Hot cross buns

A school in the United Kingdom has banned traditional hot cross buns for fear the religious symbol drawn on the top of each roll might offend some students.

Hot cross buns are normally served during the Easter season, especially on Good Friday. Without the white cross drawn with icing, the treat is just a plain currant bun.

The head teacher of the Oaks Primary School in Ipswich, UK, Tina Jackson, has asked her supplier to nix the crosses, the Suffolk Evening Star reported.

“I would be surprised if anyone was offended,” commented the Rev. Haley Dossor, vicar at St Mary-at-the-Elms Church. “It seems to me people in the secular world are scared of religious symbols. The school is quite wrong. All religions should respect each other.”

Jackson defended her action.

“Obviously, the hot cross bun is a celebration of Easter but it is not Easter yet,” she told the paper.

“The cross is there in recognition of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, but for our students who are Jehovah Witnesses hot cross buns are not part of their beliefs. We decided to ask to have the cross removed in respect of their beliefs.”

The Star quoted one observer, who did not wish to be named: “I have never heard of anything so ridiculous. Since when have hot cross buns been offensive?”

Albert Berwick, a minister with the Ipswich Cavendish Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, agreed with the schools’ new bun policy.

“I can understand why the school has done this and I support the decision. Hot cross buns are a pagan symbol of fertility no different to bunnies, eggs and Easter,” Berwick is quoted as saying. “The Bible states we should not worship things of a pagan origin.”

Hot cross buns are the subject of a familiar children’s song:

Hot cross buns, hot cross buns
One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns

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