Thursday, November 25, 2010

Obama Gives Thanks to Indians, then God: Thanksgiving Proclamation

Last year the Obama White House caught heat from some groups when God wasn't mentioned in the president's first Thanksgiving proclamation. It was the first time the yearly proclamation failed to include the religious reference. But this year's uses the word God twice.

-- From "Presidential Proclamation--Thanksgiving Day" posted at 11/23/10

A beloved American tradition, Thanksgiving Day offers us the opportunity to focus our thoughts on the grace that has been extended to our people and our country. This spirit brought together the newly arrived Pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe -- who had been living and thriving around Plymouth, Massachusetts for thousands of years -- in an autumn harvest feast centuries ago. This Thanksgiving Day, we reflect on the compassion and contributions of Native Americans, whose skill in agriculture helped the early colonists survive, and whose rich culture continues to add to our Nation's heritage. We also pause our normal pursuits on this day and join in a spirit of fellowship and gratitude for the year's bounties and blessings.

To read the entire proclamation, CLICK HERE.

From "God Returns to Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation" by Wes Barrett, 11/25/10

After a one-year absence, God has reappeared in the annual Presidential Thanksgiving proclamation.

"As we stand at the close of one year and look to the promise of the next, we lift up our hearts in gratitude to God for our many blessings, for one another, and for our Nation." the proclamation states. Then just a few lines later it goes on to say, "As Americans gather for the time-honored Thanksgiving Day meal, let us rejoice in the abundance that graces our tables, in the simple gifts that mark our days, in the loved ones who enrich our lives, and in the gifts of a gracious God."

God isn't the only word added to this year's proclamation. The length of 2009's version was 432 words while this year's proclamation is 602 words long. George Washington's original Thanksgiving proclamation [see below] was 472 words long mentioned the word God twice within its first sentence.

This year the first family is expected to spend Thanksgiving together at home in Washington. "... Just as folks have done in every Thanksgiving since the first, we'll spend some time taking stock of what we're thankful for: the God-given bounty of America, and the blessings of one another," Obama said in his weekly address.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Obama Gives Thanks to God in Thanksgiving Proclamation" by Nathan Black, Christian Post Reporter 11/24/10

Last year, the president received some flak for what some considered a "godless" proclamation. His only mention of God was an indirect one, as he quoted President George Washington who proclaimed the first national day of Thanksgiving to be observed "by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God."

But this year, the media have taken notice of Obama's two mentions of God and continuing the tradition of previous presidential proclamations that attributed blessings to God.

He also called Americans to remember the hungry and to practice generosity by helping fellow citizens in need.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Thanksgiving Day 1789 - By The President Of The United States Of America - A Proclamation

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 - and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "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, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."

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 – for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation – for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war –for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed – for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

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 – to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually – to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed – to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord – To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us – and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
-- George Washington