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|If CNN Covered the First Thanksgiving
|Thursday, November 28, 2019|
Imagine if CNN were around when the Pilgrims celebrated that first Thanksgiving...
CNN: Their homes are mostly huts, their story—more tragedy than triumph. I'm speaking of the group of religious Separatists who left England for a 67-day ocean crossing on the Mayflower. Their voyage was about one goal: obtaining religious freedom. I’m joined by William Bradford, a spokesman for the Separatists.
CNN: Mr. Bradford, I understand your group paid a high price for this venture. Do you think in retrospect these folks who came over with you really understood what they were getting into?
BRADFORD: They knew they were pilgrims.
CNN: Meaning what?
BRADFORD: They were ready to perish in this wilderness.
CNN: And perish they have. You originally sailed with a group of 102. But the cold weather you encountered was devastating. How many died?
BRADFORD: We buried half the original group that sailed from England during our first winter,
CNN: I understand that only four of the married women who left England still have husbands. Forgive me, but it doesn’t seem like you have much to show for all this suffering and death.
BRADFORD: All great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and both must be enterprised and overcome with answerable courage.
CNN: And you still feel the same commitment to this ideal of freedom to worship God in your own way?
BRADFORD: To keep a good conscience, and walk in such a way as God has prescribed in his Word, is a thing which I must prefer before you all, and above life itself.
CNN: Today, you gather with 90 Native Americans to express thanks to God. But don't you have more reason for grief than gratitude? On what basis have you encouraged the pilgrims?
BRADFORD: Let them praise the Lord because He is good, and His mercies endure forever.
CNN: So ended my conversation with William Bradford. Separatists—or extremists? We’ll leave it to our viewers to decide.
NOTE: Though this conversation obviously never took place, William Bradford actually said these very words (I have made only minor edits) in his book, Of Plymouth Plantation.
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