I am thankful to live in a country where even those who disagree with us are able to express their opinion, no matter how inane, stupid, or ignorant.
I am thankful for the Constitution of the United States that has, since the founding, provided a framework for such expression.
I am thankful for the knowledge that in order for us to continue such a tradition, we must be constantly vigilant.
I am thankful for living in a country that reveres such a sacred document.
I am thankful for an understanding of the faults of those in power and for a free press that lies as an underpinning of expression and a watchdog against those who would corrupt the system.
I am thankful for our system of laws, courts and trial by jury and for those who labor to make it work.
I am thankful for understanding that “power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
I am thankful that religious fundamentalists, despite their efforts to dismantle the wall of separation of church and state, have not been able to impose theocracy upon us.
I am thankful to not be living in a place like Iran where governance so antipathetic to human dignity dwells in its most grotesque and loathsome form.
I am thankful that religious fundamentalism is marginalized in our society, despite those who would try to inform our daily lives by casting us as flawed human beings in need of some sort of salvation—and a priestly class that arrogates power to itself by promising to “perfect” us.
I am thankful for understanding that we must strive to do good on our own volition, that each of us can make the world a better place and that kindness and charitable acts are the sincerest form of human effort if they are done for their own sake, with no promise of reward beyond the act itself.
And finally, I am thankful that I am not obliged to be thankful for anything at all, if I do not wish.