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Thanksgiving 2021: The No-Thank-Yous

Be forewarned: This post is really obnoxious! If you are in a shady mood, or you feel like a fight, read on.

This Year’s No-Thank-Yous

1. Viruses. This year our family is getting all of them, and no thank you.

2. The Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of course I liked Thor: Ragnarok and the first Ironman. My problem is that the MCU is tough on parents who don’t want their kids to feel excluded. Why not just cave to the capes? Well, I am not ready to sign over moral authority to an array of crusaders who, though brave, may at any moment model or endorse behaviors that young children will not view with nuance. Take, for example, Tony Stark’s misogyny: he has a one night stand with a reporter and is never sorry for it; when he sees Black Widow for the first time, he says, “I want one” like she’s a Porsche. But it isn’t necessarily the past MCU films that I worry about - it’s the idea that I will bring my children into a relationship with unreliable heroes and mentors. Screenwriters design moral choices to create drama rather than inspire. It’s dangerous, and if you don’t think so, you might have forgotten the enthusiasms and black-and-whites of childhood.

3. The CDC Infection Control Research Department prior to 2020. I am still bitter that they hadn’t established whether face coverings could effectively slow the spread of coronaviruses. I am upset that they initially lied about masks for the greater good and then complained we citizens had grown skeptical of their authority.

4. Catholic bishops who didn’t do their utmost to make the sacraments available during lockdowns. The message was loud and clear: The sacraments are extra! We would rather survive than be saved! Interdict is the answer! Many of these same bishops had moved heaven and earth to cover up rapes of children. Some bishops, of course, promoted creative solutions, and thank-you to them: the exhausting efforts to arrange drive-by Confessions and outdoor Masses were worth it. We might be headed for an Omicron lockdown, and I pray for better shepherding.

5. Myself. I haven’t lived the Gospel like the saint God made me to be.


Thank you to the Lord God who makes all things new, who can turn our mourning into dancing, who changes wafers into the Bread of Life, and who saves us despite our fecklessness. We all fall short, even bishops and scientists and superheroes. God is our strength! Let us turn to Him in our weakness and give Him all our thanks.

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