“We Have Forgotten God.” An Increasingly Divided Nation Would do Well to Carefully Meditate on the Thanksgiving Message of Abraham Lincoln

“We Have Forgotten God.” An Increasingly Divided Nation Would do Well to Carefully Meditate on the Thanksgiving Message of Abraham Lincoln


Kevin Burke, LSW

In the midst of a brutal civil war, Abraham Lincoln called our nation to acknowledge the true source of all her blessings, and to heal the wounds of the Unite States of America.  

Sarah Josepha Hale, a 74-year-old magazine editor, wrote a letter to President Lincoln on September 28, 1863, urging him to have the “day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival.”

A letter of October 1863 from Lincoln and his Secretary of State William Seward, set apart the last Thursday of November “as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise.”

Meditate upon these powerful words of President Lincoln, from his Thanksgiving message, and a previous proclamation in April 1863 urging a day of prayer and fasting for the nation.

It is striking that given the events of the last few years, his words are more timely, and urgent than ever.

President Lincoln:

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown.

But we have forgotten God.

We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.

Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.

 I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.

And…with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience…fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.”   

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward, Secretary of State


A special thanks to all of you that support us in our mission to protect the children in the womb from abortion – and bring the forgiveness and healing of Christ to all who have participated directly, and indirectly in their death. 

We pray that you and your loved ones have a blessed Thanksgiving. 

Kevin Burke, LSW

Rachel’s Vineyard/Priests for Life


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