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Letter: Don't forget God during Thanksgiving celebration

To the Editor:

A decade ago, Chuck Colson, Prison Fellowship president, wrote a column for his Breakpoint radio program, about the way our public school kids were learning about Thanksgiving.

Sadly, the "glazed facts, mashed multiculturalism and a generous helping of censorship" have made Thanksgiving dinner and its history nothing short of a "dumbed down version of Christian history." It seems that, back then, as it is today, our kids learned that the Pilgrims risked their lives settling the New World for economic gain, and not religious freedom.

And their first Thanksgiving feast? That, according to secular writers, was nothing more than a three-day binge with the Indians!

Secular writer Jean Craighead George in her book, "The First Thanksgiving" tells children the Pilgrims left Europe to "seek their fortune in the New World," obviously meaning they were seeking wealth. But one of the Pilgrim leaders, Governor William Bradford wrote in his diary, that the voyage was motivated by "a great hope...for advancing the kingdom of Christ."

George says the Thanksgiving event was not religious and in fact, states that "this was not a day of Pilgrim thanksgiving," at least not to God. Instead, she writes it was "pure celebration."

But thats not how the Pilgrims told it. Bradford again wrote "the Lord send seasonable showers...that through his blessing there was a fruitful harvest....for which mercy, they set apart a day of thanksgiving."

There are many similar quotes by various Pilgrims regarding this celebration in history books, but our children weren't hearing them back in l997, nor are they hearing them today.

Do our children hear the miraculous story of a 12-year-old boy named Squanto, captured in America by slave traders, taken to Spain, taught about God by monks, returned to America, ending up communicating with the Pilgrims in English and helping them through their first winter?

Why aren't our children learning about this side of Thanksgiving? It appears that too many educators, with the media and Hollywood enjoy picturing Christians as "poor, ignorant and easily led" as one politician recently said.

The truth is, these brave Christian's led the way in settling America, building houses without the help of government, teaching their children without the aid of government-run schools, and caring for their sick without a government health program.

It's sad that secularists have lied about what these brave men and women of courage and strong faith actually did, and distort the only truly American Christian holiday we have!

If you'd like to teach your children the truth of Thanksgiving, there are several good books available.

One is "Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving," by Eric Metaxas; another is "Thanksgiving-A Harvest Celebration," by Julie Stiegemeyer, found in most Christian bookstores.

Give your kids a gift of truth; America was founded on it.

Meredith Berg