There is nothing more important than family. That is why, as a person of faith, and as the pastor of First Opportunity Free Will Baptist Church, I have always cherished Thanksgiving as a holy day. Thanksgiving represents to me the simple act of sitting around a table with family and friends, over a feast prepared with love, to express gratitude. It is one of the most beautiful rituals remaining in our society regardless of a person’s background or religious tradition.
But there is now a concerted effort by big corporations such as Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Sears, Macy’s and other major retailers to turn our most cherished family tradition into yet another shopping bonanza because of corporate America’s extreme profit motive. That also means that our retail and food services workers are being forced to work on what was a family holiday, while they are barely able to get by on the current minimum wage.
This isn’t right.
We need to take back “our Thanksgiving” holiday for families, especially for low-wage workers, so they too can feast, rest, and celebrate this special time of year.
But protecting a family holiday isn’t enough.
We must also raise the minimum wage in Illinois to over $10 an hour to make sure that low-wage workers not only have a day off to enjoy Thanksgiving, but that they can actually afford to purchase their turkey and groceries too. Doing that would give all working families something to be truly thankful for.
Bishop Derek E. Eurales, Sr.
Prelate of the Southern Illinois Annual of Free Will Baptists (Western Division)
Pastor of First Opportunity Free Will Baptist Church, Carrier Mills, IL
Bishop Derek E. Eurales, Sr. has been pastor of First Opportunity Free Will Baptist Church in Carrier Mills, Illinois, since December 1988 and continues to stand on and preach the “Word”. He oversees the Southern Illinois Annual of Free Will Baptists (Western Division). To read his full biography, click here. Feel free to contact him today to share your testimony!