Stripped of propaganda, hypocrisy and historical revisionism, the story of "thanksgiving" is thus:
European pilgrims came to this nation looking for a place filled with opportunities. Some came for religious freedom. Some came to start over. But all came with the hopes of prosperity. Upon arriving, the pilgrims found an abandoned village which soon became their own settlement. It was hard work building a new life and their Calvinistic work ethic wasn’t enough to carry them through. Thankfully, they made friends with a local who already spoke English ( ) because he had learned the language while serving as a slave to Europeans abroad. Squanto helped these early colonists survive.
The Thanksgiving holiday, although held for many years, was popularized in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln.
According to Lincoln:
Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.
However, truth be told, when we believe that such abundance comes from the will of God, rather than through our own sins, we sanction our evil. Now, that isn’t to say that we should not be thankful for the blessings we have received. It is to say, however, that if we are going to be thankful, we must also be angstful. We must lament and repent for the ways in which our affluence has come unjustly. If we believe that the various empires who oppressed the Israelites deserved their judgment, yet overlook the same abuses by "America", we are living in a double-standard that God, immutable as He is, does not share.
In the writings of the early disciples, blessing is rarely ever tied to material wealth. In fact, it is often the poor who are called "blessed". We are told to be content because of things such as suffering and persecution and salvation.
So let this day be one where we see without illusions, where we lament the sins of the nations in which we reside as we honestly thank Jesus for those things that are truly blessings from Him.
See "No Thanks To Thanksgiving" by Robert Jensen