November 24, 2008

More Thanksgiving myths debunked

'Thanksgiving':  Local author recounts tale a little closer to realityThe Pilgrims of the first Thanksgiving shared plates (then called trenchers) and cups, some ate with their hands and only the more important men had chairs. The others sat on rocks, logs or on the ground. It was a three-day feast with 140 people, 90 of whom were American Indians. Four adult women toiled away with the help of some teenage girls and servants.

While turkey was served, so were deer, swan, goose and various seafood. And the reasons for the feast remains a mystery.
And:[W]hile the common assumption is the brave Pilgrims came to America for religious freedom, only 40 of the 140 passengers were actual separatists. The rest were there to try their hand at fortune, their passage paid for by investors.Trimble:  Thanksgiving out among the colonizedAs Nancy told it, “Thanksgiving is often depicted in an idyllic scene with starched-and-buckled pilgrims devoutly in prayer over a bountiful spread of turkey with all the trimmings, joined at the table by a small number of Indians, often shown wearing Plains tribal garb.” But, in reality, she said, “it was an uneasy three-day meeting of the settlers and Wampanoag Indians to work out a peace and mutual-support agreement.”

She cited the notes of on-the-scene witness Edward Winslow who tells of three days “characterized by the smell of gun powder mingled with the aroma of roasting meat,” during which “great quantities of beer and wine were consumed.” In Winslow’s notes, he makes no mention of giving thanks to God or to the Wampanoags, who brought almost all of the food.
Comment:  These postings don't say it, but the few Pilgrims who weren't money-grubbing opportunists were religious fanatics. They wanted the "freedom" to practice their belief in Biblical obedience to white-male dominance.

What do you get when you mix capitalism and Christianity? You get people eager to conquer others in the name of God and Mammon. Thus it's not surprising that within a decade or two, the "peace-loving" Pilgrims were at war with the Indians.

This approach has continued down through the ages: from the original Crusades to Columbus's voyages to Bush's "crusade" against Islamic countries. It's a staple of Western civilization. You kill the "others," take their riches, and claim God told you to do it.

Below:  A classic compendium of our Thanksgiving myths, just as described by Trimble's contact.

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