Yesterday was the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg address. President Obama read the address and seemingly omitted the words “under God” from the address. You can see this in the video below at 1:33-1:35.
The response from conservative Christians (which is what I am) have collectively expressed their disdain for the President doing so and have pointed to this as another example of rising antiChristian bigotry rearing its ugly head in our nation. Christians feel this way for a reason, as there does seem to be more public angst against Christians than there has been at any other point in our nation’s history. Christians also recognize the marginalization of Christians in other parts of the world and believe that it is beginning to happen here.
Back to the subject at hand, did President Obama intentionally omit “under God” from the Gettysburg Address? No. Did you know that there are five copies of the Gettysburg Address? The President was reading the Address for a Ken Burns documentary and Burns asked the President to read from the Nicolay copy which does not include the phrase “under God.” The Nicolay copy is so called because of a White House staffer named John Nicolay who preserved a copy of the speech. You can see it on the Library of Congress website.
Can I make an appeal to my Christian friends? It took five minutes for me to find this information from a simple Google search. It makes Christians look foolish when we are sharing stories and venting about them when we do not have our facts straight. Before you start ranting on social media about a story, please take some time to make sure that the story is actually true. There is actual Christian persecution and marginalization taking place in our culture, don’t minimize it by finding it where it isn’t.
There is also another way to handle these things. Don’t rant about the President on social media. Quietly go about sharing your life and loving your neighbor. Seek to see them come to faith in Christ rather than seeking to sway their voting allegiances. Our political parties will cease to exist one day, but the souls of men and women will not.
“Before You Share That Story on Facebook”
For Further Reading:
Everyday Church by Steve Timmis and Tim Chester