- - Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Last week in The Times, I read President Reagan’s 1982 Thanksgiving address, in which he said “a divine plan placed this great continent here … to be found by people from every corner of the Earth who had a special love of faith and freedom” and that “our pioneers asked that He would work His will in our daily lives so America would be a land of morality, fairness and freedom” (“Inside the Beltway: Will Thanksgiving succumb to shopping?” Web, Nov. 27). In Friday’s edition, I read that our current president had this to say in celebration of Thanksgiving: “We give thanks for the generations … people of all races and religions, who arrived here from every country on Earth and worked to build something better for themselves and us” (“Obama’s Thanksgiving address gives veiled nod to immigrants,” Web, Nov. 28).

While Reagan seemed to be thanking a higher power who gave favor to those sharing the value of freedom and faith in God, as well as asking the Lord to help them maintain a sense of civility and respect for one another, our current president seems to think that the spirit of last week’s holiday is about giving thanks for a random grouping of ethnicities and religions who came here to do something for themselves.

This is quite revealing. In Reagan’s message, I feel a sense of unity with the rest of my country, as well as the thankfulness to the One who brought us together. Mr. Obama’s remarks appear to ignore this unifying power, making no claim that the credit goes to anyone.

There just appears to be no spiritual inspiration in Mr. Obama’s comment. Instead, it echoes of a tired and fading propaganda machine that has done more to divide this country than ever before.

DOUGLAS HEIMLICH
Bethesda