This Thanksgiving Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln is the origin of our modern-day holiday orgy of meals, shopping, and football.
This was posted at Global Affairs (Thanks, Sarge), and as I read it, I was struck by the tone of the proclamation. Can you imagine the uproar today if a president wrote such piece? And I mean any president, not just President Bush.
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
Wow. How our world has changed. A government official who invoked God in such a way today would be ridiculed by the opposing party (and perhaps by their own party), sued by the ACLU, and publicly berated by most non-Christian religious leaders. But then, there was no question of acknowledging God’s hand in our lives.
I don’t know how atheists and agnostics felt at the time. It would be interesting to explore that idea. So often today as Christians, it seems we are under attack for publicly expressing our beliefs. I’d be curious to look into how things were in that regard so many years ago.