Biden faces criticism for not saying Jesus' name in Christmas address
President Joe Biden garnered outrage from some Christians for not mentioning Jesus Christ during his Christmas message, though he did reference the Gospel story of Jesus’ birth.
Biden delivered a Christmas message on Thursday, referring to Jesus at one point as the “child Christians believe to be the son of God,” saying that it has a universal significance.
“Yes, even after 2,000 years, Christmas still has the power to lift us up, to bring us together, to change lives, to change the world. The Christmas story is at the heart of the Christian faith. But the message of hope, love, peace, and joy, they’re also universal,” Biden said.
“It speaks to all of us, whether we’re Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, or any other faith, or no faith at all. It speaks to all of us as human beings who are here on this Earth to care for one another, to look out for one another, to love one another.”
Biden also bemoaned the current political climate, saying that “politics has gotten so angry, so mean, so partisan” and that “too often we see each other as enemies, not as neighbors; as Democrats or Republicans, not as fellow Americans.”
“So, my hope this Christmas season is that we take a few moments of quiet reflection and find that stillness in the heart of Christmas [and] really look at each other, not as Democrats or Republicans, not as members of ‘team red’ or ‘team blue,’ but as who we really are: fellow Americans,” Biden continued.
Christian commentator Todd Starnes denounced the omission of Jesus' name from the speech, expressing his discontent in a post on Twitter.
“President Biden failed to mention the name of Jesus during his Christmas message to the nation. He mentioned the Muslims, but he failed to name the Reason for the Season. Nothing triggers the Left like the name above all names,” tweeted Starnes.
Kara Frederick of the conservative think-tank The Heritage Foundation also took issue with the omission during a segment on Fox News' daytime show “Outnumbered,” saying that it showed “America’s lost its sense of God.”
“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,” she said. “That’s the only way society is going to work going forward, and it’s made us a city on a hill. We need to reclaim that. We need to reclaim our founding principles, period.”
Actor, filmmaker and progressive activist Rob Reiner, who was raised Jewish but is on record as considering himself non-religious, took to his Twitter account to commend Biden for his message.
“Listening to President Biden deliver his Christmas speech, you can’t help but be struck by his kindness, his compassion, his decency, his humanity. At times like this, I’m so grateful we have him,” tweeted Reiner.
Another Twitter user who holds progressive political views posted that he considered “Biden’s Christmas message to America” to be “one I highly recommend you listen to.”
“He finishes this statement by saying … that we can never know what someone else is going through. The pain they may be doing their best to work through,” he tweeted.
“A simple act of kindness from us may give a stranger what they need to survive.”