Action Alert!

Who said it?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Nov 24, 2004

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--
Quick quiz: What historical document begins with that phrase?
  • It's obviously not the constitution of the European Union.
  • And it's certainly not something that could win the approval of the ACLU-- or, for that matter, of most US federal courts .
  • Yet it's not a document from the Vatican.
  • In fact the author was not a Catholic.

Congratulations to those who recognized the original Thanksgiving Proclamation by US President George Washington.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: - Nov. 29, 2004 11:05 AM ET USA

    Perhaps I have been wrong in believing that we have never had a Catholic president. Perhaps, after all, we really have.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 26, 2004 6:37 AM ET USA

    Its a living proclamation, we can revise it as we please. or should I go with, You don't understand things are differnt now.

  • Posted by: hughsigh - Nov. 25, 2004 6:57 PM ET USA

    I'm not so sure he wasn't Catholic. I've read from 3 sources in 20 years that he was seen while president going into Catholic churches at mass time.In fact a picture of the Blessed Mother was found in his effects upon his death. One source said a priest took away a packet from Mount Vernon only hours after his death. Another said it was a bishop and 2 assistants, and they took several boxes from Mount Vernon. Some who knew him said he did convert. When is not so clear. Maybe JFK was 2nd.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 24, 2004 2:02 PM ET USA

    It's pretty clear that nearly 50% of the voters would vote against him today.