Thanksgiving & Religion

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Although this thanks has always been directed primarily toward God, it's not considered a religious holiday and it belongs to people of all religions and of no religion. Americans generally do not attend religious services on this day and the only common religious ritual is a somewhat lengthened prayer before the feast of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, yams, mashed potatoes, corn and pumpkin pie. There is no well-known Thanksgiving prayer and each gathering often has its own unique invocation.

There is another common tradition before Thanksgiving dinner. Each person in attendance mentions one or more things for which they are grateful. My own family, however, does not participate in this practice, but I would like to present my list here:

  • health
  • intellectual freedom
  • political freedom
  • family
  • friends
  • financial prosperity
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on and appreciate all the good things in our lives. One certainly doesn't need to believe that a supernatural being has bestowed them in order to be grateful for them. Happy Thanksgiving!


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