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Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving1

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

American Daughter has a wonderful post about remembering the purpose of Thanksgiving: to give thanks to God for our blessings.  She includes links to two traditional and thoroughly American songs  Thanksgiving Hymn and Thanksgiving Prayer.

As we approach this Thanksgiving holiday, please take time to enjoy the verses of two traditional American songs, the Thanksgiving Hymn and the Thanksgiving Prayer. They affirm the gratitude of a people for their God.

The copies we are sharing here did not come from a church hymnal. They were transcribed from a songbook distributed in our public school systems in the year 1945. This book was in every literate home in the United States at that time, and was called I Hear America Singing, or more formally Twice 55 Community Songbook.

The assertion that our nation ever intended to separate our devotion to God from our public spaces and our public life is a blatant lie. Our philosophy of reliance on divine guidance motivated the founding fathers, permeates the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, and is inscribed on our original monuments and government buildings.

The worthy gentlemen who drafted the Constitution only intended that membership in a particular religious denomination must never be made a prerequisite for holding public office, and that citizens should never be forced to subscribe to a specific denomination. They were still mindful of the bitter religious strife between Catholics and Protestants in England, and wanted to ensure that the new republic got started on a more ecumenical footing.

The insidious erosion of our patriotic traditions and our national identity must not be permitted to continue. Every thinking American must stand against the revision of our historical records and the activism of judges who would destroy the ideological foundations of our liberty.

But at this time of joyful harvest and quiet prayer, just savor the words of these two beloved hymns of gratitude.

Cross-posted at Embracing Momminess


Comments (14)

We can all be thankful that... (Below threshold)
Herman:

We can all be thankful that the Democrats have taken over the Congress, so that the six-year nightmare of lies, deceit, cruelty, and injustice can come to an end. But Kim, supernatural entities (gods, tooth fairies, dragons, or whatever irrational superstition you want to believe in) had nothing to do with it.

You know what I'm thankful ... (Below threshold)
jp2:

You know what I'm thankful for? That I'm not in Iraq.

AP - 25 minutes ago
BAGHDAD, Iraq - In the deadliest attack on a sectarian enclave since the beginning of the Iraq war, suspected Sunni-Arab militants used five car bombs and two mortar rounds on the capital's Shiite Sadr City slum to kill at least 160 people and wound 257 on Thursday, police said

Kim:The comments a... (Below threshold)

Kim:

The comments above are precisely the sort of crap that I banned muirgeo over. I stuck up TWO semi-political pieces today, and these two assholes chose to dump on YOUR piece.

Do as thou wilt, Kim. And Happy Thanksgiving!

J.

I vote for banning!<p... (Below threshold)

I vote for banning!

Now, back to the subject at hand...

I always get very angry when I hear people say "Turkey Day". It's Thanksgiving Day. Perhaps people think I'm overreacting, but names are important. They contain meaning. Start messing with the language, and sooner or later reality gets screwy.

A few years ago PETA put on... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

A few years ago PETA put on a dumb TV ad which showed some hollywood celeberty pushing a shopping cart down a ilse and loading up with fruits and vegtables then he turned down the meat isle the chering music turns intoa funeral durge the hollywood fool turns to the camera and says THANKGIVING CAN BE MURDER ON TURKEYS LETS MAKE THIS ONE FOR THE BIRDS GO VAGAN well it dont take a genius to reialize the biggist turkey there was the one pushing the shopping cart

Kim,Indeed, two ve... (Below threshold)
ryan:

Kim,

Indeed, two very American songs which are about God, Thanksgiving, and the harvest, among other things. Nice ones too. Notice of course that "Thanksgiving Hymn" was written by an Englishman. Perfect for a nation that was forged by foreigners from many lands who mixed with the indigenous people here.

Regarding American girl's words:

The assertion that our nation ever intended to separate our devotion to God from our public spaces and our public life is a blatant lie.

She is making the assumption that "the nation" has one unified religious belief...it would be nice if that was the case, but it's not. Being a free society, people can choose their religion, of course. It's a good thing I think.

Maybe some people don't want Judeo-Christian religious symbols in the public space, but others do. So people will have to do what they can to get what they want. We don't always agree. It's the way things work here in the good ole USA.

I'm not religious at all, and I have no problem with Christian imagery/symbology in the public space. But then, I dont have a problem with HIndu, Buddhist, etc. symbology either. To each their own. They're all here, and they all have a right to the public space.

The insidious erosion of our patriotic traditions and our national identity must not be permitted to continue. Every thinking American must stand against the revision of our historical records and the activism of judges who would destroy the ideological foundations of our liberty.

Again, this assumes one uniform national identity or heritage. But the stories and identities of Americans span a broad gamut, indeed. German immigrants who arrived here in 1717 (like my ancestors) had an experience, and an identity, that was vastly different from say, Kumeyaay Indians (from California) who first encountered Europeans in 1769--both are what I would call "thoroughly American."

The story of the founding fathers of this country is a great one, but it's not the simple story that we are all told in gradeschool. And it's certainly not the only story of America, and American identity--by any means.

Not everyone here in the USA shares the same WASP background that some people do. Native Americans sure dont, and neither do people whose ancestors were brought here from Africa in the 17-1800s. What about people who came here from Southeast Asia after the Vietnam war? Very different experiences--it's true. All of these people are what I would call "thoroughly American," no matter how they live, what they believe, or what culture they are a part of.

Whether or not you are a big fan of diversity and multiculturalism, it's a reality--and I don't see it as something that should cause any alarm.

Thanksgiving as a name is c... (Below threshold)
John:

Thanksgiving as a name is certainly better than "Turkey Day". I'm cool with that.

On the other hand, God does not exist. It's just not possible. I can give you many better arguments about why your god does not exist, than you can give me to explain why your god must exist.

When we were kids, we used to believe in the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus, and the thing that lives under the bed.

Then we grew up.

Not believing in those things helped us become more rational.

The sooner humanity loses this childish notion, the better off we'll be.

And I'll be especialy thankfull for that.

John

Jay, I don't understand you... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Jay, I don't understand your issue and the reason for your veiled threat. It wasn't personal in any way. I really am thankful - and I bet you are too - that I am not in Iraq right now.

jp2, if you don't see what'... (Below threshold)

jp2, if you don't see what's wrong with injecting your politics into EVERY SINGLE TOPIC, even a "have a nice Thanksgiving," then perhaps you ought to consider taking a little time off from blogs. That is not a threat, just a suggestion.

And in your time off, look up a couple of words. "Relevance" and "propriety" come to mind.

J.

SilverBubble,Being... (Below threshold)
Herman:

SilverBubble,

Being a vegetarian, I agree with you that Thanksgiving should not be called "Turkey Day."

***************

JP2,

Yes, those of us who are not in Iraq should be thankful that we're not in Iraq.

***************

John,

If the teachers in our schools strongly encouraged children to think for themselves, it would help counteract the efforts of parents to indoctrinate (i.e., brainwash) their children with their own religious beliefs. Too much of the school curriculum focuses on American history; if our grade schools offered more courses on logic and philosophy this too would help defeat religious indoctrination.

Uh john whose kids are they... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Uh john whose kids are they ?Are you saying that we should just teach them the way "you" want? In other words we should all believe that there is no GOD just because you say so? What makes you an "expert" on the subject? In my opinion you have not "grown" up yet. Don't know why but I feel sorry for people such as your kind that have no beliefs at all. Must be hard to not have anything to look forward to. Would not want to have you for a father but then again to each his owm. (but DO NOT try to make your own mine!)

Herman--when did it become ... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Herman--when did it become a teacher's job to say what "our" kids believe? Are they not our kids? Can we not teach them what we want them to believe? Sounds to me that you did not have a brain to "wash".

"remembering the purpose of... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"remembering the purpose of Thanksgiving: to give thanks to God for our blessings. "

I find my statements to be proper. It was on target with the post and it had no criticism nor personal attacks. And since 6 people were burned alive today in Iraq, I find it even more appropriate.

I am - and you are as well - blessed.

Jhow66,Well, no...... (Below threshold)
John:

Jhow66,

Well, no... I don't believe everyone should believe there is no God because I say so. I believe that God is an extraordinary claim, and that extraordinary claims should come with extraordinary proof.

You see if I said I had a special friend that lives in the sky, and loves me, and that I talk to him, you'd suspect (and rightly so) that I'm a little "touched". You'd want some proof. Now I might try to explain that my special friend doesn't like to be tested, and you'll just have to believe. That's kinda more or less where we are with Christianity.

I'm an "expert" on the subject because as a young man I was very religious. I spent about 5 years working in Christian radio. I was a lecturer in church. I organized youth groups and went on retreats. I can quote scripture like the devil himself.

I'm also a scientist. I started thinking about this as I grew older. I dropped out of the Roman Catholic church about 8 years ago, because of their stance over birth control and the role of women in the church. Also because they've been wrong on a number of issues like indulgances and persecution of scientists like Galileo. Tried being an Episcopalian for a while. Better, but by now I was starting to have doubts over the whole matter.

About 3 years ago, I converted to Buddhism. You could call me a secular humanist. I'm also recently became an ordained clergy person as a spiritual humanist, so I'm able to have really good arguments with myself.

So am I an "expert"? Dunno... I've thought about it heavily for the last 30 years anyway.

I don't think it's that I've not grown up yet. I think it's more like I've grown out of it, sort of like I've grown out of believing in Santa.

It's OK for me to have no "beliefs". I have facts. Hypothesies. Probabilities. Certanties. For me as a scientist, a belief is just a hunch that I can't really prove one way or the other. I find beliefs unsettling, or perhaps more like an unsolved puzzle. I don't find them comforting.

I appreciate that you feel sorry for me. I believe you sincerly do, and that's a kind thing to say.

Honestly, I've never felt so positive and happy.

Someday, I'll die but after I'm dead I won't mind in the least. I'll just fade out like one of those old TVs when you hit the switch. The picture goes to a bright line, then a bright dot, then the dot fades out, then all is black.

It was a great ride. I couldn't have asked for more.

Thanks for chatting with me.

Respectfully,

John




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