*Affiliate links included. All opinions are my own.
Funny thing is, though, that history doesn’t change. Our understanding of history and the way history is presented might change, but HISTORY itself doesn’t. What happened, happened, whether or not we acknowledge it. While the “penumbra” of the constitution might be constantly reinterpreted to support any which agenda, the fact is, there was a historical context and culture in which the Constitution was written. And that context included God and religion. It didn’t include equal devil and God worship, paganism, or a society devoid of religion. In fact, the very settlement of this nation began in efforts to respect the free and ACTIVE living out of religious beliefs, not to regulate them to the private (behind closed doors) realm.
The history of the Orient is incomplete without an understanding of the influence religions like Hinduism and Buddhism have played in its development. The history of the Middle East makes no sense without an understanding of Judaism and Islam. Likewise, the history of the United States is incomplete without awareness and acknowledgment of the role Christianity played in its settlement and founding values, the role of God in U.S. history.
Whether or not a nation continues to preserve certain values or views toward religion is a different question. Regardless of opinions on this matter, the very real role that God and specific religious views played in history should never be neglected or sidelined.
Fall is a good time to remember the importance of keeping God in U.S. history, whether you are a Christian celebrating those values and remaining true to them, or whether you have different views, but want to do justice to the past and how history happened.
Why focus on this during fall? Because so many aspects of early American history that we typically remember during the fall were strongly influenced by the Christian beliefs of the first settlers. The first settlers weren’t just independent go-getters. The Mayflower and religion are inseparably connected. These first pioneers were Christians with deeply held religious beliefs that they wanted the freedom to ACT upon. Thanksgiving wasn’t just pilgrims and Native Americans getting together – it was a moment of thanking God for his role in bringing the settlers to this land and providing for them. The Founding Fathers and generation of Americans that fought for independence were likewise strongly influenced by their beliefs in God and religion.
RESOURCES: Do you want your kids to learn more about the connections between God, religion and the American past?
Here are a few references that can help your kids learn more about the role God and religion have played in the history of America.
Learn Our History has a special offer – get the DVD “One Nation Under God” for free, together with free learning guides and activities! Grab your copy now. You do pay shipping and handling ($4.95).
Did American Have a Christian Founding? A in depth and scholarly examination of the founding of American in terms of Christian belief.
The Christian History of Thanksgiving in America: Learn about the earliest Thanksgiving celebrations and how they were connected to the Christian beliefs of the pilgrims.
Thanksgiving History. The Plimoth Plantation site provides an interesting historical perspective on the early Thanksgivings that includes the importance religion had for the pilgrims.
Do you want to help your kids continue making the connection between God and Thanksgiving? Here are some fun Thanksgiving activity resources and free printables you can use!
Upside Down Homeschooling is currently offering “My Book of Thanks”, a 25 Day Gratitude Journal for Kids as a subscriber freebie.
A Cornucopia of Thanks, from Real Life at Home
Free Thanksgiving Bible Printables from The Crafty Classroom
Free Unit Study: Cultivating Thankful Hearts (Blessed Beyond a Doubt)
Thanksgiving Coloring Pages from Angels of Heart