On the drive up to Cleveland for Thanksgiving dinner yesterday I listened to a great slate podcast about the secularization of Thanksgiving.
Funny stuff, indeed.
And here I was just thinking this was just a nice, american holiday where people get together with their families. No miracle births or special candles. Just a nice meal and some football.
But it turns out there is actually A War on Thanksgiving!! Who knew?
Former Family Research Council president Gary Bauer claims the
“cherished observance” of Thanksgiving is “under fire” by “left-wing political correctness”.
Even the nut jobs over at WorldNetDaily have jumped on board, offering these Christian-themed Thanksgiving bumperstickers:
It turns out this crap isn’t new. In 2004, Yale professor David Gelernter wrote a Wall Street Journal essay about Thanksgiving calling it “A Very Christian Holiday”- claiming “Christian fundamentalists” created the holiday. ( Actually, dude, it was Abe Lincoln at the end of the civil war- who took the advice of Sarah Josepha Hale, a writer and magazine editor.)
He argues in favor of the First Thanksgiving myth- the story of Christian pilgrims in 1621 thanking God with solemn religious services.
It’s a nice story- but it just isn’t true. Historians actually believe the “event was closer to a harvest festival, with its feasting, games, and celebratory gunfire, it was the shooting that likely brought the colonist’s native Wampanoag neighbors over to investigate and join in the fun.”
Now THAT’S my kind of Thanksgiving!