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  1. #11
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falcarius View Post
    As a non-American I have a question for you Americans. As I understand 'Thanksgiving' is essentially the American version of the 'Harvest festival', which is a Pagan festival that got stolen from them by Christians
    So Pagans are the only people who can celebrate during harvest time?

  2. #12
    The Unwieldy Clawed One Falcarius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    So Pagans are the only people who can celebrate during harvest time?


    I don't know if you are being maladroit on purpose, but you seem to be putting words into my own mouth; Where did I suggest only ''Pagans can celebrate during harvest time''? Where did I say stealing things is necessarily iniquitous and wrong?

    All I was saying is 'thanksgiving' is not to my knowledge from American cultural origins. In other words, rather than being from some Native Americans customs they are from the customs brought over by the Pilgrims; called the 'Harvest festival'. The 'Harvest festival' was essentially hijacked by Christians (not that anything is particular wrong with that), as it has next to nothing to do with Christianity. Maybe it is just me, but I don't remember the stories in the Bible about Jesus giving his disciples 'corn dollies' or celebrating a good harvest gone by all his disciples; But feel free to remind me?
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  3. #13
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    You'll be saying next that the Midwinter festivals are to do with Jesus

  4. #14
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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  5. #15
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falcarius View Post


    I don't know if you are being maladroit on purpose, but you seem to be putting words into my own mouth; Where did I suggest only ''Pagans can celebrate during harvest time''? Where did I say stealing things is necessarily iniquitous and wrong?

    All I was saying is 'thanksgiving' is not to my knowledge from American cultural origins. In other words, rather than being from some Native Americans customs they are from the customs brought over by the Pilgrims; called the 'Harvest festival'. The 'Harvest festival' was essentially hijacked by Christians (not that anything is particular wrong with that), as it has next to nothing to do with Christianity.
    What exact evidence do you have for this or anyother fesitvel being hijacked by Christianity?

    Maybe it is just me, but I don't remember the stories in the Bible about Jesus giving his disciples 'corn dollies' or celebrating a good harvest gone by all his disciples; But feel free to remind me?
    Festivels are common throughout the Bible. Just off the top of my head I can name Purim in the Book of Esther. And to get back to your earlier argument, it should be mentioned that one major justification made to keep these "pagan festivels" was because they were so similar to the ones described in the Bible.

    Neverhtless, the Pilgrims and Puritains were very strict about purging any "pagan" elements out of Christianity. They didn't even celebrate Christmas because they believed it was a rip-off of an ancient pagan holiday dedicated to the Roman Sun God. So thus Thanksgiving was their substitute.

    It's rather odd they rejected a major Christian holiday like Christmas on the grounds it was pagan, yet adopt another pagan holiday instead.

  6. #16
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Sabbathkeeping groups and some fundamentalists also reject Christmas as pagan, but keep Thanksgiving, as completely Christian. Then, Jehovah's Witnesses and some more radical sabbathkeepers (Messianics) will be more consistent and point out Thanksgiving's pagan origins.
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  7. #17
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Whether Thanksgiving originally had deep Christian meaning, or was a celebration of charity between different cultures, or was an adaptation of ancient pagan festivals, the thing that matters these days is that Thanksgiving has almost no spiritual meaning.

    When this happens with a holiday, I like to go back to see what gave it meaning, or in cases that are so fuzzy, like Thanksgiving, I find a worthwhile meaning. Taking time to reflect/introspect and realize what you have that you're grateful for, to me, has plenty of spiritual potential. I think it makes a fine basis for a holiday.

    This is why I'm glad Ivy posted that thread in The Bonfire section.
    Last edited by Cimarron; 11-27-2008 at 12:37 PM. Reason: left out a word
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  8. #18
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    So where is the evidence this is derived from pagan origins?

    BTW, I just found this randomly concerning the Jewish perspective on this:
    "As Jewish citizens of this land, we always look to the Torah for a deeper perspective and additional insight. What light does the Torah shed on the wonderful trait of thankfulness?

    Actually, there is one particular mitzvah which is completely devoted to expressing gratitude -- the mitzvah of bikurim (Deuteronomy 26:1-12). During the Temple Era, every farmer was commanded to bring to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem the first fruits which ripened in his orchard. There he would recite a passage thanking G-d for the Land and its bountiful harvest, and the fruit were given to the Kohanim (priests). The Midrash extols the great virtue of this mitzvah; going as far as saying that the Land of Israel was given to the Jews as a reward for the mitzvah of bikurim they would observe after entering the Land!"

    Thanksgiving: A Jewish Perspective - Daily Life
    So obviously the Bible does make references to yearly celebrations of a good harvest and giving their thanks to God for such.

    There goes the argument that a holiday like Thanksgiving has nothing to do with Christianity; unless you insist upon a Marconite interpretation which poses the Old Testament against the New.

    I must insist again, where is the evidence that Thanksgiving is pagan in origins? Making vague references to the fact that pagan had harvest festivels will not suffice, since the Old Testament Israelites also had them.

  9. #19
    Sniffles
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    To add further context: here's the Biblical verses referenced to above:
    When you have entered the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance and have taken possession of it and settled in it, take some of the firstfruits of all that you produce from the soil of the land the LORD your God is giving you and put them in a basket. Then go to the place the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name and say to the priest in office at the time, "I declare today to the LORD your God that I have come to the land the LORD swore to our forefathers to give us." The priest shall take the basket from your hands and set it down in front of the altar of the LORD your God. Then you shall declare before the LORD your God: "My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down into Egypt with a few people and lived there and became a great nation, powerful and numerous. But the Egyptians mistreated us and made us suffer, putting us to hard labor. Then we cried out to the LORD, the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice and saw our misery, toil and oppression. So the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with miraculous signs and wonders. He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey; and now I bring the firstfruits of the soil that you, O LORD, have given me." Place the basket before the LORD your God and bow down before him. And you and the Levites and the aliens among you shall rejoice in all the good things the LORD your God has given to you and your household.
    Deuteronomy 26:1-11


    Now let's also take into effect that the self-image of the Pilgrims and later Puritains was built on the notion of them being latter-day Israelites who came to a strange land to found the New Jerusalem, the "shining city upon a hill".

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