Thursday, January 29, 2009

Martin Van Buren Inaugural - Ardent Prayers

Martin Van Buren was our 8th President. In his Inaugural address of 1837, he said:

"But to me, my fellow-citizens, look ing forward to the far-distant future with ardent prayers and confiding hopes, this retrospect presents a ground for still deeper delight."

See President Van Buren's Inaugural Address


Kyle said...

I've been watching your blog for a while now. It seems like you're collecting religious references in government. That's fine if you want to do that; I'd disagree that most of these statements are really calling upon any particular God, or really any God at all.
This quote, for example--not religious. A "prayer" is not just a call to a religious deity. You can "pray" to a court for relief, or "pray" to the sovereign, or even to a king. Mr. Van Buren was not invoking any religious deity, but rather was encouraging the country to contemplate.

History Matters said...


Thanks for your comment. I agree that not all the quotes I post are devout. However, I am trying to counter some of the attitude that says government and its officials at all levels should not make any reference to religion. So in some cases I am pointing out overtly religious acts; in others I am pointing to mentions of God or worship or prayer in public.
There was a bit of flap this year about what might be said by our new President or some of his guests. That's when I decided to see how many inaugural speeches have a reference to God. The series is not meant to portray inaugural speeches as some kind of sermon.

I am also doing a series of posts showing mentions to God/religion/etc. in ALL 50 of our state constitutions. This latter is not to show that our states are establishing religion.

If you look at this post: and at the introductory text at the top of every page, it might explain my reasoning a bit.