The revisionist Thanksgiving

Across the United States, Americans are preparing for the holiday of Thanksgiving, except that many do not know exactly why we celebrate this wonderful day, and many others believe it is a day of sorrow.  Anything in American culture that would portray people in a reverent and humble position toward God Almighty is subject to criticism and Thanksgiving is not exempt.  Every year, the godless seek to chip away at the history of this blessed holiday that reminds us as a nation of our roots in thanking God for His many benefits.  Time Magazine last year wrote an article written by Sean Sherman, a Native American, who says “The Thanksgiving tale we tell is a harmful lie.” He goes on to tell his own tale about the event.

Sherman wrote for Time: “The first official mention of a “Thanksgiving” celebration occurs in 1627, after the colonists brutally massacre an entire Pequot village, then subsequently celebrate their barbaric victory. Years later, President Washington first tried to start a holiday of Thanksgiving in 1789, but this has nothing to do with “Indians and settlers, instead it’s intended to be a public day of “thanksgiving and prayer.”” He cites a revisionist version of American history rife with accusations of “nationalism,” land-grabbing, and “Protestant Americans” massacring indigenous people. William Bradford’s first-hand account of the first “Thanksgiving” found in “Of Plymouth Plantation” doesn’t remotely corroborate Sherman’s version of history. But Time published it anyway.

Another example was in 2007 when the Seattle Public School system instructed its staff to “deconstruct” Thanksgiving using a bitter account by a native American advocacy group. “Deconstructing the Myths of the First Thanksgiving” offered 11 “myths” for teachers to share. These “myths” hardly documented anything from the true historic account written by Bradford. Myth number 11 recounted as fact: “For many Indian people, “Thanksgiving” is a time of mourning, of remembering how a gift of generosity was rewarded by theft of land and seed corn, extermination of many from disease and gun, and near total destruction of many more from forced assimilation. As currently celebrated in this country, “Thanksgiving” is a bitter reminder of 500 years of betrayal returned for friendship.”

In “Of Plymouth Plantation,” Bradford writes of how the Indians stole tools from the settlers and after an English speaking Indian named Samoset came to their camp, they became friends, the tools were returned and “With him, after friendly entertainment and some gifts, they made a peace which has now continued for twenty-four years.”  The peace agreement set forth how the Pilgrims and the Indians would help and protect each other by living in peace.  The bitter politically-correct crowd has it wrong with lies and revisions.  The first Thanksgiving, as it was then and is today, is a 1 Chronicles 16:34 day, “O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endures for ever.”   And don’t let the lies of deceivers spoil it.   

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Bill Wilson