I must confess I have had issues with this holiday since childhood. Thanksgiving, a national day of thanks. Its mere existence shows how unthankful most Americans are, that a national day of thanks is needed to remind us to be thankful. It is an indictment of America.
Thanksgiving is based upon the historical remembrance of the Native Americans saving the Pilgrims from starvation. Only to be declared non-human by those very immigrants. Immigrants who would use the Christian doctrine of discovery to lay a false claim that all the world belonged to them, because they represented Jesus, and all non-believers had no rights. Upon this Christian doctrine the entire American continent was conquered by Christians, Genocide was committed upon natives and whatever culture and language was left was systematically demolished, leaving little behind but blood and broken families.
It is strongly implied that we owe thanks to God, but leaves that question of God hanging. Which God, your concept or mine, or the guy down the street? It also ignores the fact that if we are grateful to a God that allowed us all we have, it also means he disallowed children to have enough food to eat, to starve as we feast. Not exactly the portrait of a loving God.
Thanksgiving is also interpreted as a day to have a general “attitude of gratitude” for whatever you have, no God needed, just for us each to be grateful for what we have. A fine attitude indeed and one I personally cultivate, however once a year is not enough for such an attitude, it needs to be daily for it to have a positive impact on your life. In this fashion the holiday fails again becoming a caricature of an actual attitude of gratitude, mere lip service to the idea.
If all these concerns were not enough in the 1970’s the holiday was EXPANDED, followed instantly by “Black Friday”, or as I call it, “The Festival of Greed”. Nowadays people rush from their dinners to go shopping at midnight, some stores even staying open on Thanksgiving itself for “Early Bird sales”, combining the “Festival of Greed” with a Day of thanks; a “Thankless Takingday”. This day is most often noticed for the amount of violence and trampling’s which occur as shoppers violate each other over to secure favored items. I have never gone shopping on this day, and I avoid even going out on it. I have desire to see my fellow man demean themselves over a new TV, and less to see them hurt others to save a few bucks.
This all shows how America now values goods over people, which is not very thankful at all. Is there ANY point left to these days other than Greed and Consumerism? The image above is of a stampede on this day which killed a Wal Mart worker, am I to be thankful for this? To whom should I give thanks, the greed of the crowd, or the God which inspires this day?