BY BRUCE APAR
MOM CULTURE: Well, it’s our favorite time of year, Pop.
POP CULTURE: I know, Mom. Time to for me to feast on football!
MOM: I meant Thanksgiving, bozo.
POP: I know what you meant, Mom. And I can’t wait to pig out on pigskin.
MOM: Not exactly what I had in mind. We have lots of reasons to give thanks.
POP: We sure do. Thank goodness we don’t live in Syria.
MOM: Those poor people.
POP: Yeah, well, they can stay poor over there instead of coming here to sponge us off poor slobs.
MOM: I feel bad for them, Pop.
POP: Feel as bad as you please. Thank goodness we live in the land of the free.
MOM: Sure as shootin’.
POP: Speaking of which, thank goodness for that 2nd amendment.
MOM: First things first. Thank goodness for the 1st amendment.
POP: That too, that too. The second protects us against the insidious, sissy gun-control lobby, and the first protects us against the obnoxious politically correct do-gooders who want to control speech instead of keep it free.
MOM: I know, Pop. How else could equal opportunity offenders like you have your say?
POP: Now you’re talkin’! I knew you’d come around one of these decades.
MOM: While we’re at it, thank goodness for our Founding Fathers.
POP: Thank goodness for having faith.
MOM: Faith in what, Pop?
POP: In our convictions. In our future leaders… as long as they are of the right political persuasion.
MOM: You mean as long as they are politically correct?
POP: Yeah—NO! Don’t try and trick me.
MOM: Oh, you don’t need my help in that department.
POP: You’re darn right I don’t.
MOM: How about faith in humanity?
POP: Good luck with that one. Thank goodness we have a higher power to look to beyond humans.
MOM: Yes, WE do, but not everyone believes in a higher power.
POP: That’s sinful.
MOM: They don’t believe in sin. Maybe they are atheists or agnostics.
POP: That’s illegal.
MOM: It is?
POP: If it isn’t, it should be. Make it a constitutional amendment.
MOM: Pop, there is nothing more personal or internal than faith. Those people have faith in fate. They just don’t believe in any organized religion. Their faith is inside them. It just doesn’t have a name.
POP: Yes, it does. Satan! I’m not ashamed of my faith. I wear it right on my sleeve for everyone to see. And I want to see it on everyone else.
MOM: You do?
POP: You know what I mean.
MOM: I’m not always sure you know what you mean. In any case, I don’t need to flaunt my faith.
POP: Bully for you.
MOM: Exactly. I don’t need to bully others using my religion as a pulpit. People who do that are more full of fear than full of faith. Faith hinges on humility and acceptance of humanity in all its flaws and all its variety. Fear hinges on exploiting your faith to justify intolerance and a hollow claim to moral superiority.
POP: Thank goodness you know the difference.
MOM: Yes, thank goodness one of us does.
POP: I’m a God-fearing man, Mom. And will be until I take my last you-know-what…
MOM: … your last chug of beer?
POP: Funny. You should do stand-up.
MOM: Let me ask you this. What if someone – a good person, let’s say – is not, quote “God fearing” unquote?
POP: God help them!
MOM: Oy vay!
POP: That God also can help the God-fearless. Lord know they need all the Godly help they can get.
MOM: I’m curious, Pop. How many Gods do you think there are?
POP: Only one, as far as I’m concerned.
MOM: Which would that be, pray tell?
MOM: Well, glory be, I agree. It’s the God in each of that matters, if we choose to believe in a higher power.
POP: Choose? You have no choice. God just is. And he shall reign forever and ever. End of discussion. Period. Next.
MOM: I say thank goodness for Evil.
POP: What?! Have you gone nuts?
MOM: Without Evil, there can be no good. Without dark, we wouldn’t have light. Without hate, we would not know love.
POP: Well, that is true. We do live in a world of opposites.
MOM: And of apostates.
MOM: Apostates. People who renounce religion or political beliefs.
POP: I think they are called Socialists. Communists. Radical terrorists. Name your poison. Thank goodness I have a lot of names to brand those ne’er-do-wells so I can protect myself when I see them coming.
MOM: You mean like the refugees?
MOM: Thank goodness for Emma Lazarus.
POP: You mean that young actress with the raspy voice?
MOM: That’s Emma Stone, goofball. Emma Lazarus is an American-born poet of the Jewish faith. Her ancestors were refugees who came to America to escape anti-Semitic violence in Russia.
POP: Okay. So…?
MOM: Emma Lazarus wrote about her refugee relatives as an homage to the universality of freedom and basic human decency: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
POP: Sounds like the Syrian refugees should erect a statue to her with those words on it.
MOM: This country beat them to it.
POP: Beat them to what?
MOM: Emma Lazarus’s words already grace America’s most sacred symbol of freedom.
POP: Freedom Tower?
MOM: Yes, the original freedom tower, which came from France: The Statue of Liberty.
POP: Happy Thanksgiving, Mom.
MOM: Thank goodness for liberty, Pop.
POP: Thank goodness for you, Mom.
MOM + POP: Thank goodness we live in America.
Media and marketing specialist Bruce Apar, also known as Bruce The Blog, is Chief Content Officer of Pinpoint Marketing & Design, a Google Partner agency. He also owns APAR All-Media, a Hudson Valley marketing agency that works with The Winery at St. George, Yorktown Feast of San Gennaro, Jefferson Valley Mall, Yorktown Stage, Axial Theatre, Armonk Players and others. Follow him on Hudson Valley WXYZ on Facebook, Twitter & YouTube. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (914) 275-6887.