What do you think: Should Edmonds have removed ‘Easter’ from its egg hunt?

[polldaddy poll=6998453]

The City of Edmonds is coming under fire from some local radio talk show hosts Thursday morning after a story appeared in the Herald newspaper Wednesday about the city’s decision of a couple of years ago to remove the word “Easter” from the title of its annual egg hunt.

The city said its decision was based on citizen feedback about a public agency sponsoring an event that had religious connotations.


  1. The poll numbers speak for themselves, welcome to the Edmonds Annual Easter Egg Hunt! Come on city, acknowledge the poor decision someone made and put Easter back in the hunt.

  2. The City cannot sponsor or use tax dollars to pay for a religious event. Something about the Constitutional separation of Church and State. Since an egg hunt has little to do with the religious event of Easter, what is the harm in calling it an egg hunt and encouraging all of Edmonds’ little citizens to participate equally, without feeling the need to call it an “Easter Egg Hunt”, which may or may not reflect their heritage, culture or religion.
    The churches are free to hold Easter Egg hunts, call them Easter Egg hunts, and to pay for them.
    Lighten up folks, it is about the little citizens having a good time. Even those whose culture doesn’t include “Easter”.

  3. I just checked and the White House is having its 135th Easter Egg Roll. It would seem to me that if the federal government can use the term Easter for its egg roll and its prayer breakfast then it should be ok for Edmonds to use Easter in its egg hunt.
    Why did the city move it from city park

  4. In response to Diane to “lighten up folks” I take issue with your opinion. I can say the same about those in favor of omitting “Easter” from the activity. That’s the irony of today’s environment of differing opinions — if you disagree simply disallow the opposition with negative labels. Seems to me the argument of separation of church and state related to a egg hunt screams of “politically correctness” state of mind. Years of tradition celebrated the “Easter bunny”, the ” Easter chicks”, the “Easter bonnet”, the “Easter Parade” and everyone enjoyed the symbolisms. Those were the good ole days when non one attempted to chip away at traditions until there is nothing but generic meaning to the history of celebrations. I’m just waiting for someone to decide it’s time to reform Saint Patrick’s Day and it becomes the “Day of Green.” What a shame!

  5. Why should any government entity (federal, state, or city) sponsor an activity that is based (even tangentially – because I think Easter is not really about eggs, but are traditional symbols) on a specific religion? What is the purpose of sponsoring such an event and what does it say?

  6. Jim may I ask — has your life changed in any way, better or worse, in all the years this country has celebrated the “Easter Egg Hunt” ??

  7. There should be an option for “I don’t care” – seriously, is this what we’ve come to that people are getting up in arms one way or another?

    I have a few select friends who believe that all religious symbolism should be removed from community events and a few select friends that are offended that the rising of Jesus is associated with bunnies and eggs. I have an even larger contingent of friends who just want to enjoy a community event, no matter what it’s called. Easter egg hunt? Sure. Edmonds egg hunt? Fine. Edmonds Easter Egg hunt? Great. “The Annual Event Designed for Kids but Argued Over by Squabbling Adults™”? Sure, why not?

    I’ll be there with my kids – I sincerely hope that we don’t have an angry contingent of buzzkills on both sides of the issue waving silly signs. I promise you that the kids don’t care, and that’s who this is for, right?

  8. It’s about being inclusive. The use of the word “Easter” may make non-Christians feel that they are excluded from participating. Debating this is silly and non-productive.

  9. Note that city officials did tell, per the letter to the editor later in the day, that their records show they stopped using the word Easter in fliers and in the Parks and Recreation “CRAZE” magazine in 2000.

  10. “The Annual Event Designed for Kids but Argued Over by Squabbling Adults™”

    I think you summed it up very well, Aaron. You’ve got my vote for the new name for the event.

  11. I like Jane Schindler’s comments. If you’re going to take “Easter” out of it, just what do you tell your children about why you are hunting eggs? How do you explain how it started? Because if you don’t mention the religious context, then you have to lie or omit part of the story.
    The government was designed to be “of the people, by the people” and from what I’ve seen, there are a lot of our people who are religious. If you’re not, then stay away from religious ceremonies and quit trying to ruin it for the people who are.
    From my standpoint separation from State and church means that our government makes no decisions as to how we are governed based on religious tenents. It doesn’t mean that we can’t be religious. In fact, our Constitution guarantees the right to be religious, or not.
    The thing that is interesting to me is, is that those that have no spiritual beliefs are forcing their beliefs on those who do whenever things like this take place. Their religion is no religion and to deny others to have their events or displays as customary, to me that is not right.

  12. Let me end this discussion on a happy note for me. The Everett Herald edition for today 3/29 has listings of cities conducting egg hunts on Saturday. Out of 15 cities listed 10 are still calling it “EASTER Egg Hunt.” Doesn’t take much to make my happy!
    Wishing all a joyous Easter.

  13. Aaron, spot on. Hope your kids have a great time.

    Paul, I honestly don’t care what it’s called, call it Easter or Spring or Ding Dong’s egg roll. Whatever! I like saying Merry Christmas (which is a recognized federal holiday unlike Easter) and I like that religious people have traditions and celebrations and sacred rites and customs and rituals that add interest and meaning to their lives. Those activities should fill your house of worship with people and love and joy, but they don’t get to be sanctioned by government – even if it is “by” and “for” a lot of religious people. I’m not coming into your church to ruin your holiday – we are talking about your religion coming into the public square and ruining the experience of a neutral common ground that all people can share no matter their belief, color, origin, etc… The government should not (can not) prohibit your free speech or right of association and if you want to hold an event on public land then that can be permitted just like for any other cause, but it can not be sanctioned, or endorsed, or funded by government. It has to be privately organized and run. There are 2 really simple parts of American constitutional religious liberty – 1) individuals can practice religion (free exercise clause). 2) government can not (establishment clause).

    I tell my kids about the Solstices and Equinoxes and how almost all traditions celebrate these transitions of the seasons, but each in it’s own unique way. I don’t lie to my kids by telling them people come back from the dead and excuse them of responsibility for their transgressions of ethical behavior.

    I’m totally confounded by your assertion that “those that have no spiritual beliefs are forcing their beliefs on those who do.” Huh? If they have no beliefs then what beliefs are they forcing on you? Nobody has said you can’t go to church or have Easter whatever there. Black is not a color Paul – it is an abscene of it. A secular government doesn’t force anything on you. The definition of secular is – absent of a mandated belief. A fair government that celebrates your fairytale, also has to revel in others, unless you can offer some objective criteria to exclude them? Would you object to an Edmonds End of Ramadan feast? How about a community commemoration of Yom Kippur? Can I use your tax money to celebrate the Buddha’s Day of Enlightenment, or perhaps Satanists could convice the mayor to pass out apple pie in a celebration of the Devil’s triumph over Eden. Or is it only ok for our government to support Christian holidays? That would make us a theocracy – Like Iran.

    If you want to talk about forcing beliefs, then let’s start with Constantine’s purge or the Inquisition which murdered tens of thousands for thier thoughts, and let’s talk about the Salem witch trials that allowed Christians to steal land from neighbors accused of impeity, Can we get a minister to tie a rock on you and throw you in a river to tell if you are good and pure enough to float? or perhaps we can discuss the treatment of slaves and natives by church missionaries. If these examples of christian virtue are too old, we can look at the religious violence in Africa and the Middle East as fresh examples of the use of force by Christians trying to impose thier views. I am so utterly and completely disgusted and sick of warmongering, gun-toting “pro-life” hypocrites. It’s the christian prosyletizers who have always wanted to cram their mythology down everyone’s throats and now are pouting like babies because atheists have learned to fight back. The world is becoming too smart to accept the sadistic and mysoginist dictates of an old perverted script when science has learned to tell a much more accurate, verifiable, and hopeful story about humans and our relation to the universe. In all the years of humans using religion to guide us, lifespan and population barely changed. Since we applied the scientific method to our problems, lifespan has doubled and population has grown 700%. Clearly one of these things is more effective than the other.

    You forget that the public realm is a shared space and it should be welcoming to everyone. You can express your faith there, but a representative of government is constitutionally prohibited from making any “establishment of religion.” That was included to protect the religious, not the unreligious. It was included so that Protestants can not be forced to attend Catholic mass, so the Orthodox aren’t forced to celebrate Easter on the same day as others, so Jews aren’t forced publicly to accept Christ as a saviour or face tax penalties. It is there so that faith remains a powerful personal force (hopefully for good) rather than another statist tool to control or assimilate the population. The reason religion and government are often merged or closely related in society is because of that power. So keeping religion out of government is a much better policy for religion than it is for government. The separation makes the religious convictions of individuals stronger, and government control over them weaker. In Europe where religion is integrated with most governments in some official capacity, the churches are dying, having been used by politicians over the years to justify every kind of atrocity and corruption. In America, where the governments blunders can not be pinned on a religious denomination, churches have fared much better.

  14. Eric, may I borrow your pulpit! Wow, if I ever need another history lesson I will contact you. Referring to my previous comment about the voice of strong opposition let me just say I’m not convinced your overwhelming rhetoric will cause me to retreat into the “non Christian” population.

  15. It would appear that I hit a nerve with a 5 pound hammer. Anyway, I’m pretty sure I didn’t espouse putting religion into our government and did state that religion should not be part of government rule. Another thing about our Constitution is, is that it was written by some of the most religous people who ever lived. Despite their willingness to be slave owners, for a lot of them, they had religious beliefs.
    Well, Mr. Goodman, if you don’t think that people who are agnostic or atheistic aren’t forcing their beliefs on the religious, then why do we have this debate? When a traditionally religiously related event has to drop the traditionally religiously related part of its name because the agnostics or atheists object, whether it is correctly named or not, then they are forcing their beliefs on the religious.
    Mr. Goodman, I didn’t exclude anyone from anything. If you read more carefully, I only said that people that don’t agree with something should keep out of it if they don’t agree or like it. But they don’t, they try to change it so they can be part of it to fit their beliefs, much to the detriment of the people who were originally partakers.

    I do appreciate your passion.

  16. What do I think about using the term “Easter” as in “Easter Egg hunt” ?

    I think Mayor Earling should ask Ms.Tammy to sit down and have a friendly chat in his office about how he would like her to serve the city in a manner that avoids certain silly PC garbage such as taking the revered term “Easter” out of Easter egg hunt,

    It should also be noted that this incident is one of the best examples I’ve seen of overboard PC (political correctness).

  17. People who don’t want to change derisively call neutral wording PC, but the people who were not included in the old wording simply call it RESPECT. Honoring the dignity of each and every person is central to the identity of the United States and it is worth our effort, even if it takes centuries to make small advances. I have many awesome christian friends that are great people and I didn’t intend to generalize. I also have known some pretty terrible folks that used their religion or beliefs to justify judgement and mistreatment of others (very unchristlike) and that is where my rage comes from.

    Like I said, I still use the christian terms and I think it wise to avoid social conflict in general, but all society’s meet a point when change is going to happen because impacted people’s gain sufficient strength to be heard. Atheists have always objected, but their numbers were small enough in the past to be ignored by the Christian majority. Thomas Jefferson rewrote the Bible, taking out everything supernatural, but he knew to pick battles he could win and did not seek to impose his view on all his contemporaries. Everett Library has a copy. Most of our founders had faith, but also, humility, skepticism and a commitment to principles that they understood would continue to expand liberty for centuries beyond that time and in ways they could hardly fathom.

    I understand when Christians hear that the egg hunt is no longer called “Easter” it feels like a loss, and the people calling for it seem to be attacking you. My experience has been that it’s often really an attempt to be more inclusive. You really have to think hard if you would be willing to attend and tell your friends and family and church buddies that you are attending a Satanist egg roll at city hall. That’s what some Jewish or Muslim mothers go through if she wants to take her kids to an Easter egg roll. Many people hold the exclusion of other religions as part of their faith “Thou shalt have no other God… There is no God but Allah……..” So attending an event labeled as belonging to another religion is not an option they would consider. So while there may be atheists that seek out specifically to remove religion from the public realm, often it is just good people who see the discomfort and exclusion of their neighbors and want to make the language of public events such that ALL of the public feels welcome to participate. Honestly, The Eggs/bunnies/santa claus junk commercialism are things I would gladly let go if I were still Christian. Quite a bit of the reason I am not is the silliness with which some Christians adopt victimhood when challenged, and the tragedy with which they assert dominance when unchallenged.

  18. This years Easter Egg Hunt was a huge disapointment. I don’t think you can even call it an Egg hunt. Ive never seen a Egg Hunt with so many kids leaving without n egg. The only good part was the weather. The venue was too small, the age grouping was brutal…seriously, 5-10 years old in the same group. Not sure why the womn running it had the people spread the candy and the handful of eggs in such small area. I’ve been to about 10 of these things over the years nd this one was the worst egg hunt by far. Even worst then the Mountlake Terrace egg hunt, and that one was awful.

  19. I would rather you referred to the young people as children in lieu of “kids”. “Kids” sounds lazy and disrespectful to me.

    I remember saying a prayer in school and pledging allegiance to the our flag. We actually turned out okay too. I think the children today are being short changed.

  20. If you do not want to hunt EASTER EGGS in Edmonds may I suggest you go hunt poppy growers in Afghanistan.

    PC gone amuck!

  21. “PC” is a disease. Its an infection that turns otherwise intelligent logical people into moronic goofballs.

    Words like “boy” and “kids” are denigrated along with obscene and socially unacceptable words by these PC elitists.

    It is sad that the quality and special significance associated with Easter and Easter egg hunts are diminished and disrespected by misguided narrow minded individuals..

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