Biden declares national day of prayer, omits any reference to ‘God’ in lengthy proclamation

President Joe Biden issued a “National Day of Prayer” on Thursday in a lengthy proclamation that did not even contain the word “God.”

What’s more, the proclamation only contains the word “Lord” once, and it is in reference to the date the decree was issued.

By law, the first Thursday in May each year requires the president to declare a National Day of Prayer, but Biden’s decree is the first time in recent memory that the word God has been omitted.

“Throughout our history, Americans of many religions and belief systems have turned to prayer for strength, hope, and guidance,” the proclamation begins.

“Prayer has nourished countless souls and powered moral movements — including essential fights against racial injustice, child labor, and infringement on the rights of disabled Americans.  Prayer is also a daily practice for many, whether it is to ask for help or strength, or to give thanks over blessings bestowed,” it adds, going on to note that the First Amendment recognizes the inalienable right of Americans to worship any faith or no faith.

“The First Amendment to our Constitution protects the rights of free speech and religious liberty, including the right of all Americans to pray. These freedoms have helped us to create and sustain a Nation of remarkable religious vitality and diversity across the generations,” the declaration continues.

“Today, we remember and celebrate the role that the healing balm of prayer can play in our lives and in the life of our Nation. As we continue to confront the crises and challenges of our time — from a deadly pandemic, to the loss of lives and livelihoods in its wake, to a reckoning on racial justice, to the existential threat of climate change — Americans of faith can call upon the power of prayer to provide hope and uplift us for the work ahead,” it added.

The proclamation went on to quote the late congressman and noted civil rights leader, Rep. John Lewis, who once remarked, “Nothing can stop the power of a committed and determined people to make a difference in our society. Why? Because human beings are the most dynamic link to the divine on this planet.”

“On this National Day of Prayer, we unite with purpose and resolve, and recommit ourselves to the core freedoms that helped define and guide our Nation from its earliest days.  We celebrate our incredible good fortune that, as Americans, we can exercise our convictions freely — no matter our faith or beliefs,” the proclamation continued, concluding: “I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.”

By comparison, former President Donald Trump mentioned the word “God” 10 times in his 2020 proclamation.

“As we continue to face the unique challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, millions of Americans are unable to gather in their churches, temples, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship,” Trump’s proclamation began.

“But in this time we must not cease asking God for added wisdom, comfort, and strength, and we must especially pray for those who have suffered harm or who have lost loved ones.  I ask you to join me in a day of prayer for all people who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and to pray for God’s healing hand to be placed on the people of our Nation,” he added.

The absence of the word God in Biden’s sanitized proclamation did not go unnoticed.

“How do you release a proclamation about prayer and not mention God at all? Of course it mentions climate change & racial justice. Truly, this is pathetic…and not surprising!” Christian Broadcasting Network chief political correspondent David Brody noted on Twitter.

“Who is he praying to?? The BLM gods?” quipped former Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis.

Others made note of the omission.

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Jon Dougherty

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