Letter to the editor: True Thanksgiving

An article by Lea Sinclair Filson, governor general of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants in the Tulsa Beacon (November 26) described the cordial interaction between the Pilgrims and 90 members of the Wampanoag Indians in 1621 – one year after the Pilgrims arrived in America.

These two groups of people lived peacefully for 50 years. The occasion was a time of food, fellowship and giving praise and thanksgiving to God for providing their survival as they endured indescribable hardships on their hazardous journey and a deadly winter in search of freedom to build a community on biblical principles for their offspring – not for religious freedom as often cited.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, spoke about who should be thanked. He said that it is puzzling for atheists to celebrate Thanksgiving as they do not recognize the Pilgrims’ giving God the praise and they are not thankful to the Founders of this nation.

Are the secularists thankful to anyone?

If there is no God, they shouldn’t consider this a holiday. Americans have reason to give thanks to God for our freedoms, for the legacy of freedom and to those who provide us protection (including health care workers, the military, policemen and firefighters).

Another article, “Children Being Taught God Is Not Part of Thanksgiving,” appeared in a local newspaper. The children surveyed in a public school said they were thankful for material things – food, fun, family, toys, Santa, siblings, etc. Ten adults were asked the same question and gave the same superficial reply.

It is apparent that both the adult population along with the youth do not see thankfulness as anything but self-gratification – what I have and what I will be getting (from Santa).

Gary DeMar, who wrote the article, said that being thankful to God and for what reason is not being taught in public schools. Professor Paul Kengor at Grove City College reported that in his search of books on Thanksgiving at Barnes & Noble’s children’s section, only one mentioned that thanks was given to God. When asked about what people are thankful for, the clerk said, “They are simply thankful.”

The erosion of the original intent of Thanksgiving (practiced by colonists and sanctioned by presidents and Congress) is seen in public school textbooks. One elementary social studies book had 30 pages of material on Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims but not one word about their religion and thankfulness to God. The mother of a student asked the principal why that was and he said, “This absence is only your opinion and the school can only teach what is in the textbook.”

As the historical record shows, thanksgiving was ultimately made to the God of the Bible and the early celebrations were expressions of deep gratitude to God for life itself. They were just glad to be alive. Now, if thankfulness is even taught or hinted at, all thanks goes to the “government-god.”

How sad. Schools are to reinforce what parents teach about the true object of thankfulness and for what. Perhaps, parents themselves don’t even know the real reason for Thanksgiving.