On Tuesday night, FOX celebrated Thanksgiving with all the spirituality and authenticity it could muster: it aired an episode of the Zooey Deschanel-starrer New Girl, subtly titled “Bangsgiving.”
The show revolves around a set of singles living in an apartment together (just like every other major comedy of the last twenty years). One of these singles, Schmidt (Max Greenfield), announces a new Thanksgiving tradition: each single will bring a friend for one of the other singles, with the notion that everyone will then have sex. Schmidt wears a Pilgrim hat while announcing the scheme:
Bangsgiving is in peril! All of you are focusing on things that have nothing to do with getting laid. Let us please not repeat the mistakes that we made at my eight nights of Humpakkah party.
The Pilgrims would be proud. Given that they left Holland to establish a deeply religious utopia in the New World, that they were helped in this endeavor by a Christian convert, Squanto, and that they had the first Thanksgiving dinner to thank God, they would surely be overjoyed to learn that iconic television characters have random sex to celebrate their survival.
But in a country that has decided that it is significantly less offensive for friends to bring over random strangers for one another to “bang” than it is for anyone to mention God at a Thanksgiving dinner, Bangsgiving is the inevitable outcome. After all, we’ve already reduced Thanksgiving to turkey, television, and online shopping – unless, of course, we’re going to head down to Best Buy in the late afternoon to stake out Black Friday.
In 2013, analysts said that Black Friday sales generated $57.4 billion in revenue. Every year, late Thanksgiving night – right about the time that the Pilgrims were welcoming dozens of Native Americans to join their meal – crazed shoppers begin beating each other senseless to get at the purses. Last year, a crowd trampled a girl at a Walmart in Ohio; a Virginia man was stabbed in a Walmart parking lot; an 18-year-old man stabbed another man at a Carlsbad mall; customers ran over an Arkansas Walmart employee; two people shoplifted clothes from an Illinois Kohl’s, then assaulted an officer and dragged him with a car, before one of the shoplifters was shot by a second cop. There were many more such instances dotting the country.
When George Washington gave his first Thanksgiving proclamation, he explained precisely what it was that Americans were celebrating:
[I]t 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.
He concluded by stating that Americans should pray to God to “promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase 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.”
That’s a far cry from Bangsgiving and Black Friday. But that’s what happens when we strip religion from public life: hedonism takes over.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the new book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.