eostre, one Pagan goddess of many.
Adherents to the Christian theology should be immediately offended at the suggestion of the existence of more than one God. So by not including the word “Easter” on chocolate eggs, we can be reminded what the bible has to teach us about the sins of gluttony, greed, sloth and pride and just how offensive the over commercialisation of this celebration should be to actual Christians.
Perhaps the gammon can instead use the money they would have spent feeding their ego’s, Instagram feeds and already protruding mid sections on feeding the homeless and staying true to the values they claim to hold highest above all else.
After all, it’s what Jesus would have done.