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Is “Thanksgiving” Catholic?
Credo ^ | 11/24/2008 | Taylor Marshall

Posted on 11/24/2008 9:14:27 AM PST by Alex Murphy

This history books will tell you that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the pilgrims in 1621. Not true.

An interesting bit of trivia is that the first American Thanksgiving was actually celebrated on September 8, 1565 in St. Augustine, Florida. The Native Americans and Spanish settlers held a feast and the Holy Mass was offered.

A second similar "Thanksgiving" celebration occurred on American soil on April 30, 1598 in Texas when Don Juan de Oñate declared a day of Thanksgiving to be commemorated by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

The Catholic origins of Thanksgiving don’t stop there. Squanto, the beloved hero of Thanksgiving, was the Native American man who mediated between the Puritan Pilgrims and the Native Americans. Squanto had been enslaved by the English but he was freed by Spanish Franciscans. Squanto thus received baptism and became a Catholic. So it was a baptized Catholic Native American who orchestrated what became known as Thanksgiving.

All that being said, Thanksgiving is traditional Protestant and marks the tradition of religious toleration (something in which the Puritan pilgrims did not actually believe - they set up a "theocracy").

My wife once taught at an high-church Episcopalian/Anglican classical school in Philadelphia. The school consciously played down the significance of Thanksgiving. Why? The reason is simple. At root, Thanksgiving commemorates the good fortune of political and ecclesiastical rebels against the Church of England and the Anglican tradition as a whole.

It all started with Richard Clyfton who was a Church of England parson in Nottinghamshire in the early 1600s. Clifton sympathized with the Separatists of that era. Separatists were Calvinistic non-conformists to the doctrine and liturgy of the Church of England. The Hampton Court Conference held by King James I (1604) condemned those who would not conform to the more outwardly Catholic usages in the Church of England (e.g. robes, candles, bowing the head at the name of Christ, processions). The result was that Richard Clyfton was “defrocked” and stripped of his clerical status in the Church of England. Shortly thereafter Richard Clyfton went to Amsterdam and was followed by his disciples: the Pilgrims.

These Pilgrims moved around a bit until finally coming to America in 1620. An interesting bit of trivia is that one child was born on board the Mayflower while at sea. The child was given the rather lame name: “Oceanus”. Poor child.

In 1621, the Pilgrims allegedly celebrated a happy meal with the Native Americans and the rest is history. So why would an Anglican school be against Thanksgiving? It celebrates those who defied the Church of England and the Crown of England.

Now that I’m a no longer an Anglican and now a Catholic, things are a bit different. The penal laws of England regarding non-conformists affected not only the rigorous Calvinistic Puritans in England, but also the English Catholic recusants. The Pilgrims shared the same lot as the Catholic faithful of England. Interestingly enough, the Catholics who lived in Nottinghamshire where the Pilgrims originated were persecuted mercilessly.

So while Thanksgiving may celebrate the Calvinists Separatists who fled England, Catholics might remember the same unjust laws that granted the crown of martyrdom to Thomas More, John Fisher, Edmund Campion, et al. are the same injustices that led the Pilgrims to Plymouth.

Another bit of trivia is that the truly “First Thanksgiving” celebration occurred on American soil on April 30, 1598 in Texas when Don Juan de Oñate declared a day of Thanksgiving to be commemorated by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

And let everyone remember that “Thanksgiving” in Greek is Eucharistia. Thus, the Body and Blood of Christ is the true “Thanksgiving Meal”.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: guyfawkes
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1 posted on 11/24/2008 9:14:27 AM PST by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy

Trying to argue over who owns Thanksgiving is a childish sentiment. The holiday of Thanksgiving is neither Catholic nor Protestant, it is American.


2 posted on 11/24/2008 9:20:18 AM PST by Colonel Kangaroo
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To: Alex Murphy
Hey, Virginians know the first official Thanksgiving was at Berkeley Plantation in 1619, before the Pilgrims even got here. We had some Smithfield ham and then watched the Pilgrim landing on CNN (it was several years before FOX).
3 posted on 11/24/2008 9:23:29 AM PST by Corin Stormhands (Your Ad Here)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo
The holiday of Thanksgiving is neither Catholic nor Protestant, it is American.

Absolutely agree...

4 posted on 11/24/2008 9:23:41 AM PST by econjack (Some people are as dumb as soup.)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

Thank YOU!

I’m Catholic and this is silly.


5 posted on 11/24/2008 9:25:40 AM PST by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
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To: Corin Stormhands

You make me laugh so hard!!!


6 posted on 11/24/2008 9:27:39 AM PST by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

I find the post to be informative and interesting. Discussing history is never childish but responding to the discussion in a snotty two sentence blurb is.


7 posted on 11/24/2008 9:27:42 AM PST by Binstence (Live Freep or Die)
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To: Alex Murphy
Most if not all farming peoples of Europe had a tradition of gathering together for a feast to celebrate the ingathering of a successful harvest. The settlers on the early American frontier continued this tradition even though no official Thanksgiving holiday had been proclaimed.

Individual state governors had the option of proclaiming a Thanksgiving Day. Abraham Lincoln made it official.

(This is the bare-bones info we tell visitors to our PA historical society when we display a traditional colonial-era Thanksgiving/harvest feast each year.)

8 posted on 11/24/2008 9:28:20 AM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Alex Murphy
Thanksgiving was actually celebrated

Can we please stop it with this overuse of the word, "actually," to mean: "Contrary to your pathetic mistaken belief"?

9 posted on 11/24/2008 9:28:24 AM PST by HIDEK6
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To: Alex Murphy
The Aberdeen Mounds in Ohio have cave drawings showing stick figures carving what looks like a turkey and other stick figures with bowed heads. It is speculated that the bowls on the table hold wild cranberries and crushed cattail roots, an early form of mashed potatoes. These drawings are over 3000 years old.

(OK...so I made it up. But it makes are much sense as trying to tie this to a specific religion.)

10 posted on 11/24/2008 9:29:32 AM PST by econjack (Some people are as dumb as soup.)
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To: Binstence

Amen. There’s plenty of interesting historical facts connected with the act of Thanksgiving and the only thing about it that is “American” is eating Turkey in late November. Christians have been giving thanks for nearly 2000 years.


11 posted on 11/24/2008 9:31:43 AM PST by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: Corin Stormhands
Hey, Virginians know the first official Thanksgiving was at Berkeley Plantation in 1619, before the Pilgrims even got here. We had some Smithfield ham and then watched the Pilgrim landing on CNN (it was several years before FOX).

Too true. I inherited a souvenier "Official First Annual Berkeley Plantation Thanksgiving and Carnival" t-shirt, handed down from my great-great-great grandparents. A distant relative bought it at one of the concession stands at the Plantation. Rumor has it the batter fried turkey-on-a-stick was overrated that day, but the beer was reasonably priced.

12 posted on 11/24/2008 9:33:27 AM PST by Alex Murphy ( "Every country has the government it deserves" - Joseph Marie de Maistre)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

I agree.

The above is an interesting but slightly biased narrative.

The Catholic CHurch was every bit as rigorous in its persecution of “heretics” as the Protestants were of each other and Catholics.

The entire reformation period was a most unfortunate one as while fellow Christians were slaughtering each other - frequently over trivial matters nobody could ever prove one way or another - despite the very similar beliefs of all of them, the Muslims were advancing west and north out of Asia and Africa into Central Europe and the central Mediterranean are even going as far afield as England Ireland the North Atlantic to secure Christian slaves.

HISTORY IS REPEATING ITSELF.

This time Christianity is destroying itself from within over issues involving activist non-traditional clergy while Islam is in the heart of Europe and threatening the Americas and the un-Muslim parts of Africa.


13 posted on 11/24/2008 9:34:41 AM PST by ZULU (Non nobis, non nobis Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam. God, guts and guns made America great.)
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To: Alex Murphy

An Anglican priest I know used to remark that in the two national holidays on ECUSA’s calendar (Indpenedence Day and Thanksgiving Day), the Anglicans were the bad guys.

That said, Thanksgiving is neither just Catholic, nor Anglican nor Protestant. It’s simply Christian. We give thanks to God for our many blessings.


14 posted on 11/24/2008 9:38:02 AM PST by bobjam
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To: bobjam

Isn’t Catholicism what the pilgrims were running away from?!


15 posted on 11/24/2008 9:39:52 AM PST by Edizzl79 (you want my guns..come and get em...I dare ya....)
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To: Edizzl79

No.

Anglicanism which they felt was too Catholic.


16 posted on 11/24/2008 9:43:01 AM PST by ZULU (Non nobis, non nobis Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam. God, guts and guns made America great.)
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To: Ciexyz

“Most if not all farming peoples of Europe had a tradition of gathering together for a feast to celebrate the ingathering of a successful harvest.”

I also seem to recall that the European kings of yore would declare days of Thanksgiving (feast days) for auspicious events such as an heir being born or what not. This “power” was inherited by our govenors in the new republic.


17 posted on 11/24/2008 9:44:28 AM PST by Owl558 ("Those who remember George Satayana are doomed to repeat him")
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To: ZULU

One could equally argue that the Pilgrims were fleeing Holland, which was, well, too Dutch.


18 posted on 11/24/2008 9:46:38 AM PST by Philo-Junius (One precedent creates another. They soon accumulate and constitute law.)
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To: Owl558

I think Harvest Festivals are something most societies have.

The Indians had one before the Pilgrims came here and the Israelites had a harvest festival too.


19 posted on 11/24/2008 9:47:52 AM PST by ZULU (Non nobis, non nobis Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam. God, guts and guns made America great.)
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To: Philo-Junius

It was those “Dutch Treat” dates!!


20 posted on 11/24/2008 9:48:37 AM PST by ZULU (Non nobis, non nobis Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam. God, guts and guns made America great.)
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To: Edizzl79

To some extent they were. Technically they were dissenting from the Church of England, but the reason they were dissenting was because they believed the Church of England was too contaminated with “Romish doctrines” and “Popery”.

The Puritans so despised the Elizabethan church that when Cromwell took over the government, they actually dug up Archbishop Parker’s body and burned it.


21 posted on 11/24/2008 9:50:27 AM PST by bobjam
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To: Binstence
I find the post to be informative and interesting. Discussing history is never childish but responding to the discussion in a snotty two sentence blurb is.

Actually, I and other posters agreed with his sentiments. Your response, however, is nothing but a snotty two sentence blurb. And let me guess, you're Catholic.
22 posted on 11/24/2008 9:51:22 AM PST by newguy357
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To: Colonel Kangaroo; Alex Murphy
Trying to argue over who owns Thanksgiving is a childish sentiment. The holiday of Thanksgiving is neither Catholic nor Protestant, it is American.

AMEN!

23 posted on 11/24/2008 9:52:22 AM PST by lonestar
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To: vladimir998
Amen. There’s plenty of interesting historical facts connected with the act of Thanksgiving and the only thing about it that is “American” is eating Turkey in late November. Christians have been giving thanks for nearly 2000 years.

Please stop these meaningless attempts at profundity. If we want to act about the generic act of "thanksgiving" (lowercase T, genius), it has gone on since the creation of the world. Everyone here is talking about the capital T Thanksgiving, and redefining it to try to be profound is just moronic.
24 posted on 11/24/2008 9:53:03 AM PST by newguy357
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To: Philo-Junius
One could equally argue that the Pilgrims were fleeing Holland, which was, well, too Dutch.

Not honestly.
25 posted on 11/24/2008 9:54:11 AM PST by newguy357
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To: Alex Murphy
Both Florida and Texas were Spanish colonies at the time, and these events were celebrated by Spanish colonists -- hardly a predecessor event for the English colonial celebration.
26 posted on 11/24/2008 9:56:14 AM PST by Constitutionalist Conservative (ACORN is a criminal enterprise)
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To: Alex Murphy

Two years ago, my wife and I spent a week in St Augustine, and discovered that the American History compiled by the North Atlantic Historians ignored or omitted a lot of data/history re St Augustine besides your post.

Like: “St. Augustine’s history as the oldest city in the USA, starting with Ponce de Leon’s discovery of Florida in 1513.”


27 posted on 11/24/2008 10:06:31 AM PST by Grampa Dave (This is the link to Leo Donofrio's new website: http://thenaturalborncitizen.blogspot.com)
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To: Alex Murphy

Rush had an explanation the other day.

The Massachussetts first Thanksgiving was actually a celebration of the end of socialism.

As Rush explained it:


When the Pilgrims first landed in Plymouth, land was distributed evenly and everyone was expected to provide all their produce to a common storehouse. Pilgrims were then allowed to take what they needed.

Of course this failed miserably, and some Pilgrims died of starvation.

Then they switched to a system of capitalism, where producers kept what they produced and sold what they wanted to sell. Then the Colony flourished...and only then did they have their first Thanksgiving.


Since this is quite different from what i was taught in publik skool, I meant to look this up.


28 posted on 11/24/2008 10:12:21 AM PST by kidd
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To: newguy357

Why is that?

Where had most Pilgrims lived before they embarked for the New World?

Was there not complete religious liberty in Holland?


29 posted on 11/24/2008 10:13:08 AM PST by Philo-Junius (One precedent creates another. They soon accumulate and constitute law.)
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To: Alex Murphy

Besides the title this find is actually pretty interesting. Thanks for posting this.


30 posted on 11/24/2008 10:30:41 AM PST by ChinaGotTheGoodsOnClinton (To those who believe the world was safer with Saddam, get treatment for that!)
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To: Alex Murphy

As a Catholic, I have celebrated Thanksgiving every year that I have been alive. Never thought otherwise.


31 posted on 11/24/2008 10:37:41 AM PST by napscoordinator
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To: Binstence

You did not ping me, but you say you are an independent thinker but won’t allows other to have that same independent thought? Why?


32 posted on 11/24/2008 10:39:14 AM PST by napscoordinator
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To: Philo-Junius

I think they wore out their welcome. However I have seen a painting of 17th Century Amsterdam where children on skates were clearly carrying hockey sticks.


33 posted on 11/24/2008 10:50:26 AM PST by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: Alex Murphy
A second similar "Thanksgiving" celebration occurred on American soil on April 30, 1598 in Texas when Don Juan de Oñate declared a day of Thanksgiving to be commemorated by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Having nearly starved to death in the Chihuahua desert before reaching the Rio Grande valley at present-day El Paso, Texas, Don Juan de Oñate and his expedition had plenty to be thankful for. Their Thanksgiing meal featured fish and duck, but ptobably not turkey. Oñate and his men eventually settled in what is now Espanola, NM.

34 posted on 11/24/2008 11:26:10 AM PST by Fiji Hill
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To: newguy357

You wrote:

“Please stop these meaningless attempts at profundity.”

It was merely a comment and it wasn’t meaningless - which could be said for your apparent need to attack a comment not directed toward you.

“If we want to act about the generic act of “thanksgiving” (lowercase T, genius), it has gone on since the creation of the world.”

Did I ever say otherwise? No. But as CHRISTIANS it could only have been going on for 2,000 years, “genius”. I guess that simple fact went right by you.

“Everyone here is talking about the capital T Thanksgiving, and redefining it to try to be profound is just moronic.”

I neither tried to redefine it, nor did I say anything profound. I made a comment. You are clearly in need of help for your comments are not only unnecessarily antagonistic considering nothing was addressed to you, but you lash out at me personally. Grow up.


35 posted on 11/24/2008 11:35:19 AM PST by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: Alex Murphy

Nope. Everybody knows it’s Greek Orthodox.

Many Orthodox Christians are still on the Julian Calendar (all were back in the day). Thanksgiving almost always falls on the day before the 40 day Christmas fast (no meat or dairy) begins. So they gathered up all their meat and cheese and had a great festival of thanksgiving.

One guy, Demetrious Hellenopoulipolous, introduced this to America when his ship, carrying a new breed of chicken which he called a Turk-ease, blew a bit off course. (He called them “Turk-ease” because he thought they looked like dressed up Turkish soldiers and the catharsis from chopping off their heads eased his frustration at being occupied by the Turks.)

He tried selling the Turk-ease to the colonists, but they weren’t sure about how it would taste. The fast was about to start, so he figured he’d cook them all up for everybody so they could see how good they tasted.

When the English Colonists came to the feast, they asked him, “Are you Catholic?” He would respond “No, I’m Orthodox.” They’d say, “So you’re a Protestant. Are you Anglican?” He’d respond, “No, I’m Orthodox.”

They’d ask, “ . . . but you’re not Catholic and you’re not Anglican . . .”

“No.”

“Okay, so you’re a Calvinst.”

“No. You see, in the year . . . oh forget it.”

From all that confusion, the English Colonists thought it was anti-Anglican and anti-Catholic and they were all for it.

Of course they dropped the whole fasting part as being Popish.

Now you know the truth about Thanksgiving.


36 posted on 11/24/2008 11:38:54 AM PST by cizinec
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To: Edizzl79
Isn’t Catholicism what the pilgrims were running away from?!

Ab-so-lootely. They were being forced by the Pope's Swiss Guards to dig a tunnel to Rome. Furthermore, their children were forced to attend parochial schools in which their hands were slapped with rulers for making mistakes in their Latin prayers.

They then escaped; sailed to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, but were so dismayed by meeting the heavy-drinking Catholics there, that they sailed over to Plymouth, where some years later they joined the Puritans in whipping Quakers naked through the streets of Boston and attempted to gain Biblical Knowledge of nubile Native Americans.

37 posted on 11/24/2008 12:01:04 PM PST by Kenny Bunk (Looking forward to life under our new emperor in new clothes, Skippy-o Africanus.)
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To: Edizzl79
Isn’t Catholicism what the pilgrims were running away from?!

Ab-so-lootely. They were being forced by the Pope's Swiss Guards to dig a tunnel to Rome. Furthermore, their children were forced to attend parochial schools in which their hands were slapped with rulers for making mistakes in their Latin prayers.

They then escaped; sailed to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, but were so dismayed by meeting the heavy-drinking Catholics there, that they sailed over to Plymouth, where some years later they joined the Puritans in whipping Quakers naked through the streets of Boston and attempted to gain Biblical Knowledge of nubile Native Americans.

38 posted on 11/24/2008 12:02:53 PM PST by Kenny Bunk (Looking forward to life under our new emperor in new clothes, Skippy-o Africanus.)
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To: Edizzl79

Repetitio mater scientiae.


39 posted on 11/24/2008 12:04:22 PM PST by Kenny Bunk (Looking forward to life under our new emperor in new clothes, Skippy-o Africanus.)
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To: cizinec

ROTFL!


40 posted on 11/24/2008 4:05:41 PM PST by Fiji Hill
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To: Colonel Kangaroo
The holiday of Thanksgiving is neither Catholic nor Protestant, it is American.

Very true ...

But nothing says "Protestant" like a hat with a buckle on it ...

Unless you're a leprechaun ...

41 posted on 11/24/2008 4:15:23 PM PST by x
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Comment #42 Removed by Moderator

To: newguy357

Actually your grammar sucks. (Actually, other posters and I agreed...) would have been a better choice. No doubt narcissism has something to do with your choice. I am flattered by your imitation of my writing in your second sentence. As for your anti-Catholic bigotry, I can’t help you with that. Only the hater can cure themselves of that disease.


43 posted on 11/24/2008 8:35:38 PM PST by Binstence (Live Freep or Die)
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To: vladimir998

I thing someone slipped Kool-Aide into the chalice at your self-righteous “christian” church. The original poster was speaking within the context of American history. Don’t you get it or don’t you want to get it?


44 posted on 11/24/2008 8:38:07 PM PST by Binstence (Live Freep or Die)
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To: Binstence; newguy357
Do not make this thread "about" individual posters. That is a form of "making it personal."

Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.

Click on my profile page for more guidelines pertaining to the Religion Forum.

45 posted on 11/24/2008 9:47:19 PM PST by Religion Moderator
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To: Binstence

You wrote:

“I thing someone slipped Kool-Aide into the chalice at your self-righteous “christian” church.”

Clearly, by your comment, we can all tell that you’re the one who is self-righteous. If you can’t even muster up enough decency to consider Catholics Christians then you’re the one who is the “Kool-Aide” drinker.

“The original poster was speaking within the context of American history. Don’t you get it or don’t you want to get it?”

I got it and chose to comment on someone else’s point. Do you understand that we are free to do that here or are you too busy quaffing down that “Kool-Aide” to use common sense? Don’t bother answering, the answer is obvious. You don’t understand that we are free to comment on other posts in a thread. Now, just run along and go back to pretending Christians aren’t Christians because you want to deny reality.


46 posted on 11/25/2008 1:56:56 AM PST by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: vladimir998

I am first a Christian and secondly a Catholic. Whatever you are, you are humorless and bitter. Goodbye.


47 posted on 11/25/2008 8:25:59 AM PST by Binstence (Live Freep or Die)
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Comment #48 Removed by Moderator

To: Alex Murphy
All that being said, Thanksgiving is traditional Protestant and marks the tradition of religious toleration (something in which the Puritan pilgrims did not actually believe - they set up a "theocracy").

How utterly ridiculous. It's not like there were Buddhists, muslims and Jews there to be tolerant of...and do we really want to compare the tolerance of puritans to say Catholicism in the 1600's, OR get into what Catholic conquistodors did to natives?

Good grief!

49 posted on 11/25/2008 9:51:56 AM PST by tpanther (All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Edmund Burke)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo
Trying to argue over who owns Thanksgiving is a childish sentiment. The holiday of Thanksgiving is neither Catholic nor Protestant, it is American.

****************

Agreed. This is a silly article.

50 posted on 11/25/2008 10:09:12 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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