Should We Honor Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims in 2021?
By Michael Hoffman
The Orwellian Left aspires to create a Year One blank slate for its revolution, similar to the calendar of the Jacobins, who launched the infamous terror in late 18th century France. It was the ambition of Robespierre and Danton that time itself would be made subject to their dogmatic conceit.
In our day, not only turkeys but the American celebration of Thanksgiving is headed for the chopping block, should the Left prevail in stripping the calendar of our cherished traditional holidays. Toward that objective, it has been decided by the overlords of consensus reality that the Protestant dissidents who founded the commonwealth of Massachusetts and much of New England were “genocidal” toward Native Americans. On the foundation of that hoary accusation alone, offering “thanksgiving” to the God of Israel by those who believed they were founding a new Israel in the American wilderness, is viewed as a criminal enterprise by contemporary virtue signalers and putative human rights advocates, who have lots of problems with the Pilgrims and Puritans and none with the infanticidal abortion of late term infants. The hypocrisy is breathtaking. Due to recent advances in pre-natal testing, Down syndrome babies are increasingly targeted for abortion. In some European countries the birth of those children has been reduced by 90% or more. To speak the truth of this genocide to the powers leading the attack on America’s earliest founders is to invite ridicule and scorn.
The Missing Element in the Charge of “Genocide”
“Woke” history, for all the support it receives from mighty organs of mass opinion like the New York Times, in many of its most basic assumptions and tenets is ludicrously ignorant and simplistic. For example, why are we made to believe that the history of genocide on the North American continent began with the arrival of white people? From a survey of the anti-Columbus and anti-Pilgrim polemics, we find that this rudimentary question is seldom, if ever, posed. This leads us to wonder whether discovery of the chronicle of the past is the authentic issue. It would appear that the point of the harangue against Thanksgiving is to defame the Christians whose plans of government, such as the Mayflower Compact, form the backbone of the republic that evolved from it. If the cause of justice for Native Americans was the actual business at hand, then the history of genocide would commence with the buried history of the slaughters perpetrated by Indian tribes against rival tribes, long before any Englishman stepped on Plymouth Rock.
The Iroquois confederacy was dedicated to the wholesale extermination of the Huron, a loathsome feat they nearly managed to achieve. In the far west, the Blackfeet attempted to impose genocide on the Flathead people, and the Cayuse were the bloodthirsty enemies of their native neighbors. The Pilgrims were entangled in internecine conflicts by the tribes of the northeast that had been underway decades before 1620. This entry of whites into the civil wars of the natives is the “genocide” for which the founders of New England are indicted, while the genocide perpetrated by Native Americans on one another is censored or absolved. In its place a myth is promulgated in defiance of the historical record, of pre-Pilgrim peace and solidarity among the Indians. This imposture can only have credibility by ignoring the annals of Native civil wars. Moreover, when the Wampanoag were pursuing war with the Puritans they were facing not only them, but the Indian allies of the Puritans: Pequots, Niantics, Mohegans as well as Wampanoag people who had converted to Christianity.
In 1675 the resulting King Philip’s War was instigated by the Wampanoag with the aid of their former enemies, the Narragansetts. Due to a dream that Wampanoag shamans shared, they counseled that their warriors should commit inflammatory acts to provoke the New Englanders into firing the first shot. The medicine men dreamed that the Wampanoag would only be victorious if they goaded the whites in this manner. Consequently, houses of Puritans were looted and wrecked, their cattle killed. On June 23 the Wampanoag’s self-fulfilling prophecy was realized: a Puritan farm boy shot a marauding Wampanoag who had been plundering his family’s farm. With 24 hours Wampanoag warriors were ambushing whites. Nearly a dozen were killed, including the farm boy and his father. In the early skirmishing colonial militiamen were picked off, their bodies dismembered, mutilated and displayed in gruesome arrangements intended to intimidate survivors. Thus began King Philip’s War, whose violence is now laid entirely at the feet of the settlers, with any admission of right and wrong being present on both sides of the conflict summarily dismissed as “white supremacy.”
The tragedy was not inevitable. In the early years of Plymouth Plantation there was respect and a degree of concord between Indians and Pilgrims, which is what is commemorated at Thanksgiving — the crossing of the racial gulf in the search for mutual understanding and harmony. One of the most heavily enforced doctrines of political correctness is the prevalent contempt for Christian missionary efforts. Yet it is worth noting that it was Christian linguists who helped to preserve what were entirely oral Indian languages, through the laborious process of translating the Bible into native tongues.
A few decades after King Philip’s War, David Brainerd was born. He was a Puritan burdened with poor health who was orphaned at age fourteen and subsequently expelled from Yale. He overcame his disadvantages and physical frailty to give his life to leading Native Americans to Jesus, dying at the age of 29 from exhaustion and “consumption” (tuberculosis). His diary was published by theologian Jonathan Edwards and remains a signal inspiration to missionaries crossing oceans and racial divides to toil in the vineyard of the gospel and racial healing, even unto our day.
Contra Criminal Politics
Prejudice toward Pilgrims and Puritans (the former sought to separate from the official Anglican Church, the latter worked to remain and “purify” it), predates “woke” hatred. These brightly dressed, hard-drinking, hard-living Calvinists who were known to usually quickly remarry after the death of a spouse, have been routinely portrayed by literary giants from Hawthorne to Mencken as happiness-hating prudes who prohibited love, life and alcohol.
Actually, their principal concern in England and a reason they were driven from their birthplace, was their intolerance of the criminal politics practiced by a monarchy and aristocracy knee-deep in the familiar lip service paid to Yahweh’s scriptural standards, including weighty matters of economic justice and courtroom jurisprudence. The Puritans worked to enforce God’s laws against avaricious bankers and merchants, usurious interest rates, and sham trials consisting of convictions for capital crimes that lacked the obligatory two witnesses, protesting the perjury that was common due to ignoring God’s prescribed punishment (the sentence the perjurer sought to inflict on the innocent was to be inflicted on the perjurer). In the Bible, imprisonment is only for battle captives and those awaiting trial and not to be employed as a form of punishment.
These were among the many practical Biblical reforms Puritans sought to enforce in order to crush criminal politics and bring about the kingship of Christ. Undoubtedly the Puritans were far from perfect and their unjust persecution of Catholics and Quakers (among others) would lead Roger Williams to found Rhode Island as a sanctuary for dissenters.
The modern world has sought to indelibly stain the Puritan founders of our nation with a solitary cudgel, the Salem Witch Trials, erasing the achievements of early New England by means of the fate of the innocent of Salem and one judicial episode which was, on balance, contrary to the general order of justice which their courts typically adjudicated.
Salem has been rendered into a cartoon due to the fact that its most instructive context has been suppressed. The false witness put forth by the crazed girls at the Salem witch trials was in many instances not a matter of Puritan theology and Bible belief, but rather of post-traumatic stress at a level of intensity that resulted from the horrors of Indian attacks which they had survived — rape, abduction and watching their siblings and parents tortured to death in the course of the Natives’ slaughter of Puritan villages and farms. Cornell University Prof. Mary Beth Norton pioneered the unearthing of these revisionist facts in her indispensable book, In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692.
In terms of the founding of our nation, the Mayflower Compact is a simple document, revered not for its eloquence or genius, but for the equal standing in the eyes of the law which it affirmed for everyone, from the wealthiest would-be entrepreneur to the lowliest indentured servant, a harbinger of Thomas Jefferson’s recognition in the Declaration of Independence that human rights are endowed by our Creator, not any government of men.
Fanatics with a hidden agenda denounce Pilgrims, Puritans and Jefferson for failing to practice their principles with perfect consistency. In bad faith these zealots smother the towering achievement of the Founders: that by establishing the great antidote to tyranny, the recognition that human beings are the image-bearing creatures of God (imago Dei), they bequeathed to us a patrimony of liberty which over time, incrementally lifted all boats and endowed all races and colors with fundamental human rights.
This is what ennobles our national holiday on the fourth Thursday of November, and causes us to offer our gratitude to our heavenly Father, and the ancestors who kept faith with His will for us and our posterity.
Michael Hoffman is the author of ten books of history and literature and the editor of Revisionist History, a research newsletter intended for scholars and activists. He resides with his family in northern Idaho.
Copyright©2021 by Independent History and Research
Box 849, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83816
Your blog post is going to age very poorly. Have you read the 1980 book "Beyond Geography?" There's a vast difference in Indian vs Indian violence (which always existed and nobody has ever denied) vs the outright genocide of the Dawes Act & complete destruction of nature (including the now dead Lake Coeur d'Alene) in the 19th century. The difference in degree is absolutely vast. These kind of "appeals to antiquity" in order to diminish meaningful differences no longer work. This isn't "wokeness" but is scholarship over the previous 30 years that has utterly demolished these "revisionist" narratives that people like you still like to portray. You seem to call anything "woke" that doesn't agree with your own personal narrative, it's just like calling everything "heresy" no matter what the person says.
I'd suggest you take a trip to your local library (Molstead at NIC) to learn about the wildly misguided Jesuit De Smet convincing Sitting Bull & The Coeur d'Alene people to accept the reservation system (De Smet was evil, even if just a useful idiot), ultimately leading to allotments, and finally to the "fry bread" culture & utter destruction you see on the Coeur d'Alene reservation today. The Coeur d'Alene people still exist, but it's mostly in blood & name only, as their language & way of life is now basically just like every other American.
To defend such a commercialized and idiotic "holiday" as Thanksgiving is laughable. The quality of food & disgusting factory farming practices should be enough to avoid the holiday. The genocidal mindset of industrial Europeans coming to America should be the real reason to avoid the holiday.
You wrote: "There's a vast difference in Indian vs Indian violence (which always existed and nobody has ever denied) vs the outright genocide."
Pray tell, what would that "vast difference" be?
You claim to "demolish" revisionist narratives by means of citing one source book and making one allusion to the Dawes Act.
On the contrary, "Indian vs. Indian violence" was in some cases genocide -- attempts to exterminate tribes such as the Flathead and the Huron on the part of the Blackfeet and Iroquois. There are many other examples. Your minimizing this holocaust by derogating it into a category of mere "violence," and then affixing the "genocide" label solely on European Americans, will not stand up to scrutiny.
The rest of your note consists in name-calling and mockery, including gratuitously insulting Fr. DeSmet.
In my opinion, the local Spokane, Coeur d'Alene and New Perce tribes in the Pacific Northwest where this writer resides, exhibited some worthy, natural law virtues and generally responded well to Christian evangelism.
There is no doubt however, that they were exploited and cheated by certain unscrupulous persons and the government, but the simplistic enormities you put forth are unsustainable in light of the documentary record.
I'm sure the first 2 minutes of this vid is all that is needed to show how South Africa, North America and Australia were all settled using the same format. Exterminate the locals, import your own slaves, when their numbers grow too large, import another group to run all the businesses so the locals remain in slavery.
South African History Documentary: 1652-1902
"South Africa, North America and Australia were all settled using the same format."
In other words, these nations and continents were not "settled" prior to the arrival of Europeans Everything was peachy keen for centuries, and then the pale faces showed up and ruined utopia?
It's unfortunate that this risible Leftist cartoon has gained such a monopoly over analysis and discourse that something so bereft of reality is believed by masses of people.
Before whites arrived, South Africa, North America and Australia were settled by cannibals, slavers and mass murderers.
Oppression, exploitation and genocide are not unique to the Caucasian race, despite the frenetic efforts of the "woke" to convince you otherwise.
The vast difference in Indian vs Indian & European vs Indian is that Europeans absolutely wiped out all native culture across the world & whites caused a mass extinction of animals (e.g. passenger pigeon, cod, bison for a few obvious examples). Haven't you followed the stories of the residential school system, with government/Catholic nuns/Protestants working hand in hand in removing children from their parents, abusing thousands, and burying them in unmarked graves? Have you read "Death & Afterlife..." by Anderson regarding the legacy of the North American Martyrs? Even the Jesuits are embarrassed of previous Jesuits. Is everyone just "woke" but a handful of truthtellers like yourself? You're not appealing to research or giving good argumentation, it's just baseless accusations & heresy hunting.
Today all indigenous people are largely extinct, as they've lost their traditional hunting grounds, myths, and language. The version of "Christianity" Europeans brought over was a highly distorted and false view & was a product of the genocides & wars of the high/late middle ages. Christianity had long ago (4th century) become something else entirely, especially in their absolute detachment from nature & "heresy hunting" as a core dogma. The falling away didn't really happen in the Renaissance; it more happened in the 4th century when the real "money power" took over (see: Peter Brown's 'Through The Eye of a Needle'), with men such as Augustine/Constantine/Ambrose. This is why Europeans (some like Roger Williams excepted - see 'Roger Williams' by Barry) had to kill all the natives; they couldn't stand a people who had any view that didn't fit the European narrative.
I referenced "Beyond Geography" because it has a great number of sources, such as the "captivity narratives" where it shows that not a single white person captured by natives ever wanted to return to Christian society, whereas Indians who saw white culture never wanted to stay with whites.
Most of the Indian "converts" to Christianity didn't happen or weren't conversion as you say. They saw the Eucharist (I'm speaking of the Coeur d'Alene people) as a magic charm that could help them in battle (see: Sacred Heart Mission museum displays). They never abandoned their previous beliefs. Most of the baptisms described, were largely fabrications & never occurred. The story of Sitting Bull's baptism by De Smet was a lie (ref: Sitting Bull by Stanley Vestal, p. 109).
As an aside, your "Occult Renaissance" book leaves out the much earlier syncretism that occurred w/ Plotinus & Pseudo Dionysius (not to mention the vast army of forgerers in the Church of Rome in the 2nd-3rd centuries). To pretend like it all started with the Hermetica in the Renaissance is laughably bad. Also, the Dominicans & Franciscans (including your favorite Anthony of Padua) were part of the genocide to wipe out the "Cathars"; he was known as the "hammer of heretics" & he was part of the Innocent III & Innocent IIII death/torture machine. This is a version of Christianity you support?
The more they are denigrated, the more I study them and the more I revere my Mayflower grandfathers.
Fleeing the European royals and their actual physical consumption of various pieces of human anatomy was reason enough to flee Europe. Unfortunately, These same European royals filled ships with the dregs of European civilization and sent them to The New World too. One look at the Bush/Clinton/Obama/Creepy Joe, et al cabal shows we have been lax in cleaning up that mess. We owe Native Americans and each other to NOT allow such influence, which starts with ENDING the CFR and Pilgrims Society and their programming of corporate news services.
Unfortunately genocide has been the historical norm and not an aberration among people of all races and religions. It has been estimated that Genghis Khan's army's and scions wiped out 5 percent of the world's population during the 200 years of Mongol imperialism. Muslim Arab imperialism, by no mean monolithic, enslaved 20 million East Africans, 3 million Russian and Slavic people's (the Crimean Khanate), millions of Turkic people from Central Asia, and massacred millions of Hindus on the subcontinent. I do not love any of my Muslim friends any less because of this, and I am sure they are equally abhorred of this as I am. An interesting article and debate. Finally something worth reading and commenting on.
So I guess fry bread what Mickey means is that he’s going to block any more of your comments as he is known to do when someone says something true that he disagrees with and doesn’t want others to know. The censored becomes the censorer.
Thanks for the historical balance!
To Michael Hoffman and Frybread
Some reading on native culture
With regard to the comment about the embarrassment of current Jesuits with regard to the North American martyrs and the book Death and Afterlife, I would suggest that Frybread read the book review in America Magazine, a Jesuit publication not known for its defense of the traditional Catholicism. https://www.americamagazine.org/death-and-afterlife-north-american-martyrs. The review is more critical of the anachronistic views of the author rather than the motivation and actions of the martyred Jesuits.
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