May each of you have the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, and the hand to execute works that will leave the world a little better for your having been here. -- Ronald Reagan

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving Day RIP

1909 painting The Worship of Mammon by Evelyn De Morgan.

Except for a minority of people that are practicing Christians, Christmas has effectively been killed off. Nativity scenes and even Christmas trees (which have nothing to do with Christianity) are all but abolished in the public square. Now we can officially pronounce Thanksgiving Day dead, dead, dead.

Here is George Washington's original proclamation establishing the holiday and the reasons:
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; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:" 
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 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 enable 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 has been pleased to confer upon us. 
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 shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase 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.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

The death knell of this holy holiday was the recognition of "Black Friday", named because it was usually the first day retailers books went from red to black; they finally were showing in their profit column for the year. That in turn became a huge sales day, and this year the celebration of profits and discounts bled into the holy day of Thanksgiving itself. Many now leave their family and friends gathered to share love and show gratitude for what they have, to get more stuff. To trample each other, fight, endanger themselves by being part of mobs, to get things. The material has replaced the sacred, and Thanksgiving Day was at one time sacred.

Now it's become a day to worship mammon. Mammon isn't a deity as many think, but it's idea, that of riches to the point of gluttony, and it has been personified. It's greed and avarice. A lot of writers of fiction and theology have created beings to represent the idea.

We've been warned against putting things before God:
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

There were some employees, most notably of Walmart, that refused to work that day. Not so much for the reason that it's a Holy Day, but for want of more money, more pay, and more benefits. (It also turned out a huge number of the protesters were not employees, but hired union thugs bussed in.)

The government has also officially weighed in to take the sacred out, and have renamed the day Family Health History Day, which was introduced nine years ago. Their proclamation:
"An important step in prevention and wellness is learning about health conditions in our families that may put us at increased risk for diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, mental illness and many others.” 

Surgeon-General Regina Benjamin wants us to track illnesses from one generation to the next so health care providers can predict what may befall each of us. She wants us to "prepare for a Thanksgiving Day family conversation" by making a list of relatives, including parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, and cousins.
“On this Thanksgiving holiday, I hope you and your family will take a few minutes to create a family health portrait.” ... “Learning your family’s health history can be an enjoyable way to invest in the future of your health and your family’s health.”

Juxtapose that against Washington's proclamation we acknowledge God, and be grateful for God's grace, blessings and favors.

You won't ever see this again on TV, but this was part of our culture, and we were better off for it. 

We've gone from that, to this.

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