Saturday, April 15, 2006
I thought in this season I would republish this old story from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette because it still makes me choke convulsively on my own t-shirt collar. As you can see from this picture above (not part of the original story), the Processional Pageant of the Penitent Bunny seems to be spreading to other communities around this great nation of ours.
Easter Bunny whipped at church show; some families upset
Wednesday, April 07, 2004
A church trying to teach about the crucifixion of Jesus performed an Easter show with actors whipping the Easter bunny and breaking eggs, upsetting several parents and young children.
People who attended Saturday’s performance at Glassport’s memorial stadium quoted performers as saying, “There is no Easter bunny,” and described the show as being a demonstration of how Jesus was crucified.
Melissa Salzmann, who took her 4-year-old son J.T., said the program was inappropriate for young children. “He was crying and asking me why the bunny was being whipped,” Salzmann said.
Patty Bickerton, the youth minister at Glassport Assembly of God, said the performance wasn’t meant to be offensive. Bickerton portrayed the Easter rabbit and said she tried to act with a tone of irreverence.
“The program was for all ages, not just the kids. We wanted to convey that Easter is not just about the Easter Bunny, it is about Jesus Christ,” Bickerton said.
Performers broke eggs meant for an Easter egg hunt and also portrayed a drunken man and a self-mutilating woman, said Jennifer Norelli-Burke, another parent who saw the show in Glassport, southeast of Pittsburgh.
“It was very disturbing,” Norelli-Burke said. “I could not believe what I saw. It wasn’t anything I was expecting.”