Press Releases

November 27, 2013

Statement on Thanksgiving



Statement By Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. 


November 27, 2013 


(Wednesday November 27th, 2013)


The Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. today said, “It is good that we can be thankful in the season 


of Thanksgiving. I’m thankful that Pope Francis is radicalizing the Church – i.e., taking it back 


to its roots and a focus on humble service and justice. I’m thankful that after 34 years of 


alienation and estrangement that peace and normal relations between Iran and the United States 


are more possible today thanks to an initial step of progress on reducing the threat of more 


nuclear weapons in the world. And I’m thankful that the night of no health care in the 


Cumberland’s of Kentucky (and elsewhere) is beginning to see the light of day thanks to the 


Affordable Care Act and the Governor of Kentucky. 


“Yesterday in a document called “Evangelii Gaudium” (the Joy of the Gospel), Pope Francis 


challenged the Roman Catholic Church to become more decentralized, people focused, 


democratic, respectful of women, responsive to the actual needs of people, open and inclusive; as 


well as less doctrinaire, enamored with capitalism, free markets and ramped consumerism. And 


because he comes from Argentina and a continent where he has seen the ravages of unfettered 


capitalism up close, he described our international economic system as one that perpetuates 


inequality and ‘devours’ what is fragile – i.e., human life and an environment in peril – as an 


economic ‘dictatorship.’ In other words, he’s challenging the Church to return to its roots and to 


the central message and mission of the Gospel - of comforting the disturbed and disturbing the 




“Second. I’m thankful that President Obama has chosen economic leverage, flexibility, 


diplomacy and negotiations over no-talk, bellicose rhetoric, rigid and righteous military action as 


the best means of curbing the threat of Iran developing nuclear weapons and launching another 


destabilizing arms race. The deal is not complete – it’s just a 6-month first step – and the more 


difficult road of negotiations still lies ahead. But I’m thankful for the incremental approach and 


patient progress toward a more peaceful and non-nuclear world that President Obama has