The True Meaning of Thanksgiving: A Christian holiday to thank God, not another occasion for white guilt

George Washington prays at Valley Forge, winter of 1777-1778 (painting by Arnold Friberg)

Thanksgiving is one of the most beloved holidays in America.

But in the hands of “progressives,” public schools and the Hate America Media (HAM), Thanksgiving has long become yet another occasion for white guilt. If you want an illustration, see my 2010 post, “Thanksgiving card from my liberal friend“.

But did you know that unlike other secular holidays like Labor Day or the Fourth of July, the Thanksgiving that you think is a secular holiday is actually a national holiday that is explicitly religious in nature?

As shown in the quotes below, Thanksgiving was instituted as a day to thank God for the many blessings He has bestowed on America.

In 1789, in his first year in office, President George Washington called for a day of Thanksgiving because —

“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.”

In 1815, President James Madison issued a proclamation for “a day of thanksgiving and of devout acknowledgments to Almighty God for His great goodness.” After Madison, however, Thanksgiving reverted to a regional celebration in New England for 48 years.

In a proclamation in the midst of the Civil War on October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving an official national holiday. Here is the full text of his proclamation:

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. 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.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

Fellowship of the Minds takes this occasion to thank our readers for staying with us through the August 15 take-down by WordPress, and the continuing malicious distributed denial-of-service bot attacks that account for blank pages sometimes. When you get one, just keep refreshing the page.

Psalm 100

A Psalm of Thanksgiving.

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all you lands;
serve the Lord, with gladness;
come before Him with joyful song.
Know that the Lord, is God,
He made us, we belong to Him,
we are His people, the flock He shepherds.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name;
good indeed is the Lord,
His mercy endures forever,
His faithfulness lasts through every generation.

God bless you, and may God bless America,

~Eowyn

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Steven BroilesFlandersAlmaKelleigh NelsonLophatt Recent comment authors
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Hawkmoon
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Hawkmoon

What the liberal mind is passionate about is a world filled with pity, sorrow, neediness, misfortune, poverty, suspicion, mistrust, anger, exploitation, discrimination, victimization, alienation and injustice. Those who occupy this world are “workers,” “minorities,” “the little guy,” “women,” and the “unemployed.” They are poor, weak, sick, wronged, cheated, oppressed, disenfranchised, exploited and victimized. They bear no responsibility for their problems. None of their agonies are attributable to faults or failings of their own: not to poor choices, bad habits, faulty judgment, wishful thinking, lack of ambition, low frustration tolerance, mental illness or defects in character. None of the victims’ plight… Read more »

Auntie Lulu
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Auntie Lulu

Hawkmoon . . . . Congratulations, that just about covers the whole situation regarding the “down and out.”

Karol
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Karol

We do what must be done to survive. We flee usurious nepotism to places that we beleive we can live freely in and fight for our rights to live the way we believe our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ Messiah would approve of and bless. The only established country to truly do what needs to be done to be free (aside from andrew jackson in america), is Iceland. They don’t allow non citizens or dual citizens to be bankers or hold govt jobs. However they are having to fight the time tested infiltration and insurrection methods of the bankers’ secret… Read more »

Everett Johnson
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Everett Johnson

2 Chronicles 7:14 New International Version (NIV)
14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Should we as a nation and as His people not take this prayer to Him in our heart and attempt daily to do as He asks?

Auntie Lulu
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Auntie Lulu

Among the blessings I am most thankful for . . .being among the billions who would come to Earth and be lucky enough to have been born in America.

God Bless you Dr Eowyn for bringing us this wonderful message regarding the Thanksgiving holiday.

I wish the blessings of health and abundance on each of the members of the FOTM family, and their families.

Watertender
Member
Watertender

A Reflection on Thanksgiving…. (my own thoughts and life experiences) As a child we would go to my Grandpa’s on my Dad’s side of the family for Holidays. I would go the night before to help Grandpa with the preparations when I was old enough to be a real help. My Mother’s family was broken as she became broken when she let life overtake her…. My Grandpa was a hard working man that earned everything he had and was very grateful for his blessings…. That is not to say he had life easy because that was far from the truth….… Read more »

Rick Geise
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Rick Geise

That is a very tragic story my friend. There is so much more to not only the celebration of Thanksgiving- but to life in general and particularly that beyond the grave. Has anyone ever shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with you?

Hawkmoon
Guest
Hawkmoon

Thank you for sharing that with the FOTM. You brought up some fond memories of my own. Best wishes to you, yours and all the FOTM members, families,& friends, and to all the good people of the world. Slainte!

Auntie Lulu
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Auntie Lulu

Watertender . . . . Thank you for sharing your story. I would say that your Grandpa is among all the unsung hero’s that have blessed and enriched the lives of those around them.

It is difficult to reconcile the fortitude of your Grandpa, and his overcoming the difficulties which came his way . . . with the new generation of snowflakes who seem to fold at the first hint of adversity. What a profound loss it is for our country that newer generations are unable to cope with life.

Watertender
Member
Watertender

Thank You Auntie Lulu. Grandpa was truly one of the unsung heroes that made our country great. He was a farmer, skilled tradesman and business owner. The farm is now broken up into building lots with his house halfway turned into a bed and breakfast before the buyer ran out of money. Grandpa’s business went bust in the great depression when the bank he did business with folded. He was able to find work as a tool and die maker filling in at a couple of places until World War 2 when his skills were in demand making “The Arsenal… Read more »

Crackerbaby
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Crackerbaby

While I attempt to give thanks regularly for my manifold blessings, I use Thanksgiving Day as an opportunity to encourage my children and grandchildren to recognize their blessings.
God bless all of you here at FOTM.
“Speaking the truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act.” Geo. Orwell

Lophatt
Member
Lophatt

This song sums up my thoughts:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yhxuc9nvwvA

Kelleigh Nelson
Guest
Kelleigh Nelson

and allegedly he became a Catholic on his death bed when he called his good friend, a priest to come to his bedside to pray with him.

Alma
Member
Alma

It might be late in the evening, I wish all FOTM members my heartfelt wish for a happy Thanksgiving. I give thanks for all instances in my life, The Almighty has always been very generous to me, I thank him for loving me.

Flanders
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Flanders

I’m thankful that I have lived at a time in America where people like these below were never heard about. “Student groups at the University of Oregon are hosting an event this week to “decolonize” Thanksgiving. The UO’s Native American Law Students Association and the Native American Student Union are hosting an event, titled, “Thanks But No Thanks-giving: Decolonizing an American Holiday.” The event will focus on how people can continue to give thanks, while at the same time “raising [their] critical consciousness and identifying ways to decolonize the holiday. — Several departments at the university are sponsoring the event,… Read more »

Steven Broiles
Member

I worked last night, Thanksgiving, and I came home and had a cheeseburger. I have to get up in a few hours and get to the welfare office. My landlord is giving me as much grief—minus the eviction notice—that he possibly can (and his behavior may border on the criminal). Things have been hard and they will continue to be hard for a while. Yet I give thanks. Every day I wake up is yet another chance to make something right. Gratitude is something I have been learning to express, in my prayers each morning, every day for a while… Read more »