We, in the United States of America, are rapidly approaching Thanksgiving Day—a day originally selected by the Pilgrim settlers of our nation for offering thanks to God for their success. It is my understanding that it was co-celebrated with some of the Native Americans whose land the colonists had confiscated—it would be truly fascinating to know what those natives’ understanding of that event represented. Very likely, they were just happy for a bountiful harvest that year and were glad to join in a big ‘party’ of celebration—who knows? I don’t.
In any event, we do know for a fact that the colonists were migrant invaders who eventually confiscated all Native American land except portions allocated for their reservations. In fact, the spot where I am siting now was once occupied by the Chickasaw Indians and related tribes. It became known as Jackson’s Purchase after Andrew Jackson and Isaac Shelby purchased it from them.
Often, I have wondered at the legitimacy of that ‘first Thanksgiving Day’. Indubitably, those settlers must have felt that their conquest was not only legitimate but also praiseworthy. After all, they had the blessing of the Church as well as the commission of the Kings and Queens. Consider this; if that identical activity took place today, the United States would be the very first to raise major objections even to the point of scourging the offenders with war or threats of war. But what do the Christian Churches say? I may have been hiding under a rock for the last seventy-five years, but what ecclesiastical objection to such activity I have observed could be put in a sewing thimble. Oh, we hear occasional pleas for peace but seldom, if ever, condemnation. I wonder why? —I think I know. It would be unthinkable hypocrisy for a Christian Church organization which sponsored such activity for centuries to suddenly ‘get religion’ and do an ‘about face’.
The same can be said about the churches’ stance on slavery. Not only did the churches condone slavery but most institutions ‘owned’ slaves. So, have you ever heard a whimper about slavery coming from a white Christian church? —I haven’t.
How then are we to consider Thanksgiving Day and every day for that matter. Recognizing the above to be relatively factual, there are other facts that must be entered into the equation. As far as I can determine, no one alive today has ever been legally enslaved nor has anyone legally owned a slave. Also, no one alive today had anything to do with the European invasion of the Americas. But does that have any bearing on the subject—aren’t we guilty by inheritance—you know, ‘Original Sin”?
The Church calmly blames us with original sin—why not ‘original conquest’? I think I know—she attempts to control us with original sin—‘she’ was the conquistador. She isn’t about to blame herself. Oh, Pope John Paul, after nine hundred years, finally admitted that a measly few hundred thousand were burned at the stake at the church’s behest during the Inquisition.
So, where does that leave you and me? — not one of us had anything to do with any of it. I believe it would be soul-searching and helpful for each of us to understand those facts. We need not accept any blame, but we do need to feel remorse and regret for the consequences to both the Native Americans and the African blacks who bore the brunt of those atrocities. Our hearts should go out to them in any meaningful way possible.
We cannot change or eliminate history, as some are constantly attempting to do. We can, however, be thankful and grateful to God for that soul-searching recognition and understanding. God, I know your love is perfect and I believe without any doubt that our only justifiable prayer is a great big, ‘Thank you God for my existence, thank you God for my subsistence, and thank you dear God for my eternal life with You’. Amen.
Several years ago, I called for the Worldwide Communion of Spirituality which is the recognition and acceptance that the Spirit of God (God’s Will) is imprinted on each perfect particle of energy of which every gravid object in existence is made. It is the absolute only method by which peace may be achieved.
I have delineated that philosophy extensively in my three books, Wilderness Cry, Peace in Spirituality, and Provocative Catholic. In addition, I have published a semi-autobiography, Growing Up in Fancy Farm Kentucky. I urge you to read all four—your eyes will be opened. Amazon-Kindle and me, firstname.lastname@example.org.