Thanksgiving is not a religious holiday, thank Zeus. However, according to Wikipedia,
Historically, Thanksgiving had roots in religious and cultural tradition. Today, Thanksgiving is primarily celebrated as a secular holiday.
If this is the case, what or whom do Canadians thank? The religion experts want to thank their God and at least one, Jack Mclean, wants to give his God credit for everything that exists.
The universe is an inscrutable mystery of God, and will remain so forever. I am thankful for creation itself. It is the marvel of created marvels.
This is the inflexible attitude of a religious believer: The universe is unknowable and the origins of the universe will be a mystery forever:
The new physics tells us that the universe — or universes — are infinite. No matter how much more the new physics may discover about the origin of creation, whether “the big-bang” theory is replaced by “the big bounce” or any other theories scientists may devise, we will never get to the bottom of it.
Jack Mclean, who is a Bahá’í scholar, can believe what his faith tells him, but McLean is also a teacher. He should not be teaching that science/physics is ineffective in explaining the origins of the universe.
The other religious experts thank their families and/or their faith as if faith is something that can be given. According to Geoffrey Kerslake, a Roman Catholic priest,
The greatest gift my parents ever gave me was the gift of faith.
Fortunately, if religious faith that be given, it can also be taken away.
Kevin Smith, who is a board of directors for the Centre of Inquiry, Canada’s premier venue for humanists, skeptics and freethinkers, gives us a humanist meditation:
We give thanks to our farmers, without whom we would not have this special meal. We reflect on those less fortunate, reminding ourselves of our duty, as fellow citizens, to help them. We are thankful to our medical professionals for our wellness. Thanks go to scientists for providing a reality-based understanding of our world.
We thank those who fight for the equal rights of all humans including those disadvantaged by their gender, race or sexual orientation. We are most thankful for the random event that is our existence, without which we would not be — at this very moment — connected with this circle of loved ones, those we can count on when we’re feeling down. Namaste.
Let’s purge religion from Thanksgiving and giving thanks. Let’s thank the people and things that give us sustenance and enhance our lives.