Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are being roundly criticized for their apparently coordinated decision not to use the word 'Christian' to describe the victims of the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, which targeted three Catholic churches, among other targets. Some even speculated whether Obama's and Clinton's decision was intended to undermine the Christian faith in the US.
Instead of using the label "Christians", Obama and Clinton referred to the victims of the attacks as "Easter Worshippers", elicited ridicule from conservatives on Twitter.
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
The fact that three churches were targeted would suggest that Sri Lanka's Christian minority was specifically targeted by the attackers.
What the heck is an Easter worshipper?— Brittany Pettibone (@BrittPettibone) April 21, 2019
The term that these people are going to such painfully ludicrous lengths to avoid using is “Christian”. pic.twitter.com/9pXXB9kXye
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
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
Unsurprisingly, Obama and Clinton weren't the only Democrats who artfully avoided the word "Christian".
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
Offering a possible explanation, one Twitter wit argued that Obama and Clinton may have been correct to not specifically name Christians since Easter coincides with other holidays on the island (though he didn't do himself any favors by referring to Sri Lanka by its British colonial name Ceylon).
The churches in Sri Lanka welcome all faiths and people of all faiths go to Easter services. I know that sounds weird but I read up on that last night. So when Obama and HRC say “Easter Worshipers” they are referring to pluralism of Easter in Ceylon.— David Owen (@davidowen_sd) April 22, 2019
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
Pointing out how odd it is that the most influential Democrats are avoiding saying the word “Christian” isn’t a conspiracy. It's a legitimate observation.— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) April 22, 2019
To anyone defending the phrase “Easter worshipper” claiming this is some kind of conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton went out of her way to avoid saying the word “Christian” pic.twitter.com/k111ZdUcgr— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) April 22, 2019
Regardless, we imagine we'll be revisiting this in a few months when the annual 'war on Christmas' begins.
I don't know about you, but I'm really looking forward to being called a "Christmas worshiper" in a couple months— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) April 22, 2019