Most of us are very familiar with the story of the first Thanksgiving, when the Pilgrims gathered with their new-found Indian friends to give thanks to God for not only sparing their lives but giving them the blessing of abundance after nearly failing to survive their first winter in New England.
What you might NOT know, however, is the story behind the story.
When the Pilgrims first landed at Plymouth they embarked on an experiment the world had never seen. The brave new world that they forged was laden with mistakes early on that were later corrected. Had they not been corrected, they probably would not have survived.
The society that the first band of Pilgrims forged was collectivist in nature. They lived commune-style, sharing everything with each other. Property was held in common. There was no private property or personal liberty. It is understandable that they would do such a thing, being alone in a strange land with strange natives. They felt they had to be collectivist in order to survive and to foster a sense of inter-dependence on each other. They believed that their lives depended on it, just as collectivists today are convinced that they need big government to take care of them from the cradle to the grave.
The result, however, was far less than desirable. There was no incentive to prosper, no personal pride in private ownership of property, no real motivation to excel and to do the things necessary not only to survive but thrive.
Thus, when winter came they were ill-prepared to face the harsh realities of the climate. Over half of them died that winter alone. All of these factors taught the Puritans a valuable lesson. What they were doing was not working. And, being the resilient lot that they were, they adjusted course.
First of all, they ditched the socialistic model of living that nearly brought them to extinction. A capitalistic system was introduced that stressed individual responsibility and initiative, personal freedom, free trade, and private property. They made friends with their Indian neighbors who taught them how to plant corn.
In turn, the Pilgrims helped the Indians, thus initiating that hallmark practice of capitalism–free trade. Goods were traded between the Pilgrims and the Indians.
The colony began to thrive. Children were born. Plymouth grew. Prosperity began to replace abject poverty and illness. By the following Autumn, the colony had flourished so much that they wanted to express their thanks to God for their bountiful plenty. They invited their Indian friends and trade partners to join them in sharing a meal during which they remembered that all blessings flow from the One above who loves His children.
However, God did not simply send a smile their way down from heaven and then swoop down to do all this for them. These hearty souls had sense enough to know that faith does not mean God does everything for us, but gives us the strength to do what WE must do.
The Pilgrims discovered the path to prosperity and survival, and it was NOT socialism. When they implemented the capitalistic model of free trade and private ownership, their lot changed drastically for the better.
And THAT is the story behind the story of the first Thanksgiving. You will not hear this story in our government-run schools nor in most of the hallowed halls of higher learning in America, which have succumbed to the scourge of socialism. You actually have to go back to the late 19th century and the early 20th century to find textbooks that tell this entire story, the whole truth.
During the reign of the ‘Progressives’ under Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, a systematic plan of censorship and a revision of history was implemented by those with a vested interest in hiding the real truth about America’s birth. The facts presented above were banned from schools, ripped out of textbooks, and buried–tucked away on the back shelves of some historical library. The ensuing socialistic system of education in this country brainwashed generations of students into believing something entirely different about Thanksgiving than the truth.
But the truth is still the truth no matter how many people among the citizenry believe lies.
It is to be hoped that all of you reading this today will have a wonderful Thanksgiving. It is to be hoped that you will gather with friends or family, or both, to share a meal. It is to be hoped that you will give thanks to God for your blessings. And it is to be hoped that you will take time to pause to remember what our forebears had in mind when they came to this land.
May their vision of liberty never vanish from the earth!
(Hat tip to Rush Limbaugh for inspiring the writing of this Thanksgiving Tribute).
A brand new entry is now available in my regular series Musings After Midnight, which is now posted at my blog, The Liberty Sphere. The very latest is “A Brief, Simple Explanation of Why Obama is Still President.”
Visit my ministry site at Martin Christian Ministries.
Subscribe by clicking the links at the top of the page, or below, and you will receive free notifications of new articles plus a free newsletter.