Thanksgiving and Kenosha

We should be grateful that there’s still justice in this land.

Thanksgiving is where we started.

It’s the first religious holiday that Americans observed. Both the Pilgrims and the Jamestown colonists designated days to give thanks to God for His protection and bounty. For the former, it came in the fall, after the harvest.

The first English settlers on these shores were well aware of the workings of Divine Providence. The Pilgrims were grateful for deliverance from persecution in Britain, passage through stormy seas to reach the new world, and surviving the first hungry winter on New England’s rocky coast.

But the holiday’s origins are much older.

In Deuteronomy 26: 2-3, the Israelites were commanded to give thanks for their first harvest in the promised land by placing “the fruit of the ground” in a basket and taking it to “the place which the Lord your God will choose to make His name dwell there” -- initially, the Sanctuary at Shiloh. The Pilgrims and Puritans (whose roots were sunk deep in the Jewish Bible) followed this tradition.

In Deuteronomy 16:18-21, the Israelites were instructed to appoint magistrates to “govern the people with due justice.” The verse concludes with the ringing words: “Justice, justice shall you pursue, that you may thrive and occupy the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” Without justice, survival is impossible, let alone prosperity.

The left is driven by rancor. We saw its bizarre idea of justice in the demonstrations that followed the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict.

The young man’s manifest innocence was unimportant. The exhaustive trial and verdict by a jury of his peers were equally irrelevant. The left is only interested in outcomes which advance its cause, regardless of the merits of the case or its impact on the individuals involved. For so-called-progressives, it should be: Vengeance, vengeance shall you pursue.

In the response to the Rittenhouse trial, many thanked God we live in a land where people can still exercise their God-given right to self-defense -- and where jurors could be found with the courage to stand up to the mob.

If there was ever a people who should be grateful for what they have, it’s Americans.

We have the highest living standard in the world. We have a tradition of liberty that goes back to our founding.

We have a written Constitution that’s served as a model for developing nations everywhere. Our cornucopia is overflowing with mercy and human rights. All of this we owe to our Biblical heritage. (In the words of “My Country Tis of Thee” -- “Our Fathers’ God to thee, author of liberty.”)

Equally important, we had men and women who were willing to sacrifice to defend us from monarchy, totalitarianism and enemies within for 235 years.

But as Thanksgiving is about gratitude, the left is about ingratitude. Radicals view our freedoms only as an opportunity for destruction. They use the right to assemble and protest as an excuse to riot. They use free speech to slander and vilify.

They believe our material abundance is based on theft and exploitation. They view our Constitution as a roadblock to their plans to demolish and reconstruct society.

They’ve always been hostile to religion (whether or not they’ll admit it) and trace their origins to the atheism of Marx and the French Revolution.

They welcome the immigrant horde at out border clamoring to get in as another tool to smash constitutional government. On the other hand, they can’t explain why, If we’re so vile and corrupt, so many risk their lives to get here, instead of staying in gulags like Venezuela and Cuba, which the left views as paradise.

The most beautiful words in the English language are “thank you.” When someone does us a kindness, it’s a sin not to acknowledge that service. When we’re laden with packages and a stranger holds a door for us, “thank you” is the appropriate response.

How much more so should we be grateful to God, who gave us life, instructed us in the ways of righteousness (in His Torah) and led us to this broad and spacious land.

The bounty for which we should be truly thankful isn’t on our table, but in the nation we live in, and in the sentiments it inspires in us That is the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

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