Fox News host Sean Hannity, citing complaints by The Catholic League’s Bill Donohue, devoted an entire segment last night to the “War on Easter.”
What evidence is there for the “War on Easter?” The Catholic League put out a release yesterday from Donohue making its best case. Donohue writes, “Adults in Munson Township, Ohio were ordered to call their Easter Egg Hunt the Egg Hunt.” But here’s what you see if you go to the Munson Township website:
As it turns out, Munson (pop. 6,621) decided for the first time ever to host a community event featuring an Easter Egg Hunt and the Easter Bunny. At an initial planning meeting, Irene McMullen — one of the town’s trustees and a former Sunday School teacher — suggested not including the word Easter in the name of the event. This was leaked to the press and created a backlash including “threats” and “profanity-laden phone calls.” At a April 13 meeting, McMullen announced that the final decision was to include Easter in the name of the event.
Donohue also cites “Third graders at a Seattle school [who] were told they must call Easter Eggs ‘Spring Spheres.’” The basis of this claim is a 16-year-old private school student named Jessica who called into a right-wing radio show. She claims the edict was communicated to her by an unnamed public school 3rd-grade teacher when she offered to give her student plastic eggs filled with candy.
Seattle Public School spokeswoman Teresa Wipple told ThinkProgress that two weeks ago the school system sent out an email to every region seeking information about “Jessica’s” story. They haven’t received any indication that the incident actually occurred.
Donhue’s other evidence of a “War on Easter” is even more puzzling. He cites:
— A filmmaker who claims to have found the nails used to crucify Jesus
— Time Magazine featuring an evangelical Christian on the cover of a magazine
— An column written by an atheist British comedian (Ricky Gervais)
— A song about Judas by pop provocateur Lady Gaga
How any of this constitutes a “War on Easter” is left unexplained by Hannity or Donohue. Donohue concludes his release: “we don’t make these things up.” Actually, he does.