Sen. Eric Burlison’s Legislative Column for Nov. 25, 2020

Giving Thanks in Difficult Times

This Thursday, Nov. 26, we will once again gather around the dinner table and celebrate Thanksgiving. This holiday is an excellent time to reflect on the importance of gratitude. In my life, I am thankful for Jesus Christ who sacrificed his life for my sins, my loving family, great friends and for my country, the greatest in the history of the world. The heritage of our country is traced back to those who escaped religious persecution to find a land where their liberty would not be squashed. Hundreds of years later on this Thanksgiving Day, I believe we are seeing our liberties limited by individuals who may view them as non-essential.

Thanksgiving can be traced back to when those escaping religious persecution set sail in 1620 on a dangerous 66-day journey across the Atlantic Ocean. When these courageous Christians arrived in America, they landed on Plymouth Rock, which today stands as a testament to their bravery. The following year, after their first harvest was successful, they celebrated with their fellow countryman and the nearby Native American tribe to give thanks for their prosperity and liberty. This celebration marked the first Thanksgiving, and when President Abraham Lincoln announced Thanksgiving would be celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, it became a national holiday in the United States.

This year, Thanksgiving comes at a time when many of us have already lost precious opportunities to spend with our loved ones. The coronavirus has forced each of us to make sacrifices in our lives. Yet, throughout our country, I believe we have seen governors and municipal leaders overstep their bounds and attempt to put restrictions on the size of our Thanksgiving gatherings, and even limit whom we spend our holiday with. From where I stand, this is wrong — especially on a day like Thanksgiving. This holiday celebrates the pilgrims’ long journey to find liberty, and yet today, I believe we are seeing a decline in our own freedoms and liberties. Thankfully, we have a governor who will not regulate the size of our Thanksgiving dinners. I trust the people of Missouri to be responsible without the burden of unnecessary regulations, and I hope we all will celebrate Thanksgiving freely.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Paul said, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” This verse tells us to be thankful for all God has given us. Again, I would like to say I am thankful that you have put your trust in me to represent you in the Missouri General Assembly. It is a great honor to speak for you as your senator. Have a happy Thanksgiving and God bless.

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