Spring Spheres and the Vernal Equinox BunnyBy Patrick J. Deneen for FRONT PORCH REPUBLIC
Our return to a distinctively modern form of paganism is nearly complete – a teacher at a Seattle school approved a “hunt” for round object containing sweets and surprises on the condition that they be called “Spring Spheres.” Apparently the children didn’t get the memo – upon seeing the vernal orbs, they exclaimed, “Ooh, Easter Eggs!!” They will be sent to re-education camps.
It would be perhaps forgivable, if still rather ridiculous, if such a “re-naming” were fundamentally open to the deeper truth of Spring as a time of new life, renascence and Resurrection. However, fed a steady supply of industrialized foods, kept relentlessly indoors both in and out of school, and on a path to preparation of education in birth control and STEM, our new paganism doesn’t even have the virtue of promoting a close proximity to nature’s rhythms and sources, destroying even the lived conditions that historically preceded Christianity. The old paganism had the virtue of openness to Christian truth – the new paganism aims at destroying even that openness. It should not be surprising that the greatest growth in Christianity today is likely to be in forms that are most divorced or even hostile to the experience of cyclical and circular liturgical worship. It’s not only the public schools that don’t know the connection between Spring and an Easter Egg – Mere Krustianity reinforces the new paganism, working in tandem to ensure nature divorced of sacrament, Christianity divorced of nature.