A Pilgrim writes in his diary about the first Thanksgiving

Dear Diary,

The Lord made some day today! I can barely loosen my spectacularly huge belt buckle. I didn’t even know we had that much food. My good wife really put herself out this time. Mashed wheat, grass salad, cinnamon sticks, potatoes with tallow sauce—and the bird! That delicious bird! Who would have ever thought that any creature with a visage that idiotic could taste that heavenly?

We’ve come such a long way. I remember when we thought the feathers were the food part of a bird. But the Indians showed us differently.

The Indians were jolly company today. I wonder, though, if we should have made them eat at a separate table from us. I know the village elders decided that was best. But they also decided chimneys gave Satan a way to get into our homes. Bad call, that. Half the village almost nearly choked to death last winter.

Still, the elders are pretty wise. They were definitely right about burying seeds a little, instead of just leaving them atop the ground. Once we started actually covering them with dirt our crops really picked up. The elders were also right about giving grain alcohol to our babies. Our babies sleep so much better now! We all do.

Yet my doubts persist about having the Indians eat at a separate table. I know there’s nothing in the Bible specifically about Indians, but I can’t help but think of the way our Lord and Savior used to eat with all kinds of undesirables. Would he have sat, and cracked bread with the Indians? I think he might have.

Of course, the Indians seem to like not sitting at our tables. For one, they hate utensils. I don’t know if we’re ever going to get those people to stop eating with their hands. In retrospect, it would have been wise of us to have mastered the utensils ourselves before trying to persuade the Indians to use them. If only Wallace hadn’t stuck himself in the cheek during our demonstration—or if Smith hadn’t cracked his tooth on that spoon. How the Indians laughed. It was kind of funny. I didn’t know brother Smith could curse like that.

Sometimes, though, it seems like the Indians are mostly just laughing at us. I know that one Indian was laughing at my shoes. He nudged his friend—and if while sneering at my shoes he didn’t say “wampum buckle” then I’ve never built a fence. The impertinence!

Like the moccasins they wear are so great.

Actually, they are. I kind of want a pair of those moccasins for myself. Of course, I would refer to them as moccas: no sins for me! But the truth is, our shoes are just too blasted heavy. And for Jehovah’s sake, do we really need heels on our shoes? Heels are fine for getting around on the cobblestoned lanes of London, but out here in God’s muddy wilderness they’re hardly an asset. The only reason we caught that huge delicious bird was because the creature was simply too stupid to run away. But other than that moronic beast, I can’t hunt anything in these shoes. When I try sneaking through the woods animals ffor miles around flee. Our shoes just make too much blangnamit noise.

But an Indian! Sometimes they are as quiet as a shadow passing by. I swear, the one who sneaked up on me today scared me half to death. But I guess he was just curious about my musket. They’re such an ignorant people. When I let him hold my gun, the befuddled ruffian didn’t know what to do with it. He kept pointing the barrel right at me! It’s like he didn’t even realize that’s the killing end of the thing. And he kept laughing. What a crazy laugh he had. And I wasn’t even telling a joke.

Honestly, sometimes the Indians just plain worry me. It’s almost like they don’t comprehend that we’re their betters.

Oh, well. One day though our preaching and teaching they will see the light, and become the Christians it is their fate to become. And thereafter they will do as God intends they should, and trust us, and thank the Lord that we came to their shores.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • Suz

    I think you nailed it! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=670386446 Penny Nash

    No “sins” for me. LOL.

  • http://www.facebook.com/patricksmymiddlename Troy Patrick Ramsey

    It’s nice to see a pilgrim asking questions. “Should I love these Indians as Jesus did?” Now that is a pilgrim I would love to have fellowship with, whether he makes the right decision at first or not…

  • ms.glove

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Cat!

  • http://twitter.com/dland Dave Land

    Nice to see your light-hearted side. Happy Black Friday. I hope you’re sane and staying home.

  • Anonymous

    I hope nobody takes offense, but it’s weird that the first tech support for the pilgrims were (to excuse an antiquated label) Indians. Once we pushed Native Americans off their own nations, took their resources, gave them diabetes, alcoholism, etc., we drove them into the gaming casino trade and occasional tourist spots needing a token native to provide some authentic flavor to a rain dance or basket weaving demonstration. We now look to actual Indians in Bangalore to provide customer support and technical service for the big white father in the sky. Not God, just some overweight white guy with kids that travels by air but can’t afford to hire other white guys to handle his customer service or tech support. I really don’t know what the hell I’m talking about. It was just a thought.

    • Joe

      Thank you for sharing. You’re right, that is interesting, and kinda hilarious.

  • http://stephanie-thingsfallapart.blogspot.com/ Stephanie Lanza Harvey

    ‘He nudged his friend—and if he didn’t say “buckle,” I’ve never built a fence. Those two were out of line, period.’ HAR Thanksgiving seen anew and fresh from the oven. Thanks John.

  • textjunkie

    Hey John–you were one of the items on my “Giving thanks for” list. Keep it up and have a great weekend! :)

  • Joe

    *Oh, well. One day though our preaching and teaching they will see the light, and become the Christians it is their fate to become. And thereafter they will do as God intends they should, and trust us, and thank the Lord that we came to their shores.*

    Thank you John, I needed that laugh this morning. :)

  • Carol B.

    “blangnamit ” ??!! HAR! I’m stealin’ THAT one! Hope your Thanksgiving was great, and thanks for introducing me to such kind and caring folks…..

  • su child

    Rez Life by David Seelye Treuer

    “Free of academic jargon, overflowing with terrific storytelling, David Treuer has given us the best book I have ever read on contemporary reservation life.

    . . . . This introduction to Native America is destined to be a classic.”


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