November 21, 2013
This is a week we should join family and friends in giving thanks to God for His abundant and unmerited kindnesses to us. So, this edition of The Social Conservative Review will focus on that single, simple, profound theme.
Last week, we commemorated two signal events in American history: The tragic murder of President John F. Kennedy, and the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's delivery of the Gettysburg Address. As we approach Thanksgiving 2013, perhaps we would do well to consider what these men said about how Americans should ponder the blessings of our Creator:
I urge all citizens to make this Thanksgiving not merely a holiday from their labors, but rather a day of contemplation. I ask the head of each family to recount to his children the story of the first New England Thanksgiving, thus to impress upon future generations the heritage of this nation born in toil, in danger, in purpose, and in the conviction that right and justice and freedom can through man's efforts persevere and come to fruition with the blessing of God. Let us observe this day with reverence and with prayer that will rekindle in us the will and show us the way not only to preserve our blessings, but also to extend them to the four corners of the earth. John F. Kennedy, October 28, 1961
I ... invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States ... 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 I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him ... they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and 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. Abraham Lincoln, October 3, 1863
Senior Vice President
Family Research Council
P.S. Be sure to watch Dr. Daniel Dreisbach's brilliant lecture on the Gettysburg Address, which he gave at FRC 150 years after the Address's first delivery, and read his observations about the theological foundations of the Address here.