Sunday, November 18, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving.

Next Thursday, while sitting around the dinner table with family and friends, we, as tradition would have it, will introduce and discuss events and developments that transpired during the year. Hopefully, the reason is to express some level of gratitude and thanks for our good health and fortune.
But who are we thanking?
Some choices are fairly obvious. We will thank our parents or guardians for helping us to get to this place and time or maybe thank the family member hosting the dinner. By way of introspection, some of us will thank our deceased parent or guardian or even invoke an abstract entity such as luck, nature or fate. When we do this, we enter into the realm of the spiritual .... for who else can perceive our introspections?
Historically, the truly traditional concept of Thanksgiving identifies God as our great benefactor. It makes sense, in a way, because the inescapable essence of this day is rooted in religious symbolism. It was fairly straightforward and “understood” that only an omnipotent and omniscient entity is worthy (and capable of receiving) such an outpouring of gratitude from so many. As time passes, the spirit of the day is gradually becoming quaint and charming and the religious context quite outdated. Over the years, secular progressive types have been busy cooking up ways to eliminate the concept of a deity from this day. In most public events that honor this day, there seems to be a conscious effort to avoid any mention of God and instead there is a lot of talk about turkeys, sporting events and parades.
It is kind of depressing to see this “holiday”, like all the others, succumb to banal commercialism and entirely lose its fundamental identity.
Should there be something more on "turkeyday" than a day off with beer and a football game?


Renegade Eye said...

See this.

roman said...

Thanks Ren, I read Chris Hitchens' piece on Thanksgiving.
He does have a round-about way of telling us what we already know. Yes, this holiday is guilt free and Lincoln proclaimed it at Gettysburg. His oppinion that the traditional turkey meal is awful is of scarce journalistic interest. Maybe he was trying to be funny. He will have to try much harder, IMHO. The editor of the newspaper should have witheld his check for this most forgetable effort to capture in print what to him remains a completely foreign concept.:-))
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.