I am waking up this morning to Thanksgiving Day. Heathen me, a surly son of Odin. Christians might think Thanksgiving is a uniquely Christian day but that is not true for the simple reason that there is not much that is uniquely Christian about Christianity.
Pretty much anything that is Christian today was Pagan yesterday, including Christmas (which we will be hearing a lot more about in the days to come). Including thanks giving: giving thanks to the divine for what we have on earth.
And really, why is there any reason at all an atheist could not be thankful for something? A person can be thankful, after all, without a god to whom to be thankful. It is possible, after all, to simply be thankful. To be thankful for job, for family, for the food on the table. For each other.
But the Religious Right, false Christians that they are, (I once called them aberrochristians and I still think that name fits, because they are an aberration) the idea that you can only be thankful to a god persists, and to a specific god. Moreover, they believe that you can only be thankful for what they deem to be “godly” things, even when their ideas of godly differ from…well, God’s in the Bible. Specifically, from those of Jesus, their alleged Lord and Savior.
Take Peter LaBarbera, who makes his living telling lies about homosexuality and then pretending it’s truth. Nothing unique in this; American conservatism in the 21st century would puff out of existence without dishonesty. But LaBarbera doesn’t think gays have any right to Thanksgiving. As he writes on his website,
“Now homosexuality advocates (and others) have taken this regrettable phenomenon a step further: using Thanksgiving as an opportunity to be ‘thankful for’ developments that are decidedly ungodly – e.g., the advance of out-and-proud homosexualism.” Hey, Peter, how about hating and lying and starving the poor? Or is that Godly now?
As secularism and – dare I say – godlessness deepen in these United States, many are leaving God out of Thanksgiving Day. Language always follows the heart: have you noticed the habit that has crept in of being thankful for this and that – without being thankful to God?
Now homosexuality advocates (and others) have taken this regrettable phenomenon a step further: using Thanksgiving as an opportunity to be “thankful for” developments that are decidedly ungodly – e.g., the advance of out-and-proud homosexualism, including “same-sex marriage,” in the United States.
I came upon this homosexual website article timed for Thanksgiving about homosexuals being thankful for various “gay rights” achievements, including more lesbians on TV We know as Christians and Bible-respecting Jews that Our Heavenly Father is not smiling on that
And so, we have come full circle: citizens of a nation founded “under God” use our annual day of gratitude — conceived to humbly give thanks to God — to celebrate sin. How insidious is the “Progressive” Left’s radical redefinition of everything noble – patriotism, liberty, equality, and now even God Himself – to advance their destructive agendas?
Last week, while AFTAH protested outside at the University of Illinois-Chicago, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) – in addition to sullying Abe Lincoln’s good name — quoted the Bible (the “love” passage in 1 Corinthians 13) to celebrate his signing of a homosexual “marriage” bill into law [watch the ceremony HERE]. Folks, this political profanity. To paraphrase another Democrat who sold his soul to the “Gay” Lobby — Barack Obama — God is definitely NOT in the mix when it comes to recasting “marriage” to accommodate sexual perversion.
So have a great Thanksgiving, watch some football, enjoy your feast – but take at least a moment, even privately in your heart, to thank the Lord your God for all your blessings – including living in a nation that has been blessed abundantly by Him. And repent of your sins, just as we as a nation must repent and return to honoring our motto of being under God if we are to achieve greatness again, and avoid His divine judgment upon us.
What is funny in all this is that LaBarbera uses a quote from George Washington at the top of his page, taken from Washington’s Thanksgiving proclamation in 1789, where the Father of our Country says, “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.” What LaBarbera leaves out is where Washington says something far less congenial to religious bigots like LaBarbera:
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 which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
“Sincere and humble thanks” – well, you don’t see sincere or humble coming from LaBarbera or his fellow bigots. And “peaceful and rational,” he says, another pair of attributes rejected by American conservatism today. And, says Washington, we should be thankful for our “civil and religious liberty” – a liberty, LaBarbera asserts in his own Thanksgiving message, that applies only to false Christians like him.
And Washington goes on:
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– to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
Surely everyone remembers the so-called Obama Apology Tour where President Obama allegedly traveled all over apologizing for America. There is not a Republican politician I can think of off the top of my head who will admit to any national transgressions (let alone personal transgressions), yet Lincoln too, in his 1863 Thanksgiving proclamation spoke of ” humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience” (and he was not talking about homosexuality).
Yet LaBarbera says it is gays who “sully Lincoln’s good name.”
Washington said our government is “a blessing to all the people” and Lincoln likewise spoke in his proclamation of “His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers” as a result of the Civil War. But Republicans think only certain people should be blessed: white folks who happen to be (allegedly) Christian and who (especially) are rich. Those who have suffered as a result of war, including the soldiers who fought it, are as nothing to Republicans when their usefulness is done.
Washington also speaks of the “encrease of science” but Republicans reject science and the ways it might serve us in our fight against global warming, food shortages, drought, hurricanes, typhoons and the other natural disasters Republicans persist in blaming on God.
How is it that only part – a very small part – of what Washington says, matters to LaBarbera, and the rest is as chaff? I suppose it is not surprising given that false Christians like LaBarbera ignore in its entirety the message of Jesus of Nazareth as given in the gospels.
Washington, however, had nothing in common with people like LaBarbera. Washington, having fought for the freedoms to which so many of us are today thankful, understood not only the cost of that freedom, which was not an AR-15 in every home – but embracing and defending – believing in wholeheartedly the principles that underlie American democracy.
We can be thankful to God certainly, if we are Christians, or to whatever other gods we worship. And we can be thankful to George Washington and the other patriots who did and do understand true American values, who do not worship at the trough of greed and bigotry and selfishness and hate and endless war for profit. And we can be thankful for each other, whatever our ethnicity, whatever our religion, for like ourselves, believing in an America. For it is only by setting aside our differences and working together that we can bring America closer to the idea Lincoln spoke of at Gettysburg 150 years ago – an America “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
That is something I can be thankful for.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all, for whom I am also grateful. Thank you.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.