Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives




Bringing LIBERTY to Capitol Hill -- 2008
Saturday Morning, November 24, 2007, 10:30am

A Discussion of Theocracy and the Thanksgiving Holiday

Click here to listen to a replay of the November 24, 2007 Ozarks Virtual Town Hall

Notes and Summary of the President's Address -- Thanksgiving Day

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This week our Nation celebrated Thanksgiving. American families and friends gathered together to express gratitude for all that we have been given. We give thanks for the freedoms we enjoy. We give thanks for the loved ones who enrich our lives. And we give thanks for the many gifts that come from this prosperous land. Thanksgiving is a time when we acknowledge that all of these things, and life itself, come not from the hand of man, but from Almighty God.

"Thanksgiving Day" can be a time of gluttony. It can be a day of mindless sentimentalism. It was intended to be a day of deep and profound thanks to God. It can also be a day to prompt us to rigorously logical thought about what kind of nation we were, are, and should be.

"Theocracy" is a hated word. This hatred reflects a determined effort to secularize America, and confusion over what made America the most prosperous and most admired nation in history.

Logically, the Holiday of "Thanksgiving" makes America a Christian Theocracy.

Logically, the Holiday of "Thanksgiving" shows that the modern understanding of "separation of church and state" is a myth.

"Thanksgiving" means "Giving Thanks to God."

This is completely contrary to the myth of "separation of church and state" currently promoted by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court uses "the Endorsement Test" to decide whether something violates the First Amendment. The Court claims that the U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from "endorsing" religion. That would include endorsing the idea of prayerfully giving thanks to God, and especially the idea that all human beings have a duty to give thanks to their Creator.

"Thanksgiving Day" is a federal holiday, an official act of government endorsing the idea of prayer and thanksgiving to God.

In a pivotal Supreme Court case, which invalidated the freedom to display a nativity scene, the Court said it

squarely rejects any notion that this Court will tolerate some government endorsement of religion. Rather, [we] recognize[] any endorsement of religion as "invalid," ... because it "sends a message to nonadherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and an accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community"
Allegheny County v.Greater Pittsburgh ACLU,
492 U.S. 573, 595 (1989)

Government endorsement of religion makes atheists feel "left out."

This is the thinking of the modern notion of "separation of church and state."

Such thinking is obviously completely un-American. Every Thanksgiving season, America's Presidents "endorse" religion.

Perhaps no custom reveals our character as a Nation so clearly as our celebration of Thanksgiving Day. Rooted deeply in our Judeo-Christian heritage, the practice of offering thanksgiving underscores our unshakeable belief in God as the foundation of our Nation and our firm reliance upon Him from Whom all blessings flow. Both as individuals and as a people, we join with the Psalmist in song and praise: "Give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good."
Ronald Reagan: Presidential Proclamation 5551, October 13th, 1986

Thanksgiving is not just an "individual" holiday. It is a national holiday. President John Adams proclaimed a day of prayer and thanksgiving because

the observance of special seasons for public religious solemnities is happily calculated to avert the evils which we ought to deprecate and to excite to the performance of the duties which we ought to discharge by calling and fixing the attention of the people at large to the momentous truths already recited, by affording opportunity to teach and inculcate them by animating devotion and giving to it the character of a national act:

For these reasons I have thought proper to recommend, and I do hereby recommend accordingly, that Thursday, the 25th day of April next, be observed throughout the United States of America as a day of solemn humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that the citizens on that day abstain as far as may be from their secular occupations, devote the time to the sacred duties of religion in public and in private; that they

  • call to mind our numerous offenses against the Most High God, confess them before Him with the sincerest penitence,
  • implore His pardoning mercy, through the Great Mediator and Redeemer, for our past transgressions,
  • and that through the grace of His Holy Spirit we may be disposed and enabled to yield a more suitable obedience to His righteous requisitions in time to come;

Obviously this was not thanksgiving to a vague, indefinite, generic God. This was an orthodox Trinitarian proclamation.

Both before and after the Constitution was ratified in 1789, America behaved like a Trinitarian Theocracy, and these proclamations were heard:

Congress recommends a day of . . . thanksgiving and praise so that the people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts . . . and join . . . their prayers that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, to forgive our sins and . . . to enlarge His kingdom which consists in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.
(Continental Congress, 1777 --Written by Signers of the Declaration Samuel Adams and Richard Henry Lee)
I appoint . . . a day of public Thanksgiving to Almighty God. . . to ask Him that He would . . . pour out His Holy Spirit on all ministers of the Gospel; that He would . . . spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth; . . . and that He would establish these United States upon the basis of religion and virtue.
(Governor Thomas Jefferson, 1779)
I. . . appoint . . . a day of public thanksgiving and praise . . . to render to God the tribute of praise for His unmerited goodness towards us . . . by giving to us . . . the Holy Scriptures which are able to enlighten and make us wise to eternal salvation. . . . And to pray that He would forgive our sins and . . . cause the religion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to be known, understood, and practiced among all the people of the earth.
(Governor John Hancock, 1790)

Separationists tell us that the Constitution prohibits the government from endorsing prayer and thanksgiving, yet it was on the occasion of the completion of the Constitution that George Washington proclaimed the most historic day of Thanksgiving, saying:

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 acknowledging that God is

the great Lord and Ruler of Nations

There is clearly no "separation" of God and Government in the minds of America's Founding Fathers.

Any nation that acknowledges that God has the right to tell us what to do (in this case, to be thankful) is a nation where "God rules," which is the meaning of the much-hated word "Theocracy."

What is a "Theocracy?"
The word comes from two Greek words: Theo + cracy
"Webster's" Unabridged, 2d ed.:
Theocracy [Gr. theokratia; theos, god, and kratein, to rule, from kratos, strength.]
1. literally, the rule of a state by God or a god

The United States, from the first day of its formation, has acknowledged that God is our Ruler. That makes us, by definition, a "Theocracy."

Is there a difference between a Muslim theocracy, a Christian Theocracy, and an atheistic theocracy?

On the one hand, Presidential Thanksgiving proclamations are true, in that they correctly state that our nation was built on belief in God, the belief that we are a nation "under God," and hence a Theocracy. On the other hand, Presidential proclamations are often cowardly, embarrassed to say one religion is true and others false. But these statements are bad theology, not good law. The Constitution does not require bad theology.

President's Radio Address Liberty Under God
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This week our Nation celebrated Thanksgiving. American families and friends gathered together to express gratitude for all that we have been given. We give thanks for the freedoms we enjoy. We give thanks for the loved ones who enrich our lives. And we give thanks for the many gifts that come from this prosperous land. Thanksgiving is a time when we acknowledge that all of these things, and life itself, come not from the hand of man, but from Almighty God. The last sentence may have just been for rhetorical purposes, but it is emphatically true. God is our savior, not the State. This belief -- this religion -- is the foundation of liberty and prosperity. If you believe that the State is God, then you believe that all the things we're thankful for (the President mentions "freedoms," "loved ones," "gifts" from a "prosperous land," and "life itself) are the gift of the monopoly of force which we call "the government." Ultimately, it is the worship of violence.
Earlier this week, I visited Berkeley Plantation in Virginia. The story of this historic setting goes back nearly four centuries to another day of thanks. In 1619, a band of 38 settlers departed Bristol, England for Berkeley. At the end of their long voyage, the men reviewed their orders from home. The orders said, quote, "The day of our ship's arrival ... shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God." In response, the men fell to their knees in prayer. And with this humble act of faith, the settlers celebrated their first Thanksgiving in the New World. The First Official Thanksgiving in America was in Virginia

The First Thanksgiving Celebration at Berkeley Plantation

The Berkeley Plantation

Virginia at this time was a Christian Theocracy, as every sensible historian will admit.

Berkeley's settlers remind us that giving thanks has been an American tradition from the beginning. At this time of year, we also remember the Pilgrims at Plymouth, who gave thanks after their first harvest in New England. We remember George Washington, who led his men in thanksgiving during the American Revolution. We remember Abraham Lincoln, who revived the Thanksgiving tradition in the midst of a terrible civil war. George Washington Papers: Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation

Abraham Lincoln: Proclamation - Appointing a National Fast-Day

Throughout our history, Americans have always taken time to give thanks for all those whose sacrifices protect and strengthen our Nation. We continue that tradition today -- and we give thanks for a new generation of patriots who are defending our liberty around the world. We are grateful to all our men and women in uniform who are spending this holiday weekend far from their families. We keep them in our thoughts and prayers. And we especially remember those who have given their lives in our Nation's defense. The Troops Don’t Defend Our Freedoms by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Troops Don't Support the Constitution by Jacob G. Hornberger

The troops don't defend our nation, they defend the oil companies.

One of these brave Americans was Lieutenant Michael Murphy. In June 2005, this officer gave his life in defense of his fellow Navy SEALs. Michael was conducting surveillance on a mountain ridge in Afghanistan, when his four-man SEAL team was surrounded by a much larger enemy force. Their only escape was down the side of the mountain. The SEALs launched a valiant counterattack while cascading from cliff to cliff. But as the enemy closed in, Michael recognized that the survival of his men depended on calling back to base for reinforcements. The President is now using Thanksgiving Day as an opportunity to solidify public support for his unconstitutional war.
With complete disregard for his own life, Michael Murphy moved into a clearing where he could get a signal. As he made the call, Michael fell under heavy fire. Though severely wounded, he said "thank you" before signing off, and returned to the fight. His heroism cost him his life -- and earned him our Nation's highest decoration for valor, the Medal of Honor. This weekend, we give thanks for the blessings of young Americans like Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who risk their own lives to keep us safe. Islamo-fascist Suicide Bombers give their lives for their cause. Osama bin Laden lives in a cave (we're told), sacrificing and enduring hardship for his cause. Bravery, sacrifice, perseverance, courage, and dedication are not admirable in and of themselves. We should not be thankful for the courage of Islamic suicide bombers. If the United States were invaded by the armed forces of Communist China, we should not be thankful for their courage and dedication to the Communist cause. Why have over one million people in Iraq been killed by the dedicated efforts of the federal government of the United States? Should we be thankful for those who have implemented the killing policies?
We're also blessed by the many other Americans who serve a cause larger than themselves. Each day our Nation's police and firefighters and emergency responders and faith-based and community volunteers dedicate their time to serving others. While we were enjoying our Thanksgiving turkeys, tens of thousands of these men and women were on the job -- keeping their fellow citizens safe and bringing hope and compassion to our brothers and sisters in need. And their sacrifice reminds us that the true strength of our Nation is the goodness and decency of our people. The fact that their paychecks are signed by a government official does not make their efforts more noble. If police, firefighters, and emergency responders were all employees of profit-making corporations that were hired by homeowners, neighborhood associations, or home insurance companies, we should still be thankful for them.
Since America's first Thanksgiving, we have changed in many ways. Our population has grown. Our people have prospered. Many people have been saying for many years that we face a "population crisis." America's population is roughly 100 times larger than it was in 1776. Only the most extraordinary visionaries would have predicted that kind of growth, along with a comparable growth in the standard of living which all 300 million Americans now enjoy. That vision came from gratitude to God. It was based on a belief that God gave "dominion" to man, and a command to be fruitful and multiply. Those who are not grateful to their Creator tend to worship the creation. Many "environmentalists" believe that millions of human beings must die in order to protect "nature" and avoid "anarchy" and chaos caused by "overpopulation." They also believe that nature should be protected, rather than human beings. They have succeeded in preventing drilling the oil-rich arctic wastelands, forcing dependence on Middle East oil, which Bush is protecting by war, which has now cost hundreds of billions of dollars and the lives of thousands of human beings. None of the Christian Theocrats who signed the Constitution would have accepted the twisted religion of Bush and the environmentalists.
And we have become a great beacon of hope and freedom for millions around the world. Despite these changes, the source of all our blessings remains the same. We are grateful to the Author of Life who blessed our Nation's first days, who strengthened America in times of trial and war, and who watches over us today. But America is not the "great beacon of hope and freedom for millions around the world" that it once was. With troops stationed in over 130 countries, the U.S. is no longer admired.
  Here are the questions we should be asking:
  1. For what should we be thankful?
  2. To Whom should we give thanks?
  3. What kind of government encourages its citizens to give thanks to God?
  4. What duties do we have after we give thanks? What actions does giving thanks imply?
Thank you for listening.  

How the President Differs from the American vision of "Liberty Under God":

  1. Despite rumors that Bush is in the hip pocket of evangelicals, Bush has consistently claimed that all religions are equal. He would not agree with America's Founders that Christianity is the true religion and others are false religions.
  2. President Bush and the Democrats are completely out of touch with the original political vision of America
    1. America's Founding Fathers took up arms over British taxes that did not exceed 3-5%
    2. Americans today are victims of taxes ten times greater than those that fomented the American Revolution.
    3. Today's Income Tax began in 1913 as a tax only on the super-rich.
    4. The Government promises to be our Savior, and Taxes are our offerings to a false god.
    5. America is, on the one hand, a nation "under God."
    6. America is, on the other hand, a nation that ignores God and commits idolatry.
    7. Idolatry is when we fail to trust God (our national motto is "In God We Trust") and trust the Government to bring us "salvation."
  3. Americans must think about these issues, not just in terms of the Constitution, but in terms of the values enshrined in the Declaration of Independence -- the philosophy of "Liberty Under God."
  4. Thanksgiving should not end with thanks, but should be the beginning of action directed to preserving America as a Christian Theocracy.

Additional Resources:

Recent Presidential Proclamations

Past Presidential Proclamations re: Thanksgiving

The Democrat Party Radio Address:

It does not appear that there was a Democrat radio response this week. The address was posted later that day:

Retired Lt. General and Top U.S. Commander in Iraq Ricardo S. Sanchez to Deliver Radio Address

Lieutenant General Ricardo S. Sanchez, U.S. Army, retired, who served as the top American commander of U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq following the U.S invasion in March 2003, delivered the Democratic Radio Address on Saturday, November 24. He urged gradual withdrawal of U.S. forces in Iraq and re-prioritization of military.

"The improvements in security produced by the courage and blood of our troops have not been matched by a willingness on the part of Iraqi leaders to make the hard choices necessary to bring peace to their country. There is no evidence that the Iraqis will choose to do so in the near future or that we have an ability to force that result…."

Click here for a replay of this edition of the Ozarks Virtual Town Hall