Predictably, Fox & Friends has picked up where Fox Nation and Sean Hannity left off in attacking President Obama for not issuing a presidential proclamation on Easter. The morning crew made a lot of hay over the fact that Obama has never issued a proclamation on Easter, despite mentioning that Obama hosted the White House Easter egg roll and made "some comments about Easter at a breakfast last week."
Not reported? That no presidential proclamations have been made on Easter for at least the past 20-plus years. Additionally, that "breakfast last week" where Obama mentioned Easter? Yeah, that would be the Easter Prayer Breakfast that Obama hosted. Oh, and Obama also mentioned Easter during his weekly address. But, such facts could never stand in the way of Fox's mission to attack Obama over anything at all costs.
As Media Matters has noted, Little Green Footballs blogger Charles Johnson documented that presidents going back through at least 1980 have not released a proclamation about Easter. On April 19, Obama hosted an Easter Prayer Breakfast, in which he discussed how the "resurrection of" his "savior, Jesus Christ ... puts everything else in perspective." In his very personal speech, Obama quoted the Scripture and said of Jesus' "slow march up that hill" and "the pain and the scorn and the shame of the cross" Jesus was subjected to:
[W]e'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.
Yeah, that certainly sounds like someone who doesn't respect Easter.
In his weekly address -- which was focused on renewable energy -- Obama found time to recognize Passover and Easter, saying:
This is a time of year when people get together with family and friends to observe Passover and to celebrate Easter. It's a chance to give thanks for our blessings and reaffirm our faith, while spending time with the people we love. We all know how important that is - especially in hard times. And that's what a lot of people are facing these days.
What an Easter-hating jerk.
It is abundantly clear that Fox will find any reason whatsoever to attack Obama, including exploiting religious holidays -- indeed, "the most holy of Christian holidays," as Doocy said -- in order to launch totally baseless, completely offensive attacks on the sincerity of Obama's religious beliefs.
As my colleague Todd Gregory suggested yesterday, Fox's obsession on Obama's lack of an Easter presidential proclamation may have something to do with Fox's repeated efforts to suggest that Obama is secretly a Muslim. Fox & Friends just gave some credence to this theory. Later in the broadcast, they again came back to the bogus Easter story, this time hosting bigoted Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress to attack Obama by repeatedly suggesting that Obama is actually a Muslim.
Jeffress said: "Let's look at what's really going on here. On the one hand we have a president who never met a Muslim holiday he didn't like ... and on the other hand, here he is refusing to acknowledge publically the most important event in Christian faith, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and yet the White House is wondering why do 20 percent of Americans believe the president is a Muslim. Well, as my kids would say, 'Duh.' You know, I mean, it's actions like these that really make people wonder what it is the president really believes."
Co-host Steve Doocy pointed out that Obama's press secretary said that "the president went to a Christian church on Easter" and Obama "has said that he is Christian," but nonetheless went on to invite Jeffress to claim that Obama either "has advisers who are telling him that it is politically expedient to ignore Christianity and elevate other world religions like Islam," or "there is something deep within the president himself that will not allow him to issue these public proclamations about Christianity, when he on Easter will issue a proclamation about Earth Day or he will recognize Muslim holidays."
Of course, Obama has repeatedly "acknowledge[d] publically" Easter and how important the holiday is to him. Indeed, as mentioned above, over and over again Obama used the occasion to express his Christian faith and how these principles guide him. But, again, such facts wouldn't fit into Fox's latest race-baiting narrative.
First they revived the birther claims, now they're reviving the "Obama is really a Muslim" lie. Clearly these people are concerned about 2012 -- despite their repeated efforts to appear confident about Republicans' chances -- because there is simply no other reason that they would have to stoop to breathing new life into the same old debunked falsehoods about Obama's origins and religious beliefs. It's pretty pathetic.
And, in case you're wondering who this winner Pastor Jeffress is, he's the same guy who attempted to rid a public library of books about children with gay parents, claiming that he was trying to protect children from "homosexuality." He's called AIDS a "gay disease" and has attacked Islam as an "evil," "violent" religion that "promotes pedophilia." He's also smeared Mormonism as "a cult," adding that "Christians are uniquely favored by God, [while] Mormons, Hindus and Muslims worship a false god."