X-Message-Number: 18002
From: "Mark Plus" <>
Subject: Reality-based "prayer" for Thanksgiving
Date: Thu, 22 Nov 2001 15:40:50 -0800

From The Objective American, Thursday, 22 November 2001, 
http://www.objectiveamerican.com .  (Content changes daily.)

THANKSGIVING 2000: A Reality Prayer By E.G. Ross
Between whom there is hearty truth, there is love.

WHEN PEOPLE in the U.S. give thanks on Thanksgiving, which is today, I 
myself do it in an unconventional way. The idea first occurred to me when I 
was a little kid. I remember sitting around the table as my grandmother said 
grace over a sumptuous meal. She gave thanks to "the Lord" for all the food 
and goodies. I used to wonder quietly, "But Grandma and Grandpa and Dad and 
Mom bought all this stuff! Why aren't we thanking them?" I knew I dared not 
voice this view to my grandmother or mother. Even then, I sensed such a 
question would probably bring less than an amused response. Grandmother was 
a staunch, Midwestern Christian and Mother was an Old World Catholic. But I 
also remember asking my Dad about it. He grinned and said something like, 
"Well, that's a good question." He didn't directly endorse my point of view, 
but on the other hand, neither did he deny it or run me over the coals for 
thinking "impure" thoughts. From that point on, whenever Thanksgiving rolled 
around, after grace I would add a silent thanks in my mind for anyone I 
could think of who might have had something to do with providing the food 
and trimmings.

I've carried the idea into adulthood and expanded it. In recent years, I've 
begun to openly offer what I call my Thanksgiving Reality Prayer. I vary it 
a bit annually, but it goes something like this:

The Reality Prayer of Thanks
On this day of bounty in this wonderful land, let us remember how we got 
here. Let us recall the strong shoulders on which we stand. Let us thank the 
Founders for their vision in devising the greatest Constitution that the 
world has ever known. Let us thank them, and their intellectual ancestors, 
for grasping the principles of liberty and grasping the chance to preserve 
and protect them in the creation of this country. Let us thank all of those 
men and women with the vision and vitality to hold and enhance this 
brilliant experiment in freedom. Let us thank all the pioneers, inventors, 
industrialists, teachers, laborers, entrepreneurs, and financiers who 
directly and indirectly produced the marvelous technology and techniques 
that make our age of prosperity possible. Let us also thank our warriors, 
hundreds of thousands of whom work daily, quietly, but in deadly 
circumstances, to keep our nation's liberty alive. Finally but not least let 
us thank ourselves for the work, courage, and dedication to preserving our 
personal values and the founding principles of America and for adding to the 
wealth that brings us and others the finest opportunities for happiness that 
mankind has ever known.

That's it. Simple and direct. By the way, this prayer works well before 
civic groups of all kinds. Religious audience members like it as much as 
secular members. Why bother? Because tributes like this give credit where 
credit is due. It acknowledges the unacknowledged reality behind our 
prosperity. I wrote this version as a gift especially for you, dear readers. 
Feel free to make use of it as you will. Happy Thanksgiving.

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