Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thanksgiving - Who are you Thanking?

Some people say God was not acknowledged at the first Thanksgiving, or by early presidents, and shouldn't be part of Thanksgiving now.

In 2005, the Maryland Board of Education began teaching their students that the Pilgrims landed on the American continent by luck. In the re-designed public school curriculum, in effect calling Thanksgiving “Lucky Thursday” per some sources, students are not taught that God had any part in the thank you for what the Pilgrims had. The Board of Education felt they were facing a constitutional dilemma.

To the contrary, we have discovered documented prayer by Edward Winslow at the first recorded Thanksgiving in 1621 (bolding mine, writing in original English):
“…many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoyt, with some ninetie men, whom for three dayes we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deere, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governour, and upon the Captaine and others. And although it be not always so plentifull, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so farre from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plentie."

And here is George Washington’s first Thanksgiving Proclamation:
"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."
Washington mentions God two or three more times in that document, which can be seen here in its original form.

God didn’t declare Thanksgiving a holiday, and the Bible makes no mention of it (nor of Christmas). And Thanksgiving wasn’t declared a National Holiday until under President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939.

But is it still OK to thank God? Philippians 4:6-7 says: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (NIV)

Heaven forbid, one day in our American households on Thanksgiving, a knock will come at the door and a U.S. Government official will demand a place at the table to be sure we don’t thank God for what we have.


April Lorier November 13, 2009 at 8:06 PM  

It is absolutely appalling to me how little people know about our Founders and our American history. You and I watch Beck, so we do know because he makes sure we know, but even adults our age have forgotten that all but 4 who signed the Declaration of Independence were clergymen!

I'm thanking God, and our family tradition is for everyone to say at least one thing they are thanking God for before we eat!

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