A day of thanks

“Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane It's Superman.” Yes, it's Superman ... strange visitor from another planet who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men! Superman — who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands, and who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way!
Between the radio and later television, I memorized those words at a very early age — not that I tried. Along with the Saturday morning movie serials and the comic books, that radio and TV intro was memorized — without any effort — by all of my playmates. We all followed the exploits of Superman in his “never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way.”
Recently, early one morning as I attended to my daily perusal of the nation’s newspapers, it was reported that Superman, the icon of “truth, justice and the American way” for 80 years will be renouncing his American citizenship. The publishers have decided that having Superman fight for “truth, justice and the American way” was offensive to some nations like Iran so the 900th issue of Superman comics will find Superman rushing to the UN to renounce his American citizenship, pledging to fight the good fight on a global scale. Superman even questions his longtime motto. "Truth, justice, and the American way — it's not enough anymore," he states.

I filed the news in the back of my mind under “trivia about heroes from my youth” and went on to other things. The next day there were a number of articles — some supporting the publisher’s decision, some challenging it. The news story and the reactions it elicited pointed to a fundamental problem in America today. An ever-increasing number of American citizens no longer know what is “The American Way.”
On Nov. 24, many of us will gather to thank God for blessing us as a nation.
In many churches, a Book of Worship lists all the days of the Church Year and provides each of those days with a list of Biblical texts to be read and prayers to be prayed on each of those days. In most of those books, there is no Thanksgiving Day in the Church Year. Whenever we gather to worship The Lord, our service is filled with thanksgiving — but there is no day called “The Day of Thanksgiving.” Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday — a day in which congress and most of our presidents have called us together to gather as a nations to thank God for the wondrous way God has blessed us as a nation. It is one day each year when we gather as a nation — in churches, in synagogues, in public halls — to thank God for His blessings to us as a nation.
This raises an interesting question: What have we come together to thank God for?
First, we come to join the founders of our nation and signers of our Declaration of Independence, in thanking God for enlightening them with the self-evident Truth that all people are created equal, having all been endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable Rights, among which are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That wisdom is the foundation of The American Way. Historical revisionist termites can gnaw away at that foundation — but they cannot be truthful in denying its existence. The writings of the men who signed that document testify to the fact that they meant what they said — but the words already speak for themselves.
Second, we need to thank God for giving them the wisdom that to secure these God-given rights, governments are to be instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Although the concept mirrors the words of Holy Scripture, the concept was never really practiced until it became “The American Way” — giving birth to practices like those guaranteed to us in The Bill of Rights and in recognizing the need to affirm the equality and right of all people.
I am especially thankful this year that on Nov. 1, our House of Representatives in Washington voted 396 to 9 for a resolution that reaffirmed “In God We Trust” as the national motto of the United States and encouraged its display in public schools and other government buildings. It is truly in God we trust when we declared our independence, formulated an American Way of Life government, and whenever we continue to defend and to remain faithful to that way of life that has brought so many people to our shores seeking what we have — and often take for granted.
For Superman to renounce his citizenship and question the importance of “Truth, Justice and The American Way of Life” is the stuff that comic books are made of. For citizens to forget what constitutes “The American Way of Life” puts us in danger of not striving to fulfill that way of life — and, ultimately, of losing it. To set aside a day to thank God for it is essential.

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