As many media outlets have reported, obama left out the words "under God" from his rendition.
Why would a sitting president show such utter disrespect for one of our nation's leaders? I have an opinion. But first, a little history on Lincoln's speech is offered.
There were 5 different versions of the Gettysburg Address given by Abe Lincoln on November 18, 1863 - 150 years ago. He gave out the copies to various people over the years.
The versions were (the names below denote the people to whom Lincoln gave copies):
1) The Nicolay* copy,
2) The Hay copy*,
3) The Everett copy,
4) The Bancroft copy,
And, 5) the Bliss copy - the copy Lincoln "authorized".
Note: " * " above indicates that the words "under God" do not appear in these 2 copies. The other 3 copies do contain the words.
The official version of the Gettysburg Address , approved by Lincoln, reads thusly (Note: I have indicated in red the words "under God" in the official version of the speech):
"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Now, watch obama offer his rendition of Lincoln's historic speech and notice that the words "under God" have been ommitted. Then, below the video is my opinion as to why such disrespect purposedly may have been effected.
Jay Carney, spokesperson for obama, indicated that obama read the Nicolay copy given to him by Ken Burns, noted Civil War historian. If obama's staffers were clever enough to know that the preseident was to read the "Nicolay" copy, why weren't they clever enough to know that it was not the version authorized by Lincoln?
Those on the "left" may view obama's version as appropriate as God has no place in government, offensive as it disrespects the man who set free all the slaves. (In fact, Lincoln did NOT free all the slaves), etc.
Those on the "right" may view this as disrespecting the man who brought this nation together, etc.
But, was it an act of disrespect or something else? I believe the latter.
The country of today faces many, many problems. Most have been put in place by this administration's policies and actions. The president's opinion polls are nose diving. Could it be that such an omission in such an important part of our history was done to divert attention? I believe so.
The debacle of the Afforable Care Act, the financial situation of the country, and the many scandals of this administration all are important to our continued well being as a nation and, as such, are most worthy of our continued attention.
By committing such an obvious disrespect to Lincoln and his legacy, an "atmospheric" has been created that both sides of the media jump on thus diverting attention away from the real issues. Of course, this diversion will last but for a short while. Perhaps, this administration calculates that a more pressing issue may arise soon allowing for greater diversion from our real problems.