Historic First: No Direct Mention of God in Thanksgiving Proclamation

"The First Thanksgiving", painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris

"The First Thanksgiving", painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris

LifeSiteNews took a look at President Barack Obama’s Thanksgiving Proclamation and found that it is the first presidential Thanksgiving proclamation that makes no direct mention of God:

President Obama’s brief proclamation of Thanksgiving Day on November 26 was unique among all recorded Thanksgiving proclamations by his predecessors: it is the first one that fails to directly acknowledge the existence of God.

The beneficence shown by God to America is a theme that traditionally defines the Thanksgiving holiday, and this theme is strongly emphasized in the original Thanksgiving Day proclamations and consistently acknowledged even by modern presidents.

Obama’s unprecedented proclamation, however, only makes indirect mention of God by quoting George Washington, stating: “Today, we recall President George Washington, who proclaimed our first national day of public thanksgiving to be observed ‘by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God.'”

It does finish with “… in the year of our Lord two thousand nine…” so I’m not sure whether to be thankful for this reference or write it off to a cut-and-paste oversight that Obama forgot to remove.

Contrast Obama’s proclamation to President George W. Bush’s last year which said “We recognize that all of these blessings, and life itself, come not from the hand of man but from Almighty God”, said of Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation “…asking God to heal our wounds and restore our country…” and said “On this day, let us all give thanks to God who blessed our Nation’s first days and who blesses us today.  May He continue to guide and watch over our families and our country always.”

The LifeSiteNews piece says the second-weakest proclamation was that of President Gerald Ford in 1975, and that even President Bill Clinton had directly referenced God.

To some, this might seem like a small thing.  But our nation has a long tradition of recognizing that God is the author of the blessings we enjoy in America, going back to our first president and of course back to the early colonial days.

And if God is indeed the source of our blessings in America (and I am convinced He is), for us to ignore Him is to tell him we aren’t interested in His blessings anymore.

And that is an extremely dangerous statement to make.

3 Responses to “Historic First: No Direct Mention of God in Thanksgiving Proclamation”

  1. Sort of a “true colors” revelation from a president whom many had claimed was “Christian”?

  2. Sort of a “true colors” revelation from a president whom many had claimed was “Christian”?