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The True Origin of Thanksgiving


Somewhere along the line the true meaning of Thanksgiving has been lost in our society.  It is important, however, to understand exactly what our ancestors endured for us – and why, or history is bound to repeat itself.  Below is a partial excerpt taken from Rush Limbaugh’s  1992 book entitled, “See, I Told You So.”

According to Limbaugh, the story had been mischaracterized over the years and the true success story of the Pilgrims stems from their rejection of socialism to ultimately become a thriving settlement.

“The story of the Pilgrims begins in the early part of the seventeenth century… The Church of England under King James I was persecuting anyone and everyone who did not recognize its absolute civil and spiritual authority.

“Those who challenged ecclesiastical authority and those who believed strongly in freedom of worship were hunted down, imprisoned, and sometimes executed for their beliefs.  A group of separatists first fled to Holland and established a community. After eleven years, about forty of them agreed to make a perilous journey to the New World,” across the Atlantic Ocean, “where they would certainly face hardships, but could live and worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences.

“On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract, that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs. Where did the revolutionary ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact come from? From the Bible.  The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments,” the Bible. The Pilgrims were religious, and they came here to establish freedom of religion; they fled across an entire ocean to escape religious persecution.

“During the first winter, half the Pilgrims — including Bradford’s own wife — died of either starvation, sickness or exposure.” Many of them lived on the Mayflower while houses and shelter were being built. “When spring finally came, Indians taught the settlers how to plant corn, fish for cod and skin beavers for coats. Life improved for the Pilgrims, but even with all this they did not yet prosper!”  This is important to understand because this is where modern American history lessons often end.

“Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives, rather than as a devout expression of gratitude grounded in the tradition of both the Old and New Testaments,” the Bible. The original Thanksgiving was a thanks to God.  It was not a thanks to the Indians.  This is not to disparage the Indians or the Native Americans.  The Pilgrims did not.  But it was not a thanks to the Indians for saving the Pilgrims.  The Pilgrims thanked God.  But it’s more detailed than this…   Because of space for this blog, for the rest of the story, you can Google, “Rush Limbaugh of Thanksgiving.”

….So, here’s the question: How important do you think it is to teach the traditional origins of Thanksgiving to your children as part of your Thanksgiving celebration? Comment below and tell us what you think!


  1. Avatar for trylife


    I think that it is a celebration ofallthe ink that it is very important to teach our family that Thanksgiving

    I think that it is important to reach our children that Thanksgiving

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