I was raised Catholic, took Communion every weekend for the first seventeen years of my life, attended catechism classes, got confirmed, went to Catholic high school, spent four years at a Jesuit university… and then almost immediately stopped believing in any of it.
Despite my atheism, Mom and Buried and I have considered raising our son with some kind of religious background, and letting him decide for himself if he wants to run with it. Because having a foundation in something can be a positive thing, and for all its faults, religion can instill positive values that needn’t always be married to harmful dogma or bizarre myth.
So maybe we’ll teach him about the guy who was born from a virgin and rose from the dead and knows everything about everyone. But we’ll never teach him about the Easter Bunny. Talk about absurd!
There are a lot of goofy beliefs out there. You don’t need to watch HBO’s Scientology documentary to know that. We all cling to something; none of us is immune to that. So I don’t begrudge you yours, so long as you don’t use it to bludgeon me.
(For a short period in the mid-80s, I believed that Huey Lewis and the News was the best rock band on the planet! Cut me some slack: I was 10 years old.)
But one belief my son won’t be clinging to is that of a bunny that lays eggs. No way no how. I don’t care if its origins are Christian or Pagan or Roman or Dr. Seussian, that shit is just stupid.
I get Jesus; Jesus offers salvation. Santa Claus is absurd, but at least he brings toys. The Tooth Fairy is pretty ridiculous too, but at least the Tooth Fairy drops some cash on you. Even believing in L. Ron Hubbard’s obviously-and-without-the-benefit-of-thousands-of-years-of-calcified-belief completely made-up Xenu has an upside. I can’t even come close to explaining what it is, but it has something to do with a lot of nonsensical acronyms, becoming something called “clear” and sometimes having lots of people question your sexuality.
There’s just no upside to believing in the silly rabbit known as the Easter Bunny.
So this weekend, we’ll probably be going to church, because it’s what we do when we visit my parents. And we’ll probably even go on an Easter Egg hunt, because running around in a field to find chocolate should at least tire the kid out! But we won’t be posing for any pictures with the Easter Bunny because you have to draw the line somewhere.
Which is a shame, because those shots of kids screaming next to a gigantic talking rabbit always make me laugh.