So, today is Thanksgiving. Sadly, in today’s modern world, there is a pumpkin full of deconstructionists waiting to tell us what Thanksgiving is not, what Thanksgiving has never been, and how we should throw away this holiday. In fact, if you listen to the deconstructionists, we would essentially have to throw away just about everything. We could not celebrate this holiday, or Christmas, or July 4th, or the growth of Christianity in the Roman Empire, or most anything. Deconstructionists are sour skeptics who believe that they reach truth by undoing everyone else’s beliefs. What is interesting is that when evidence is presented to a deconstructionist, they promptly claim that it is myth, or made up, or the remnants of false memories. Deconstructionists are sad people. Believing themselves to stand for truth, they really stand for little to nothing except the joyful destruction of beliefs that my be more accurate than they are willing to admit.
But, we have a choice today, and that choice is to be thankful. Is every detail in our picture of Thanksgiving accurate? No. We have long known that witness testimony is not 100% accurate. We have long known that memories tend to paint events as either rosier or worse than they actually were. But, there are historical memories that are, in the main, true. We do not have to agree that they are 100% accurate in order to be able to see that there was a thankfulness to God that is worth remembering, worth celebrating. And, we should refrain from overlaying them with anachronistic historical memories.
It is true that the later colonists took over Native American lands. It is true that the Dutch bought the island of Manhattan for almost nothing because the concept of property was different between the cultures. But, that is later. It is anachronism to add those memories to the early celebration(s) of thanks. That was still a time when two cultures were living together. That was a time when there was still choice. That appears to have been a time when there were no plans to disposses an entire people. Choices could have been made to fully coexist. We can regret the later bad choices without loading those choices into the earlier time.
So, let’s celebrate Thanksgiving today. Let’s remember a time when the wrong choices had still not been made. Let’s give thanks to God for all he has given us. Yes, let’s regret that the right choices were not make, but let us also remember that there was a short time when the two peoples lived together and gave thanks. That is worth remembering and celebrating as we thank God for what he has given us.