Opinion

First Thanksgiving – Giving Thanks to God

Thanksgiving

Spoiler alert:  Thanksgiving is – rather shockingly – about giving thanks, to God.  This is so, despite modern news outlets working hard to redirect us.  Having sought to diminish Christmas, they are after Thanksgiving now. 

Remarkably, one major news magazine proffered a 2000-word story on Thanksgiving, arguing woke folks know it is “changing.”  Quoting teachers apologizing for teaching “misconceptions,” the story makes zero mention of God, Providence, or The Almighty. 

Beyond hyping floats, parades, balloons, football, turkey, banter and pumpkin pie – which Americans naturally love, they weaved in a few other themes.  One is that the “First Thanksgiving” was about being “separatists,” and included celebrating killing Indians and burning their villages. Really? 

Another theme was telling second graders the lessons of Thanksgiving were “stuck in the past,” and not worthy of reenactments in costume.  This is part of “a larger movement to change the way the story is taught.” Hmmm.

How exactly?  Age-old lessons are quaint, ready to be taken down.  They have had enough of pioneers “fresh off the Mayflower” celebrating “the harvest by enjoying a potluck-style dinner with their friendly Indian neighbors.”  Enough of kids trying to “trace turkeys with their hands to mark a day of feasting” or “dress up as Pilgrims and Indians…” We need to get over that. 

Why must our traditions be rewritten – if one traditional American may be so bold?  Well, because celebrating tradition “reflects neither the 17th century truth nor the 21st century understanding of it.” Why is that?  There are only two primary sources, and they may be wrong.  Besides they are short, “a measly six sentences,” unlike the edifying article.  

All this – we are told – means colonial leaders did not think “the event worth more than a paragraph.”  After all, “nobody thought much about that moment.”  Hmmm. 

Perhaps they were busy giving thanks, praying, harvesting, cooking, eating, or sharing bounty with each other, glad to be alive.  Or maybe, they were just bemoaning the absence of balloons and parades.

We are instructed George Washington, who declared Thanksgiving in 1789, may not have had in mind first settlers, to whom he owed the nation for which he … fought. Never mind.

Where did this holiday come from then?  The article variously attributes it to a 19th century “Martha Stewart,” to post-Civil War longings for peace and thanks amid “bloodshed,” and then to other sources.      

We are lectured that the First Thanksgiving was not a “purely happy moment.”  Ah, but one wonders how the writers know, given “measly” writings of the era, but we leave that question aside. 

This was a time of great “epidemics” … affecting the Indians, who mostly “wanted allies and access to European military weapons.”  Besides, the “peaceful meal” was just a break in misery, and – we learn – “did not last.” Hmmm.   

Well, something must have lasted – since we are here.  Then we are told we have it all wrong, as settlers were “rebranded” as “Pilgrims” in the 1800s.  Interesting, as a Pilgrim is a person who journeys to a sacred place for religious reasons; that part is left out.

Last, we suffer the explanation that Thanksgiving is just to support “nativism and nostalgia,” glorifying descendants, a tonic for the Cold War. Of course, we are told celebrating peace between Pilgrims and Native Americans is not modern, as “there are 573 federally-recognized tribes today” and Thanksgiving creates “dissonance between that reality and the common story of Thanksgiving…”  Come again?

Well, if only we could recreate … that happy dissonance today, breaking bread and sharing fortunes with those different; if only we had the sense of oneness in our differences – e pluribus unum, “out of many, one” – then we might all be happier around a modern Thanksgiving table.

CNN weighed in, of course. Thanksgiving is hardly about thanks to God.  It is about those “balloons” being “flight tested” for a parade, “new characters,” “Sponge Bob” to “Smokey Bear.”  Well, okay.

So, let’s enjoy the parade and balloons, minimize our dissonance, put away our leather hats and feathers.  Let’s take in a good football game, steaming turkey and hot pie. 

But here is the straight scoop.  Thanksgiving is not “stuck in the past.”  It is our past.  Here – for one precious day – we are a Nation giving thanks to God, not to criers, critics, or condescending media.  We give thanks for what is good in life, and our nation. And we give that thanks to God, just as our forebearers did.

Yes, about that “First Proclamation After Plymouth.”  It was delivered in 1621 by Governor Bradford of Massachusetts, three years after the Pilgrims settled at Plymouth. It was not … about balloons.  Here it is:

“In as much as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and in as much as He has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience. 

Now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the daytime, on Thursday, November 29th, of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty three and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.”

Signed “William Bradford, Ye Governor of Ye Colony”

With that, my friends, I rest my case – and wish all a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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Joe_P
1 year ago

To paraphrase Ben Franklin: We have a republic if we can keep it. The Democrats, allying themselves with all the groups who seek to tear apart our republic and replace it with a socialist “dictatorship of the proletariat” must be defeated. Not compromised with or reasoned with; DEFEATED. Trump has shown the way with his courageous stand and continued progress despite the unrelenting assault on his presidency and his person. He must not be allowed to stand alone. Be courageous yourselves. Support Trump at every opportunity. Our country must survive this time in history and emerge cleansed of the hippies and grown-up flower children who have corrupted nearly every facet of our culture. As in 1776, we yearn to retain our freedom at all costs. To those who consider us with scorn: find a better country and GO there.

Denise
1 year ago

Amen, let us all be thankful to God for our many blessings!

A Weber
1 year ago

Thanksgiving for me, is each morning that I awake to another day to thank God I live in American…Home of the free & brave…Amen

Donna Burleson
1 year ago

We are so very thankful to God and His Son Jesus for each and every blessing he gives us! We have so much to ne thankful for. Stop and think about all your blessings. We are blessed to live in America; for our precious freedom that we have!!!!!!!! The abundance we have!

Todd Taylor
1 year ago

14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Perfect article!
1 year ago

Perfect article!

Marta
1 year ago

Thank you Amac for J. Farley’s excellent reply and replies from all the others who are grateful for God’s blessings this Thanksgiving and every day. Keep up the good work ?. Marta

Marta
1 year ago

Thank you Amac for printing J. Farley’s excellent reply and all of the other replies from those who are grateful for our many God given blessings this Thanksgiving and every day. Keep up the good work?

Joanna Johnson-Smith
1 year ago

We can never erase truthful history, no matter how hard we try. Most of us have no desire to rewrite it, except the Liberals who find it “Inconvenient” or out of step with their Fantasy Version of the truth. We have already remained apathetic while these evil, mentally-unstable wimps have taken our monuments and flags and consistently attacked our Constitution. When do we say, “NO MORE”? How much will it take before we finally put an end to it? These freaks want the turkey and trimmings, but not the history or God. They want the Christmas tree and colored lights, Santa Claus,(preferably genderless), and the Black Friday mobs, but not the true meaning of the celebration, not God. They want the Easter Bunny and candy bars, but not God, not the Savior whose rise from the tomb is the reason for the celebration. In MY thinking, they have no RIGHT to celebrate these Christian Holidays while attacking the Christian People and God’s Word. The ultimate Hypocrites.

Jack Thomas
1 year ago

Joanna Johnson-Smith

Well said! But the liberal-radical left (largely atheists who want to erase God from celebrations of Christian holidays) have their own holiday reserved for them: It’s called “April Fool’s Day.”

Mr and Mrs Robert Benschoff
1 year ago

Amen to your ending

Mary
1 year ago

God bless this great Country! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Todd Taylor
1 year ago

How can anyone be but thankful for all God does for us in any given moment.

Vicki Fuselier
1 year ago

I’m thankful to God Donald Trump is President not HRC! Thank you Jesus!!

Alfonso Bedoya
1 year ago

Amazing how Lefitst-Revisionist historians continue to try to change history. Even more amazing that too many people seem to believe their blather.

Dee
1 year ago

Religion is part of our lives. Our country had it from the beginning. The Pilgrims gave thanks for their safe passage to the new world and for their friends who taught them how to plant crops to survive. What is happening to our country? At my senior meeting; we have a prayer, then the salute to OUR American flag a symbol of our country, and then we sing God Bless America. Congress opens with a prayer. I cannot stand it that these folks want to take away our traditions, our heroes. Our lord and Savior. People HAVE to STAND UP and protest against our beliefs and freedoms they are taking away from us. Political Correctness; you can’t say things that might insult someone who doesn’t believe. DRAT it. Say it. Who are they to tell us not to do it. Our Constitution gives us Freedom of Religion; freedom to choose the religion we follow and to pray the way we want. There is nothing in there about separation of church and state. We are NOT to be persecuted for being religious. these folks want to take down our statues that have been up for 100 years; they are a remembrance of what happened. History repeats itself. Schools can’t celebrate holidays; it may insult someone. tough luck. You don’t like it, don’t join in. go do a study hall.
Do YOU believe in the almighty? go to church. volunteer to help others. don’t hide out, The more that show this and do things to honor Him; we will get the message out.

David Lyday
1 year ago

A blessed Thanksgiving to all. And Thanks to Robert Charles and AMAC for the … what’s the word?… Oh, yeah … truth!

I wonder whether the people at Time KNOW they are Communists, or if they are just Useful Idiots?

(From “Communist goals (1963)”)
“30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the “common man.”

31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the “big picture.”

Robert J. White
1 year ago

Happy Thanksgiving. May you and your family be Blessed.

Karl Wabrowetz
1 year ago

Thank you, AMAC, for this wonderful article, that speaks the truth in every word. One has to wonder why liberals think this nation has to be changed so much from how we were started. If we are so wrong, why do people from around the world try desperately to get here to enjoy the freedoms that we have? If you don’t like the way America is, leave! Border walls are to keep illegal immigrants out, not unappreciative people in. God has blessed this nation because of our belief and faith in Him. I thank Him for our freedoms, our country, and our President. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, even those who don’t agree with me.

Josephine pooley
1 year ago

Love this!

Jack Thomas
1 year ago

The writer is correct in his observations on the history and tradition of Thanksgiving. His article crystalizes, once again, the tireless efforts of the political left to re-write a part of American history in an unflattering light. Or worse, to erase its significance from the public square altogether —- just as the left has attempted to do in its treatment of Christmas. That today’s school children are being fed a watered down version of Thanksgiving is both alarming and sad, in that it leaves them with a distorted view of what this great American tradition is really about. It’s hardly surprising that I read just a few days ago that students were quoted as saying, “Thanksgiving is BS for capitalists.” Here is a declaration from the young that’s clearly devoid of sentiment, of thoughtful reverence or respect, of gratitude to be living in a country where they have the freedom to celebrate the blessings of God and family. HEAVEN HELP THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

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