Religious Freedom

This is an old piece on a critical American value now being questioned.  Where did our ideas of separation of Church and State come from?  This core value is older than the United States itself – and comes from a different place than many expect.

It naturally comes up in my family just before Thanksgiving every year.  The Puritans’ deliverance to America is billed as a search for religious freedom, something which is a core value of our nation. It’s good that we celebrate such a thing, but do the Puritans really deserve credit for it?  The short answer is no, they do not, because they were seeking to establish their own theocracy – and across the ocean where no one would bother them seemed like the perfect place.

Religious tolerance as a founding principle of America came from a different source – William Penn, the “absolute proprietor” of Pennsylvania.  The reason that he doesn’t get the credit he deserves is murky at best, but may have its origins in a prejudice that most of us wouldn’t even understand today.  I think it’s time to correct that.
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Thanksgiving and the New Republic

Thanksgiving is a truly great American holiday. It is a time when people from all over the world blend their traditions into one religious holiday celebrated by Christians, Jews, Moslems, and every other faith alike. To give thanks is universal, and what better way to celebrate deliverance to a land that to many is indeed the Promised Land.

But why is it in November? The very first day of Thanksgiving was held right after the harvest, on a day very similar to the Canadian Thanksgiving on October 12th. Why is it on a Thursday? The answer is that the nation itself was delivered from the horrors of war and recognized by the Treaty of Paris, owing a bit of time for the time it takes to cross the Atlantic and bring the joyous news. It was indeed a time to be thankful – but the story has the Hand of Providence all over it.

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Black Friday

Every year I post this.  Respect for the most sacred American holiday, Thanksgiving, seems to be on the rise.  But we still have far too many stores open, too many people are forced to work.  Black Friday?  It can be a family adventure and maybe a lot of fun.  But Thanksgiving needs to be a day apart – and until it is I will keep posting this every year.

‘Twas a long time ago, longer now than it seems,
That the holiday season was crafted from dreams.
There were visions of friendship and light through the land
As if darkness itself had been thoroughly banned.
But the times closed around as the blackness enveloped
And the victory of dark very slowly developed.

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A Thanksgiving Appeal

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect, a time to unwind, a time to count our blessings. Thanksgiving 2016 is much more than this, however. It is also a time to plan, a time to evaluate, a time to be ready for nearly anything.

Barataria believes that an astute lectovore, one who devours all information, can and should make predictions about the future. Not necessarily precise predictions but at least an assignment of boundaries. If we learned anything in 2016 it’s that there are sometimes no boundaries at all.

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Why Thanksgiving is in November

Thanksgiving is a truly great American holiday. It is a time when people from all over the world blend their traditions into one religious holiday celebrated by Christians, Jews, Moslems, and every other faith alike. To give thanks is universal, and what better way to celebrate deliverance to a land that to many is indeed the Promised Land.

But why is it in November? The very first day of Thanksgiving was held right after the harvest, on a day very similar to the Canadian Thanksgiving on October 12th. Why is it on a Thursday? The answer is that the nation itself was delivered from the horrors of war and recognized by the Treaty of Paris, owing a bit of time for the time it takes to cross the Atlantic and bring the joyous news. It was indeed a time to be thankful – but the story has the Hand of Providence all over it.

Continue reading

Black Friday

I will keep posting this every year until we stop the madness and make Thanksgiving the sacred holiday it is supposed to be, apart from the madness of shopping.

‘Twas a long time ago, longer now than it seems,
That the holiday season was crafted from dreams.
There were visions of friendship and light through the land
As if darkness itself had been thoroughly banned.
But the times closed around as the blackness enveloped
And the victory of dark very slowly developed.

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Give Thanks

We call them “terrorists” because their goal is to inflict terror. Fear – a blinding fear that overcomes us and makes us set aside everything we value.

When we surrender to terror we surrender to the terrorists. Victory comes when we reach inside ourselves and develop bravery. That is what happens when resolve matches fear. Such bravery has defined us and given us everything we have – and is something for which we must be truly thankful.

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