The Guardian reports that supermarkets will offer chocolate easter eggs with messages about the holiday's religious significance. Money quote:

The packaging tells customers: "Easter is all about cute bunnies, fluffy chicks and eating too much chocolate, right? Well, not quite. We happen to think it's a bit more meaningful than that."

The chocolate is fair trade, and two charities benefit. There is some (as far as I know) made-up syncretistic symbolism. (They say the egg represents the stone in front of Jesus tomb?!? Any militant pagans out there to refute that??) I'm intrigued by the approach. And perhaps it's a theological/symbological/sacramental shortcoming of mine, but I'm made a bit queasy by chocolate crosses attempting the same reminder of "the reason for the season." (I've seen no chocolate crucifixes, thank God.) I think this caught my eye because I was recently in one of those giant, year-round Christmas stores that was very insistent on the religious meaning of that holiday, (while reveling appropriately in all the silly fun that goes with it.) They had a tiny Easter section that seemed to be entirely about the bunny/chick/egg fertility festival, without much acknowledgement of any further meaning to the day. Curious. It's also curious that this is a news item in the first place--that religiously themed Easter candy is deemed odd, and that this is somehow a "victory" in a "fight against secularism." Oh, please. I imagine Christians could celebrate the resurrection of Christ even without religious candy. Cue the Who's down in Whoville...Nonetheless--Easter, fair trade, charity, AND chocolate? Yum!

Lisa Fullam is professor of moral theology at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. She is the author of The Virtue of Humility: A Thomistic Apologetic (Edwin Mellen Press).

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