The American holiday of Thanksgiving is usually credited as beginning with a 1621 harvest feast shared between Puritan English colonists and the Wampanoag Indians. A time where the kind Christians got along with the generous Indians and everyone lived happily ever after. However, it isn’t quite true. While there was such a festival in 1621, the tradition goes all the way back to Henry the 8th, when a community thanksgiving festival became a tradition. After the English Reformation, the people celebrated this festival to give thanks to God for His providence in their lives and their country.
Thanksgiving was not about the fellowship between the American settlers and the American Indians. In fact, the tensions between the good Christian colonists and the satanic Indians who were witches, necromancers, and sorcerers, often on drugs, and often murderous and likely demon possessed based on many reports, were often extremely harsh. Many times the Indians would come and massacre entire villages of white Christian settlers. It got so severe that the Christians would sometimes be forced to retaliate and destroy Indian villages because if they did not, the Indians would come and rape, kill, loot, and burn their quaint peaceful Christian villages to the ground.
So the tensions between the American settlers and the murderous Indian tribes known for violence and human sacrifice were not what we are taught about in school. And it’s not like the Indians and the Settlers had a wonderful time and got along so well that they had a festival to commemmorate the union between the tribal Indian witches and the white Christian settlers. No, this is far from the truth.
Thanksgiving is a much older tradition that has nothing to do with the American settlers and the American Indians. In the 16th century (which was the 1500s), the English Reformation took place, where the Church of England under King Henry VIII (Henry the 8th) broke free from the iron and tyrannical grip of the Catholic Church. As a result of the newfound freedom, King Henry VIII started a tradition of thanking God for His providence.
In 1789, only a few years after achieving Independence, the first US President, George Washington, made the very first Thanksgiving Proclamation to thank God for safety and providence. Then 100 years later, President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving to be a national holiday, and he made it the last Thursday of the month. But it wasn’t until 1941 that Franklin D Roosevelt declared Thanksgiving to the the 4th Thursday of the month in November, because sometimes the last Thursday can be the 5th Thursday of the month.
So Thanksgiving is not just an American holiday. It’s not a time to commit idolatry and gluttony, to overindulge in food and to cook a turkey dinner praising the pagan gods for the bountiful harvest. It is an English Christian holiday that has been celebrated for centuries, long before America was founded. And it was to give thanks to God for His providence. So that’s what we should be celebrating – not the harvest, but thanks to God for what He has done for us.