Thanksgiving Without God

Thanksgiving Without God
Vol: 38 Issue: 24 Wednesday, November 24, 2004

As we were flying home from California, we were greeted by the airport screeners, the lady in the airport bookshop, the stewardesses and the pilot via the intercom with the phrase ‘Happy Holidays’.

The only ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ greeting I heard on the whole trip was from Gayle when she responded to the greeting.

This morning, I heard a teaser for an upcoming segment on Fox News in which the announcer said; “Meet the man who things Turkey Day should be a religious holiday. . .” as if it were a secular holiday about to be hijacked by the Religious Right.

It must be difficult for students to figure out why its called ‘Thanksgiving’ when there’s nobody to thank.

In Maryland’s schools, according to the Capital News Service, “students are free to thank anyone they want while learning about the 17th-century celebration of Thanksgiving — as long as it isn’t God.”

Maryland public school officials have turned Thanksgiving into a multicultural harvest devoid of its spiritual essence. Students are taught that Pilgrims had a “belief system,” but nothing further.

“The Pilgrim Story is read in Spanish and English,” Alfreda Adams, principal at Mills-Parole Elementary School in Anne Arundel County where 70 Hispanic students attend, told the Capital. “We make sure that we celebrate all cultures.”

Isn’t that nice? Students are given the opportunity to reject God in two languages in Maryland, while, as Michelle Malkin noted recently, “the town of Hamtramck, Mich., feels free to blast Islamic prayers over public loudspeakers five times a day.”

Secular America is on the horns of a dilemma; here we have a holiday set aside exclusively to give thanks for the blessings of the past year, but there’s nobody to thank.

The first Thanksgiving proclamation was issued by George Washington in 1789. In his proclamation, Washington suffered no confusion concerning Who is the Author of the blessings we are to be thankful for.

“It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”

Hint: George Washington thought that thanks should be directed to ‘Almighty God’.

It was Abraham Lincoln who made Thanksgiving a national holiday, with the 1863 proclamation that it was to be a day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

Is our ‘beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens’ just an off-the-cuff reference to a generic deity?


I ‘googled’ ‘Thanksgiving’ and ‘God’ on Google’s news search engine, and most of the hits that came back were about Thanksgiving without God. Of those, I found just two secular news stories decrying God’s removal from the holiday.

The remainder of the hits came either from Christian-based news sites like ‘Christianity Today’, etc.

In an article at Better Homes and Gardens about Thanksgiving entitled, ‘Why Do We Celebrate?’ discussed the kinds of foods served at the first Thanksgiving feast, the utensils, the guests, but the only mention of God was a notation that, “No meal could begin without saying grace, since the Pilgrims believed that their good fortune was due to their relationship to God.”

The poor, stupid, Pilgrims! They ‘believed that their good fortune was due to their relationship with God’ instead of just dumb luck. Although no student in an American school is taught it, the Pilgrims didn’t merely have a ‘belief structure’ about a ‘deity’ — they were Christians who believed in Jesus Christ.

After 66 days crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth in November 1620.

“Being thus arrived in a good harbor and brought safe to land,” wrote Governor William Bradford about their arrival in the book, ‘Of Plymouth Plantation’, “they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of heaven, who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof, again to set their feet on the firm and stable earth, their proper element.”

An editorial in Delaware County News reminds us all: “This was a holiday formed with good intentions, established for a nation to give thanks to God for the bounty it had received.”

But, lest the editorialist be pigeon-holed as a purveyor of myth, he hastens to add, “Though born out of a slanted and inaccurate mythology involving the Pilgrims and Native Americans, it still denotes images of sharing, family, harvest, sacrifice and prayer.”

Some public school teachers dig deeper toward a darker view of history — that Europeans showed up in the Americas with racially bigoted attitudes and greed, and the peaceful interactions between them and the Indians quickly went downhill.

Rose Lanin, a second- and third-grade teacher at the Kazoo School (Michigan) who has been teaching students about early American life, explained to her students that some pilgrims brought slaves and indentured servants with them.

The ACLU is busy again this year, monitoring public school curriculums to ensure that Thanksgiving Day is celebrated as ‘Turkey Day’, worshipping the creature (the turkey) more than the One who created it.

It isn’t like this should be a difficult concept. Anybody with half a mind should be able to figure out that Thanksgiving Day without Someone to thank is a logical conundrum.

But intelligent people who otherwise are capable of tying their own shoes, holding jobs, driving themselves to work and even educated enough to read can’t seem to grasp the inherent inconsistency.

It is as if they’ve lost the ability to reason, even when it is in their own best interests to do so.

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:22)

The Apostle Paul’s description of last-days unbelievers notes that they are those;

“Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” (Romans 1:25)

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” (Romans 1:28)

Thanksgiving Day isn’t ‘Turkey Day’ — but that’s what your kids are taught in school.

Thanksgiving Day is a day set aside for America to heed the promise of 2nd Chronicles 7:14:

“If My people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My Face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

“Thank You, Jesus, for Your many blessings showered upon America. Forgive the ignorant who have been brainwashed by the enemy and lead them to a right knowledge of You. We give You the honor and the glory that is rightfully due to You, and pray that You will come quickly. In Your Name we pray. Amen.”

Happy Thanksgiving! May God richly bless you all.


We arrived back home last night. Once again, I must thank you all for your prayers for journey mercies. In spite of the fact it was two days before the busiest air travel holiday of the year and a high state of security, the screeners were efficient, lines were short and our flights were both on time and smooth.

We had a wonderful time of fellowship. Things were so hectic with all the guests (mostly other pastors and their wives) that Hal and I didn’t have much of a chance to spend any quality time alone. There was no time to get him into the chat room, but I was able to let him read your happy birthday wishes. He was very moved.

I will be posting some of the pictures from Hal’s birthday party later today in the member’s forum.

I enjoyed the visit, but I am glad to be back in my own time zone.

Much love in Christ


This entry was posted in Briefings by Pete Garcia. Bookmark the permalink.

About Pete Garcia

Christian, father, husband, veteran, pilot, and sinner saved by grace. I am a firm believer in, and follower of Jesus Christ. I am Pre-Trib, Dispensational, and Non-Denominational (but I lean Southern Baptist).

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