Religious activists were outraged today after the St. Paul City Council removed a stuffed rabbit, colored eggs and a sign saying “Happy Easter” from its offices. “This is blatant religious discrimination and another blow against diversity,” said Dru Idish, spokeswoman for People Against God and Nuance (PAGAN), who’s organization staged a demonstration outside City Hall. “I guess the City Council thinks it’s okay to offend Pagans because we usually don’t go around chopping people’s heads off, but we’re simply not going to take it anymore.”
Idish explained that Easter is named after Eastre, or Eostre, the Saxon goddess of dawn, spring and fertility whose symbols are the hare and the egg. “Dyed eggs have been used as part of pagan rituals since the dawn of history in the Near Eastern civilizations, yet the City Council appears to have no regard for history or tradition, or even community standards which have long honored the Easter Bunny,” Idish said.
Idish and her group appeared to have at least one officially sympathetic ear as City Council member Dave Thune said “it’s a shame” to remove the items. “This has just gone too far,” he said. “We can’t celebrate spring with bunnies and fake grass?* Still, I guess it’s better to nip this in the bud before we have someone use tobacco plants in an Independence Day display.”
When asked if other, more mainstream, religions might also identify with the significance of rebirth and renewal, Idish reacted strongly. “Jesus Christ, let them get their own day,” she said.
* Actual quote.