The epistemology of Easter

Mark Driscoll, of Seattle’s Mars Hill church fame, has an Easter post on the Washington Post’s “On Faith” blog. (Are we faithy enough yet?)

It’s beautiful.

…for most people in our culture, Easter is more synonymous with fluffy bunnies, brightly painted eggs, kids hopped up on chocolate and a great meal with family and friends.

And while many Christians happily and freely celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter today, they don’t know exactly how to approach the whole Easter Bunny thing. So, I thought I’d take a moment to share how we do at the Driscoll house.

Just like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny is a hallmark of American culture. So, unless you live in a commune, you can’t pretend it doesn’t exist and that it’s not a significant part of our cultural observance of the holiday.

My wife, Grace, and I choose to tell our five kids that the Easter Bunny, while fun, isn’t a real, magical bunny that hops from house to house laying colored eggs, candies, and toys on Easter morning. That’s a make-believe story, and we have no objections to fun and imagination so long as the kids also know that the Resurrection of Jesus is a historical fact and not a fanciful myth.


Don’t you love it when they do that?

The Easter bunny is a story, but the Resurrection of Jesus is a historical fact.

And Mark Driscoll knows that…how?



  1. Ken Pidcock says

    If someone has a conscience issue with celebrating the holiday, they should abstain, but to rail against kids eating candy and having fun sounds more like the religious types who murdered Jesus than the kids who hung out with him.

    Religious types, eh? Who d’ya think that might be?

    By the way, anybody here want to take bets on who first mentions, apropos of nothing in particular, that John Derbyshire is an atheist? I’ll take Michael Ruse.

  2. F says

    Pfff. All bunnies lay little chocolate eggs. Who the hell does he think he’s kidding?

  3. says

    The Easter Bunny that children dream about may not be real, but, drawing on multiple independent archeological and literary sources, the historical Easter Bunny surely was!

  4. stonyground says

    Religious people seem to have this same outlook with regard to other religions. The fact that the gods, the stories, the miracles and magic in other religions are myths is obvious to them. They cannot help but be aware that the one religion that they do believe in is the one believed in by their own culture. Had they been born in a different time and place then they would regard a different religion as true and the one that they now believe as false.

  5. lordshipmayhem says

    Actually, railing against kids eating candy sounds more like a job for dentists.

    Resurrection of Jesus is a historical fact.

    And the Titanic’s band played Nearer My God to Thee. (Walter Lord examined the evidence: their last song was probably a popular tune of the day, Autumn. At one time he thought it was an Episcopal hymn by the same name, but he kept an open mind.)

  6. says

    The Easter Bunny that children dream about may not be real, but,… the historical Easter Bunny surely was!

    What a relief! I was beginning to feel wounded in my deepest integrity!

  7. says

    Driscoll’s ignorance is on full display here. We “have” a number of documents clearly demonstrating the existence of a historical Easter bunny. Even if he doesn’t believe the Easter bunny hides eggs for all of the children, it is irrational to deny that there once existed a six-foot tall bunny who was obsessed with chicken embryos and lived somewhere in the vicinity of the mall.

  8. Sastra says

    What really bothers me is the way he removes hope. And from children, too.

    Sure, dismiss the Easter bunny if you want. You have the freedom to do so. But exactly what do you plan to put in its place, Mr. Driscoll?

    All I know is that I’ve got a chocolate-rabbit shaped hole in my heart.

  9. carolw says

    I believe in Cadbury Creme Eggs, and Mark Driscoll can’t take them away from me.

  10. sailor1031 says

    I know that six-foot white bunny existed. I saw it in a movie when I was a kid. And the easter bunny is at least as real as the resurrection of the late JC – if not realer!

  11. sailor1031 says

    “I know that six-foot white bunny existed. I saw it in a movie when I was a kid. ” Even though of course it was an INVISIBLE six-foot white bunny!!

  12. karmakin says

    Horrible article.

    Still better than the article the NY Times had for today.

    Starts with the concept that Christianity is more divided than ever before, spends the next bunch of paragraphs giving evidence that actually shows the opposite. Douthat is just upset that the focus is on the ideas instead of the power being given to religious leaders.

  13. Nurse Ingrid says

    My mother, who survived a fundamentalist upbringing, made a similar observation about this type of religious doublethink.

    “Jesus walking on water? That’s a historical fact! Oh, but evolution is just a theory.”

  14. Rrr says

    Around our house, the Bunny (Easter or All-seasons) lays quite a number of spheroidal things. From visual inspection alone, however, I seriously doubt they are composed of chocolate or any other form of candy but rather a form of compost. Maybe that’s only hare where we live? I also suspect the same entity of having consumed most of our croci, leaving only that symbolic calling-card behind. Thanks a lot.

  15. says

    In a similar piece about Santa, Driscoll says he is concerned about lying to children, and about the importance of distinguishing fact from fiction. The problem is, he thinks the way we know what’s true is by believing whatever our parents tell us. But of course if Driscoll had happened to have been born in Saudi Arabia, he would be teaching his children that Allah’s revelation to Muhammad is historical fact, while Jesus’s resurrection is a lie.

    I’ve written more about this here

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