Google’s No-Doodle Easter

Kirk Walden Coffee With Kirk, Culture & Values 1 Comment

Checking the news Monday morning, a story on Fox News captured me. Apparently–though I had not noticed–Google had no “doodle” for Easter Sunday. A “doodle” is when the search engine giant plays with its logo to highlight a holiday, which we routinely see on Earth Day, Martin Luther King’s birthday and other occasions.

Quick fact: On Sunday, Google did insert a “Where’s Waldo” game in its Maps, in celebration of April Fool’s Day (which fell on Easter). Waldo made the cut; just not Jesus.

Of course, some in the Christian community were upset, noting Google has not acknowledged this holy day at all since 2000. And even then, it was only with a couple of Easter eggs.

I guess I’m supposed to be outraged but instead, I’m wondering about a couple of things.

First, does it matter to me?
Does Google owe Christians a hat tip on our day? Because many followers of Jesus use Google, should Google honor Easter?

Certainly, a case can be made that it would be a nice idea and perhaps even good public relations. But no, Google owes me nothing.

And, what could Google expect if it “doodled” Easter? We can bet there would be groups (other religions, atheists) voicing their outrage, demanding equal time. Google made a business decision years ago not to honor any religious holidays, probably deciding it is best not to wade into these waters.

It would have been good to see an empty tomb on Google’s page. And I have a few other concerns regarding Google, as any consumer might. But I don’t know if a Google Doodle–or lack thereof–is my main issue.

For a moment, I have to laugh about the whole thing. In my mind’s eye I see a cartoon of the apostle Paul in jail, subjected to the most horrid conditions. As he sits, starving, he asks the jailer, “Did Google doodle the resurrection today?”

Second, where is my focus?
Too often, the public perception is that those who claim to follow Jesus Christ are no different than any other special-interest group. We are perceived as being against almost anything, and as getting angry over nothing-burgers.

Is this perception fair? Maybe. Or, maybe not. But this isn’t the issue. Sure, we can gripe and complain about the perception if we wish. Or, we can look at ourselves and ask, “Are we doing anything to feed this stereotype? And if so, should we try and create a different perception?”

Complaining is the way of the world. We see snippy tweets, angry Facebook posts and one-sided videos to show us how someone was mistreated by this company, or by that public official. This isn’t to say we should ignore all wrongs, but perhaps we are a bit too quick to gripe.

And even though I’m writing about this today, I’m not immune. So I may as well fess up.

The other day, I tweeted something snarky when I found my mother’s morning paper (she lives with our family) in a ditch. I mean, how difficult is it to hit the driveway? I took a picture of the paper in the water and tweeted it with my well-thought-out snipe at the paper.

But today I’m reminded, not once have I ever thanked the delivery guy in any way. I deleted the tweet; my focus needs to change.

Here’s a thought: What if I decided–right here and now–that 90% of my public posts (social media, etc.) will be about finding the good in the those businesses I engage with?

This may sound somewhat silly, but when was the last time I thanked Google Maps for helping me find a location? There is likely a way to do this, but I’ve never tried. Never.

There are plenty of people out there who are excellent at complaining. But what if those of us who say we are Christians were known first for encouraging, for thanking; for graciousness and for kindness?

What if, every time a known Christian posted on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, the world smiled and said, “Finally, a breath a fresh air.”

If we who claim faith in Christ were so different that the world took notice the moment we showed up inside a business or popped up online, I don’t know if Google would suddenly decide to acknowledge Easter. But it would be fun to find out how we might change the culture around us.

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