Biden’s proclamation declaring National Day of Prayer omits the word ‘God’ – prompting Franklin Graham to react ‘there’s no one else to pray to’
- Thursday was the US National Day of Prayer, a tradition codified in 1952
- Biden’s proclamation of the event did not mention the word ‘God’
- It drew criticism from conservative evangelical preacher Franklin Graham
- Prior proclamations from Obama and Trump did include the word ‘God’
- Biden is a devout Catholic who often ends his remarks: ‘God protect our troops’
President Joe Biden’s proclamation of the annual National Day of Prayer failed to include the word ‘God’, an omission that is drawing criticism from some religious leaders.
Biden, a devout Catholic, typically ends his public remarks with the phrase ‘May God bless you all, and God protect our troops’ – but his proclamation for Thursday’s Day of Prayer contained no such acknowledgement of a higher power.
‘Prayer has nourished countless souls and powered moral movements — including essential fights against racial injustice, child labor, and infringement on the rights of disabled Americans,’ the proclamation read in part.
‘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,’ it continued.
President Joe Biden’s proclamation of the annual National Day of Prayer failed to include the word ‘God’, an omission that is drawing criticism from some religious leaders
The omission of God drew critical headlines in the Christian press, and Franklin Graham, the evangelical Christian preacher, spoke out to express disappointment.
‘This is the National Day of Prayer. Of course we need to call on God, not just some generic gods, or some power in the air, but on God himself the creator,’ Graham told Fox News.
‘There’s no one else to pray to except to God,’ he added.
Graham speculated that the proclamation might have been written by a staffer and not even reviewed by Biden, saying ‘I don’t think Joe Biden would approve that one.’
‘Omitting God is a dangerous thing. He is who we as individuals and as a nation need to call on for help,’ Graham wrote in a Facebook post. ‘Prayers to anyone or anything else are to no avail.’
Franklin Graham, the evangelical preacher, spoke out to express disappointment
The National Day of Prayer, observed on the second Thursday of May each year, is a tradition dating back to the founding of the country, and was codified in its current form in a 1952 law.
The tradition welcomes people of all faiths to participate by praying for the country’s leaders and people, and give thanks for freedoms and blessings.
By law, the president is required to issue a proclamation declaring the observance, and prior proclamations from Barack Obama and Donald Trump contained multiple references to God.
Trump’s invocation of God in the proclamations increased over the course of his term, with five mentions in 2017 and 2018, seven in 2019, and a staggering 12 in 2020.
All of Obama’s proclamations mentioned God at least once, and some as many as three times.