Be warned: Here comes the ‘G’ word

By Barbara Simpson

If you dropped in on this planet from another galaxy, you’d think we were a tribe of bird worshippers. One bird: a turkey.

It’s a strange worship. We raise then kill the creature, strip its feathers, stuff it with food, roast it and eat it along with a groaning table of other foods.

You might think we worship the bird and gluttony. Then again, considering American obesity – an epidemic, we’re told – the latter worship might not be that far from the truth! But I digress.

Look at advertising. It’s focused on family, friends, travel, blow-out sales and of course, food and drink. We call this “celebration” Thanksgiving.

Oh, that.

In this atheistic age, mention of “giving thanks” necessarily ropes you into a consideration of to whom thanks are given. If all of nature and mankind are just accidental – Big Bang and all that – there’s a problem.

So you give thanks, in general, for all the goodies. In essence, we thank ourselves. Many thank politicians and government, thinking they’re responsible for the good in their lives. Of course, if your life is in the pits, it helps to be able to blame politicians and government for what’s lacking and then demand changes to make things better for you.

Essentially, Thanksgiving is secular, and any “thanks” is like kissing our mirror image.

For children in public schools, it’s worse. While you may remember studying the holiday with pictures of the Pilgrims and Indians celebrating the first Thanksgiving – giving thanks to God for their survival – that isn’t the picture your kids are getting.

God is never mentioned and, often, even the Pilgrims aren’t seen. The problem is that if you show them, you’re obliged to mention their religious beliefs. Since religion and God are verboten in public schools, our children are denied an intrinsic part of human life – to say nothing of an accurate picture of history.

Every civilization has had a religion, whether it was the worship of a volcano or a stone figure. We don’t hesitate to teach our children about the religion of the ancients or any current religion as long as that teaching doesn’t involve the religions of Christians or Jews.

How do you teach the origins of this country without including religion? Christianity, especially. How do you teach that so many colonists came here to get away from religious persecution in Europe?

You can’t.

Since our schools are doing that, they’re guilty of an organized deception which now pervades public life. Look around. You’d be hard pressed to see any mention of the real meaning of Thanksgiving Day anywhere in the public venue. And that’s a sin.

The Plymouth colonists celebrated the first Thanksgiving after their first winter killed nearly half of them. Gov. William Bradford decreed a three-day feast for prayer and celebration, which involved the colonists and the Indians.

Whoops, there’s that pesky religion again.

President George Washington named Nov. 26 a day of national thanksgiving and prayers for blessings.

Prayers for blessings?

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November as “a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father.”

Gee, sounds suspiciously like God to me.

In 1941, Congress named the fourth Thursday of November as the official, federal holiday to give thanks.

Uh-oh.

We have a lot to be thankful for – namely our lives, our country and our freedoms.

I know that sounds hokey to many, but to those who have nothing good to say of this country, I offer one of the freedoms we have: If you don’t like it here and if you don’t appreciate the Constitution on which this country is based, then you have the freedom to leave.

We do not have guns and turrets and barbed wire to keep you in. Leave, with our blessings.

Oops. I’m getting into dangerous territory again.

Thanksgiving Day is to thank God for what we have. Regardless of personal hardships, we have our beautiful, bountiful country.

But more importantly, we have the form of government created by men – and yes, blessed by a greater power – to be a haven of security and freedom unheard of across the centuries.

There are many beautiful countries, but none with our freedoms.

Give thanks for that, for our survival from 9-11 and our determination to prevent its repetition. We should pray for the courage and conviction to preserve our freedoms, because without them, we have nothing.

Please, God. Grant us your blessings.

We desperately need them.