Separatists & Thanksgiving....

I have so often heard the tale about America being a "Christian Nation." The story always begins with the arrival of the Pilgrims on the shores of Massachusetts. The story is furthered by the belief that the writers of the Declaration of Independence and that the founders of the Constitution were Christians who claimed this land for the glory of God.
Although it is true that the founding of the American colonies found their motivation through their quest for religious freedom, it was readily apparent that this freedom should also allow for diversity in belief. As the Church of England sought deliverance from the Papacy, the Separatists sought freedom from the church of England. Roger Williams fled the Separatists for religious freedom in Rhode Island while the Quakers found solace in Pennsylvania. It all comes full circle as the Catholics found freedom from all the Protestants in Maryland.
The sticking point of all this is that each sect thought of the other as being wrong. (the more things change the more they stay the same) Not unlike the King of England or the Pope in Rome, they had a desire to establish their form of belief as the standard by which all men should live.
The founding fathers kept this problem in mind when they wrote, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances," as it was this very form of suppression that created the Separatists in England over one hundred and fifty years earlier!
I find it comical when the Christians of this today cite the Pilgrims as being their roots in America. The separatists would not have recognized those that now hang their hats of the cross of Jesus. Christmas and Easter? Entirely pagan!
But we'll let them off the hook with Thanksgiving.
Based on the English Isles tradition of Harvest Home, it was a time to give thanks for a good harvest. Although reflective of the Celts Autumnal Equinox, English peasantry found it easier to set a yearly date for their exactness on the signs of heaven was less than exact than those of their unchristian ancestors. Harvest Home was held on September 25Th and was both a time of Thanksgiving and a time of ceasing from labor while allowing an abundance of food and drink with friends and family. The Pilgrims continued the tradition in Plymouth with over ninety Indians in attendance.
Can you imagine the Pilgrims amazement at their first face to face Indian encounter? As he approached, meeting the Pilgrims with their muskets in tow, he spoke to them in English! My, my......


Publia said…
They would not have thought of it as Pagan, they would have thought of it as non-Biblical and Catholic! I'm blogging on the Pilgrims all week, so come on over and have a look
"James" said…
It is frightening indeed to see some Christians ignorant (or in some cases blatantly ignore) of the reason that the pilgrims fled England.

No country benefits from a state religion. I will fight tooth and nail to keep the separation of church and state intact. It is for the good of the state AND for religion.

By the way...I am interested in seeing those pictures of your statues. :)
"James" said…
I forgot to're a great blogging friend as well. I am grateful to have come across your blog. From your posts and comments I can tell that you are a good person, with deep compassion and good intentions. :)

Thank-you for your presence and friendship.

Now...I'm off to meditate!! :)

Hope this comment finds you well dear friend.
Tim said…
1776manGreat Pilgrim Blog, publia!
Thanks, James. I will post some pix soon. See you soon, bud!