Reese’s Pieces of April

By Bill Maher

Easter just passed, the holiday where we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ by poisoning our children with marshmallow, chocolate and caramel. It's a difficult holiday for the whole "separation of church and state" thing because it's definitely Christian but it also has a secular component, in that we celebrate with non-Jesus stuff like bunnies and dyed eggs and jellybeans.

The White House gets away with its annual Easter Egg Roll because they keep it about the secular, fun stuff and there's not a sermon or a lot of talk about "He has risen." Otherwise, on Ramadan, they'd have to let a bunch of Muslim kids come on the White House lawn to stone a woman for driving.

But in Dearborn, Michigan, it gets a little more complicated. Dearborn has a large Muslim community and some of the parents there are concerned that the public schools have been handing out flyers inviting their kids to a local Presbyterian church for an Easter egg hunt. They say having the kids dye eggs or make construction paper bunnies is one thing, but school officials passing out flyers to attend a Presbyterian church is an attempt at converting their children to Christianity.

Now, you might think, "Relax. It's an Easter egg hunt, not the Crusades." But I'm reminded of how some Christian parents went ballistic when they heard yoga was being taught as part of gym class. They were sure it was an attempt to lure their impressionable Christian kids into an Eastern religion mindset.

First of all, how powerful is your religion if you think gathering colored eggs or sitting in the lotus position is going to lead to conversion? And second, isn't this exactly why we need to keep state-sponsored endorsement of religion, prayer and creationism out of our public schools? Because there are all kinds of kids with all kinds of faiths, and even non-faiths - and, as Republicans love to say, "It's not the government's job to be picking winners and losers."