Thanksgiving Day: another demonstration that collectivism doesn’t work

Take a look at Truth Revolt (where there is a transcript of the following). The Left won’t like this:

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. tzabiega says:

    Yes, this piece is correct about private property, but it continues to teach the childish propaganda about the wonderful “Pilgrims,” who did not flee religious intolerance but rather went to the Netherlands initially because they were so fanatically anti-Catholic (in their eyes Catholicism included Anglicanism) that they split with the more “tolerant” fanatical Puritans and moved to Holland. That country was apparently “too Catholic” as well, so they moved to the New World so their children wouldn’t have any Catholic influence. As G.K. Chesterton once wrote the fact that if Americans celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims in America, the English should have a celebration for the occasion that these religious fanatics left England. Thanksgiving was established by Abraham Lincoln and instead of perpetuating myths about the Pilgrims, families should frame Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation and read it before they eat their turkey, reminding themselves that the feast is to thank God Almighty for everything we have even in the worse of times (like Lincoln did during the Civil War). And leave those pathetic Pilgrims to the dust of history, where they should only be a footnote, and not the whole textbook.

  2. Grumpy Beggar says:

    Definitely not a bedtime story for the left . But there was one particular part of the written transcript which rubbed me the wrong way too and which might cause me to lose a little sleep (maybe because I’m left-handed or something) . Believe it or not, the main offender – as far as one can tell, appears to be the word “somehow” .

    An excerpt from the written transcript at the originally linked source in the post:

    “In 1614, he returned to America with John Smith – but he was then kidnapped again by one of Smith’s men, sent back to Spain, and sold into slavery.

    Spanish monks bought him and taught him Christianity. He somehow ended up in England, and earned the respect of an Englishman who paid for his passage back to the New World. In 1619, Squanto went home.”

    To simply leave that particular part of the story- that event in history partially veiled in ambiguous causality or unresolved, with “Squanto somehow ended up in England” , leaves a lot of leeway for the imagination to believe that the Catholic Church was a thriving partner in the slave trade industry – doesn’t it ?

    Granted, we as Catholics have never suffered privation of horror stories and scandals as they pertain to both church past and present . But I say leave out the broad brush if you’re going to talk about monks buying slaves.

    There are simply more details to this event and particular factors which influenced it. What would be a valid reason for leaving those out ? Eric Metaxas , on the other hand, together with Shannon Stirnweis appears to have written an historically based account of Squanto’s life including some details which paint a definitive humane face on the Catholic Church’s members’ who were involved in this part of Squanto’s life.

    There are solid reasons for the right to like his version, while unfortunately, the left just might go searching for consolation in the blank left in Ben Shapiro’s account [bolds mine]:

    “But Squanto’s story is itself a remarkable example of the providence of God. Squanto was kidnapped by European sailors in 1608, taken to Spain, and sold as a slave. But something remarkable happened at the slave auction. Squanto was purchased by a group of Spanish monks who devoted themselves to redeeming and freeing as many slaves as they could. The monks taught Squanto Spanish, and told him about God. They encouraged him to trust God. After five years in Spain, the monks arranged to Squanto to travel to London where they had made an arrangement with an English merchant who promised to arrange for Squanto to be taken back to Massachusetts in one of the English fishing-fleet vessels which crossed the Atlantic each spring. In 1618, Squanto, now aged 22 sailed back across the ocean to his home.”

  3. tominrichmond says:

    Of course, it is not the Puritans at all who had the first Thanksgiving, but the English settlers of Virginia, who, three years before the Plymouth Thanksgiving, had arrived at Berkeley Hundred on the James River. Their charter specified “that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

  4. Lutgardis says:

    Before even that, Spanish explorers held two Thanksgivings in St. Augustine, Florida with the Timucuan tribe (1565) and near what is now El Paso, Texas with people native to that area (1598). They had Mass and everything!

  5. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Lots of editions of William Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation (1651) at Internet Archive, for checking and expanding upon that part of the evidence used – as I have not (yet)!

    Also there, A Briefe Relation of the Discovery and Plantation of New England by Sir Ferdinando Gorges, which the Wikipedia “Squanto” article refers to for the friars who “took Squanto and the other remaining Native Americans to instruct them in the Catholic faith.” (I haven’t read it, yet, either!):

  6. Gerard Plourde says:

    It’s a shame that Mr. Shapiro fails understand that Christianity is not monolithic. He therefore fails to distinguish that Squanto was instructed in the Catholic faith. Had the Pilgrims’ ancestors not left the ancient faith they would have had the wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas to remind them of the licitness of private ownership and would not have relied on Plato unfiltered and untempered by Catholic wisdom and thought.

    I also am troubled that Mr. Shapiro’s musing may be taken to be an implicit critique of the monastic lifestyle. If freely entered into and agreed upon, the renunciation of private ownership in order to serve God ranks among greatest of vocations. As regards the Pilgrims, however, it does seem naive in the extreme to think that a broad society could function in that way given that there would be varying levels of commitment to that aspect of the experiment. They were indeed fortunate that Squanto remembered and lived the parable of the Good Samaritan.

  7. Scott W. says:

    But something remarkable happened at the slave auction. Squanto was purchased by a group of Spanish monks who devoted themselves to redeeming and freeing as many slaves as they could.

    Yow that’s a significant omission.

  8. ejcmartin says:

    And even before that, and that, and that, a Mass of thanksgiving was celebrated in Canada by Jacques Cartier in 1534!

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