It sounds bizarre, but it is indeed all quite true. The mainstream manufactures of chocolate easter eggs and bunnies stand accused of rebranding them to avoid offending non-Christians – specifically the complaint is that the word “Easter” or “Jesus” is not emblazoned on each box. This bizarre accusation comes from David Marshall of the Meaningful Chocolate Company, and the details of this are reported as follows …
David Marshall, who set up the Meaningful Chocolate Company, told the International Business Times on Wednesday that it was “deeply disappointing and shameful that some of the biggest companies in the country are censoring the centuries’ old tradition.”
“It shows they’re insensitive and uncomfortable with the Christian faith,” he said.
In a blog on the firm’s website, the Meaningful Easter Company claims to be the only firm to sell eggs bearing the name of Jesus.
OK, this is so strange that it does indeed merit a quick check to make sure it is not some media prankster having a lark.
Does the company actually exist? Yes the company is real and yes their website is pushing a religious message also via http://www.realeasteregg.co.uk where we learn …
Jesus died but came back to life. Easter eggs are a reminder of this Good News
… er yes, this might perhaps be a cue to point out that the entire concept of decorated eggs predates Christianity, humans have been doing something like that for over 60,000 years, and was far more to do with fertility and spring than anything specifically Christian.
I’m also not exactly shocked that a non-religious product that really has nothing at all to do with Christianity is not getting a religious branding.
So the none-Jesus Easter Egg claim goes Mainstream
You can, for example find the story in the UKs Telegraph here, where we learn that there is no grand Chocolatier anti-religious conspiracy at all …
a spokesman for Nestlé insisted there had been no deliberate decision to drop the word Easter from its eggs and that customers would make an “automatic” link with the festival even if the word was not present.
“Chocolate eggs have been synonymous with Easter and the Easter story since the beginning of the last century and the association is now an automatic one,” he said.
“There has been no deliberate decision to drop the word Easter from our products and the name is still widely used at Nestlé.”
The skeptic within me leads me to strongly suspect that this is not really about the word “Easter” or “Jesus” not being printed on the sides of chocolate eggs and is instead more about drumming up lots of free advertising.
Incidentally, as an aside, not only do chocolate eggs have nothing to do with Christianity at all, but also even the word Easter is not in any way Christian. The word is derived from the name of a goddess called Ēostre … but you knew that of course, most do even if Mr Marshall did not.
Happy Chocolate Bunny day everybody.