Barack Obama delivered his annual Thanksgiving address from the White House yesterday, speaking on current issues such as the election and Hurricane Sandy. But it was the one subject that he omitted from his address that continued to sadden those who have observed the same pattern over his first four-year term, as he avoided discussing the One that Americans are to give thanks to: God.
“For us, like so many of you, this is a day of family and friends, food and football,” Obama said. “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 in this country,” he continued. “It’s especially important this year.”
He then began to discuss the election and his desire to see Americans unite on common ground.
“As a nation, we’ve just emerged from a campaign season that was passionate, noisy, and vital to our democracy. But it also required us to make choices – and sometimes those choices led us to focus on what sets us apart instead of what ties us together; on what candidate we support instead of what country we belong to,” Obama said. “Thanksgiving is a chance to put it all in perspective – to remember that despite our differences, we are, and always will be, Americans first and foremost.”
“Today, we give thanks for blessings that are all too rare in this world,” he added. “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 tell them that, here in America, no dream is too big if they’re willing to work for it.”
He then spoke of those struggling this Thanksgiving, who are rebuilding their lives after Hurricane Sandy.
“We’re also grateful that this country is also home to Americans who see these blessings [as] not simply gifts to enjoy, but as opportunities to give back,” Obama said. “Americans who believe that we have a responsibility to look out for those less fortunate — to pull each other up, and move forward together.”
“Right now, as we prepare to gather around our dinner tables, there are families in the Northeast who don’t have that luxury. Many of them have lost everything to Hurricane Sandy – homes, possessions, even loved ones,” he continued. “And it will be a long time before life goes back to normal.”
He then commended those that helped with rescue and charity work following the disaster, stating that our nation is comprised of charitable people.
“As Americans, we are bold, generous, big-hearted people,” Obama said. “When our brothers and sisters are in need, we roll up our sleeves and get to work. Not for the recognition or reward, but because it’s the right thing to do.”
He did mention God in passing once during this time, not in relation to the Thanksgiving holiday, but in referencing Hurricane Sandy.
“Because there but for the grace of God go I,” Obama stated. “And because here in America, we rise or fall together, as one nation and one people.”
“So, to all the Americans that are doing your part to make our world a better place, it is my great privilege to serve as your president,” he said. “And from our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving everybody.”
However, while Obama’s national address did not mention thanking God during the Thanksgiving holiday, his national proclamation, which is largely unseen by the general public, did make reference to the blessings of the Creator.
“On Thanksgiving Day, individuals from all walks of life come together to celebrate this most American tradition, grateful for the blessings of family, community, and country,” he said. “Let us spend this day by lifting up those we love, mindful of the grace bestowed upon us by God and by all who have made our lives richer with their presence.”
For the three previous years of his term, his proclamation and address have been of the same manner.
“Of course, nobody sees these proclamations, so Obama doesn’t have to be embarrassed about them,” wrote Ben Shapiro of Breitbart.com.
“It’s no wonder that this President’s Democratic National Committee platform tried to remove God. He’s not a big fan of the Big Guy. Even on Thanksgiving,” he added. “After all, what need do you have for God when you’ve got the state?”
As previously reported, in September, the Democratic Party came under fire when it removed God from its party platform. After a motion was presented during the Democratic National Convention to insert the mention of God into the document, it was still vehemently opposed, with crowd members yelling and waving their arms in opposition.
In the end, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who presided over the narrow voice vote, decided to call it for the yea’s, which was met by much booing from the crowd. A number of news commentators said that God should never have been put back in the platform, while others lamented how far our country has fallen away from God.
In his first Thanksgiving proclamation in 1789, President George Washington declared, “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.”
“[I assign this day] 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…,” he said.