President Biden left out or made no mention to God out of the 2021 presidential proclamation for the annual National Day of Prayer.
Biden, who identifies as a devout Roman Catholic and goes to mass every Sunday became the first president to omit “God” from his formal on the National Day of Prayer.
In his first National Day of Prayer proclamation as president, Biden does however mention the coronavirus pandemic, racial justice, and the “existential threat of climate change” that Americans of “many religions and belief systems” use faith to “call upon the power of prayer,” but doesn’t contain no such acknowledgement of a higher power.
“Today, we remember and celebrate the role that the healing balm of prayer can play in our lives and in the life of our Nation,” Biden’s proclamation reads in part. ” As we continue to confront the crises and challenges of our time — from a deadly pandemic to the loss of lives and livelihoods in its wake, to a reckoning on racial justice, to the existential threat of climate change — Americans of faith can call upon the power of prayer to provide hope and uplift us for the work ahead.”
Compare to his previous predecessors, former President Trump’s National Day of Prayer 2020 proclamation mentioned God eleven times, with three of those times God was mentioned from famous quotes. In his 2019 proclamation, Trump mentioned God seven times, while his 2018 proclamation mentioned God five times and his first presidential proclamation in 2017 proclamation mentioned God five times.
Even former President Barack Obama mentioned God two times more than Biden did in his final National Day of Prayer declaration as president back in 2016, with all of his proclamations mentioned God at least once, with some having the word God as many as three times
The president by law is required to issue an annual presidential proclamation designated on the first Thursday in May as National Day of Prayer “on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.” The occasion was first celebrated as a holiday by former President Harry Truman and later formalized by former President Ronald Reagan.
Republicans and evangelical leaders took notice of the omission. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in a tweet mocked in response to Biden failing to mention God in his first proclamation.
“Our Government, which art in Washington, hallowed be thy taxes…” Cruz tweeted.
Our Government, which art in Washington, hallowed be thy taxes…. https://t.co/eBpJRxQnMY
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 6, 2021
Rev. Franklin Graham reacted to Biden
“Why would President Biden omit God? Today marks the 70th annual #NationalDayOfPrayer & President Biden is the first POTUS to omit the word “God” in his proclamation. That speaks volumes doesn’t it?” Graham shared on Twitter.
“Omitting God is dangerous. He is who we call on for help. He created us & made salvation possible for us through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. Prayers to anyone or anything else are to no avail. Join me in praying to Almighty God on behalf of our nation,” Graham added in another tweet.
While the proclamation didn’t mention “God,” Biden in his remarks for the occasion did reference God once when saying that the vaccine was developed “by the grace of God.”