Posted by: gmscan | November 28, 2013


Hat tip to Ben Domenech at The Transom



By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.
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 course and conclusion of the late war – for the great degree of tranquility, 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 kindness unto 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 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.

– Go: Washington



  1. Thank you Greg. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

  2. It would be fun to analyze the theological beliefs expressed and not expressed in this statement.

    • True enough, Jodie. You will notice there is no mention of Jesus Christ here. On the other hand he is clearly not a deist. What else are you seeing?

      • Well, there is no sense of a Triune God. There is definitely a sense of God as the ultimate benevolent ruler of all nations regardless of their form of government. Kind of a paternalistic Old Testament flavor of God. I don’t know that you can tell from this whether or not he is a deist. But perhaps his vocabulary is influenced by the Masons.

        Something jumped out of the page at the end in his prayer that God:

        “guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto 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 of science among them and us”

        Practice of true religion, virtue, and the increase of science: all assumed to be good things that need to work together in a happy and prosperous society. There is something foundational in that prayer, something without which our Republic would probably fail. The desire for which seems to be lacking today. And that is what most worries me about our representatives in government today. They seem to lack a desire for peace and concord, do not have an interest in practicing true religion, have no appreciation for virtue, and for the most part are agnostic of science. Technology yes, but the scientific discipline behind it, not so much. Even willing to compromise its teaching in the public school system.

        I was just struck by the juxtaposition of those three elements in the same sentence.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving to all. It is a shame that we have evolved the Constitution to minimize/eliminate religion and the belief in a Creator as the foundation of our civil relationships. But for those wanting centralized power it is clear that if we minimize the Creator as the source of our rights, then the source of granting rights shifts to men/women – especially those elected officials who can then rule over us and grant rights, life. liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as they see it during their rule. We have truly devolved from the basic principles this country was founded upon.

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