Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Obama Criticized As Anti-Religious For Reading First Gettysburg Address Version

To mark yesterday's 150th Anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, documentarian Ken Burns has urged everyone to video themselves reciting the Address. His Learn the Address website, which features a number of celebrities delivering the speech, points out that there are 5 versions of the Gettysburg Address.  Burns specifically asked President Obama to recite the "Nicolay Version"-- the earliest version of the speech which, among other things, does not include the reference to "God" that ended up in later versions. A number of conservative commentators and websites-- perhaps unaware of why the President did so-- strongly attacked Obama for "omitting God" in the Gettysburg Address. For example, a Liberty Counsel press release said:
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. 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.
And American Family Association Issue Analysis Director Bryan Fischer tweeted: "Obama's omission of 'under God' is more evidence of his anti-Christian bigotry. He honors Islam but disrespects Christianity."

According to a CBS News report:
White House spokesman Jay Carney on Tuesday gave a simple explanation for the reading. "He read the version of the address that Ken Burns provided," he said, noting that Burns is a "noted Civil War scholar."