Dr. Bill Atwood

Giving thanks

Happy Thanksgiving. Today we pause to gather together with family and friends to share a meal as we give thanks to God for our many blessings. Ever since the Pilgrims arrived on our shores, the prayerful thanks have been offered. The traditional plays in schools showing the Pilgrims and the Indians gathering for a meal is wishful thinking. Without the assistance of those members of the tribes in the area surrounding Plymouth Rock, the Pilgrims most assuredly would have perished.

The story of folks leaving their native land in Europe seeking religious freedom is a story worth telling and retelling.

Almost 400 years later there are still people around the globe who are denied religious freedom. The sad fact is that in America today there appears to be a concerted effort to muzzle any Christian thoughts from any public display or utterances. The opponents of the Christians constantly tell us about the concept of “separation of church and state.”

The problem with their argument is that they are historically incorrect. The concept of the separation of church and state was to keep the government out of the church. Never was there any intent to not have the church discussing political or social issues. Many sermons were offered from pulpits condemning wrongful actions by the people in the government against the citizens.

I guess the thought of a person telling somebody Merry Christmas or God Bless You are found to be offensive. Those finding it offensive never seem to chastise Hollywood for the vulgar language or sexual scenes in films. I haven’t heard them mentioning the activities practiced in Hollywood by studio executives against women or young boys or even condemnation of those who said nothing even when they knew what was going on.

Getting back to Thanksgiving. We have so many blessings in our lives that it is hard to list them all. I feel blessed to have a relationship with God and what He showers upon me. I have a beautiful wife who while quite attractive is even a more beautiful person on the inside. I have a wonderful family and a great circle of friends. I have been blessed to be a school teacher since Dec. 1980 and have had the joy of living in this community since becoming a teacher.

My health is good thanks to good genetics and great doctors. I also remind myself as I do others that when you get to live in the United States you really have very little about which to complain. Are there problems and sorrows here? Of course. However; in the USA the poorest one of us is still better off than most others around the world. Between governmental welfare programs, generous church and private charities, and individuals who simply offer assistance the needy have quite a safety net.

Finally, we have our freedom. We may practice our religious faith or not. We get to live where we want. We have the right to speak our minds out and we have the Right to pursue happiness. A poor kid from Compton who lived between a mortuary and an auto body repair shop getting to live in Bass Lake, teach, and live my life could only have happened in a free society.

So I will be thanking God today for my many blessings including you, my readers, and I will be offering an extra prayer for the emergency service personnel who keep us safe and those wonderful veterans who have stood the watch to ensure my freedom which makes it all possible.

Be grateful. Give thanks. Blessings.