Summary: American History has become so distorted that children in Public Schools no longer have any understanding of the who the Pilgrims were,why they came to America, and the truth abot the first Thanksgiving.
THANKSGIVING: THE STORY THE NEW TEXTBOOKS REFUSE TO TELL
MY FAVORITE TIME OF THE YEAR
Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite times of the year. I grew up in Tarpon Springs and attended a public school. I believe I learned more about Thanksgiving from school than I did in church. I learned who the Pilgrims were and why they came to America. I learned about the Mayflower, Plymouth Rock, the Indians, and the First Thanksgiving. I remember learning how Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to take a dead fish and fertilize their vegetable gardens. It wasn’t against the law then to talk about God and sing Christian songs.
TIMES HAVE CHANGED
There is a growing movement in America to turn America into a secular state. One way to do that is to re-write history and to remove every trace of God, Christ, the Bible, and our Christian heritage from the history books. I was taught that in 1492 Columbus discovered America. Students today are taught that Columbus invaded America and there are protests all over America on Columbus Day. I was taught that the Pilgrims were a very religious people who came to America to escape persecution and to find a place where they could bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Students today are taught that the Pilgrims were a bunch of religious fanatics who couldn’t get alone with anybody. They got on a ship, lost their way, and when they landed they didn’t know where they were. They would have starved to death if it wasn’t for the Indians and Thanksgiving was a day the Pilgrims thanked the Indians for saving their lives. In return, the Pilgrims brought diseases like syphilis that eventually spoiled the paradise the Indians enjoyed.
LET’S SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT
As a pastor and an American, I feel I have an obligation to help preserve our great Christian heritage. That’s why I go over these things every year. I do hope you don’t take this as a boring “history lesson.” If you don’t hear these truths in the pulpit - - where will you hear them? I want to remind you, at any given moment, we are only one generation away from paganism. Therefore, let me tell you the story again.
THE PILGRIMS IN ENGLAND
It’s almost impossible for people who have grown up in America to even imagine how difficult life was for the Pilgrims to live in a place where there was no religious freedom at all. Can you imagine how it would be to live in a country where it was against the law to go to the church of your choice? Can you imagine how it would be to live in a country where it was a crime to read the Bible in your own language? Can you imagine how it would be to live in a country where preachers had to get a government license or permit to preach? Those were just some of the things the Pilgrims had to put up with before they came to America.
Three Religious Groups: Back in those days there were three major religious groups in Europe in the 1600S before the Pilgrims came to America. 1) The Roman Catholic Church. 2) The Church of England (Episcopal or Anglican). 3) The Non-conformist, which included the Separatist, Baptists, Presbyterians, and others.
Church of England: The Anglican Church was the official Church of England and the King of England had full control over it. The King appointed the church leaders. The King taxed the people to build the churches and to pay the minister’s salaries. No one could preach without a license and it was even against the law to attend any church other than the “official” church. It was even a crime to read the Bible in public.
Puritans and Separatists: There were two groups of Christians in England that did not agree with the Church of England. They were called “non-conformists.” One group was called The “Puritans.” The other group was called the “Separatists.” The Puritans believed they could “purify” the church by remaining in the church. The Separatists didn’t believe the church could be purified or changed, so they Separated from it. Both Puritans and Separatist came to America, but it is the Pilgrims, who were Separatists, we are focusing on today.
Secret Worship: The Pilgrims were the “Separatists. They were forced to hold their church services in secret, because it was a criminal offense to hold church services anywhere but in the official church. Those brave souls had to hide out and move from place to avoid the authorities. If they were caught holding church services anywhere but the official church, they would have been arrested and thrown in jail.
Example of Illegal Acts: It is difficult for our present generation to even imagine how difficult it was to exercise one’s faith under those conditions. In was not uncommon for Christians to be forced to leave their homes. Thousands were put into prison, and hundreds were burned at the stake or hanged.