My spot in the world
the things you hear on the radio
Published on November 20, 2008 By LifeSomewhereElse In History

Driving home, listening to the talking heads I heard a discussion about the origins of Thanksgiving.  One suggested that it was a secular fall holiday.  The other that is was driven by religious undertones.  Compelling arguments were given by both sides but I think the religious argument won.  The guy arguing that point read the 1777 Continental Congress proclamation (God, and even Jesus invoked), George Washington proclamation from 1789 and others which pretty much sealed it.

As Ronnie used to say, "Trust but verify" so I looked it up after I got home.  After Googling and Wikipedia (more on that in a sec) I determined that the guy's quotes were valid, but it celebrations of harvest and good year are just as common.  I guess it comes down to what the target of thanks was back then, at least from the U.S. point of view.

Anyway, side note on wikipedia, the article for the subject US version (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanksgiving_(United_States) ) makes a big point in the second paragraph that Thanksgiving is generally considered secular without specific cannon or dogma.  It then mentions that the US version has religious undertones.  This paragraph to me is somewhat misleading in that the article is about US version of Thanksgiving; the verbiage about the secular origin of it around the world is out of context.  However, wikipedia does further down in the article give many of the quotes that were previously mentioned.

The editorial color of articles within wikipedia and the resulting accuracy is a whole other subject.

 


Comments
on Nov 21, 2008

It started out as a day to give thanks.  At the time, the settlers were very religious (even though they came here to escape religious persecution).  But it has no basis in religion, only having religion as the reason for it (basis meaning no one was born, Crusified or Rose).

Let everyone celebrate as they wish.  And then start the commercialism of Christmas the next day.

on Nov 21, 2008

It's not technically religious. It's just a day to give thanks. It helps to have someone to give thanks to, though.

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