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Faux Outrage Of The Week: The White House’s “War On Easter”

You kind of know it’s a slow news week when a story like this ends up getting so much attention:

President Obama failed to release a statement or a proclamation recognizing the national observance of Easter Sunday, Christianity’s most sacred holiday.

By comparison, the White House has released statements recognizing the observance of major Muslim holidays and released statements in 2010 on Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Hajj, and Eid-ul-Adha.

The White House also failed to release a statement marking Good Friday. However, they did release an eight-paragraph statement heralding Earth Day. Likewise, the president’s weekend address mentioned neither Good Friday or Easter.

This non-troversy even found it’s way to the White House Daily Briefing yesterday where Jay Carney was presented with this question from a White House Reporter:

Judging by the reaction from the conservative blogosphere, one would think that this was THE MOST IMPORTANT STORY EVER except for the a few little problems. First of all, a search of every Presidential Proclamation ever issued finds no Presidential Proclamation marking Easter ever having been issued. Second, the people criticizing the President for a supposed lack of recognition of Easter seem to have forgotten the White House Easter Prayer Breakfast at which President Obama spoke about, well, Easter:

To all the faith leaders and the distinguished guests that are here today, welcome to our second annual — I’m going to make it annual, why not?  (Laughter and applause.)  Our second Easter Prayer Breakfast.  The Easter Egg Roll, that’s well established.  (Laughter.)  The Prayer Breakfast we started last year, in part because it gave me a good excuse to bring together people who have been such extraordinary influences in my life and such great friends.  And it gives me a chance to meet and make some new friends here in the White House.

I wanted to host this breakfast for a simple reason — because as busy as we are, as many tasks as pile up, during this season, we are reminded that there’s something about the resurrection — something about the resurrection of our savior, Jesus Christ, that puts everything else in perspective.

We all live in the hustle and bustle of our work.  And everybody in this room has weighty responsibilities, from leading churches and denominations, to helping to administer important government programs, to shaping our culture in various ways.  And I admit that my plate has been full as well.  (Laughter.)  The inbox keeps on accumulating.  (Laughter.)

But then comes Holy Week.  The triumph of Palm Sunday.  The humility of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet.  His slow march up that hill, and the pain and the scorn and the shame of the cross.

And we’re reminded that in that moment, he took on the sins of the world — past, present and future — and he extended to us that unfathomable gift of grace and salvation through his death and resurrection.

In the words of the book Isaiah:  “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:  the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

This magnificent grace, this expansive grace, this “Amazing Grace” calls me to reflect.  And it calls me to pray.  It calls me to ask God for forgiveness for the times that I’ve not shown grace to others, those times that I’ve fallen short.  It calls me to praise God for the gift of our son — his Son and our Savior.

They also seem to forget that the President attended Easter Services on Sunday, and hosted the traditional Easter Egg Roll yesterday. Instead of all that, we get this, courtesy of Fox News Channel:

DOOCY: What do you think about the fact that this White House has never issued an official proclamation regarding Easter, which is one of Christianity’s most sacred holidays?

JEFFRESS: Steve, let’s look at what’s really going on here. On the one hand, we have a president who never met a Muslim holiday he didn’t like, or at least wasn’t willing to issue a proclamation for, and on the other hand, here he is refusing to acknowledge publicly the most important event in Christian faith, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and yet the White House is wondering why do 20 percent of Americans believe the president is a Muslim? Well as my kids would say, ‘Duh.’ I mean, it’s actions like these that really make people wonder what it is the president really believes.

The amount of willful ignorance it takes for someone to say these things is simply astounding.

More importantly, who cares how the President marks Easter? Unlike Thanksgiving, it is a purely religious holiday and not even one that is recognized in the Federal calendar. Additionally, I have to wonder where these people were when the previous 42 Presidents failed to, in the words of Steve Doocy, issue “an official proclamation regarding Easter.”

I’m no fan of the President, I oppose many of his policies, but when I see people doing like this it makes it seem like they really don’t think they can beat him on the merits so they have to start making nonsense up.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. mantis says:

    If Obama’s so awful, why do they have to lie constantly to attack him?

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  2. Randyy says:

    If they could not attack Obama, what should they do? Real news? pff.

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  3. Janis Gore says:

    Malia is shooting right up. It won’t be long until she’s as tall as her mother,

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  4. sam says:

    One of the reasons I miss Olbermann, as I may have mentioned before, is his spot on Steve-Doocy-as-Clem-Kadiddlehopper turn.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  5. wr says:

    Quick, Janis Gore just said Malia’s a junkie! Someone spread the news to Fox and Drudge before anyone can realize it’s all a mmisunderstanding!

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  6. Southern Hoosier says:

    Who cares?

    Easter was named after the Norse spring goddess Eostre or Ostara and actually predates the Christian holiday we now celebrate.

    Easter didn’t become an official church holiday till almost 300 years after the death of Christ.

    At the Council of Nicea in 325, all the Churches agreed that Easter, the Christian Passover, should be celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon (14 Nisan) after the vernal equinox (Catechism of the Catholic Church. Imprimatur Potest +Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Doubleday, NY 1995, p. 332).

    http://www.cogwriter.com/easter.htm

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  7. Southern Hoosier says:

    wr says: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 18:19

    Quick, Janis Gore just said Malia’s a junkie!

    Why do you keep making up lies? It’s so childish and not the least funny.

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  8. Davebo says:

    The amount of willful ignorance it takes for someone to say these things is simply astounding.

    Doug, meet your base. Base, meet Doug.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  9. An Interested Party says:

    Why do you keep making up lies? It’s so childish and not the least funny.

    He was simply mimicking Fox News…I wonder if you get so riled up when they do it…

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  10. Southern Hoosier says:

    An Interested Party says:
    Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 18:39

    Why do you keep making up lies? It’s so childish and not the least funny.

    He was simply mimicking Fox News…I wonder if you get so riled up when they do it…

    Who is Janis Gore and what’s her connection to Fox New? Does Fox News attack Obama’s kids? Don’t tell me I have to defend the Obama’s kids from childish liberal assholes. I just get tired of people making fun of people’s kids, even in jest.

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  11. Neil Hudelson says:

    SH,

    Who is Janis Gore and what’s her connection to Fox New? Does Fox News attack Obama’s kids? Don’t tell me I have to defend the Obama’s kids from childish liberal assholes. I just get tired of people making fun of people’s kids, even in jest.

    Are you intentionally being this obtuse, or are you just that stupid? WR was mimicking Fox News/Wignuttopia/Idiots/You in their ability to create outrage and controversy out of either made up occurrences (this one), completely misreading information (WR’s example, and subsequently your reaction), or missing a joke (like when Fox uses The Onion as a news source, or again your reaction in this thread).

    Janis isn’t making fun of Obama’s kids, WR isn’t making fun of Obama’s kids, and no liberal here is acting like an asshole (well perhaps I am, but I’m ok with that).

    Do I really have to explain sarcasm to childish conservative assholes?

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  12. Southern Hoosier says:

    I understand the the connection of “shooting up” growing fast to being a junkie. HA! HA! I just love liberal humor. It doesn’t matter who’s kids they are, I feel the same way.

    Do I really have to explain sarcasm to childish conservative assholes?

    Spoken like a true liberal, when all else fails, name call.

    Janis isn’t making fun of Obama’s kids,

    Of course not, she is paying Malia a complement. And WR turns it into an insult, but just in jest. HA HA

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  13. DavidL says:

    Is missing an Easter proclaimation a big deal? Not really, but it is revealing. The Obama Whites issues proclaimations for Muslim holidays and even for a pagan holiday, Earth Day, but somehow can’t find time to write a proclamation for Eastter. Obama is willing to pose with non-Christian symbol an Easter Bunny but can”t utter a word for the resurection of his purpored savior. Oh, I forgot it racist or something to question Obama’s Christianity.

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  14. Neil Hudelson says:

    Geeeeez, WR is not turning it into an insult. He is not insulting Malia. He is making fun of Fox News for constantly getting information wrong.

    He is essentially saying “Fox would say something like this. Isn’t that funny?” Either you understand that joke and know its true, so want to attack WR for speaking the truth, or you are–and I say this not as an insult but something that has to be true if the first alternative isn’t–completely devoid of intelligence.

    Southern Hoosier says:

    Don’t tell me I have to defend the Obama’s kids from childish liberal assholes.

    And when the exact same insult is applied to him/her says:

    Spoken like a true liberal, when all else fails, name call.

    With this evidence, I am now leaning towards the “devoid of intelligence” idea.

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  15. mpw280 says:

    And you have proof that Fox makes fun of the kids? As you are all so fond of saying, PROVE IT. Liberal websites may take shots at kids of politicians but I don’t ever remember seeing Fox do it, maybe in another reality.

    Do all the holidays or do none, keeps everyone happy.

    mpw

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  16. Neil Hudelson says:

    Neither I nor WR has said that Fox makes fun of kids. The joke was that they often take either fake news, or nontroversies and..you know what, forget it. It’s like trying to explain grown-up matters to my two-year old niece.

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  17. J. Stephen says:

    I tend to agree with DavidL. Is this a big deal? No. It is rather tone-deaf (and/or a deliberate attempt to get the right wing mouthpieces spun up)? Seems like it.

    Believe it or not, but there is a not insignificant number of fairly devout Christian but otherwise fairly moderate voters out there. I know a few. This sort of “oversight” doesn’t score any points with them.

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  18. Janis Gore says:

    Bullshit. It hasn’t been done by presidents for years.

    It’s another of those “prove you’re a Christian” complaints.

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  19. wr says:

    Thanks, Neil. It was fascinating to watch. And I’ve got to say, at first I thought SH was being a dick — but you know, after seeing a few of his responses I’ve come to the conclusion that he really is that stupid.

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  20. tom p says:

    a sense of humor is lost.

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  21. Janis Gore says:

    C’mon, tell me. Do those look like Black Muslim women?

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  22. anjin-san says:

    Are you intentionally being this obtuse, or are you just that stupid?

    I am going with what’s behind door #2…

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  23. An Interested Party says:

    Is missing an Easter proclaimation a big deal? Not really, but it is revealing.

    Oh, well until you can find any other president that has issued an Easter proclaimation, we can question their religious beliefs as well…this news is revealing all right, just not in the way you think…

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  24. michael reynolds says:

    I spent my Easter mixing the blood of gentile children into my matzoh. (So dry without it.) It’s a tradition around our house.

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  25. Janis Gore says:

    My husband cooked smothered Easter bunny. Cooking the bunny has been a tradition here for many years,

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  26. Southern Hoosier says:

    michael reynolds says: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 21:24

    I spent my Easter mixing the blood of gentile children into my matzoh. (So dry without it.) It’s a tradition around our house.

    That is a strange tradition, matzoh for Easter.

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  27. Franklin says:

    And you have proof that Fox makes fun of the kids?

    Geez are you and Hoosier are REALLY slow on the uptake today. Go watch Anderson Cooper’s clip the other day on how Sean Hannity and crew completely misrepresented something he said (by intentionally editing out a key part of a sentence “Wilson claims …”). It’s a very recent example and shows what FNC does nearly every day. They very purposefully distort the truth, much like the above nonsense on Obama’s Easter observance, although I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt on the latter because perhaps those guys were just too damn lazy to find out if Obama observed Easter in any way.

    If you don’t get the Malia analogy, I can’t help you.

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  28. Southern Hoosier says:

    Franklin says: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 21:39
    If you don’t get the Malia analogy, I can’t help you.

    Southern Hoosier says:
    Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 19:38

    I understand the the connection of “shooting up” growing fast to being a junkie. HA! HA! I just love liberal humor. It doesn’t matter who’s kids they are, I feel the same way.

    If you don’t bother to read what I wrote, then I can’t help you

    I’m glad that so many of you on here watch FNC. No wonder it has such high ratings. I’ll have to start watching it, someday.

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  29. G.A.Phillips says:

    I spent my Easter mixing the blood of gentile children into my matzoh. (So dry without it.) It’s a tradition around our house.

    I new there was something funny about atheism…..

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  30. John425 says:

    “He is risen” and registered as a Republican!

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  31. wr says:

    ” Cooking the bunny has been a tradition here for many years,”

    That sounds like a euphemism for something unimaginably dirty…

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  32. Janis Gore says:

    I can see that, but it usually means sauce piquant.

    I know. We’re unspeakably staid and boring.

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  33. jwest says:

    I’m with Doug.

    I just hate it when people who can’t win on the merits start making things up.

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  34. An Interested Party says:

    I just hate it when people who can’t win on the merits start making things up.

    Indeed…like implying that the president only got as far as he did academically because of the color of his skin…

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  35. I’m no fan of the President, I oppose many of his policies, but when I see people doing like this it makes it seem like they really don’t think they can beat him on the merits so they have to start making nonsense up.

    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence. — N. Bonaparte, R. Heinlein, R. Hanlon, or somebody.

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  36. Just reading this thread, how many of you from whatever “side” can accept that people who may disagree with you aren’t stupid or evil? Jeez. And even assuming you are partially correct, when you encounter folks less intelligent, worldly and erudite as you believe yourselves to be in life do you try and help them or just point and laugh?

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  37. Southern Hoosier says:

    Obama’s Easter Sunday Pastor Rails Against Racist Talk Radio (Compares Rush to KKK!)

    Now Jim Crow wears blue pin stripes … and he doesn’t have to wear white robes anymore, because now he can wear the protective cover of talk radio, or can get a regular news program on Fox. He doesn’t have to wear his white garments anymore.”

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/obamas-easter-sunday-pastorrails-against-racist-talk-radio-compares-rush-to-kkk/

    Comrade Obama, may change ministers, but the sermon is still the same.

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