[Congressional Record Volume 155, Number 58 (Tuesday, April 21, 2009)]
[House]
[Pages H4558-H4559]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                             PRAYER CAUCUS

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the 
gentlewoman from Minnesota (Mrs. Bachmann) is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mrs. BACHMANN. Mr. Speaker, over the course of the last few weeks, 
President Obama made the statement while in a foreign country that we 
are not a Christian Nation, that we are not a Jewish Nation or a Muslim 
Nation. He said we are citizens with shared values.
  Upon President Obama's return to the United States, he went to 
Georgetown University, a great Catholic

[[Page H4559]]

school of higher learning. His staff, it is reported, requested that 
the Catholic university cover up the image of Christ on the cross 
before President Obama would give his speech at Georgetown. I don't 
know that any previous President, Mr. Speaker, has ever made such a 
request.
  I wonder, Mr. Speaker, if President Abraham Lincoln, one of President 
Obama's heroes, would have said overseas that he believed America was a 
Nation of secularists, or would President Abraham Lincoln have said, 
America is a Nation which tolerates all faiths, but which is populated 
primarily by Christians.
  President Lincoln felt quite differently than President Obama. Rather 
than proclaiming the United States a Nation of secularists, President 
Lincoln warned the people of America to not forget God. In fact, it was 
on May 30, 1863, that President Abraham Lincoln said, as part of his 
proclamation for a National Day of Prayer and Fasting, and I quote, Mr. 
Speaker: ``We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of 
Heaven. We have been preserved these many years in peace and 
prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other 
nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the 
gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched 
and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness 
of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior 
wisdom and virtue of our own . . . It behooves us then,'' said 
President Lincoln, ``to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to 
confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.''
  And, Mr. Speaker, likewise, as President Obama insisted a Catholic 
university cover the image of Christ during the Easter season while he 
spoke at that school, George Washington, our first President, 
demonstrated that he was not offended by the image of the risen Christ. 
In fact, our Nation's first President let his views be known quite 
clearly on his inauguration by a prayer which George Washington himself 
gave at his inauguration. He said, and I quote, Mr. Speaker: ``Almighty 
God, we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States 
in Thy holy protection; that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the 
citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to 
government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one 
another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large. 
And finally, that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us 
all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that 
charity, humility and pacific temper of mind which were the 
characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and 
without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can 
never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech 
Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.''
  Mr. Speaker, our first President, George Washington, insisted on his 
inauguration day as the first President of this great country, that 
unless the citizens of our country imitate the example of Jesus Christ, 
that we would not be a happy Nation. What a clear contrast between our 
first President and our current President.
  And with all due respect, Mr. Speaker, I think it's so important, on 
behalf of the Prayer Caucus of this Congress that, as the National Day 
of Prayer approaches, that all American citizens do what our first 
President prayed in his inaugural prayer, and what President Lincoln 
prayed as well in his address and in his proclamation, that we would do 
well to imitate the life and example of Jesus Christ, and we would do 
well to humbly not forget God, but to humble ourselves before an 
Almighty God and not expect that it is we ourselves that have created 
these blessings for our country, but that it is a gracious heavenly God 
who holds our Nation in His hands.

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