Yesterday we pointed out that despite the right wing’s hysterical ranting that President Obama had dealt Christians a grievous insult by not issuing an “Easter proclamation,” the fact is that neither Ronald Reagan nor George W. Bush (or any other President since 1980, the farthest back I checked) ever issued an official Easter proclamation.
After that post, Power Line’s John Hinderaker doubled down on this idiotic right wing claim: Power Line - Obama Blows Off Easter.
Hinderaker is following the mandatory wingnut talking point; Obama honors Muslims, but didn’t say a single word about Easter, most likely because he secretly hates Christians.
What did he say about Easter, the most important event in the Christian calendar? Nothing. Is it any surprise that some Americans perceive Obama as more enthusiastic about Islam than about his own self-professed faith?
Just one problem: this is complete nonsense, with no relation at all to reality. Is Hinderaker lying to his willing audience, or is he just too lazy to actually look at the White House website’s transcript of the President’s statements at the Easter Prayer Breakfast?
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.
And that’s why we have this breakfast. Because in the middle of critical national debates, in the middle of our busy lives, we must always make sure that we are keeping things in perspective. Children help do that. (Laughter.) A strong spouse helps do that. But nothing beats scripture and the reminder of the eternal.
That’s certainly a lot more than “nothing.”
But once again, the fail doesn’t stop there. Hinderaker goes on to attempt to prove that George W. Bush did issue Easter proclamations:
Earlier today, Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney, laughed off Obama’s failure to issue any sort of an Easter statement. On the internet, various left-wing sites—led, I believe, by Little Green Footballs—tried to defend Obama by claiming that American presidents never issue Easter proclamations. That is ridiculous, of course. You can read President Bush’s Easter proclamations, as well as the one Obama delivered last year, here.
Hinderaker’s source for this claim? Well, it’s a Christian greeting card site, with a bunch of statements labeled “Presidential Proclamations,” without any citations or sources. Look how green it is! And look at the ads for books on “Christian Apologetics.” Why, this must be a highly credible source, wouldn’t you agree?
In Wingnut World, a greeting card site is much more credible than The American Presidency Project’s list of every single official numbered Presidential Proclamation since 1789.
I know it’s impossible to make a dent in ignorance this determined, but just for the record, here’s the official list of George W. Bush’s proclamations in March and April of 2008 (Easter was on March 23 in 2008):
George W. Bush March 10, 2008 Proclamation 8225 - Women’s History Month, 2008
George W. Bush March 14, 2008 Proclamation 8226 - National Poison Prevention Week, 2008
George W. Bush March 20, 2008 Proclamation 8227 - Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy, 2008
George W. Bush March 28, 2008 Proclamation 8228 - To Modify the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States and For Other Purposes
George W. Bush April 1, 2008 Proclamation 8229 - Cancer Control Month, 2008
George W. Bush April 1, 2008 Proclamation 8230 - National Child Abuse Prevention Month, 2008
George W. Bush April 1, 2008 Proclamation 8231 - National Donate Life Month, 2008
George W. Bush April 1, 2008 Proclamation 8232 - National Fair Housing Month, 2008
George W. Bush April 4, 2008 Proclamation 8233 - National Tartan Day, 2008
George W. Bush April 8, 2008 Proclamation 8234 - National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day, 2008
George W. Bush April 9, 2008 Proclamation 8235 - National D.A.R.E. Day, 2008
George W. Bush April 10, 2008 Proclamation 8236 - Pan American Day and Pan American Week, 2008
George W. Bush April 11, 2008 Proclamation 8237 - National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, 2008
George W. Bush April 15, 2008 Proclamation 8238 - Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A., 2008
George W. Bush April 15, 2008 Proclamation 8239 - National Park Week, 2008
George W. Bush April 17, 2008 Proclamation 8240 - To Take Certain Actions Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act and the Generalized System of Preferences and for Other Purposes
George W. Bush April 17, 2008 Proclamation 8241 - Small Business Week, 2008
George W. Bush April 21, 2008 Proclamation 8242 - National Day of Prayer, 2008
George W. Bush April 22, 2008 Proclamation 8243 - Older Americans Month, 2008
George W. Bush April 22, 2008 Proclamation 8244 - National Volunteer Week, 2008
George W. Bush April 22, 2008 Proclamation 8245 - Loyalty Day, 2008
George W. Bush April 25, 2008 Proclamation 8246 - Malaria Awareness Day, 2008
George W. Bush April 29, 2008 Proclamation 8247 - Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, 2008
George W. Bush April 29, 2008 Proclamation 8248 - Jewish American Heritage Month, 2008
George W. Bush April 29, 2008 Proclamation 8249 - National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, 2008
George W. Bush April 30, 2008 Proclamation 8250 - Law Day, U.S.A., 2008
Search the American Presidency Project for every other year of Bush’s presidency, and you won’t find a single official Easter Proclamation. And the same is true for Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Did they make other statements to honor the Christian holiday of Easter? Yes, of course they did — and so did President Obama.
It’s amazing to see how the right wing reacts to being exposed as idiots and liars — by redoubling their efforts to make fools of themselves.