I Have A Question: What The Heck Is Canadian Thanksgiving, Anyways?

Our semi-regular feature at BCC, in which we answer questions from our readers and then Rank stuff. Have a question you want us to answer? Send us an email! Your questions have been burning a hole in our inbox. We must answer.

Hi Guys,

So, I’ve heard a lot lately, too much, really, about how I must, we must, one must Defend the Family. From you all too. But when I press for particulars I get either, you know, make my gay friends sad, hurt, and angry or else mumbled non-answers, and sideways glances. If I’m very lucky, I might get a tip o’ the hat to good ol’ fashion gender roles, but though everybody with a podium from the Tabernacle to the Bloggernacle seems to feel that the necessity of a good familial defense is a truth universally acknowledged, people are so, so cagey about the details. Moats? Zone? Alekhine’s? Groucho glasses?

Heed the counsel given in the war chapters of the Book of Mormon. Dig a pit around your house, pile up huge obstacles and a wall of spikes to surround your home. Arm your children. Bucklers, shields and scimitars. Suspend the constitutional rights of those who come to visit. Rip up your drapes and write the Constitution on them. Give your neighbors wine and take over their homes while they are passed out from intoxication.

Do you know how they choose which film they show in a given temple on a given day?

Yes. It is far less exciting than you’d imagine. It is shown in a recurring order, depending on how many endowment rooms they have running. They are generally distinguished by the actors in the film, for example Frat Boy Satan, Bald Satan, or Balding Satan. They’ll just rotate through. No particular magic to it.

Why are there several framed copies of the Family Proclamation hanging on the walls of my ward building, but nobody seems to have even heard of The Living Christ?

The Proclamation on the Family is a polarizing political document; The Living Christ is not. There’s nothing really intriguing or controversial about The Living Christ. That’s why it’s posted on the BCC homepage! Everybody already believes The Living Christ document. But because the Proclamation is difficult, because it did not (and probably does not) necessarily represent the beliefs of all Latter-day Saints, the Church had to push it more for it to stick. It was the object of an indoctrination campaign, which sounds ominous but if a church can’t indoctrinate, who can? So, yeah. The two documents are vastly different in purpose and controversy, and The Living Christ just can’t compete vs the Proclamation Machine. But both are suitable for framing!

Can zombies be defeated by performing proxy baptisms on their behalf, thereby turning them into good, rather than evildead?

No. Baptism does not change your nature. It is an ordinance meant to wipe away your sins after you have already repented and manifested a desire to join the Church of Christ. Zombies are not good or evil; they simply are, and they simply hunger. Getting baptized on their behalf will not change their hunger for braiiiiiiinsssss into a hunger for righteousness. It will only make them show up for mutual.

Totally serious question that I know I’ll regret asking – in multiple parts:
1a. What percentage of North American Mormons actually believe in a literal Adam & Eve as the first humans? 1b. What percentage believe in a literal Adam & Eve, but with some nuance other than that they were the first biological human beings? 2. When church leaders believe in a literal Adam & Eve, do they actually imagine that this literal couple from whom all present humanity descended look like American white people?

YIPES MULTIPLE PART QUESTION! As for 1a, Elder Holland believes it, so it’s safe to say that the vast majority of LDS believe it, too. A guess would be upwards of 70% of active LDS believe that Adam and Eve were the first human beings on the Earth with nothing human at all before them. Inactive LDS, of course, don’t believe in anything at all so there’s no point asking them at all.
1b., depends on how you’re breaking it down. A percentage of those who believe 1a will, upon questioning, actually turn out to be more 1b-thinkers. You could reason that the demographics would break down similar to those who give credence to evolution as a scientific principle, because if you acknowledge evolution you’re going to have to deal with Adam and Eve in a different way. But heck, Mormons are nutjobs. Our beliefs on this are all over the map. There’s probably some percentage who believe that the ending of Battlestar Galactica is a faithful representation of actual events.

2. Our church artwork don’t lie. We believe that Eve had a great, full-bodied hairdo, that Adam was beardless and played some ball in college, and that the two of them together were the first prom king and queen on Earth. If you ask a Mormon, they’ll say “no, they didn’t really look like that”, but if you suggest that the first humans came from Ethiopia and were not immaculate and ready for their photoshoot in Redbook, suddenly they will get a wild look in their eye and suddenly remember that they are late for a meeting.

Do Apostles’ backgrounds matter?

Yes. A lot.

Things Canadians Celebrate on Canadian Thanksgiving, Ranked
As always, these rankings are authoritative.

  1. That they live so close to Detroit.
  2. They are now only 311th in line to receive basic medical care.
  3. That every 4 years, the Winter Olympics forces everyone else in the world to remember that we kick butt in Curling.
  4. Independence from nowhere.
  5. A flag that says, “We’re like France, but with a maple leaf instead of a blue stripe.”
    Steve: THAT IS JUST NOT TRUE AT ALL, SCOTT
  6. A relatively functional federal government.
  7. Anne of Green Gables? Canadian.
  8. The epic battle on the Plains of Abraham in which Prime Minister John A. MacDonald smote off the head of Shiz.
  9. The defense of family with traditional Canadian armaments: the boomerang, the Skink anti-aircraft tank and the Eat-More Bar.
  10. Tim Horton’s.

Honorable mentions:

  • A relatively functional federal government
  • Tim Tebow refused to play football here.
  • With a population of only 18 people, Defending the Family is pretty easy.
  • Paucity of shootings at schools, paucity of schools as well.
  • The family gathering around the Coleman for the traditional dinner of back bacon.
  • The surrender of the Army of Northern Ontario under the command of General Ged E. Lee.

Comments

  1. Obviously written by a non-Canadian… Tim Hortons has no apostrophe!

  2. Sometimes I wonder how well people are going to deal with having resurrected people around. Will there be this unspoken concern that they’re only waiting for your to turn your back before eating your brains?

    Is there an -ism for prejudice against the no longer dead?

  3. A Happy Hubby says:

    Canadian Thanksgiving? Oh – you mean “Fakesgiving”! :-) At least that is the elbow I always throw to the wonderful folks north of the border. They give it right back to me usually (as they should).

  4. The Other Brother Jones says:

    I think Canadian Thanksgiving is the same as American, except earlier, because , you know, harvest is earlier. But the Charlie brown Thanksgiving Special comes at the end of Nov, for some reason. But what do I know? I grew up Canadian with an American mother, so your Canadian mileage may vary. (Kilometer-age?)

  5. Clark Goble says:

    I never understood why Americans celebrate a harvest festival long after the harvest when there’s snow everywhere.

  6. Clark, I can speak for many Americans that have celebrated many harvest festivals/thanksgivings with no snow to found (in my case I’ve never had snowy TG). Having recently learned of the Canadian Fakesgiving, our family now celebrates it twice a year, the Canadian one in the same way, only more politely than the November version.

  7. BlueRidgeMormon says:

    Ged E. Lee for the win!

  8. Only one quibble. The correct classification of Satans is as follows: (1) Frat Boy Satan (I’m sure we’re thinking of the same one), (2) Saratov Satan (aka Balding Satan aka you know, the guy who was in “The Saratov Approach”) and (3) Melaleuca Satan (aka Bald Satan aka the guy who freaked out my wife when she saw him show up in a promo video for our least favorite MLM).

  9. whizzbang says:

    As a True Blue Canadian I’ll give you what I am thankful for!

    1) Federal Elections that aren’t 2 years long!!!!! hahahahahhahawhocares
    2) John Candy.John Candy.John Candy
    3) Garbage Bags were invented by a Canadian and Trivial Pursuit
    4) N. Eldon Tanner is Canadian and fixed the Church’s finances when the Americans ruined everything!!!!!! Hugh B. Brown is Canadian, well Albertan so I guess that almost as good
    5) This

  10. Today is the only true and living Thanksgiving, the original date was sometime between September 21 and November 11 of 1621. So Canadians are the restorationists of Thanksgiving holidays, and Americans are apostates.

  11. fuddyduddy says:

    Oddly, I’ve never yet seen the frat boy Satan, so I can’t judge whether the nickname sticks. I wonder if he’s not on rotation here.

    As for the bald one, I always thought he looked and acted like the villain in a cheap kung fu movie. I expect a gong to sound at any time when I watch him.

  12. “Melaleuca Satan (aka Bald Satan aka the guy who freaked out my wife when she saw him show up in a promo video for our least favorite MLM).”

    Careful now. Start calling Melaleuca an MLM in public and you’ll be looking at a lawsuit from the owner, Frank Vandersloot. (Seriously, google Frank Vandersloot and Mother Jones if you think I’m joking.)

  13. I’ve been waiting for some time to ask an actual Canadian about how s/he feels about Tim Hortons having been purchased by Burger King. I can’t imagine the feeling is positive. But maybe.

    On a related note, a couple of years ago I was in the Vancouver, B.C.-area for work. There was a Subway restaurant next door to the hotel, and, having a fairly pedestrian pallet, I stopped in. I thought I was being pretty culturally sensitive when I first googled the conversion ratio from inches to centimeters, and then asked “sandwich artist” for a 15-centimeter turkey sandwich, rather than a 6-incher. She looked at me like I was nuts. And then, after that uncomfortable exchange, she asked me what kind of cheese I wanted, and I asked her what they called American cheese in here in Canada. Again, a very frustrated stare. “We call it American cheese,” she said icily.

    True story.

  14. Jimbob, excellent job trolling Canadian Subway artists.

  15. That’ll teach em!

    The reason American cheese is called American cheese everywhere is because nobody else would make it.

  16. I know this is supposed to be funny, but most studies show that Canadians do NOT wait for basic health care, they wait for elective surgery and high-tech interventions. See for example,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/06/sunday-review/long-waits-for-doctors-appointments-have-become-the-norm.html?_r=0

  17. eponymous says:

    Americans are just jealous. Those of us dual nationality homes enjoy twice the turkey. Except when we eat the fricasee beaver every other year.

  18. My husband served in the Montreal, Quebec mission and lovingly recalls using Tim Hortons as a verb; as in, “nous hortons” when he and his companions went to Tim Hortons.

  19. I’m pretty sure this has been discussed in the Bloggernacle before, but there is no such ordinance as baptism for the undead.

  20. Thanks, Niklas.

  21. Perfect Thanksgiving afternoon: turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, veggies, cranberry sauce,pumpkin pie while watching the Toronto Blue Jays achieve another playoff victory. Go Jays Go!!!!!

  22. Better than the Expos, anyways.

  23. I had to look up the Skink–nice piece of kit.

  24. A Turtle Named Mack says:

    Every time I cross the border, it’s like traveling to another dimension – one where things seem to be the same, but slightly distorted. They have Thanksgiving, but it’s 6 weeks early. They have some version of Independence Day, but 3 days later. They have football, but not really. They have the equivalent of Dunkin’ Donuts on every corner, but Tim Hortons’ donuts are actually edible. You drive roughly the same speed on the roads, but the numbers are different and you have to use the alternate scale on the speedometer. It’s like bizarro-USA.

  25. A Turtle Named Mack says:

    …having lived in Canada for a spell, I realize how offensive that is to nearly every Canadian.

    I’d move back in a heartbeat!

  26. I seriously love curling.

  27. There is no confusing Frat Boy Satan! Saratov Satan disturbs me, the way he talks seems kind of pervy….. -_-

  28. I’ve lived in Minnesota all my life, a snowball’s throw away. I’ve only been to Canada once. We were vacationing on Lake Superior’s North Shore, and I said to the kids, “I’ve never been to Canada – let’s go, just to say we’ve been there.” We drove north of the border, and Canadian customs kept us on ice for 2.5 hours because I didn’t have my kids’ birth certificates and my wife was back in Minnesota. They wanted to question me, and the kids, to make sure this wasn’t a non-custodial abduction. We were not their top priority, which I gathered as they dismantled a couple of vehicles searching for contraband.

    Finally, a very nice older gentleman came out and asked us a few questions. I think he was actually convinced by the way my oldest daughter clung to my leg and wouldn’t look him in the eye while answering questions about where Mommy was. We touched Canadian soil (I had to drive a mile or so – excuse me, a couple of kilometers – down the road to get off the Customs tarmac and touch actual soil) and then went home.

    At the US border, the US Customs agent asked, “Anything to declare?” Nope. “Length of visit?” Three hours. “Purpose of visit?” Lived in Minnesota all my life, just wanted to say I’d been to Canada. First time.

    He looked at me for a moment with that “something caught between my teeth” expression. “Get the hell out of here,” he told me.

    And that is why I would not celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving, had I even known there was such a thing, which is patently ridiculous.

  29. Left Field says:

    When I lived in Detroit, we were in the Toronto Temple district. Border crossings were usually perfunctory. They generally just asked my citizenship. Sometimes they would ask where I was going or if I had any prohibited items. One time the agent in Sarnia asked the purpose of my visit. “I’m going to the Mormon Temple in Toronto.”

    “Probably not–but are your bringing any alcohol or tobacco into Canada?”

  30. I was in the Toronto District for a while and crossed at the Detroit/Windsor border too. After an extended visit with a skeptical customs agent, we learned not to say “we’re visiting the LDS temple”, but the “Mormon temple”.

  31. Leonard R says:

    Due to a nice long parental leave (now that’s what I’m thankful for) my wife and I went to something like 16 different temples, in seven or eight states and provinces, for a total of twenty-plus sessions over the last year and a half. And in all that time we have still never seen Fratboy Satan. I’m starting to think the third film is an urban legend…