USA’s Thanksgiving ‘Not A Religious Holiday!’ – Jakarta Globe Yank

Americans have enjoyed their Thanksgiving turkey and washed the dishes for another year, and I hope they all enjoyed their day.

But here in Jakarta, it was just another excuse for the Jakarta Globe’s stable of expat ‘nay-sayers’ to misinform Indonesians about their home countries, in this case some Yank named Tim Henry – I mentioned this a few days ago, so should exlain.

Here’s an extract from the JG –

‘But it’s Thanksgiving that is the real jewel of American holidays. It is what a celebration should be: Feasting and family, alongside reunions with loved ones and a sense of festivity, forgiveness and renewal. You can see the same spirit in Idul Fitri, which comes with mudik (homecoming), new clothes and yes, a proper feeding.

But Thanksgiving is not a religious holiday.



We Ontario folks had our Thanksgivings – on a different date from the USA’s, but otherwise an entirely similar event – and while we all thanked Grandma for the excellent cooking, and thanked everybody for coming long distances to join in, we knew without any doubts at all that the Thanks we were Giving were owed to Somebody considerably older than Grandma, and a lot more powerful – and given my Grandma’s character, that was saying something!

Of course it’s a religious holiday. We thanked God Almighty for the bounty our farm produced!

But Pinko Tim isn’t hardly started on demeaning his country’s special day.

While Christianity prescribes two major feasts on its calender, Thanksgiving — marked last Thursday — is supposed to honor the unique pilgrim/American Indian relationship. It is a glossed-over remembrance of what was, at its best, an uneasy pact (and at its worst, genocide). In the absence of religion, what exactly we’re supposed to celebrate becomes murky. “Thanksgiving was a bunch of pagans teaching religious zealots how to farm,” Jon Stewart said on “The Daily Show” on Monday.

Well, that winds up any debate before it can even begin, if Jon Stewart’s holy name has been invoked. EXCEPT THERE’S NO ‘ABSENCE OF RELIGION!’

In fact, of course, Canadians and Americans all know, or should know, that it is both a religious holiday and a remembrance of an interlude of friendship between Red Indians and pioneers.


However, despite rumours to the contrary, I am capable of self-doubt, and decided to do a brief check in case the US version was not religious but more in keeping with the ACLU policy of banning God from the national character.

…the first winter in 1621, 46 of the 102 pilgrims died. Thankfully, the following year resulted in a plentiful harvest. The pilgrims decided to celebrate with a feast that would include 90 natives who helped the pilgrims survive during that first winter. One of the most celebrated of those natives was a Wampanoag who the settlers called Squanto. He taught the pilgrims where to fish and hunt and where to plant New World crops like corn and squash. He also helped negotiate a treaty between the pilgrims and chief Massasoit…The first actual mention of the word thanksgiving came in connection with a a feast or celebration was in 1623. Governor Bradford proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving to offer prayers and thanks to God. Again, in 1631, a ship full of supplies that was feared to be lost at sea finally pulled into Boston Harbor. Governor Bradford again ordered a day of Thanksgiving and prayer.

And since the subject has arisen, here are extracts from a very good little article from Human Events.

Politically Incorrect Thanksgiving  by A.W.R. Hawkins 26th November 2009

Like so many aspects of Western Civilization, Thanksgiving is being hijacked by liberal multiculturalists intent on turning it into a secular celebration divorced from the spiritual ties that bind the 17th century colonists to 21st century Americans.

But the real history of Thanksgiving is far less secular and much less politically correct than the Left would have us think. It is characterized by references to God, the freedoms he gives us through nature, and the western traditions Americans from all walks of life have defended and espoused…..

When the Plymouth colony held a day of Thanksgiving in autumn 1621, they did so believing they had survived the winter of 1620-1621 by God’s providence alone. The cold winds of winter had carried sickness that took its toil on the Pilgrims and those who survived were grateful to God for the fact.

The second Thanksgiving feast, held in the summer of 1623, was a celebration of the benefits the Pilgrims were then enjoying as a result of privatizing their colony according to the laws of nature.

When Plymouth colony was first founded, under the Governorship of John Carver, all land was held in common (think “socialism”). This experiment nearly marked the end of the colony, as land was divided equally among all the colonists and the labor necessary to improve and maintain it was expected from everyone without their work being rewarded in return.

This situation necessarily bred discontent and poverty. Said Plymouth leader William Bradford: “Young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did [regret] that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense…that was thought injustice.”

So when Carver died in 1623 and Bradford ascended to the office of Governor, all land was privatized and the fortunes of the colony drastically changed: they literally went from a condition of quasi-starvation and deprivation to one of plenty. Said Governor Bradford: “This had very good success, for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.”

In other words, through privatization the Pilgrims went from a condition of want to a condition of plenty…..Long after Plymouth colony held these early examples of Thanksgiving, the habit of thanking God for his benevolence and protection continued. In December 1777, during the American Revolution, colonies across the nation held a day of Thanksgiving to God to “[commemorate] the surrender of British General Burgoyne at Saratoga.” On October 3, 1789, President George Washington issued a proclamation of “National Thanksgiving” in which he “[recommended] to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God.”

In 1798 John Adams, the second President of the United States, made similar proclamations in which he called the American people to demonstrate “fervent thanksgiving to the Bestower of Every Good Gift.” A year later he issued another such proclamation in which he called Americans to a “due acknowledgment of the governing providence of a Supreme Being and of the accountableness of men to Him.”

Good Heavens! Those pinko creeps in the ACLU would have the first and second US Presidents dragged through the streets to the nearest pinko judge to have them punished for breaching the ‘separation of church and state’ clause in the constitution, which of course doesn’t exist.

Many thanks to Human Events for reminding us of what the RELIGIOUS holiday of Thanksgiving is all about.  Tim Henry is welcome to comment, and I hope our many American readers will chip in too.

Now I have to go Christmas shopping.