Editor's note: Chuck Norris' weekly political column debuts each Monday in WND and is then syndicated by Creators News Service for publication elsewhere. His column in WND often runs hundreds of words longer than the subsequent release to other media.
Last week, when "Fox & Friends" highlighted my column, "Neutering religious holidays," liberals came out of the woodwork trying to defend the president's record. So I decided to do a little research and see just how spiritual his past Thanksgiving Addresses were and compare them to our founding president, George Washington.
In 2013, President Obama's Thanksgiving Address didn't give a single mention of the pilgrims, their Christian devotion or thanks to God. He did, however, share his gratitude for the Native Americans and their "generosity during that first Thanksgiving." He gave a litany of "We give thanks," but none of them included faith.
In 2012, Obama again didn't make a single reference to the Pilgrims, their faith, their God, his God or any thanks to God in any form.
Obama explained – like in other years – that Thanksgiving is a nonspiritual day for his family and most Americans, "For us, like so many of you, this is a day full of family and friends; food and football. It's a day to fight the overwhelming urge to take a nap – at least until after dinner. But most of all, it's a time to give thanks for each other, and for the incredible bounty we enjoy."
He made a single generic reference to our religious choice, but in a twisted progressive-reinterpretation of Thanksgiving's purpose: "Today we give thanks for blessings that are all too rare in this world. 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."
Obama declared that, "Thanksgiving is a chance to put it all in perspective," but that refocus didn't include God or faith. Rather, "to remember that, despite our differences, we are, and always will be, Americans first and foremost."
In 2011, we finally find a reference to the "First Thanksgiving" in Obama's Thanksgiving Address," but it's not exactly our traditional religious picture of the Pilgrims. In fact, it had nothing to do with the pilgrims giving thanks to their Christian God for their survival and harvest. Rather, "The very first Thanksgiving was a celebration of community during a time of great hardship." The Pilgrims' faith wasn't in God, but a "faith that tomorrow would be better than today." (Sounds like Obama's indoctrination was successful as a community coordinator under the tutelage of Bill Ayers and Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals.")
In 2010, in a 700-word Thanksgiving Address, the president again gave no single reference to any aspect of Thanksgiving's religious history, purpose, or gratitude in God, save the tip of his hat for "the God-given bounty of America." And yet, he didn't forget to include the same old progressive dribble for Americans to consider our country's journey "since that first Thanksgiving," when whoever celebrated it "came together and did what's required to make tomorrow better than today."
In 2009, Obama started his reign with another Thanksgiving Address that excluded any reference to a pilgrim, Thanksgiving's real history or any gratitude to God, though he did talk a lot about his Recovery Act and concluded with the words, "God bless you."
For five years, the president has flunked Thanksgiving Day remembrance and proclamation. Will he do so again in 2014?
Friends, what am I missing? If it were up to President Obama and his liberal minions across this land, Thanksgiving would turn into nothing more than a day of gratitude for things like his Affordable Care Act. We can't allow that to happen.
We must continue to explain to our children and our children's children about the religiously steeped history of Thanksgiving. We must tell them about the devoted Christian faith of the Pilgrims and how they crossed the Atlantic clutching to their Geneva Bible. They trusted in God and Jesus despite facing horrendous hardships and loss of life. They learned to "Give thanks in everything" (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and, in so doing, the Almighty rewarded their perseverance and faith.
And along with all that believing history, we must remind our posterity what I said last week, and I repeat again for emphasis here: Let us never forget there was once a time in the U.S. when people and even presidents weren't afraid to stand for traditional values and encourage others to do the same.
If Obama is looking for a Thanksgiving Address this Thursday to model, then I recommend he look no further than presidents George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. I dare him to cite them even in part.
In fact, I'd call on all Americans to read one or both of their speeches in entirety before they bow their heads in thanks for the Thanksgiving meal. You can easily find them through an Internet search.
President George Washington was the first U.S. president to issue a Thanksgiving Day proclamation, and his action wasn't alone. In 1789, the first year of his presidency, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution that requested Washington "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."
And so, on Oct. 3, 1789, President Washington gave a 450-word religious proclamation, which contains from beginning to end nothing but a list of blessings for which the nation should be exclusively thankful to God alone.
Among those bountiful blessings is this partial list from Washington: "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. … 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 … 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."