Obama's 2013 Thanksgiving Proclamation

President Obama has issued his Thanksgiving Proclamation in which he reminds us that "we rise or fall as one Nation, under God." He also quotes Abraham Lincoln "who called on his fellow citizens to 'fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.'" Putting politics aside, we can all appreciate the President's reminder to Americans that we are a nation under God. And he chose an excellent quote from Lincoln. Last year he asked the nation to "spend this day by lifting up those we love, mindful of the grace bestowed upon us by God." In 2011 and 2010 he was even more direct in referring to giving "thanks to each other and to God," and lifting "up our hearts in gratitude to God for our many blessings."

Thanksgiving is a teachable moment. After we bow our heads in prayers of gratitude to God for His blessings, we should point out to our children that Thanksgiving Day is a testimony to the deeply religious heritage of America. Every Sunday, we thank God for His blessings. But once a year, the President of the United States - "by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States" - calls on the nation to thank God for His blessings.