Embrace Differences this Thanksgiving
By: Crystal Magallon
Interfaith Engagement Intern
“Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor – and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me ‘to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.’” – George Washington
The United States was established to be a secular nation, thus separating church and state. Europeans came to America to escape religious oppression and religious freedom was very important for them. This nation was only meant to be secular for the protection and respect of all religions. Religion had an important role in the establishment of what was meant to be the United States of America and continues to be embedded in its principles and underlying many national holidays such as Thanksgiving.
On October 3, 1789, George Washington proclaimed that the nation should have a day in which one would acknowledge and thank God for all that He/She has given us. Washington indicated that the form of government that this nation has and thus the lifestyle that is provided under it was granted by the merciful, gracious, and almighty God. In his proclamation, he emphasized how God is in charge of the past, present, and future; for God is omnipresent and above time.
As the holidays are approaching, one should have in mind the constitution and proclamations that were set up for everyone in this nation. One should be mindful that this nation serves and belongs to all, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, age, and etc. It is a privilege to live in such a country and one should embrace it. People were created differently not so that they could dislike and (emotionally, physically, mentally) harm one another, but so that they could know one another.
Let’s embrace each other this Thanksgiving holiday and remember that love is the answer.