Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The War On Thanksgiving

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Last week Senator Tom Cotton said he feels the story of Thanksgiving is being forgotten---or revised to the extent that he was inclined to tell the story "on the Senate record."

He began, "A great American anniversary is upon us" and "Regrettably, we haven't heard much about this anniversary of the Mayflower; I suppose the Pilgrims have fallen out of favor in fashionable circles these days. I'd therefore like to take a few minutes to reflect on the Pilgrim story and its living legacy for our nation."

The "Pilgrim" speech was immediately attacked by a member of the House of Representatives.

The future of our country, and the continuity of ideas and institutions that we should all be grateful for, depend on Thanksgiving.

Be informed and grateful, not misled and deceived.

Cotton delivered a fitting tribute to the Pilgrims and their story of faith and perseverance, which is so intertwined with the Thanksgiving holiday and the values we cherish most.

Within moments, Muslim Representative Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., began the attack at Cotton on Twitter.

Among other barbs, Omar tweeted about Sen. Cotton, "When your sense of history doesn't go beyond your 3rd-grade coloring books and actual history terrifies you."

The so-called progressives would have you believe the half-baked revision of history, "Project 1619",  put forward by the New York Times, would be the truth. 

Omar's statement demonstrates the great crisis confronting modern Americans and their public school "educated" children this Thanksgiving season.

The war on Thanksgiving is a war on history.

Sen. Cotton gives a factual overview on the arrival of the Mayflower 400 years ago, the history---from their own writings and notes--- and the intent of the Pilgrims who made the journey. 

Cotton notes that "of course there were some on board who were not a part of the Pilgrim group, and they came for purely financial reasons. Even Winston Churchhill mentioned that fact in one of his books."

But the Pilgrims came out of a desire for freedom to worship God freely.

Sen. Cotton mentions New England statesman Daniel Webster, whose Plymouth Oration of 1820 explains how the Pilgrim forefathers laid down the foundation, the building blocks of what would become a country attached to both self-government and religious freedom.

This is one of the most important steps in turning the New England story into a national story.

However, Webster's speech was not merely a celebration of the past. He called on his generation and the generations to come to perpetuate and extend what had been given: the great gift of free government.

His speech was mixed with an unquestionable love of country, with a clear call for what needed to be changed---slavery had to be abolished.

The war on Thanksgiving is a war on truth.

Omar is not alone in dismissing the Pilgrim story or Thanksgiving as a whole. Many of our elite institutions---and now elected officials---have a knee-jerk reaction to attack or dismiss much of our history.

Jarrett Stepman, writing for the Signal---an arm of the Heritage Foundation---says Omar's "left-wing allies" often celebrate the works of Howard Zinn and his revised history book, "A People's History of the United States."

And he says: "In his book, Zinn created a dishonest, distorted, and ultimately shallow picture of the Pilgrim arrival in America."

Mary Graber, author of "Debunking Howard Zinn," wrote for the Federalist last Thanksgiving that Zinn deconstructs the Pilgrims' "first" Thanksgiving "to advance Marxist ideas of oppressors vs oppressed."

In these simplistic narratives, "The Pilgrims are portrayed as wicked oppressors and the native people as angelic, oppressed victims."

Unfortunately, this message has found a home in public schools across America.

In her critique of Zinn-inspired literature, she uses Portland, Oregon public schools as an example.

While those fully indoctrinated by Zinn and others like him may not be open to the truth, we should all be informed of the fact that this lunacy is driving young adults to extremism--- nowhere more than Portland, that hosted continuous riots for more than 120 days so far in 2020.

The fruit of the progressive labors.

Columbus was once nearly universally admired in America---his holiday only questioned by a small marginal group of radicals. Now the holiday has nearly collapsed. Even his statues are often going undefended by the descendants of Italian immigrants who built them.

Portland, Seattle, and a dozen or so other cities have been burned, broken, and looted this year because of the hate toward America these people like Howard Zinn have fomented in the children of our country.

Stepman believes Thanksgiving is in the stages of receiving the Columbus Day treatment.

He says, "We can't underestimate the threat of a few militant voices amplified by America's elite culture-shaping institutions."

The Providence of Thanksgiving

William Bradford, the Pilgrim leader wrote in his journal that upon landfall, the Pilgrims "fell on their knees and blessed the God of Heaven who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean."

Half the settlers died the first winter---it was a winter of disease, starvation, and death. Had it continued, there would be no story. But there is.

In March, a lone Native American walked into the Pilgrim village and greeted them in English. His name was Samoset. He'd learned some broken English from the fisherman in the waters of what is now Maine.

He and the Pilgrims exchanged gifts and he promised to return with another Native American, named Squanto, who spoke fluent English.

Squanto's tribe had been wiped out a couple of years earlier by an epidemic plague. Weakened by the losses, the Wampanoags had good reason to form an alliance with the Pilgrims. Squanto made the introductions, facilitated their peace and mutual aid treaty, which lasted more than 50 years.

Squanto remained with the Pilgrims, acting, in Bradford's words, as their interpreter and "a special instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectations."

It was Squanto who taught the Pilgrims how to farm, fish, and hunt, guiding them on land and sea to new destinations.


In 1621, they had a bountiful harvest. The Pilgrims invited the Massasoit and Wampanoag tribes to join them in a feast to express their thanks to God for His abundant gifts.

This meal was the first Thanksgiving.

This Thanksgiving, we are surrounded by many uncertainties. Put them aside, trust God, and thank Him for the many blessings you have received---and don't forget to be thankful for the Pilgrims on the 400th anniversary of their arrival.

Be Thankful. Be Blessed.