Thanksgiving Day is our opportunity to express our individual and national thankfulness — gratitude — to God for His blessings, including freedom that allows us to make self-defining spiritual and secular choices that should include repentance and humility.

Thanksgiving is exemplified through the hardships and blessings experienced by those religious freedom-seekers whom we label “The Pilgrims.” This English Protestant, Calvinist congregation wanted the Anglican Church purified of non-Biblical practices, hence called puritans, who also wanted complete separation from England’s Anglican Church, hence called Separatists. Their non-Separatist theological cousins — “The Puritans” — arrived in the 1630s by the thousands and consequently became more influential than the Pilgrims.

Before returning to the Pilgrims, let’s recall that John Winthrop, the Puritan’s Massachusetts Bay Colony leader, referenced Jesus’ words from Matthew 5:14 in a 1630 sermon. Jesus told His disciples, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” U.S. Presidents Kennedy, Reagan, and Obama identified America as “a city on a hill” — a beacon of liberty — but this once blessing to the world is now devoid of Judeo-Christian morally.

On November 11, 1620, 102 Pilgrims anchored off Provincetown Harbor, Massachusetts before establishing Plymouth Colony as described in Pilgrim leader William Bradford’s “Of Plymouth Plantation.” Forty-five Pilgrims died during the winter (1620-1621). Come spring, English-speaking Pawtuxet Indian Squanto taught the Pilgrims Indian agriculture. That fall, after they’d “gathered the fruits of their labors,” Bradford declared it time to “rejoice together… after a more special manner” for spiritual devotion and a traditional harvest festival. This celebration, which was labeled “The First Thanksgiving” in the 19th Century, included 50 surviving Pilgrims who brought corn, squash, beans, barley, and peas, ducks, and geese to share with roughly 100 Wampanoag Indians who brought deer.

For what were the Pilgrims thankful? The Pilgrims were surely thankful for God’s individual and communal blessings, just as we should be thankful for individual and national blessings. They praised God for their harvest and possibly prayed for future harvests. They’d have thanked God for accepting the 52 departed souls of their beloveds and for sparing their lives, just as we thank God for our lives. Charles Dickens’ advice, “Reflect upon your blessings, of which everyone has plenty, not on your past misfortunes, of which everyone has some.”

National blessings are more complex. The Trinitarian God is the ultimate God of nations, “… (The Lord) rules over the nations (Psalm 22:28)” and history. Therefore, we’re to be governed and live in a righteous manner, according to God’s precepts. But today’s morality isn’t Biblical. Hence, is God blessing America, as He’s historically done, or is He affirming Obama pastor Jeremiah Wright’s avid request, “God damn America.” We’d best respond to God’s promise, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). This Thanksgiving, let’s reflect and correct, individually and nationally so America and we endure.

Donovan “Mark” Quimby is a resident of Frederick County.

(11) comments


I'm thankful to the gentleman at Costco yesterday who gave me one of his pork tenderloins when I asked where he found them because I couldn't find them at all. He had bought all of them!!


The Winchester Star needs to publish a disclaimer banner on everything it prints from this guy. The Tzar of Twaddle. I bet he misses the quaint Pilgrim tradition of burning witches at the stake and having a state mandated religion.


When did we ever have a state mandated religion in the US? Or did you just make that up?

Old Western Man

The first English speaking Thanksgiving tradition (compelled annually by their London Company's charter) in America originated here in Virginia at Berkeley Plantation upon the successful 1619 transatlantic voyage of the "Good Ship Margaret," a year prior to Plymouth's founding.

Collaterally, Spanish Florida hosted both a Spanish Thanksgiving at St Augustine in 1565 and a French Thanksgiving near Jacksonville in 1564. However, these single instances lack the recurrence and English tradition of Virginia's claim.

By any academic measure, the Plymouth account has hijacked the public's conscious in yet another example of American history myth making.

Regardless of origin though, all were a public "thanks to God" for the blessings received and that still holds true today. That is the tradition that is most important.


How's that Red Wave workin' out for ya, Quimby? The Puritans and Pilgrims would be aghast at our nation. Allowing all religions equal footing? No way they'd approve of that. Women having rights? Again, no way. Celebrating Christmas? They'd have you in the stocks for celebrations of any kind. Well, except maybe for the burning of a witch....

Spock Here

I am thankful that most of the country doesn't feed on Donovan "Mark's" hate

Doc Samson

I'm thankful for amusing ignorance! [thumbup] Remember when this was a non-story? [lol]


Maybe Hunter Biden left his laptop in Benghazi!!!!! [whistling][whistling][lol][lol][lol][lol][lol]


....Right next to the "Russia pee tape" and all those harassment claims that magically disappeared once your precious democrats put a dementia patient in the executive office.


Deus Vult, the harassment claims are still there. Paying off Stormy Daniels wasn't a hoax, was it? How about the woman who claims Trump raped her? Her defamation case is going to trial. I'd be careful taking about dementia when your hero Trump can't read two lines from a prepared speech before he starts rambling.

Doc Samson

Easy statement to make when you can willfully ignore your own, amiright? [rolleyes]

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