It seems President Obama is continuing to struggle with his religious identity. In particularly his relationship with Easter.
FOX News reported earlier this week that the President had failed to release a statement or proclamation recognizing the national observance of Easter Sunday, which as most Christians know, is the most sacred Christian holiday.
The President also failed to release a statement regarding Good Friday, but did release an 8-paragraph statement heralding Earth Day.
His weekly address last weekend failed to mention either Easter or Good Friday.
Last year he did make an Easter statement proclaiming, "All of us are striving to make our way in this world: to build a purposeful life. A healthy life. A life, true to its potential. And a life that serves others."
He then added, "These are the aspirations that stretch back through the ages---aspirations at the heart of Judaism, at the heart of Christianity, at the heart of all the world's great religions."
This was offensive to many.
Many were asking why he felt the need to be inclusive in a day that is exclusively Christian. Particularly when he had exclusively proclaimed Ramadan, Hajj and Eid-ul-Fitr, with no attempt at inclusion.
In contrast, President Bush seemed more at peace with Easter. In 2008, he began his Easter statement with, "The resurrection of Jesus Christ reminds people around the world of the presence of a faithful God who offers a love more powerful than death." And continued to explain Easter and what it means to Christians.
In 2007, President Bush began with, "The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most important event of the Christian faith."
Reporters asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney this week why President Obama had not given a proclamation or Easter statement.
He laughed. I have linked his laughing response.
He said the President went to church in a high profile way and it was well covered by the press.
But was it "well" covered by the press? The press certainly reported that Shiloh Baptist Church was founded by freed slaves during the Civil War, but only after some people took a closer look did we learn that Shiloh is not entirely unlike the Rev. Wright's church where the Obamas were members for 20 years.
I have linked a report from WRNO radio, however, there are a number of reports this week that are similar. I won't go into the details---you can read it and watch the short video from You Tube.
I don't question the President's right to attend the churches of his choice, I only struggle with what he really believes about many things---particularly Easter, with which he seems to have a difficult relationship.
He told his second Easter prayer breakfast meeting last weekend, "We are reminded that there's something about the resurrection---something about the resurrection of our savior, Jesus Christ, that puts everything in perspective."
Yet, how do people reconcile that with his statements about those who oppose him politically as "bitter" and "clinging to their guns and Bibles."
And how does Jesus Christ become one's savior, when the one professing says, "Jesus Christ is not the only way to God," and Jesus says, "I am the only way to God."
A difficult relationship with Easter.
President Obama seems to have a basket of Easter problems.
While his people are ramping up his Christian statements and activities, those who attend church regularly have doubts. Much doubt.
The Washington Times published an editorial this week titled, "Obama To Christians: Forget You," pointing out that among those who regularly attend church, only 36% approve of him---7 points below his national approval rating of 43%.
The editorial is suggesting that he forget about Christian church goers and focus on the folks who do not attend church and would just as soon skip the Christian stuff anyway.
Perhaps a better suggestion would be for the President to review his relationship with Easter.
Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Active. Be Blessed.
Faith and Freedom
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