Updated 8:00 pm ET
Just when I thought the current team running the White House might have used up all its allotted mistakes comes word that President Obama failed to issue either an Easter or a Good Friday greeting to the nation.
Now, let’s forget for a moment that these greetings, which presidents issue on many holidays and commemorations of events, are largely perfunctory and symbolic gestures that nobody cares about.
Until there’s a problem with them.
Fox News first caught the blunder and put it into context that makes the omission insulting to Christians. The mistake is odd enough to call into question just what Obama’s priorities are.
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 . . . did release an eight-paragraph statement heralding Earth Day. Likewise, the president’s weekend address mentioned neither Good Friday or Easter.*
Obama, Fox notes, did head out to church yesterday and held an Easter prayer breakfast at the White House last week.
Obama is on a roll for religious holiday greeting screw ups. Fox News writes:
In 2010, Obama was criticized for releasing an all-inclusive Easter greeting. He reached out to Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and people of no faith at all in a statement about a holiday that is uniquely Christian.
And as I noted last week, the president released a Passover greeting this month that compared the ancient Jewish exodus from Egypt to the Arab political awakening this year, which would be a beautiful thing if most Arabs didn’t seek Israel’s destruction.
The president is, of course, hosting the Easter Egg Roll at the White House today. But Easter isn’t really about rolling eggs on a manicured lawn, now is it?
UPDATE: Asked during this afternoon’s briefing about the issue, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney suggested Obama’s “high profile” visit to a church Sunday should suffice.
“I’m not sure if we put out a statement or not, but he obviously personally celebrated Easter with his family,” Carney said, adding ”the president took his family out to church in a very high-profile way.”
Carney added that Obama is a “devoted Christian.”
* Fox News is incorrect. Obama does mention Easter in his weekend address, though he does so only briefly and not as a message or greeting to Christians celebrating the holiday.