Biden spox: It’s ‘cruel’ to attack president for proclaiming Easter Sunday as ‘Trans Day of Visibility’

U.S. President Joe Biden, alongside the Easter Bunny (L), gestures after speaking at the annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on April 10, 2023.
U.S. President Joe Biden, alongside the Easter Bunny (L), gestures after speaking at the annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on April 10, 2023. | ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

As President Joe Biden faces rebuke for proclaiming Easter Sunday as “Transgender Day of Visibility,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates lashed out at those who found it offensive to Christians and disrespectful of Jesus Christ, saying such criticisms are “cruel” and “hateful.”

In a proclamation Friday, Biden said, “On Transgender Day of Visibility, we honor the extraordinary courage and contributions of transgender Americans and reaffirm our Nation’s commitment to forming a more perfect Union — where all people are created equal and treated equally throughout their lives.”

Biden sparked outrage among politicians, pastors and laity nationwide, yet others swiftly defended the president, noting that the trans celebration, made up 15 years ago and recognized by the Biden administration, happened to fall on the holiest day of the Christian calendar, celebrated by over 2 billion Christians worldwide.

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Bates said Saturday, “As a Christian who celebrates Easter with family, President Biden stands for bringing people together and upholding the dignity and freedoms of every American.

“Sadly, it’s unsurprising politicians are seeking to divide and weaken our country with cruel, hateful, and dishonest rhetoric. President Biden will never abuse his faith for political purposes or for profit,” Bates added, later noting that Biden has celebrated the secular observance each year of his presidency.

In one of several follow-up posts on X Sunday, Bates added: "Easter can fall on any Sunday from late March to mid-April. So basically, Easter falling on Trans Day of Visibility is no different from when Hannukah fell on Thanksgiving in 2013."

In response to the Biden administration's point that both observances happen to fall on the same day, so there should be no controversy surrounding Biden celebrating “Transgender Day of Visibility,” Southern Baptist Theological Seminary professor Andrew T. Walker said in a post on X, “It does not matter that March 31 is an annual progressive liturgical day known as “Trans Day of Visibility.”

He added: "What matters is that our 'Catholic' President and his staff knew it would be controversial for it to fall on Easter and decided that appeasing the far-Left and offending Christians was an acceptable trade-off. There is no law mandating that they recognize a clown world holiday. They chose to do so and are deserving of criticism.”

In direct response to Politico and other media fact checks, such as Reuters, which reiterated that the two observances fell on March 31, Walker said on X Sunday: “Gee, I don’t know, but a decades-old ideology that encourages people to mutilate their genitals does not seem equal in importance to a faith that is thousands of years old and responsible for building entire civilizations.”

Others, however, came to Biden's defense. 

Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., joined Bates in criticizing any condemnation of Biden’s celebration of the so-called Trans Day of Visibility, claiming that such denunciations are the “opposite of the Christian faith.”

Directly addressing House Speaker Mike Johnson, who stated on X that the Biden administration has “betrayed” Easter’s central tenet — the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” Warnock said in a CNN “State of the Union” interview with Dana Bash on Sunday that “Apparently, the speaker finds trans people abhorrent, and I think he ought to think about that.”

Warnock, who also serves as the senior pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, claimed that such criticisms from Johnson and the Trump campaign, among others, go against Scripture. "March 31st has been a day to lift up transgender people ... Easter, the date changes every single day."

“This is just one more instance of folks who do not know how to lead us trying to divide us,” Warnock said. “This is the opposite of the Christian faith. Jesus centered the marginalized. He centered the poor.”

The Trump campaign, through spokesperson Karoline Leavitt, blasted Biden’s celebration of transgenderism on Easter as being both “appalling and insulting.”

“We call on Joe Biden’s failing campaign and White House to issue an apology to the millions of Catholics and Christians across America who believe [Easter Sunday] is for one celebration only — the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” Leavitt said.

Several pastors also spoke out about Biden's proclamation celebrating "Transgender Day of Visibility" on Easter Sunday.

Greg Laurie, pastor and founder of the Harvest churches in California and Hawaii and Harvest Crusades, responded to Biden’s proclamation on X, saying, “This is really hard to believe. President Biden issued a proclamation recognizing March 31 as Transgender Day of Visibility. This is also the date of Easter where we celebrate the fact that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. What is the president thinking?

“This is a profound insult to the sincerely held religious beliefs of millions of Americans on our holiest day,” he added. “America needs God more than ever, and yet this is the stance the White House takes. It’s time to turn back to God, not turn our backs on God. We need to repent and pray for a spiritual awakening in America. It is our only hope.”

Similarly, Pastor Jack Hibbs of Calvary Church Chino Hills addressed the breaking news about Biden’s proclamation in a post on X Saturday morning as he spoke about the historic events that transpired the day after Good Friday. In his nearly 29-minute talk, Hibbs admonished media outlets that regularly make fun of the president, while lamenting the administration’s decision to recognize Easter Sunday as “Transgender Day of Visibility.”

On Sunday, the White House released a statement about Easter:

“Jill and I send our warmest wishes to Christians around the world celebrating Easter Sunday. Easter reminds us of the power of hope and the promise of Christ’s Resurrection.

“As we gather with loved ones, we remember Jesus’ sacrifice. We pray for one another and cherish the blessing of the dawn of new possibilities. And with wars and conflict taking a toll on innocent lives around the world, we renew our commitment to work for peace, security, and dignity for all people.”

However, this was overshadowed by the ongoing debate over Biden’s lengthy statement about his recognition of the “Transgender Day of Visibility,” also released Sunday, which states in part:

“On Transgender Day of Visibility, we celebrate the strength, joy, and absolute courage of some of the bravest people I know. Transgender Americans deserve to be safe and supported in every community — but today, across our country, MAGA extremists are advancing hundreds of hateful and extreme state laws that target transgender kids and their families. No one should have to be brave just to be themselves.”

Lamenting the state of the nation and highlighting the power of the Gospel to transform lives, Walker added on X: "The United States of America needs another Great Awakening. We need lots of conversions with a massive view of God’s holiness and goodness. Our national soul is hollowed out and the end result has been a combination of stupid and lethal. Only Christ can heal us from this secular black hole. There is so much need for Scripture, discipleship, preaching, and the local church. Much to do.”

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