Monday, November 20, 2006

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Well, it's that time again. We in America gather around our dinner tables and televisions to celebrate Thanksgiving with our friends and family. Christians tend to gravitate toward this holiday, proclaiming it a time of blessing. It all sounds so great, this Thanksgiving holiday. Plenty of food and fun to go around. Lots of football.

But, if we go back to the origin of what we consider the first Thanksgiving, things weren't so nice. First, we must remember that the Puritans (who were called that for a reason) came seeking a place where they could be separate from those whom they considered too liberal in their faith. They had very strict rules and were quite fundamentalist in their beliefs.

They took over a sovreign nation (the Wampanoag who lived here) and proclaimed their faith as law, overrunning the native inhabitants. (Seeing a pattern?) The Puritans felt they had a mandate from their God to subdue the so-called savages and convert them. They disarmed the Wampanoag through deceit and force, thus taking over the land and all of the inhabitants.

Does any of this sound familiar? I know this should be a typical Thanksgiving post. But, that's not where our country is really at, is it? Just as the Puritans land-grabbed and dominated because they felt their God made them special, so has our government done the same. The Christian fundamentalists have grabbed control in the name of dominion and are slowly taking away all of our rights and liberties, just as the Puritans took away all of the ways of the Native American Wampanoag.

I encourage you this Thanksgiving holiday to consider the true history behind the holiday. Consider what is becoming of our country; how disrespected we are now because of sweeping facism and religious fundamentalism. Take time to thank your God for the year's blessings. By all means, do that. But then remember those who cannot because of war, famine, homelessness and lies. Be thankful....but remember to be humble.

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