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Thursday, November 26, 2020

A History of Thanksgiving

(Everything below is taken from The Miracle and Magnificence of America.)

Sir Walter Raleigh’s first attempts at settling the New World were disastrous. The English, who were now trying to gain a foothold in the New World, were succumbing to the same greed that had earlier blinded the Spaniards. Starvation, disease, hostile Indians, and other hardships, including a whole colony lost (the Lost Colony of Roanoke), led to dampened enthusiasm for New World expeditions.

It would be nearly 20 years after Raleigh’s initial ventures before enough English interest could again be sparked for more New World adventure. Despite recruiting “sermons” that contained messages of evangelical outreach, and the preamble of the Company’s charter, written by King James I, which contained the words, “…propagating of Christian religion to such people as yet live in darkness and miserable ignorance of the true knowledge and worship of God, and may in time bring the infidels and savages, living in these parts, to human civility and to a settled and quiet government,” the lust for gold was, again, what drove European men across the Atlantic.

On May 14, 1607, headed by a seven-man council, which included John Smith, 144 men settled Jamestown. Because of their misguided efforts it was a disaster from the beginning. These men battled the elements, disease, Indians, starvation, and one another. The lone minister on the adventure, Robert Hunt, did his best to keep the others focused on God. His sermons went mostly unheeded; however, he persevered. By February of 1608 only 38 of the 144 remained alive.

The death rate did not abate with time. As Peter Marshall and David Manuel note,
For example, of the 1,200 people who went out to Virginia in 1619, only 200 were left alive by 1620. Why this horrible continuing death rate? There is no logical explanation, except one: year after year they steadfastly refused to trust God—or indeed to include Him in any of their deliberations.
The next settlers to cross the Atlantic would not make the same mistakes. They were not seeking wealth and prosperity, but a new home. They believed that America was their spiritual destiny. The Pilgrims (dubbed “Separatists” by the Church of England), and the Puritans who followed them, knew better than to undertake anything without God.

Aboard the Mayflower were 102 passengers, less than half of whom were of Pastor John Robinson’s Separatist flock. After a grueling two-month voyage, on November 11, 1620, they dropped anchor in Cape Cod, and heeding the advice and wisdom of their pastor, the Pilgrims drafted a compact that would embody the same principles of government upon which American democracy would rest. It read,
In the name of God, amen. We whose names are under-written…Having undertaken, for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and honor of our King and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic…constitute and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions and offices from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony…the 11th of November…Anno Domini 1620.
John Carver, who had chartered the Mayflower, was chosen as the first governor of the colony. His was the first signature on the Mayflower Compact, which is considered by many to be the world’s first written constitution. William Bradford would soon replace Carver as governor and would serve in that capacity for 31 years. On December 21, 1620, the Pilgrims settled at what would become known as Plymouth.

A replica model of the Mayflower. Created by Norbert Schnitzler.

 Though their efforts were “for the glory of God,” the Pilgrims were not immune to the many hardships of an untamed America. Before long, many started dying. William Bradford’s wife Dorothy was among the casualties as she fell overboard and drowned. (Initially, while dwellings were being built, the Pilgrims lived mostly aboard the Mayflower.) Due in part to a brutal winter, dozens would die in those first few months, including 13 of 18 wives. In spite of hardships, the Pilgrims were undeterred and drew ever closer to God.

The months turned into years and saw the Pilgrims develop good relations with the local natives including Massasoit, a wise and welcoming chief of the local tribes, Samoset, and especially Tisquantum, or Squanto.

In the middle of March 1621, just as the Pilgrims were coming out of the devastatingly harsh winter, a guard alerted his comrades with the cry of “Indian coming!” Wearing only a loincloth as he walked into the Pilgrims’ camp, Samoset astonished the English onlookers with a hearty “Welcome!” Then speaking surprisingly clear English, he followed his friendly greeting with a request, “Have you got any beer?”

The Pilgrims informed their friendly guest that they were out of beer, and offered him brandy instead. After a hearty snack of brandy, biscuit, butter, cheese, pudding, and roast duck, Samoset was ready to answer questions. In spite of their difficult and deadly plight, Samoset’s words gave the Pilgrims great cause to thank God.

On March 22, 1621, Samoset returned to the Pilgrims with Squanto, who spoke even better English. Squanto’s life is an amazing tale of God’s provision that very closely resembles the account of Joseph from Genesis, chapter 37. Soon after Samoset introduced Squanto to the Pilgrims, a meeting with Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoag people, was arranged. Massasoit, Samoset, Squanto, and dozens of Wampanoag warriors traveled to Plymouth to meet the Pilgrims. With Samoset serving as the interpreter for Massasoit, the meeting was extremely fruitful. A peace treaty and a treaty of mutual aid were struck with Massasoit that would last for decades.

Massasoit and his party returned home, but Squanto remained with the Pilgrims. Being a man without a tribe, personally witnessing the desperation of the Pilgrims, and already having adopted their faith, Squanto took pity upon his new-found English friends and wanted to help them succeed in their New World. He taught them how to fish for eels and alewives, plant corn and pumpkins, refine maple syrup, trap beavers, hunt deer, and other skills essential to their survival.

Squanto was instrumental in the survival of the Pilgrims—so much so that, according to William Bradford, the Pilgrims considered Squanto “a special instrument sent of God for their good, beyond their expectation.” Massasoit also was an amazing example of God’s providential care for the Pilgrims. Like Powhatan had been at Jamestown, Massasoit was probably the only other native chief on the northeast coast of America who would have welcomed the white man as a friend.

In early April of 1621, with supplies running dangerously low, the Captain of the Mayflower, Christopher Jones, decided he could remain in America no longer. On April 5, 1621, the Mayflower returned to England. As the ship disappeared over the horizon, almost certainly a nervous uneasiness came upon more than a few Pilgrims who remained in the New World. Their last ties to their former home were gone. They, perhaps, felt more alone than at any point of their amazing journey.

The summer of 1621 was beautiful and, thanks in no small measure to the help of Squanto, bountiful. Governor Bradford declared a day of public Thanksgiving to be held in October. Massasoit was invited. Surprising the Pilgrims, he showed up a day early with 90 of his tribe. To feed such a crowd, the Pilgrims would have to go deep into their food supply. However, Massasoit did not show up empty handed. He had instructed his braves to hunt for the occasion, and they came with several dressed dear and fat turkeys. The Thanksgiving turned into a three-day celebration filled with feasting and games.

The First Thanksgiving, by Jean-Léon Gérôme.

A few weeks after the first Thanksgiving and about a year after the Pilgrims arrived in the New World, the Fortune sailed into Plymouth on its way to Virginia. The main cargo was an additional 35 colonists and a charter granted from the New England Company. There was tremendous celebration over the new charter; however, unlike the Indians, the new colonists arrived virtually empty handed. They had no extra clothing, food, or tools. The Pilgrims would have to adjust their winter food rationing plan severely.

The winter of 1621-1622 was as difficult as feared. The Pilgrims entered what has been described as their “starving time.” Some reports reveal that at times, food rations for each person were a mere five kernels of corn per day. Miraculously, that winter not one Pilgrim died of starvation.

There was no Thanksgiving celebration in 1622. When the spring planting season of 1623 rolled around, the Pilgrims realized that to fend off further hunger and rationing, a corn harvest at least twice as large as last season was necessary. However, a lackluster work ethic prevailed among them. This was mainly because the contract entered into with their merchant sponsors in London required everything the Pilgrims produced was to go into a common store and be shared. As Rush Limbaugh has often pointed out on his radio broadcast that celebrates Thanksgiving Day, the Pilgrims were languishing under socialism.

The leaders of the colony then decreed that for the additional planting, individual plots of land would be split, and the yield could be used at the planters’ discretion. Thus, as the concept of private property was introduced, the Pilgrims seemed infused and invigorated with new hope and purpose. As Marshall and Manuel point out, “The yield that year was so abundant that the Pilgrims ended up with a surplus of corn, which they were able to use in trading that winter with northern Indians, who had not had a good growing season.”

On November 29, 1623, two years after the first Thanksgiving, Governor William Bradford made an official proclamation for a second day of Thanksgiving. In it Governor Bradford thanked God for their abundant harvest, bountiful game, protection from “the ravages of savages…and disease,” and for the “freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience.” Well over a hundred Natives attended, bringing plenty of turkey and venison along with them.

The Pilgrims, and the Puritans who followed them, had the proper perspective. As Bradford would so discernibly note, “As one small candle may light a thousand, so the light kindled here has shown unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation…We have noted these things so that you might see their worth and not negligently lose what your fathers have obtained with so much hardship.”

May the light of those first Thanksgivings never be extinguished.

Copyright 2020, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of The Miracle and Magnificence of America 

Saturday, November 14, 2020

2020 Election Fraud vs. 2016 Russia Collusion: Another Tale in Media Hypocrisy

Just two days after Donald J. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the race for President of the United States, The Washington Post ran a piece with the headline, “Moscow had contacts with Trump team during campaign, Russian diplomat says.” The first two paragraphs of the article state,

Russian government officials conferred with members of Donald Trump’s campaign team, a senior Russian diplomat said Thursday, a disclosure that could reopen scrutiny of the Kremlin’s role in the president-elect’s bitter race against Hillary Clinton.

The statement came from Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who said in an interview with the Interfax news agency that “there were contacts” with the Trump team.

Likewise, on the same day, Reuters reported the same, and added,

The Federal Bureau of Investigation opened a preliminary inquiry in recent months into allegations that Trump or his associates might have had questionable dealings with Russian people or businesses, but found no evidence to warrant opening a full investigation, according to sources familiar with the matter. The agency has not publicly discussed the probe.

Of course we now know that this was the beginnings of the foolish Trump-Russia-collusion narrative that was meant to end the Donald Trump presidency. Despite little more to go on than a fake dossier, liberal delusions, and a hatred of the truth (this is why they hate Trump and his supporters), for years the media shamelessly and falsely attempted to link Trump to the Russians. Gallons of ink, countless hours of television reports, millions of words, and a mountain of webpages were devoted to this evil effort.

In spite of all of this, along with an unnecessary Special Counsel investigation, Trump was exonerated. As Peter Van Buren put it,

Robert Mueller did not charge any Americans with collusion, coordination, or criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. The special counsel also considered whether members of the Trump campaign “coordinated,” a much lower standard defined as an “agreement, tacit or express,” with Russian election interference activities. They did not.

Everything—everything—else we have been told since the summer of 2016 falls, depending on your conscience and view of humanity, into the realm of lies, falsehoods, propaganda, exaggerations, political manipulation, stupid reporting, fake news, bad judgment, simple bull, or, in the best light, hasty conclusions.

Undeterred by the facts, many in the media—and thus, many like-minded Americans—still insist that Trump-Russia collusion was a real thing. Wikipedia even has an extremely lengthy page devoted to the supposed “Russian interference” in the 2016 presidential election. Hoping to capitalize on this delusion, democrats even perpetuated a baseless impeachment of President Trump.

Fast-forward to the fall of 2020 and Trump’s re-election bid. In one of the strangest and closest elections in U.S. history, and despite the existence of plenty of evidence of election fraud (much of it chronicled on my site)—which could potentially alter the results of a presidential election (an unprecedented occurrence)—the media has largely pretended that the fraud is non-existent.

Thus, they want Trump and his 70+ million supporters to shut up and go home. CBS’s Major Garrett well epitomizes the mainstream media’s views on this matter:

It goes against our history, it goes against good governance, and the longer it goes, the deeper it will create divisions in this country about what actually happened in this election, and the president and the Republicans who stand with him will have to bear the responsibility for whatever comes from that…Every sensible Republican on Capitol Hill knows that in his or her heart of hearts. And their mute testament and loyalty to the President will only serve to encourage him to resist was inevitable, the transition of power, and history will judge them harshly.

Where was Garrett and his ilk when the phony Steele dossier was being discussed for months? Where were they on the sham of an impeachment?! A sitting U.S. President was on trial in the U.S. Senate based on a proven fake scandal—in other words Major, what “actually happened” in the 2016 election was ignored by democrats and their allies—yet I don’t recall anyone at CBS concerned with democrats “bearing responsibility” for their foolish efforts, or declaring that history would judge them harshly!

There are multiple lawsuits over voter fraud, hundreds of affidavits filed detailing thousands of incidents of voter fraud, multiple accusations of suspicious vote totals involving suspect vote-counting software, and recounts in the works. Yet, team Biden seems certain that their perpetual basement dweller is indeed the President-elect. And, as was the case in the Trump-Russia collusion delusion, a like-minded media is completely content to allow this charade to continue.

As Jay D. Homnick notes, this is a bit of a gambit on the part of Biden and his presidential apologists. Homnick writes,

Will the fraud be exposed? That is not yet the question, as long as the media cries “What fraud?” alongside the Democrats. Joe Biden, the man-who-would-be-king, is proudly wearing the Emperor’s New Clothes, noticing nothing out of the ordinary, and the media does not boast a single person of courage to note aloud that the Emperor does not have any clothes at all.

This game can only be played so long. There is one lever that can force the media into noticing there is a problem, and can awaken the Biden legal team from hibernation. That is, the Georgia hand recount, due to begin today and end by November 20.

If the lawsuits and the recounts do indeed reveal fraud that attempted to change the outcome of a presidential election, team Biden and the Democrat Party won’t be the only losers. The mainstream media will be revealed to be accomplices in an unprecedented corruption. Of course, this will only add to a growing list of media malpractice that clearly reveals the mainstream American media to be what Trump has long considered them: The Enemy of the American People. It is they who deserve impeachment and removal from American society!

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2020, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith and Reason.
www.TrevorGrantThomas.com 

Trevor is the author of The Miracle and Magnificence of America

tthomas@TrevorGrantThomas.com