Hot cross bummed – a Christian responds
April 20, 2012 § 10 Comments
When I first heard that fellow Christians were protesting about halaal stickers on Woolworths’ hot cross buns, I have to say, I nearly fell off my office chair laughing. Then my jaw dropped as I read the objections – the sheer stupidity and blatant intolerance left me reeling.
I don’t usually advertise my faith in public forums, because frankly, it’s no-one else’s business. And I’m never going to be the kind of Christian who belongs to the Holy Rolling Bible Punching Worldwide Seventh Day Jehovah’s Witness Church of the Latter Day Christian Scientists of the order of Transcarpathia, and beat you over the head with either a Bible or my faith. In the parlance of the day, that’s just not how I roll.
But most of the commentary on the debacle has been either by people of other faiths, or those of no faith at all. I said very little except to remark on Twitter that fundamentalist Christians were their own worst enemies, a view I still hold with regard to fundamentalism of any kind, and within any faith.
So here’s a response from one Christian. I don’t claim to speak for any others, so please don’t take my views out on your perfectly decent Christian friends.
I address my response to the others – the intolerant, petty, small-minded ones who are making a mountain out of a tiny lump of dough. Stop being such blithering idiots. If this is how you interpret standing up for your faith, I think you’d better go and read your Bible again, because you’re missing the point.
The entire thing is made even more stupid because, like most other symbols associated with Christian festivals – Easter eggs, Christmas trees and Yule logs – hot cross buns have pagan origins. Some simple research will tell you that buns marked with a cross were probably first eaten by the Saxons in honour of the goddess Eostre (most likely the origin of the name ‘Easter’, and the cross is thought either to have symobolised the four quarters of the moon or the four seasons (thank you Wikipedia).
So the irony of it all, dear fundamentalists, is that you are vociferously defending a pagan symbol against a faith that has far more in common with Christianity than you realise, sold by a secular store (that really shouldn’t have caved, in my estimation).
And when you carefully select your buns next year from the pile not bearing halaal stickers, will it really make any difference? What if they’re secretly halaal and Woolworths just doesn’t tell you? Why doesn’t the pagan symbolism bother you as much as the halaal sticker?
If you’re still not convinced, here’s a better question, one you love to ask: What would Jesus do?