Stop Making Me Defend President Biden!

In his Christmas speech on December 23, President Biden said, referring to Christmas’s religious significance,

“How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is given. There is a certain stillness at the center of the Christmas story. A silent night when all the world goes quiet and all the glamour, all the noise, everything that divides us, everything that pits us against one another, everything — everything that seems so important but really isn’t, this all fades away in stillness of the winter’s evening. And we look to the sky, to a lone star, shining brighter than all the rest, guiding us to the birth of a child—a child Christians believe to be the son of God; miraculously now, here among us on Earth, bringing hope, love and peace and joy to the world.”

Many conservative blogs, pundits and celebrities “pounced,” attacking the President for not mentioning Jesus by name.

The headline at The Daily Wire was “Biden Delivers Christmas Address Without Mentioning Jesus By Name: ‘A Child Christians Believe To Be The Son Of God’” Father Gerald Murray of the Archdiocese of New York told Newsmax that it made “no sense” for Biden to omit the name of Jesus from his annual Christmas address to the country. “President Biden is always talking about his Catholicism and how it inspired him,” Murray said. “If you’re going to honor the birth of Jesus, you should mention his name. I was very sad to see that. That’s not anything that should be imitated in the future.” Doug Collins, a Georgia Republican and former member of the House,said, “Not saying the name of Jesus—look, there are other holidays to celebrate, but Christmas is the birth of Christ. When we celebrate the birth of Christ who came and gave us the gift of life. That’s what we celebrate and to take that out is just sad.” The Heritage Foundation’s Kara Frederick, complained, “America’s lost its sense of God, it’s Judeo-Christian values, and I think this is just a manifestation. This speech not mentioning Christ, talking about how divided this nation’s been for so long, it’s all part and parcel of the secularization of America and we need to return to our faith.”

The United States is not supposed to have a stated “sense of God,” and for the President of the United States to officially espouse the beliefs of any particular religion is, according the the line of judicial interpretations of the Establishment Clause and the First Amendment, a violation of the Constitution.

Yes, Presidents have crossed the line before, and that still doesn’t make it ethical. Biden, for better or worse, and as little as he acts like it most of the time, is duty-bound to be President of all Americans and to use his power and influence in a manner that does not favor one group over others. Whoever wrote that speech—it sure wasn’t Joe, not that there’s anything wrong with that—went right up to the ledge of endorsing Christianity without falling.

The President deserves praise for successfully navigating that perilous journey, not criticism.

_______________

Source: Newsweek.

10 thoughts on “Stop Making Me Defend President Biden!

  1. In the instant case, I think I agree with you, but the President would’ve been well within his rights to state his personal belief in the birth of Jesus during such a speech. But he is certainly under no obligation to do so, nor must he mention Jesus even in the context of Christmas. In fact, as you say, not doing so in his official capacity is more ethical than the alternative. After all, governments are institutions of men, not God.

    I have trouble figuring out what people find so disturbing about Biden’s remarks. My personal faith is not affected in the least by a Presidential speech, even if he crossed the line and touted Mohamed or Buddha. Biden is the head of our government, not the archbishop of some American religious organization.

    One thing I always consider in matters of religion, informed by my personal faith; God made man in His image, and I don’t think the bible is talking just about physical form, since if God actually has one He has not manifested it to us except through Jesus. So do we think God incapable of a sense of humor, or irony, or the ability to shake His head in amusement at the machinations of his creations? Must every offense against God be met with Biblical wrath or eternal damnation?

    I think no, and I also think God got a good belly laugh at all the silliness of the reaction to Biden’s speech, and the opportunistic opprobrium directed at Biden’s anodyne remarks — that is, if he cared enough even to notice. I know it occupied my mind for less than the ten or so seconds it took to read the headline.

  2. There are plenty of other, far more legitimate, things the President has done that are worthy of pouncing. And this comes from a person who is a Christian, who agrees that the country is falling into a pit of secularism from which it won’t escape, and who also believes that God has removed His hand of protection and blessing from us and is allowing us to reap the harvest of what we have sown.

    When I first read the excerpt above, my only issue I had (and a minor issue at that) was the President’s reference to the child that “Christians believe to be the son of God.” But that’s not inaccurate at all. Christians DO believe that (they also believe he IS God), and there are other religious groups that deny it. So really, there’s no issue with what he said.

  3. I wouldn’t be surprised if die-hard atheists were mad that Biden brought up Jesus Christ in any capacity. Anyway, I’m not a huge fan of “Jesus virtue-signaling” anymore than I’m a fan of progressive virtue-signaling. I’m on YouTube a lot, and one particularly annoying trend is people posting a “Jesus died for your sins” comment on any video regardless of the content. In my opinion this sort of thing doesn’t advance Christianity but cheapens it. Jesus Himself had plenty to say about pious virtue-signaling and it wasn’t positive.

    Also I’ve noticed in “A Christmas Carol”, Jesus is merely alluded to, but never mentioned by name. First there’s Marley:

    Why did I walk through crowds of fellow-beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor abode!

    Then there’s Bob Cratchit:

    He told me, coming home, that he hoped the people saw him in the church, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk, and blind men see.

    Given how the general story is about as subtle as a sledgehammer with its message, I thought these allusions were refreshingly restrained, and thus more reverent than, “Jesus is the reason for the season, do you get it do you get it??”

  4. After mentioning “CHRISTmas…silent night…a lone star…birth of a child…Christians…God”, etc., it seems foolishly contrived to NOT say “Jesus”. It wouldn’t have been difficult for a competent speechwriter to do a “non-endorsement” workaround, maybe by employing some wording along the lines of “…a season when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, but when people of all faiths, or no particular religion at all, can blah-blah-blah together, wokey-wokey-wokey…” Maybe they figured on a high probability that SloJo would just muck it up and make things worse by fumbling out “Jessie…,Jewsisus…, that guy” or some-such.

    That Biden didn’t have the wit to see this and ask for a fix is on him. Stop defending President Biden.

  5. Stylistically, I felt that it made sense. His words set the scene in a very general way. It was not detailed. It sounded the way a playwright would set a scene. After the scene is set, you’d see the specific characters in full detail. Mentioning Jesus by name would not have been in keeping with that. In addition, as everyone knows whom he was talking about, the vagueness did not bother me.

    I also had the same reaction Joel Mundt did about those who believe he is the son of God, with the same resolution of that reaction.

    -Jut

  6. I disagree-no matter who does it- poet, professor,presidents, ptentates, and pundits- to allude to Christmas without mention of the person of Jesus, the Incarnation of God into humanity to redeem us is ludicrous. Biden proclaims his belief and membership in the Catholic faith. A faith that sees Jesus, from his birth to his Resurrection at the core of this faith. Christmas celebrates this person, it has for millennia and continues to do so. If one chooses to speak of Christmas, publically or privately, then one is obligated to mention his name. If one refuses to mention the name of Christ then one should not mention Christmas, publically or privately.
    Much ink has been spilled here correcting the fundamental misunderstanding that a man cannot become a woman nor can a woman become a man. We argue against that pervasive misunderstanding because there exists truth behind our defense. Likewise, I would say that Christmas is specifically about Christ, to speak otherwise undermines its fundamental tenant.
    Major cities and nations tout their annual Christmas Tree lighting, Christmas markets, and Christmas parades, yet reject the iconography of the creche.
    Many poets, professors, presidents, potentates, and pundits tout their support of the emotions attached to Christmas, yet reject the person of Christ.
    Many gather to festively feast and drink without acknowledging, the reason for their gathering.

    Again I disagree, that the president was correct and needs to be defended. He needs to be exhorted to speak the truth or speak nothing at all.

    • Rhetoric like Biden’s is standard in oratory, which is not regular speech. The use of a clear but general description of a famous event or individual is style, not substance.

      The grandest of all Christmas Carols, “O Come All Ye Faithful,” doesn’t mention Jesus by name. I checked. That omission never even registered, since it is crystal clear what and who are being celebrated.

  7. I hate it so much when Republicans go for such weak argumentation. It just reveals that they have no moral claim, either, just the same will-to-power that will abandon principle to score political points with no shame and no remorse.

    When you have mentioned a silent night, a star, and baby that is heralded as the Son of God, you’ve named Jesus. Who else did Biden mean? Brian?

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