Our November 2016 service took note of the Thanksgiving Holiday later in the month and the offensive and hateful nature of the idea of some believers that Freethinkers can’t celebrate Thanksgiving and cannot feel thankful because “you have no God to be thankful to.” This idea is no less than a repudiation of the humanity of unbelievers as of course we can feel thankful about all the people we cherish and the things we appreciate without believing in deities. In fact, the very act of feeling gratitude for and gratification about many things rests on the fact that there are things we do not feel this way about. And that is really what sets humanity apart, that we can distinguish between what is good and what is not good. Really, it is believers who have a problem because the same deity that they say gives good things also gives Ebola, Downs Syndrome and tsunamis. On their logic, believers should be thankful for these things as well and, in fact, for absolutely everything. And being indiscriminately thankful for everything destroys the very essence of being grateful!
There followed a lengthy discussion that began with one attendee’s observation of being thankful to have rewarding and interesting employment, especially because the work involved helping veterans who did not have a way to make a living. This led to consideration of the idea of resilience, of how some who serve in the military can come back and reintegrate into society and others have great difficulties with this. Others expressed their own feelings of gratitude for friends, family, good health, access to information, the opportunity to understand and be understood by others, for our participatory form of government (with the elections then 2 days ahead) and expecially that after November 8th the elections will be over with.
We also had a Moment of Science that delved into – briefly of course – “The Solid Ground” under our feet, which, thanks to the geologically-active nature of our planet, is really not so stable after all. Relevant items were the rotation of the earth, global warming and climate change, and the fact that the sun and moon affect not just the oceans but the “solid” crust of the earth as well. These things reminded us that many things in our lives that we think are stable, durable and unchanging are really more subject to change than we realize.
Postings about each monthly service includes topics discussed and an open forum to further discuss those topics.
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