Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and it kind of has me wondering a few things. One of my employees is a self-described anarchist. Whether he considers himself an agnostic or atheist, I'm unsure, but he has said that he does not believe in God. He isn't belligerent or overbearing about it, just open about it. I also think that maybe he isn't too sure about it.

Thanksgiving is upon us, and we all know the story of the first Thanksgiving. We've heard of the pilgrims giving thanks to God for the bountiful harvest. I spoke with this employee recently, and he told me that he and his wife would be spending the holiday with his wife's family. "Holiday?" Wait a minute. Yes, it's a holiday, of course. The banks are closed, and all government offices, and even every self-respecting retail store is closed. But how can someone who doesn't believe in God consider the national observance of thanking God for the many blessings he has bestowed upon us a holiday? Isn't that a little hypocritical?

Let's say I don't believe in soft drinks (Coca-Cola, Pepsi, etc.), and I insist that nothing but pure water pass through my lips. Now, let's say I invite you over to my home for dinner one evening and offer you a Mountain Dew to drink with your meal. Excuse me, but I think that's a little hypocritical. If I don't believe in soft drinks, how could I possibly recognize their existence by serving them to guest in my own home. A little simplistic example, maybe, but I think it gets my point across.

And then there's Christmas. I understand that almost everyone has some kind of holiday to observe in December, regardless of their religious beliefs. But come on, what is Christmas? The celebration of the birth of Christ (it's in the name, people, how can it possible mean anything else?). Now, this same employee one day was also talking to me about buying his wife what he called a "boomerang gift" for Christmas. A boomerang gift is basically when you buy something you want for someone else because you know you'll have free access to it. But that's not really the point here. He specifically said that he was buying it for her for Christmas! How can someone who doesn't believe in God celebrate Christmas? If he doesn't believe in God, then he can't believe that Christ is the Son of God, and therefore there's nothing to celebrate at "Christmas." Shouldn't he call it something besides Christmas if he doesn't believe in God?

I guess my point to this whole rant is that it just doesn't make sense how these people who claim that God doesn't exist are okay with things based on a faith in God when it benefits them, such as getting a paid day off from work when everyone gets together for a huge feast, or to exchange gifts, or whatever else the case may be. I'd just like to know how they justify such hypocrisy.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year, coming in just barely above Christmas. I think it's got something to do with the fact that there's none of the stress of finding just the right gift, but you still get to eat lots of turkey.

Three years ago, just five days before Thanksgiving, I became the luckiest man in the world when the woman I love said "I Do" in front of God, friends, and family. This year, our anniversary is the day before Thanksgiving.

At this time of year that we gather together to give thanks to God for the many blessings he has bestowed upon us, I'm reminded of some of the greatest reasons of all by celebrating my anniversary just one day prior. I'm thankful for my wonderful wife, great son, and baby on the way. I'm thankful for family, friends, and the freedom that comes with being an American living in the greatest nation on Earth. I'm thankful for those who answered the call to defend and protect that freedom. (All of these, by the way, are things that we might not have the right to enjoy if we lived in a state of anarchy.)

As I told this confused employee of mine, when you sit down to dinner on Thursday, if you don't feel compelled to give thanks to God for what lies before you, just think of me giving thanks. To God, I'm sure, he'll understand your appreciation.

Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!


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