Thursday will be Thanksgiving Day in the United States. This is the day we have set aside as a nation to give thanks to God for His blessings during the past year -- a tradition that dates back to the Pilgrims who first settled here in New England in the early 1600s.
After their first harsh winter in the Plymouth Colony during which half of them died, they gathered together with their Indian friends to give thanks to God for sparing their lives, allowing them to make friends with the natives who already lived here and helped them survive, and for giving them enough of a bounty of crops to survive much more heartily during their upcoming second winter.
Americans have traditionally been a very deeply religious people. Those who claim otherwise are either sadly misinformed or they make these false claims purely for ulterior motives. One CANNOT read the writings of the Pilgrims and later the Founders and come away from it thinking that they were not deeply religious. To a person, each of them referred to the blessing of God and appealed to God to grant them the strength and perseverance to forge a new nation based upon the concept of personal and religious freedom -- something they had to get away from Europe in order to have.
Even Jefferson, whom some detractors claim was a Deist who denied the divinity of Christ, was deeply religious and often used the imagery and words of the Bible to back up his political philosophy, and penned in the Declaration of Independence that THE CREATOR had endowed each human being with certain UNALIENABLE RIGHTS that CANNOT be negated by a "majority vote."
Again, Benjamin Franklin, whom many detractors claim was hostile to Christianity, in fact exhibited no such sentiments in practice. He was personal friends with the great central figure of the Great Awakening, the Reverend George Whitfield, an evangelist who drew multithousands to outdoor venues in fields and town squares. Whitfield had been an Anglican priest who became part of the nonconformist, congregational movement in opposition to the Anglican Church of England.
Whitfield often referred to Franklin as a personal friend from whom he drew much encouragement, and Franklin was known to attend many of the evangelists' outdoor meetings, emptying his pockets of all of the money he had when Whitfield passed the offering hat around. One can readily find letters exchanged between Franklin and Whitfield in historical libraries and archives.
Although it is possible that neither Jefferson nor Franklin were "Christian" in the traditional sense, they were not hostile to Christianity nor did they object to its influence in the public square.
To this day, like it or not, America's soul, it's persona, it's identity is heavily influenced by evangelical Christianity that thundered across New England and into the frontier by preachers who preached with a "holy boldness" that one is pressed to find anywhere today.
Today's preachers by and large are timid -- "nice" -- lacking in holy boldness, directness, and even righteous anger toward sin. This is a travesty of Christianity. While the hallmark of Christ's message is God's love toward all of us, in wicked times preachers are expected to scream the harsh truths of a righteous God to an evil, unbelieving generation. To fail to include this in one's preaching is to fail at our calling to deliver "the WHOLE counsel of God."
America's collective unconscious, as famed pioneering psychiatrist Carl Jung put it, is heavily steeped in this whole counsel of God as preached by ministers who showed no fear of speaking in holy boldness. This is one of the reasons America is great.
But we today are dangerously close to so thoroughly rejecting our roots that God will turn his face from America, withdraw His blessing from it, and allow it's wickedness to continue unabated. We may have already passed that threshold and crossed that line.
Still, America has lots to be thankful for. Food on the table. A roof over our heads. Shoes on our feet. Transportation to get to and from work. Friends and family who love us.
It is important to stop and give thanks to God for these blessings, and to humbly ask that He will bring us back to Him and save our land from the scourge that presently has it by the throat.
And let us this Thanksgiving recommit ourselves to that which is right, good, honorable, and spiritual. Let us work day and night to attempt to bring America back to her roots.
May God richly bless you this Thanksgiving.