Thanksgiving: A Christian Celebration in a Post-Christian Society
by Alisa Childers
Every once in a while, I hear the claim that America is not in any sense a Christian nation, and did not have Christian beginnings. It’s true that we have never had an official state religion, which is one of the things that makes America great—freedom of religion for all people. However, it was the Judeo-Christian values of our founders that allowed for this freedom in the first place.
Nothing makes this more evident than when we celebrate Thanksgiving. Why? Let me tell you a little story.
Mary had a little lamb — and a mission.
In the late 1700’s, there was a little girl from New Hampshire, who was homeschooled in a time when women were not allowed to attend college. She was quite intelligent, and at eighteen years old she began to teach school and write poetry. Six years later, she married a lawyer who believed in her talents and challenged her to pursue intellectual endeavors.
As a result, the couple spent two hours each night together in study. She recalled how much she enjoyed those nightly study sessions, and how they encouraged her and gave her confidence in the powers of her thinking mind.
Nine years after their vows, her husband died of a stroke just two weeks before she gave birth to their fifth child. Her name was Sarah Josepha Hale, and she is the reason we officially celebrate Thanksgiving as a nation.
After her husband’s death, Sarah had to find a way to provide for her five children. She was able to have a small volume of children’s poems published, including her now famous Mary Had a Little Lamb. After that, she wrote several books and went on to become one of the most influential women in America…