New Brunswick — He may be the son of God, but the anniversary of his death and resurrection is pulling little weight with municipalities in New Brunswick. While some churches petitioned the mayors of the province’s largest municipalities to lower their flags in recognition of Easter, the cities’ response has local Christians in a flap.
“Cities lower their flags all of the time in recognition of important people and public figures that pass away. Well, there’s no more important person in the known universe than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” says Christian Marjorie Vaughan. “I don’t see why the cities can’t recognize His death the same as other public figures on the anniversary of his death and resurrection. This disrespectful stance is secularism run amuck.”
The province’s 5 largest municipalities — Saint John, Moncton, Fredericton, Dieppe, and Riverview — all received the request to lower the flags several weeks ago from a group of United Baptist churches in Southern New Brunswick. The group petitioned that the flag be lowered on Good Friday, and raised again on Easter Monday when Jesus is purported to have been resurrected. Each council debated the motion and after consultation decided that lowering the flag did not adhere to any known convention on the practice.
“Hey, I’m the son of a minister, so I totally understand the importance of the holiday and its meaning for Christians,” said Saint John Mayor Mel Norton. “That said, I just can’t go making up flag rules to suit the tastes and preferences of certain churches. Considering that His death was over 2,000 years ago, we will leave it to the churches to memorialize each in their own way and keep city government out of it.”
Norton has a point. While it is a special day for Christians marking the anniversary of Jesus’ crucifixion and reportedly miraculous resurrection, Quispamsis teen Avary Leblanc had no idea about the religious connotation of the holiday. “Sorry, I don’t know what you mean by being raised from the dead. Are you talking zombies? Like The Walking Dead? Hey, by the way do you think they killed Daryl?”
Vaughan says the church plans to change their tactics next year. “I think they only way we can make the religious meaning of Easter relevant again is to marry it with the secular celebration. For example, next year we plan to put on a huge Easter egg hunt in each municipality. But, each chocolate egg will have a tiny sticker of our crucified Saviour on it. I think that will really get the kids’ attention and remind them of the true reason for the holiday.”