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Finding a God to thankPosted Monday, November 21, 2011, at 9:22 AM
The late Andy Rooney once pointed out Thanksgiving (with a begrudging nod to Canada) is atypically American. Every nation in the world celebrates New Year's by default. Christmas, and even Easter, in some form is known throughout western civilization. Thanksgiving, on the other hand, is uniquely a part of America's story.
During the American Civil War, when America was in great uproar and outcomes greatly in doubt, President Abraham Lincoln set forth a Proclamation, which said in part:
"I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."
Whatever the doubts, turmoil, uncertainty, or looming storms, Lincoln was able to invite a nation to give thanks to the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, Israel, and Jesus whom we generally referred to as "Jehovah."
In my lifetime, it has become a little less clear what is meant by "god." It has become common, certainly politically correct to say, "Everyone finds their own god it their own way." This is a philosophy known to the ancients -- that everything and nothing is god. This is not a position often accepted by the Judean-Christian worldview that created our nation. Allow me to suggest that whatever your political leaning, we "right-wing conservative radicals" insisting on Christian values have created the America for which you might rightfully be thankful.
Are you a man free today to find his own place in the world? Whatever sins may have been committed in the name of God, black and white we are free today because of they who truly followed the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Are you a woman who reads, or works, or votes, or drives, or has opinion heard in council? Look about the world and find another form of worship, another manifestation of gods that might have given you the blessings routinely taken as "divine right." Of the most populated religions of the world, the value of women comes almost exclusively because of belief in the God of the Old and New Testaments.
Are you a child in America? Has anyone recruited you in the name of their god to be a suicide bomber? Some adult may fail you, some parent seems "unreasonable;" but to the best of the ability of any civilization you will be protected and educated. This is what a "Christian" nation does, protects and provides for the weak and defenseless.
So, this Thanksgiving Day amid the turkey and the stuffing (of ourselves) take a moment to find the God who makes all things well and thank Him.
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