Obama forgoes Easter greeting, but celebrates Muslim holidays
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 26, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Conservative media are buzzing this week after President Obama failed to issue an Easter statement, after a year in which he repeatedly commemorated Muslim holidays with a series of statements.
On Sunday Fox News reported that, unlike in previous years, Obama failed to give a statement in observance of the most sacred Christian holiday of the year.
The president, who indirectly mentioned Easter in his weekly address, on Monday hosted health-centered secular festivities at the White House that featured a “yoga garden” alongside the traditional Easter egg roll. The Obamas did participate in a church service Sunday, unlike Christmas, a day the Obamas have failed to observe religiously each year since winning the presidential election in 2008.
Polls have shown a strong current of skepticism among Americans regarding Obama’s professed faith, with an August 2010 Pew Research poll showing only 34 percent believing him to be a Christian.
Media Matters for America, a liberal media watchdog that has recently launched an organized assault on Fox News and other conservative outlets, lambasted the “faux controversy” by pointing out that most U.S. presidents never issued an Easter “proclamation.”
“If this attack from conservative media outlets isn’t about casting doubt on Obama’s Christianity, then what is it about? The specific labeling that Obama’s comments on Easter receives? C’mon,” Media Matters’ Todd Gregory complained.
However, Fox News and other outlets emphasized that the omission of an Easter statement was particularly significant in light of Obama’s abundant celebration of Muslim holidays in the past year, including Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Hajj, and Eid-ul-Adha.
“President Obama delivered official messages for Passover, Ramadan and Diwali. But for Easter? Not so much,” wrote the editors at the Washington Times on Monday.
Additionally, Obama’s first two Easter statements were criticized as inappropriately “inclusive” for celebrating, in the words of the 2009 statement, “the shared spirit of humanity that inhabits us all - Jews and Christians, Muslims and Hindus, believers and nonbelievers alike.” In contrast, Obama’s statements on Muslim holidays did not mention other religions.
At his Easter breakfast last Tuesday, invitees included liberal Christian leaders and Sister Carol Keehan, the Catholic Health Association head that the U.S. bishops castigated for abandoning Catholic leadership to offer critical support to Obama’s abortion-expanding health care reform law.