Millions of us celebrated Thanksgiving this past weekend, eating great food, spending time with family, watching some football and most importantly giving thanks to God for His blessings.
Giving thanks to God on a specific day began with our first President. In 1789, Washington told a newly chartered nation to celebrate its first Thanksgiving by giving thanks to God, to, in his words, "Beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions"--- to pray to God, "to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue..."
In 1863, during the Civil War, Lincoln made Thanksgiving a celebration to be commemorated each year on the fourth Thursday of November. He said it was to be a "Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens," to "commend His tender care" for the needy and to heal the "wounds of the nation and to restore it according to Divine purposes."
CNS News has provided a good overview of both Lincoln and Washington's relationship to Thanksgiving Day. Although there were no Thanksgiving Presidential Proclamations between 1816 and 1861, most Presidents have referenced the historical and spiritual significance of Thanksgiving Day.
At least until now.
President Obama sort of redefined Thanksgiving this year---at least for him and his family, calling it a "celebration of community." In his speech, the President said he and his family would spend the day "eating great food, watching a little football, and reflecting on how lucky we are."
"Celebration of community?"
"How lucky we are?"
Columnist Ben Shapiro tweeted, "Unreal that Obama doesn't mention God in Thanksgiving message." You're right Ben, he didn't.
Sherman Frederick at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, ground zero for "luck" wrote, "Somebody ought to remind Obama that when Americans sit down around a meal today and give thanks, they give thanks to God."
While the President reflected on his good luck, Gov. Gregoire didn't even bother to make a Thanksgiving proclamation---or reflect on her "luck". The Tacoma News Tribune speculated that she was probably too wrapped up in cutting the budget to think about blessings or Thanksgiving.
Interestingly, I came across a Thanksgiving proclamation in letter form from a former Washington State Governor that shows that Washington State has not always been too busy or preoccupied to proclaim a Thanksgiving to God for His blessings. And unlike the President, this Governor wasn't reflecting on "luck".
In fact this Governor served two separate terms.
His first term as Governor began 32 days before I was born. His second, when I was old enough to know about such things. I remember him.
Governor Arthur B. Langlie clearly defined the significance of Thanksgiving Day and how we ought to spend at least a part of it in the following letter:
This Proclamation likely explains why in the formative years of my life, growing up in the Yakima Valley, so many spoke so highly of Governor Langlie---even some Democrats, who happened to be my relatives.
Will either of the two leading candidates to replace Gregoire have that kind of conviction? Not likely.
Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Bold. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.
Many vital decisions lie ahead. Thank you for supporting our voice and our actions on behalf of conservative, Christian values and principles.
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