On Thanksgiving Day, all across America, families sit down to a festive dinner that celebrates a tradition that stretches back hundreds of years to the day the Pilgrims set aside to offer thanksgiving to God for their ability to survive in a strange new land devoid of the comforts they had left behind when they ventured across the vast Atlantic to begin a harsh new life in a new world.
It's really a blessing that those who have sworn enmity against any recognition whatsoever of the role Almighty God has played in our earthly affairs have not aimed the same vitriol they spew at our celebration of Christmas at the nation's public display of Thanksgiving. And there's a reason: Like vast numbers of their fellow Americans, they don't stop to wonder just who it is we are thanking.
Make no mistake about it; if they had any idea that in celebrating Thanksgiving as a national holiday most Americans are thanking God for their blessings, they'd be going after it the same way their are seeking to convert Christmas day into a pagan holiday celebrating winter, or snowmen, or mass worship at the altar of commerce, or some other such pagan nonsense.
And the Pagans are not alone in their ignorance of the real meaning of Thanksgiving.
I doubt that any sizeable number of those sitting down at Thanksgiving tables across the nation realize their primary purpose in joining together is to express their gratitude to God for the gifts he has given them over the past year. It's not God who is the centerpiece — it's the turkey on the platter.
And that's the main reason the barbarians haven't fixed their sights on Thanksgiving as they have on Christmas and sought to reduce it to just another seasonal celebration: They don't need to; we've done it ourselves.
As Newt Gingrich has noted, it wasn't always that way. Gingrich recalls that "During his first year in office . . . In his Thanksgiving proclamation, Washington wrote: 'It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits and humbly to implore His protection and favor.'"
Later, during the very heart of the Civil War, in October 1863, Gingrich notes that President Abraham Lincoln "built on President Washington's initiative and created an annual day of thanksgiving. Like Washington, Lincoln was determined to draw a direct tie between America and the Creator from whom Americans draw their rights."
Lincoln acknowledged that the nation was 'in the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity.' But he focused instead on the nation's blessings, urging his fellow Americans to remember that 'no human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the most high God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.'"
That's the way it was for a, long, long time. But that's also the way Christmas was.
Nowadays, we are being treated to a series of absurdities, such as a proclamation by some official body of dolts in Colorado recommending banning the use of red and green lights at Christmas time because they might remind people of Christmas and reminding people of Christmas is obviously a grievous offense against the separation of church and state — at least it is for some in the enlightened city of Colorado Springs.
I keep reading that 80 percent of all Americans consider themselves Christians, people who worship Jesus Christ as the son of God. That's a pretty hefty percentage, what is known today as a super majority.
In a nation that worships the notion that the majority rules save in the case where majority rule does grievous harm to the minority, one would think that those of the majority religion would have the right to observe the rituals and celebrations of their faith without let or hindrance.
Celebrating the birthday of Jesus Christ does not do one whit of harm to the minority, yet we allow a small number in that minority to deprive the majority of their rights on the grounds that they are somehow offended.
Instead of rigorously defending our rights we stand aside and allow the militant pagans to assault one of the holiest of our religious observances and reduce it a mere civic holiday devoid of any spiritual significance. We allowed Thanksgiving to secularized. Are we going to allow it to happen to Christmas?
Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving. And please remember who it is you are thanking.
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Phil Brennan is a veteran journalist and World War II Marine who writes for Newsmax.Com. He is editor and publisher of Wednesday on the Web (http://www.pvbr.com) and was Washington columnist for National Review magazine in the 1960s.
He also served as a staff aide for the House Republican Policy Committee and helped handle the Washington public relations operation for the Alaska Statehood Committee which won statehood for Alaska.
He is also a trustee of the Lincoln Heritage Institute and a member of the Association For Intelligence Officers.
He can be reached at [email protected]
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