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Easter Under Attack in America

By Dr. Sam CurrinSam Currin Raleigh, NC

Eastertide 2024 has come and gone. Holy Week—the seven days between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday—is the most sacred period on the Christian calendar. Celebrated throughout all Christendom, Easter has largely remained a deeply religious celebration that has not suffered the crass commercializing of the Christmas holidays.

Without the resurrection, of course, there would be no Christianity. As the apostle Paul wrote, “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” (1 Cor.15:14 NIV).

Resurrection Sunday is traditionally a high attendance day in most churches complete with baptisms and special music. It’s also a time when families gather to share a Sunday dinner together as in the old days. Many children will typically get new Easter outfits to wear to church. No wonder Easter is such a time-honored tradition among Christian families.

This year, however, Holy Week seemed to have more than its usual share of distractions and detractors. For one thing, it had to compete head-on with March Madness and the basketball-driven mania of the nation, not to mention the ACC. The games in the Sweet Sixteen brackets were played during Holy Week itself; no time off for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, or even Resurrection Sunday. And Wolfpack basketball was the talk of the state.

Professional hockey also beckoned with 19,000 fans wildly cheering on the Carolina Hurricanes for securing a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs by defeating the Detroit Red Wings at Raleigh’s PNC arena on Maundy Thursday no less.

And did I mention all the hoopla about the Tarheel state’s new experiment with legalized online sports betting? In the first week alone, an astounding $200 million was wagered on sports teams.

Having spoken with several pastors, I could easily sense their disappointment with the small crowds in attendance at special Holy Week services. And many congregations could not even fill their sanctuaries for Easter Sunday worship.

But nothing could have prepared the American church for the double-barreled shotgun blast from the Biden White House on Good Friday.

First, Biden officials banned children of servicemembers from submitting designs for eggs at the White House Easter Egg Roll that included Christian wording or symbols. That order was then followed by a bizarre White House proclamation whereby Biden declared Easter Sunday as the “Transgender Day of Visibility.”

He might as well have dropped a bomb on the National Cathedral. The backlash was swift and furious. House Speaker Mike Johnson stated that “Biden had betrayed Easter’s central tenet—the resurrection of Jesus Christ—by banning religious symbols and declaring “Transgender Day” on Easter Sunday.”

President Trump called on Biden to apologize to the American people. A spokesman for the former president said, “Sadly, these are just two more examples of the Biden Administration’s years-long assault on the Christian faith.”

Religious leaders from across the country also condemned Biden with Dr. Jack Graham, pastor of one of the nation’s largest churches, calling the president’s actions a “declaration from hell.” Unsurprisingly, Biden’s actions were a major topic of conversation in churches on Easter Sunday morning. Not what we needed on the most solemn Christian day of the year.

If you believe the polling data and various surveys, Christianity in America is struggling and declining. Less than half of Americans now belong to a church. Belief in orthodox Christian doctrine is at an all-time low.

Many speculate that the Biden White House committed a serious political blunder with its Good Friday pronouncements. Perhaps. But the president’s advisors are no doubt studying the same cultural surveys I read and just may have concluded that they are right in line with where America is headed. If so, the long-term consequences for the country are far more frightening than a one-time Holy Week distraction.


Dr. Sam Currin (, a former judge, law professor, and United States Attorney lives in Raleigh. An ordained Baptist minister, he holds degrees from Wake Forest University, UNC School of Law, and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. 


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