Reprieve for Pilgrim Legacy this Thanksgiving

As a child of the fifties, I grew up with a family feeling for the Pilgrims.  I vividly remember the Thanksgiving decorations in school, the pilgrim in his tall hat.  No matter that I was a first generation American on one side and second on the other, the Pilgrims were my forefathers, and I loved them.  More than that, I understood them on a deep visceral level, because I shared their commitment to freedom.  I still do. 

Like the Pilgrims themselves, we celebrate today the providential manner in which our country was founded.  Our forefathers and mothers were heroic, ordinary people who wanted to live free from monarchy, peacefully worshipping God and raising their children following their Godfearing values of personal responsibility and hard work.  They got us off on the right foot, and we all benefit to the present day. 

This year we have a very special Thanksgiving, celebrating the triumph of ordinary Americans against the utopian and corrupt tyrants of the ruling elite who would rob us and our children of our cherished heritage.

I identified with the Pilgrims so strongly because I had my own personal family story of arrival on these shores.  This is what the multiculturalists miss:  the American story includes all of us.

My grandfather came in 1905 at age ten, his family having survived one of the worst Czarist rent-a-mob attacks on Jews in Russian history.  They packed up and fled for safety and freedom of religion in what they called the golden land, America.  My grandfather told me he kissed the ground when they landed, and swore to learn English as fast as he could.  They never looked back.  America was their beloved home where they embraced the chance to work hard and raise their family up, in dignity and safety from religious persecution. 

In 1620, my literal ancestors would not have known about the Pilgrims, or felt any affinity to them.  But the feeling was not mutual.  The Pilgrims steeped themselves in the Jewish Bible and drew some of their most profound insights and institutions from it.  They saw themselves as the Israelites fleeing Pharaoh to the Promised Land.  In England, the head of the Puritan movement invited Jews back into England for the first time in 365 years.

Jews are directed to read the Haggadah every Passover, retelling the story of the Exodus as if it occurred to each and every one of us in the present generation, because every generation must choose freedom for themselves.  I often wish Americans would do the same on Thanksgiving.  We actually have a first-person account of the first Thanksgiving, and the year that led up to it, written by Edward Winslow and William Bradford to encourage other Englishman to join them in this “goodly land.”  It has the odd name Mourt’s Relation. You can read it online here, here, or buy it here.

So while we are aglow from all that delicious stuffed turkey and pumpkin pie, let us understand who we are thanking on this day and what they did for us.  Our English forefathers left civilization behind for a fearful wilderness.  Half of them died in the effort. But the others never stopped thanking God and doing his work.  Their reading of the Bible convinced them that God wanted us to be free. 

In Mourt’s Relation, we can read the actual description of the day Pilgrims chose leaders “by common assent” the very day they first came ashore in America.  We can read the one paragraph Mayflower Compact, the precedent for the American Constitution. They were encouraged to vote for men who would promote the common good, not vote “like unto the foolish multitude, who more honor the gay coat, than either the virtuous mind of the man, or glorious ordinance of the Lord.”

The Pilgrims were politically savvy.  They knew that unless they gained control over their charter, they would have no religious freedom, whatever sweet promises were being made to them.  So they secretly bought the controlling shares in the governing monopoly King Charles I had sold to shareholders, the Massachusetts Bay Company, and became self-governing.  

For the Pilgrims, as for Americans today, freedom was an opportunity that can be squandered or invested in success.  Their answers permanently defined the American spirit: egalitarianism, education, hard work, savings, honesty, self-control, charity and community spirit.  Pilgrim values are the foundational requirements for free enterprise and capitalism to flourish.  They also led to America’s admirable philanthropy and civil society.

Many of these values were secularized and popularized by Benjamin Franklin, who grew up in a pious Puritan home.  His grandfather was one of the original Pilgrims who celebrated that first Thanksgiving.  Franklin is credited as the most influential American of his age, “inventing the type of society America would become.”

As religious and freedom-loving people, these first Americans did not look to the government to take care of people.  Because of the Bible, they rejected the European ideal of a powerful centralized government. Genesis taught them all men are created equal.  Exodus taught them God wants his people to be free, and can choose one people as moral leaders to found a new land.  in the Book of Judges, the Bible explicitly contradicts the divine right of kings, and says God’s laws are superior to the power of any tyrant.

The Pilgrims lived these values in their churches, whose leaders were elected, and their towns, run as a pure democracy. The next generation came to understand the problems of intolerant majority rule in direct democracy, which were corrected by our Revolutionary War generation, who created a republic through our Constitution.

These foundational American values are at risk. America as launched by the Pilgrims is on the verge of self-destruction.  Leftists dominating education kindergarten-to-college have taught two generations to be ashamed of the Pilgrims.  This is a necessary first step in their program to devalue freedom of thought and speech and religion, pretending they are hateful and a threat to minorities.  They have taught our children to be ashamed of our history and national identity, and substituted a mini-fascist mindset where all must think approved thoughts. 

Where the Pilgrims taught that our God-given rights supersede human governments, our children are taught our rights come from the state.  Big government is the answer to every aspect of life, even the most personal and sacrosanct, including religious belief. This leftist rejection of our cultural values and actual history is wrecking our freedom and our prosperity. 

Democrats have turned themselves into the Party of Moral Superiority (PMS), more Puritan than the Puritans in the pejorative sense of the term, where thought police dictate what we must think and feel, and do.  Inevitably, it is a system where all pigs are equal but some are more equal than others -- above the law, justified in blacklisting, cheating and persecuting conservatives through every means available, including the full might of the federal government via the DOJ and the IRS. 

 The death knell is open borders and too many legal immigrants.  We are losing our two-party system’s check on tyranny by importing Democrat voters; we are losing our national identity by huge numbers of immigrants who we are not assimilating; we are losing the rule of law, voted on by our representatives.  New Americans, young and old, are taught to despise our founders instead of adopting them as their own.

When we devalue love of country, love of freedom, personal responsibility and rule of law we have thrown away everything the Pilgrims struggled and died for. 

This year we have been given a reprieve. 

Join the Pilgrims as they prayed Psalm 100 on arriving on our shores. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.  Happy Thanksgiving. 

As a child of the fifties, I grew up with a family feeling for the Pilgrims.  I vividly remember the Thanksgiving decorations in school, the pilgrim in his tall hat.  No matter that I was a first generation American on one side and second on the other, the Pilgrims were my forefathers, and I loved them.  More than that, I understood them on a deep visceral level, because I shared their commitment to freedom.  I still do. 

Like the Pilgrims themselves, we celebrate today the providential manner in which our country was founded.  Our forefathers and mothers were heroic, ordinary people who wanted to live free from monarchy, peacefully worshipping God and raising their children following their Godfearing values of personal responsibility and hard work.  They got us off on the right foot, and we all benefit to the present day. 

This year we have a very special Thanksgiving, celebrating the triumph of ordinary Americans against the utopian and corrupt tyrants of the ruling elite who would rob us and our children of our cherished heritage.

I identified with the Pilgrims so strongly because I had my own personal family story of arrival on these shores.  This is what the multiculturalists miss:  the American story includes all of us.

My grandfather came in 1905 at age ten, his family having survived one of the worst Czarist rent-a-mob attacks on Jews in Russian history.  They packed up and fled for safety and freedom of religion in what they called the golden land, America.  My grandfather told me he kissed the ground when they landed, and swore to learn English as fast as he could.  They never looked back.  America was their beloved home where they embraced the chance to work hard and raise their family up, in dignity and safety from religious persecution. 

In 1620, my literal ancestors would not have known about the Pilgrims, or felt any affinity to them.  But the feeling was not mutual.  The Pilgrims steeped themselves in the Jewish Bible and drew some of their most profound insights and institutions from it.  They saw themselves as the Israelites fleeing Pharaoh to the Promised Land.  In England, the head of the Puritan movement invited Jews back into England for the first time in 365 years.

Jews are directed to read the Haggadah every Passover, retelling the story of the Exodus as if it occurred to each and every one of us in the present generation, because every generation must choose freedom for themselves.  I often wish Americans would do the same on Thanksgiving.  We actually have a first-person account of the first Thanksgiving, and the year that led up to it, written by Edward Winslow and William Bradford to encourage other Englishman to join them in this “goodly land.”  It has the odd name Mourt’s Relation. You can read it online here, here, or buy it here.

So while we are aglow from all that delicious stuffed turkey and pumpkin pie, let us understand who we are thanking on this day and what they did for us.  Our English forefathers left civilization behind for a fearful wilderness.  Half of them died in the effort. But the others never stopped thanking God and doing his work.  Their reading of the Bible convinced them that God wanted us to be free. 

In Mourt’s Relation, we can read the actual description of the day Pilgrims chose leaders “by common assent” the very day they first came ashore in America.  We can read the one paragraph Mayflower Compact, the precedent for the American Constitution. They were encouraged to vote for men who would promote the common good, not vote “like unto the foolish multitude, who more honor the gay coat, than either the virtuous mind of the man, or glorious ordinance of the Lord.”

The Pilgrims were politically savvy.  They knew that unless they gained control over their charter, they would have no religious freedom, whatever sweet promises were being made to them.  So they secretly bought the controlling shares in the governing monopoly King Charles I had sold to shareholders, the Massachusetts Bay Company, and became self-governing.  

For the Pilgrims, as for Americans today, freedom was an opportunity that can be squandered or invested in success.  Their answers permanently defined the American spirit: egalitarianism, education, hard work, savings, honesty, self-control, charity and community spirit.  Pilgrim values are the foundational requirements for free enterprise and capitalism to flourish.  They also led to America’s admirable philanthropy and civil society.

Many of these values were secularized and popularized by Benjamin Franklin, who grew up in a pious Puritan home.  His grandfather was one of the original Pilgrims who celebrated that first Thanksgiving.  Franklin is credited as the most influential American of his age, “inventing the type of society America would become.”

As religious and freedom-loving people, these first Americans did not look to the government to take care of people.  Because of the Bible, they rejected the European ideal of a powerful centralized government. Genesis taught them all men are created equal.  Exodus taught them God wants his people to be free, and can choose one people as moral leaders to found a new land.  in the Book of Judges, the Bible explicitly contradicts the divine right of kings, and says God’s laws are superior to the power of any tyrant.

The Pilgrims lived these values in their churches, whose leaders were elected, and their towns, run as a pure democracy. The next generation came to understand the problems of intolerant majority rule in direct democracy, which were corrected by our Revolutionary War generation, who created a republic through our Constitution.

These foundational American values are at risk. America as launched by the Pilgrims is on the verge of self-destruction.  Leftists dominating education kindergarten-to-college have taught two generations to be ashamed of the Pilgrims.  This is a necessary first step in their program to devalue freedom of thought and speech and religion, pretending they are hateful and a threat to minorities.  They have taught our children to be ashamed of our history and national identity, and substituted a mini-fascist mindset where all must think approved thoughts. 

Where the Pilgrims taught that our God-given rights supersede human governments, our children are taught our rights come from the state.  Big government is the answer to every aspect of life, even the most personal and sacrosanct, including religious belief. This leftist rejection of our cultural values and actual history is wrecking our freedom and our prosperity. 

Democrats have turned themselves into the Party of Moral Superiority (PMS), more Puritan than the Puritans in the pejorative sense of the term, where thought police dictate what we must think and feel, and do.  Inevitably, it is a system where all pigs are equal but some are more equal than others -- above the law, justified in blacklisting, cheating and persecuting conservatives through every means available, including the full might of the federal government via the DOJ and the IRS. 

 The death knell is open borders and too many legal immigrants.  We are losing our two-party system’s check on tyranny by importing Democrat voters; we are losing our national identity by huge numbers of immigrants who we are not assimilating; we are losing the rule of law, voted on by our representatives.  New Americans, young and old, are taught to despise our founders instead of adopting them as their own.

When we devalue love of country, love of freedom, personal responsibility and rule of law we have thrown away everything the Pilgrims struggled and died for. 

This year we have been given a reprieve. 

Join the Pilgrims as they prayed Psalm 100 on arriving on our shores. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.  Happy Thanksgiving.