Culture Fail: All Hail the Easter Jesus

Photo by Jen Matteis.

If your neighborhood is anything like mine, it’s impossible to walk a block without encountering the Easter Jesus. At first glance, it looks like a real estate sign: thin board mounted on dual wire posts. Then, you read it: “EASTER Jesus HE IS RISEN.” Your brain does a bit of a double-take. We all lose a little faith in humanity. Christians second-guess their faith. Agnostics slide a little nearer atheism. Atheists shiver in disgust and then pat themselves on the back. A certain percentage of the population may develop headaches.

It’s not that I have anything against Christianity or freedom of expression; I just think Jesus is classier than this. Yard signs are all well and good for selling homes, promoting tag sales, saying that your paving company did a good job, or proclaiming “FREE firewud.” They may not be the best way of showing your love of the son of God and your faith that he came back from the dead.

Also, the Easter Jesus is fundamentally not telling us anything that we don’t know. We all know that it’s Easter. No one reads “EASTER Jesus HE IS RISEN” and comes away enlightened. If anything, they will, as I did, get this bizarre image in their heads of the “Easter Jesus.”

The Easter Jesus is a failure on about a million counts. It offends Christians by making religion downright tacky. It sells something that should be sacred using exactly the same methods and level of tact as a “Vote for [Your Candidate Here]” sign. It’s almost worse than inflatable Santas and glowing reindeer because it tricks you into reading it. And then it’s in your head. Forever. The Easter Jesus.

Please take them down. Putting Jesus up on a tacky real estate sign is killing him in effigy, again, almost as much as putting the poor guy up on a cross. (Also: Easter was almost two weeks ago.)

If you must keep these signs, here are some suggested alternate wordings:

The more grammatically correct version: “EASTER Jesus HE HAS RISEN”

The completely grammatically correct version: “It’s Easter! Jesus has risen.”

A version in which the meaning is clear to the viewer: “I am a Christian and this is my lawn.”

The preferred version: “ALL HAIL THE EASTER JESUS”

by Jen Matteis

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