You’ve heard of the “war on Christmas.” Now we’re witnessing the “war on Easter.”
In 1861, Richard Cadbury created the first-ever heart-shaped box of chocolates. More than thirty-six million such boxes are now sold each year for Valentine’s Day. He and his brother led the company they inherited to honor Jesus in every dimension of their work. They began the day with prayer and Bible readings for the entire workforce. They built a hospital for their employees, constructed housing for their workers, and kept alcohol from being sold in their company’s district.
In 2010, Cadbury Chocolates was sold to Kraft Foods, now called Mondelez International. Now the company has made headlines with its decision to remove “Easter” from the title of a children’s event it sponsors. Formerly known as the Easter Egg Trail, the historic event will now be called “Cadbury’s Great British Egg Hunt.”
The company is quick to note that “Easter” is still part of its promotional materials. Nonetheless, its decision has been criticized by British leaders from Prime Minister Theresa May to the archbishop of York.
What is motivating Cadbury Chocolates to enter the culture wars on the side of secularism? The company notes Britain’s changing religious makeup: “We invite people from all faiths and none to enjoy our seasonal treats.” Cultural commentator Peter York is more realistic. In uniquely British fashion, he blames “some creepy globalist neoliberal, private-equity-driven motive aimed at not offending anyone who has a tuppence in their purse.” Then he adds, “I do rather wish Easter could still be called Easter.”
It is probably true that Cadbury can make more money by marketing a “British Egg Hunt” than it can by supporting the “Easter Egg Trail.” Sex reassignment surgeries generate considerable profits for those who perform them. Companies that embrace the LGBTQ agenda can appeal to customers on the basis of their corporate “diversity.”
To be fair, there are also economic incentives for those who embrace traditional values. Fox commentator Bill O’Reilly has the highest-rated cable news program on television. Conservative media outlets appeal to conservative consumers.
All humans face the temptations common to humans. Consider that fact in light of Maundy Thursday.
Four days earlier, the crowds embraced Jesus with wild enthusiasm. His disciples joined them in their praise. But tonight, his disciples will forsake him; one will deny him; another will betray him. Tomorrow, the crowds will turn from “Hosanna!” to “Crucify!” When Jesus was popular and safe to follow, they did. When he became unpopular and discipleship was dangerous, everything changed.
Human nature doesn’t change. Their temptations are our temptations. Our Father wants to conform us to the image of his Son (Romans 8:29). As we continue with Holy Week, we would do well to seek holy lives.
If you were more like Jesus today, what would change?