This weekend, people of varying denominations gathered with friends and family to celebrate. Reciting from the haggadah, Jews congregated around the seder table to commemorate their ancestors’ passage from Egypt. Christians marked the death and resurrection of Jesus. And in a markedly newer observance, conservatives decried their persecution at the hands of search engine for not drawing a thing.
Like clockwork, Google’s homepage has been devoid of an Easter doodle—the colourful drawings the company uses to mark events and celebrate the lives of historically significant individuals—since one slip-up in 2000. And without fail, every year since has traditionally been the time when devoutly furious right-wingers cry foul at the doodle’s absence. Ignore, if you can, the lack of a doodle for Passover, Eid Al-Adha, Navaratri, Vesak, Naw-Rúz, or Matsuri.
Google, you see, does its level best not to make use of religious iconography or promote specific religious festivals—occasionally marking those that have become secularised, like Valentine’s day.
Still, traditions must be observed. In a one-sentence blog from 2007, the National Review asked, “I wasn’t expecting a risen Christ, but at least an Easter bunny?” In 2010, Fox & Friends wondered why Google had “ignored” Good Friday. The next year’s outrage was summarised by American Conservative:
As for the implicit endorsement of Earth Day over Good Friday, Google might take a cue from other institutions. The New York Stock Exchange, the United Nations, and even the government of Chinese-controlled Hong Kong aren’t closed today in deference to Mother Earth.
Glenn Beck blew a gasket in 2013, along with many other conservatives, when Google honoured Cesar Chavez instead of the death of Christ. Newsbusters—which bills itself as “combating liberal media bias”—called 2016's absence of an Easter doodle “‘cultural blind spot’ that looks more and more with each passing year like a deliberate in-your-face omission.” Various blogs, commentators, or idiots posting in the wrong Google forum have filled in the gaps.
In the year of our lord, 2018, the chorus of perpetually indignant voices is largely predictable: Fox News, Canadian media start-up The Rebel, Pizzagate dunce and former Bumble user Jack Posobiec, alleged cult leader Stefan Molyneux (parroting Fox), and Infowars editor-at-large Paul Joseph Watson. Watson in particular may not be an ideal voice for religious deference, as he continues to maintain a website called “Propaganda Matrix” which published the following passage:
[O]ur God is preparing for them a great surprise. Unless they repent of their racism and sins and turn to Jesus Christ, these elitist Jews are going to a place where there is a lot of room. Indeed, Proverbs 27:20 and Isaiah 5:14 assure us that Hell is never full, and is always being enlarged.
No one needs a search engine drawing to help them celebrate their chosen traditions, or appreciate time spent with loved ones. There are many, legitimate reasons to criticise the unholy behemoth of Google—this just isn’t one of them, no matter how many years it gets repeated by the same delusional pundits.