For the past two days, Americans around the country have used Thanksgiving to express gratitude for family, friends, and good fortune, and in keeping with that sentiment and tradition, the President gave a special Thanksgiving radio address to express his gratitude to America’s service men and women for their dedication in protecting our country overseas and at home. The President also gave thanks to volunteers around the country who gave their time and resources to help feed less fortunate Americans as well as his personal list that included “pilgrims, pioneers, and patriots.” Apparently though, President Obama forgot to clear his “gratitude list” with Christians who are outraged he did not give thanks to or acknowledge god.
The fact that the President of the United States did not use his Thanksgiving address as a personal testimonial of his religious beliefs should be a welcomed sign that, for once, religion did not play any part in a government function. The fact that his omission of religious references outraged Republicans and religious leaders is another reminder that America is still under assault from the religious right whose intention is transforming the country and government into a theocracy. There are myriad posts and comments on the Internet using the President’s speech as proof he is not a Christian and oddly, a liar for claiming to be a Christian but not making his entire address an act of obeisance to god.
The title of the President’s speech; “On Thanksgiving, Grateful for the Men and Women Who Defend Our Country,” was not a sermon and it should not have been either. The religious community thinks otherwise and it is a continuing battle that non-religious people are facing more as fundamentalist nut-jobs attempt to impose their beliefs on the entire country. Republicans have tapped into the religious right’s notion that every citizen is obliged to follow Christian beliefs and have spent the 112th session of Congress legislating the bible instead of governing the country.
There is a feeling within the religious community that without god, America is doomed. It is an insane notion that diminishes the sacrifice of generations of Americans to build this country into the great nation it is, and to criticize the president for not attributing to god what human beings accomplished is the height of foolishness. President Obama was right to give thanks to the people that built this country, and omitting a mythological creature showed intelligence religious fanatics lack.
One rural Oklahoma Baptist preacher wrote that “to give thanks for luck is to deny god, much less omit!” Other critics wrote that Obama’s perceived omission was “so sad” and for fundamentalists, perhaps it is sad, but the president is not a preacher; therein lies the crux of the problem. A majority of Americans are clueless when it comes to the threat the Christian Dominionist movement poses to America, its people, and democracy in general. Dominionists have made little secret that their only reason for existing it to control every aspect of American life. Dominionists are working to control the so-called seven mountains of influence in culture and once they control each segment, their theocratic conquest will be complete. The seven mountains are; arts and entertainment, business, education, family, government, media, and religion.
Whether or not Dominionists succeed in controlling the entire country is dependent on their control of the government, and they are gaining power and influence every time Republicans propose legislation based on the bible or the President acknowledges god in a speech. It must have been a slap in fundamentalists’ face for President Obama to fail to acknowledge god in his speech, but for many Americans, it was refreshing to hear the President give a speech without a reference to god.
The outrage at Obama’s omission of a deity is another reminder that there is nothing this president can, or cannot do that will not evoke anger and hatred from a segment of the population. Regardless that President Obama presides over the lowest tax rates in 60 years or has killed more terrorists than Bush, the Obama-haters will criticize his every move; so he may as well do the right thing and keep god, and religion, out of his speeches.
In this instance, Obama clearly was thanking volunteers in the military and those who give their time at soup kitchens and shelters in what the President called “‘a celebration of community,” and not a celebration of Christianity, god, or any other mythological fairy tale that millions of Americans depend on to know what it means to be thankful. There are plenty of Americans who are sick and tired of religion being imposed on their lives and injected into every speech, conversation, and debate and a good bet is that they are very thankful that the President said absolutely nothing about god. Thank You President Obama!