Earlier this week, Governor Bill Lee of Tennessee issued a proclamation acknowledging “God’s sovereignty.”
According to Christian Headlines, the proclamation is the third of its kind issued by Gov. Lee. He assumed office two years ago and has issued proclamations for “Day of Prayer, Humility, and Fasting” in each of the next two years: 2019 and 2020.
“I, Bill Lee, Governor of the State of Tennessee, do hereby proclaim October 11, 2021, as a voluntary Day of Prayer, Humility, and Fasting in Tennessee and encourage all citizens to join me in this worthy observance,” the latest proclamation says.
The substance of the proclamation says first that the state of Tennessee, as represented by the governor’s office, “acknowledge God’s sovereignty and the need for God’s grace over our state and our nation.”
Following that, they vow to live humbly with God in the hope of acting with “justice, kindness, and love” in all circumstances.
The proclamation then seeks forgiveness for the “many transgressions” in order to renew the people’s hearts and minds by recognizing that the beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord, and that the Lord freely provides wisdom to those who ask.
This concludes in a declaration in which it states that “the people of Tennessee acknowledge our rich blessings, our deep transgressions, the complex challenges ahead, and the need to pause, to humble ourselves and to seek God’s guidance for the days ahead.”
Proclamations by U.S. government leaders date as far back as the mid-1800s, as per the Presidency UCSB archive.
On March 30, 1863, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, issued a proclamation designating Thursday, April 30th, as a “Day of National Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer.”
For the purpose of humbling oneself, Lincoln requested that everyone abstain from their usual secular activities on that day so that they might come together at their different places of worship or in their homes as a gesture of keeping the day holy for the Lord.
That tradition was carried out by succeeding U.S. presidents until the term of Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States of America.
When President Donald Trump issued his proclamation for the National Day of Prayer on May 4, 2017, he reaffirmed that America is “one Nation under God.”
“The religious liberty guaranteed by the Constitution is not a favor from the government, but a natural right bestowed by God,” reads the proclamation. “Our Constitution and our laws that protect religious freedom merely recognize the right that all people have by virtue of their humanity.”
On May 6, 2020, Trump’s proclamation said that Americans reaffirm their belief that prayer leads and strengthens the Nation and that by expressing humility and gratitude, the nation demonstrates its “firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence.”
“Today, as much as ever, our prayerful tradition continues as our Nation combats the coronavirus…Even though we have been unable to gather together in fellowship with our church families, we are still connected through prayer and the calming reassurance that God will lead us through life’s many valleys,” reads the proclamation in part.
Tragically, the Biden administration’s proclamation for the National Day of Prayer on May 5, 2021, omitted any reference to God. Even former President Barack Obama’s 2016 declaration mentioned God at least twice.
Furthermore, Biden’s proclamation abolished the need for a Divine power to supervise the nation’s affairs, instead emphasizing humanistic determination as the reason America is what it is today.
“As the late Congressman John Lewis once said, ‘Nothing can stop the power of a committed and determined person to make a difference in our society. Why? Because human beings are the most dynamic link to the divine on this planet,'” said Biden’s proclamation.