John Balentine extols the “pride” he believes we should feel as we view the history of Thanksgiving (Here’s Something: “Rekindle Pilgrims’ pride this Thanksgiving,” Nov. 17).

“Let’s pretend the woke, politically correct movement never happened and go back to the future like it was 1985 again,” he thinks. “(T)he woke movement which blames whites, both dead and alive, for all of America’s social ills” is to blame.

To my ears, it sounds like Balentine wants us to live in Fantasyland. A kind of Disney world in which we knowingly ignore our real history in favor of a “feel good” holiday during which we can revel in our generosity and ethical superiority.

Reality check: According to Rolling Stone magazine, on Nov. 21, infamous FBI fibber Michael Flynn stood on a stage at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio and spoke his truth – “If we are going to have one nation under God, which we must, we have to have one religion. One nation under God, and one religion under God.”

Wokeness understands the peril of Flynn’s message. Our Pilgrim founders had a quest for liberty that took on many new forms. Like the liberty to garner wealth and change one’s lot in life, the liberty to dispossess Indians of their land and the liberty to experiment with different models of societal governance and church organization. The ironies in these competing ideas of liberty illustrate how Plymouth’s band of religious separatists went from being the persecuted to the persecutors. “Liberty for me but not for thee,” a notion that Flynn seems to embrace.

I believe we should know and not shrink from the REAL history of our nation. Our knowledge will increase our gratitude and reverence for the separation of church and state and make us aware of dangerous factions that want us to return to a fictional “Golden Age.”

Richard Bennett
Portland