Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and from the West family of Angela, Aubrey, Austen, and myself, we wish you a very blessed day of giving thanks. I know so many of you are concerned about the direction of our nation — and I believe we shall have a great thanksgiving celebration a year from now.However, never forget that you live in the greatest nation the world has ever known — America. The world may be on fire, potentially on the verge of a major global conflagration, Islamic terrorists and jihadists feel they have instilled fear and terror, and so many of you are struggling under the failed economic policies of this current presidential administration — but like the phoenix, we shall rise.
This Republic will rise above all of this as YOU, the patriotic American will come to realize exactly what it is for which we give thanks — our unalienable rights granted by the Creator of life, liberty, and our pursuit of happiness (property, as articulated by English political philosopher John Locke). We give thanks today because it is our Creator God, not man, who enables us to live freely with these blessed rights. It is not about man giving us fake, phony, and fraudulent rights to healthcare, housing, college education, or insidious ideas such as “safe spaces.”I’ve just finished reading a phenomenal short book appropriate for this season, this day, “Would the Pilgrims Still Come to America Today: The Deteriorating State of Religious Liberty in America” by young conservative Christian millennial Nate Gransz. Today, as you sit gathered with your families, remember those 102 souls who had been driven from England because of persecution under King John and the man-established Church of England. They initially fled to the Netherlands — Holland — but even there they were sought out for their committed faith principles and values — to serve the Lord God, King of Kings, not a man made king.
Think about them as they embarked, boarding a small ship called the Mayflower on September 6, 1620 led by William Brewster. They sailed for 66 days and finally reached what we now know as New England on November 11th; two passed on the transit, but one was born, Oceanus.
They came to this land at a place we call Plymouth Rock and found a land where religious freedom would prevail, built upon the “Rock of Ages.” Remember today as you bless the food you shall eat, that after one year, only 52 remained from that original 102, but they persevered and thanks to the fellowship of the Wampanoag Indian tribe, thrived — and gave thanks.But, take just a moment and ponder the persecution of Christians today, not just the fines and potential imprisonment Pastor Brewster faced, but the beheadings, crucifixions, rapes, and selling into slavery. As you slice the turkey, do not forget that Christians are being driven from their ancestral homelands. As you gaze over the plenteous bounty, know that there are homeless Christians occupying refugee camps, separate from those who are flooding Western civilization for fear of further persecution. Where is their Mayflower? And what would they find upon landing here in America?
– A mayor issuing a subpoena for the sermons of pastors to be turned over to her office.
– City officials in Idaho establishing ordinances threatening pastors with fines and imprisonment for not conducting same-sex marriages.– Christian organizations and businesses, such as Hobby Lobby, Little Sisters of the Poor, and Colorado Christian University having to fight in court against government mandates contrary to their faith beliefs.
– Bakers, florists, and portrait studios punished and fined by the State for declining service to same-sex marriage ceremonies due to their faith beliefs.
– The removal of the Ten Commandments from the Oklahoma State Capitol grounds under the false narrative of violating separation of church and state. Jefferson’s concept as written in a letter to the Danbury Baptist convention had everything to do with state persecution of religious freedom, not the decimation of our Judeo-Christian faith heritage — hence why we have the First Amendment right of freedom of religion, and the free exercise thereof.– The current presidential administration openly confessing that Christian universities and churches opposing same-sex marriage could have their tax-exempt status in peril.
As you begin to savor that first piece of pumpkin pie, ask yourself, would those Pilgrims who over a three-day period celebrated our first Thanksgiving find a “safe space” in today’s America?
Let us enjoy our time bonding as American families all over the world — but let us NEVER forget why those Pilgrims set sail for our shores. Let us never forget why so many have set sails for our shores: freedom and liberty — and the first freedom that was sought on our shores was religious liberty. Let us this day and everyday vow never to allow it to be eroded. They gave thanks to God, the God who has endowed us with our unalienable rights. Let there never be a day that we give thanks to man, because what he gives, he will just as easily take away.
Happy Thanksgiving America and may God bless those brave 102 who set sail for America, and the 52 who survived and established this great American tradition of good fellowship, food, and football — because of their Faith!