Friday, November 26, 2010


The “Holiday Season” has begun and it’s a long, busy run from now until New Year’s Day. Thanksgiving was yesterday with the usual expected activities. Plenty of turkey, football, family and even some gratitude were all on display. Like years past, though, there was something missing from the public recitations of thankfulness.

We always do a great job of including the “I” or “we” when giving thanks. No one is shy in that regard. While there are a lot of clichés, we generally know what it is we’re grateful for receiving. As Americans, there are many things in our lives for which to give thanks so it’s easy to generate a list of good things. We fall short; however, when it comes to naming the source of our blessings.

How many television talk shows did you see this week that listed blessings and failed to even mention God’s name once? I’m guessing the vast majority. On a typical morning talk show we might hear an exchange like this:

“So, Matt what about you? What are you grateful for?”
“Thanks for asking, Mary. I’m grateful for my family; love ya, Sue. I’m grateful for all of my friends and this great country in which we live. I’m especially thankful for the men and women in our armed forces serving overseas. I almost forgot to mention how grateful we are to our new sponsors. Thanks, guys. Mary, you’ve had a spectacular year, I know.”
“Well, thank you, Matt. I’m really grateful for little Amber, our new baby. She just makes our lives better. And Bob, of course, without him I wouldn’t have Amber! I’m grateful that people have showed such strong support for my new book . . .”
“It’s still available in bookstores, isn’t it? What’s the title again?”
“Why thank you, Matt! It’s called, ‘How to Have it All Without Breaking a Sweat’ and as I was saying the response has been phenomenal. Thank all of you for your support! And I’m sure that I speak for Matt when I say how much we’re both grateful for our behind the scenes folks: our producers, our . . .”

And so God, our Creator, is not even a foot note. It’s not the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade anymore; it’s the annual Thanksgiving Day Charade. It’s a long line of celebrities whose life philosophy consists of two words: “me” and “more”. Pigs in slop are less at home than most of these people in an atmosphere of political correctness. The word “God” just makes too many important people uncomfortable unless it’s followed by the phrase “damn it”.

Unfortunately our society has been saturated with the concept that mentioning anything religious in public is divisive and in poor taste. It’s especially bad to mention a specific religion though being “spiritual” is considered a little kooky but generally harmless. The reverse of the coin is that it’s perceived as elegant and sophisticated to avoid openly referencing God. By not acknowledging God as the provider of our blessings, we aren’t truly giving thanks. Instead we’re simply saying, “Here’s a list of stuff I really like,” or perhaps even worse, bragging. “Hey! Look what all I’ve got!”

Next Thanksgiving, maybe some on-air personality will actually mention God on the airwaves. I’m not counting on it, but I’m always hopeful. The good news is that we don’t have to depend on others to offer thanks for us; we can take care of that ourselves – and among many, many other things - I’m very grateful for that. Thank you, God.

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