Maryland public school students are in a rude historical awakening this Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving means thanking anyone or anything except God. I suppose that thanking the devil would pass Public School muster as long as the kiddies didn’t ask about his origin since such an inquiry might lead them back to God.

These public school children, who are being denied the right and historical reality of thanking God on Thanksgiving, will pay for their school lunches with coinage that includes the national motto “In God We Trust.” Each morning they pledge allegiance to the flag that still includes the phrase “one nation under God.” I wonder what their government teacher will do when he or she has to deal with the constitutional phrase “In the year of our Lord” and the declaration in the Declaration of Independence that states “We are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights”?

Liberal educators want libraries to be free to offer unfiltered internet access where young people can download pornography, but they must be barred from learning the truth about our nation’s thanksgiving celebrations.

It is instructive how liberals scream “censorship” every time its views are questioned, but when Christians claim censorship of the facts of history, they are ignored by the guardians of the First Amendment’s protection of free speech because religious history somehow violates the Constitution.

Public school textbooks are fertile ground for the seeds of willful historical deception. Paul C. Vitz, professor of psychology at New York University, spent months of careful analysis of sixty textbooks used in elementary schools across the country. The study was sponsored by the National Institute on Education. The texts were examined in terms of their references to religion, either directly or indirectly. “In grades 1 through 4 these books introduce the child to U.S. society—to family life, community activities, ordinary economic transactions, and some history. None of the books covering grades 1 through 4 contain one word referring to any religious activity in contemporary American life.”[1] Dr. Vitz offers an example of how this translates into the real world of classroom instruction regarding Thanksgiving:

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Some particular examples of the bias against religion are significant. One social studies book has thirty pages on the Pilgrims, including the first Thanksgiving. But there is not one word (or image) that referred to religion as even a part of the Pilgrims’ life. One mother whose son is in a class using this book wrote me to say that he came home and told her that “Thanksgiving was when the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians.” The mother called the principal of this suburban New York City school to point out that Thanksgiving was when the Pilgrims thanked God. The principal responded by saying “that was her opinion”—the schools could only teach what was in the books.[2]

There is no doubt that these early Christian settlers thanked their Indian hosts for their generosity.  As the historical record shows, however, thanksgiving was ultimately made to God. “Governor Bradford, with one eye on divine Providence, proclaimed a day of thanksgiving to God, and with the other eye on the local political situation, extended an invitation to neighboring Indians to share in the harvest feast. . . . This ‘first Thanksgiving’ was a feast called to suit the needs of the hour, which were to celebrate the harvest, thank the Lord for His goodness, and regale and impress the Indians.”[3]

Tomorrow we’ll look at more of the history of Thanksgiving and various proclamations that have become America’s official history.

For further study, see Gary DeMar’s America’s Christian History: The Untold Story.


[1] Paul C. Vitz, Censorship: Evidence of Bias in Our Children’s Textbooks (Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Books, 1986), 1. Emphasis added.
[2] Vitz, Censorship, 3. [3] Diana Karter Appelbaum, Thanksgiving: An American Holiday, An American History (New York: Facts on File Publications, 1984), 9.