Tuesday, November 24, 2009

President Obama Omits God From Proclamation

Our President, Barack Hussein Obama, issued yesterday his first Thanksgiving Proclamation as America’s chief executive. He continues a long, established and worthy tradition.

However, the President has dramatically changed the nation’s focus. “As we gather once again among loved ones, let us also reach out to our neighbors and fellow citizens in need of a helping hand.” In the early days of American history, thanksgiving wasn’t about turkey dinners and neighborly kindness. It was about worshipping God and giving Him thanks for His blessings to us.

In fact, America's first thanksgiving proclamation, issued by Plymouth colony Governor William Bradford in 1623, ordered citizens to participate in a 3 hour worship service.

Now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November 29th, of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.

President Obama does indicate thanksgiving is to be directed to someone, but it is for“the contributions of Native Americans, who helped the early colonists survive their first harsh winter and continue to strengthen our Nation.” So God is out and the coastal indians are in.

Granted, Obama isn’t the first recent President to move our focus from God to each other, but I believe he is the first to omit any personal reference to God. Sure, the word “God” does appear once in his proclamation, but it is from a quotation from George Washington. Sadly, the President’s proclamation is befitting of this new age in which America finds itself.

The President also fails as a history teacher. According to the President, Abraham Lincoln “established our annual Thanksgiving Day to help mend a fractured Nation in the midst of civil war.” Wrong! Abraham Lincoln established it to give thanks to God. It wasn’t about the “mend of a fractured nation” at all. It was about acknowledging God.

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

What began as a harvest celebration between European settlers and indigenous communities nearly four centuries ago has become our cherished tradition of Thanksgiving. This day's roots are intertwined with those of our Nation, and its history traces the American narrative.

Today, we recall President George Washington, who proclaimed our first national day of public thanksgiving to be observed "by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God," and President Abraham Lincoln, who established our annual Thanksgiving Day to help mend a fractured Nation in the midst of civil war. We also recognize the contributions of Native Americans, who helped the early colonists survive their first harsh winter and continue to strengthen our Nation. From our earliest days of independence, and in times of tragedy and triumph, Americans have come together to celebrate Thanksgiving.

As Americans, we hail from every part of the world. While we observe traditions from every culture, Thanksgiving Day is a unique national tradition we all share. Its spirit binds us together as one people, each of us thankful for our common blessings.
As we gather once again among loved ones, let us also reach out to our neighbors and fellow citizens in need of a helping hand. This is a time for us to renew our bonds with one another, and we can fulfill that commitment by serving our communities and our Nation throughout the year. In doing so, we pay tribute to our country's men and women in uniform who set an example of service that inspires us all. Let us be guided by the legacy of those who have fought for the freedoms for which we give thanks, and be worthy heirs to the noble tradition of goodwill shown on this day.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 26, 2009, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage all the people of the United States to come together, whether in our homes, places of worship, community centers, or any place where family, friends and neighbors may gather, with gratitude for all we have received in the past year; to express appreciation to those whose lives enrich our own; and to share our bounty with others.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.


Now contrary to the President’s thinking, thanksgiving doesn’t have a “spirit [that] binds us together as one people”. Thanksgiving and gratitude is more than “FOR” something. It is “TO” someone. Who is responsible for plenty? For freedom? At this point, America’s are divided. Folks like me, say these blessings come from God. I’ll heed the words of Psalm 95

1 O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.
5 The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.
6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.

I know this post borders on complaining which seems contradictory to Thanksgiving. But if Emanuel Clever happens to read this post, it isn’t yet Wednesday!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thanksgiving Preparation

In our preparation for Thanksgiving, 2009, I’m posting one of my favorite pieces on history: Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Proclamation. You’ll notice its focus on God as the Giver of blessings.

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.

And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Prepare for Thanksgiving

Kansas City’s Congressional Representative, former mayor Emanuel Cleaver, recently circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter to drum up support for H. CON. RES. 155, a Resolution he introduced this past June. His cause appears to be languishing in the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Cleaver’s Resolution is to make the Wednesday before Thanksgiving a “complaint free” day.
Whereas the average person complains approximately 15 to 30 times per day, resulting in roughly 4,500,000,000 complaints spoken every day in the United States;

Whereas complaining keeps people focused on current problems stultifying their innate abilities to seek and create positive, harmonious solutions;

Whereas complaining has been shown by research psychologists to be detrimental to a person's physical and emotional health, relationships, and to limit their career success;

Whereas the `A Complaint Free World' organization is to be recognized for its efforts to encourage people to redirect their minds toward more positive, constructive, and rewarding lives and for its goal to positively inspire at least 1 percent of the global population (60 million people) to become complaint free;

Whereas thousands of people across the United States, including many students, have already adopted the complaint free attitude; and

Whereas `Complaint Free Wednesday' will be observed on the day before Thanksgiving, providing each person in the United States a day free from complaining in order to prepare for a day of gratitude: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress--

(1) supports the goals and ideals of Complaint Free Wednesday;

(2) encourages each person in the United States to remember that having a positive life begins with having a positive attitude; and

(3) recognizes and reaffirms the meaning of Thanksgiving by asking each person in the United States to use `Complaint Free Wednesday' to refrain from complaining and prepare for a day of gratitude.

Now before I send you on to the pundits who are having some fun with Missouri’s 5th District Representative, I would like to point out one piece of profundity from the former Methodist minister. Did you catch this line: “providing each person in the United States a day free from complaining in order to prepare for a day of gratitude” ?

My point is that nothing worthwhile comes without preparation. Thanksgiving dinner will not. Neither will genuine gratitude. For Christians, thanksgiving is an extension of worship. Because we’ve been loved by God and saved through Jesus, we are to live every moment grateful to Him and His blessings. Unfortunately, we think good, spiritual things will happen without adequate preparation. It’s why many Christians leave the church parking lot on Sunday morning disillusioned. They experienced no enriching worship. They use words like boring, stale, lifeless and other sundry adjectives to describe the thing they gave no preparation to. They live a week without a relationship with God, no time in Bible reading, serving God, fellowshipping with other believers and instead watch impure TV shows and listen to tawdry music. They probably even bicker and argue with family members as they drive into the church parking lot on Sunday morning, believing that some mystical force will suddenly transform them into thankful, worshipping believers. Their problem? Lack of preparation.

And that is America’s problem as well, Our countrymen will scope out grocery store discounts on turkey; they’ll bake pies and roll out noodles and do other various things to prepare for a dinner on the fourth Thursday of November. Sadly, however, they won’t prepare their hears or their minds to give thanks to their Creator for His magnificent blessings.

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!
Praise Him all creatures here below!
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host!
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

So, thank you Representative Cleaver. It may not be the most eloquent of all bills, but it is a refreshing reminder of truer things.

For those who can’t resist cynicism, go here.