Giving Thanks

I’m glad I’ve been able to spend the last two months cartooning. I’m thankful that I’ve been able to spend so much more of that time with my family. I’m grateful for that family — for all their quirks and quibbles, noise and noisomeness, and especially their affection. I’ve had more family time in the last sixty days than I had in the preceding sixty weeks (and we’ve given the last sixty MONTHS a good run), and it’s been the best sixty days I can remember.

I’m thankful for my faith, and for the strength it gives me in times of trial. I’m even kinda-sorta thankful for trial, because as I look back at the assorted flavors of crap I’ve endured (yes, “flavors” is the right word) I understand that enduring has shaped me into the person I am today.

I like the person I am today. He’s got his share of issues, but he’s willing to work through them. He may not be the humblest man on the block (talking about himself in the third person… what a pompous, arrogant fool!), but he knows he’s got failings, and he knows he’s got failings he doesn’t know about yet.

I’m thankful for the eternal sacrifice Jesus Christ made, so that even the failings I don’t know about can be overcome. I know not everybody believes in Him the way I do, and I’m thankful that I live in a country where that’s okay.

Here in this spot, on this page, I’m especially thankful for my readers… the ones who follow my comic meanderings daily, and the ones who only tune in every so often to find out who’s dead; the ones who send me money, and the ones who don’t; the ones who made it through that last paragraph about Jesus even though they weren’t sure they liked the way it made them feel, and the ones who didn’t even bother to read any of this. I know you’re all out there, and I’m grateful that you’ve trusted me with a corner of your imaginations.

I’m thankful for a place to say all this. I’ve gotten a lot of email from readers thanking me for the comic over the last four-point-four years. Thank YOU, everybody. You make my day again, and again, and again.

26 thoughts on “Giving Thanks”

  1. I am thankful for many things. You, your webcomic, and the wonderful relationship you have with your family(Something for us all to aspire to) are regularly bastions of sanity and joy in a torrid existance.

    Thank you, Tayler Family.

  2. Thank You

    Since this does seem the right place place to put it, I just want to say, thank you for what is one of my favorite comics.

    And thank you for all the effort you put into making sure there is always a fresh dose of it each day. 🙂

    Brett

  3. Thank you, Howard, for the art and humor that you bestow upon us, and thanks to your family for supporting you and making it all possible. You have, I think, the best webcomic on the Internet, and it brightens each and every one of my days.

    Sometimes it’s made bright with the glow of fresh BLAM, and I’m thankful for the BLAM as well. 😀

    1. Re: Um Flavors is the wrong word

      Ah, my bekilted scottish friend… you’re a techie. You need to write a web-translator with a “mode=European English Pedant” setting. 😉

      –Howard

  4. Hey, quite often your meanderings and comic brighten my day considerably. My only regret is that whoever Novell set in your place is rather unlikely to be a cool webcartoonist! Keep up the great work!

  5. I know not everybody believes in Him the way I do, and I’m thankful that I live in a country where that’s okay.

    Well, a country where it’s ALMOST okay. A lot of fundamentalists like to yammer on about how this is a christian country, even though it was set up SPECIFICALLY as NOT an ANYTHING country. Although it does seem like tolerance is on the rise in general.

    1. Actually, if you look at the minutes of the Continental Congress, the Constitution was hammered out in sessions that were opened with prayer, and pretty much all of the Founding Fathers were practicing Christians. Our modern concepts of freedom of religion are much further-reaching than the founders imagined. Like it or not, the fundies are supported by historical fact.

      The founders sought to avoid the power-struggle between Church and State as they’d observed it in Anglican England, Lutheran Germany, and Catholic everywhere-else. They would not have objected to prayer in schools or in government meetings, and their behavior shows that pretty clearly.

      That’s not the point, though the fundies certainly place a lot of stock in it. See, today the country our founders created is the safest place in the world to worship as you please, whether you’re a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Wiccan, Atheist, Gaian, Technodeist, or whatever.

      –Howard

      1. Actually, many of them were deists, and would probably have objected rather harshly to mandated prayer. But, that matters scant these days.

        Funny though, the lands they escaped from to achieve freedom of religion are now much freer religiously … and safer to worship as whatever you want to in, when it comes to societal and practical effects. As long as you keep it out of government paid time, that is. Ironic.

        1. Funny though, the lands they escaped from to achieve freedom of religion are now much freer religiously

          Unless you’re, y’know, “religious”. Goes double for Muslims.

      2. I’m not sure historical fact ACTUALLY supports the fundies.

        As others have said, many of them WEREN’T christians. Some were Deists, and there were some unitarians who didn’t believe in the trinity (the defining point of christianity, really) and in NO document is Jesus or God mentioned. The Declaration… the Constitution… the Bill of Rights….

        In fact, in a treaty with Tripoli when GEORGE WASHINGTON was at the end of his second term stated :

        “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

        The seperation of Church and State was more fundamental to the founding fathers than their individual respective religions. It was to guarantee that people could practice their own religions. It was to PROTECT christianity in all it’s forms and to protect the few other religions that were kicking around back then. (And there were a few.)

        I would say the fundies AREN’T supported by historical fact. They are supported more by historical anecdotes they decide to interperate as more important than the intent. Many presidents weren’t christians. Licoln wasn’t. Was he a bad president because of that?

        They might not have objected to prayer in church, but they sure would have objected to a specific version of christianity’s prayers being used in schools. And it’s easy to interpolate that out to a wider view on religion, which is what has been happening. Which was ALSO their intention as they created the document to be a ‘living’ document that could evolve to meet the needs of the population. The Bill of Rights is there to provide the protection from the majority making tragic mistakes.

        Our democracy was designed to try and get the will of the majority of the people done, but also had many many checks and balances in it to try and protect the minority from the majority’s occasional attempts to abuse them.

        Which is why I feel anybody who devolves an explination of why XXXX should be a law into their religious beliefs should have their opinion fairly well rejected by lawmaking bodies. But it also annoys me that many people refuse to take into account public sentiments if they arise from religion. It annoys me that conservatives cater to religious interests and liberals refuse to give an inch to ease the struggle.

        Take abortion for instance.

        “Abortion is evil because it’s murder!”
        “Regulating abortion in any way is an abuse to women!”

        Two very opposing viewpoints and nobody is willing to give an inch on either side and religion is totally tangled up in there. And both sides lambast you if you try to stand in the middle and come up with a compromise. (I’ve tried in talking to several people on both sides make a case for some compromise. Boy howdy, do you get yelled at!)

        Mostly our country does a good job of getting done what most people want to without abusing too many people too much, but nothing is perfect.

        I like to point to George Bush Sr. who said in a public interview that atheists weren’t “real” americans. There’s a great example how our country isn’t quite the idyllic multi-religous utopia that it ought to be.

        But since we didn’t get locked into interment camps or anything, so it’s not all bad. 🙂

  6. I’d like to address this actually…

    “…the ones who made it through that last paragraph about Jesus even though they weren’t sure they liked the way it made them feel”

    There are few qualities I respect more than a man’s ability to have faith, to discover and embrace a sense of personal gratification in that faith and yet still possess the strength of character and personal wherewithall to respect another person’s choice to have a different faith.

    You seem to have that strength of character, Howard.

    I may not know you beyond reading your comic and your occasional posted ramblings, but I know enough to know those few fans who would struggle through that paragraph in your post shouldn’t.

    They should take comfort in the fact that there are people like you who can be vocal about their faith without adding judgement or condemnation. After all, we live in times when far too many people attach too much intolerance and hate to their faith out of fear and ignorance.

    Your strength of character, as humble as it may be, is a refreshing reminder that not everyone does that.

    I know that it is not your intent to preach or to stand out as such a reminder, but you do have an affect on people. That affect is positive and even small positive affects carry weight and resonance in trying times like these.

  7. Happy Thanksgiving Howard, may you and your family have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend. Thanks a lot for giving us all the gifts of entertainment and laughter, in this world with the way things are that means a whole hell of a lot. So in closing, keep safe and don’t let those crazy Utah Drivers get to you, in fact if at all possible don’t drive. ^_^
    Enjoy yourself and have a Happy Thanksgiving.
    -J-

  8. Indeed, I feel like I’m only writing stuff that’s been said above, and better, but here’s my go.

    You know my position on God, the US of A, and the ‘fundies’, as you called them. (Incidentally, I’m thankful I live in a country where it’s more frowned-upon to be a fundamentalist Christian than it is to be a godless heathen, but that’s my point of view only – notwithstanding the fact that our Thanksgiving is a full month before yours – the second monday of October.)

    Still. I’m thankful for your presence, as an artist and as a blogger/writer, often opening my eyes to a perspective I don’t normally get to see. We may disagree on a lot of things, but your respect for others’ opinions is truly something admirable, and I’m thankful for living in a world where people can disagree and still remain civil and just plain nice to each other. Believe it or not, I’m actually thankful for your beliefs, because you probably wouldn’t have turned out like you did if you didn’t hold them.

    I’m thankful for a whole lot of personal things too, and I won’t encumber your board with them. I’ve got my own blog, and they’ll go on there when I’m next feeling introspective.

    Although I don’t know who I’m thankful to, that doesn’t really matter, does it? If it does, just replace ‘thankful for x’ by ‘happy I have x’.

  9. I’m thankful for the eternal sacrifice Jesus Christ made, so that even the failings I don’t know about can be overcome. I know not everybody believes in Him the way I do, and I’m thankful that I live in a country where that’s okay.

    See, that’s the kind of genuine tolerance that I wish the Democrats would show a little more of. Kudos, man.

Comments are closed.