Not only did President Obama snub the ceremony for the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address on Tuesday, he ignored and omitted the words under God in his rendition of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, filmed by documentary filmmaker Ken Burns.
“After five years of tearing down religious liberty, it is neither surprising nor unexpected that President Obama disregarded under God when reciting the Gettysburg Address,” says Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. “He has certainly failed to acknowledge God and biblical values throughout his presidency.”
“[Tuesday], 150 years ago, Abraham Lincoln challenged us all to ‘resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth,'” Staver reminds us.
“Today the ‘new birth of freedom’ means taking a stand against a tyrannical, antireligious assault at every level of government from the Department of Justice, to city halls, to the public schools,” he says.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich posted on Twitter, “Lincoln added 'Under God' as he was looking out over battlefield. why would Obama remove?”
White House spokesman Jay Carney gave an explanation: “He read the version of the address that Ken Burns provided,” adding that Burns is a “noted Civil War scholar.”
According to Burns' website, learntheaddress.org, there are five versions of the Gettysburg Address, and Obama was asked to read the first, the “Nicolay Version.” This version is named after John Nicolay, the White House staffer who preserved it.
Citing Obamacare, hostility in the military and same-sex marriage, Staver says, “Secularists who want to rewrite our ‘free exercise of religion’ have targeted our First Amendment rights. Like 150 years ago, let this be our call to take a stand for a ‘new birth of freedom.’”
For the project, many politicians and other celebrities recorded themselves reading the Gettysburg Address, including former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, comedian Stephen Colbert, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, television host Robin Roberts and more.
The Learn the Address website says the goal is for “everyone in America to video record themselves reading or reciting the speech.”
It continues, “The collection of recordings housed on this site will continue to grow as more and more people are inspired by the power of history and take the challenge to learn the address.”