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

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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,


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

  1. 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 is caused by failure to plan for the future or learn from experience. Instead, the “root causes” of all this pain lie in faulty social conditions: poverty, disease, war, ignorance, unemployment, racial prejudice, ethnic and gender discrimination, modern technology, capitalism, globalization and imperialism. In the radical liberal mind, this suffering is inflicted on the innocent by various predators and persecutors: “Big Business,” “Big Corporations,” “greedy capitalists,” U.S. Imperialists,” “the oppressors,” “the rich,” “the wealthy,” “the powerful” and “the selfish.”
    The liberal cure for this endless malaise is a very large authoritarian (((Totalitarian))) government that regulates and manages society through a cradle to grave agenda of redistributive caretaking.

    The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness

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

    • 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 society spies placed within their country to eventually take over Icelands govt and banking again.

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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…. Grandma had been in and out of institutions for mental problems for many years. Grandpa always took care of her or made sure she was taken care of…. Sometimes she would join us for the meals but more often she hid in her bedroom not wanting to see “company”…. We would leave a plate for her outside her door and she would take it when we left the hallway. Grandma would eat and set the plate back out… One of my Aunts had been murdered by her husband. He killed himself as well in a murder/suicide when I was very small. This weighed on Grandpa but he shouldered the burden as he did life’s other harsh things… There were others in the family that had problems of addictions to drink or drugs. They were welcomed but watched to make sure they were not too out of it or stealing things…. Grandpa and I would make a full meal that would be served at 12:00 Noon and picked at for the rest of the day into the evening…. Grandpa would always ask a Prayer of Blessing over the meal and guests asking for our needs to be met as well as health to those present…. I would stay into Friday helping Grandpa clean up from the doings and we would talk…. I learned a lot of life from that man…

    As I got older most of my Holidays were spent away from family… I was either on a ship or later working the Holidays so others could enjoy their family doings… On the ships we celebrated with a good meal and as much Fellowship as we could. We made the best time possible while thinking of loved ones far away. The food was always decent and the gathering was joyous but in each of us a part was missing…. My Grandpa had passed while I was at sea but I had missed several Thanksgivings with him before his death….

    When I was married to my first wife I had no seniority when our marriage and son were young so I spent Holidays at work. Sometimes I worked double shifts which meant my day with the family did not happen so we would have our Holiday on a different day. My Grandpa had been gone for several years when I got married so he never knew my wife or son. Grandpa’s memory was there so I told my wife and son of this humble man who was truly Blessed inspite of the tragedies in his life…. As my son got older I had more seniority so could have Holidays off if I wanted them. He and my wife told me that they did not mind having our celebrations on another day so we kept that tradition…. My son was killed at 19 years of age so it was my wife and I left… I would take her to her family for the Holiday and stop for my meal there if I could. I was truly grateful that my wife could be with her family to celebrate. My first wife passed in her early 50’s but I help her mother as much as she will let me. I usually spend part of Christmas with my mother in law and their family…

    I am remarried to a woman just as good as my first wife in her own way. Later today I will celebrate Thanksgiving with her family at her dad’s house. I am not working today and am Blessed in life with the memories of a good man that overcame things in his life no matter what…
    Grandpa, your memory lives on and I hope that I am half the good man you were….

    • 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?

    • 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!

    • Thank you, Watertender, for sharing your Thanksgiving memories with us.

    • 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.

      • 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 of Democracy”…. Grandpa worked the overnight shift at a plant producing parts for submarines and tanks while his days were taken up farming. He worked at the plant after the war with less hours and still farmed. My uncles and father helped with the farm until my uncles went into the service during Korea. That was when my Grandma started her decline and series of stays at mental hospitals. My aunts had moved on after high school to college with one becoming a teacher and the other a nurse. The teacher was the one that was killed by her husband. He had been a Marine in Korea and PTSD made him snap. All the while Grandpa held everything together without complaint showing to the world. His guidance and wisdom made me want to succeed. When I became a Watertender in the early 1970’s he was proud of the fact that I had become a skilled tradesman as well. I was away for extended periods of time on the ships but when I was home I spent as much time as I could with him. Sadly he passed while I was on a cargo ship in the Pacific.

        I wonder what he would think of the snowflakes today??

  5. 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

  6. This song sums up my thoughts:

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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, including the Division of Student Life, University Counseling Center, Division of Equity and Inclusion, and Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence.”

  10. 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 now.

    Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES are any of us allowed to quit. I admit I don’t know everything that’s been going on. But I know that’s no excuse to quit. I WILL NOT QUIT. I WILL NOT GIVE UP. I WILL NOT ROLL OVER AND DIE. With the exception of FOUR DAYS OFF, I have been taking positive actions since Oct. 10th. And, like Lincoln (who had a personal correspondence with Karl Marx!) I know—I feel—the Wrath of God for my mistakes. But I have tasted His Mercies, also.
    So: I AM NOT giving up. I admit I am still stupefied, actually. But I am going to continue to do what I can about my situation, and I will do that until God Himself punches my clock. I am very grateful for what I have received, and I know too many people have gone to the mat for me. I feel like Shemp of the Three Stooges! But I am not giving up!!


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