Blog Post – Thanksgiving Day Should Be Non-Controversial, But . . .

. . .  in today’s world anything is possible!

Thanksgiving is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the act of giving thanks” or “a public acknowledgement or celebration of divine goodness.” 

October 1621 was the first Thanksgiving in the New World in what would become Massachusetts.   The Pilgrims sent an invitation to Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoags, whose village was about fifty miles southwest of where the Pilgrims were establishing their town.  Massasoit had been instrumental in getting Squanto connected to the Pilgrims.  Squanto’s amazing story is further evidence of God’s hand in the Pilgrims successfully establishing a foothold in the New World.  But that story’s for another time . . . .

So, Governor Bradford called for a day of public Thanksgiving to be held in October.  Massasoit was invited and showed up a day early with 90 other Indians!  How to feed so many?? It would surely cut deeply into the food supply that was supposed to get them through the winter.  But Massasoit had not come unprepared!  He had the braves hunt for the occasion and they arrived with five dressed deer and more than a dozen wild turkeys.  The Indians also helped prepare the meal, teaching the Pilgrim women how to make hoecakes, corn/maple syrup pudding and popcorn!  The Pilgrims provided vegetables from their household gardens. 

Between meals the Pilgrims and Indians competed in shooting contests with gun and bow.  They held foot races and wrestling contests.  Captain Miles Standish staged military drills.  Things went so well that the first Thanksgiving Day in the New World actually lasted three days!

George Washington recognized what we should be thankful for (and it wasn’t stores and merchandise!), to Whom we should be thankful and the duty of nations as he noted in his October 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation:

  • it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor
  • . . . For the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted
  • for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed…”
  • that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions

President George Washington fully understood that only a nation dependent upon God would be a blessing and not a burden to her people:  “to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed … and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord, to promote the knowledge and practice of the true religion and virtue, . . . .”

He conclude his proclamation, “Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be – That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks – for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation.”

In President Washington’s second Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1795, he again lists several things Americans should be thankful for such as continued peace, prosperity, “the great degree of internal tranquility”, the “happy course of public affairs in general,” and notes, “are circumstances which peculiarly mark our situation with indications of the Divine beneficence towards us.”

He continues:

“In such a state of things it is, in an especial manner, our duty as people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experience.

Deeply penetrated with this sentiment, I, George Washington, President of the United States, do recommend to all religious societies and denominations, and to all persons whomsoever, within the United States, to set apart and observe Thursday, the nineteenth day of February next, as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer: and on that day to meet together and render their sincere and hearty thanks to the great Ruler of nations for the manifold and signal mercies which distinguish our lot as a nation.”

More evidence George Washington was NOT a deist who believed in a distant God who did not engage Himself in the lives of men!

Now, students in Portland, Oregon will be taught that Thanksgiving is really a celebration of the genocide of the Indians by greedy capitalist Europeans.  They are being taught that all the indigenous peoples (Indians, as Christopher Columbus called them, thinking he had reached India) living in the New World were universally peace-loving, Mother Earth-respecting, generous and welcoming.  They are being taught Columbus was “hungry for money” and upon disembarking from his ship began capturing the Indians and torturing them for information about gold.  What is being left out of the students’ lessons are actual words from Columbus’ diary such as “ a people who can be made free and converted to our Holy Faith more by love than by force” and his warning to the men “take nothing from the people without giving something in exchange.”   

These students in Portland, Oregon and students in other schools who are using Howard Zinn’s “A Young People’s History of the United States” are being taught “The tragedy of Columbus and the Arawaks happened over and over again. Spanish conquerors Herman Cortés and Francisco Pizarro destroyed the Aztecs of Mexico and the Incas of South America. When English settlers reached Virginia and Massachusetts, they did the same thing to the Indians they met.”   What is being left out are the facts Cortes was welcomed as a liberator by the tribes who had been persecuted by the Aztecs for more than 100 years and he could not have defeated the Aztecs without the help of the 50,000 Indians who joined him. 

Zinn’s textbook informs students that the Indians were far superior in every aspect from treating children better than did the Europeans because they shunned corporal punishment and sought to influence them by instilling the ideas of independence and courage.  They are being taught “the Iroquois, the most powerful of the northeastern tribes, shared land and food, and the work of farming and hunting. . . . Women were important and respected . . . , and the sexes shared power. Children were taught to be independent. Not only the Iroquois but other Indian tribes behaved in similar ways.” Overall, the Indians lived in greater equality than people in Europe did.”   Actually, the Iroquois was a confederacy of five tribes and they had united to gain strength in order to resist the opposition of Huron and Algonquian-speaking tribes. 

When teaching about Thanksgiving there are certain no-no’s such as never telling students that Pilgrims and Native Americans helped each other (so forget telling the story of  Squanto or the First Thanksgiving ever celebrated in the New World as described in the opening paragraphs of this blog post which was taken from the diaries of those who actually attended the First Thanksgiving!).  Asking students to make headdresses and headbands, creating Native American names and spirit animals, coloring bows and arrows or singing “Ten Little Indian Boys” are all forbidden activities. 

Teen Vogue even gets into the anti-Thanksgiving theme by creating a video featuring six girls somberly seated behind a table laden with a traditional Thanksgiving feast. They discuss “the real history of Thanksgiving” as a celebration of deaths of entire villages and “war crimes” as dramatic music plays. They describe what they are “thankful” for—their “culture” and being born “indigenous.” As the music comes to a doomsday crescendo, the six angrily overturn the table and declare, “Happy Thanksgiving, America.”

Millennial students want to get rid of Thanksgiving and according to The College Fix these students believe Thanksgiving represents “themes of oppression and colonization” because it is “based off of the genocide of indigenous people.”  Some students “believe most American holidays are rooted in oppression” and others say “no holidays with religious connotation should be observed.”    Hmm, wonder if they know ‘holidays’ is a shortened form of ‘holy days’??

As Janice Shaw Crouse notes in her recent article on, “How arrogant are today’s students to think that they are above thanking God for the blessings that they enjoy in such abundance without having really earned any of it through their own efforts?  How dare they disparage those early settlers who cut their way through forests and blazed trails across mountains, facing deprivation, dangers, and hunger such as today’s young people have never experienced?  

Generally, Americans from the past who established and celebrated Thanksgiving were the “salt of the earth,” the “backbone of our community,” and the “elders of the church.”  How dare these privileged college students look down their noses at those who made it possible for them to go to college with a car, smartphone, computer, and spending money as well?

How privileged they are!  How ungrateful they are!”

This lack of thankfulness can be placed at the feet of America’s public education system and its using so-called history books such as Howard Zinn’s  “A Young People’s History of the United States” or  using materials from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Teaching Tolerance.”  The public education system, which is funded by our tax dollars, has graduated a generation of students who have been taught a warped view of our nation’s history.  Is there any wonder so many hate America and believe socialism is a better alternative than capitalism?   All taxpayers can legally review the textbooks and curriculum used in classrooms.  What is your local school district using?

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