Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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The Founding

Thanksgiving, Churchill 1944

A friend sent along these few words from Churchill.  It's good as is, and a wonder to hear the great man speak of our day of gratitude.  Just another reminder that all we behold is full of blessings.
Happy Thanksgiving.
Categories > The Founding

Discussions - 8 Comments

Thank you.

Is there any other nation that has a national day to thank God for blessings? I hear that schoolchildren these days are taught that the first day was intended as a "thank you" to the Indians who had helped them. Separation of church and state demands a revision of history, I suppose. They knew who to thank for friendly Indians and all the rest of what they had, including liberty to worship as they pleased.

Our presidential and congressional proclamations of thanksgiving have always mentioned God. Was it some unfortunate slip made again and again? Or did it express what kind of nation we were. The idea that we must have a day to thank each other, or even our forefathers, for blessings given seems silly and a profound misunderstanding -- but what else is there if you must deny God?

Happy Thanksgiving to you.

"I hear that schoolchildren these days are taught that the first day was intended as a "thank you" to the Indians who had helped them."

I bet you do hear that, Kate. I bet you hear it a lot.

"Separation of church and state demands a revision of history, I suppose."

No, it certainly doesn't. Describing past events with accuracy does not indicate official sanction of, or even personal agreement with the activities therein, nor does it need to ignore the fact that traditions can, and often do, evolve over time.

But I know from our previous discussions what a dim view you take of the separation of church and state (at least when it comes to Christianity).

You never do understand, you poor man. I cannot really write with you anymore. You have no sense for complexity. Everything is black and white to you, although mostly black. I will try to make this simple.

Public schools cannot mention God, apparently, even to refer to historical faith. They are left with that silly formulation of Thanksgiving I mention above. Don't you know any children who go to public schools? I do.

In this other matter, you must be a fool. I agree with the separation of church and state insofar as I do not want the state dictating to my conscience or forcing me to deny my faith. Currently, I read in the news that children who are Christians and express that in a public school classroom can be dismissed from school as if they had done something unclean. That is not a separation of church and state. That is the state taking it upon itself to suppress the free expression of conscience and religion. Where does it get that right, except through force and might.

That our nation was built on a Christian foundation does not mean it denied others the right to conscience. However, go look up old Thanksgiving proclamations of presidents and Congress. When they mentioned God, what god do you think they were talking about? The nation was built on a Christian foundation. Thanksgiving Day is a civic/religious holiday because we have been a Christian nation.

From Lincoln's 1863 proclamation:

"I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and Union."

That's what the holiday is for. Don't celebrate it if you don't want to. Do as your conscience dictates. I'm with Lincoln.

Nicely done, Kate, thank you. "He clasps the crag with crooked hands......And like a thunderbolt he falls." (Tennyson , "TheEagle")

Please show me where in the Constitution you find the separation of church and state. I, unlike you, are unable to locate it.

Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Craig didn't say it was in the Constitution (and if he did, unlike you "I ... are unable to locate it").

However, I'm sure that Craig, unlike you, knows just where to find it in the Bill of Rights.

Quit playing games Scanlon. Show me where the "separation of church and state" is in the Constitution (which includes the Bill of Rights). Waiting.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

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