Lincoln’s Thanksgiving: Give Thanks to God for Putting Such Challenges Before UsBy David Shavin
Nov. 23—Abraham Lincoln established the national holiday of Thanksgiving in 1863, in the midst of the bloodiest conflict in American history. Yet he maintained there was so much for which to give thanks to the Creator. And a central message was, as he put it, that the great trial of a civil war, in God’s eyes, could bring forth the animation and inspiration of our hearts and minds to do what we had to do, even if we weren’t sure we were capable.
Lincoln was not a simple-minded optimist, given to overlooking the depth of the problems before the country. But he would have us give thanks, deep heartfelt thanks, to a Creator that so loved the human race that he put massive challenges before us, knowing there was more to us than we were aware of.
Of course, one could tear one’s hair out, hearing the outrageous, ugly, mendacious and downright evil in Ukraine’s highest Justice official, the Prosecutor General, who yesterday openly states that ten Russian POWs, nakedly executed, video-recorded for all to see, were actually “imitating a surrender,” carrying out a war crime by so surrendering, and clearly deserving of a bullet in the head while they lay on the ground unarmed, for their “perfidy.”
Hence, what steely optimism is required to drive through to victory, on the road to peace via economic development—and the road to economic development through the spark of genius a gracious God bestowed upon mankind.
If you’ve not yet worked through the November 22 Schiller Institute conference, take it as the appropriate and happy addition to your Thanksgiving Day, one that will bring you closer to old Abe, one that will help carve a path forward for humanity. And give thanks to your Creator, One that graces your life with a purpose, a mission.