The early 20th century black American woman author Zora Neal Hurston (her big work was a novel, “Their Eyes Were Watching God”) liked to be feisty and provocative, and was only half-kidding when she quipped, “If it wasn’t for slavery I would never have gone to Harvard.” Now, is this a case of expressing gratitude? Is she right? Should she after all be somehow grateful for slavery?
And how about the various Native Americans and Polynesians, etc., who were conquered and whose cultures were destroyed by the West under the pretext of introducing them to Christianity? Should they be filled with gratitude? Should the Irish have had gratitude for Cromwell? Should the Palestinians be grateful for the invasion of Zionists?
Or for that matter should the Zionists have gratitude for the Nazis — without whose persecution, their own demented race-state experiment never would have seen fruition? Or for that matter should the Jews be grateful to Cromwell — for officially repealing England’s ban on Jews in 1657 (not because he wanted their help, but rather in the exact manner of today’s Christian ZIonists, he actually believed that by allowing them back, they would have such gratitude for Britain’s warm Puritan embrace that they would convert to Christianity and thus hasten the Return of Jesus. True story, look it up)?
My point is that these things for which we are to be grateful are often much more complicated than a simple proverb would indicate. That is, we’re all grateful that Hillary isn’t president, but look what we’ve got instead — a totally incompetent and very dangerous narcissistic lunatic who likes to start wars. Now that said, obviously there are things for which we should have gratitude pure and simple, right? And simple is good sometimes, right? No need for all this intellectual analysis and looking at things from multiple perspectives. Just straight and simple, march along, waiting like Cromwell. And Cromwell did indeed feel assured at the end of his life that he would soon be restored (bodily) and united with the Lord, though the royalists had other ideas, digging up his corpse decades later and hanging the skeleton in public.