The Catholic University of America

Chad Pecknold, associate professor, theology, published a blog in First Things on Thanksgiving. See below.

Thanksgiving as the Basis of Freedom

From: First Things
Date: Nov. 26, 2015
Author: C.C. Pecknold

Thanksgiving in America is a thing to behold. We vaguely recall its Puritan origins, and vaguely associate it with religion. But mainly it is about family, food and football. These are all social bonds. A Frenchman recently praised the American tradition precisely because it elevated eating not as a biological act, but as a social act, as an “invitation back to civilization.” And so it is.

The Democratic party recently advised readers on how to take-over Thanksgiving with flashcards– marked by “overtones of snark and undertones of rage” — designed to enhance friction and division around this day under the banner of “a guide to talking politics with your Republican uncle.” Conservatives pounced of course. “Must they politicize everything?” And on this point, conservatives had the upper-hand. There are some things which should be sacrosanct, not because they are not at all political, but because they are somehow the basis for the common good which is prior to politics, and which politics should protect and serve. Yet it’s worth thinking for a moment why “thanksgiving” is so central to the American experiment in liberty.

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