Steven Colbert has spent as much time skewering Easter kitsch as he has politics lately on his talk show “The Colbert Report”–and I love him for it. Hypocritical as it may seem, Santa Clauses and elves don’t seem to bother my Midwest evangelical sensibilities much at Christmastime, while duckies, bunnies, and chocolate-covered eggs really get on my last nerve at Easter. I have never found that either pretty bonnets or hunting for eggs has helped me reflect with fresh insight on the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. So I have been laughing at Colbert’s commentary even more than usual, because his ongoing series “Easter Under Attack” has given a hilarious voice to all of my frustration with the crass commercialization of a holy holiday.
In past episodes, Colbert has focused on everything from what dying eggs might have to do with Jesus dying on cross to a business in St. Paul that required one of their secretaries to remove Easter decorations from her desk. In last night’s episode, Walgreens was the target of Colbert’s satirical scrutiny because of a special they were running on their latest stuffed toy–“praying bears.” According to Colbert, unlike bunnies, “bears have nothing to do with our Lord Jesus Christ. Bears don’t pray because they are godless killing machines. Walgreens is using Easter to make bears seem adorable and devout so we lower our defenses so when we see bears in the woods we’ll kneel dow to pray with them…”
Yes, with absurd insights like that, my faith in the possibility that the meaning of Easter won’t be lost after all has definitely been renewed.