Nov 27 2008

The first Thanksgiving

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 10:41 am

There is something peculiarly American in the story of the first Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving Day we are asked to remember what Edmund Burke, in one of the most eloquent phrases to be found in all literature, described as “that little speck, scarce visible in the mass of national interest, a small seminal principle, rather than a formed body”—the tiny vessel, more accurately to be described as a “cockleshell,” the Mayflower, and its hundred passengers, men, women, and children, who sailed on her.

Twelve years earlier, in 1608, they had fled from religious persecution in England and established a new home in Holland. Despite the warm welcome extended by the Dutch, as contrasted with the persecutions they had endured in England, their love for their homeland impelled them to seek English soil on which to raise their children, English soil on which they would be free to worship God in their own way.

Finally, the Pilgrims landed, as we all know, on Plymouth Rock in the middle of December 1620, and on Christmas Day, in the words of Governor William Bradford, 1 they “began to erect the first house for common use to receive them and their goods.”

So was established the first English colony in New England.

Three years later, when the plentiful harvest of 1623 had been gathered in, the Pilgrims “set apart a day of thanksgiving.”

Read it all.

UPDATE:  So, if you read the essay linked above, did you note that it was written in 1955, before the entire panoply of Great Society programs in the 1960s was enacted?

It is common for people to thank God on Thanksgiving for His provision for them.   The problem with this focus is that well-to-do thieves might also thank God for their riches.  I am inclined to think that we Americans should be thanking God for the provision of freedom for us, and we should show our sincerity in those thanks by protecting that freedom, for ourselves and our posterity.  If, as a people, we give up that provision of freedom from God, for a temporary provision of sustenance from our government, we will have made a bad bargain indeed.

Nov 27 2008

Ignorantly decrying ignorance

Category: education,politicsharmonicminer @ 10:22 am

Kathleen Parker has not been my favorite person of late, due to her support for Obama, for what I consider to be trivial reasons, but she quotes an interesting study on voter ignorance. The report from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) on the nation’s civic literacy finds that most Americans are too ignorant to vote. After quoting all the various bits of ignorance on the part of the public about basic historical and constitutional principles and facts, which I’ve discussed before, we are treated to this:
Continue reading “Ignorantly decrying ignorance”

Tags: ,