‘They are Christians’: Obama & Clinton lambasted for calling bombed Sri Lankans ‘Easter worshipers’
The eight bomb attacks in Sri Lanka, which killed almost 300 people on Easter Sunday, sparked worldwide condemnation. But the way some US politicians expressed their condolences sparked a minor outcry among conservative Americans. Former President Barack Obama and the former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, were blasted for using the term “Easter worshipers” instead of “Christians” when referring to the victims of the attacks.
The attacks on tourists and Easter worshippers in Sri Lanka are an attack on humanity. On a day devoted to love, redemption, and renewal, we pray for the victims and stand with the people of Sri Lanka.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 21, 2019
On this holy weekend for many faiths, we must stand united against hatred and violence. I'm praying for everyone affected by today's horrific attacks on Easter worshippers and travelers in Sri Lanka.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) April 21, 2019
Three Sri Lankan Christian churches were targeted by the perpetrators, implying that the Christian minority was in the crosshairs. Some commentators in the US said Obama and Clinton were in the wrong when they failed to name the religion.
What the heck is an Easter worshipper?The term that these people are going to such painfully ludicrous lengths to avoid using is “Christian”. pic.twitter.com/9pXXB9kXye— Brittany Pettibone (@BrittPettibone) April 21, 2019
Hey @HillaryClinton@BarackObama those "Easter Worshipers" you keep referring to are called #Christians. It is a few more syllables than Muslims but I bet you can say it if you try. Jesus says to love everyone regardless of differences; try it. Praying for #SriLanka#HeIsRisen— Sarah Stanley (@its_me_sarah_s) April 22, 2019
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton referred to those killed on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka as "easter worshipers in church". Saying the word Christians would be wrong right? The truth is that we Christians don't even care, bullshit don't incite us against the world. Receive sense.— Accusator Venditata (@iam_PreciousEsq) April 22, 2019
Particular ire was sparked by the fact that both US politicians didn’t hesitate to use the word “Muslim” when expressing condolences to the victims of last month’s massacre at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Hillary And Obama Both Refuse To Call The #SriLanka Victims Christians And They Both Won’t Call The Muslims Terrorists But Will Call Out “White Supremacy” For The Christchurch Attack Which 400% Less People Died In. They Will Do Anything To Not Recognize The Radical Islam Religion pic.twitter.com/mjzkuxQM7v— Nathan Ball/ナタンボール (@TheTellerYT) April 22, 2019
Notably, Obama and Clinton were not the only US figures, who used the term in remarks about the bloodshed in Sri Lanka. So did Adam Schiff, the Democrat chair of the House Intelligence Committee.
Horrified by the Easter Sunday bombing in Sri Lanka today, which killed over 200 people and injured hundreds more. These attacks on civilians and worshipers are cowardly and despicable. We will stand with Sri Lanka against terror.— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) April 22, 2019
And the same goes for US Attorney Trent Shores.
On this Easter day, my prayers are with the victims of the Sri Lanka terror attacks and their families. The victims included tourists and Easter worshipers, including Americans. May God comfort them with #grace and #peace in this troubled time.— US Attorney Shores (@USAttyShores) April 21, 2019
The criticism is based on the perception that the Democratic Party is bent on downplaying America’s Christian roots for the sake of sensibilities of people adhering to other religions. The sentiment is probably best reflected in Fox News’ coverage of the supposed “war on Christmas” in the US.
In this particular case, however, the notion may be misplaced, one commenter pointed out. Christian churches are not exclusively Christian places of worship there, quite the contrary.
Specifically Colombo, Easter coincides with other native holidays. It is a busy time for outreach and community gatherings. I suspect this was why so many targets were chosen.— David Owen (@davidowen_sd) April 22, 2019
In Sri Lanka, Christianity plays a unique role of serving as a bridge between people by welcoming both the Sinhalese and Tamil ethnic groups. Considering that Tamil separatism was behind a bloody 25-year-long civil war on the South Asian island, which ended just a decade ago, one can understand why this role is highly appreciated.
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