Here is an easy claim to fact check.
Last week, David Barton told Andrew Wommack’s audience that President Obama’s thanksgiving proclamation did not mention God. Listen beginning at 2:02:
Barton: Yeah, and that’s a great place to start is who were the Pilgrims because we do track our thanksgiving back to them. Now, if you’re in schools the last three to four years, you don’t know that the Pilgrims even believed in God. One of the unfortunate things, this is in the past several years, the Thanksgiving message out of the White House no longer even mentions God. When we give thanks, God’s not part of that.
Andrew Wommack: Part of that’s because of who is in the White House.
Barton: That’s a real problem. You check Thanksgiving proclamations of this president with the previous ones and it’s not the same.
Barton then says Wikipedia did not mention God as a part of thanksgiving last year. I checked, it does. I have a child in school and he most definitely knows that the Pilgrims believed in God.
Barton’s claim about Obama’s thanksgiving proclamation is simply not true. Here is the 2013 White House proclamation:
Presidential Proclamation — Thanksgiving Day, 2013THANKSGIVING DAY, 2013– – – – – – –BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICAA PROCLAMATIONThanksgiving offers each of us the chance to count our many blessings — the freedoms we enjoy, the time we spend with loved ones, the brave men and women who defend our Nation at home and abroad. This tradition reminds us that no matter what our background or beliefs, no matter who we are or who we love, at our core we are first and foremost Americans.Our annual celebration has roots in centuries-old colonial customs. When we gather around the table, we follow the example of the Pilgrims and Wampanoags, who shared the fruits of a successful harvest nearly 400 years ago. When we offer our thanks, we mirror those who set aside a day of prayer. And when we join with friends and neighbors to alleviate suffering and make our communities whole, we honor the spirit of President 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.”Our country has always been home to Americans who recognize the importance of giving back. Today, we honor all those serving our Nation far from home. We also thank the first responders and medical professionals who work through the holiday to keep us safe, and we acknowledge the volunteers who dedicate this day to those less fortunate.This Thanksgiving Day, let us forge deeper connections with our loved ones. Let us extend our gratitude and our compassion. And let us lift each other up and recognize, in the oldest spirit of this tradition, that we rise or fall as one Nation, under God.NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 28, 2013, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage the people of the United States to join together — whether in our homes, places of worship, community centers, or any place of fellowship for friends and neighbors — and give thanks for all we have received in the past year, express appreciation to those whose lives enrich our own, and share our bounty with others.IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-sixth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.BARACK OBAMA
This is not the first time Barton has made this false claim about Obama. Obama has mentioned God in a manner similar to other presidents. I addressed this matter in detail last year. Obama has followed the pattern of previous presidents and has also issued other prayer/religious related proclamations. I am no fan of the president’s policies, but fair is fair.
Right Wing Watch and Patheos blogger Hemant Mehta pointed this out earlier this week. It is a shame to Christians when those outside the faith bring these things out in the open.
My experience is that Barton will keep on making these obviously false statements unless another Christian celebrity calls him on it. I’m not holding my breath.