President Obama will get a break from “Obamacare” when he pardons the traditional Thanksgiving turkey. Each of us can also set aside our cares by pardoning a turkey and choosing a nonviolent Thanksgiving observance — one that gives thanks for our good fortune, health and happiness with a life-affirming, cruelty-free feast of vegetables, fruits and grains.
And here are more terrific reasons:
- You will stay alert through the entire football game.
- You are what you eat. Who wants to be a “butterball”?
- Your vegetarian kid won’t have to boycott the family dinner.
- You won’t have to call the Poultry Hotline to keep your family alive.
- Fruits and vegetables don’t have to carry government warning labels.
- You won’t sweat the environment and food resources devastation guilt trip.
- You won’t spend a sleepless night wondering how the turkey lived and died.
- Your body will welcome a holiday from saturated fat, cholesterol, and hormones.
Our own dinner this Thanksgiving will feature a “Tofurky,” lentil roast, mashed potatoes, corn stuffing, stuffed squash, candied yams, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. An internet search on “vegetarian Thanksgiving” got us more recipes and other useful information than we could possibly use.
Twelve years a slave
The movie 12 Years a Slave is based upon an autobiography by Solomon Northup, who was kidnapped in 1841, transported to New Orleans, and sold into slavery until his rescue 12 years later. Scholars have verified the accuracy of the book where possible. The movie is a brutal serving of unpleasant education.
In one scene, the plantation slaves are given a sermon about how their station in life has been ordained by Biblical scriptures. Likewise, they are also informed that their punishment for attempted escape, substandard work, or insubordination is based upon guidance from the same source.
How can the goodness and morality of the Bible be twisted into justifying centuries of abuse of millions of human beings in slavery? One has to consider that this scene in the movie might be Hollywood revving up a little controversy to sell more tickets. A little research proved otherwise.
For example, a sermon by Presbyterian minister Joseph Wilson preached in Augusta, Georgia and printed in 1861 reinforces events in the movie. The Reverend Dr. Wilson entitled his discourse ‘Mutual Relation of Masters and Slaves as Taught in the Bible.’
Rev. Dr. Wilson quotes from the Bible and interprets the passages with statements such as [The Holy Spirit] has included slavery as an organizing element in that family order which lies at the very foundation of Church and State. “The servant is, like a child, to know that the authority under which he has been placed is from above, and that the master rules him as an agent of heaven.”
Rev. Dr. Wilson does caution masters to “guard their tempers.” However, he does not address the issue that human beings do not accept captivity well and, without enclosures, can be only be held captive by the fear and enforcement of pain, mutilation, and death.
The reverend also justifies slavery as “saving a lower race from the destruction of heathenism.”
Men of evil intent influence public opinion by the use of terms such as heathen, infidel, abomination in the sight of the Lord, etc. to belittle other human beings. It’s up to us to recognize what they are doing. Go see the movie.