I read President Barack Obama’s statement on the occasion of Ramadan released on Thursday.
As the new crescent moon brings in the holy month of Ramadan, Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those observing the month of fasting in the United States and around the world.
Ramadan is a time in which families and communities come together for iftars and prayers in festive gatherings that demonstrate the rich and diverse traditions of Muslim societies and cultures.
It is also a deeply spiritual time of reflection and renewal meant to increase thankfulness and consciousness of God’s mercy. Muslims honor each day of Ramadan as a day of patient endurance through fasting, and each night as a night of gratitude through prayers. It is a time to reinforce faith, compassion and forgiveness, and perseverance through adversity. In this month of giving, Muslims around the globe reach out to assist those afflicted by conflict, hunger, poverty and disease. And here in the United States, American Muslims join their fellow citizens to serve the less fortunate, hosting inter-faith activities that build understanding and remind us that we stand together as one American family. The diversity and patriotism of America’s religious communities give strength to all of us, and our freedom to worship reminds us of the values we share.
I once again look forward to welcoming American Muslims to the White House for our annual White House iftar dinner to honor the month of Ramadan and recognize the service of American Muslims from across the country. From my family to yours, Ramadan Kareem.
I thought it would be interesting to go back to see the statement the President released for Easter.
Michelle and I join our fellow Christians around the world in observing Good Friday and celebrating Easter this weekend. With humility and awe, we give thanks for the extraordinary sacrifice that Jesus made for our salvation. We rejoice in the triumph of the Resurrection. And we renew our commitment to live as He commanded – to love God with all our heart, soul and mind, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. I look forward to continuing our celebration on Tuesday when I host our annual Easter prayer breakfast as we remember the teachings of Jesus in our daily lives, stand with those around the world who are persecuted for their faith, and pray for peace, justice and freedom for all people.
No mention of why Jesus died on the cross and what His death and resurrection actually accomplished. Then there is the noticeable difference in length.
Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in the State of Israel, and throughout the world.
Tonight, for the seventh year, I’ll hold a Seder in the White House, and we’ll join millions of Jewish families as we retell one of humanity’s great stories of liberation. The Exodus was neither easy nor quick. The Israelites’ journey to freedom required them to choose faith over fear and courage over complacency. Above all, it required the works of an awesome God, who led them out of bondage with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.
The story of the Exodus – the signs and wonders that appeared when hope seemed lost, the Jewish people’s abiding belief that they would one day reach the Promised Land – has inspired countless generations over the years. It inspired Jewish families to hold fast to their faith, even during times of terrible persecution. It inspired young Civil Rights leaders as they marched across an Alabama bridge in search of their own Promised Land, half a century ago.
And it continues to inspire us today. Tonight, my family will read the passage of the Haggadah that declares we must see ourselves as though we personally were liberated from Egypt. The Exodus reminds us that progress has always come slow and the future has always been uncertain, but it also reminds there is always reason for hope.
Like the Israelites who Moses led out of slavery long ago, it is up to us to never lose faith in the better day that lies ahead. In our own country, we can continue our march toward a more perfect union. Around the world, we can seek to extend the miracles of freedom and peace, prosperity and security, to more of God’s creation. And together, we can continue the hard but awesome work of tikkun olam, and do our part to repair the world.
From my family to yours, Chag Sameach.
Compare that as well to the statement that he released on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia:
Michelle and I join our fellow Americans and others around the world in commemorating the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia tomorrow, May 17. We take this opportunity to reaffirm that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights are human rights, to celebrate the dignity of every person, and to underscore that all people deserve to live free from fear, violence, and discrimination, regardless of who they are or whom they love.
We work toward this goal every day. Here at home, we are working to end bias-motivated violence, combat discrimination in the workplace, and address the specific needs of transgender persons. Overseas, I am proud of the steps that the United States has taken to prioritize the protection and promotion of LGBT rights in our diplomacy and global outreach.
There is much more to do, and this fight for equality will not be won in a day. But we will keep working, at home and abroad, and we will keep fighting, for however long it takes until we are all able to live free and equal in dignity and rights.
Here is the President’s statement on Kwanzaa:
Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to those celebrating Kwanzaa this holiday season. Today begins a celebration highlighting the rich African American heritage and culture through the seven principles of Kwanzaa—unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. During this season, families come together to reflect on blessings of the past year and look forward to the promises in the year ahead. As we remain committed to building a country that provides opportunity for all, this time of year reminds us that there is much to be thankful for.
As families around the world unite to light the Kinara today, our family extends our prayers and best wishes during this holiday season.
Also it should be noted there was no statement released for National Day of Prayer. Even more interesting, and I’m surprised I missed it at the time, there was no official statement released for Christmas or Hanukkah. Things that make you go hmmmm…..
While I’m not going to infer that President Obama is a closet Muslim or anything of the sort it is quite obvious where his administration’s communications staff’s passion resides. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.
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