George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation: Does It Support Union of Church and State or Separation of Church and State?

Click here to go to an online copy of the Proclamation
The Proclamation is also pasted in the Endnote

Jerald Finney
Copyright © November 24, 2022

This brief article will address the question: “What does George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation have to say about the relationship of church and state?”

The Proclamation does not:

  1. mention “Church;”
  2. state that church and state should be united in any way; or
  3. explicitly state that church and state should be separate.

I will now go to the Proclamation. My comments are in red.

The Proclamation:

  1. mentions Almighty God;
  2. refers to the “providence of Almighty God.” The Bible makes clear that God is almighty.
  3. states that it is the “duty of all nations to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.”

President Washington stated several conclusions here. All are consistent with the Word of God. It is clear from God’s Word that, for the good of man, he wishes all nations to proceed under him, both Jew and Gentile, with distinctions that should be recognized and followed.

The Old Testament deals much with nations and human government. At first, all nations were Gentile. There was no theocracy—God directly over civil government and religion with both working lockstep for the same purposes. Later God covenented with Israel to be  a theocracy, the only theocracy, other than the church, that God ever ordained.

During the time between the fall and the flood, God forbade human government (control of man by man; man taking vengeance for evil doing by men). As a result, since the imagination of man’s heart was only evil continually, “the wickedness of man was great in the earth,” “the earth was corrupt” and “filled with violence.” God’s only remedy was judgment, the judgment of the flood.

God ordained the nations and human government providing for the rule of man by man under God at the flood. He ordained civil government for the temporal earthly purposes of providing a direct control over evil-doers and rewarding those who do good. At first all nations were Gentile.

Later, God called out a nation unto himself, the nation Israel, when he made his covenant with Abraham who was to be the father of Israel.  Israel was to be a theocracy. God has never covenanted with any other nation to be a theocracy with the political and religious combined, working together for the same goals, each doing its part, but both directly under God, according to covenant he he made with Israel through Moses. That covenant dealt with both man’s relationship to God (the first table of the law) and man’s relationship to man (the second table). God later made additional covenants with Israel.

God did not give the law to Gentile nations, as the Old and New Testaments make clear. “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another” (Romans 2:14-15).

None of God’s covenants with Israel apply to Gentile nations. Gentile nations were and are to continue under the covenants  God made with Adam (recorded in Genesis 3:14-19) and Noah (see, Genesis 8:21-9:27).

For much more detail, see The Biblical Doctrine of Government.

America is a Gentile nation. Christian revisionists attempt the impossible: application of the history, covenants, promises, principles, etc. for Israel to America (and other Gentile nations). They want to “Judaize” America and the church. History clearly proves that all unions of church and state have resulted in corruption of the “church,” corruption of the state, and corruption of the people. Of course, God has always had a remnant who stood against the church/state establisment even under penalty of death. Many of our founding fathers understood and proclaimed this.

  1. states, “whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

God’s Word makes clear that all individuals, families, and nations should give such thanks to him for many reasons. However, the God-given purpose of all governments (individual, family, human, and church) is to glorify God, not happiness, no matter the situation, whether safe or unsafe. Christ wishes that his children might have his joy, not happiness, fulfilled in them (see, e.g., John 17:13). King David prayed, after committing his great sins of adultery and murder, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit” (Psalms 51:12). Since God has afforded safety, his children should be thankful and use the occasion for doing his will in all things.

  1. personally recommends and assigns Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be—That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks—for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation—for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war—for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed—for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted—for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.”

Notice that President Washington mentions “civil and religious liberty.” One can have both civil and religious liberty only when they have the religious freedom and soul liberty provided by the First Amendment and now by corresponding provisions in all the state constitutions. Massachusetts became the last state to do away with forced establishment in 1833. Both federal and state laws give temporal earthly liberty to the born again believer, who – no matter the state of his temporal earthly liberty – has eternal spiritual liberty “wherewith Christ hath made us free” (Galatians 5:1).

The federal and state laws which provide for civil and religious liberty protect everyone from temporal earthly persecution by the state for their “religious” beliefs; one is free to worship the true God, a false god or gods,  or no god. One cannot have civil and religious liberty when union of church and state are mandated. Without Christ’s liberty, one is a slave; with it, one is free even if the state does not provide for civil liberty.  “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).

President Washington—as did James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and many other Founding Fathers—believed in separation of church and state, as history proves. They did not believe in “Judaizing” America, something that can only be simulated and justified by a false interpretation of Scripture and propped up by historical revisionism. For documented proof of the beliefs of the founders, see The Trail of Blood of the Martyrs of Jesus/Christian Revisionism on Trial, especially Section II Christian History of the First Amendment. The index of the free online PDF version, or the printed book will guide you quickly to pages covering particular persons, places, events, etc.

  1. concludes: “and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions—to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually—to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed—to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord—To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us—and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.”

Amen. Notice that he said, “To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion.” He did not say, “To force men to practice any religion, including that of any Protestant, Baptist, Quaker, Catholic, Jewish etc. denomination or sect. That precludes union of church and state. As history proves, all such unions have always forced, under severe penalty for disobedience – imprisonment, death, banishment, torture, etc. – all citizens to bow down to the official church/state union. Again, for emphasis, all such unions always resulted in the corruption of the people (who bowed down to the unified religion and state), the state, and the official state “church.” See what Jefferson, Madison, Roger Williams, Isaac Backus, John Leland and others involved in the colonial spiritual warfare said on this matter in the book cited above and also in God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application (go to the index of the PDF or printed version to find pages for particular persons).

So there you have it. President Washington in his Thanksgiving Proclamation – as did Jefferson, Madison, Backus, Leland, Williams – supported separation of church and state. He, as he proclaimed, along with other founding fathers, also believed in and union of God and state. This is Biblical. God and church are not the same. God ordained the church long after he ordained civil government. He ordained Gentile human government to deal with termporal earthly matters. He ordained the church with jurisdiction over eternal heavenly matters. Combining the two violates Bible principles. See, God Betrayed for comprehensive explanation.

Christian revisionists cite Washington’s Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, and other historical speeches and documents, out of the context of complete historical facts in their effort to convince Americans, and especially American “Christians,” that church and state should combine. Because of their inability to correctly believe Scripture, they cannot understand the difference between separation of church and state and separation of God and state. Because they believe it is alright to lie to those who do not share their views, they revise Scripture and history. Like their Catholic and Protestant forefathers, their goal is to “Judaize” American civil government and the church. They say, ad nauseum, “Separation of church and state is not found in the constitution.” I fell for that line and their other soundbites as I began to read and hear Christian revisionists after my salvation in 1980. Over the years, God revealed the truth to me. I had a choice. Go with truth or go with lies. Read the whole story in The Trail of Blood of the Martyrs of Jesus/Christian Revisionism on Trial/A Case of Premeditated Murder/Christian Revisionism on Trial/The Christian History of the First Amendment (Available in free PDR, softback, online version).


Endnote

Thanksgiving Proclamation, 3 October 1789

[New York, 3 October 1789]

By the President of the United States of America. a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor—and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be—That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks—for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation—for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war—for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed—for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted—for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions—to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually—to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed—to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord—To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us—and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington

 

Open Letter from Christian Attorney to Amarillo Mayor Concerning Her Letter Addressing “A Drag Queen Christmas” Event

The picture above is being plastered on billboards in Amarillo, Texas.

This letter was hand delivered and emailed to the Amarillo Mayor and Amarillo city counsel members. Satan and his henchmen are working hard to corrupt every noon and cranny of America. Amarillo is in one of the more coservative areas of the United States, but, like the rest of America, is quickly sliding toward the judgment of God.

Other articles on this matter which also include a copy of the Mayor’s letter:

Amarillo Mayor responds to concerns surrounding drag Show

Organizations ‘upset’ after letter from Amarillo mayor on drag show (Wicked organizations use every opportunity to publish their evil philosophies and influence others to accept or join in their practices and warfare against God.)

Drag Queen brags about what he can do in the open, says children should be exposed to his abomination

“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God” ( Deuteronomy 22:5).

Jerald Finney
Attorney at Law
801 Elgin Street
Amarillo, TX 79118

November 22, 2022

RE: Open letter concerning Mayor Ginger Nelson’s letter to churches concerning “A Drag Queen Christmas”

Mayor Ginger Nelson
ginger.nelson@amarillo.gov
601 Buchanan Street
Amarillo TX 79101

To the Honorable Mayor Ginger Nelson:

In this letter, I wish to introduce myself, thank the Amarillo Police Department, and express both my agreements and also my disagreements regarding your letter concerning the use of city facilities for “A Drag Queen Christmas.”

I am a citizen of Amarillo, Texas, and the United States of America; a member of Charity Baptist Tabernacle in Amarillo; and a lost sinner saved by the blood of Jesus. In obedience to our Lord’s commission to God’s children, I, and other members of Charity Baptist Tabernacle, will be outside the “A Drag Queen Christmas” event with signs telling people about Jesus and how to become a child of God. Some may preach, and we will all be available to council those who wish to know how to become a born-again child of God. We will also be available to discuss deeper spiritual matters involved in the spiritual warfare presented by this wicked event with those who already know the Lord as their Savior. Thankfully, First Amendment protections allow us to speak the truth in the public forum without persecution and with the protection of the government.

We appreciate all Amarillo Police Department Officers and personnel. They honor their God-ordained duties including the protection of peaceful and law-abiding speakers and speech in the public forum. We understand and apply our God-given duty as spiritual soldiers to remain peaceful and not to obstruct the movement of others. We understand that law enforcement has a duty to make sure we, and those who disagree with and oppose us, honor that duty. Pastor Larry Hickam, now retired, has explained to me that, due largely to his efforts years ago, the Amarillo Police Department has diligently done their job in protecting those involved in speech in the public forum and especially street preachers.

In your letter, you extend your leadership as mayor to include spiritual leadership and advice. You encourage citizens who are concerned about the “messages and possible content of this show” to take certain actions. Your letter to selected church groups around the city, and others by extension, stated among other things:

“I am praying that this event will give our city an opportunity to engage with people who do not know Jesus and don’t share our beliefs. I pray that our kindness and compassion will be attractive to them as they visit our city and that it will lead to questions and curiosity about our beliefs. … Most of all, I’m praying that those who don’t know Jesus or His grace will meet Him in Amarillo and be changed forever. I hope you will pray with me for these things.”

Do you agree with Charity Baptist Tabernacle that the authority in all matters of faith and practice for the believer in Jesus Christ, for you and the other leaders and employees of the City of Amarillo, is the Word of God? Based upon that understanding, let me briefly address some questions raised by your comments quoted above.

  1. First, if you, in referring to one who “knows Jesus,” mean that such a person is a child of God through the new birth, we are in agreement on that matter. To be born-again, a child of God, a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, God says in His Word that one must realize that he can do nothing to earn his salvation, agree with God concerning his sin, repent (turn to God) with a humble and contrite (not proud) spirit, and trust Jesus Christ to save him from His sin. At the moment of salvation, the newly born child of God is a spiritual baby. The baby Christian is then to be discipled—taught the Word of God and how to study the Word of God and its application in this world. He is to test all that he is taught against the Word of God.
  2. I believe that your call to prayer is according to the will of God, but woefully incomplete. Of course, God instructs his children to pray about all things, but God’s Word makes clear that this matter calls for more than prayer. This is spiritual warfare against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. The instigator of this warfare and the influencer of the “Drag Queens” and their supporters is the “god of this world,” not God. The following gives children of God their marching orders:

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:10-18).(Bold emphasis added).

God’s Word is truth (John 17:17). It covers knowledge of all aspects of every spiritual warfare, including the one at hand. God’s Word lays out His truths and principles for all governments—individual government, family government, human government, and church government—their God-given jurisdictions, interrelationships, and much more. God desires that His soldiers apply God’s doctrines, testimonies, precepts, commandments, principles, etc. as they represent Him in this world. By the way, God makes clear that children of believers are to obey their parents and that born-again parents are to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:1-4). The home is to be the bootcamp for the spiritual warfare that children will face when they come of age.

“The powers that be are ordained of God” (Romans 13:1c, the context is human government). Human governments have limited God-given jurisdiction (Romans 13:3-4, 8-9; 1 Peter 2:14; those verses and others in the New Testament reflect the much more detailed Old Testament teaching on human government). The God-given jurisdiction of human government extends to matters dealing with man’s relationship with man but not to matters dealing with man’s relationship to God as expressed in the first four of the Ten Commandments (Romans 13:8-9; much more can be learned about these matters from a study of the Old Testament). Render Unto God the Things that Are His: A Systematic Study of Romans 13 and Related Verses (https://jeraldfinney.com/god-betrayed/books/render-unto-god-the-things-that-are-his-a-systematic-study-of-romans-13-and-related-verses/ ), explains the details about man’s obligation to human government. When a human government rule conflicts with what God commands, “We should obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

Civil governments are to “punish evildoers.” Sinners are evil doers; but according to God’s Word, all crimes are sins, but not all sins are crimes. Thus, civil governments are not to punish all sins. Are adultery, homosexual conduct, lesbianism, transgenderism, and men acting as women and vice-versa sins? Definitely. Does God desire that civil government punish them as crimes? I have given much thought to that matter, with God’s Word as my authority.

One thing I know for sure, God will judge individuals, families, churches, and nations who commit, promote, and/or take pleasure in such things (See, e.g., Romans 1:32; for context read Romans 1:18-32 King James Bible, the Bible which was the authority of those persecuted dissenters in colonial America whose stand for religious liberty, freedom of press, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly paved the way for the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. For a history of that spiritual warfare in the American colonies, see  Section II of The Trail of Blood of the Martyrs of Jesus: Christian Revisionism on Trial)( https://jeraldfinney.com/god-betrayed/books/the-trail-of-blood-of-the-martyrs-of-jesus/ ).

Does God desire that a human government allow such practices to be openly practiced and promoted. I think not. Although God’s Word teaches that God desires separation of church and state, it also teaches that God does not desire governments to apply and practice separation of God (and His principles) and state. I explain that in some detail in Part I of God Betrayed: Separation of Church and State/The Biblical Principles and the American Application (https://jeraldfinney.com/god-betrayed/books/god-betrayedseparation-of-church-and-state-the-biblical-principles-and-the-american-application/ ).

Allowing sinners to openly and pridefully practice abominable sins in an open public forum corrupts and leads to the eventual judgment of God, not to mention the natural consequences of sin. Pride is an abomination to God (Proverbs 6:16-17). “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Corinthians 15:33). The principle of separation runs from Genesis to Revelation. When one combines the holy with the unholy, the unholy always corrupts the holy, and never the other way around. What happens when one puts a teaspoon of arsenic in a glass of water. The concerns for the effects of “A Drag Queen Christmas” on the children of Amarillo (as well as many adults) are well founded. This event is to occur in a city owned facility, paid for by Amarillo taxpayers. Thus, Amarillo, by not taking a firm stand against this event is implicating the political leaders and employees of the city, but also all the taxpayers and citizens of Amarillo. I personally believe not only that you should apologize to but also recompense all Amarillo taxpayers who disagree with your stand on this matter.

America has witnessed the growing acceptance of adultery, fornication, perversions of all kinds, immorality in general, and pride in that immorality. The increase in immorality and acceptance of such over the last ten or twenty years has been at an ever-accelerating rate. This increase has been fueled by postmodernism—the idea that all lifestyles, philosophies and truth claims are equal and no one has a right to say that his truth is superior to that of another—has been taught by our public schools and universities and disseminated by liberal news outlets, magazines, and all kinds of literature. To the postmodernist, the most hateful thing one can is God’s principle that we should hate the sin but love the sinner. Postmodernism is a direct frontal attack on God and His Word. Much of America is now in the grips of this wicked philosophy. Amarillo is still behind and is still somewhat conservative. Yet even Amarillo has it’s “gay pride” parades and other events, as well as businesses, churches, and organizations which are corrupting this city and the citizens who still believe in God and His Word. Sadly, the resistance is not according to God’s knowledge, understanding and wisdom. I have heard church-going people condone sodomy, lesbianism, and same sex marriage. As a sidenote, there is no such thing as same sex marriage. God ordained and defined marriage in the Garden of Eden and never gave civil government any jurisdiction regarding the marriage relationship. See what Jesus said about marriage in Matthew 19:3-6.  No matter what the Supreme Court or any other earthly power says, the marriage union is available only to one man and one woman.

At the very least, the individual believer—no matter his station in life—is to warn everyone of the nature of sin and the consequences for the unrepentant sinner. One cannot be saved if he takes pride in his sin and/or refuses to turn to God and trust Jesus to save him from his sin.

So what is a believer who is a political leader to do? Every believer, whatever his or her post in life, should “obey God rather than men.” The highest law is God’s law, not man’s law. When man’s law contradicts God’s law, the believer should stand on God’s law. Many in America like to proclaim that America is “one nation under God.” The truth is that every nation is under God. However, for the time being, every nation and human government past, present, and future is on probation. There comes a time in the existence of every nation when it will be judged by God; when God’s only remedy is judgment. That time is fast approaching for America, Texas, and Amarillo. For details from the Word of God on this matter, see The Biblical Doctrine of Government (https://jeraldfinney.com/god-betrayed/books/god-betrayedseparation-of-church-and-state-the-biblical-principles-and-the-american-application/online-version-of-the-book-god-betrayed/the-biblical-doctrine-of-government/ ); see also, for more on the hierarchy of law, First Amendment Protection of New Testament Churches/Federal Laws Protecting State Churches (Religious Organizations) (https://jeraldfinney.com/2010/02/26/laws-protecting-new-testament-churches-in-the-united-states-read-them-for-yourself/ )

  1. You stated:

“I am are praying that this event will give our city an opportunity to engage with people who do not know Jesus and don’t share our beliefs. I Pray that our kindness and compassion will be attractive to them as they visit our city and that it will lead to questions and curiosity about our beliefs.”

I agree that individual believers in a city like Amarillo—a city whose leaders have failed to perform their God-given responsibilities—should be kind and compassionate, according to God’s way. One does that by giving forth and exemplifying the truths of God’s Word in a straightforward manner. We should speak the truth in love. We should openly proclaim that their practices are sin; an abomination to God; an attack on God and God’s order for the individual, the family, and human government. We should give them God’s eternal solution. We should do this with the hope that they will recognize their hopeless condition, repent, and trust Jesus Christ to save them from their sin.

Thank you for taking the time to read and consider my concerns and the concerns of some other Amarillo citizens and taxpayers. Hopefully, those who wish to unite against the evils of our day can come together in truth according to the Word of God. Again, my heart-felt thanks to Amarillo law enforcement as they maintain order and protect the rights of all citizens of this city.

Very truly yours,

Jerald Finney

Cc:

Cole Stanley, Councilmember Place 1 cole.stanley@amarillo.gov, 601 Buchanan Street, Amarillo TX 79101

Freda Powell, Councilmember Place 2 freda.powell@amarillo.gov, 601 Buchanan Street, Amarillo TX 79101

Eddie Sauer, Councilmember Place 3 eddy.sauer@amarillo.gov, 601 Buchanan Street, Amarillo TX 79101

Howard Smith, Councilmember Place 4 howard.smith@amarillo.gov, 601 Buchanan Street, Amarillo TX 79101