Those beholden to this kind of thinking will never attain a spirit of thanksgiving until they make the intentional decision to forgive the sins of our fathers, and theirs — by letting go of a past for which they have no ability to effect. Only then will they understand the art of gratefulness the way today’s Native Americans do.
Writing in the Huffington Post on 11/24/10, Tim Giago, founder of the Native American Journalists Foundation said, “But the day known as Thanksgiving has been accepted as a legal holiday by most Native Americans because the idea of a day to give thanks is such a strong part of their traditions and culture.” Besides Thanksgiving, Giago says events like a child’s safe return from the wars in “Iraq or Afghanistan is an occasion for a ‘wopilla’ [Thanksgiving] celebration.”
With Native Americans leading the way, it seems people like Jensen could ... ahem ... cough up a little thankfulness ... on this day set aside to do just that. But some never will. In addition to those stuck in the past, misguided Constitutional revisionists clinging to the misnomer that “the separation of church and state” is in the Constitution, want to cancel national holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving.
The First Amendment’s “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion ...” simply stated means the state should stay out of the church’s business. Revisionists fail to include facts like the wording “separation of church and state” actually came from the insights of Roger Williams, not Thomas Jefferson, according to Yale professor Stephen Carter.
So it was completely okay, acceptable even, for President Lincoln to ask Americans to join together in a day to offer up prayers of thanksgiving and repentance for the sins we’ve committed as a nation. May we do the same this year, as we gather together this blessed Thanksgiving 2013.
Susan Stamper Brown is an opinion page columnist who writes about politics, the economy and culture. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.