By Joe Keck
In the spirit of our country’s upcoming happy Bird day, my usual good, brisk slapping around of the Left will be relaxed for this week’s clolumn.
But don’t worry, you won’t find me hugging puppies here. Just a bit of ‘collar-grabbing’ instead.
So here we go.
I was watching the local news one afternoon during the holiday season of one past Thanksgiving, and the fluff piece toward the end of the newscast was showing terribly cute kids, second and third graders, telling who, to their immature minds, the Pilgrims were thanking on our first Thanksgiving those few centuries plus ago.
It was adorable, and at the same time, disheartening.
There were probably five or six of the little darlings, and their answers ranged from, ‘the Pilgrims were thanking the Indians’, to ‘they were thanking each other.’
Not one of them said our pre-colonial forebears were thanking God.’
At the end of the segment, the anchor and anchoress gave the typical mentally challenged on-stage smile and made some idiotic and – as always – unfunny comment, but didn’t seem at all surprised that none of them knew the object of our early settler’s gratitude. Not only was it discomfiting that those sweet little cherub-faced rugrats didn’t know that it was God the Pilgrim’s were thanking, but it bothered me that they were entirely ignorant of the origin of one of our most famous and celebrated holidays.
Okay okay, for all you fatuous Separation-of-church-and-stateiacs out there, I’m not asking for God to be injected into the feeding tube of our grade school curriculum, not here anyway.
But like it or not, the Christian Creator of the universe is who the original Mayflower mariners of this Nation were thanking when they got here. And speaking of the formerly famous vessel, the first ‘Constitution’ written in America, called the Mayflower Compact, began,
“In ye name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyall subjects of our dread soveraigne Lord, King James . . . having undertaken, for ye glorie of God, and advancemente of ye Christian faith, and honour of our king & countrie, a voyage to plant ye first colonie in ye Northerne parts of Virginia . . .”
After they landed almost half of them died the first year and all of them were followers of the protestant Christian religion.
But to the thrust of my point in this piece, compared to their almost unimaginable struggle crossing an ocean and founding this fledgling nation, we here in our time have so much more for which we should give thanks.
A friend of mine once told me, Rather than be depressed because you don’t have the things that you want, you should be elated because you don’t have the things that you don’t want.
Kind of puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?
I don’t have a horrible disease.
I don’t have a leg missing.
Thanks are in order for that as well.
For those who have a leg missing, they can be thankful they don’t have two legs missing.
For those who have two legs missing . . . well, you get the idea.
But now we come to the original aspect of Thanksgiving: To whom should we be giving thanks?
If you’re theistic in your worldview, then you will be giving thanks to that god, idol, spirit, whatever, that you choose to worship.
If you’re an atheist then I suppose you’ll be giving thanks to the guy sitting next to you. And, I suppose, he’ll be giving thanks you. Then you’ll look at uncle Jack sitting in across form you and give thanks to him, then aunt Harriet, then . . . well, you get the idea.
If we just stop and think – and are brutally honest with ourselves – we know full well there is so much to be thankful for.
Personally, I’ll be giving thanks the One, True, Holy God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Lord and Saviour of His people, the God Jesus Christ. After all, it was He Who led the Pilgrims to start this once great nation we call the United States of America and likewise, it was He Who placed me, Joe Keck, in this currently semi-free country where I was born.
Millions upon millions do not have the blessings of such semi-freedom.
So let us Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Hindus, Buddhists, Shintos, Zoarastrians, and Universalists, Taoists, Daoists, Druids and Draekks, and a par-tridge in a pair tree . . .
Anyway, let us all who love and cherish our semi-freedom here in this semi-free land, a land where numerous gave their lives for the very semi-freedoms that we in this semi-peaceful time are blessed to live. Let us all give thanks for . . . okay okay, atheists too, let us all, regardless of our faith (or non-faith), give thanks and celebrate the good things we Americans are privileged to have.
On a global scale, the majority of human kind can only hope for a meager and flavorless meal once a day. In comparison, we in the United States are fortunate to be in the minority, having an abundance of food, shelter, clothing, our basic needs met, as well as many of our wants attained and enjoyed every day.
But in a time where war, pestilence, disease, hunger, tragedy, and natural disaster could come at any moment, anywhere, to anyone of us, let us never forget that tomorrow, instead of being among the minority of plenty, we just might find ourselves in the majority of want.