I guess it got started in force in the 1960s with the question authority, anti-war societal mindset. Since then, many aspects of western culture have been hijacked by leftist multiculturalism.
Around this time of year in some schools, particularly out west, children are learning that Thanksgiving, along with Columbus Day, should be days of mourning. That’s because the evil European white man invaded their native paradise to rape the land and commit genocide on the indigenous peoples.
Some of my acquaintances have bought into that hogwash. They’re affable enough people. They’re just thoroughly misinformed.
Actor Gary Graham, who is also an occasional writer at one of the news sites I frequent, wrote: “In the oft-prevailing attitudes of Political Correctness I think too many in our good society have forgotten one very simple truth – we are the good guys. We don’t stand for subjugation; we stand for freedom.”
It was that freedom, the freedom to worship as one pleased, that brought a small band of Calvinist Protestants to the shores of America 390 years ago. Years prior, these Puritans were hectored and chased out of England for speaking out against the official state church.
They fled to Holland in 1608, where they enjoyed some semblance of spiritual liberty. But the corrupt secular culture was tempting their children to stray from the faith. So in 1620, these Pilgrims drew up a plan for a very dangerous trip – one that would take them across a wild ocean to a land they had never seen. And they knew it was a one-way trip.
Nathaniel Morton, one of their company, wrote about the trip in his journal: “… They knew they were pilgrims and strangers here below, and looked not much on these things, but lifted up their eyes to Heaven, their dearest country, where God hath prepared for them a city, and therein quieted their spirits.”
William Bradford, who would later become the first governor of the Plimouth Colony, described their arrival in a new world as Pilgrims “fell upon their knees and blessed the God of heaven who had brought them over this vast and furious ocean.”
The best description I’ve found for this group comes from the Old Testament book of Exodus: they were strangers in a strange land. That first brutal New England winter took its toll on those strangers. Almost half of their company died of disease or exposure. But a year later, the survivors gave thanks to God for allowing them to establish a new plantation, based on religious freedom and self-government.
More than a hundred years later, William Penn offered a great explanation of self-government when he wrote that man, because of his nature, will either be governed by God or ruled by tyrants.
Throughout our history, our nation’s leaders have called for days of thanksgiving. And that meant prayer. General Washington proclaimed one to commemorate the colonists’ win at the Battle of Saratoga.
Later, on Oct. 3, 1789, President Washington made the first official Thanksgiving proclamation. He wrote we should set aside “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God.”
Both Presidents John Adams and James Madison also issued thanksgiving proclamations. From Madison forward, Thanksgiving continued as a traditional holiday, but didn’t become an official national holiday until 1941 under President Franklin Roosevelt.
Starting with the Pilgrims and on to the Founders, their own writings gave witness to their Judeo-Christian faith. And because concepts like freedom and democracy are faith-based, America as we know it wouldn’t exist without that founding heritage.
I’m hardly what I’d call a professional historian. I’m just curious about a lot of different things. That’s why I find it vexing that our modern education system has done all it can to expunge these self-evident truths from ever being taught in the public schools.
It might be a bogus attempt to deny the God-centered roots that gave rise to America. Or maybe they’re just trying to downplay all the freedoms and rights that spring from those roots.
We need remember that free people, well educated, are always dangerous for tyrants – whether said tyrant is a person or a state … or self.
So why should a simple celebration as Thanksgiving give some people the vapors? Along the way, maybe we’ve lost some of our sense of reverence. Too many Americans have little or no gratitude for all the blessings this nation has bestowed on us.
Another reason we’ve become a nation of malcontents is because of the corrosive nature of political correctness. It’s a destructive idea that came out of the late 1800s, when it was called cultural Marxism.
That’s a longer story for later. But if you want an eyeful, just type “Frankfurt School” into your favorite search engine.
Before I get too far off in the weeds, I hope we all can relax for the day and think about from where our celebration of Thanksgiving came. It’s all there in the history books, the ones that modern day statists want us to forget.
But some of us are refusing to go along with the program. Thank you for reading, and have a blessed Thanksgiving.