Thanksgiving Celebration: An Invitation to Rediscover Freedom
Published on THE STREAM
Are you ready for a pause from political analysis and the punditry concerning the Presidential election? I certainly am. I am ready for the celebration of Thanksgiving — and so is the United States of America.
Many households are filled with the smells associated with the pies and side dishes which will accompany the Thanksgiving Feast. Last minute shopping for the celebration has brought neighbors to stores throughout the week and prompted early closure of many businesses.
There is something so very good about Thanksgiving — and we all seem to know it intuitively. This richly diverse nation reaffirms its reliance upon God as the source of its liberties.
A Profoundly Religious Core
Though Thanksgiving is referred to as a secular holiday, it is NOT a secularist holiday. Secularism as an ideology seeks to exclude religious influence and the values informed by religious faith from our common life together. That is profoundly at odds with the American idea.
Thanksgiving has a profoundly religious core. So too does the American experiment in ordered liberty.
The Declaration of Independence, the birth certificate of our nation, proclaimed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men.”
The words are memorized by schoolchildren and still bring a tear to the oldest American eye with little effort.
Trusting in Divine Providence
The principles the Declaration communicates have informed our history as a free people and inspired our neighbors in other parts of the world to stand up against all forms of tyranny. Our forebears were not declaring their independence from divine providence; they were trusting in the primacy of the governance of God over their own lives and their noble undertaking.
At the core of the American founder’s vision of a good society was a bedrock belief in the need for a common morality upon which this virtuous and free society could be built.
They sought independence from a monarchy which had become tyrannical, precisely because it had forgotten the implications of the primacy of Divine Providence.
The principles set forth in that Declaration were a rallying cry which called forth extraordinary sacrifice from ordinary men and women. They were rooted in something much greater than politics. That is why those principles became a measuring stick against which all governments of men would be measured in the future. . . .
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