Rivers with a somewhat different take on what Good Friday is all about

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

April 14th, 2017



Easter Jesus-on-Cross-

“acknowledging the existence”

This is one of those years when Orthodox and regular Easter fall on the same day, and that is plunk in the middle of Passover. Easter is arguably the holiest of Christian holidays, but it, like religion in general, is declining in North America. It used to be that ‘Happy Easter’ was as common a greeting this time of year as Merry Christmas is around that season. But I can’t remember anyone even acknowledging the existence of the holiday this year, let alone recognizing its religious significance.

Almost a quarter of Canadians consider themselves non-religious now, double what it was less than thirty years ago. About two-thirds of religious folk call themselves Christian, down from over 80% in the early 1990s. And despite all the concern over Sharia law and that Islamophobia, followers of Islam made up little more than three percent of all Canadians according to the last poll taken in 2011. Of course that survey wouldn’t account for recent refugee admissions from places like Syria.

Those claiming to observe the Jewish faith are barely registering these days, the third leg of middle eastern theism – has fallen to a mere one percent. The numbers of all those believers can be expected to further decline over time, despite the ongoing influx of immigrants coming from Asia and Africa, and bringing their faith with them. This trend to less religiosity in our lives, which is also occurring with our neighbour south of the border, may have something to do with the advent of multiculturalism, or the relative affluence of our society, or maybe what’s on the TV.

Easter eggs + people clip

The Easter Bunny is real.

But we still have Easter. It’s a statutory holiday. And Easter does have real meaning for children big and small. It’s the holy Easter Bunny. A couple in Hamilton had their foster children taken away from them because they refused to teach the kids that the Easter Bunny is real. They had miraculously escaped such punishment at Christmas, even though they admit to not teaching the youngsters that Santa was as real as Jesus.

But then Christmas has a more powerful message – it’s that presents are under the tree. Besides, a little baby born in a manger is a far more romantic concept than some guy dying on a cross, getting buried and then rising up from the dead. So you need to teach your kids the real meaning of Easter or you get what you deserve – to lose them to someone who will.

It’s the Bunny stupid! And what better way to celebrate the Bunny than with a Bunny Hop. Hamiltonians will join a number of communities across Canada, though not Burlington yet, in celebrating this adolescent excuse to drink large volumes of a favourite hoppy beverage… and party. Think of the Bunny Hop as replacing the time honoured Easter Parade – screw the bonnet, let’s get drunk.

But this year there is even more reason for those young adults to celebrate, Canada’s Easter bunnies in Ottawa are going to start letting us fill our Easter baskets with more than chocolate and alcohol. The government has just introduced legislation to legalize whacky-tobacky, which means that pretty soon it’ll be legal to grow real pot as your pot plant, share a little tea with Goldie and ‘bogart’ that joint – unless you are under age, of course.


Arguably is less harmful to our health than the alcohol, salt and sugar we currently consume?

Keeping drugs out of the hands and mouths of our children is the official reason for legislating rather than simply decriminalizing marijuana, or continuing the fantasy that keeping it illegal will keep drugs out of kids’ hands – which it hasn’t.

Once the new law is enacted, Canada will be the first developed nation to have a legal framework that allows its residents to grow and use this substance, which arguably is less harmful to our health than the alcohol, salt and sugar we currently consume.

And that means the Eater Bunny has his/her work cut out. Easter eggs and chocolate for children and booze and bud for their parents. Happy Bunny day to all the readers out there. Keep reading and please feel free to add your voice to the discussion.

Rivers looking to his leftRay Rivers writes weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was a candidate for provincial office in Burlington in 1995.  He was the founder of the Burlington citizen committee on sustainability at a time when climate warming was a hotly debated subject.     Tweet @rayzrivers


Background links:

Religion in Canada –   Christianity in USA –    The Bunny Hop –    Easter Facts

Canadian Marijuana Bill –  More Weed

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 comments to Rivers with a somewhat different take on what Good Friday is all about.

  • Alide Camilleri

    The Easter Bunny is a reminder of our Northern European pagan spring celebrations and was introduced into NORTH America German immigrants to Pennsylvania when Wm Penn settled that territory, and into Canada when German settlers were brought to Halifax in 1750-2 to help settle Nova Scotia and build Halifax after the Brits brought over failed to do the job. The Easter bunny is a bit of joyous fun for children, while we adults are supposed to celebrate the far more esoteric and spiritual component of the resurrection of Jesus. I make a point of saying Happy Easter in stores just as I say Merry Christmas. I realize that observant Christians are few and far between these days, not just in North America but also in Europe. Still, we should not be afraid to admit to our belief just because it isn’t fashionable anymore. – As for the Easter Egg Ottawa dropped into the basket this week, it is a costly one, and a stupid one. It won’t protect our children because parents no longer fulfill their control over their children’s behaviour, and because experts are no longer believed. The medical profession knows that marry joe affects the brain of young people, yet Ottawa sets the limit age at 18. – God help us all. The black market aimed at children will flourish despite what politicians say, just as we haven’t managed to keep alcohol and cigarettes out of the hands of youngsters. The police will be overstressed with trying to keep our roads safe. One only has to look at the disregard of drivers to put down their phones while sharing the road with those of us who wouldn’t dream of texting while driving. But today’s millennials are so self-involved they think they know better than experts, then their elders or teachers. – So, yes, while the Easter bunny is a fun aspect of the more serious nature of Easter, the egg dropped into our basket by Ottawa will be a costly one to all Canadians tax-wise, because it will require a totally new bureaucracy, and in the messed up lives marijuana will leave behind.

  • All these fantasy days, coupled with fantasy inducing substances, has me wondering why, with so many real problems facing the world, we continue to engage in – even enhance, behaviors which distract us from reality. Future generations, if there are any, may well classify us according to some level of psychopathology.