Google creates controversy with Cesar Chavez doodle
Published April 01, 2013
Google’s decision to mark Easter Sunday with a doodle of leftist icon Cesar Chavez atop its search engine angered some users in what they see as a snub of Jesus on the day Christians mark his resurrection.
Google defended the decision by saying it reserves the spot for historical figures and events, but a review of its past doodles shows it has never honored Jesus on Christmas or Easter, despite his historical and spiritual significance to billions around the world.
“Doodles are the fun, surprising, and sometimes spontaneous changes that are made to the Google logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists, pioneers, and scientists,” a Google website reads.
The ideas for the doodles come from several sources, including Google users.
“The doodle selection process aims to celebrate interesting events and anniversaries that reflect Google’s personality and love for innovation,” the website continues.
A search of Google’s past doodles for words like “Jesus” produced zero results.
I was one of the many people who happened to turn on their computer Easter morning. The timing was interesting because it was just after attending our Sunrise Service in a beautiful outdoor setting. Before the Google symbol even appeared, I expected to see doodles of Easter bunnies, colorful eggs and maybe even an Easter lily or two. I was a little surprised to see the image of Cesar Chavez and not the adorable little Easter Bunny and his basket full of eggs.
Luke 24:1-7 Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them,[a] came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it happened, as they were greatly[b] perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. 5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’” (NKJV)
Sunday morning the women came to the tomb of Jesus to finish preparing the body for its final entombment. The Gospel of Luke tells us they were greeted by 2 angels who asked them why they were looking for someone who was alive in a place where only dead people hang out. Another paraphrase of their statement was to tell them “There is nothing to see here.” They reminded the women of what Jesus had told them in Galilee regarding His crucifixion and resurrection.
Google’s web site states that they use doodles to celebrate interesting events and anniversaries. Elvis Presley was an interesting person and millions of people have come to visit Graceland and his burial site. There is a candle light vigil on the anniversary of his death where thousands of people pass in front of his grave to pay their respects and remember his musical gifts. There would be some very upset people if someone stood before his grave and said he is not here and the grave is empty. There is no tomb, grave site, or burial plot for Jesus.
Easter is not an interesting event or anniversary. An event is defined as an occurrence, especially one that is particularly significant, interesting, exciting, or unusual. In many churches the attendance multiples on Easter Sunday. Many of those attending will not darken the doors of the church until next year. They are treating Jesus’ resurrection as an event or occurrence that is interesting, exciting, and unusual but not life changing. Jesus’ resurrection was not an event, it was only the beginning. How will you deal with a living Jesus the other 364 days of the year? Maybe Google was correct in placing the doodle of Cesar Chavez on Easter morning. It was recognizing the event of his death. What kind of doodle would you have drawn to represent Christ’s resurrection? Maybe it could have just been a blank space to represent that he was not in the tomb. His tomb is still empty and He still lives today. He defeated death and he did that for us unworthy sinners. Is Jesus just an event for you or is He alive and current for you 365 days of the year? I don’t think we need a doodle to remind us of that.
Author: David Jones, Executive Director
Restoration Path www.restorationpath.org