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Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Dave N (mail):
And a Happy Thanksgiving back at you and everyone else who reads your blog.
11.27.2008 4:25pm
Sum Budy:
Gobble gobble right back at ya.

(As I head downstairs to do some gobbling of my own...)
11.27.2008 4:31pm
CDR D (mail):
Same to you, Professor.

And one of the things I am thankful for is your educational blog.
11.27.2008 4:52pm
Smokey:
Life is good! We have lots to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving.
11.27.2008 5:11pm
Waldo (mail):
Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.

And thanks for a great blog.
11.27.2008 5:13pm
Sarcastro (www):
[Best to all of you and your families!]
11.27.2008 5:25pm
LM (mail):
Everyone wins the thread.
11.27.2008 5:47pm
spudbeach (mail):
A typical American today has much to be thankful for. More material goods than they can keep track of. The ability to communicate instantly around the world. More information at the touch of their fingers than an archivist could have dreamed of a hundred years ago.

While that is nice, I'm thankful for much more than that. I know where I'm going to sleep tonight, and I'm thankful for that. I have enough water and food, and I'm thankful for that. I know that my daughters are going to be educated, and I'm thankful for that. I know that there isn't going to be a war anywhere around where I live, and I'm thankful for that.

So what am I thankful for? Just the basics -- shelter, food, my children, and peace. I just wish that everybody around the world could be thankful for those as well.

If we could only convince each other to work together, perhaps we all could have peace, food, water and a future.
11.27.2008 6:13pm
Sean M.:
Happy Thanksgiving, Conspirators!
11.27.2008 8:18pm
Joe Bingham (mail):
I'm thankful for VC.
11.27.2008 9:51pm
Redlands (mail):
On the topic of Thanksgiving, have you read President George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Day Proclamation? Could a modern day President get away with publicly referring to God so frequently for any reason?

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 favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;-- for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish Constitutions of government for our sasety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;-- for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;-- and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions;-- to enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

(signed) G. Washington
11.27.2008 9:54pm
sbron:
I was pleasantly surprised by the lead Los Angeles Times editorial Wed., which supported the wearing of Indian and Pilgrim costumes by the schoolchildren in Claremont. I was even more stunned that the LA Times would actually rebuke an ethnic studies professor


"Conservative commentators are no doubt blowing kisses in the direction of UC Riverside professor Michelle Raheja, whose odd interpretation of oppression has given them endless fodder for discussion and mockery."


We should be thankful that we are the only nation on earth with the first amendment or its equivalent, and that we can freely express ourselves in costume without starting riots (although the police had to be be called to separate the pro and anti-costume factions.) If the LA Times can write a level-headed editorial like the above, maybe there is still hope.
11.27.2008 10:29pm
gregH (mail):
Happy Thanksgiving and a round of drinks for all my friends!
11.27.2008 11:17pm
theobromophile (www):
Happy Thanksgiving, Volokh Conspirators and readers. :)
11.27.2008 11:46pm
Hoosier:
Yeah. We should all be thankful that we have no problems at all, and are so much better than everyone else in the world. After all, their problems are their problems; what's that to us? USA! USA!

[Look, if Sarcastro punts, then someone has to pick up the slack. Anyway, everyone already knows how thankful I am for ocelots.]
11.28.2008 12:28am
Gavitron (mail):
Happy Thanksgiving, VC. USA!
11.28.2008 1:08am
Cornellian (mail):
We should be thankful that we are the only nation on earth with the first amendment or its equivalent, and that we can freely express ourselves in costume without starting riots.

See section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms:
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
a) freedom of conscience and religion;
b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
d) freedom of association.


Sort of reminds of that line from The Simpsons, "where else but in America, or perhaps Canada could someone . . . ."
11.28.2008 2:44am
sbron:

b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;


Just google on Mark Steyn, Ezra Levant and the Canadian Human Rights Commission to see how meaningless the Charter of Rights is.
11.28.2008 9:55am
wm13:
Cornellian, I think the idea is that we should be thankful that we are about the only nation that promises freedom of speech and means it. Otherwise you might as well drag out the old Soviet constitution, which I believe also guaranteed various freedoms, and laugh at the jingoistic naivete of your compatriots.

Anyway, if people don't want to be thankful, that's their right too.
11.28.2008 10:04am
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):

I blogged in detail about GW's proclamation here. I think it's still par for the course for what politicians say on Thanksgiving. What was notable, at the time, was how non-sectarian, and non-Christian the proclamation was (other than the customary way of stating the date at the bottom which is also in the US Constitution).

As I wrote:


This was notable and precedent setting. Under the "old" political orders, governments were connected to specific sectarian theologies and it would be expected that political leaders' "God talk" endorsed the official state theology, be it Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism, Presbyterian or whatnot. Well there was no "official" theology for Washington and company to endorse. But they, through their public God talk established an "unofficial theology" or a "civil religion." And that civil religion specifically avoided invoking orthodox Trinitarian doctrine or Jesus Christ.

Why is this important? David Barton and the other Christian Nationalists are sympathetic to the notion that the organic law of the United States is "Christianity generally." Well that begs the question, what is Christianity? To most evangelicals, Roman Catholics and capital O Orthodox Christians, Christianity is synonymous with orthodoxy (Christ's divine nature as God the Son, second person in the Trinity, the Atonement, etc.) A theological system that rejects these tenets is "not Christianity" whatever it calls itself.

Well, it would follow then, if Washington intended to establish "Christianity generally" -- which defines as orthodox Trinitarian doctrines under which the different Christian sects were united -- as the "civil religion" of America, his public God talk would often be done in the name of the "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," the infallibility of the Bible and would cite verses and chapters of scripture as "trumping" authority.

But Washington's public God talk [for instance the content of Washington's first Thanksgiving Proclamation] does none of this.
11.28.2008 10:13am
blcjr (mail):
Jon Rowe,

Which is as it should be. The founders conceived of America as religious, but non-sectarian. They stood for freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. Some were more sectarian than others -- the Thanksgiving Proclamation of the Continental Congress was fairly orthodox Christianity. But GW's was more appropriate to the true spirit of the time, being religious (in the sense of believing in an almighty providence) that anyone of faith could affirm, regardless of their specific confession.

But even that is too much religion for some, who would rather remove from public life any acknowledgment of a divine providence.

Basil
11.28.2008 10:25am
Observer:
Am I the only one who finds it majorly ironic that Cornellian would use Canada, of all places, as an example of country with freedom of speech (notwithstanding the gross abuses of the CHRC)?
11.28.2008 10:41am
BT:
Go Lions!!!!
11.28.2008 11:06am
David Warner:
Thanks for the egregiously undercompensated VCers for continuing to slave away at their hot keyboards.

Thanks to our commenting crew in all our tribalistic inanity.

Thanks to all the other countries in the world for finally getting with the liberal program and making America less exceptional every day.
11.28.2008 11:11am
David Warner:
"I was even more stunned that the LA Times would actually rebuke an ethnic studies professor"

And thanks even for ethnic studies professors for the courage (certainly in their minds) to go against the grain, even if that grain itself is courageously against the grain of human history.

See this.
11.28.2008 11:15am
Cornellian (mail):
Cornellian, I think the idea is that we should be thankful that we are about the only nation that promises freedom of speech and means it.

I'm thankful for all such countries, the more the better. Just pointing out that the United States isn't the only one.

Just google on Mark Steyn, Ezra Levant and the Canadian Human Rights Commission to see how meaningless the Charter of Rights is.

Picking a few outlier cases out of an ocean of case law, cases that have never reached a courtroom (CHRC isn't a court), hardly shows that the Charter is "meaningless" anymore than the Fifth Amendment was rendered totally meaningless by Kelo (which at least was a Supreme Court decision, not a decision by some faceless bureaucrat). The Charter is broader than the US bill of rights in some ways, narrower in others.
11.28.2008 1:00pm
Hoosier:
BT

I missed the reference. Did the Lions finally win a game?
11.28.2008 3:17pm
Allan Walstad (mail):
It was, thanks.
11.28.2008 4:32pm
David Warner:
Hoosier,

"I missed the reference. Did the Lions finally win a game?"

Close (37 points), but no cigar. Do the UAW run the Lions too?

Then again, perhaps BT was just another anti-Christer rubbing it in...
11.28.2008 5:13pm
Ken Arromdee:
cases that have never reached a courtroom (CHRC isn't a court),

They're a government-created body that can impose penalties on unwilling people and they can force people to bankrupt themselves to avoid punishment. They're certainly not a fair court, but it's disingenuous to claim that they don't count because the word "court" is not used for them.
11.29.2008 1:15pm
nedwilliams (mail) (www):
Jon Rowe,
Who said that "Washington intended to "establish 'Christianity generally'"?
11.29.2008 1:40pm
traveler496:
A belated Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Thanks for most of the stuff others on this blog are thankful for (including this blog). Thanks also for the opportunity to live in a time and place where the universe is coming to know itself and in small ways even beginning to shape itself for the better. May this continue for a long time despite the odds, and may the challenges never end.
11.29.2008 10:22pm