Forest Home man thankful for blessingsPublished 8:15am Wednesday, November 30, 2011
In The Greenville Advocate issue dated November 19, Allen Stephenson ended his column by asking the question, “Whom does an atheist thank at Thanksgiving?” I begin my answer by thanking him for his interest in the views of a nonbeliever.
I also thank the nice people at Bates House of Turkey for their preparation of a delicious meal. I thank the farmers who planted, grew, and harvested the crops, and the others who fed and watered the turkey that wound up on my plate. I thank the friends and family who shared the meal and brightened it with their laughter and love.
I thank my parents for wise guidance and sacrifice educating me in a career that has helped me provide physical comforts for my family and educate my children. I thank my wife and daughters for the many wonderful adventures we have shared together, for the happiness and comfort I feel in their presence, and for the joy of eight grandchildren. I thank my Christian wife for love, companionship, and devotion in spite of my turning from religion.
I thank the people of Butler county who have welcomed us into their beautiful community. I thank the Sheriff who rode around checking on our neighbors and us after a tornado came through, and for his deputies who cleared roads with chain saws in its aftermath. I thank my good friend and neighbor who taught a city boy how to live in the country.
I thank science for the vast improvements it has made to our lives, how virtually no person is willing to live without the comforts and health benefits it has provided, and how more of us are accepting the knowledge of science as fact.
I thank the sound logic and reasoning, and the changing morality that has allowed equal treatment of all people regardless of their race, gender, or sexual orientation (almost). I thank our founding fathers for the wisdom that guaranteed every American citizen his or her freedom to worship or not to worship, and that the government would not show prejudice to either group.
I thank bold, freethinking atheist authors who trumpet the fact that nonreligious people can and do live moral, altruistic, meaningful, purposeful, joyful, fulfilling lives. Finally, I thank the progressive strides we have made even in small town Alabama that allow me to write this letter without fear of a cross being burned in my yard.