Syndicated by: Montana News
ORLANDO, FL -- Thanksgiving is not only a time to express gratefulness to God for His provision but also a time to teach children about America’s true heritage.
Public acknowledgements of the providence of God have been part of the history and traditions of this nation--from the Pilgrims, to the Founding Era, to the Civil War, and today-- and teachers are uniquely situated to teach the true meaning of Thanksgiving. In fact, George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation reveals important information about the meaning of the First Amendment.
On Friday, September 25, 1789, the Bill of Rights was ratified by the Senate. The First Amendment was approved by Congress and sent out to the states for final approval. However, after the Framers completed the Bill of Rights, Mr. Elias Boudinot, a member of the House of Representatives, said he could not think of letting the session pass without offering an opportunity to all U.S. citizens to return thanks to God for His many blessings. That same day, the U.S. House passed the following resolution:
“Resolved, that a joint committee of both Houses be directed to wait upon the President of the United States, to request that he would 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 Constitution of Government for their safety and happiness.”
On Saturday, October 3, 1789, President George Washington declared November 26, 1789, a national day of Thanksgiving to thank God for the Constitution and our new American government:
“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.”
That same year, the Protestant Episcopal Church, of which President Washington was a member, announced that the first Thursday in November would become the regular day for giving thanks, “unless another day be appointed by the civil authorities.” In fact, by 1815, the various state governments had issued at least 1,400 official prayer proclamations, almost half for times of thanksgiving and prayer and the other half for times of fasting and prayer.
“It is important to teach our future leaders about America’s true heritage and biblical foundation,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “I encourage teachers to share George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation and create classroom assignments that will encourage children to reflect upon the true meaning of Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for in America, and the Founders wanted to make sure future generations never forgot that,” said Staver.