NY Times Doesn't Get Meaning of Easter

April 4th, 2007 2:45 PM

UPDATE at bottom of post.

Our good friends at Get Religion noticed that the New York Times's Dining & Wine section had a bit of trouble today digesting the real meanings of Easter and Passover.

Now, to be fair, no one expects a newspaper's foodies to be experts on the finer points of theology, but it's pretty safe to say that knowing Easter celebrates the physical resurrection of Christ is not asking that much of someone writng a column about foods traditionally associated with the holiday.

That seems to escape the Times's Nancy Harmon Jenkins.

What follows is an excerpt from Get Religion (emphasis mine):

...there are all kinds of intelligent and appropriate religious and biblical references scattered throughout this feature story. Bravo. This is why it is rather interesting to bump into the follow descriptions of the Christian and Jewish seasons that provide the context for the story, in the first place:

Even for those who no longer observe the traditional 40-day fast, Holy Week brings a palpable sense of anticipation. This Sunday, unusually, Western and Orthodox Easter celebrations fall on the same day, while Passover is observed throughout Holy Week and Easter weekend.

If Passover celebrates the resurrection of a people from the death of slavery in Egypt, Easter affirms the resurrection of individual souls. But both reflect ancient beliefs, lodged deep in the Mediterranean psyche, about the resurrection of the natural world after winter’s death.

OK, raise your hand — or click your mouse — if you think that most readers of a national newspaper will find this description of the meaning of Easter a bit, well, lacking. Also, raise your hand if you think that most synagogue-attending Jews will find it strange that the God of Moses was left out of the Passover equation.

Resurrection of nature from the dead of winter? That's a decidedly New Agey, neo-pagan spin on high holidays of two decidedly non-pagan religions. And resurrection of souls is a decidedly gnostic, unorthodox take on Easter, considering Christianity teaches that Christ's physical resurrection to an imperishable, incorruptible body is a testimony to the future physical resurrection of the dead at the Last Judgment.

But then again, what else should we expect from the liberal media?

Last year, an MRC study noted a double standard for the media's treatment of religious fare dealing with orthodox Christianity. The media could not get enough of the decidedly unorthodox film "The DaVinci Code," but had a decidedly negative reception for the biblically faithful Mel Gibson account of "The Passion of the Christ."

UPDATE (15:08 EDT): A new poll shows that 75 percent of Americans who say they are not "born again" do believe Christ was physically resurrected from the dead. So even with relatively secular Americans, the NY Times is, once again, out of touch.