WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - APRIL 10, 2023: President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden attend the annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House on April 10, 2023 in Washington, D.C.

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House Speaker bashed Biden over Easter Egg Roll—despite same religious symbol ban occurring under Trump

The 'ban' on religious symbols has been around a long time.


Marlon Ettinger


Posted on Apr 2, 2024   Updated on Apr 2, 2024, 4:26 pm CDT

A now-retracted story from the Daily Caller drove Republican messaging all the way to the Speaker of the House’s office, which claimed President Joe Biden banned religious symbols from the annual Easter Egg Roll.

The story, which initially failed to specify that the restriction on religious symbols wasn’t introduced under Biden, claimed that children were “banned … from submitting Easter Eggs with religious themes for its 2024 ‘Celebrating National Guard Families’ art contest.”

“The competition … explicitly stipulated that egg designs not feature any ‘religious symbols’ on the Christian holiday,” read the Daily Caller piece, citing a White House flyer with information about the event.

An edited version of the story noted that the same restrictions existed under Republican President Donald Trump.

The flier laying out the restrictions included rules against egg designs containing material that criticized the White House or the event, the military, or that included racism or the promotion of illegal drugs and firearms.

And that claim quickly made it to the highest-ranking Republican. 

“The Biden White House has betrayed the central tenet of Easter — which is the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” posted Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) on Saturday above a screenshot of the Daily Caller article.

“Banning sacred truth and tradition—while at the same time proclaiming Easter Sunday as ‘Transgender Day’—is outrageous and abhorrent. The American people are taking note.”

Johnson was also referencing the insincere Republican ire over Biden recognizing Trans Day of Visibility.

The day this year, March 31, coincided with Easter, but Biden has recognized the holiday each year since he first took office in 2021.

Republicans, who likely knew it was a coincidence given Easter’s fluctuations in the calendar, nevertheless spent three days melting down. 

“Mike Johnson lies by omitting info,” posted @mhairiforrest. “Since 2009, March 31st has been Transgender Day & Biden instituted it in the US in 2021. The date of Easter changes every year. The rules for the egg art contest are established by the sponsor of the event: the American Egg Board.”

Backlash to the story was strong enough to get the attention of the Daily Caller’s editorial team.

“Following the publication of this article, the Daily Caller became aware of additional context that undercut the central assertion of this article and its newsworthiness,” the website wrote in a statement. “The ban of religious symbolism on eggs as part of the White House Easter egg art contest has been longstanding, dating back decades, and the Biden administration did not make any modifications to this rule. While the Caller did not explicitly state at any point that the rule was new, this additional context rendered the main thrust of the article misleading to readers, who could reasonably have come to the conclusion that the rule was new.”

In Body Image
Daily Caller

“With that additional context included, the news value of the article was significantly diminished, leading the senior leadership at the Caller to the decision to retract,” the Caller concluded. “We sincerely regret the error and are taking the necessary steps to ensure similar mistakes can be avoided in the future.”

The reporter who wrote the Daily Caller story didn’t immediately respond to questions about the editorial process behind writing the story and the decision to retract it.

On Monday, Biden called Johnson’s criticism of the Easter Egg Roll “thoroughly uninformed.”

While Johnson’s tweet remains up, people online are now dragging him after the piece was retracted. 

Wrote a White House spokesperson, “To their credit, the @DailyCaller just retracted the exact story @SpeakerJohnson tweeted: ‘The Biden administration did not make any modifications to this rule…We sincerely regret the error’ … Will the Speaker follow their example and retract his tweet?”

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*First Published: Apr 2, 2024, 2:17 pm CDT