Pete Riehm
Even in darkness, we still give thanks
By Pete Riehm
November 20, 2023

Our wearied nation has endured some dark times the past few years, and the darkness does not seem to be dissipating. So it may seem difficult to give thanks. Working Americans are still burdened by persistent inflation. With progressive prosecutors refusing to enforce the law, no one is safe as crime spirals out of control. Our libraries and schools are flooded with depraved LGBTQ+ propaganda confusing our children about adult perversions they should never have to contemplate. War is spreading across the globe, but worse too many Americans accept and even endorse the murder and rape of innocent women and children in Israel.

These are indeed dark times for America, but take heart. God is still in control, and He has already won the victory. Obviously, we should give thanks for divine providence that will ultimately deliver us. However, we should also be thankful that we knew it would be this way—for so it is written in scripture that lies would be called truth, and truth would be called lies.

We can be thankful that the deceivers and evil doers are being exposed, so we may know them, avoid them, and rebuke them. Wickedness is everywhere, but it is emboldened and no longer hides in shallow academic excuses for relativism. For decades, the militant LGBTQ+ movement claimed that they only wanted the right to love whomever they chose to love, but now they have exposed their grotesque self-indulgence is simply about exploiting women and sexually abusing children. Once their perversion targeted children, the guise of tolerance was shattered.

Still many deceivers are more subtle. Hollywood force feeds all manner of depravity through every aspect of entertainment. Music objectifies women and portrays sex as a casual careless pass time. Most movie and TV plot lines are nothing more than LGBTQ+ propaganda, but as the Marvel franchise craters with it latest offering, Americans are rejecting their disordered swill. We can be thankful we know them by their fruits.

Conservative, Christian, and traditional values have been censored, maligned, or squelched on search engines and social media. The liberal ruling elite insist we only imagine this suppression, but Elon Musk bought Twitter to save free speech. If you doubt him, we only need look at who is boycotting X (formerly Twitter). The very purveyors of pornography to our children: Disney, Sony Pictures, COMCAST/NBC Universal, Paramount, Warner Brothers, and Lionsgate. We can be thankful the pretenders have dropped their masks.

San Francisco has become a degenerate cesspool, but that intractable mess was suddenly cleaned up to impress Communist despot, Xi Jinping, so now we know our elected leaders value totalitarian tyrants more than their own citizens. Furthermore, big business CEO’s rushed to California to court the communist dictator and his vast captive consumers. We are learning that American billionaires have abandoned the American dream in favor of remolding the U.S. to be more like communist China. We can be thankful we know the betrayers.

Disturbing and sad, we are also learning that our institutions of higher learning are indoctrinating our youth to hate America and imbuing them with irrational malicious anti-Semitism. Too many students on too many college campuses are embracing the wanton slaughter and rape of Jews as justified out of their abundance of ignorance and lack of any moral compass—a shocking and pathetic development—but we can be thankful we now know our universities are poisoned ground, and we must protect our children from their deceptions.

While America has stumbled and her detractors insist she is hopelessly flawed, we must remember that America was founded on Biblical principles by godly men. Though shaken and severely tested, our foundation of Judeo-Christian laws and values remains at our core. There is historical basis for our hope. On October 3, 1789, President George Washington proclaimed our first official day of Thanksgiving for the last Thursday in November.

It began: “Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor—and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

The proclamation concluded: “To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us—and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.”

Read that again. That is the essence of the United States of America! We are in dark times with failed leadership, but that is NOT who we are as a nation and as a people. We can be eternally grateful that America was founded as a free nation for free people with fealty to God Almighty. Our roots are in divine providence, so the foundation is firm and true, so we can be thankful that we only need turn back to God, ask His forgiveness, and He will heal our land. America is not lost yet. Just repent. Thanks be to God! Happy Thanksgiving!

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance” (Psalm 33:12).

Pete Riehm is a conservative activist and columnist in south Alabama. Email him at or read all his columns at

© Pete Riehm


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Pete Riehm

Born to German immigrants, Pete Riehm grew up in Texas as a first generation American. Working his way through college, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve. After graduating from the University of Houston, Pete was commissioned into the United States Navy through Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. He also earned a Master's Degree in National Security from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas... (more)


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