Sheela-na-Gig aka Jeanne Rathbone

Let’s nail Easter.

Posted in Religion by sheelanagigcomedienne on February 28, 2011

This bloody EASTER re- enactment was stopped.


The re-enactment complete with half-naked bloodied Jesus on a large wooden cross was set up by the Heaven On Earth church group in order to coincide with the Easter long weekend. However, a complaint was made to the police by residents that the sight of a man covered in blood was “absolutely disgusting” and had upset young children.

A resident, Louise Bridges, who lives close to the Market Square Shopping Centre where the re-enactment was staged, said that this scene disturbed her 6-year old son. She says that they were really hurting (Jesus) because he was covered in blood and moaning and calling out ‘why, why?’” which made her son upset.

The laws for forbidding threatening or indecent language or behavior in public were used by the police to shut down the display.

But pastor Sarah Kenneally said that the re-enactment was supposed to “get people to stop and think about what Easter is really about and they had missed the poin..” Speaking to ABC radio, she said that it is a country that is free, a place where everyone is allowed to express religious beliefs.

The closing down of the display was not to affect the religious belief rather it was due to numerous complaints from the public regarding offensive behavior and the display as revealed by the police.


Isn’t it time that we again challenged the nonsense that a national holiday is determined by a religious  diktat. I am, of course, talking about Easter  Bank  Holiday.  As you all probably know Easter occurs on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the 21st of March. Surely, it is time we nailed it down.

Calls for the date of Easter to be fixed have been heard periodically over the years and parliament voted for such a move in 1928. The Easter Act provides for Easter to fall on the first Sunday after the second Saturday in April. But it can only be brought into effect if Christian churches around the world agree.

An article in the Criminal Law and Justice Weekly ( April 2009) puts the case succinctly and quoted  Denis Cobell, of the National  Secular Society, as saying that  they would prefer a unified spring holiday not linked to the religious festival, and Good Friday and Easter Monday should not be bank holidays. “It would be far more sensible from the point of view of both schools and employers and people who work if there was an early spring holiday, probably around the first weekend in April.”

The article continued: ‘In 1926, the League of Nations proposed that the date of Easter should be fixed as the first Sunday after the second Saturday of April. With reasonable promptness, Parliament passed the Easter Act 1928 in order to achieve this objective within the United Kingdom. However, even the totally secular (or other non-Christian) observer cannot fail to have noticed that Easter remains a moveable feast. On this occasion the most obvious explanation also happens to be the correct one: no commencement order has yet been made to bring the 1928 Act into force. There is, of course, nothing unusual about statutes falling into a state of limbo until appropriate commencement orders are made, but even this fact of legal life leaves 80 years without a commencement order looking like an unconscionably long period of suspended animation.


A secular observer might have difficulty in understanding why fixing the date of Easter should ever have given rise to a legal problem, as distinct from a religious one. Why should the religious authorities not identify their holy days, while the state identifies its holidays? After all, the good governance of neither religious nor secular life was prejudiced in 1971 when the Spring Bank Holiday was introduced on the last Monday in May. More particularly, no great difficulty arose from the fact that the new holiday replaced the Bank Holiday which had previously fallen on the Monday following the Christian feast of Whitsunday, or Pentecost, (which continues to fall/on the seventh Sunday after Easter).

Since the 1928 Act itself provides no legitimate reason for failing to bring its provisions into force, the Government should embark on a formal consultation exercise with the Churches. The Churches would, of course, object; and the Government would be legally bound to have regard to their objections, but it would not be bound to act upon them. Indeed, in the almost certain absence of any fresh and convincing arguments to the contrary, the Government would have ample grounds for proceeding to make a commencement order. Of course, some further delay would be inevitable, since regard would have to be had to the legitimate commercial interests of people such as the publishers of calendars and diaries, and the legitimate planning interests of people such as sporting bodies and the providers of education. However, these interests could easily be the subject of another consultation exercise, conducted in parallel with that involving the Churches.

Quite apart from anything else, any Government which acted in this way would be doing no more than complying with the biblical injunction to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and to render unto God that which is God’s.

Why are we waiting?  Let’ s assert  our ‘muscular liberalism’ and demand a sensible solution to this nonsense from the coalition government starting with a petition?


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