This article I am enclosing below might seem corny to some. But you know, esoteric Christians have been persecuted for time out of mind and the USA is one place where we can worship any way we want. Alternative spiritualities thrive; “heretics” and “heathens” found our own legal churches. So many of the original settlers from Europe were called heretics back in Europe and were persecuted as such.
Think about the esotericists who founded this country, George Washington the freemason — freemasonry being very much into esoterica and deep inner Christianity. Don’t forget what religious liberal (apostate, heretic) Thomas Jefferson did — took scissors to the New Testament to remove all verses he thought were written by men with agendas. Below are quotes from these two spiritually unusual founders about Thanksgiving. The words are archaic and you might be tempted to throw out baby AND bathwater with the cry, “this is patriarchal Christianity!” but try to read with an open mind and claim this part of our past for ALL beneficiaries of religious freedom. For ALL of us, including you and me who work and live in the alternative spirituality realm. Christianity is OURS, TOO. We are the beneficiaries of religious freedom bought by our foremothers and forefathers at great price. We can claim Christianity, roots and all. Our version is healthier by far than the mainstream Christianity. We have our differences. But whether esoteric or exoteric, it is all still Judeo-Christianity and we should celebrate any common ground we have with our exoteric spiritual cousins rather than obsess over the differences. With such un-divisiveness we might actually help many of our loved ones, neighbors, fellow humans, to see the great, sublime inner tradition — the underground stream that feeds all faiths whether they know it yet or not.
Sincerely, Katia (Okay, here’s the article, and my excruciatingly sincere apologies to Newt Gingrich for my “little” additions in brackets. Newt: I am a big fan of your and your wife’s work. I read your column weekly, watch you on Fox News, own your books. It’s just that I also happen to be an unusual, unorthodox Judeo-Christian believer… wincing grin… so puh-leese don’t be upset…)
What Every Child Should Know About Thanksgiving
by Newt Gingrich
Second only to Independence Day, Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday. And as an American holiday, it is rooted deeply — like our nation — in faith in God. [we can add here, “and God-ess”. We can even change the words “faith in God” to DESIRE FOR COMMUNION WITH THE DIVINE]
The earliest Thanksgivings were celebrated by Americans who were keenly aware that their blessings — like their rights — came from God [instead of just “God” we could say “and God-ess” or FROM A DIVINE SOURCE]. In times of hardship unimaginable to us today, they took time to give thanks to their Creator. [CREATORS]
Throughout early American history, when they suffered from drought, famine or war, Americans paused, not to seek vengeance or to question their faith, but to give thanks to God [AND GOD-ESS] for the blessings they still had.
At a time when the economic news seems to get worse every day, it’s important to remember the humble faith [AND STEADFASTNESS TO THEIR CHOSEN SPIRITUALITY IN SPITE OF EUROPEAN CRIES OF HERESY] of these early Americans. They didn’t just give thanks when times were good, they gave thanks when times were bad — especially when times were bad.
Radical Secularists Deny the Central Role of Religion [INCLUDING ESOTERICISM AND ANY KIND OF SPIRITUALITY] in American History
Today is a decidedly different time in America.
Not only have many Americans forgotten or never learned the historic origins of our Thanksgiving — to pause and give thanks to God for our abundance — but radical secularists are intent on removing God and faith [AND SPIRITUALITY OF ANY STAMP] from our national life altogether.
Many of the entertainment and political elite seem to be threatened by religious faith [AND BELIEF IN THE TRANSCENDENT].
Others seem intent on denying or whitewashing the central role that religious faith has played in American history, such as the attempt to whitewash God out of the Capitol Visitor’s Center (view the video and petition my wife, Callista, and I have created to ask Congress to ensure the Capitol Visitor’s Center is historically accurate about America’s Godly heritage.)
These radical secularists seek to portray those who acknowledge this historical fact as theocrats intent on imposing their religion on others. [WHEN IN FACT, AS HERETICS AND/OR DESCENDANTS OF HERETICS, WE KNOW WE DON’T HAVE TO LISTEN TO PROSELYTIZERS. IMPOSING RELIGION ON OTHERS ISN’T TOLERATED IN AMERICA.]
In fact, to acknowledge the centrality of God in American history is to acknowledge America’s great freedom of religion — the freedom to worship and the freedom not to worship. Many Americans have taken advantage of this freedom by drawing closer to their Creator[s]. They understand, even if so many of our media and political elites don’t, that religious freedom is the cornerstone of all of our freedoms.
Voices From Thanksgivings Past
The centrality of God [AND A HINT OF THE FEMININE DIVINE] in Thanksgiving in America comes through in the words of some of our greatest national leaders:
Virginia Governor Thomas Jefferson, in 1779:
[I] appoint … a day of public Thanksgiving to Almighty God … to [ask] Him that He would … pour out His Holy Spirit on all ministers of the Gospel; that He would … spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth … and that He would establish these United States upon the basis of religion and virtue.
President George Washington’s first federal Thanksgiving proclamation in 1789:
Whereas it is 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.… Now, therefore, I do appoint Thursday, the 26th day of November 1789 … that we may all unite to render unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection.
President Abraham Lincoln, making Thanksgiving an annual national holiday in 1863, in the midst of the Civil War:
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people.
“Let Us Be Thankful For a Land That Will For Such Religion Stand”
Our leaders have not been alone in celebrating God’s gifts at Thanksgiving, of course.
I conclude today with a poem by Lizelia Augusta Jenkins Moorer, an African-American poet writing at the turn of the 20th century. Her generous, hopeful view of Thanksgiving is made even more remarkable by the suffering and discrimination she endured as an African-American in the late 19th and early 20th century.
Let us give thanks to God above,
Thanks for expressions of His love,
Seen in the book of nature, grand
Taught by His love on every hand.
Let us be thankful in our hearts,
Thankful for all the truth imparts,
For the religion of our Lord,
All that is taught us in His word.
Let us be thankful for a land,
That will for such religion stand;
One that protects it by the law,
One that before it stands in awe.
Thankful for all things let us be,
Though there be woes and misery;
Lessons they bring us for our good-
Later ’twill all be understood.
Thankful for peace o’er land and sea,
Thankful for signs of liberty,
Thankful for homes, for life and health,
Pleasure and plenty, fame and wealth.
Thankful for friends and loved ones, too,
Thankful for all things, good and true,
Thankful for harvest in the fall,
Thankful to Him who gave it all.
May you and your family have a happy, healthy, and blessed Thanksgiving.