It’s a bit puzzling that the so-called Christmas wars have gone on for several years while Thanksgiving Day has caused little or no stir. Actually the Christmas wars have abated since the election of President Trump, probably in part because just before his first Christmas in office he declared, “At the White House we will be saying ‘Merry Christmas.’”

Maybe I should pay another visit to Target and find out how they are handling Thanksgiving. Like all retailers, they are certainly taking advantage of Thanksgiving’s commercial benefits. Readers might remember that when the bathroom wars were front page I reported that, in order to get firsthand information, I visited the local Target (in Acworth) and asked a cashier if I were allowed to use the ladies’ restroom. As the cashier began to answer, three other nearby female employees, seemingly managerial, rushed toward me as though disturbed by my question.

Repeating my question, I could only elicit what sounded like a scripted answer: “You may go into the restroom you identify with.”

“So any man could go inside the ladies’ restroom while my wife was inside it?” I replied.

“Men may go into the restroom they identify with,” the second of the three female employees repeated. It would have been silly, though playful and satisfying, to point out that their corporate script had used a preposition to end a sentence with.

Did I say that this happened in Acworth, Georgia, down in the Bible Belt? I believe I did. Wonder where Target’s corporate headquarters are. The way things have changed, they could well be in Cobb County and not far off in, say, the Republic of California, or some other such area where things are getting crazy.

I suppose the reason many retail stores began requiring their employees to say “Happy Holidays” in the first place is that the word Christmas has Christ in it. That would make “Merry Christmas” religious and we can’t have that. Of course “Happy Hanukah” is religious too. Doggone it, the word “holiday” is religious as well because etymologically it is an embedded form of “holy day.” Can we not see where our ultra-sensitivities have led us? Well, not everybody’s sensitivities, but the sensitivities of those who wish to perform a religious lobotomy on America.

And what about Thanksgiving? I hate to bring it up for fear of giving ideas to the ACLU, the American Atheists organization (and probably Target), but has anyone thought about to whom our thankfulness is directed when the nation takes off work and observes Thanksgiving Day? Have the corporate elites, the secular provocateurs and the Acworth Target manager ever thought, “Oh no. Thanksgiving is a religious word. We stock Thanksgiving holiday merchandise, but we’ve gotta be pluralistic. We can’t offend anyone by saying Happy Thanksgiving.”

Yes, the forces that deny our religious roots are many. Consider the faith of Columbus who has been smeared by academia for the last two decades. Remember who was on the Mayflower and why. Recount the fervor of John Winthrop who declared the new land would be a “city upon a hill,” meaning a beacon of religious freedom, and Patrick Henry, who really did prefer death to tyranny of all stripes, religious tyranny included.

Consider the position of other founders. Unlike many of my fellow conservatives, I don’t believe Jefferson was a Christian. He was a theist, more precisely a deist, and along with Washington, Adams, Madison and all of the other founders, Jefferson embraced the belief that “rights” (freedom) are derived from God, not from the state or any head of state.

Surely this foundational Judeo-Christian belief, unlike that of Muslim states, is what led to the famous D-Day radio prayer of FDR in which he sought the help and blessings of God for America. That ethic is also the root system of the expressions, “In God We Trust,” “One nation under God,” and “So help me God.”

The secularists who don’t like these expressions or “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Thanksgiving” deny that their position is a religious one. However, if secular humanism or atheism isn’t a religious position, i.e., a position on theology, what is? Secularists try to get a free ride, declaring their views to be “free of religion”; therefore, their views should prevail. However, the prayers and expressions of Jews and Christians should be squelched, whether at Rotary, high school ballgames or the White House.

This Thanksgiving, millions of Americans will be giving thanks. The receiver of that thanks will be the God Who, incidentally, is the God to Whom all of our presidents have at least paid lip service.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Roger Hines is a retired English teacher and state legislator in Kennesaw.

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