Wednesday, November 22, 2006

On Thankstaking

The Puritans were not just simple religious conservatives persecuted by the Church of England. They were outcasts and fugitives who came to the new world to establish a "Holy Kingdom". And they came to America in at least 100 ships. Their plan was to take the land from the native people to build their own country. They were the "chosen ones," or so they thought, in a holy war against Satan. Here is what Thomas Mather, the leader of the Puritans, was reported to have said on Thanksgiving day;

"In a Thanksgiving sermon delivered at Plymouth in 1623, Thomas Mather, an elder, gave special thanks to God for the devastating plague that wiped out most of the native Wampanoag Indians. Mather added in his sermon that he praised God for destroying chiefly the young men and the children, whom he described as the "very seeds of increase, thus clearing the forests to make way for a better growth."

To the Pilgrims, the Indians were heathens and instruments of the devil. The Indians were considered dangerous. They courted them, waiting for additional ships to arrive. The real reason behind the first Thanksgiving feast was to negotiate a treaty for land that would give the Pilgrims time to build their Army. The irony was that the Indians brought most of the food for that first feast.

As the Pilgrims gained military strength, they rejected friendship. One night in 1637, without provocation, Gov. Bradford, the commander of the colony, sent his militia against his Indian neighbors. The soldiers conducted a surprise assault and while the village slept, every man, woman and child were killed. Bradford used these words to describe his night of fire and death:

"It was a fearful sight to see them frying in the fire and the streams of blood quenching the same and horrible was the stink and stench thereof. But the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice and they [the Massachusetts militiamen] gave praise thereof to God." Afterward he called on his congregation to give thanks to God for the attack "that on this day we have sent 600 heathen souls to hell."

A decade later, most of the New England Indians were either exterminated or fled to Canada. Others were sold into slavery. It was the success of selling Indians into slavery that prompted the Puritan ship-owners to go to Africa for black slaves, bringing them to America and selling them to colonies of the South. The first ship deployed for this purpose was the Mayflower.

Upon learning this it was a sad revelation about this special holiday. The TRV sessions were conducted in the blind and do tend to confirm the historical record of Thanksgiving as a bloody and terrible episode in American history. Certainly, not what we were all taught to believe growing up. But after thinking about it, though the history we have learned may be in error, it doesn't take away the intent of millions of Americans who on this day raise a glass and toast family and friends celebrating and giving thanks for their love and bounty. (However, This bubble of illusion still needs to be busted into reality-AUG)

It is also comforting to know that we have access to the truth. Even though it might be painful or not be the truth we want, at least it is the truth. And knowing the truth is always better than honoring a lie.

From the Matrix site


Post a Comment

<< Home

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
$223,693,000,000 The Most Expensive Impeachment In History!
Cost of the War in Iraq
To see more details, click here.
Radical Women of Color Bloggers
Join | List | Previous | Next | Random | Previous 5 | Next 5 | Skip Previous | Skip Next