Thanksgiving, a national holiday in which most Americans give thanks and are appreciative for all that they have in life, has historical religious ties including prayers to God.
President George Washington proclaimed the first Thanksgiving Day to be held in 1789, calling it “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God”.
President Lincoln shaped Thanksgiving into it’s modern day form, making it a national holiday in America and acknowledging “the gracious gifts of the Most High God.”
In 2011 however, over two centuries after Washington’s praise to “almighty God,” President Obama demonstrated just how far religion had fallen out of favor during the holiday when he omitted any reference to God during his Thanksgiving Day speech.
Via ABC News:
Critics of President Obama felt little holiday cheer after the president did not thank God in his Thanksgiving-themed weekly Internet address. They immediately took to Twitter and the Internet to voice anger and disbelief.
“Holy cow! Is that one screwed up or what?” columnist Sherman Frederick of the Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote in a Thanksgiving-morning blog post.
“Somebody ought to remind Obama (and his speechwriter) that when Americans sit down around a meal today and give thanks, they give thanks to God.”
Obama’s address can be seen below …
Obama, a former community organizer differed with historians in his description of the first Thanksgiving, offering no religious ties but rather, calling it a “celebration of community.”
Sadly, though noted here for the outrage most people felt, 2011 wasn’t the first time the President left God out of the Thanksgiving Day discussion, and it would not be his last. In 2012, Obama failed to mention God during his speech for the fourth straight year.
It should be noted that the President’s official proclamations have featured mentions of God, though they are scarce.
Via the National Review:
Not surprisingly, President Barack Obama’s Thanksgiving proclamations have been particularly pedestrian and perfunctory. God is lucky to get a mention or two. In his 2009 proclamation, the only reference to God came in a quote from George Washington. If his proclamation of America Recycles Day (“we rededicate ourselves to building a more sustainable future”) invoked the divine providence somewhere, it wouldn’t be so different in tone or content from his Thanksgiving proclamations.
In 2013, President Obama acknowledged that on Thanksgiving, we should remember that “we rise or fall as one Nation, under God.”
What do you think? Has Obama acknowledged religion and God enough when it comes to Thanksgiving Day statements?