Congress passed the following proclamation 241 years ago:
“For his goodness wrought in conducting our forefathers to this western world; … that the earth hath produced her increase in abundance … spreading plenty through the land; that He hath … been a shield to our troops … and led them in triumph; … prospered our commerce … and above all, that he hath diffused ‘the glorious light of the gospel’ (a reference to 2 Corinthians 4:4), whereby, through the merits of our gracious Redeemer, we may become the heirs of his eternal glory.
“It be recommended to the several states … a day of publick and solemn THANKSGIVING to Almighty God for his mercies … and of PRAYER … that he would … pour out his holy spirit on all Ministers of the gospel … and spread the light of christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth …
“… that he would in mercy … pardon all our sins, and receive us into his favour; and finally, that he would establish the independence of these United States upon the basis of religion and virtue …” (Thomas Jefferson, Nov. 11, 1779).
Six generations later, our nation, founded upon Christianity, has removed the mention of Almighty God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Bible from every aspect of public life, including Thanksgiving. Today anyone is thanked except God.
“When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful …” (Romans 1:21). “Men shall be … unthankful, unholy …” (2 Timothy 3:1-5). “They have forsaken the LORD …” (Isaiah 1:2-4 KJV).
The Bible says: “Nations that forget God” and “will not serve (him) shall perish” (Psalm 9:17; Isaiah 60:12).
“Offer unto God thanksgiving” (Psalm 50:14). “Unto Thee, O God, do we give thanks” (Psalm 50:14; 75:1).
Michael W. Ellis
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Spelling and capitalization are retained from the National Archives citation.