Thanksgiving Thoughts from President Lincoln
By Dennis Jamison —November 19, 2018
Many Americans on the Thanksgiving holiday coming this week will likely breathe a huge sigh of relief that the divisiveness of the midterm elections are over. Of course, that will be true if families and friends can put aside that divisiveness in their hearts in the millions of homes where Thanksgiving will be celebrated across America.
It is important to note, nevertheless, that the United States is more of a divided states of America in 2018. Those seeking true enlightenment should ask a simple question: How did we get to this point once again in our history? The answer lies within that which is so divisive in America’s diverse society, which when considered intelligently, is a diversity in a relative harmony of races, contributing cultures, and a variety of religious views. It is truly a miracle that America has just survived the midterm elections without a significant violent clash due to the two extremes within the political area.
Yet, America did go to war with itself once, a long time ago. It was a brutal, horrible, war that originated in divisiveness in mind and heart within the American people. The issue at the core of the divisiveness was the “peculiar” institution of African slavery. Today, the residue of that war still pervades the hearts and minds of many Americans. There are a number of predominate views about the American Civil War, and what caused it. But, it must be noted that it was Americans who attacked Americans in that war. And it is truly hoped that Americans today can make it through Thanksgiving without breaking down the relative calm that exists on the eve of the holiday. The outcomes of the elections are finally determined, and we need to move on with life.
America even survived the Civil War, and the people moved on with life – we are still here! However, there is a cloud of divisiveness that hangs ominously in the virtual air, like the hazardous haze of a California wildfire in November. That haze can be viewed as a literal cloud – of confusion. Americans are confused about who we really are. Many of the young people have been enticed by the beat of a different drummer. Christians and conservatives are truly concerned about an America that is veering off course from its original foundation.
In the 2016 election, many Christians awakened and realized that voting was a birthright in America – a responsibility as good stewards of this land that God blessed and the Land of the Free that God participated in creating. Many retreated to the Bible and found that in 2 Chronicles 7:14 a wake up call, and a call to willful change. In light of this sentiment, it may be important to go back in American history to a time worse than now, to get a real glimpse of what helped America survive that incredibly divisive period in our history. The POTUS was Abraham Lincoln, and he truly understood how destructive the war became – beyond his wildest imagination.
While many American citizens are aware of Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, there is another proclamation he made in March of 1863 that preceded the official call made later that year after the battle of Gettysburg. His official proclamation for a national holiday came at the request of a 74 year old magazine editor, Sarah Hale, to fulfill one of her longstanding hopes. Lincoln, through William Seward, his Secretary of State, managed to provide Americans a perspective that may have helped many survive that horrendous time, and may have helped America survive her potential demise. However, the sincere words that Lincoln issued before, on March 30, 1863, are as apt for today as the presidential call for a Thanksgiving holiday. (Note the video combines words from both speeches, and although misidentified, the words are factual reproductions)
May God bless America on this Thanksgiving Day in 2018!