Thursday, November 22, 2007

A DU Thanksgiving

FROM DU: Is There A Somber Mood On the Nation This Thanksgiving?

Speaking to customer service checking on a catalogue order, at the end of the phone call I wishes the customer service rep. a "happy thanksgiving." All I got back was something that sounded like a grunt.

Some friends went to visit relatives only to find that the host has been drunk for the last three days which altered moods and enthusiasms. My friends came back home... no thanksgiving at their destination place of several days ago.

The neighborhood feels empty--but then, I don't know if it is a projection or the real thing. There seems to be an omnipresent feeling of either pretend... let us all pretend to be happy... or a feeling of... "it just isn't the same..." I am not sure just what mood is flowing around the nation this year. (flordehinojos)

FROM DU: What IS the World Coming To? Seriously

Most of us are painfully aware of all the conflict and division in our country and around the world, and most of us suffer in various ways from many terrible things. We are going through a horrible tribulation, which was very predictable and was in fact predicted long ago by many wise seers.

But, must this tribulation continue and just keep getting worse?

Even more to the point, are these really the so-called "end times" that so many proud and militant conservatives on the "Religious Right" talk about? And, must there be even more of their so-called "holy wars" fought in the name of Islam or Christianity or Judaism or Zionism in order to fulfill prophecies?

Well, if the truth be told, the humble and meek shall indeed inherit the earth -- along with those who are now arrogantly proud and militant but will ultimately be humbled and made contrite in the face of truth. Then, when we are finally reconciled and united, the people of earth will be able to accomplish all those things that will save and greatly improve our world.

Granted, that may seem to be quite impossible right now, because we are pitted against each other and sharply divided by leaders who aggressively compete and fight for worldly power, whether it is because of partisan politics, a dispute over land and resources, or a so-called "religious" conflict, and many of those leaders claim that God is on their side. (IsaiahTruman)

FROM DU: The Trouble with Thankfulness

Like most Americans, I'm appreciative of all the wonderful people and experiences in my life, and I like the idea of taking a day off from lamenting all the painful, tragic, and humiliating experiences in my life and the many more in the lives of so many people around the world impacted by my government (even if we are now losing an innocent life in Iraq alone at the rate of one every 10 minutes, or 144 in the day I take off to "be thankful").

And in fact, I never thank my wife, my son, my parents, my friends, my employer, my allies, my heroes enough. A day set aside to phone and write and visit those people to thank them would be a holiday above all other holidays. But that is not what Thanksgiving is. At best, that is what Thanksgiving might someday become.

For theists, Thanksgiving is an opportunity to thank "god." For muddleheaded atheists Thanksgiving is an opportunity to thank... (blank) (there's no conclusion to the sentence). And for clear thinking atheists, it's a holiday that does not fit. One cannot be thankful to nothing. If you're going to be thankful, not for what your loved ones do, but that they exist, you must be thankful to "god" or to some nameless mush standing in for "god."

Well, what - after all - is so wrong with that? What's wrong with nice warm humble feelings, even if they make no grammatical sense? I think there are two major things wrong with it, one fairly obvious, the other a little less so. The obvious problem is the panglossian blinders required. Rather than appreciating my loved ones, I am supposed to feel a sense of "thankfulness" for them that is inevitably directed at the same divine fate that gives the world such overwhelming misery, pain, and death.

In short, "god" has so much to answer for, that before I would consider summoning an ounce of gratitude for the beautiful trees and squirrels outside my window, I want to know what good can come of the precarious situation that is providing this summer weather in November, I want to know why a neighbor was recently murdered, I want to know why so much of the world has to live in such horrendous poverty for the benefit of a gluttonous minority, and I want to know what war is for. Thanking anyone or anything who runs this spectacle strikes me as presenting an award to a mass murderer because he polishes his knife so beautifully.

The less obvious trouble with thankfulness can be seen when we move beyond blaming "god" for the world's misery. After all, if you don't "believe in god" you can't blame "god" any more than you can praise him/her/it. And if you cannot blame "god" then the truly painful thought arrives: we must blame ourselves. In fact, we and nobody else bear the responsibility for what goes well and poorly in the world. We get no credit for the squirrels. They simply evolved. But we get credit for maintaining a world they can live in, or blame for destroying it. We acquired this responsibility when we gained the power to destroy the world. That doesn't mean a key to preserving the world doesn't lie in refraining from trying to control it.

Children who die from preventable diseases, workers who die from unsafe working conditions, and families who die in wars all die with their blood on our hands and nobody else's. We, humanity, and we, Americans in particular, are the ultimate cause of tremendous suffering. Far from thanking some primitive fantasy for the state of things, we should be standing, speaking, and acting to change things. Instinctive acceptance of the status quo as at least partially "right" is the most dangerous result of vestigial theism, and the last thing we have time for is a holiday that promotes it.

This Thanksgiving, go out of your way to thank somebody who is working for radical democratic change in the world. And, this holiday season, thank your loved ones for who they are. Don't thank anybody else for them. But put your generosity where it belongs: in actions aimed at benefitting those in the world who have it worst. (davidswanson)

I chose these three pieces because they are SO representative of the DU mindset on this Thanksgiving. These people, as a whole, are perennially negative. (You watch: if a Dem candidate wins the White House, they'll STILL be bitching about the state of things. This year, all would be perfect if only a Democrat won--next year everything will still be lousy because the Republicans still exist at all.)

They have no joy, no gratitude, true thankfulness about them. Indeed, a later post ask them to list one thing they were thankful for. This is how they answered:

--'Cindy Sheehan',
--Dem candidates,
--Al Gore (they talk a lot about their free-range turkeys and organic stuffing),
--For the ass clowns who have somehow become our leaders, and thus motivated all of us to care a little more,
--I'm thankful for Senator Jim Webb, his staff and for Bucky,
--That I now know what I DON'T want in our next President,
--NASA, NSF, Nat. Geography, and other science research/education groups (for giving me a place to dream),
--I'm very happy for that. Very grateful. Tomorrow it all begins again. I'll go back to the rat-race. I'll worry about EVERYTHING from the squatter in chief sullying OUR White House to wondering where the hell to get a part-time job to get through Christmas, the same shit I worry and obsess about every day, etc.

Not a single person thanked our troops, the President, this country, our freedoms, our blessings--or God. That's DU and the 'Progressive Democrats for ya; I hope I never 'progress' that far.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The man for whom nothing is worth fighting for, for whom nothing is more important than his own personal safety is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made free and kept free by the exertions of better men then himself''. John Stewart Mill. Time and again I think of this quote when I read this drivel by these sniviling little wastrels, living in the freest nation on Earth, never having done ANYTHING for ANYONE other than THEMSELVES and never would.Young men and women their age and older are dying so they can be this way.If you were to sak them, they would tell you in a heartbeat The Patriot Act is ''facism!''. Facism. If they think the Patriot Act is facism, they'll love Sharia Law. J'Mac.

3:27 PM  
Blogger The Merry Widow said...

:shaking head:
THIS IS WHY the leftistas are so miserable, this world is ALL they have to look forward to. Pathetic, shallow, ungrateful people. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3 about 'perilous times' and how people will become lovers of selves...du exemplifies verses 1-15 perfectly!
I prefer people who can look up in anticipation!
Hope y'all had a blessed Thanksgiving so far.

We have!

4:00 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

Good on both of you! And yes, TMW, while I was reading their crapola that's exactly what I thought; these people are just thinking about what they have now--not about anything higher!

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Johnny that was a gem! Thanks. I love how you repost that John Stewart Mill quote on occassion.


4:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DONAL do you want a real treat? Read what they say about Thanksgiving at the Alternet. Oy!


4:59 AM  

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