Easter messages

Easter messages compared.

An Easter message from a head of state:

Religious holidays are special days, during which the society enjoys intense feelings of unity, solidarity and brotherhood.

Easter is one of the most important feasts, celebrated by our Christian citizens of various churches and groups.

We, with the strength and the understanding of justice we draw from our civilization which considers differences to be a source of richness, attach great importance to all our citizens’ ability to freely practice their religions, cultures and traditions in our country regardless of their belief, religion, sect or ethnicity.

I congratulate all Christians, our Christian citizens in particular, on the occasion of Easter. Peace be upon you!

The author is Recep Erdoğan, President of Turkey. He’s a conservative Muslim in a country where Muslims make up 82% of the population according to Ipsos and 99.8% according to the government. He is also an authoritarian populist, and has fought to bring the media and the judiciary under his control. However, there’s nothing wrong with the message. That is, it’s inoffensive and positive boilerplate.

There is no obligation on heads of state to issue Easter messages. Very few do. I can’t find any statement from the monarchs of Spain, Denmark, and Norway, or the President of Italy, countries where Christianity has a privileged status by constitution or custom. Queen Elizabeth of the UK didn’t say anything, but Prince Charles recorded a video, focussing on persecuted Christians round the world.  The King and Queen of Sweden put a photo on Instagram of the couple sitting by a fire with their dog, Brandie, in the snow. Their message said, “The royal couple wishes a happy Easter from Storlien.” Tip: kings are not limited to 140 characters.

In the USA, the 45th President put out a bland combined Easter and Pesach message as is customary, on video. His real message was a furious anti-immigrant tweetstorm on Sunday morning,  attacking Mexico, Dreamers -“NO MORE DACA DEAL!” -, NAFTA, Democrats, and Senate Republicans.

How much longer will Americans put up with so contemptible a man occupying - you can’t say filling - the office held by Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson and Barack Obama?

Author: James Wimberley

James Wimberley (b. 1946, an Englishman raised in the Channel Islands. three adult children) is a former career international bureaucrat with the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. His main achievements there were the Lisbon Convention on recognition of qualifications and the Kosovo law on school education. He retired in 2006 to a little white house in Andalucia, His first wife Patricia Morris died in 2009 after a long illness. He remarried in 2011. to the former Brazilian TV actress Lu Mendonça. The cat overlords are now three. I suppose I've been invited to join real scholars on the list because my skills, acquired in a decade of technical assistance work in eastern Europe, include being able to ask faux-naïf questions like the exotic Persians and Chinese of eighteenth-century philosophical fiction. So I'm quite comfortable in the role of country-cousin blogger with a European perspective. The other specialised skill I learnt was making toasts with a moral in the course of drunken Caucasian banquets. I'm open to expenses-paid offers to retell Noah the great Armenian and Columbus, the orange, and university reform in Georgia. James Wimberley's occasional publications on the web

7 thoughts on “Easter messages”

  1. I am grateful that Trump is unable to refrain from expressing his vileness. These expressions are the only truth he utters, and I'd rather hear them than the typical politician's hypocrisy. Trump is contemptible not for his vile utterances but for destroying the futures of young people who have grown up in the United States and for breaking up families-in both cases because his victims are not white. If the Democrats take over Congress and, in 2020, the presidency, I hope that their reform of immigration law includes inviting back the people whom Trump has deported.

  2. Trump doesn't occupy the office of Washington, Lincoln et al. He occupies the office of Jackson, Buchanan, Andrew Johnson and GW Bush.

  3. While Mr. Erdogan was putting out that charming message, he was also kidnapping Turkish citizens from Kosovo to put on trial for plotting to overthrow the Turkish government. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/democracy-pos…. I think that Mr. Erdogan is not worth the slightest level of admiration for anything, not in any way an improvement on Trump. He may well be worse.

    1. Nor did I suggest he was better, on any overall assessment. Nor was Franco. But you have to admit he is a serious professional politician, a thug of substance. There have been many such in history. Buffoons like Trump don't tend to last long, in any political system.

      1. Your last sentence had me trying to come up with examples (and counterexamples) of buffoons in office or positions of power and how they fared.

        My knowledge of the later Roman empire is embarrassingly thin, but I think some of the later Roman emperors illustrated that "buffoons don't last long" rather well, although others illustrated that "reasonably competent people thrust into an impossible situation may not last all that long, either." Trump has already lasted quite a while as a political presence, and even as an elected official he's being shored up by a lot of powerful special interests, as well as the leadership of his own party.

  4. James, you ask "How much longer will Americans put up with so contemptible a man occupying – you can’t say filling – the office held by Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson and Barack Obama?" A week after your posting, I can now say: "Not much longer."

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