CNN’s BeliefNet writer, Candida Moss claims with a straight face that Christians didn’t steal Easter and that this is just a myth. Yeah, it’s just a myth no doubt created by the Devil or some atheists. Okay, she didn’t say that last part, but you get the idea. The funny part here is that Easter is the one holidays where Christians were too lazy to even bother to change the name of the holiday.
Moss starts off by claiming that Easter has nothing to do with the Goddess Ishtar and that even though “Easter” and “Ishtar” sound the same that doesn’t mean that they are the same. She is of course correct here on both counts. Easter has nothing to do with the Goddess Ishtar nor does the fact that the two nouns sound the same mean anything at all.
I don’t actually recall anyone claiming that Ishtar was the source for Easter. The Goddess Ēastre on the other hand has a lot to do with Easter. It isn’t just that the two proper nouns look and sound the same either. They are the same!!!!
Don’t believe me? I don’t recall reading in the Bible about Jesus ever owning a hare. Perhaps you could point out that Bible verse to me. Oh wait, you can’t because there is no such verse like that in the Bible and Jesus never painted any eggs either.
The story of the Easter Bunny comes from the stories around the Pagan Goddess Ēastre. I should point out that I am using the spelling of her name that most closely looks like the holiday we celebrate today merely to highlight the issue. In fairness, Ēastre has many spellings. Here are just a few: Ēostre, Ostara, and Austrō. Still, we are talking about the same Pagan Goddess and I encourage readers to Google any of them.
There are actually many different versions of the Ēastre story; the most prominent story is that the Goddess came upon a little girl who had found a dying bird. The girl asked Ēastre for help because the bird was not used to the cold weather. Ēastre then melted the snow and brought about the spring. She then turned the bird into a hare that laid rainbow eggs and told the young girl to watch every year for the hare as a sign of the spring season. Traditionally, the Ēastre Festival had focused on fertility to mirror the new life of the spring season.
Now let’s look at the Jesus “Easter” story. In this story, Jesus sacrifices his life to bring about new life for everyone in Heaven. The basic premise is the same — the idea of new life to symbolize the coming of spring. The concept of death and new life is the main theme of the story and yet for some reason we paint eggs and eat chocolate bunnies… but no, Christians didn’t steal Easter at all, lol.
Sorry Christians, but Easter is a Pagan holiday just like almost every other Christian holiday. It isn’t my fault that the early Christian church lacked imagination when they started coming up with holidays. Moss shouldn’t try to distance her religious traditions from its Pagan roots. It won’t make her mythology any less mythical or ridiculous. I don’t really even see why it matters. It’s fun to hunt for Easter Eggs and eat a bunch of candy and at the end of the day that is really the most important part of any holiday – to have fun.