The Easter Bunny has been misbehaving this year. The Paschal Rabbit has been laying a series of stinky eggs inside churches across the country. They are not bright colored, nor do they have chocolate insides.

The first rotten egg to be discovered by angry clergypersons is the publication of the Gospel According to Judas. This document, lost from sight for a millennium and a half, reveals that Jesus, like George Bush, was a leaker. George did Valerie Plame; Jesus leaked a phony story about his demise.

Traditional scripture has it that the Romans and the Jews entered into a vast right-wing conspiracy to execute Jesus after Judas betrayed him, thereby turning Judas into a name few parents give their children. Now we learn nothing like that happened.

According to the newly found Gnostic gospel, it was a put-up job. Put up by Jesus, who got Judas to pretend to betray him. Thus it is revealed that Judas was the Scooter Libby of his time and that Jesus was guilty of a serious misrepresentation or two.

We next learn that one of his biggest miracles was no miracle at all. He did not walk on water. This is no Easter Rodent story. It is a Washington Post story:

“Combining evidence of a cold snap 2,000 years ago with sophisticated mapping of the Sea of Galilee, Israeli and US scientists have come up with a scientific explanation of how Jesus could have walked on water. Their answer: It was actually floating ice…the Sea of Galilee, in what is now northern Israel, has never frozen in modern times. But they say geological core samples suggest that average temperatures were lower in Jesus’s day, and that there were at least two protracted cold spells in the region 1,500 to 2,500 years ago.”

So what’s going on here with all these late developments? Obviously, scientists, with a little help from Bugs Bunny and the Easter Chicks, are counterattacking against the Fundies. They have also come up with scientific evidence, random statistics and double-blind studies to prove that prayer, like speed behind the wheel and methamphetamines, kills.

According to the Chicago Tribune, in a mammoth prayer study which cost $2.4 million and enrolled 1,802 patients who had bypass surgery…researchers from Harvard Medical School and five other US medical centers found that coronary bypass patients who knew strangers were praying for them fared significantly worse than people who got no prayers.”

Roman Catholic monks or believers belonging to other Christian denominations were used to do the praying. We don’t know what the results might be if Jews, Hindus, Buddhists or Muslims had been aiming their orisons skyward. All we know is that if a Christian tells you that he or she is praying for you, be prepared to meet your Maker.

It is believed that high-level strategists at the Pentagon are exploring the data to determine if prayer can be used in the “war on terror.” If prayer can be used in Iraq to assassinate key terrorists, the military may have found a way of eliminating the enemy without inflicting the collateral damage that has tended to strain relations between the visiting Americans and their Iraqi hosts.

In the meantime, if you hear George Bush say he’s going to pray for you, scoop up your bunny and run.