Science News Scorns ‘Thanksgiving Myth’

Science News Scorns ‘Thanksgiving Myth’

Despite leftist attempts to smear Thanksgiving as a memorial of the genocide of indigenous tribes, the festival remains popular. Over 90 percent of Americans celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November, prompting Science News writer Sujata Gupta to question why the “Thanksgiving myth” persists.

Abram Van Engen, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, said, “There’s no great reason why we start America with the pilgrims.” Henry Roediger, a cognitive psychologist at Washington University, said the story of Thanksgiving is that the pilgrims and Native Americans “had this peaceful meal and powwow [while] singing kumbaya.”

Gupta states that “the kumbaya vision” persists because “history and memory … often exist in opposition. History is rooted in fact, while memory is rooted in story.”

Primary sources: Like most memorials, the history of Thanksgiving is often simplified for young children. Yet people like Gupta, Engen and Roediger talk about it like it is some epic national fairytale like Beowulf or King Arthur. This isn’t true.

Gov. William Bradford, who attended the first Thanksgiving in 1621, wrote a 555-page book titled History of Plymouth Plantation recounting his experiences. And his is not the only eyewitness account of the settlement of Massachusetts.

We have extensive historical documentation showing the first Thanksgiving was far more than a powwow between pilgrims and Native Americans singing kumbaya.

New Israel: Engen does ask one good question when he ponders why Americans often start their history with the first Thanksgiving. After all, the Jamestown colonists arrived in the New World 13 years earlier, and there were Spanish colonists in Florida even before that.

But neither the Jamestown colonists nor the Spanish colonists considered themselves New Israel like the pilgrims did. The Mayflower Compact signed by the pilgrims was inspired by the covenant ancient Israel made with God at Mount Sinai, and the first Thanksgiving was inspired by the biblical Feast of Tabernacles. Since the Mayflower compact inspired the U.S. Constitution, the first Thanksgiving represents the birth of the exceptional ideals that made America unique among the world’s nations.

Learn more: Reading Bradford’s History of Plymouth Plantation is a great way to learn about the pilgrims’ experience. And reading Character in Crisis, by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry, is a great way to put the founders’ quest to establish the rule of God on Earth in prophetic perspective.