Last week, when “Fox & Friends” highlighted my most recent column, titled “Neutering Religious Holidays,” liberals came out of the woodwork to try to defend President Barack Obama’s record.
So I decided to do a little research and see just how spiritual his past Thanksgiving addresses have been and compare them with the thoughts of our founding president, George Washington.
In 2013, Obama’s Thanksgiving address didn’t give a single mention of the Pilgrims, their Christian devotion or thanks to God. He did, however, share his gratitude for the Native Americans and their “generosity during that first Thanksgiving.” He gave a litany of “we give thanks” lines, but none of them included faith.
In 2012, Obama didn’t make a single reference to the Pilgrims, their faith, their God or his God, either. Instead, he explained that Thanksgiving is a nonspiritual day for his family and most Americans:
“For us, like so many of you, this is a day full of family and friends, food and football. It’s a day to fight the overwhelming urge to take a nap — at least until after dinner. But most of all, it’s a time to give thanks, for each other and for the incredible bounty we enjoy.”
He made a single generic reference to our religious choice, but in a twisted progressive reinterpretation of Thanksgiving’s purpose:
“Today we give thanks for blessings that are all too rare in this world — the ability to spend time with the ones we love, to say what we want, to worship as we please, to know that there are brave men and women defending our freedom around the globe, and to look our children in the eye and to tell them that here in America, no dream is too big if they’re willing to work for it.”
Obama declared that “Thanksgiving is a chance to put it all in perspective,” but that refocus didn’t include God or faith. Rather, it was just “to remember that, despite our differences, we are — and always will be — Americans first and foremost.”
Going back to 2011, I finally found a reference to the “first Thanksgiving” in Obama’s Thanksgiving address, but it was not exactly our traditional religious picture of the Pilgrims. In fact, it had nothing to do with the Pilgrims giving thanks to their Christian God for their survival and harvest. Rather, he said, “The very first Thanksgiving was a celebration of community during a time of great hardship.” He said the Pilgrims “had faith that tomorrow would be better than today,” but there was no mention of their faith in God. (Sounds as if Obama’s indoctrination as a community coordinator was successful under the tutelage of Bill Ayers and Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals. ( tiny.cc/2y9c3w ) “)
In 2010, in a 700-word Thanksgiving address, the president didn’t give a single reference to any aspect of Thanksgiving’s religious history, its religious purpose or gratitude in God, either, save the tip of his hat to “the God-given bounty of America.” Yet he didn’t forget to include the same old progressive drivel for Americans to consider our country’s journey “since that first Thanksgiving.”
In 2009, Obama started his reign with a Thanksgiving address that excluded any reference to a Pilgrim or Thanksgiving’s real history and any gratitude to God, though he did conclude with the words “God bless you.”
For five years, the president has flunked Thanksgiving Day remembrance and proclamation. Will he do so again in 2014?
Friends, what am I missing? If it were up to President Obama and his liberal minions across this land, Thanksgiving would turn into nothing more than a day of gratitude for things like his Affordable Care Act. We can’t allow that to happen.
We must continue to explain to our children and our children’s children about the religiously steeped history of Thanksgiving. We must tell them about the devoted Christian faith of the Pilgrims and how they crossed the Atlantic clutching their Geneva Bibles. They trusted in God and Jesus despite facing horrendous hardships and loss of life. They learned to “give thanks in everything” (1 Thessalonians 5:18), and the Almighty rewarded their perseverance and faith.
And along with all that believing history, we must remind our posterity what I said last week: Let us never forget there was once a time in the U.S. when people and even presidents weren’t afraid to stand for traditional values and encourage others to do the same.
In fact, I’d call on all Americans to read one or both of their speeches in their entirety before they bow their heads in thanks for the Thanksgiving meal. You can easily find them through an Internet search.
Washington was the first president to issue a Thanksgiving Day proclamation, and his action wasn’t alone. In 1789, the first year of his presidency, Congress passed a resolution that asked Washington to “recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the many signal favors of Almighty God.”
So on Oct. 3, 1789, President Washington gave a 450-word religious proclamation, which contains, from beginning to end, nothing but a list of blessings for which the nation should be thankful to exclusively God.
Among those bountiful blessings is this partial list from Washington:
“Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor … now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be — That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks … and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions.”
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