The Forgotten Holiday

Dear Gigantic, Multinational, Trans-Global, Mega Conglomerate,

Would you please figure out a way to monetize and commodify Thanksgiving so people don’t forget about it? McDonald’s is already selling candy cane McFlurries and egg nog milkshakes, and Hallmark had a Christmas movie on today.

You’ve done it with Halloween, that little nothing of a holiday for primary schoolers you turned into a vast trans-generational 2-month long sugar-infested, Zombie bash. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, and I have fond memories of many good ones, but now it’s just the day before Black Friday. How can you let that happen?

Please help me preserve this rich, rustic and robust tradition. I will ignore you, just like I do at Halloween and Easter (and try mightily to do at Christmas, but fail), but at least it won’t just disappear like Candlemass or Royal Oak Day. Or be merged into Thanksmas like Presidents’ Day.

Remember: It’s all gravy.

An Islamic Pascal’s Wager

For some reason I was thinking about Pascal’s Wager today.  I have never been a huge fan or it, or any other attempt to make faith more an act of man’s reason than God’s grace.  (Not that I think faith is unreasonable.)  It occured to me that perhaps the biggest flaw with Pascal’s Wager is that almost anyone could use it.  Consider:

Become a Muslim.  If Christian universalism is true you’re ok anyway because all will be saved.  If Christian predestinationism is true and you’re elect, you’re ok.  If you’re reprobate then what can you do? If Cathloicism is true and works count then as a Muslim you’ll probably at least get into purgatory.  If atheism is true, you’re no worse off than you are now.   If karma is true then you’ll help yourself come back better in the next life.  If Islam is true, and you faithfully practice it, you’ll go to Paradise.