Thanksgiving - Who Do You Thank?

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Sir Joseph

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Jan 12, 2019
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From the 16th century explorers, to the 17th century pilgrims and settlers, to the 18th century Founding Fathers, and continuing to the mid 20th century, America has embraced Christianity. Though the secular educational system of today won't teach it and popular culture rejects it, there's a prevalence of laws, institutions, monuments, historical records, and quotes we have to support this claim. Nowhere is this more evident than the Thanksgiving proclamations that have been made by Congress, Presidents, and State Governors, with the Federal government alone issuing over 170 of them to date.

I don't expect many individuals today bother to read the presidential proclamations that are released each year, yet alone the historical ones accessible now on the internet. A reading of the earlier ones though reveals the religious nature that our nation's leaders applied to this occasion. Consider this prime example from the country's most notable Founding Father:

Proclamation for a Public Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer, October 3, 1789,
by George Washington - 1st President of the United States of America

“Whereas 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 - and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God ... Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be - That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks - for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation - for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence ... and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us. And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue ...”

Is there any separation of church and state being exhibited here? Is there any political correctness or ambiguity for accommodating irreligious people or those of other, non-Christian religions? Is there any doubt of who deserves the thanks, glory and honor for our country's many blessings?

It seems Americans today are still committed to sitting down with family, enjoying a fine meal, and celebrating Thanksgiving day. But today's suppressed Christian culture has diluted the religious holiday. It's still common perhaps to hear people acknowledge their blessings, to express gratefulness, to even give thanks. But how often are those blessings specifically attributed to God? I'd suggest that such connection is being lost in our secular society.

To those who sit down this year with any kind of meal or life worthy of giving thanks, I'd ask, who are you thanking? If it's not the God of the universe who governs all things, then what's the point? Giving thanks is only rational if there's a real, specific recipient. For 400 years, Americans recognized and publicly thanked the Christian God of the Bible for their blessings. That tradition continues on today with the Thanksgiving holiday, but honestly, can only be done if God's openly invited to the table.


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Sep 3, 2011
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Sweet, sweet, U S of A.
Amendment I, of the United States' Bill of Rights
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Article 2, of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

The Greeks were a polytheistic people, who, as far as we know, introduced to the world, the idea, and practice, of Democracy. Later on the Romans would introduce the world to a Democratically Elected Republic. Though Rome would later decay into a military dictatorship. It was largely the Muslim world, that would go on to preserve, in writing, the written works of the Greeks and Romans, of which the founders of this country based, in no small part, this countries Democratic Republic. And it was the land of the First Peoples of America, on which that new nation was founded, often at their innumerable expense.

The inventor of the Personal Computer (generally speaking), of which allows us to converse in this way, was none other than Steve Wozniak. And the man who would go on to invent the World Wide Web is none other than Tim Berner's Lee.

I have neither the will, nor the inclination to elaborate any further; suffice it to say, the modern world we enjoy today, and even that of the not so distant past of American antiquity, was an amalgamation of beliefs, traditions, philosophies, politics, and ways of life.

I don't know how thankful I am for all of that; but, I would sincerely hope that I am. And I would also hope, that, my thanks for, the multiplicity of minds and views and their products, would not simply extend to one day out of a year.

Anywho, there
is much to be thankful for, indeed! Any time of day, any day of the year.

Who do I thank? In the Ultimate?

I suppose if I was to be brief, and forced to use something, so crude as the language we speak with, I would thank all of those responsible, for the message, of indescribable beauty, that I have been, (there is no word I can think of in the English language to use here; but, blessed, fortunate, or privy, are rough and gross words that are near), to experience, and know. A message that says, how beautiful and special we all are, and that we are not, that none of us, are alone. And that which, if viewed as a gift from a certain perspective, I think, is one bestowed upon many people of this Earth, no matter their race, creed, religion, and tradition; and for each on of us, it is something different, yet the same in all of us.

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user 135067

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Apr 28, 2016
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There are no deities in my beliefs. Legally mine is not a religion. In that, I do have a benefactor for my thanks. Is it not possible to be thankful to the trees and sky? Are the stars just pinpoints in the night? Does there have to be a sentient receiver for one to be thankful?

I'll point out, Washington didn't decree that all Americans obey Thanksgiving. It's optional. By that there is no Christian favoritism by setting aside one day for blessing our gratefulness in the name of gods.

While the Muslim Eid al-Fitr is not a national holiday in the US, it is still observed with public school closings which makes it sanctioned by the US government. There is little dispute that God is god by other names. In his omnipotence is it beyond understanding that your god and their god could be the same should He will it? To divide religions is a matter of our inherent prejudice refusing to accept that our gods are all things and we fail our beliefs when we separate them.

Thanksgiving has evolved to be a day to consider what we are grateful for. If some want to give that thanks to a god that is their director and keeper then amen to them. For me it's a day to reflect on myself. I give none of my power to a god. I am responsible for all things me. I can be thankful to myself that I am not less than I am.
Mar 21, 2020
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In my mind
I thank myself for planning for the future, not being greedy, and quiting the rat race when I had enough of it. I also thank all the people (farmers, truck drivers, and other workers) for providing the food and water that I need to live. It is a monumental task to feed so many people. Yet, for the most part, it all seems to work out okay.

Apparrently there's a shortage of turkeys now. Not a problem for a planner living alone though. I already bought my turkey at a huge discount, cooked it, and ate about half of it. My thanksgiving meal will probably consist of a noodles and cabbage dish of some kind. No big meal needed when living alone. :)

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