Commentators and some Twitter denizens expressed sadness and concern on Thursday after President Barack Obama issued a Thanksgiving address to the nation without mentioning God.

Obama - who mentioned God in Thanksgiving addresses in 2009 and 2010 - expressed gratitude on Thursday to U.S. troops serving abroad and thanked volunteers at soup kitchens and shelters calling the very first Thanksgiving celebration a "celebration of community.”

"We're especially grateful for the Americans who defend our country overseas. To all the service members eating Thanksgiving dinner far from your families, the American people are thinking of you today," the President said during his weekly radio address.

"We’re also grateful for the Americans who are taking time out of their holiday to serve in soup kitchens and shelters, making sure their neighbors have a hot meal and a place to stay," Obama noted.

"As we gather around the table, we pause to remember the pilgrims, pioneers, and patriots who helped make this country what it is. They faced impossible odds, and yet somehow, they persevered," Obama added.


Fox News commentator Todd Starnes tweeted Thursday that Obama “redefines” Thanksgiving by omitting any reference to God.

“His remarks were void of any religious references although Thanksgiving is a holiday traditionally steeped in giving thanks and praise to God,” he wrote.

He noted that in his address, Obama said that during the Civil War, two world Wars and the Great Depression “Americans drew strength from each other.”

However he contrasted that statement with one made in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln, who urged Americans “to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

Online Reactions

“So sad! God help us!” Tweeted Stephen Judd, the Senior Pastor at Life Church in Tupelo, Missisippi, while linking to the Starnes article. Republicans Abroad also linked to the article in a Twitter post.

In the address, Obama said said he would pass the occasion with his family and "spend the day eating great food, watching a little football, and reflecting on how truly lucky we truly are."

An Oklahoma Pastor also turned to Twitter, to express his discontent.

"To give thanks for luck is to deny God much less omit" said Pastor JeffBrown who according to his Twitter account, is a rural Oklahoma husband, father and Baptist Pastor.

Watch Obama's Thanksgiving Speech below: