In starting the holiday during the Civil War, Lincoln sought not only to encourage gratitude but a humility to repent. The current civil strife over sexual wrongdoing will require similar penitence.
ByThe Monitor's Editorial Board
When he proclaimed the national holiday called Thanksgiving in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln did more than ask Americans to be grateful for God’s blessings during a time of civil strife. He also asked them to express “humble penitence” for their “disobedience.” The idea of confessing one’s failings and regretting them is no longer part of Thanksgiving. Yet given the current civil strife over so many public figures being accused of sexual wrongdoing, perhaps humility and repentance should be on the menu this holiday.