The eight bomb attacks in Sri Lanka, which killed almost 300 people on Easter Sunday, sparked worldwide condemnation. But the way some US politicians expressed their condolences sparked a minor outcry among conservative Americans. Former President Barack Obama and the former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, were blasted for using the term “Easter worshipers” instead of “Christians” when referring to the victims of the attacks.
Three Sri Lankan Christian churches were targeted by the perpetrators, implying that the Christian minority was in the crosshairs. Some commentators in the US said Obama and Clinton were in the wrong when they failed to name the religion.
Particular ire was sparked by the fact that both US politicians didn’t hesitate to use the word “Muslim” when expressing condolences to the victims of last month’s massacre at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Notably, Obama and Clinton were not the only US figures, who used the term in remarks about the bloodshed in Sri Lanka. So did Adam Schiff, the Democrat chair of the House Intelligence Committee.
And the same goes for US Attorney Trent Shores.
The criticism is based on the perception that the Democratic Party is bent on downplaying America’s Christian roots for the sake of sensibilities of people adhering to other religions. The sentiment is probably best reflected in Fox News’ coverage of the supposed “war on Christmas” in the US.
In this particular case, however, the notion may be misplaced, one commenter pointed out. Christian churches are not exclusively Christian places of worship there, quite the contrary.
In Sri Lanka, Christianity plays a unique role of serving as a bridge between people by welcoming both the Sinhalese and Tamil ethnic groups. Considering that Tamil separatism was behind a bloody 25-year-long civil war on the South Asian island, which ended just a decade ago, one can understand why this role is highly appreciated.