Like all Americans my age, I learned the story of the Mayflower Pilgrims in elementary school, and the story was a positive one. We learned that the Pilgrims escaped persecution in England and fled to America for religious freedom. That is true, but only partly true, as I will soon explain.
I have no idea what the government schools nowadays teach about the Pilgrims but, based on news stories and some YouTube videos, it appears that the "official story" on the Pilgrims has radically changed. They are now characterized as foreign invaders who killed and displaced Native Americans.
The Pilgrims were also, obviously, "white Christians," which is all that so many Leftist-indoctrinated Americans need to know in order to be convinced that the Pilgrims were a very bad group of people.
The fact is, anyone can select certain aspects of the Pilgrim story, while discounting other aspects, and make the historical narrative support their presuppositional bias. This is routinely done with much of history.
Americans are continually mind controlled by false historical narratives because they don't actually do the research themselves. Historical curiosity in the populace has been largely replaced by the pursuit of entertainment and amusements.
It wasn't always this way. Americans as a group were once a far more literate and self-informed people, especially when it came to history.
Reading a single article or book is no guarantee of finding the truth about a historical story. All writers have a bias, but some writers are more honest in their historical narratives than others. Thus it is that if you read a number of different books and articles, written by people with different biases, it becomes possible to discern more clearly what the actual history was.
I was attracted to the Pilgrim story in elementary school. I'm not sure why that is. I first visited the Mayflower and the Pilgrim museums in Plymouth, Massachusettes when I was 14 years old. I was enthralled by their story.
In the early 1980s I read The Light And The Glory, by Peter Marshall, and was confronted with Pilgrim history that I had never known before. My respect for, and interest in, the Pilgrims deepened.
By the time my wife and I visited Plymouth and the Pilgrim museums in the mid 1980s, I knew the history pretty well. I was better able to understand and critically interpret the exhibits. I could imagine myself in the 1620s, and in the Pilgrim mindset. It was an emotional experience for me to be amongst some of the surviving Pilgrim relics, including opened Pilgrim Bibles. It was also powerfully inspiring.
Could I have done what they did? I'd like to think so. But in all honesty, I can't be sure about that.
However, to a very small degree, my wife and I did do what they did, and many American parents have done (and continue to do) what The Pilgrims did. But, I must emphasize, it was to a very small degree.
Before I explain what I mean by that, I recommend that you watch the following YouTube clip from Prager University. It is the only YouTube presentation I could find that actually tells the true reason why the Pilgrims left the comfort of their lives in Holland to come to an uncertain future in this once-wild North American continent...
It was for their children that the Mayflower Pilgrims came to America. Their children were being absorbed into the materialistic and immoral popular culture of Holland.
They risked everything for the sake of their children, and for the generations to follow. These were a forward-looking people who believed in something much much bigger than their own lives and their own comforts.
Back in 2005 I wrote an essay that went into more depth about this little-known aspect of the Pilgrim story. I quoted from their own writings. I recommend this essay to you and your family on this Thanksgiving 2018: Pilgrims & The Christian-Agrarian Exodus of 1620.
In the story of my own life and my own family, the Pilgrim example was part of the inspiration for my wife and I to live in a rural area, and to homeschool our children. Such choices are totally countercultural.
Homeschooling was not easy, especially for my wife, who took the lion's share of the task upon herself. She sacrificed time, comfort, and worldly satisfactions to keep our boys out of the government indoctrination centers. Every family that chooses to homeschool for such reasons is, in many respects, a modern Pilgrim family. Homeschooling mothers are, in my mind, truly remarkable people.
As I ruminate on this subject, I also think of my own parents. They did not homeschool me, but they made a separation decision for the good of their children. They were not consciously inspired by the Mayflower Pilgrims. It was just love and good sense on their part. Their decision had a profound good effect on my life. It has, in turn, been a blessing to my children.
What they did, when I was half way through 9th grade, was move from the suburban housing project where we then lived to a rural farming community. And we started going to a small rural church in the community.
I went from a school district with hundreds of students in each grade, to a school with less than 100. I went from a government school where, for boys especially, it was a survival-of-the-fittest culture, to a school district where I experienced no fear or intimidation. Everyone was nice!
I saw for myself the contrast between urban-suburban culture and rural culture. It was an eye-opener. My whole worldview was positively altered by the experience.
Well, so much for short posts on this new blog! I really did intend to keep them all short.
For those who may be interested, here are links to a couple more of my blog essays about the Pilgrims:
Giving Thanks & Thanksgiving