Undoing Thanksgiving – WIF Holidays

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The Undoing

of

Thanksgiving

… Somewhere ^UP^ There God watches as the United States of America is slowly but surely becoming alarmingly unthankful…

Not long after the Halloween pumpkin candles are extinguished and our children guard their sweet-stash with their lives, the Christmas holiday emerges earlier and earlier each year. Like a premature snowball rolling downhill, “here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, right down [fill in the blank] lane”.

Never mind that December 25th is a annual holiday intended to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. In this case, Santa Claus and his reindeer run over both Grandma and the Son of God.

Another victim of the Christmas season is the foundational act of gratitude, or the purpose of this article, Thanksgiving.

 Drive – Macy’s Parade – Football – Turkey – Mall Shopping – Nap

You can shuffle the order of the above verbs/nouns/activities to suit your own situation.

Feel free to add your own.

Granted… Thanksgiving is still universally celebrated, but more in the line of an excuse for a long weekend and mini-family reunions. My real beef is with the lack of thank you(s) for the provider of our bountiful lives. Thanksgiving was never intended to be a speed-bump  on the way to Christmas; a door-busting deal-of-the-day credit card assault on the closest mall.

But it is.

[To the faithful reader of Writing Is Fun-damental: feel free to include some of what the 1st Pilgrims to America celebrated after the fall harvest… before the coming winter… a huge thank you to a God who provides and protects.]

This is the closest thing that I could pirate from Google Images.

WIF is a globally consumed blog, so this scolding is aimed squarely at The United States of America. For my peeps in Germany, Japan, India Uganda, Australia and the United Kingdom… you know who you are… don’t take offense to this chastisement.

Americans are an arrogant sort, me included. We think the world revolves around us.

Heck, about .002% of us citizen-Americans even bother to be bilingual. It’s the King’s English, or some form of it, or nothing.

If I were better at creating GIF graphics, here is where I would share a picture of the USA w/all the other continents circling it.

I, Gwendolyn Hoff, is hereby thankful to God; for the right to live freely, the skill to put words to “paper”… and the Internet, which connects me to you wonderful people… otherwise impossible for a little known writer from Wisconsin USA, living in NE Illinois.

A little historical refresher from Wikipedia:

Prayers of thanks and special thanksgiving ceremonies are common among almost all religions after harvests and at other times. The Thanksgiving holiday’s history in North America is rooted in English traditions dating from the Protestant Reformation. It also has aspects of a harvest festival, even though the harvest in New England occurs well before the late-November date on which the modern Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated.

In the English tradition, days of thanksgiving and special thanksgiving religious services became important during the English Reformation in the reign of Henry VIII and in reaction to the large number of religious holidays on the Catholic calendar. Before 1536 there were 95 Church holidays, plus 52 Sundays, when people were required to attend church and forego work and sometimes pay for expensive celebrations. The 1536 reforms reduced the number of Church holidays to 27, but some Puritans wished to completely eliminate all Church holidays, including Christmas and Easter. The holidays were to be replaced by specially called Days of Fasting or Days of Thanksgiving, in response to events that the Puritans viewed as acts of special providence.

Pilgrims and Puritans who emigrated from England in the 1620s and 1630s carried the tradition of Days of Fasting and Days of Thanksgiving with them to New England. The modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is traced to a well-recorded 1619 event in Virginia and a sparsely documented 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts.  “That the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned … in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.” The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest.[7][8]

Several days of Thanksgiving were held in early New England history that have been identified as the “First Thanksgiving”, including Pilgrim holidays in Plymouth in 1621 and 1623, and a Puritan holiday in Boston in 1631. According to historian Jeremy Bangs, director of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum, the Pilgrims may have been influenced by watching the annual services of Thanksgiving for the relief of the siege of Leiden in 1574, while they were staying in Leiden. Now called Oktober Feesten, Leiden’s autumn thanksgiving celebration in 1617 was the occasion for sectarian disturbance that appears to have accelerated the pilgrims’ plans to emigrate to America. Later in Massachusetts, religious thanksgiving services were declared by civil leaders such as Governor Bradford, who planned the colony’s thanksgiving celebration and fast in 1623. The practice of holding an annual harvest festival did not become a regular affair in New England until the late 1660s.

Various proclamations were made by royal governors, John Hancock, General George Washington, and the Continental Congress, each giving thanks to God for events favorable to their causes. As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God”.

My opening calendar graphic is a loose visual of what we celebrate/commemorate after July 4th.

Below is a less serious take on the holiday I will forever be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I am thankful for a God who loves us.

I am thankful I’m not a vegetarian.

My Granddaughter Norah is thankful that Mommy doesn’t humiliate her like this.

I did not have this nightmare

I’m the one on the left (NOW I’m dreaming)

“You know you’re a Redneck when you order out KFC.”

“Where did that turkey go?”

My dog Molly would not pose for this


Undoing God from Thanksgiving –

WIF Holidays

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 120

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 120

Chapter Eleven

 MANEUVERS

…What puzzles Pentateuch most is how those pesky gnats were able to locate his papal perch in the first place…

Every war is won or lost by first fighting battles; sneak attacks, ambushes or crusades, campaigns. And depending on which side you are on, sometimes it doesn’t feel very good.

Now for Pentateuch, it is one thing to be put in his place by the Divine One, Canisso’s untimely demise being an example. It is something that he has had to accept as a precondition for his status as chief Earthly foil. Satans Place-001But to have been pricked in the side by mere humans, as is the case with the recent loss of his handy habitation in Rome, is utterly unacceptable.

What puzzles him the most is how those pesky gnats were able to locate his papal perch in the first place. It is not like he is the owner of a worldwide franchise: a SATAN’S PLACE sign hanging on the front of each of his lairs.

Being known is an unwelcome byproduct of his infamous misdeeds. It is not a situation that he is comfortable with. The fewer human beings who see him as real the better; he can prowl and devour much easier with mass ignorance.

The other nagging issue is: if he has squashed the threat to his Great Deception, then why does it feel like the battle continues to rage on, is not as over as it appears. This whole Libby Affair has shaken him to his fireproof boots, even to his darkened doorsteps.

He really misses that Canisso guy, having had good confidence in the area of creature loyalty. He is not the first company casualty in the course of human history, of those devoted to Pentateuch, but as it applies to the Great Deception, there is no replacing Canisso.

Come to think of it, most of his current problems seem to revolve around the proximity (or lack of said) and the one named Cephus. The Divine One (GOD) didn’t strike him down at Tolentine like He did Canisso, nor was Cephus at Via Catone the night of the annihilation as he was expected to be.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 105

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 118

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 118

…Our life on this planet is not just about what are you going to do the next moment, day or week…

 “You seem to be convinced about that devil fellow,” wonders a curious Ace.

Agent Daniels responds, “I have personally witnessed one miracle and one manifestation in the past few weeks and add that to my involvement with World Agnostica and I can tell you that, with all certainty, that there is a full-fledged spiritual battle going on.”

“Are you still going to ride the fence about God, Ace?” Connie qualifies. It was one of those “stumbling blocks” to any relationship between the two of them; he is a real nice guy but…

“I didn’t know it was that important to you.”

“Choose a side and don’t be a wimp.”

AcePic3“She has a valid point, Mr. Ace,” comments James/Daniels/Spencer/Rogue/Cephus. “Our life on this planet is not just about what are you going to do the next moment, day or week; it is what are you going to do about your eternal soul?”

Ace Bannion is hard to nail down, whether it is getting him to stand still or any of those issues that are best left to the philosophical types.

“Well, we have some four days before the cargo steamer comes back to Rome, I think we are should take in some of the countryside,” Ace makes an executive decision about the present and tables that everlasting thing.

“And I thought we could head back to the states right away, you know, keep the devil on the run.” The lady doth protest too much.

“We can’t just hang around Italy and do nothing and since the roads have been rebuilt since the war, I can hear the hills and valleys calling us.”

Agent Daniels-001

“Wish I could join you guys, but I have to wait for my boss’ next move,” Daniels laments.

Libby Affair-001

“Which one?” she asks.

“All of them,” he replies.

“I know you will be in touch because ‘you have your ways’.”

“I do,” he chuckles, “and I will. The Libby Affair is far from over.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Fence

Forever Mastadon


page 103

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 33

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 33

…A simple 2×3.5” handout gives them their first truly tangible clue…

The good news: Fanny is set free. The bad news: her hands are tied and they have pushed Schneiderher out of the car, somewhere near a rail yard. She is tossed into the heart of Midwest industrialization; factories, diesel powered trains and trucks. Needless to say, she sticks out, a Florence Nightingale in a Rosie the Riveter world.

As luck would have it, she is picked by Schneider Transportation truck driver within ten minutes. He questions not, her bound hands and rumpled appearance, “I’m headed to Wisconsin,” she is told.

“I’m taking Halsted all the way back into the city. I bet those guys are headed for the Loop,” Eddie advises. The Loop is what makes Chicago industry tick.

“Just get us back in one piece. We now have two missing people to locate.” Constance has learned to act in a calculated manner, unlike her spontaneous friend whom they now must add to their to-do list. “This is getting harder to figure out by the minute.”

“Well I found out how to get into this attaché.” Martin delivers the first of a series of fortune reversals. There was also some meaty paperwork tucked into a hidden compartment in this “cold war” era design. “There is a business card in here:”

The simple 2×3.5” handout gives them their first truly tangible clue.

“Agnostica? That implies that they do not believe “in” God or “a” God.”

agnostic

aɡˈnästik/

noun

 1. a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.

“That certainly is consistent with the religious theme we keep running into,” they continue to stumble upon more clues with each passing pothole littered on their path back through the Chicago South Shore. This briefcase is a huge coup.

“There is a list of names in here… and my name is on it.” Martin Kamen swallows hard upon seeing his name right below Willard Libby while above Fermi and Sam Ruben.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 32

The NULL Solution = Episode 91

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The NULL Solution = Episode 91

…There is no replacing a good spacecraft, when it comes to going from here and there…

Ekcello, Supreme Elder of the High Council on Eridanus, is growing tired of life without his daughter. The natives are getting restless. Those calling themselves the “Gifted” are feeling less so. His daughter is more than a big deal here and her absence, along with a lack of explanation of why she cannot return posthaste, is an issue that only exacerbates his angst.

He sympathetically thanks the McKinneys’ “God” for the news on Cerella’s child, but that is increasingly not good enough. Using Celeste as a go-between is hardly better than a voice recording. His mind is already crammed to the brim with the unsatisfying voices of his people.

Proving that blood is thicker than the null of space between Eridanus and Earth, Ekcello summons his unintentional antagonist Sampson McKinney to ask him a rhetorical question. “Would you consider taking Defender back to your planet? I believe that my daughter and her child belong here with us.”

“That’s also my daughter-in-law and my grandchild you’re talking about. Isn’t that the plan I was pitching a couple moons ago?” That was then…

… “I am talking about now, Sampson. It appears that they cannot return on their own.”

“They need a ride don’t they?” He told him so. “There is no replacing a good spacecraft, when it comes to going from here and there. I never thought I would hear those words come out of that oversized brain of yours!”

“You have sufficient TSF piloting and navigational skills to complete the mission.”

“I could use a co-pilot. Defender is a handful for one person, so send Deke out with me… kiddo & daddio will make a good team!”

“Yes to a co-pilot. No to Deke.”

Ekcello places limits on his magnanimity.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 91


page 91

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 157

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 157

…“And please keep my Father and Mother alive in time to be rescued, Amen.” Deke McKinney speaks to God from his heart…

A sleeping giant has awoken. The righteous of the world have spoken.

Global missile defenses all over the world are at the highest possible alert. Every fleet, every army, all radars are at the ready. There are mandatory commercial air travel ground stops. The planet is taking a deep breath, in hopes that the SALT IV Nuclear Treaty will hold, especially for arsenals not in the control of responsible leaders–

–Such is the risk that was taken by the leader of the free world:

“My fellow Americans: Today I come before you to announce a global response to certain aggressions perpetrated without our knowledge and against our long-term interests…Image result for my fellow americans

“To this end, the Congress of these United States and the greater Space Colony Global Coalition has supported the necessary actions to seek out and destroy facilities of known enemies of mischief. The United Korean Peninsula is currently enduring the wrath of our Coalition, as is Talibanistan, who has conspired to attempt to deny the greater world from conquering space…

“The destruction of Space Colony 1 has been positively linked to both nations and their propensity to independently cause trouble, whether here on Earth or in space, has been cut away from them in a swift and humane manner.”

— Watching President Sanchez’ address to the world is Aldona Afridi Fletcher Fitch and his family, “Praise to the God of Israel, He has used His mighty hand to defeat His enemies, Amen.” —

— Huddled close in front of the fireplace, watching the Presidential announcement on the mantle television {and ten quick steps from the King Ranch bomb shelter}, are five people who know the meaning of holding those close to you near. The preceding events that cement their resolve are overshadowed by those which directly affect the security of the entire planet.

Braden King, the ranch patriarch speaks, “Dear Lord, we thank you for your bountiful Image result for god cartoongoodness, we praise you for the wonders of the Universe you created, and we pray for your blanket of protection, for us and your faithful around the world.” The mood is solemn, heads are bowed.

“And please keep my Father and Mother alive in time to be rescued, Amen.” Deke speaks to God from his heart.

Amen indeed.


THE RETURN TRIP

GOD By Marian Avramescu

Episode 157


page 192 (end ch. 7)

Contents TRT

Science and Religion

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Top 10 Scientists Who Were Also Religious

Despite some who may otherwise, science and religion are not irreconcilable fields of study. This has, in fact, never not always been the case; throughout history there have been many a great deal of men who have not only made significant scientific contributions to their fields, but did so while maintaining their religious beliefs. Here are ten of the most significant, with religious quotes included when available.

10. José Gabriel Funes (1963 – Present)

José-Gabriel-Funes

“It is possible to believe in God and in extraterrestrials. The existence of other worlds and other life, even more evolved than ours, can be accepted without this interfering in the discussion the faith of creation, the incarnation, the redemption.”

This guy is actually the odd duck out considering he’s still alive and kicking; nice going, Funes. However we’d be remiss not to mention him, considering the Argentinian is not only an ordained Jesuit priest, but the actual current director of the Vatican Observatory, an educational institution dedicated to astronomical research sponsored by the Holy See itself.

He holds not only a Master’s Degree in astronomy but also a Bachelor’s Degree in philosophy AND a Bachelor’s in theology, all from different universities. He joined the Observatory in 2000 and 6 years later was running the place. Nice resume.

On the subject of Science vs. Religion, he once stated in an interview that one of the biggest issues in its relationship was ignorance on both sides. He recommended scientists read up on the Bible to try and understand the truths of his faith, and theologians to stay up-to-date with current scientific discoveries, as to be able to effectively address the subject. In such a sense, he’s defined the Observatory as a “small bridge” between the worlds of science and the Church.

Keep on rocking, Funes!

9. Michael Faraday (1791 – 1867)

michael-faraday

“Nothing is too wonderful to be true if it be consistent with the laws of nature.”

The son of a blacksmith, Faraday became an apprentice bookbinder and seized the chance to teach himself using those same books. He entered the world of science at the age of 22 as an assistant in the laboratory of the Royal Institution of Great Britain. He achieved this through the glowing recommendation of Sir Humphry Davy, a chemist who was impressed by the notes Faraday took during some of his lectures. He remained at the institute for 54 years and, while he wasn’t busy doing world-changing research, he found the time to remain active in his church, where he was an elder for over 20 years, leading the worshippers and preaching sermons that we’ll presume were highlighted by arcs of lighting.

His earlier research was into chemistry guided by his mentor, but his discoveries in the electrical area soon eclipsed it. By 1821, several scientists had tried and failed to construct an electric motor, an endeavor which Faraday naturally crushed when he went on to built two devices that produced electromagnetic rotation. Afterwards Faraday went on discover the principle of electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism, and the laws of electrolysis. He’s largely the reason why electricity became viable, which scores a solid “Not A Small Deal” on the scale of scientific impact.

8. Nicholas Copernicus (1473 – 1543)

copernicus

“I am aware that a philosopher’s ideas are not subject to the judgment of ordinary persons, because it is his endeavor to seek the truth in all things, to the extent permitted to human reason by God.”

Copernicus was the polish mathematician and astronomer who challenged the then current Geocentric model. His book “On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres” placed the Sun at the center of the Universe instead of the Earth; he finished the aforementioned book shortly before his death at age 70, and it’s said he woke shortly from his coma, took a look at an advance copy which had arrived not long before, and then laid down to rest for the final time.

He most likely avoided persecution from his book by the Church due to his death. But during life he not only was a devout believer who made constant references to God within his works, but also became a canon in the Catholic Church in 1497. It remains uncertain, however, whether he was ever ordained as a priest or simply took minor orders.

7. Gregor Mendel (1822 – 1884)

gregor mendel

Mendel’s religious life was not as separate as the other scientists we’ve named in this list. He began his research into genetics during his time as a regular monk within the gardens of his monastery, and was later elected Abbot at 46 years old.

He worked as a gardener from an early age, and began his monastic life under the wings of his physics teacher, Friedrich Franz while attending the University of Olomouc. Soon afterwards, his experiments led him to his conclusions about heredity; the sum of his experiments are referred to as Mendel’s Laws of Inheritance. Sadly, he mostly abandoned his scientific pursuits after he became Abbot due to the increase in his responsibilities. In addition, his successor burnt all his papers after Mendel’s death, due to taxation disputes involving the monastery. The world didn’t acknowledge the importance of his work as the father of genetics until the arrival of the 20th century.

6. Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626)

francis-bacon

“A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.”

Perhaps the most baffling entry in this list and unarguably the owner of the best name, Bacon is credited as the creator of the empirical scientific method. He also saw the clear method of scientific inquiry as a pathway to “restore mankind to Grace.” He regularly asserted that science was simply another aspect of religious belief and that discovery was an act of piety; as such, he never garnered the anger of the Anglican Church and actually enjoyed their favor. Smart move, Bacon.

5. Ferdinand Verbiest (1623 – 1688)

Ferdinand-Verbiest

“It has pleased us especially, to learn from your letter with what wisdom and seasonableness you have made use of the profane sciences for … the advancement and benefit of the Christian faith: employing them to repel the false accusations and calumnies which have been heaped upon the Christian name …to restore to religion not only its former liberty and splendor, but to inspire it with the hope of daily progress … ” – Letter from the Pope to Verbiest.

Verbiest, a Flemish missionary envoy for China, spent many years in prison after losing a public astronomy competition, until his release after an earthquake destroyed part of it, around the same time the Imperial Palace caught fire and a meteor passed over the sky (you can’t make stuff like this up.) Having received the celestial message, Chinese authorities swiftly released all their prisoners until a trial was convened, and Verbiest was one of the few who wasn’t exiled.

When he wasn’t busy being imprisoned, he wrote around 30 books on subjects ranging from astronomical instruments to faith; once he was appointed the Head of the Mathematical Board and Director of the Observatory by the Emperor, he frequently tutored geometry, philosophy and music. He’s most famous for allegedly constructing what is believed to be the first ever self-propelled vehicle.

4. Ányos Jedlik (1800 – 1895)

Jedlik-Anyos-Rusz

You’d be forgiven for thinking that electric cars are a rather recent invention, but the truth is that the concept is almost as old as the first vehicles themselves. The first electric motor was built in 1827 by Jedlik – by then an engineer and physicist – who referred to it as a “lighting-magnetic-self-rotor”.

Jedlik became a Benedictine monk at 17 and remained in the order for the rest of his life, doing lectures at several schools. Although his electric motor was revolutionary, it wasn’t until many decades later that he premiered the dynamo, by mentioning it in passing while writing an inventory of the university. That document serves as proof that he was actually the inventor although, historically, credit has been shared by Siemens and Wheatstone. Business as usual in science.

3. Athanasius Kircher (1601 or 1602 – 1680)

Athanasius-Kircher

“Nothing is more beautiful than to know all.”

The baby amongst 9 children, Kircher was a German Jesuit scholar often referred to as the “last Renaissance man” and brilliant enough to be compared with Da Vinci. His intellectual arrogance was without limits; during his time, there was seldom a field he didn’t cover in one of the 158 texts of his published works, which were distributed over 44 volumes.

Not content with being a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, geologist, physicist, chemist, and historian, he also did research on optics, magnetism, Egyptology, was an adept musician, and was fluent in 11 languages. Since he decided being awesome at everything wasn’t enough, he also cultivated fame for indestructibility, surviving everything from storms at sea, plagues, gangrene and volcanic eruptions, most of which he did while traipsing around in his Jesuit garb, which we’re confident saying wasn’t built for adventuring.

One of his obsessions was attempting to unite science and theology he joined the Society of Jesus because he believed that would be the choice most conductive to developing his intellect, due to their vast network of information exchange.

2. Francesco Lana de Terzi (1631 – 1687)

Francesco-Lana-de-Terzi

Terzi was another suicidal Jesuit who made the first serious attempt to build a flying vehicle “lighter than air,” even if the concepts on which he based his model were mistaken. In his own words, he intended to “fabricate a ship that walks upon the air on oars and sails.” Regretfully, or perhaps best for his physical health, the technology to manufacture the required parts wasn’t available back then. Other parts were simply physically impossible and, as such, he couldn’t test his vehicle. For his efforts however, he garnered the title of “Father of Aeronautics.”

1. André Tacquet (1612 – 1660)

Sequent-calculus

Talk about far-reaching research. Born in Antwerp, Tacquet was described as “a gifted but somewhat delicate child.” Tacquet studied mathematics, physics, and logic under such renowned teachers as Gregory St. Vincent, after entering the order at 17. He studied Theology at Louvain and was later ordained in 1646, remaining dedicated to both his Order and church during the entirety of his life.

His works were translated into several languages, and his discoveries introduced several of the preliminary concepts necessary for Leibniz and Newton to perfect the system of calculus. Yes, Tacquet is partially responsible for the suffering of non-mathematically minded high-schoolers everywhere, but there’s still no denying the transcendental nature of his work.

Science and Religion