On July 4, 2011, the Israel-America Renaissance Institute celebrated America’s birthday by publishing an article on American Exceptionalism, which, we are happy to say, received widespread heartfelt approbation. That response clearly indicated that Americans fervently want to revive their “ancient faith,” which is so brilliantly and concisely articulated in the American Declaration of Independence – the subject of this, our celebratory, article.
The heartfelt response to that article signified the deep well of gratitude Americans feel toward the Founding Fathers of this nation, those great statesmen who acknowledged, in that exalted document, the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” the Source of our inalienable rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. These rights Americans share with all mankind, and may all mankind bask in their light, in gratitude to the Almighty.
Now we are approaching another day which America shares with all mankind, Thanksgiving. And once again we want to celebrate America’s Founding Fathers, especially the father of this nation, George Washington, who delivered this Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789. (We may ponder as we await the Presidential Inauguration of Mr. Donald Trump.)
The Thanksgiving 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.
More than thanksgiving
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.
The idea of thanksgiving is expressed repeatedly in the Bible of Israel, and with universal intention in Psalms:
Give thanks to the Eternal, declare His Name, make His acts known among the peoples. Sing to Him, make music to Him, speak of all His wonders” (Psalm 105:1-3; and see the beginnings of Psalms 104, 106, 110, 117, and 135).
Clearly, Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation is addressed to a people whose ministers and community leaders profess the magnificent ideas and cherished values of a Judeo-Christian country. The Declaration of Independence is addressed to these same people. They are exceptional people. They are highly civilized people. They are a people habituated to the rule of reason and persuasion as opposed to the rule of force and coercion. Instead of acting on the principle that “might makes right,” the signers of the Declaration confidently present reasons for their rebellion, in support of which they declare “Let facts be submitted to a candid world.” What candid world?
Peruse a one dollar bill. On one side, a head portrait of George Washington; centered on the other side, the words “In God We Trust”; to the left, a circle with an all-seeing eye signifying Divine providence; to the right, a circle enclosing thirteen stars configured as the Shield of David!
The profound is often conveyed in the simple, for the dollar bill represents not only American Exceptionalism, but also America’s identity as a Judeo-Christian nation.
Hearty congratulations to president-elect Mr. Donald Trump!
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