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Newt Gingrich

Former House Speaker; Chairman of Gingrich 360

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In face of conflict, be thankful for what you have this Thanksgiving

Nov 22, 2023

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Thanksgiving falls during a time of war and political strife this year. While the holiday is typically a time for families to come together and count their blessings, this year’s gatherings could come with an extra portion of discord. In fact, a recent poll reveals a majority of families have agreed to leave political talk back home, just to be safe.

Straight Arrow News contributor Newt Gingrich emphasizes the significance of gratitude, even amidst global conflicts, reminding us to appreciate what we have.

So I hope with all of our challenges around the world, with all of the sad things going on in Israel, and Gaza, and Ukraine — with the challenges of drug addiction, and the challenges of crime — all the good reasons to be down, I hope we can take one day and remember that we have a lot to give thanks for; family, friends, freedom, being in the most amazing country in human history.

And I hope each of us will take a moment or two to just quietly thank God and to recognize that all of our blessings — as Washington would have said, as Lincoln would have said, as Franklin Delano Roosevelt would have said — all of our blessings ultimately come from God. And thanks to God, we can truly have a genuine Thanksgiving.

As we approach Thanksgiving, I think it’s worthwhile to look back, and to remember that starting with George Washington, who issued a proclamation of Thanksgiving, because they were so grateful that they had won the war for freedom, and that they had become a country. And, as Washington put it, that it was due to divine providence, which he said had intervened, again and again, and he knew he had been there. And he understood that on a number of occasions, without the intervention of divine providence, there might well not have been an American. 

President Lincoln, in the middle of the Civil War, issued a call for Thanksgiving, because he really believed that the fate of the nation ultimately dependent upon God, and that we had to humble ourselves and recognize that, despite all of the problems, despite all of the conflict, we had so much to be grateful for. 

Norman Rockwell, the great painter of American scenes, painted a marvelous family picture of the Thanksgiving feast. And the turkeys there, the food is there, the pumpkin pie is there. And frankly, it reminded me of my childhood. We all always used to go up to Lewistown, Pennsylvania, to an aunt and uncle of ours. And they would always have like an 18 or 20 pound turkey, sometimes as much as a 24 pound turkey. 

When I was really young, I would always try to make sure I got one of the turkey legs, which was pretty big for kid my size. But it made me feel really successful. And they would always have what what the Amish would call a groaning board. A table so filled with food, that it almost literally groaned under the weight of it. And we always the whole family get together. And we had a sense of thanksgiving. 

So I hope with all of our challenges around the world, with all of the sad things going on in Israel, and Gaza, in Ukraine. With the challenges of drug addiction, and the challenges of crime. All the good reasons to be down. I hope we can take one day. And remember that we have a lot to give thanks for family, friends, freedom, being in the most amazing country in human history. And I hope each of us will take a moment or two, to just quietly thank God and to recognize that all of our blessings, as Washington would have said, As Lincoln would have said, as Franklin Delano Roosevelt would have said, all of our blessings ultimately, come from God. And thanks to God, we can truly have a genuine Thanksgiving

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