America is the land of the free, home of the brave... the white picket fences, the 2.5 kids in every "modern family." Or so we've been led to believe.
In honor of the Fourth of July and the celebration of our independence from a country that taxed us without representation, we look at some of the ridiculous myths and outright lies that have people entirely misled about the United States. From Jackie Robinson to who really discovered America, these are the true stories about our history...
Myth #1: America Is A Democracy
In the current age, America and democracy are synonymous. Little do most Americans know they don't actually live in a democracy. America was actually founded as a Constitutional Republic, as stated in the Constitution and the Pledge of Allegiance. In an Economist ranking of the world's democratic countries in 2006, America didn't even crack the top 10.
Myth #2: The Founding Fathers Were Christian
This is both true and false. A large number of the Founding Fathers were associated with various sects of the Christian church, like Protestantism and Lutheranism. However, many still openly opposed organized religion. Thomas Jefferson practiced Deism, which contends that reason and observation of the natural world are enough to determine the universe has a creator without the need for organized religion.
Myth #3: Thanksgiving
While it's true that the occasion we now know as Thanksgiving first occurred between Pilgrims and nearby Indians, it originally was three days long and served to salute the annual harvest. (Imagine our modern version of stuffing and turkeys for three days.) For the Pilgrims, Thanksgiving was intended to be a religious holiday of fasting and prayer, but only turned to a feast after the rains came during one such period in 1623.