The United States Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia celebrated Independence Day a month early -- to accommodate the country's Muslim population.
It seems the Fourth of July is right smack in the middle of Ramadan this year so the embassy decided to move America’s birthday to the Fourth of June.
“We are celebrating a month early to respect the holy month of Ramadan,” Ambassador Robert Blake told a gathering at the embassy.
It sounds like every day is April Fool's Day at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta. I wouldn’t be surprised if they observe Good Friday on a Tuesday.
The Jakarta Post reported on the holiday swap. I suppose that Muslims would be too busy with their fasting and prayers to enjoy an all-beef frank and fireworks.
And as the Obama administration constantly reminds us -- we simply cannot offend Islamic sensibilities.
The State Department downplayed the change during a June 9 press briefing by pointing out that official Fourth of June celebrations are not meant for the average American living in Jakarta.
“These are not events for the American citizen population that’s resident there,” spokesman Jeff Rathke told a reporter. “It’s not like a picnic you have with your family and friends when you’re back here in the U.S. These are official events that are – the purpose of which is to represent the United States to the host nation and to the host government.”
That explanation did not set well with Jim Hanson, the executive director for the Center for Security Policy on June 10.
“I think the problem is we have become overly sensitive to Islamic sensibilities,” he told Fox & Friends. “Ramadan is a time when most Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Well, if we wanted to be courteous, we could've just held the celebration at night. You know what else is great after sunset, fireworks?”
Mr. Hanson has a point. Sparklers aren’t nearly as fun during daylight hours.
Ambassador Blake told the Fourth of June gathering that their event was all the more meaningful because the “rights we celebrate are not America’s alone.”
You know what else is all the more meaningful? Celebrating America’s birthday on the right day – instead of getting into a dither over offending Muslims.
It’s really hard to mess up an Independence Day celebration – but the embassy staff even managed to get the theme wrong.
Instead of celebrating freedom, they celebrated green energy – complete with biodegradable balloons and something called “low-carbon sustainable food.” I think that’s government code for inedible food.
“The last time I checked July Fourth wasn't about green energy, it was about self-evident truths, that all men are created equal,” Hanson told Fox & Friends.
There you have it, America. Nothing says freedom quite like promoting green energy development. Because as we all know – our forefathers fought the British so that we might be able to compost and drive a Chevy Volt.
Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is "God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values." Follow Todd on Twitter @ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.