Thanksgiving is my favorite Holiday. I don’t have to worry about offending anyone except the turkey roasting in my oven. The family gathers, we enjoy spending time together, eat, watch football and relax.
Relaxing this holiday season is vital to my well being due to the amount of vitriol in this country which seems to have reached overwhelming proportions.
I spoke with someone yesterday who told me we need to “wipe out all the Muslims” from the face of the planet. Further, our President is a “Muslim who should be exported.” I’m sure he meant deported, but I wasn’t going to argue.
As I woke this morning Ferguson Missouri was smoldering following protests against the Grand Jury’s lack of indictment of a police officer who shot and killed a black teenager.
Meanwhile when a friend of mine suggested to his aunt that Christians should be more charitable and treat their enemies as their brothers, his aunt told him to join ISIS.
Me? This Holiday season I’m going to stick to offending the turkey and giblets.
There is nothing new under the sun. Consider this quote from the honorable John J. Crittenden, a former U.S. attorney general. “I am utterly hostile to imposing any penalties, proscription or disability upon any man on account of his religion.”
Crittenden, while a member of the Know-Nothing Party, the 1855 version of the Tea Party, was being interviewed in the very first issue of The Montgomery Sentinel when he gave that quote. Today he could be talking about Muslims, but he was in fact talking about Catholics.
That first issue of the Sentinel, which I read from cover to cover while researching a history of the paper for an upcoming party, also included stories about “Secret Political Societies,” and how they have been “the curse of every country in which they have existed.”
“If a secret society ever gets the control of the affairs of this country, then good bye to all of those privileges and blessings which we as American republicans now hold dear,” read the opinion of the day.
The paper on that day also discussed the problems of racial discrimination, slavery and noted how “5,000 negroes are registered to vote,” in New York.
As I give thanks this year and worry about the continued state of affairs in the world, I for one take comfort in the more things change the more they stay the same.
I thought things were getting worse.
As it turns out we are all living through a rerun.
Of course that doesn’t explain everything in the world today.
The newspaper from 1855 doesn’t tell me why the Washington Redskins can’t seem to find a quarterback, or why people deny climate change, or why science seems to be held in the lowest esteem since the Middle Ages or why everyone seems to be running around not only with their own opinions but their own facts.
“It’s just a stupid scientist telling me what he thinks,” a man wrote to us this week in griping about climate change. “A scientist is no better than anyone else to tell us about climate change. I have faith in God,” the reader told me.
Actually since the scientist studies science he is the only one you should trust in matters of science. After all, I don’t ask a barber to conduct brain surgery and I don’t ask a cop to explain tax laws.
So, again, this Thanksgiving I am thankful for my family, a decent meal and a safe haven from the insanity going on just outside my front door.
Others are going to tell me Christmas or Festivus or some other fictitious or religious holiday is the best of the year, but I know better.
Our forefathers, kicked out of every decent country in Europe traveled long and hard to the new world where they starved until the pagan natives took them in and fed them.
We celebrate this time of year giving thanks to those Pilgrims who survived and the natives who cared for them.
The fact that our forefathers later engaged in a genocidal purge of the natives already living here and then set up laws so no one else could come into this country and laughingly talked about sealing borders is just something I will ignore for that one day a year when I can see my family and smile.