November 22, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – For the fourth year straight, President Obama has omitted any direct statement thanking God in his Thanksgiving address.
In 2009 President Obama made history when he issued the first presidential Thanksgiving proclamation that failed to directly thank God. There was an outcry, and Obama’s subsequent proclamations have made prominent mention of God.
However, as Ben Shapiro of Breitbart points out, his Thanksgiving addresses (as opposed to the proclamations), which he reads to the camera, have continued to eschew mention of God.
In his 2012 Thanksgiving address, Obama says that Thanksgiving is “a time to give thanks for each other, and for the incredible bounty we enjoy.”
“Today we give thanks for blessings that are all too rare in this world,” he continues. “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.”
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But Shapiro observes that Obama’s address excludes mention of the person Americans traditionally give thanks to on Thanksgiving – God. In so doing, he charges, the president “has ignored the central message of the holiday.”
However, Obama’s official proclamation for 2012 does mention God, saying, “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.”
In 2009, conservatives noted that both Obama’s proclamation and address failed to directly thank God. While the proclamation did obliquely remind readers of the origin of the Thanksgiving celebration – pointing out that George Washington “proclaimed our first national day of public thanksgiving to be observed ‘by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God’” – the address made no mention of God at all.
In 2010, while again failing to directly thank God in his address, Obama did use the phrase, “the God-given bounty of America.” But in 2011 there was again no mention of God at all in the address.
Obama’s lack of overt religiosity has been a source of controversy, with polls consistently showing that a large number of Americans are unaware that Obama is a Christian, or doubt the claim.
The president previously made history on Inauguration Day by explicitly referencing “non-believers” in his speech, which, according to USA Today, was the first time in history that a president had done so. Obama has also said on more than one occasion that the United States is “not a Christian nation.” He has also been criticized for repeatedly misquoting the Declaration of Independence, excluding the word “Creator” from the famous phrase that declares that all men are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.”
In 2011 he created a buzz in the conservative press when he failed to issue an Easter statement, after a year in which he repeatedly commemorated Muslim holidays with a series of statements. He has also been criticized for his rare trips to church, including skipping services on Christmas day, and refusing to publicly celebrate the National Day of Prayer.
“The issue is not whether a President has to attend church on a regular basis to be an effective President. They do not,” commented Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Washington, D.C. based Christian Defense Coalition, in 2010. “The issue is one of integrity and honesty.
“To portray yourself as person of deep Christian faith and very involved in the life of the local church during the campaign and then abandon that position after you are elected reduces faith to a commodity and religion to a political tool.”