Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation (October 3, 1789)

On this day 223 years ago, George Washington issued the first official Thanksgiving Proclamation. Last week, I posted about Congress’s request that he take such action. Interestingly, this congressional request was issued almost immediately after Congress approved the language that would become the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Congress apparently did not view the […]

Religious freedom, the First Amendment, and this week in history

Two interesting things happened during this week in history: First, on September 25, 1789, the first Congress approved several proposed constitutional amendments and sent them to the states for ratification. Included among these was the language that would eventually become the First Amendment to the United States Constitution: Congress shall make no law respecting an […]

George Washington: Religion is more than tolerated. It is essential.

Joe and I have a letter in the Wall Street Journal today.  The letter is reprinted below. America’s founders wanted those of a variety of faiths to feel welcome and included. However, we think Mr. Meyerson stops short of one key point that should also be emphasized, at least as it pertains to George Washington. […]

George Washington v. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation

The Department of Defense is removing Bibles from its exchange stores at the request of an atheist group. The group objects to the fact that these Bibles are military editions, and it fears that some soldier might accidentally jump to the conclusion that the Bible is the official religious text of the U.S. military. So, […]

America’s First Thanksgiving, as Declared by George Washington

[New York, 3 October 1789] By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation. 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 Houses of Congress […]