Thursday, November 22, 2012



Z said...

Same to you, Joe.
You're a huge blessing to us all.
Happy Thanksgiving...xx Z

Leticia said...

You have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

BetteJo said...

Hope your day is blessed with family, friends, and great food!

Xavier Onassis said...

Anyone interested in how this holiday came to be can learn about it here:

WARNING: This historical account contains ACTUAL FACTS.

Joe said...

xo: "...the warm and fuzzy American Mythology."

When I was in school (graduated HS in 1960), we never learned this supposed "warm and fuzzy" version of Thanksgiving "where Noble Savages and Humble Christians began an annual tradition of sharing the harvest and giving thanks."

We did not learn all of the details of Tisquantum's (Squanto) mistreatment until later in school, but we did learn about his use as a translator.

We also were never told that Thanksgiving was an annual event before Lincoln.

I don't know where you got the silly idea that we thought it was some kind of blissful recollection before that.

"...we Americans aren't a very nice people. Never have been. Aren't today."

Well, it's kind of relative. We have had times when we did horrible things, but we have also helped more countries than any other country.

Fact is, humans are not naturally all that nice. They tend to be self-oriented, selfish, and aggressive. They steal from each other, lie to each other and kill each other.

Since most of Americans are humans, they fall into the same pattern if it is not interrupted in some way.

In the Judeo/Christian community that's called "sin."

Hope your thanksgiving day was fine.

Xavier Onassis said...

Joe - "Fact is, humans are not naturally all that nice. They tend to be self-oriented, selfish, and aggressive. They steal from each other, lie to each other and kill each other."

If your assertion wwere true, we would see new born babies exhibiting those behaviors. But the exact opposite is true.

Humans have to be taught the behaviors you describe.

And my Thanks giving was very pleasant. Hop yours was as well.

Joe said...

XO: New research suggests what I have always contended: Babies know right from wrong.

I don't know whether you have brought any children into the world, but I have brought them in (not me, but my wife).

Babies learn very quickly that when they cry one way, Moma lets them cry "for the exercise." When they cry distressfully, Moma comes a runnin'.

So, they learn that when Moma does not respond a quickly as they want, all they have to do is to resort to the more forceful crying, effectively lying about their condition.

Mama falls for it and they are rewarded for the lying behavior.

Xavier Onassis said...

Joe - I saw the results of a study very similar to that just last week and it showed that eben babies as young as 3 months old had if not a sense of right and wrong, at least a sense of fair and unfair.

Which proves a couple of things. 1) Humans come into this world knowing the difference between right and wrong and they gravitate towrds being good and just, not flawed and greedy. They have to be taught that behavior and "unlearn" what they are born with. 2) Humans don't need divine revelation or a supernatural carrot (heaven) and stick (hell) to be good people. We are born good, want to be good, and left to our own devices, we will.

But when you say "So, they learn that when Moma does not respond a quickly as they want, all they have to do is to resort to the more forceful crying, effectively lying about their condition." you derail your own train of thought. There is no evidence of this in any study I have seen.

And yes, I did participate in bringing a daughter into the world. She is almost 19, she is good, intelligent, generous, kind and an atheist.

Joe said...

XO: In all of my years as a minister of education and youth, including being administrator of two private Christians schools, I have met very few (if any) children of nursery age and up who did not say, "Mine" until taught to share.

I have met very few (if any) children of nursery age and up who did not spontaneously hit another child when the other child had something he/she wanted.

Children learn to do right, they are born with a propensity to do wrong.

If left to grow up making all of their own choices, they will grow up making wrong choices.

If bad behavior is not corrected at an early age, the child is doomed to a life of degradation, low self-esteem and trouble.

Xavier Onassis said...

Joe - And yet the scientific studies that you and I both cited do not back up your anecdotal evidence.

There is one common denominator among all the children you witnessed exhibiting bad behavior...they were being raised in Christian homes and being instructed in Christian values.

Perhaps "christian values" aren't all they're cracked up to be.

Joe said...

XO"...all the children you witnessed...were being raised in Christian homes and being instructed in Christian values."

If you had ANY idea what you were talking about you would know that's not so.

The majority of kids in my schools were from non-Christian homes, or at least homes that were Christian only because they were not Jewish, Hindu, Muslim or Hari Krishna, therefore they must be Christian. They just wanted out of public schools and wanted a good private education.

In one school (in Immokalee, FL) I had more Seminoles than WASPs, several children from South American Indian groups and one Asian.

You know, there are some things other people are experts on and you are not.

I worked with pre-schoolers, elementary children and youth for over 30 years. This is a topic I'm educated in and you're not.

Can you even imagine such a thing?

Joe said...

XO: Regarding Thanksgiving (which, if you remember, was the topic of this post) you might consider this:

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor - and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be - That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks - for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation - for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war - for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed - for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted - for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions - to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually - to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed - to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord - To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us - and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

That was George Washington.

Xavier Onassis said...

Joe - Washington's "Thanksgiving" proclamation was a one-off holiday shortly after he was inaugurated thanking their god for his assumed assistance in the establishment of our new country.

It is completely disconnected from the original Thanksgiving of 1636 in the Massachusetts Bay Colony celebrating the brutal slaughter of 700 Pequot men, women and children and celebrated annually for the next 100 years.

It is also completely disconnected from the story of Tisquantum generously coming to the aid of the Pilgrims when he had absolutely no reason to have any compassion for Europeans.

So although Washington's Proclamation is historically accurate, it is irrelevant to the matter under discussion.

Joe said...

XO: It was relevant to me. While it might have had no direct connection to what we celebrate today or to Tisquantum, it was a proclamation of thanksgiving to his God.

It probably never occurred to you, but just because you don't believe in Him does not mean He does not exist.

He is not dependent on your belief. If He were, I would not believe in Him.

If I were to discover that He actually did not exist, I would thank God that I found out.

But that isn't going to happen.

I will dip my finger in the water and cool your tongue.

Xavier Onassis said...

Joe - Okey Dokey. LOL! As I have said before, Thomas Jefferson said it best: "It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my bones.”

Believe what you like. It neither makes it true or impacts me.

Unless you start electing people and passing laws based on your belief's.

Then we go to battle.