RNC Responds To Criticism Of Referring To Trump As A ‘New King' On Christmas
If nothing else, 2016 was a stark realization that anything is possible.
And by anything, I mean a man accused of sexual assault — who also publicly bragged about sexual assault — was elected as leader of the free world.
From watching horror unfold in Aleppo, to Kim Kardashian’s Parisian robbery, to the multiple deaths of music legends, the year has been consistently shocking, unequivocally leading to, well, a world that doesn't seem so shocking at all anymore.
But that doesn't mean it's getting any less sad.
On Christmas day, the RNC released a message acknowledging the Christmas celebrations going on in America, just as it did regarding Hanukkah the day before.
Here is the Hanukkah message:
As our Jewish friends and family around the country gather to light the first candle, we hope they will enjoy a special time of closeness and joy this Hanukkah season. These eight nights serve as a reminder of how the Maccabees never gave up hope amidst danger and uncertainty, and each year the Festival of Lights is a time to reflect on the power of faith and perseverance. We wish a Happy Hanukkah to all who are gathering around the menorah, and pray this year's festivities will be a time of celebration and blessings for our Jewish communities.
And here is the Christmas statement:
Merry Christmas to all! Over two millennia ago, a new hope was born into the world, a Savior who would offer the promise of salvation to all mankind. Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King. We hope Americans celebrating Christmas today will enjoy a day of festivities and a renewed closeness with family and friends.
Even as we celebrate, we must also remember those among us who are less fortunate. Many on this day are without hope, and need the kindness and compassion of those around them. It is our prayer we will rise to meet the material, emotional, and spiritual needs of individuals all around us, and what better day is there to love our fellow man than today?
As we open presents, enjoy Christmas dinner, and celebrate our own family traditions, we are mindful of our men and women in uniform. Many are stationed around the world today protecting our freedoms, and cannot be with their own spouses, children, parents, and siblings. We express the deepest gratitude for service that takes them away from celebrating with loved ones, and we ought to remember them in our thoughts and prayers not just on Christmas Day, but the whole year round.
The language is noticeably different between the two statements. In a nation that constitutionally represents freedom of religion, the language in the Hanukkah statement is strictly third person, while the Christmas statement includes words like “we” and “us.”
The Christmas statement is also noticeably much longer.
This Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King.
But the real criticism of the Christmas statement, is coming from the first paragraph, where many believe the RNC likens recent President-elect Donald Trump to Jesus.
As Dan Rather points out, it's difficult to explain how the RNC can justify using the word “new” in front of “King.” Especially because the sentence preceding it makes it clear it's talking about “this” current Christmas celebration.
Republicans are pressing back, saying liberals had no problem with Obama being aligned with Christian references years before.
The Twitter outcry prompted RNC spokesperson and incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer to respond to the controversy, telling CNN, “Christ is the King in the Christian faith.”
Spicer also tweeted that it was “sad” that a holiday such as Christmas had to be politicized in this way.
Regardless of the RNC's response, it is difficult to justify why the word “new” was chosen to accompany this message. It seems to stand as just another political shocker in the span of literally the worst year ever.
Here's to hoping 2017 brings us a lot more political clarity, or at least more of our favorite alcohol available in box form.
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