Carter: A Thanksgiving message for Obama’s America
It’s a difficult Thanksgiving season. The nation is deeply divided, facing serious threats abroad and an uncertain economy at home. An unpopular war drags on, and the controversial incumbent president, after a bitter and divisive campaign, has just won re-election with barely 50 percent of the popular vote.
Welcome to November 1812. The war against the British is going badly. President James Madison, after a landslide victory in 1808, almost lost this time around. The citizens of a worried nation, in between the name-calling and rancor, nervously ask one another what exactly there is to be thankful for. Is it possible that the solutions of their fraught age could hold lessons for ours?
To find out, let us poke our heads inside the Congregational Church in Dunbarton, N.H., where the longtime pastor, a Dartmouth graduate named Walter Harris, is delivering his annual Thanksgiving message. Harris, nicknamed “the sledgehammer,” is a noted contrarian who opposes, for example, the town tax that pays his salary. His remarkable sermon for Thanksgiving 1812 could have been delivered today.
If you have any technical difficulties, either with your username and password or with the payment options, please contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org