May 13 2017
Canada is making international news these days with the story of a Christian couple, Mr. and Mrs. Baars, whose two young foster children were removed from their care because they refused to tell them that the Easter bunny was real. Their social worker was angry about their failure to vouch for the truth of the Easter bunny lie. The Baars were told it was part of their duty as foster parents to teach their girls about the Easter bunny, because it is part of Canadian culture. They assured the social worker that they would talk about the Easter bunny (as a fun thing, no doubt), and would have a chocolate egg hunt. Or the children could always spend Easter weekend with another foster family. But none of this was good enough. The couple was warned that their “inflexibility is a problem.” They said they were given an ultimatum: “Tell the foster girls that the Easter bunny was real, or their foster home would be closed.” When the Baars could not in good conscience tell their children this lie, the social worker demonstrated her flexibility and took the children away. What a tragedy for the children, and for the parents – and for truth, which is under increasing assault today.
I know many parents, in love, and enjoying their children’s delight, tell them this Easter bunny lie. But I am one of the people who thinks a lie is always wrong, and I support the Baars fully. (Even if I didn’t agree with them, I would object to the fascist tyranny of the social worker.) Occasionally, there is such a thing as a necessary lie, but I believe that there is no such thing as a good lie, no matter how much it tickles the ear. Some time I hope to write a bit about how lies harm a child’s development and reasoning, and set them up for further deception.
But in post-Christian, anti-Christian Canada, the Easter bunny is now the reason for the season. It is the same with Christmas; it’s all about Santa. The Santa lie is magic to unbelievers, who do not know the joy of the truth and who therefore create a fantasy. It is sad. But what is worse, they condemn us for teaching Christianity to our children because (they say) it is a fantasy, while they insist on telling their children fantasies – things which they know to be fantasies. It is ironic. We teach what we believe to be true, but they teach what they know to be lies. Then they condemn us for telling lies, even though they deliberately teach lies. What a tangled web. By their own mouth they condemn themselves. But they truly believe their lies are “magic” and “fun,” and will persist in them.
But when a person insists upon a lie, does he not show that he has pleasure in lies? (2 Thessalonians 2). We know for sure that when a person will not lie, he shows that he has pleasure in truth, and is a child of the truth.
“Tell me sweet little lies” is the desire of people who do not love the truth. “Tell me the truth, no matter what,” is the desire of those who love truth. The former group will naturally fall into deception, to their own loss and harm. And the danger they are in is that they may end by condemning those who love the truth. The Baars have experienced this first hand. And this world is increasingly mad with lies, as those who follow modern events well know. God has turned over to their own imaginations those who reject the truth, and the reprobate mind has gained the ascendancy (Romans 1).
But never fear, little flock. The Lord knows and sees all.
p.s. I wrote about the Santa lie a few years ago. It is amazing how it parallels the gospel: