Last year, I took issue with the fact that Barack Obama’s Thanksgiving proclamation was the first in US history to mention God only obliquely, and otherwise could have been delivered by an atheist. Considering that the Thanksgiving proclamation is perhaps the clearest governmental tradition by which America’s religious roots are acknowledged, it was a subtle shift worth noting, particularly for a figure who seems to have trouble convincing people that he belongs to the faith he says he does.
Obama’s Thanksgiving proclamation this year, fortunately, is much more God-laden than the last. However, in his “Thanksgiving greeting,” our president largely puts aside all that God business for the important things: progress(ivism), and politics – including another call for a “real and honest discussion” with Republican leaders. (Remember how refreshing the last “honest discussion” was?).
Typical Obamalinksy speak aside, the tone of Obama’s “thanksgiving” is curious. “God” in the form of “God-given bounty” makes an appearance here, but then the president reveals the real source of our prosperity: us! Of course Divine Providence cooperates, but given Obama’s conclusion one wonders: who, exactly, is he thanking?:
This is also a holiday that captures that distinctly American impulse to give something of ourselves. … [T]hat’s emblematic of what Americans have always done. We come together and do what’s required to make tomorrow better than today. That’s who we are.
We are among the world’s youngest of peoples, but time and again, we have boldly and resiliently led the way forward. Against tough odds, we are a people who endure – who explored and settled a vast and untamed continent; who built a powerful economy and stood against tyranny in all its forms; who marched and fought for equality, and connected a globe with our own science and imagination.
None of that progress was predestined. None of it came easily. Instead, the blessings for which we give thanks today are the product of choices made by our parents, and grandparents, and generations before – whose determination and sacrifice ensured a better future for us.
When blessings are the product of our own “choices,” who needs God?