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VOL. 11, NO. 7November 24, 2009
Thanksgiving 2009

America's First Official Thanksgiving: A Christian Celebration


The first official Thanksgiving in the United States of America came very soon after the launching of the new nation. President George Washington, upon Congressional request, issued the following Proclamation which all American patriots today should read for its spiritual encouragement and insight. Additionally, The Proclamation can be studied as a revelation of the Judeo-Christian nature of the new nation's foundations. Accordingly, we offer first a summary of the primary principles of the Judeo-Christian philosophy of law ("jurisprudence") and then reprint the text of Washington's Proclamation. We trust that comparing the two will add to the spiritual encouragement and insight you receive at a time when darkness is indeed engulfing our nation as never before.

The Judeo-Christian System of Law: A Summary

  1. The ultimate reality in the universe is the infinite (omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibeneficient, triune, immutable) yet personal (rational, volitional, emotional, relational, creative) God who is the Sovereign of the universe.

  2. As Sovereign, God created the universe and man. He also created, and enforces, a body of Higher Law that human beings are obligated to observe and obey. Man's disobedience will be judged and punished by the Sovereign God.

  3. God's Higher Law consists of absolute truths and norms. This Law is expressed in both natural law (nature and the hearts of men) and revealed law (the Bible). Revealed law is a more objective, perfect, and complete expression of God's Law than natural law.

  4. The heart of God's law is expressed in the Ten Commandments. Both the First and Second Tables of the Commandments embody both specific norms as well as general principles applicable to all of society and to be enforced by civil law.

  5. God created man in His image, sinless (a creature of dignity and value) yet finite (limited and contingent, incapable of functioning without help outside of himself). But man chose to disobey God ("sin") and consequently became a creature of depravity (incapable of saving himself from His sinful nature and conduct). Because of both God's nature and man's nature, God established civil law as one among several coordinated societal institutions to both restrain man and to help him.

  6. The primary purposes of the institution of civil law are to maintain peace and order, punish wrongdoing, and promote right doing throughout society for the common good.


George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1789

"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; and Whereas both House of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness;

Now therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been able to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations, especially such as have shown kindness to us, and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best."

Eagle Forum's Court Watch Most Fervently Prays for You and Your
Loved Ones a Blessed and Joyful Thanksgiving 2009!!!
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