In the last couple of days social media has been outraged by the religious desecration of Easter by Cadbury – a company that’s not even now British owned.
The Church of England has accused the National Trust of “airbrushing faith” after it dropped the word “Easter” from its annual Easter egg hunt.The Telegraph
As you can see from the image at the top of this post Cadbury have, indeed, renamed the event.
Cadbury, which sponsors the event, said that it wanted to appeal to non-Christians, saying: “We invite people from all faiths and none to enjoy our seasonal treats.”
And ensuring it’s open to all religions seems, to me, to be quite reasonable.
But have they become all un-Christian? Not really. If you take a look at the website that promotes the event…
Indeed the URL for this is easter.cadbury.co.uk.
The Archbishop of York even said the decision to remove the word Easter from the egg hunt logo was tantamount to “spitting on the grave” of John Cadbury, the Quaker founder of the firm. Which would be a nice thought if Quakers actually celebrated Easter (but they don’t).
But, Cadbury have removed Easter references from their eggs too, haven’t they, so as not to offend people?
This, like the famous ‘Winterval’ story, comes up every year. Look at the front and it normally just says it’s a ‘Wispa Egg’, or whatever it may be. Look on the back and there are lots of references to Easter.
But, hey, nice try.
And let’s also not forget that Easter was original a Pagan festival named Eostre, a great northern goddess whose symbol was a rabbit or hare. In fact most of the symbolising we think of at Easter are nothing to do with the Christian church (although they’ve made great pains throughout the years to find ways to link them)…
Exchange of eggs is an ancient custom, celebrated by many cultures. Hot cross buns are very ancient too. In the Old Testament we see the Israelites baking sweet buns for an idol, and religious leaders trying to put a stop to it. The early church clergy also tried to put a stop to sacred cakes being baked at Easter. In the end, in the face of defiant cake-baking pagan women, they gave up and blessed the cake instead.
The date of Easter is not fixed, but instead is governed by the phases of the moon – how pagan is that?The Guardian
So, really, even if Cadbury were taking the Christianity out of Easter, it is, after all, exactly what Christianity did in the first place.
Hold on, though, Cadbury are pandering to Muslims, aren’t they, with special Halal chocolate?
This is another recent social media storm that’s as accurate as, well, most of them. It started with the following image being circulated…
Except that image, from 2014, is from Cadbury Malaysian, after they were granted (and not requested, it should be added) Halal status (which, whatever you may have read elsewhere doesn’t JUST equate to animals being killed inhumanly). In all cases no changes to the chocolate recipes have been made to be ‘Halal’ and none of the UK products have ever been given the certification.
Even the Prime Minister has taken time today to add her own comment, branding the news story about the Easter Egg hunt ‘ridiculous’ (which I agree with but probably for different reasons). I think the comedian David Schneider summed it up best…
I’m sure Cadbury, like any other large business these days, get up to practices that may be morally questionable. But, right here, there isn’t a story.
And what do we do to promote a British business (it may not be owned by a British company but it’s still based here and employing British workers) – we share crap, made-up stories and threaten to boycott them. Well done fellow Brits, you must be proud of yourselves.