Easter in an ever growing non-religious world
reflect on something that I was reading an article on the other day that has caught my attention about these kinds of holidays.
Now, don't get me wrong, I love a long weekend, especially when it involves being able to guilt free, indulge in countless chocolate eggs and bunnys until you become a lump, lying on your bed in the fetal position because all of the chocolate is gone and life can never be good again.
Or at least, that's the usual way that my Easter Sunday goes.
But what's really got me thinking is the fact that it is such a big deal to the majority of first world, English speaking countries.
As per the 2016 census, Christian religions are the most widespread and popular in our great country. A total of 52% of all Australians identify with one of these, which is the large majority when compared to the Australians who identify as Islam (2.6%) and Buddist (2.4%).
This makes sense when you do look around at our country, this is probably not a shock to anyone. What was a shock in the 2016 census was that 30% of Australians identified as having no religion, a huge increase from the 19% that we saw in 2006.*
For me, that then raises a very interesting question. Why is it that Australia, with only just over half of it's population identifying as Christian, are we so invested in celebrating Easter and Christmas?
I completely understand why we do, it's tradition right? Our parents celebrated these things from the second they were born, along with their parents and their parents parents and so on. But with an ever changing religious ideology among our younger generations, will Easter be celebrated by everyone in Australia in the next 50 years? Next 100?
Will it eventually be a less important idea to the country and only be celebrated by those within the faith? Or will the tradition last on into our future?
Now, I'm not saying at all that I want to see these holidays blown to smithereens, as I said, I love a long weekend as much as the next person, but the thing that does frighten me slightly about it are the way that it is celebrated by children in non-religious families.
The emphasis on greed and gluttony that seems to undertone a lot of children's minds these days when it comes to both Christmas and Easter.
Is it buidling a good society for these children, raised by non-religious parents to be taught that Christmas is a holiday to get presents and Easter is a holiday to get chocolate? To be taught not of the important Christian values that underlie these holidays, of giving, of celebration and of faith, but taught to be excited because in just 'three more sleeps' Santa or the Easter Bunny will come and give you chocolate and gifts..
My generation is described as one who live entirely in a world of instant gratification. Could these ideals only be adding fuel to the fire?
* all of these statistics found on the ABS website - http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/mediareleasesbyReleaseDate/7E65A144540551D7CA258148000E2B85?OpenDocument