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Willard Preacher: Easter Bunny Not Real

Every weekday, especially “All Sinner’s Eve,” or Thursday, Gary Cattell preaches outside the Willard Building, just like he has been doing for the past 30 years. This week, Onward State asked the Willard Preacher a few questions about Easter.

What is Easter?

“It’s the celebration of Jesus’ death and resurrection. His defeat of death. It’s the holy day of the Christian religion. The interesting thing to me is a lot of students will be out partying every weekend leading up to Easter, and they’ll go home over Easter weekend  and celebrate the highest, holiest day of the Christian religion. Then they will come back and party for the rest of the semester.

“There seems to be a disconnect between their actions and what they profess to believe. I think the way to put it best out here is a fellow student, I asked him one day, how would you discuss the spiritual state of your fellow students? And he’s an Atheist  and he said, ‘They don’t even know that they don’t believe.’ Most students here, they call themselves Christian, but they’re not. And the actions say it to them.”

What about going out and partying Saturday night/Sunday morning?

“If you don’t believe in Jesus, and you’re not Christian, then it really doesn’t matter. Why wouldn’t they go out and party? I’m more interested in those who claim to be Christian. I’m more interested in them realizing that they’re not really Christian. It’s better to be Christian, and that means 100 percent, or say that you’re not. One of those two is better than thinking you are but you’re not.”

What’s your response to people who claim to be Christian but don’t go to mass? Is that an issue?

“If you’re really Christian you should go to church. But if they’re a person who says, ‘Well yeah I believe in god, I just don’t like organized religion,’ ya know they are just Atheist and they don’t know it. If you think about it, an Atheist lives any way he choses. If someone’s out there saying they believe in God and they are living any way they chose, then they don’t believe in God.

“Then they have some mental assent that God is there. I was out there the other day, there was a big crowd of people and I told them they were godless. They got upset , and so I asked, ‘Who here knows who God is?’ Not a single one of them raised their hand. So I said, ‘Well how can you believe in God if you’re ignorant?’ Again, you have that mental assent that someone exists out there, but it’s not true belief. Cause you can’t believe in something different. You can’t be something that you’re not.

“Most people who say that they believe in God, but they don’t like organized religion, they are just trying to cover the bases. They want to live like the Atheists  but they don’t want to think that they are going to hell. So they’re saying they believe in God just to cover the bases, but they are better off just admitting they don’t believe in God.”

How do you feel about the Easter Bunny?

“That has nothing to do with Christianity. It might be a fun little thing to do with kids or something. It’s not an evil thing to say there’s the Easter Bunny, let’s have an Easter egg hunt. As long as kids know it’s not real. The real thing, if you are Christian, is Jesus and the resurrection, not a rabbit and things. I’m not sure how those two things got connected.”

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Megan Swiatkowski

I'm a South Jersey girl with a passion for news!

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