By Going Deeper with TGC | Listen | 18m
Published in November of 2012

SUMMARY: Although the Pilgrims have been centered and elevated in the myth of Thanksgiving that does not mean we should eliminate their narrative nor does it mean we cannot learn from them. History professor Robert Tracy McKenzie dispels some of the common myths associated with the Pilgrims, discusses why it is important to learn the truth about the past, and suggests how we can incorporate Thanksgiving into our everyday lives. The interview occurs in the first half of the podcast and ends at the 17:40 mark.

KEY QUOTE: “Because I believe that we are fallen. Because I believe that we have kind of a natural tendency to justify ourselves…we see that in how we remember the past. We tend to remember the past in a way that simply re enforces what we already believe or what we want to encourage in our society. If we go back and recapture a more accurate past we will find in fact that it is often more challenging, a more convicting past, and even a more inspiring past. And that is the reason why I think it is important to remember the Pilgrims more accurately than we do. They have things to say to us. They have hard questions to ask to us.”

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DID YOU KNOW? We have a learning capsule about Thanksgiving with resources to help faithfully learn about the holiday.


Going Deeper with TGC: The Myths of Thanksgiving

More curated podcasts on Thanksgiving:

PODCAST: That Brunch in the Forest

Americans have been fascinated with Native Americans since arriving in the 1600’s. Native American culture, symbols, and names surround us, from mascots to the names of streets and mountains to the packaging of food. In an enlightening interview, the National Museum of the American Indian curator Paul Chaat Smith discusses the need to look at history with nuance, and in the case of Thanksgiving, avoid the oversimplification of both sides of the story.

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PODCAST: How to Redeem Thanksgiving

Like many American celebrations, Thanksgiving has been romanticized and mythologized. True, the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims did work together for almost a generation, but the story does not end there – it is messy and complicated. Genocide, white supremacy, and forced boarding schooling are just some of the tactics that were used by white people to control the indigenous population. Does this mean we need to stop celebrating Thanksgiving? Absolutely not, but we need to tell the whole story. Skip to the 4 min mark to get to the interview with George Fox professor of faith and culture Randy Woodley.

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