Roy Exum: “We Won’t Bend”

Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

When you pause before your Thanksgiving tomorrow, kindly add the Editorial Board of The Wall Street Journal to your list of thanks. It seems that some of America’s most agonized “progressives” have delivered a petition to the WSJ demanding the newspaper cease publishing its annual Thanksgiving editorials. These misfits claim the stories glorify our forebearers and “it’s time to stop publishing 17th century racism.”

The petition, reportedly signed by 50,000 people, complains that the account of the First Thanksgiving, written by William Bradford in 1620, refers to Native Americans as “wilde men” and that the Pilgrims were separate from “all the civil parts of the world.” (Bradford was a Governor of the Plymouth Colony 400 years ago.)

The Journal’s retort was published on Monday and, while I would have answered to stuff the worthless petition in your turkey’s cavity, the editors were far more demure but just as firm. Saying the 1620 account – which has appeared every year since 1961 – as well as a famous mid-20th century “contemporary contrast” of American progress, will not be removed in any way and that The Wall Street Journal will never “bend to political demands for censorship.”

The rebuttal by the board read, in part, “No doubt it was only a matter of time. The progressives have come for our annual Thanksgiving editorials. They won’t succeed, but we thought we’d share the tale with readers for an insight into the politicization of everything, even Thanksgiving," the board wrote.

Not in the last 60 years has there ever been a complaint, the editors noted, “But we live in a new era when the left sees nearly everything through the reductive lens of identity politics. It sees much of American history as a racist project that should be erased," the board wrote, before noting that the motivation to censor the Pilgrim editorial was being driven by a petition on left-wing site

"We think that’s a willful misreading of the editorial, which recounts the bravery and trials of the Pilgrims as they sought a better life in a new land," the board wrote. "The petition makes a historical point, which is fair enough, but then wraps it in the grievances of contemporary politics to claim the editorial is racist. Somehow the Pilgrims and their chronicler share responsibility for genocide. The point of the statement and petition isn’t to promote debate but to shut it down."

"We don’t mind giving critics a chance to make their case, but we won’t bend to political demands for censorship. We will run the editorials as usual this week," the statement read.

* * *

Bravo for another instance of “a civil world” prevailing.

* * *


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NOTE: This story appeared on the online news site, on Nov. 23, 2021, and was written by correspondent Bethany Bankley:

The majority of Americans, 73%, say their rights come from God, not government, and say government can’t force Americans to violate their religious beliefs, according to a poll conducted by and McLaughlin and Associates.

“There’s a widening gap between the dominant media narrative and what the American people actually believe,” Dr. Jeff Myers of said in a statement accompanying the poll results. “We’re seeing that in these numbers. As we approach a holiday established to thank God for His blessings on our nation, the American people still believe that our rights come from God, not from government, and that the right to believe and practice our religion must be respected.

“Despite everything, it is encouraging to see that Americans still acknowledge the freedoms that made this nation great.”

Heading into Thanksgiving, 73% of American voters polled said they agree with America’s founders that their rights come God, not government; 27% polled said they don’t.

The majority, 75%, say the government doesn’t have the right to force Americans to participate in practices that violate their religious beliefs, compared to 16% who say it does and 10% who said they don’t know or don’t have an answer.

The poll comes at a time when the federal government is rejecting religious exemptions for federal employees who don’t want to comply with an executive order requiring COVID-19 shots as a condition of employment, and members of the military in all branches face dishonorable discharge or other consequences for submitting religious accommodation exemptions.

Liberty Counsel, which has sued the Biden administration over religious freedom violations, argues the administration wants to eliminate religious freedoms in America, which is protected by the First Amendment.

“Religious freedom is more than the ‘freedom to worship’ at a synagogue, church, or mosque,” Liberty Counsel argues. “It means government cannot force people to go against their core values and beliefs. Religious freedom protects people’s right to live, speak, and act according to their beliefs peacefully and publicly.”

In another survey conducted by Rasmussen and Summit Institute of 1,000 likely voters, 82% said freedom of religion was “important to a healthy American society;” 67% said it was “very important,” 15% said it was “somewhat important.”

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Our Founders established this nation on religious freedom, and the Constitution protects it. They sacrificed everything so we might live in a free country and help other innocent people around the world who are imprisoned, tortured and persecuted for their faith.”

The Summit/McLaughlin poll was conducted among 1,000 likely general election voters nationwide between October 14-18.

All interviews were conducted online; survey invitations were distributed randomly within predetermined geographic units structured to correlate with actual voter turnout in the general election. The poll has an accuracy of +/- 3.1% at a 95% confidence interval.

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