I read Vicky Hartzler’s newsletter so you don’t have to.
It is interesting to how she describes the first Thanksgiving.
Many of us learned, as children, that the first Thanksgiving was observed at Plymouth following the harvest of 1621. The Pilgrims had endured a perilous first year and were grateful for God’s provision and faithfulness.
No mention how the original inhabitants at Plymouth Plantation helped with provisioning those Pilgrims. In fact, there were more original inhabitants at that first Thanksgiving than the recent arrived undocumented immigrants.
It certainly is interesting how Representative Hartzler reports that the Pilgrim’s were grateful for God’s provision and faithfulness.
It is interesting to consider what that means.
Hartzler’s God provided Squanto, who could speak English. Knowing that His followers would need help, God had Squanto as a boy stolen by an English captain in 1605. He was a slave and he was able to get back to his home to discover that everyone in his village was dead from European diseases.
However, Squanto’s tragedy was another example of Hartzler’s God provisions.
(The following excerpts from a colonist’s journal comes from Loewen’s Lies My Teacher Told Me.)
On the second day of arrival in Massachusetts:
Having their guns and hearing nobody, they entered the houses and found the people were gone. The soldiers took some things but didn’t dare stay. . . . We had meant to had left some beads and other things in the houses as a sign of peace to show we meant to trade with them. But we didn’t do it because we left in such haste. But as soon as we can meet with the Indians, we will pay them well for what we took.
And, it gets better for what Hartzler’s God provided.
We marched to the place we called Cornhill, where we had found the corn before. At another place we had seen before, we dug and found some more corn, two or three baskets full, and a bag of beans. . . . In all we had about ten bushels, which will be enough for seed. It was with God’s help that we found this corn, for how else could we have done it, without meeting some Indians who might trouble us
Only God’s help. And, then consider this final provision from God.
The next morning, we found a place like a grave. We decided to dig it up. We found first a mat, and under that a fine bow. . . . We also found bowls, trays, dishes, and things like that. We took several of the prettiest things to carry away with us, and covered the body up again.
Like a grave? Is this one more example of God knowing how to help His followers?
Hartzler acknowledges that this is the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s proclamation on Thanksgiving. She writes:
We also learned that the first Thanksgiving recognized by the U.S. government came during the Civil War when President Lincoln issued a proclamation in October of 1863, reminding all of us that our nation’s many blessings “should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people.”
In 1863, the invocation of the “whole American people” is important during a civil war. However, Hartzler doesn’t provide any sense of what our nation’s many blessings are. Here is the passage before Hartzler’s excerpt.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.
Is it really embarrassing to note that the Union was winning and the country was expanding despite the horrendous nature of the war?
There is much to be thankful for, but we should not be thankful for a member of Congress who misrepresents history.