By June Griffin
"Come Thanksgiving...." Dear Daddy: What is Thanksgiving? Well, my child, years ago we had a celebration called Thanksgiving. The name would indicate that there was a cause of giving thanks and someone who would be thanked. I am very sorry you don't know what it is. There is no spirit out of the north pole to ride in on a sleigh, there are no presents, nothing to buy except something to eat, most of which you would turn up your nose seeing you are so spoiled at the table, no drunk parties or dancing girls, just a solemn giving of thanks. As for the dinner, you probably don't like cranberry sauce, are too afraid of gaining weight to eat the gravy over the potatoes, have had too many free dinners for which you thanked no one, and maybe you feel sorry for a turkey which once roamed the wild and now may be endangered.
But since you have asked, I will try to explain. In 1620, there was a band of very strange people called Pilgrims. Under England's oppression, they were forbidden to read the Bible and pray in public schools and other public places like they wanted to and the state had instituted something like the 501-c-3 tax exemption, so they were afraid to speak up for these Pilgrims' right to keep what they earn. Their pastors had to go to seminary to learn to go along with the politics of the day, so these Pilgrims got on a boat called the Mayflower and headed out to a vast wilderness which we know now as the United States.
They stopped in Holland but having to join a craft or labor union was contrary to their love of liberty so they set out again. Half of them died on the trip, leaving around 150 of them to continue. They endured storms and even mockery from one of the sailors, but Governor Bradford, their leader, reported that the Lord struck him dead for his mockery. I know this shocks you but then people knew that the Creator and Author of the Bible was alive and handled situations like mockery of His people. Their Bible did say: "Touch not mine anointed and do my prophets no harm." Their Saviour lives today.
They landed by God's providence at Plymouth, not too far from where Ted Kennedy got rid of his problem with Mary Jo Kopechne. Before they landed, they executed our earliest official document, the Mayflower Compact, saying that their purpose for being here was "for the advancement of the Christian faith." Didn't your college professor tell you this was the basis for the Constitution?
In order to finance the trip, they had agreed to share the wealth which was a fancy dream of the London company, who wanted to see how honest people would get along in a sort of commune, owning nothing and distributing labor and goods among themselves. They nearly starved to death, so Governor Bradford broke this deal with the London Company and they turned to the God of the Bible to provide for them. He ordered that each man would have a piece of ground for his own, what he produced would be for him and his family and if none would work, they wouldn't eat, for the Governor said that the other system bred much greed and discontent.
They began to prosper and to say that it was their hard work that brought their prosperity, so as Governor Bradford stated, God brought a famine to their crops. I know that with all your education, you will have a hard time with his language, but I am going to tell you exactly how he wrote it down.
"I may not here omite how, notwithstand all their great paines and industrie, and ye great hops of a large cropp, the Lord seemed to blast, and take away the same, and to threaten further and more sore famine unto them, by a great drought which continued from ye 3. weeks in May, till about ye midle of July, without any raine, and with great heat (for ye most parte) insomuch as ye corne begane to wither away, though it was set with fishe, the moysture whereof helped it much.
Yet at length it begane to languish sore, and some of ye drier grounds were partched like withered hay, part whereof was never recovered. Upon which they sett a parte a solemn day of humilliation, to seek ye Lord by humble & fervente prayer, in this great distress. And he was pleased to give them a grecious and speedy answer, both to their owne and the Indeans admiration, that lived amongest them. For all ye morning, and greatest part of the day, it was clear weather and very hotte, and not a cloud of any signe of raine to be seen, yet toward evening it begane to overcast, and shortly after to raine, with such sweete and gentle showers, as gave them cause of rejoyceing, and blessing God. It came, without either wind, or thunder, or any violence, and by degreese in yt abundance, so that ye earth was thorowly wete and soked therwith. Which did so apparently revive and quicken ye decayed corne and other fruits, as was wonderfull to see, and made ye Indeans astonished to behold; and afterwards the Lord sent them shuch seasonable showers, with enterchange of faire warme weather, as, through his blessing, caused a fruitfull and liberall harvest, to their no small comforte and rejoyceing. For which mercie (in time convenients) they also sett aparte a day of thanksgiving."
And this so impressed the Indians, they could hardly get over it. They even testified that their rain was with thunder and lightning that broke down their corn but this was a gentle rain. And concluded that "the Pilgrims God is a good God."
Deuteronomy 8:11-14 and 17 and 18) states that God gives wealth as the seal of His covenant, and dear child, what wealth we have is the filling of God's sacred promise that because of their oaths and covenants, because so many veterans gave their lives for this nation, in Jesus' Name, we have had great wealth and are the envy of the world.
The late William Hosmer, who compiled Pilgrims Free Themselves From Communism; Establish Free Enterprise, adds: Here, enquiring reader, is the answer as to why God caused the famine to come upon the Pilgrims. He (God) in His all-knowing wisdom knew that once the principle of individual enterprise was established in this little Pilgrim community that the effect would be affluence and plenty. He (God) also knew as His word (the Bible) attests, that these very best of men (Christians) might say in their hearts, in the midst of plenty that "...My power, and the strength of mine ha(n)d hathe prepared me this wealth." (Deu. 8:17):
Why are you crying, child? Did my story bother you?
Or are you just angry because your schools left this out?