Sunday, May 10, 2009

Obama Thankful for Freedom to Not Worship

President Obama's proclamation – as required by federal law – marking the National Day of Prayer, which barely mentions the Almighty, praises a secular America.

Contrasting Lincoln's and Obama's proclamations . . .

-- From "Obama’s National Day of Prayer Proclamation Mentions God Only Once" by Penny Starr, Senior Staff Writer, 5/7/09

On March 30, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the proclamation beginning with the words:

“Whereas, the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and just Government of Almighty God, in all the affairs of men and of nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for National prayer and humiliation.”

In today’s proclamation, Obama opened the document with these words:

“Throughout our Nation's history, Americans have come together in moments of great challenge and uncertainty to humble themselves in prayer. In 1775, as the Continental Congress began the task of forging a new Nation, colonists were asked to observe a day of quiet humiliation and prayer. Almost a century later, as the flames of the Civil War burned from north to south, President Lincoln and the Congress once again asked the American people to pray as the fate of their Nation hung in the balance.”

In Lincoln’s proclamation, God is mentioned five times and emphasizes God’s dominion over the nation, the need for people to repent, and the divine nature of the Bible.

“And whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord,” Lincoln wrote.

Obama’s proclamation mentions God once – “I call upon Americans to pray in thanksgiving for our freedoms and blessings and to ask for God’s continued guidance, grace and protection for this land that we love” – and also refers to people who don’t believe in God, which is tied to a reference to the U.S. military.

“On this day of unity and prayer, let us also honor the service and sacrifice of the men and women of the United States Armed Forces,” Obama wrote. “We celebrate their commitment to uphold our highest ideals, and we recognize that it is because of them that we continue to live in a Nation where people of all faiths can worship or not worship according to the dictates of their conscience.”

To read the entire proclamations by both presidents, CLICK HERE.