President Biden issued a National Day of Prayer proclamation on Wednesday that lauded the “power of prayer” and invited Americans to “give thanks,” though the absence of the word “God” drew criticism and marked the first time in modern history.
According to a 1952 law, every president of the United States must issue a proclamation designating a National Day of Prayer. This year’s date was May 6.
“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,” the proclamation says. “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.”
“We unite with purpose and resolve, and recommit ourselves to the core freedoms that helped define and guide our Nation from its earliest days,” it says on National Day of Prayer.
“We celebrate our incredible good fortune that, as Americans, we can exercise our convictions freely – no matter our faith or beliefs,” the statement reads. “Let us find in our prayers, however, they are delivered, the determination to overcome adversity, rise above our differences, and come together as one Nation to meet this moment in history.”
The proclamation, however, omits the word “God,” making Biden the first president in modern history not to include the word “God” in his proclamation. The omission is ironic, given that secular groups have recently chastised Biden for excessively discussing religion.
Until this year, every proclamation since 1953 – the first year proclamations were required by law – had included the word “God” according to the text of proclamations at UC Santa Barbara’s American Presidency Project. Most proclamations used the word “God” several times.
CBN News‘ chief political analyst, David Brody, criticized the proclamation for what it did not include.
“Joe Biden’s National Day of Prayer Proclamation has been issued, and it makes no mention of God! How do you make a proclamation about prayer without mentioning God?” Brody stated this in a tweet.
Joe Biden’s National Day of Prayer Proclamation has been released and it doesn’t even mention God once! 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! pic.twitter.com/czOQx3ioHj
— David Brody (@DavidBrodyCBN) May 6, 2021