President Donald Trump returned god to his central role on the American holiday most deeply rooted in the nation’s founding values: Thanksgiving Day.
“From George Washington’s first in 1789 to President Trump’s in 2018, Thanksgiving proclamations have been declared by U.S. presidents 164 times,” reviews Washington Examiner journalist Joshua Lawson.
“They’ve been proclaimed during times of want as well as times of plenty, during financial crisis as well as economic prosperity, and in times of both war, peace, malaise, and hope. Yet by 2017, this tradition was at risk of disregarding its original purpose—until reclaimed by President Trump,” he added.
In his first proclamation in 2017, Trump called on Americans to “seek the protection, guidance, and wisdom of God” and recognized the Almighty as the root of the nation’s blessings.
Lawson reviews God’s central role in all presidential Thanksgiving proclamations, which became an annual custom since President Abraham Lincoln’s in 1863.
Since then, Thanksgiving has been declared a national holiday and the last Thursday in November was chosen to celebrate it.
“Despite the Civil War, two World Wars, wars in Korea, Vietnam, and throughout the Middle East, an unbroken line of presidential proclamations have reminded Americans to give thanks,” Lawson recalls.
“Resting and refraining from secular labors on that day, let us reverently and devoutly give thanks to our Heavenly Father for the mercies and blessings with which He has crowned the now closing year,” said President Andrew Johnson in 1867.
Ulysses S. Grant reminded the nation in 1869: “It becomes a people thus favored to make acknowledgment to the Supreme Author from whom such blessings flow of their gratitude and their dependence, to render praise and thanksgiving for the same, and devoutly to implore a continuance of God’s mercies.”
Other presidents, such as Grover Cleveland in 1885 encouraged families to come together to thank together and also to exercise charity and solidarity with the underprivileged.
These proclamations evolved over time to accommodate other, more political messages, such as that of Theodore Roosevelt, who in 1916 promised to keep the United States neutral in the First World War.
Others embraced social causes such as the workers’ rights defended by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his 1933 proclamation, or the promotion of social justice defended by Lyndon Johnson in his 1964 proclamation.
Despite all these new concepts, reflecting the new societal challenges Americans have faced over the years, God’s central role has remained intact in the Thanksgiving proclamations until Democrat Barack Obama took office in 2009.
From then until 2015, references to God have been very vague and superficial until they disappeared completely in 2016, something that President Donald Trump recovered in 2017.
President Obama has been openly opposed to the religious sentiments of Judeo/Christian spiritual traditions since his arrival at the White House.
According to the independent historical and religious organization Wallbuilders, President Obama scorned Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish religions in the United States, which is why they call him “anti-biblical.”
However, the organization excoriated that Obama favored the Islamic religion especially, in many cases to the detriment of the American Christian tradition.
“And then when his hostility toward biblical people of faith is contrasted with his preferential treatment of Muslims and Muslim nations, it further strengthens the accuracy of the anti-biblical descriptor. In fact, there have been numerous clearly documented times when his pro-Islam positions have been the cause of his anti-biblical actions,” said Wallbuilders that has also listed the anti-religious measures implemented by the Obama administration.
Some of them are:
- October 19, 2010 – Obama begins deliberately omitting the phrase about “the Creator” when quoting the Declaration of Independence – an omission he has made on no less than seven occasions.
- Although he filled posts in the State Department, for more than two years Obama did not fill the post of religious freedom ambassador, an official that works against religious persecution across the world; he filled it only after heavy pressure from the public and from Congress.
- May 2009 – Obama officials assemble a terrorism dictionary calling pro-life advocates violent and charging that they use racism in their “criminal” activities.
- October 2011 – Obama’s Muslim advisers block Middle Eastern Christians’ access to the White House.
President Donald Trump has brought back the protection of religious freedom in the United States and around the world with special attention to persecuted minorities.
“To ensure that people of faith can always contribute to society, my administration has taken historic action to protect religious liberty,” Trump said during his speech at the Washington Hilton National Prayer Breakfast in August.
“I will never let you down, I can say that,” the president added.