Right Wingers Go Crazy After Obama Omits ‘God’ from Thanksgiving Address

FOX News and religious conservatives are pissed off at President Obama because they didn’t like his Thanksgiving address. Here are some excerpts — see if you can figure out why they’re angry:

As Americans, each of us has our own list of things and people to be thankful for. But there are some blessings we all share.

We’re also grateful for the Americans who are taking time out of their holiday to serve in soup kitchens and shelters, making sure their neighbors have a hot meal and a place to stay. This sense of mutual responsibility – the idea that I am my brother’s keeper; that I am my sister’s keeper – has always been a part of what makes our country special. And it’s one of the reasons the Thanksgiving tradition has endured.

The very first Thanksgiving was a celebration of community during a time of great hardship, and we have followed that example ever since. Even when the fate of our union was far from certain — during a Civil War, two World Wars, a Great Depression — Americans drew strength from each other. They had faith that tomorrow would be better than today.

With all the partisanship and gridlock here in Washington, it’s easy to wonder if such unity is really possible. But think about what’s happening at this very moment: Americans from all walks of life are coming together as one people, grateful for the blessings of family, community, and country.

Why would the religious right be upset with that? He used their buzzwords: “faith,” “brother’s keeper,” “sister’s keeper,” “blessings”…

But wait! He didn’t say God. Start the Spin Machine

That means he hates Christians and this is all part of a vast left-wing conspiracy!

Or he was just trying to be respectful of everybody’s beliefs…

Or he’s a secret Muslim and he hates Jesus! Yeah. That’s catchier. Let’s go with that.

“Holy cow! Is that one screwed up or what?” columnist Sherman Frederick of the Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote in a Thanksgiving-morning blog post.

“Somebody ought to remind Obama (and his speechwriter) that when Americans sit down around a meal today and give thanks, they give thanks to God.”

Over on the website of Fox News Radio, radio host Todd Starnes also took issue.

“His remarks were void of any religious references, although Thanksgiving is a holiday traditionally steeped in giving thanks and praise to God,” Starnes wrote.

Huh. My family sat together for Thanksgiving and we didn’t give thanks to a god. And my parents are religious.

Since when is Thanksgiving a Christian holiday, anyway? I don’t remember the part in the Bible where Jesus slaughtered a turkey. Christians already pretend like they own December. Now, they want November, too?

Next thing you know, we’re gonna hear about how Jesus actually blessed the first Halloween so that churches could create Hell Houses.

Gawker points out that Obama briefly mentioned “the God-given bounty of America” in his 2010 address. In 2009, he mentioned “Almighty God,” though it was part of a quotation by George Washington.

Whatever the Religious Right thinks he was trying to do, Obama certainly wasn’t trying to pass himself off an an atheist. His 2011 address sounds pretty damn Christian-y to me. He uses plenty of religious language without explicitly praising one particular god. It’s the PC thing to do, and we’ve come to expect no better from him.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

    Christians often tell me that I’m making it up when I mention that other christians act this way.

    • Charles Black

      Well they don’t think they are “True christians” you see.
      Any behaviour which they deem “Unchristian” they’ll claim they aren’t really christians.

      • Kevin_Of_Bangor

        Amen.

      • Munchma Quchi

        Ramen

      • Rosemary

        Theist Thinking: 

        Don’t you know that anyone who does not read the Bible and come to exactly the same conclusions as I  and/or the religious leaders I admire, is undeniably led by the Devil into untruth and does not have a real relationship with the real god that I have personally experienced and therefore infallibly know to exist in exactly the manner I believe. 

        It is unthinkable that someone who disagrees with me and my religious authorities could possibly be led by the real Spirit of God.  

        Of course, there are exceptions where I can explain how conflicting interpretations are not really incompatible.   If you prayed and opened up your heart to the truth you would come to exactly the same conclusions that I do.  Period.

  • http://twitter.com/butterflyfish_ Heidi McClure

    I don’t give thanks to any gods. But then maybe people in Massachusetts don’t know anything about the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Oh, wait…

    • http://twitter.com/ftsor ftsor

      As an ex-Masshole, that made me laugh. 

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

        LOL @ “Masshole”. Then again, I’m a “Seatthole”, myself.

        • Rosemary

          And I live in the nation’s Calhole.  :-)

  • Tanyawalker79

    I didn’t give thanks to god yesterday. Guess that doesn’t make me a real American.

  • Ped Ant

    Next thing you know, we’re gonna hear about how Jesus actually blessed the first Halloween so that churches could create Hell Houses.

    Bad example.  You do realize that Halloween was a Christian holiday, right?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PWUAB6VWGQWUV4GQTMTPBBU33Q JessicaR

      I thought it went back to the Druids?

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

        Not specifically the Druids, but it is based on the Celtic holiday of Samhain, celebrating the last harvest of the season and preparing for the coming winter.

    • Texas Ed

      Yeah, with great movies like  ‘Good Friday the 13th’ and the ‘Rocky Jesus Picture Show’…

    • Charles Black

      Actually Halloween was derived from the celtic holiday Samhain.
      So what Hemant put up was a good example after all.

      • Alix

        Not exactly. Some practices associated with our modern day celebration of Halloween are certainly pagan in nature. There are, however, many traditions associated with the Eve of All Hallows that are explicitly christian in origin. Whether the church, in the 8th century, chose this time of year for this particular feast in an attempt to ‘baptize’ pagan practices, or it was chosen because it reminded the christians just as much as it did the pagans of their departed friends and families, is a matter of much conjecture. It is most likely a combination of the two.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PWUAB6VWGQWUV4GQTMTPBBU33Q JessicaR

    Manifest Destiny. Clearly god sent the natives to the Xtian European immigrants to make sure they survived through that winter because he wanted them to rule the over the earth, and that most certainly included North America. That whole genocide of dozens and dozens of tribal people? Wiping out entire species of wildlife? God’s will! If they don’t thank and credit their god for every single thing, well then it’s like admitting that they did it all for their own gain and that ain’t gonna happen.

    Oooh I think all that pumpkin pie/corn pudding/turkey has cooked my brain…

  • http://twitter.com/kariedgerton Kari Edgerton

    Happy Turkey and Genocide Day. Thank God(s) for genocide?

  • BrentSTL

    Remember folks, Fox News is a division of The Ministry of Truth (much thanks to an Internet friend of mine, David 2, for that one).

  • http://onefuriousllama.com/ onefuriousllama

    Ah right wing Christians, they are so cutely and cuddly stupid. I personally thank a different god every day that I wasn’t born into a right wing American family.

  • Charles Black

    This incident speaks volumes about the priorities of the religious right.
    They care more about the POTUS omitting their imaginary sky daddy from his speech than dealing with issues such as poverty, global warming, overfishing, water stress.
    If that doesn’t show how despicable the religious right is, I don’t know what does.

  • http://fenixcobbledick.blogspot.com/ Fenix

    This speech from Obama made me feel great. As an atheist, I didn’t feel excluded, and he reminded me how much we do have to be thankful for. He is the first president in my lifetime (not saying much, I’m only 21) who has had faith, supported the idea of faith, and yet doesn’t make me feel like I am going to hell when he speaks. Establishment clause getting some respect finally? I hope so

  • Justin Miyundees

    It would have been simple to evoke Christanity- that’s what the Jerry Sandusky’s of the world count on. You can diddle their grandchildren if you close your eyes and wave your arms in the air so deep runs their fear of death. Don’t fake it – you’re pure evil. These are what’s known as suckers and scoundrels & pedophiles don’t mind taking advantage.

  • Predrag

    Obama is an atheist, I’ve said before he got elected, I say it now. And it’s a good thing! I just hope he gets re-elected and then comes out of the closet… Just to piss off the §$”%$&§%$’s…

    • http://twitter.com/WCLPeter Rob U

      No way Obama should out himself as an atheist, and I’m not sure he is one, until his second term is up.

      Why?

      Because while George Bush took a large dump on the Constitution for 8 years, its just a piece of paper remember, and should have been impeached Bill Clinton was impeached for what amounted to getting an extramarital blow job.  Obama comes out as an atheist?  The whole damned country would grind to a halt for the next 12 -24 months with all the politicos fighting over who gets to impeach him first; assuming of course that some “upstanding” citizen didn’t kill him over it first.

      Then you’re stuck with one of the crazy whackadoodle religious nuts who think the establishment clause is something that can be just as ignored as all the good lovely dovey stuff the bible tells them to do.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PWUAB6VWGQWUV4GQTMTPBBU33Q JessicaR

        Bill Clinton shoulda just owned that blowjob from the start. Heads would have exploded in the midwest, lol!

  • JimG

    I think Christians do have a case for claiming Thanksgiving; after all, who exactly are they thanking for the turkey and accessories?

    That said, I also think the Puritans get way too much credit a essential founders – shouldn’t the gang at Jamestown get at least as much?

    And even if all of colonial history did revolve around the Massachusetts Bay Colony, it’s ridiculous to demand that every sentence uttered on the third Thursday in November be about god. The religious right hissy-fit just demonstrates that they have no legitimate issues to wail about.

  • Dan W

    My parents and I didn’t give thanks to god(s) on Thanksgiving. We’re no less American than any others.

    Stupid conservative Christians insist that their religion be evoked at every opportunity- and whine about persecution when people don’t pander to them enough. The annual War on Christmas bullshit is annoying enough; we don’t need more stupid shit when Obama uses all the religious buzzwords but the one the fundies want.

  • KCooper

    Ah,the Thanksgiving story, praise God, it is good.The colonists were not just innocent refugees from religious 
    persecution. By 1620, hundreds of Native people had already been to 
    England and back, most as captives; so the colonists knew full 
    well that the land they were settling on was inhabited. Nevertheless, 
    their belief system taught them that any land that was “unimproved” was 
    “wild” and theirs for the taking; that the people who lived there were 
    roving heathens with no right to the land.Long before the Europeans set foot on these shores, Native peoples gave thanks every day for all the gifts of life, and held thanksgiving celebrations at certain times of the year. The Europeans also had days of thanksgiving, marked by religious services. So the coming together of two peoples to share food and company was not entirely a foreign thing for either. 
    For many Indian people, “Thanksgiving” is a time of mourning, of remembering how a gift of generosity was rewarded by theft of land and seed corn, extermination of many from disease and gun, and near total destruction of many more from forced assimilation. As currently celebrated in this country, “Thanksgiving” is a bitter reminder of 500 years of betrayal returned for friendship.–tribe.net

    As far as Obama missing God in the details…christians spend so much time pointing fingers and so little time outstretching their hand in help. Until they treat every single person like their Jesus Christ supposedly did, I will never listen to a ‘truth’ they have to tell. I’m just looking forward to the whole xmas debate…oh no, you took the Christ out of xmas…..*rolls eyes* I celebrate the holidays with no religious spin just to piss off the believers. I guess as a non believer, I am just supposed to sequester myself and do math. I *pray* for the day we can all sit around and discuss the possibilities of the universe and no one says “look at all god has done” .. yeah, look at it, it’s ugly isn’t it?

  • Cthuhlu

    I know exactly where in the bible jesus slaughtered the turkey

    Book of Armaments chapter two, verses eight through twenty-one
    8. Then jesus did take that unholy fowl and slaughtered it for all to enjoy
    15-21 And the Lord did grin. And the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths, and carp and anchovies, and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit-bats.

    • Anonymous

      And what about my ancestors that slaughtered the ‘injuns’. Should not we also be considering apologizing to those who according to legend welcomed us on Thanksgiving, that we later treated about as bad as possible.

      • Sulris Campbell

        At the “original” thanks giving, weren’t half of the participants heathen indians that just selflessly helped all the christians survive, after which the perfectly ethical christians slaughtered all their helpful heathen neighbors?

        Mentioning God might be an insult to the tradition of thanksgiving

  • Turkey Spanker

    I give thanks to how good it feels to violate that cold, raw turkey meat up the butt.

  • Munchma Quchi

    I also want to give thanks to the colonists for slaughtering the indigenous peoples of America so I could have a place to live. RAMEN!

  • Ecclesias

    What’s so friendly about being an atheist? 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anthony-Okafor/1759887752 Anthony Okafor

      what kinda dumbfuck question is that?

  • http://twitter.com/arensb arensb

    I don’t remember the part in the Bible where Jesus slaughtered a turkey.

    I, for one, would be rather impressed if the Bible mentioned a New World life form.

  • Sulris Campbell

    At the “original” thanks giving, weren’t half of the participants heathen indians that just selflessly helped all the christians survive, after which the perfectly ethical christians slaughtered all their helpful heathen neighbors?

    Mentioning God might be an insult to the tradition of thanksgiving

  • Happyrwe4

    I won’t even get into the falsehood that President Obama is a Muslim.
     That is just plain false.  However, even if he were a faithful Muslim,
    do you realize that he would be worshiping the same God/Allah that you
    do? 

    But the point is moot, since in President’s Obama’s Thanksgiving
    Proclamation, he does mention God.  Maybe this is not the speech Fox
    News chose to comment on, but in the official Proclamation, he does
    thank God.  Here are some excerpts.

    “Though our traditions have evolved, the spirit of grace and humility at
    the heart of Thanksgiving has persisted through every chapter of our
    story. When President George Washington proclaimed our country’s first
    Thanksgiving, he praised a generous and knowing God for shepherding our
    young republic through its uncertain beginnings. Decades later,
    President Abraham Lincoln looked to the divine to protect those who had
    known the worst of civil war, and to restore the nation “to the full
    enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and union.”

    “As we gather in our communities and in our homes, around the table or
    near the hearth, we give thanks to each other and to God for the many
    kindnesses and comforts that grace our lives. Let us pause to recount
    the simple gifts that sustain us, and resolve to pay them forward in the
    year to come.”

    Full text can be found
    at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/11/16/presidential-proclamation-thanksgiving-day-2011

  • Grung_e_Gene

    So the best thing about this post is rabid fundamentalist christian fighter pilot used it as an example of how atheists hate that Marxist-Atheist Obama is losing the atheist block…


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