Monday, November 21, 2011

US News helps us reclaim Thanksgiving without the religion

In light of the growing number of retailers tired of all this giving thanks crap, and seeking new ways to worship at the altar of Mammon, and in light of the number of fellow Americans willing to say, "Screw the employees and their families, as long as I can get a flat screen TV for a bargain!", US News and World Report posted a column on how to reclaim the Spirit of Thanksgiving.  Eh.  Read it if you want.  For the most part it tells us to give a little.  Fine.

What I found amusing?  The entire piece, written by Kimberly Palmer, is devoid of any mention about anything to do with the roots of the Holiday.  No pilgrims, no God, no religion, no faith, heck, no Indians.  It's as if the whole thing has some vague roots in some vague harvest celebration from some noncommittal time in the past.  For some reason, sharing must have been important at some point, and that's why it's the advice given.  Again, I have no problem with that particular suggestion.

It just strikes me at how easy it's become, how we're all so used to it.  It's as if we expect it now.  We have no problem with certain things not being mentioned.  With certain names never being spoken.  With certain themes and events simply wiped off the slate.  We've come to expect it.  It's in our blood, it's the ocean in which we swim, to paraphrase Peggy Noonan.  That which offends must not be said, and we all know that in our post-modern age, nothing offends like religion, like our Anglo-European past. 

I wonder if Ms. Palmer consciously avoided any and all references to anything historical or religious, or if it has become for her as natural as it has no doubt become for many of her readers.  Just a thought on this, the night we watched A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

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