George Washington’s First Thanksgiving Proclamation

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RUSH: George Washington. Thanksgiving proclamation, first one. And this dovetails with the theme of the day, The True Story of Thanksgiving. This is George Washington’s Thanksgiving proclamation, first one, establishing the Thanksgiving holiday as a distinct and unique American holiday. I’m gonna read it to you in toto. It’s not that long.

“Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor — and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me ‘to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.’

“Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be — That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks — for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation — for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the tranquility [sic], union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed — for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted — for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

“And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions — to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually — to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed — to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn [sic] kindness onto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord — To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease [sic] of science among them and us — and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best. Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789. George Washington.”

How many times have you heard that our founders were not religious, that they were atheists or agnostics, that they really didn’t have much to do with religion at all? That is George Washington’s first Thanksgiving proclamation thanking God in practically every sentence of it for the establishment of our Constitution, for the establishment of our government, our good government, for the safety and well-being of our people, for blessing the United States of America.

This is how far we have strayed. A speech like this or a Thanksgiving proclamation like this, why, there would be hell to pay. Imagine Donald Trump reading this proclamation, in the name of George Washington. Can you imagine that happening? Can you imagine the reaction the American left would have.

They would talk about civil rights violations, separation of church and state, forcing religion on people. Of course this was not forcing religion on anybody. This was simply an acknowledgment, by the first president of the United States, the role God played in the establishment of this country, for which he was there, for which he participated.

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