To his credit, President Barack Obama was attempting to bring everyone around the campfire to sing “Kumbaya,” as we all live and work together in perfect harmony. America is, after all, the land of the free and the home of the tolerant. Perhaps that will excuse the President for blurring the facts a bit in his Passover/Easter homily where Obama admonishes people of all faiths to recommit to the “universal mission” of loving our neighbors as ourselves.
Obama wrote on the White House website: “The common thread of humanity that connects us all – not just Christians and Jews, but Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs – is our shared commitment to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. “
Meanwhile, in Iraq, Islamic suicide bombers and other attacks left 18 dead and wounded nearly 50 on Sunday, followed by further violence that has killed another 19 and wounded 36 on Monday. Many of those killed by Muslim extremists were indeed fellow Muslims, the very definition of the word “neighbor.”
Millions of Jews and Christians in America and around the world celebrated Passover or Easter over the weekend, reflecting on the theme of deliverance. While the Christian holiday of Easter is inextricably rooted historically in the Jewish holiday of the Passover, there is not another holiday in any other religion that correlates or corresponds to the festivities of the week. To try to make it so is an artificial construct.
But that is exactly what President Obama did in his address. The Inquisitr reported that his words made Barack Obama sound much “like the most secular preacher you’ve ever heard.” He ties together things that simply are not linked. It is one thing to respect and honor people from all faiths and ways of life. That is American freedom of religion at its finest. It is another thing altogether for Obama to credit an ideology or religion with a tenet that simply is not there. It is similar to the adherents of the hate-filled Westboro Baptist Church attributing to Christianity that God hates gay people. And just as ludicrous.
Here is the full text of Barack Obama’s holiday message: “Weekly Address: President Obama Offers Easter and Passover Greetings”:
Hi, everybody. For millions of Americans, this time of year holds great meaning.
Earlier this week, we hosted a Passover Seder at the White House, and joined Jewish families around the world in their retellings of the story of the Exodus and the victory of faith over oppression.
And this Sunday, Michelle, Malia, Sasha, and I will join our fellow Christians around the world in celebrating the Resurrection of Christ, the salvation he offered the world, and the hope that comes with the Easter season.
These holy days have their roots in miracles that took place long ago. And yet, they still inspire us, guide us, and strengthen us today. They remind us of our responsibilities to God and, as God’s children, our responsibilities to one another.
For me, and for countless other Christians, Holy Week and Easter are times for reflection and renewal. We remember the grace of an awesome God, who loves us so deeply that He gave us his only Son, so that we might live through Him. We recall all that Jesus endured for us – the scorn of the crowds, the agony of the cross – all so that we might be forgiven our sins and granted everlasting life. And we recommit ourselves to following His example, to love and serve one another, particularly “the least of these” among us, just as He loves every one of us.
The common thread of humanity that connects us all – not just Christians and Jews, but Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs – is our shared commitment to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. To remember, I am my brother’s keeper. I am my sister’s keeper. Whatever your faith, believer or nonbeliever, there’s no better time to rededicate ourselves to that universal mission.
For me, Easter is a story of hope – a belief in a better day to come, just around the bend.
So to all Christians who are celebrating, from my family to yours, Happy Easter. And to every American, have a joyful weekend.
Thanks, God bless you, and may God bless this country we love.
Celebrate Passover. Celebrate Resurrection Day. Remind Americans of the principle that loving our neighbor is a good thing. But don’t artificially credit religions with teachings that they do not adhere to. It doesn’t work. What do you think about President Obama’s Kumbaya message?