President Obama was nine months into his first term when he won the Nobel Peace Prize — but most Americans have spent the last 44 wondering why. The latest example comes from comments the President made while he was attending the G8 Summit. Ireland got its first taste of The Great Divider on Monday in a speech the President delivered to 2,000 young people in Belfast. There, in one of the tensest regions of the world, President Obama sowed even more disention by suggesting that religious schools are somehow to blame for Northern Ireland’s ancient conflicts.
Invoking “segregation,” the President claimed that faith-based education is fueling the country’s culture of fear and resentment. “If towns remain divided — if Catholics have their schools and buildings and Protestants have theirs, if we can’t see ourselves in one another and fear or resentment are allowed to harden — that too encourages division and discourages cooperation.” The American and Irish media pounced on the comment, calling it the “bitter clingers” moment of his second presidency — a reference to the President’s infamous middle America-bashing in 2008.