PENTAGON VIOLATING RELIGIOUS FREEDOM OF THOSE SWORN TO DEFEND IT, VAX DISSENTERS' ATTORNEYS ARGUE | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

PENTAGON VIOLATING RELIGIOUS FREEDOM OF THOSE SWORN TO DEFEND IT, VAX DISSENTERS' ATTORNEYS ARGUE

The Pentagon is denying religious exemptions from its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for those in the U.S. military who swore to defend the very freedoms they are being denied, attorneys for the dissenters argue.

This continues as Americans celebrate the 400-year anniversary of Thanksgiving, a feast day first celebrated by Puritan separatists, American Indians and settlers in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

When the Pilgrims left England and Holland in 1620, no religious freedom existed. King James I of England had decreed that it was illegal for anyone to worship, even outside, other than in the Church of England. Those who didn't comply, were arrested, jailed or killed.

English separatists, or Pilgrims, as they came to be known, sought a better life in Virginia, where they hoped to be able to worship freely. But their ship steered off course after a number of setbacks, and they ended up in Massachusetts. They were unprepared for a bitter winter, with many dying on board before they ever reached the shore.

En route to the New World, they signed the Mayflower Compact, named after the ship on which they sailed, which established an entirely new concept of self-governance — laws made for the people by the people.

The social compact they established is believed to have helped form the tenets of the U.S. Constitution, many state constitutions, and the First Amendment, which protects religious freedom.

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