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Scott Frostman: Understand differences this Thanksgiving

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Faith. Family. Friends. Fortitude. Freedom. As this most tumultuous year spins into the winter months, for what are you most thankful? I know it is commonplace to share these types of musings during the holiday season, and in particular the Thanksgiving holiday, but I guess it’s just rather natural at this time of year as so many gather in celebration. Times for reflection are needed to help keep priorities straight and take stock of what is truly important.

One of the traditions in Wisconsin this Thanksgiving week is the gun-deer season. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources estimates about 500,000 folks will don the blaze orange and hit the woods in search of “da turdy-point buck” of legend. Many will find success, and others will need to be content with the solace and serenity often found when enjoying these times.

It’s been a few years since I’ve hunted, as it’s just not the same without my older brother or father who have both passed. The old generation that led our groups of a dozen or more into the woods some 40 years past are all gone. It makes me thankful for the time we spent together. Here’s hoping for luck and safety for all those who venture out.

This season also brings a wonderful sense of community to a few lucky locations. The Columbus High School football team brought home the gold trophy in Division 4 amid what looked like a nice snowfall. That’s one experience those kids, their families, and the whole community will remember for a very long time. Congratulations on a wonderful season.

We focus on thankfulness in the practicing of faith and the necessity of family amid virulent backlash from popular culture. We see attacks on people of faith regularly, and this past week was no exception. A Nov. 16 ABC News story shared comments made by actress Candace Cameron Bure for a Wall Street Journal magazine story about her new affiliation with the Great American Family network and potential content where Bure stated, “I think that Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core.”

The same story also shared comments vilifying and demonizing Bure by various celebrities and groups that purport to embrace tolerance and diversity. All views and opinions are welcome, unless you disagree with them, whereupon you are cast as some type of phobic bigot.

Bure is to be commended for staying true to her beliefs and principles and showing fortitude in a positive and loving response. Far too many people of faith, particularly Christians, allow themselves to be compromised by social pressures, and many churches have veered far from biblical truths. We can and need to object to many of the lurid materials and sexualization being foisted on our school children and having drag-queen shows targeted at children, but those stances don’t mean we “hate” anyone. We can all condemn senseless violence, and the horrific shooting this past weekend at the LGBTQ-centered nightclub in Colorado Springs.

We’ve also had the chance to watch the veritable meltdown on the left in response to changes being made at Twitter, now that Elon Musk has taken the reigns of the company, with the reinstatement of former President Donald Trump causing the biggest uproar. Many are seemingly shrieking in horror that other views would be allowed such a forum. Free speech isn’t limited to simply those who share your views.

In this season of Thanksgiving, let us hope we can set aside many of those political and ideological differences, if but for a few moments, and appreciate the richness brought to our lives by those around us.

At the end of the day, what really matters to you most? It’s hard to see friendships or other relationships strained or ended over political wrangling, especially when you fundamentally agree on most issues. We must continue to look for those areas which unite rather than divide us all.

We are called to be firm in our beliefs and strident in our resolve, yet that resolve must include compassion or understanding others may be just as steeled in their own beliefs contrary to your own. Let us hope for a season where we are able to be reminded of the relationships that bring us together.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Frostman lives in Baraboo: scfrostman@gmail.com.

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