For reasons that are obscure even to me, on a bulletin board I frequent there is a discussion going about whether or not, in the United Kingdom, holidays like Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July are celebrated.
To those reading across the Pond, I apologize for the obtuseness of my fellow countrymen. We have a bit of myopia where our role in history is concerned.
One person made an impassioned rant against a British celebration of Thanksgiving — “Why,” he asked (paraphrasing here), “should we celebrate a bunch of people leaving the Mother Country and starting over? We’re not even descended from them!”
I don’t know. It occurred to me that there’s a very good case to be made for Europeans of all stripes to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Yes, really. Let me explain.
A bunch of Calvinists boarded a boat, left England, and set sail for the New World. A bunch of Calvinists who were too batshit loony for the Church of England that they fled first to Holland and then to the New World because the CoE was too liberal for them. I would jokingly say that the United States was settled by England’s religious nutters, but it’s actually true, and after the United States became independent, we started taking in Europe’s religious nutters, too.
Seriously, there’s a reason for the English to celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s a commemoration of how the religious malcontents buggered off to make America a religious wreck, leaving the Mother Country to thrive in peace without them.