As each year comes near to the end, it has been the practice in the United States, from before we were a nation, to stop and reflect on the multitude of blessings that have been poured out on our lives, individually and as a nation.
While there have been great “nation states” and “city states” – such as Rome – in the history of the world, none has been so richly blessed with freedom, wealth, health and security as has the United States of America. However, only Israel in ancient times would take the time to celebrate a purely holiday based on faith, such as their Passover.
Historically, we were taught in school in the 1930s that the first Thanksgiving was observed by the Puritan immigrants who fled from religious persecution to be able to practice and observe their faith as they believed it. They had suffered severe privation and loss of numbers and were thankful for their first bountiful harvest in the New World. Because they had been assisted and taught local farming practices by the friendly “Indian” natives, they invited those tribal members to join in their observance.
Later in the history of our nation, Congress established the fourth Thursday in November as the official observance of Thanksgiving, declaring it a legal holiday. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, FDR, by presidential proclamation, declared Thanksgiving to be held on the third Thursday in order to move the people to begin Christmas shopping earlier in hopes of turning the depression around.
However, most people clung to the original day and some states even officially kept it, including Oklahoma. In my opinion, it should be observed as a time to be thankful for the bountiful harvests that we are normally blessed with, rather than a time to begin a shopping madness in preparation for Christmas. Perhaps if more attention were given to the thankfulness part of Thanksgiving, those detractors who proclaim that the United States is not a Christian nation (including PRESBO) would tone down their shouting that blatant untruth.
It used to be that businesses, except for those essential to our society, would not be open on Thanksgiving Day. Then the stores began to open at 12:01 after midnight for the “Black Friday” sales. Now some are even open all day, thus denying their employees the time to be with family and turn to God.
Again, we in the United States, of all the world, have the most to be thankful for. Our land was provided with massive amounts of fuel and minerals to be used for out safety and comfort and arable land with ample moisture to allow us to be well fed and even help feed those less blessed. Our Constitution was written by men who gave allegiance and credit to their Creator, God, and were, in my opinion, truly inspired to have come up with the plain, simple and easily understood document that is the primary basis of all our laws.
It is most unfortunate that misguided individuals have conspired to have appointed to seats on the various appellate courts, including the Supreme Court, individuals who have demonstrated a lack of respect and obedience to the laws in place. Some of that can be attributed to the gradual domination of the educational system by people who really have no loyalty to our laws and the very principles on which we were established.
Thus those of younger generations who are products of such institutions really do not know the truth, to our detriment. As the old paraphrased saying goes – “Continual alert is the price of continued freedom” – is still very much true and we who cherish freedom must remain alert to the misleading proclamations and be prepared to confront and refute them.
Also, we must vote to replace those in power who go along.