You might have found this post looking for Tasty Thanksgiving Recipes. At least I hope you did. And while I’ve got nothing against great food, there’s a cultural paradox and continuing violence to history being perpetrated by this Fall Family Holiday. I wrote another post about the real history of thanksgiving recently; but there’s a much longer history to the story than what happened after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. As I noted, their religious idealism of “manifest destiny” caused them to believe that America was theirs, promised to them by God; so they had a divine approval to get rid of all those Indians first – hence the violent racial genocide in God’s name that is the secret fact behind Thanksgiving.
Passover and the Jewish Holy Land
But these ideas go back so much further. It starts with the Jewish Passover, where God protects the Jews in Egypt but kills all the first born sons of their enemies (this one was more like wishful thinking – “I wish God would kill all our enemies” is always found often in violent terms in the Psalms). It really begins, however, when the Jewish people were led into the territory they believed to be promised to them, because their leader Moses was told so by a talking bush.
But God didn’t get rid of those diverse cultures who were already living in the land He promised them; that was their job. So the history of the Jewish people includes the unacceptable violence (rape, theft, murder of innocents, bloodlust) used to clean their new home of the infestations of Midianites, Philistins and Amalekites. And God tells them to kill them all.
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts … slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” 1 Samuel 15:2-3
Under God’s direction, Moses’ army defeats the Midianites. They kill all the adult males, but take the women and children captive. When Moses learns that they let some live, he angrily says:
“Kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.” Numbers 31:1-54
Apparently God approves of killing children, and of taking little girls to be used as sex slaves or later wives.
It seems trading in human flesh was the first currency of the Jews: David, the great Jewish warrior, buys his first wife with 200 Philistine foreskins (1 Samuel 18:25-27). This could have inspired the American tradition of scalping, and being paid for each Indian scalp brought in as proof of how many indians explorers had killed.
Hitler and the Holocaust
Hitler is commonly mistaken as an atheistic monster; actually he was a religious zealot. In his ambition for the extermination of the Jews, he believed he was following a divine plan for a perfect world. How is it possible that such atrocities and incomprehensible violence could be done in the name of God? Well, in fact his ideology was no different from the Jewish ideology that allowed them to slay their enemies without remorse or pity. What God wants, God wants. Who are they to question Him? So the Jewish warriors killed thousands and thousand of innocents while taking over Israel. Almost 2,000 years later, their scriptures are inspiration for Hitler’s third Reich, who believe that Aryans were the true chosen people, which God wanted to preserve.
Note: Hitler’s spirituality is complicated. He was not a practicing Christian and seemed very against the Christian religion.
Christianity is an invention of sick brains: one could imagine nothing more senseless, nor any more indecent way of turning the idea of the Godhead into a mockery…. here insults people who believe transubstantiation….
When all is said, we have no reason to wish that the Italians and Spaniards should free themselves from the drug of Christianity. Let’s be the only people who are immunised against the disease… (p 118-119)
Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure.” (p 43)
But yet Hitler definitely had a sense of divine justice, of “fate” or perhaps simply in the righteousness of evolution and the prosperity of the strong; Nietzsche’s Will to Power:
I often feel that we will have to undergo all the trials the devil and hell can devise before we achieve Final Victory….I may be no pious churchgoer, but deep within me I am nevertheless a devout man. That is to say, I believe that he who fights valiantly obeying the laws which a god has established and who never capitulates but instead gathers his forces time after time and always pushes forward—such a man will not be abandoned by the Lawgiver. Rather he will ultimately receive the blessing of Providence. And that blessing has been imparted to all great spirits in history. (Albert Speer, Inside the Third Reich : Memoirs. Bonanza Books ; Distributed by Crown Publishers, 1982, cited in an Internet article by Kevin Davids).
History of Thanksgiving
Make no mistake about it: Thanksgiving was a holocaust. The pilgrims were giving thanks that the American nation had been delivered unto them by God; thanks that they were victorious against the dark skinned, heathen empires of Satan that had occupied the land and need to be extinguished.
In 1637 near present day Groton, Connecticut, over 700 men, women and children of the Pequot Tribe had gathered for their annual Green Corn Festival which is our Thanksgiving celebration. In the predawn hours the sleeping Indians were surrounded by English and Dutch mercenaries who ordered them to come outside. Those who came out were shot or clubbed to death while the terrified women and children who huddled inside the longhouse were burned alive. The next day the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony declared “A Day Of Thanksgiving” because 700 unarmed men, women and children had been murdered. (source)
Like the Jews, (and indeed with a copy of the Bible as their sole source of inspiration) Puritans killed everybody but take some women and children as slaves, and bartered in human flesh:
Cheered by their “victory”, the brave colonists and their Indian allies attacked village after village. Women and children over 14 were sold into slavery while the rest were murdered. Boats loaded with a many as 500 slaves regularly left the ports of New England. Bounties were paid for Indian scalps to encourage as many deaths as possible. (source)
Like the Nazis, the Puritans were desensitized to the horror of human suffering and genocide, and killing became a simple sport:
Following an especially successful raid against the Pequot in what is now Stamford, Connecticut, the churches announced a second day of “thanksgiving” to celebrate victory over the heathen savages. During the feasting, the hacked off heads of Natives were kicked through the streets like soccer balls. Even the friendly Wampanoag did not escape the madness. Their chief was beheaded, and his head impaled on a pole in Plymouth, Massachusetts — where it remained on display for 24 years. (source)
Finally there were too many “Thanksgivings” for all the frenzied killings, with days of thanksgiving feasts celebrated after each massacre. George Washington finally suggested that only one day of Thanksgiving per year be set aside instead of celebrating each and every massacre. Later Abraham Lincoln decreed Thanksgiving Day to be a legal national holiday during the Civil War — on the same day he ordered troops to march against the starving Sioux in Minnesota. (source)
Nothing that happened in Plymouth was new; it’s a godly story of a chosen people righteously claiming their God-given territory. It’s the same story that justified Bush’s War on Afghanistan and Iraq, as “Evil Nations” against God. As long as we believe in ideas such as “God’s Plan” or “Chosen People” – that is, as long as we have merely cultural God’s who love white people/yellow/black people more than others, this violence will continue.
Is it possible to believe, for minute, that your God doesn’t love you more? He doesn’t love you more than the Atheists, more than the Jews, more than the Muslims? He loves them just as much and will try to save them just as hard? With a God like that, we’d have a lot to be thankful for.