Clash Daily Guest Contributor
As news stories of crazed Thanksgiving and Black Friday shoppers brawling over cheap merchandise and reports of brazen parking lot robberies erupt through the media, I can’t help but wonder WWGWT … What Would George Washington Think?
Our first President sincerely believed it was “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”. Two-hundred and twenty-three years ago, at the urging of George Washington and Congress, Americans were asked to devote the 26th of November as a day of “public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God”.
…And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.[signed] G. Washington
Over time, the “Thanksgiving” we celebrate, in general, has lost it’s original meaning. Sure, there are people who recognize how very fortunate they are to be blessed to live in these United States. But all too often, it’s become another hollow holiday of entertainment and excess, perverted by secularism and now, punctuated by the religion of materialism.
It’s a shop-‘til-you-drop frenzy of madly dashing around all night, in the dark, fighting crowds in a chaotic effort to save a few bucks buying cheap, mostly foreign-made merchandise. Ironically, much of which the recipients will haul back to the big-box-mega-stores, standing in long lines to exchange on the day after Christmas.
Why must the Christmas shopping season encroach upon a day when we ought to prayerfully reflect upon and count our many blessings? Now that the genie’s out of the bottle, I have no doubt it will become a mainstay alongside the turkey, pumpkin pie and football.
What became of the humility, repentance, gratitude, obedience, virtue and sacrifice of which George Washington so eloquently wrote?
Perhaps there’s a clue in a letter written by our second President, John Adams, in 1780 to his wife, Abigail:
The science of government it is my duty to study, more than all other sciences; the arts of legislation and administration and negotiation ought to take the place of, indeed exclude, in a manner, all other arts. I must study politics and war, that our sons may have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.
Standing upon the shoulders of the previous generation, each subsequent generation has enjoyed an easier life than the previous. Add on about two-hundred years of moral and cultural erosion, accelerated over the course of the past century by progressives, who have done their best to scrub our Christian heritage from the history books, coupled with a loss of Biblical teachings from many pulpits infected with the false gospel of social justice. So instead of truly giving thanks to Almighty God, we are childishly fighting over toys in the middle of the night.
Are we still a Christian nation?
It’s really up to us. Remember, that “free will” thing God gave man? We can choose to get caught up in the slick advertising, going hog-wild worshipping at the altar of materialism while needlessly sinking farther into debt. I have a better idea: on Monday, November 26th – and each November 26th going forward – heed George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation and let’s have a real day of Thanksgiving.
WWGWT? I think he’d approve.
Source: George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation, http://wilstar.com/holidays/ wash_thanks.html
Loretta Baughan is a conservative school board member who homeschooled her children and supports parental choice. Over the past twenty-five years, she’s been self-employed as a professional photographer, webdesigner and raising hunting spaniels.