The Americans have established a Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the fact that the Pilgrim Fathers reached America. The English might very well establish another Thanksgiving Day; to celebrate the happy fact that the Pilgrim Fathers left England. I know that this is still regarded as a historical heresy, by those who have long ceased to worry about a religious heresy. For while these persons still insist that the Pilgrim Fathers were champions of religious liberty, nothing is more certain than the fact that an ordinary modern liberal, sailing with them, would have found no liberty, and would have intensely disliked all that he found of religion. Even Thanksgiving Day itself, though it is now kept in a most kindly and charming fashion by numbers of quite liberal and large-minded Americans, was originally intended, I believe, as a sort of iconoclastic expedient for destroying the celebration of Christmas. The Puritans everywhere had a curious and rabid dislike of Christmas; which does not encourage me, for one, to develop a special and spiritual fervour for Puritanism. Oddly enough, however, the Puritan tradition in America has often celebrated Thanksgiving Day by often eliminating the Christmas Pudding, but preserving the Christmas Turkey. I do not know why, unless the name of Turkey reminded them of the Prophet of Islam, who was also the first Prophet of Prohibition.
Thus spake G. K. Chesterton
, quoted by Matthew Palardy, who also explains that "Squanto was Catholic" — Thanksgiving for Catholics
. (Elena Maria Vidal has more on this, with a link noting that "[t]he religious 'persecution' they came here to flee consisted mostly of their determination to purge the remnants of Catholicism from the established Church of England" — The True Story of Thanksgiving
.) Despite what is quoted and linked to above, I confess to loving the holiday.
Labels: Albion, American History, America the Beautiful, Drink, Heresy, Indian America, Islam, Separated Brethren, The Catholic Faith