Gettysburg Address: Fear of the word God

November 22, 2013

As part of the 150th anniversary celebration of the Gettysburg Address, Ken Burns, documentary filmmaker, has created a website encouraging all Americans to record themselves reading the speech. Eighteen celebrities and politicians are featured on the website reading their version of the Gettysburg Address.

This group includes, among others, Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Mario Cuomo, David Dinkins, Wolf Blitzer and Gabby Giffords. Only one of the 18 didn’t include "under God" in their reading….Barack Obama. It’s a curious omission, particularly because, according to eyewitnesses that day, Lincoln is said to have used the words “under God” when he delivered the address on November 19, 1863.

There are five known handwritten drafts of Lincoln’s speech. Three include the words under God, two others don’t. My question is, of the five versions, and of all the 18 contributors, why did only Obama choose to read one of the two that excluded under God? The more troubling question that follows is, if Obama is the God fearing Christian he professes to be….why is he so fearful of the word God, particularly when it pertains to the United States of America?

Steve Hyle



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