A Week Of Thanksgiving – With Dr. Paul Jehle From Plymouth Rock Foundation: What makes America special? Outside of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, which president should we be most thankful for? Have you heard about the peace alliance initiated by the Native Americans? How close did the Pilgrims come to starvation? Even in the midst of challenges, we in America have so much to be Thankful for! Tune in to hear Dr. Paul Jehle show God’s hand in our unique history as we remember to thank Him this Thanksgiving Day!
Air Date: 11/25/2021
Guest: Paul Jehle
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
- WallBuilders | American historical events, founding fathers, historical documents, books, videos, CDs, tapes, David Barton’s speaking schedule.
- Coupons: Use promo code WBL17 to receive 10% off your entire order on ALL WallBuilders Store Products!!
- Helpful links:
- Send In Your Questions!
- The Founders Bible
- The Founders Bible App
- Constitution Alive
- First Liberty
- The Courageous Leaders Collection
- Heroes of History
- Quotations of the Founders Books
- Alliance Defending Freedom
- Liberty Counsel
- Patriot Academy
- High Point Leadership Camp
- WallBuilders’ YouTube
- Wallbuilders Summer Leadership Training Program
- Today’s Links:
Download: Click Here
Transcription note: Â As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith and the Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live. It is Thanksgiving Day. Well, it’s actually day four in Thanksgiving week for us here at WallBuilders Live. We’ve been sharing good news all week long. We hope that you’ve enjoyed it. And we hope you’re sharing it with your friends and family.
What a wonderful day to celebrate where we live, the nation we’re in, and actually, I would say even thank the good Lord, for the challenges we’re facing. Because it also gives us an opportunity to make a difference. In fact, that’s biblical, we’re supposed to count it all joy when we experienced various trials. So what a wonderful Thanksgiving with so many good things to thank the good Lord for, but we’re also going to thank him for the challenges.
If you missed the first three Good News Fridays throughout the week that we had for Thanksgiving, it’s all available at our website wallbuilderslive.com. And of course, we’ll have a regular Good News Friday tomorrow. But here it is Thanksgiving Day, and we’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian, and our founder at WallBuilders, and with Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. And I’m Rick Green, former Texas legislator, and America’s Constitution coach.
David, and Tim, Thanksgiving Day, it’s a great time for people to reach back into history and say, wow, look at what God did all the way throughout our history, including back at that first Thanksgiving.
It really is. And it’s something that as we’re studying American history, there is so much we have to be thankful and grateful for. And guys, you know, as we spend a lot of time studying history in general, we talk about how special this nation is. Because when you measure the context of the rest of the world, what America has done has been different than everywhere else in the world.
We talk about the fact that if you look at the average length of a Constitution in world history, the average length of a Constitution in world history is only 17 years. And this year, America celebrated 234 years under the same Constitution. We’re the longest-lasting constitutional republic in the history of the world. We enjoy an unprecedented level of stability.
We enjoy prosperity that virtually no one else in the world will ever know or enjoy to the level that this nation has enjoyed it. We have an incredibly creative nation with so many patents and inventions and technological discoveries and medical cures and so many things happen in this nation.
So Much to Be Thankful For
And a lot of times people look at the nation, or specifically the way that education is taught oftentimes today is people look at the nation, and they hear the negative things about America instead of the reality that this is a really special nation. And guys, obviously, on Thanksgiving, there’s a lot that we should be giving thanks for. And certainly, one of the things we should give thanks for as Americans is the fact that God has allowed us to live at this location at this time in history. That’s a real blessing we need to be thankful for it.
Yeah, I think that’s something, Tim, you saying that that really is also a challenge for us to kind of do some self-valuation. I mean, this is a really goofy time in history. And you and I are both on the road, and we see a lot of discouraged people. But I think you just raised a good point.
We have to look at ourselves in the mirror and say, okay, God put me here in America right now, He knew exactly what was going on right now, He knew what would be going on right now, and He put me here right now. So what am I supposed to do? Sit back and complain about it or moan about it, or whatever? No, He put me here to do something.
And I think, I had not thought of him that way. But what you just said should be a challenge to every one of us. What a wonderful time, He could have put us at a really peaceful time in history when everything was going just smooth and well and no culture conflicts. But He didn’t. He put us here right now in the middle of a cultural conflict like we have not seen in more than a century because He knew that we were needed right now.
Well, this is something to that we talked about as we traveled speak some times that this is a great time to be alive because there’s never been a greater hunger for truth in America, where people are looking for what’s true, what’s the answer. And as a Christian, and as someone who studies the history and knows the Constitution, this is a great time to be alive because you have something that’s so valuable and so needed.
And so obviously, as an American, I think we should be giving thanks. I mean, guys, for us, we were married, we have kids, we have families. We’re grateful for our family. And one of the things I think is even interesting in scripture, the apostle Paul said that in all things we should give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.
One of the things he also said, I think it’s Philippians, where he said, I’ve learned in whatever state I’m in to be content, whether I have a little or whether I have a lot, I’m going to be content. And I think one of the challenges too is sometimes in our abundance, we forget how blessed we are. But sometimes, in our need, we forget how blessed we are. Wherever God has us, there are some blessings. So guys, before we get into, we’re going to have some good news and things we’re thankful for, and we’re going to get to.
And actually, normally will be Foundation of Freedom Thursday and there’s a question we had come in that I know we want to answer later too. But guys, I have a Thanksgiving-related question. So looking at American history, outside of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, which President are you most thankful for?
Good question for Thanksgiving. Which President am I most thankful for?
Man, that’s a tough one, bro.
And you said not including Washington, Lincoln, and who else?
Well, I just said those two. I mean, I could have said, Donald Trump. Right?
Oh, man, I’m going to be so cliché with this. But I have to because I get reminded of Ronald Reagan. Every time I say my son, or either, I got one named after him, and another one born on his birthday, I got it all over my house. So I guess I got to say, Reagan, because I was probably influenced by him more than anybody else. Because that was kind of my formative years, you know, studying him. And so yeah, I got to say, Reagan. The joy, you know, the happy warrior thing, a lot of the things we adopt here at WallBuilders, I think we picked up from Reagan during those years.
I’m going to give a different kind of answer. Because I think getting to where we are right now was a bunch of small steps. And so I think I look at what James A. Garfield and Rutherford B. Hayes did with equality and civil rights as being a huge, huge thing to get us here. I look at Calvin Coolidge and getting back to the Constitution after Woodrow Wilson. If he had not done that, where would we be, if we were still Woodrow Wilson all the way through? And then I look at FDR and Truman and the way they handled World War II. If they had not handled it the way they did, we don’t end up where we are.
Which there’s a little baggage with FDR in World War II.
And also, there’s baggage with Truman in World War II.
Well, and specifically I’m thinking FDR did want to get involved at the beginning, and he turned the Jewish ship away. And it had not been, because we talked about sometimes that when Pearl Harbor was bombed, it was kind of like God sending a wakeup call, like, hey, right, you can’t sit this one out, you’re going to be part of the solution in this. Nonetheless, certainly…
Not a Surprise
I feel like David cheated, is all I’m going to say. I think he named 10 presidents there, so I just feel like that’s just unfair. I’m just going to be a snowflake here, and yeah…
I was going to let him say all the names and say, okay, so which one are you picking? Right, so I wasn’t going to let them get away with this.
If I had to pick one, I’ve got to say, Trump, because of the Judges. What I would say right now, what Trump did with Judges is preserving us more than anything because all the stuff that Biden is doing is being stopped by Judges who read the Constitution. And if it were not for that, I would be a whole lot less optimistic. I know God’s got under control, and He can see the end from the beginning.
But if it wasn’t for the fact that we are winning so many of the suits against Biden’s executive orders, there’s stalemate in the House and Senate, obviously, but he has not stopped his executive orders. And he’s losing not just what we’re seeing with the mandates, but other things as well. I think those Judges are what are keeping us within reach of getting back to the Constitution.
And the religious liberty emphasis, right, that Kelly talked about it at our Legislators’ Conference. In fact, we’ll probably share that on the air in the next few weeks. But I mean, just the fact that we’re winning so many religious liberty battles…
Yeah, that’s right. So I would probably say Trump, because of the legacy he left with Judges at this point. I think that’s kept us on board in a way the Democrats would had us been a different nation by now.
Now, do we take yours, Tim, or do you have a different one?
Well, I think Trump is a little bit too easy of an answer to say. I actually…
So then David’s being a snowflake?
Exactly. I just got this there. I mean…
Washington, Lincoln, Trump…
I almost said no, Washington, no Lincoln, or no Trump because I felt like Trump’s going to be the easy choice. So not the easy choice, dad you mentioned several that I think would arguably need to be on that list of some of the more significant presidents and their contributions helping America in the right direction. An individual that I think does not get enough credit that should, and largely a lot of what he did was not just in the White House, and it actually was much beyond it, but you know, as you mentioned Garfield and Hayes for what they did, and the reconstruction equal rights fights and part actually grant being part of that same conversation going forward, I look back to Thomas Jefferson.
Because one of the things that we point out so much is the very wording from the Declaration, that we hold these truths to be self-evident; all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; among these are life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men. We can go through and quote more of that.
But the point is Thomas Jefferson was the guy who came up with the wording that laid the foundation for the philosophy of this nation. And we looked at the Constitution as the operation of the nation, but really the heart, the soul of the nation goes back to the Declaration. And as president, there’s not a lot that I would point to you from Jefferson. There’s a couple things I can point you from Jefferson he did I thought that were great. There’s not a lot I point to from Jefferson to go, man, as a president, he really saved the day.
But as far as a leader who was a president, and the legacy he left, and there’s a lot of actually negative things said about Thomas Jefferson today that most of them are not true at all, which is why years ago, you wrote the book, “The Jefferson Lies”, trying to dispel some of the more popular lies about Thomas Jefferson. And he’s a guy like a Washington, he’s a guy like many of the Founding Fathers and presidents we can point to. Their life was complicated, it was complex. It wasn’t always pretty. They definitely had some weak simple, fleshly moments.
But when you study their whole life, you realize this was a really impressive person who did a lot of really impressive things to advance the ball down the field in the right direction. And so even though there’s several presidents we could point out, I think, just to be a little different, and still recognize something significant would be Thomas Jefferson.
But guys, as we talk about this on Thanksgiving Day, there’s a lot to be thankful for as Americans, in the midst of the challenges we’re seeing in the midst of inflation, in the midst of the spending issues, in the midst of southern border, we can list a lot of problems. And yet with those problems, we still have it better off here in America than almost anywhere else in the world. We are incredibly blessed. And so on Thanksgiving, among the many things I’m thankful for, faith, family, freedom, I’m certainly grateful to be an American.
And because of what even just the three presidents we talked about, and the others that were mentioned, because of what they did, not only as we face some of these tough times as well, but we have the tools we need. I’m thankful that the tools are there, that the principles are there, that the foundation is there, that we have to work with, that we don’t have to start from scratch. And we don’t have to be deterred by the challenges that we’re looking at because we do have at our fingertips the things we need to turn those things around.
So, man, we do, we have so much to be thankful for. I mean, we could just sit here and list all of those. And I mean, family should take time to do that today. I mean, what a great time to just make sure you’re instilling that in your kids and letting them know we have so much to be thankful for. And I think one year, David, we actually brought out Lincoln’s Thanksgiving proclamation that was at such a difficult time in the country.
I mean, we were sitting here saying, yeah, we have tough times. But man, in 1863, I mean, you talk about tough times, and yet he was so thankful and led the nation in thanks. We can do that again today.
Yeah, we can and that is a good call. And that is a good Thanksgiving exercise. Make sure that in addition to watching all the football games or whatever you’re going to do, that you actually have people voice and articulate the things for which they are thankful, always being grateful. Remember the story of the 10 lepers, you know, Jesus did so much for them, only one came back to say thank you. That is something that takes deliberate thought, deliberate action.
That’s a great challenge, Rick, everybody needs to just start listing what they’re thankful for, and do that verbally and vocally and give thanks to God for the good things. Even in the midst of something that may be really bad otherwise, still find God in it. Great challenge.
I’m also thankful for Dr. Paul Jehle at the Plymouth Rock Foundation, somebody that’s taught so many people about that original Thanksgiving. And he’s actually going to be with us when we come back from the break, special treat here on Thanksgiving Day. Stay with us, folks, Dr. Paul Jehle our special guest on this Thanksgiving day. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
Hey, guys, we want to let you know about a new resource we have at WallBuilders called The American Story. For so many years, people have asked us to do a history book to help tell more of the story that’s just not known or not told today.
And we would say very providentially in the midst of all of the new attacks coming out against America, whether it be from things like the 1619 project that say America is evil, and everything in America was built off slavery, which is certainly not true or things, like even the Black Lives Matter movement, the organization itself, not out the statement Black Lives Matter, but the organization that says we’re against everything that America was built on, and this is part of the Marxist ideology. There’s so many things attacking America.
Well, is America worth defending? What is the true story of America? We actually have written and told that story starting with Christopher Columbus, going roughly through Abraham Lincoln, we tell the story of America not as the story of a perfect nation of a perfect people. But the story of how God used these imperfect people and did great things through this nation. It’s a story you want to check out, wallbuilders.com, The American Story.
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us on this very special day of Thanksgiving. We’re thrilled to have Paul Jehle with us, a regular guest at times. But anyway, Paul, great to have you back, brother and I know you’re enjoying Thanksgiving as well.
Oh, yeah. Yeah, and it’s great. We had a great weekend of festivities here and I’m looking forward now to getting a little more calm with families.
Well, you have probably educated more people on the real history of Thanksgiving than anybody alive today, and just do incredible work up there. It’s amazing what you guys are doing to educate folks, really reeducate folks after the revision of so much of our history. So we appreciate you coming on WallBuilders and talking about it today. But we just want to share with people a little bit of the miraculous things that happened at Thanksgiving and what they experienced and how they kind of turned from socialism and tried that to actually go into free enterprise and private property. So what would you like to share with folks on Thanksgiving today?
I think one of the things that most people are not aware of is that of who the pilgrims were in their character and their message that actually prepared for Thanksgiving, and really God. Because when you think about it, it was the natives who initiated contact with the pilgrims and spoken their language was MSF coming and then bringing Squanto. And that initiation for peace and an alliance with [inaudible 15:28] paved the way, one of the key events that miraculously paved the way for the Thanksgiving that we know it.
And then following that, the apology that took place in August of 1621 where one of the Billington boys ran away and was taken by the [inaudible 15:45] tribe which had defended themselves because you see, six years earlier, Thomas Hunt came and stole 22 of their natives made them slaves. So they were waiting for any Englishman to come back, and no wonder they attack them in self-defense.
But the idea was that now they had to meet because they had, in a sense, a little hostage situation. And when they went, they found 100-year-old native woman crying every time she looked at the English, she had never seen the English. And they asked what’s going on here? And said, look, she’s missing her children and grandchildren because they were stolen. And that’s when Bradford presumably or one of the leaders said, listen, that was wrong. Thomas Hunt was a bad man. We will never do those kinds of things. And they made in a sense an attempted reconciliation in August.
I think if there hadn’t been a peace alliance, probably mostly initiated by the natives, and if there hadn’t been this apology, there probably would have been no Thanksgiving. And when we think about those things today, we realize events just don’t happen, they just don’t happen without cause and effect. And that friendship, three days of friendship of recreation, where the natives brought most of the food, actually more than 140 people there, and certainly, after that first winter, the pilgrims were not in any condition to bring a lot of food.
We don’t know who invited him. But we do know that those three days of friendship are a mark of hope for America, that we don’t have to agree on everything. We can be different cultures and diverse, and we still can not only get along, we can actually work together.
Paul, I did not know the kidnapping story. That’s incredible. I mean, like you said, God has all these pieces of the puzzle that He brings together to make these things happen. One of our listeners had asked about that first winter, and was it really only five, or six, or whatever kernels of corn a day that they had? How bad did it get in terms of what they had left, and how close they were to starvation?
From Socialism to Free Enterprise
Well, that was not just the first winter. In fact, in the first winter, they had some of the supplies that came off the ship. And the five kernels of corn is something that was added many years later. There’s no primary source that I know of that actually talks about kernels of corn. However, what happened is after that first Thanksgiving harvest, which again most of the food, five deer, and a lot of the other things were brought by the natives themselves, they were really in difficult straits in 1622.
The year later, they had boatloads of people beginning to come, but no supplies. They were having a very difficult time growing corn. And if it weren’t for the natives teaching them how to grow, they probably wouldn’t have any. And the point is that’s where the stories come that they barely had a peck of corn to a person a week. And this is a Bradford writing in 1622 and 23 that they were really having a difficult time. And that’s what began, they said, look, we got to find a better way to grow corn. And they were in with this contract with their business partners.
And their business partners in those days, they preached against private property and profit, but of course, not for the businessman, they wanted to make all the profit and ensure a monopoly against the loss. And listen, the pilgrims had to pay off a debt, sometimes it was up to 40% interest. And we have to recognize that with that they had to do something in order to survive. And then what they did was they began to set every man some a land aside behind their house where they were totally responsible for.
They still have the common field. It wasn’t a complete switch over to total free enterprise. But what it was to make an incentive which is, of course, the root of a free economy that each man would have to produce, and then they produce three times the crop they had produced before and in continually exponentially increase.
So the real issue was yeah, they were about to starve. And second, even though the natives were helping them out, the second thing is they changed their manner of economy because after all those business partners in their contact were thousands of miles away. And this necessity, and all the things listed by Bradford still with us today. But if you just hand out supplies or money, people have no incentive to work. Imagine that. And they knew that back in 1623.
And the idea of private property profit and all that kind of stuff would catch on till about 1700 in colonial New England, because the Puritans came with this idea as well, you know if economy is best done and what we might call socialism today, obvious, that word was not invoked. But the idea is, you and I need to realize that today, and most Americans as we sit down, and the plenty and bounty we have, yet prices are going up, the culture is not great going in the direction we want. But you know what, we have a lot to be thankful for, a lot of blessing, and part of that is, of course, our amazing heritage with the pilgrims.
Amen. So good. And I was just thinking as you described that I mean, 80 years or so, to finally get to really understand in a free market economy. We want everything so overnight right now. We want to solve all the problems overnight. It takes time sometimes to get to the right principles. And I’ve never thought about even that one. I’ve always thought that it was pretty quick after you know, they started giving private property. That’s a great lesson for us. It takes time to get those principles infused into the culture.
The Pilgrims’ Innovation
Yeah, the thing is that the Pilgrims themselves did some innovative things. They allowed a grist mill to operate without government regulating supply and demand. So they began to operate more and more with what we might call a free economy. Whereas the Puritans resisted that for some time until the colonies really began to catch on. And of course, that really caught on a time in American revolution because of what England was doing.
But you know, you and I have to recognize, and we all should recognize that’s what Jesus said, we live in a culture, it takes time to live in a culture. And it’s going to take time today to do that. We have hundreds of thousands of people graduating from high schools and colleges with a notion to hate our heritage, the notion to brushstroke it. Of course, there were evil things that happened in events. You always do when you have people. But they never been trained to see the silver lining, never been trained to see the providence of God. And that’s what we need.
We need that new generation that’s rising up now that remnant to say, no, I see God in this, I don’t just see everything going wrong. And that’s what we saw this weekend. Phenomenal! We don’t know how many people were here. Beautiful day, we were able to honor the true roots of Thanksgiving in front of thousands and thousands of people and the television station, the largest one in all of New England televised it live.
Wow. Dr. Paul Jehle, our special guests here on Thanksgiving Day. Dr. Jehle, where can we send folks to learn more? Which website would you like us to send them to?
Plymouth Rock Foundation, which is just plymrock.org. They can go on there and be able to see. Actually, the whole event parade is rebroadcast 9-11 Eastern Standard Time. And you go on our website, it’ll take you to the television website and allow you to see it.
So even if you can’t travel to go see these things yourself, folks, you can watch it right there online at Plymrock.org, that’s plymrock.org. Plymouth Rock Foundation, Dr. Paul Jehle, you’re a blessing, brother. Thank you so much for joining us on WallBuilders Live here on this Thanksgiving Day.
The Wampanoag Indians
Great and happy Thanksgiving to everyone. God bless you.
That was Dr. Paul Jehle. We are back with David and Tim. And Plymrock.org is the website to go watch that entire celebration, Plymrock.org. David, and Tim, great time to celebrate and a great way to celebrate, folks who can watch that from their home today.
Yeah, they can. And one of the things too that in the midst of us being grateful, I’m grateful for some of the people we’ve met along the way and what God’s called us to do. My dad has made a lot of these relationships and friends along the way. And Dr. Paul Jehle, I mean, you mentioned, he’s like the expert when it comes to the Pilgrims when it comes to Plymouth.
And just the insight that he can offer and provide, I love what he pointed out where you had the natives, kind of this olive branch petition, so to speak, right, they’re reaching out, and then Governor Bradford has the insight to apologize for something they didn’t do and say we want to be different and we’re not going to be those kind of people, and they’re able to make a pact and come together, the longest-lasting peace treaty between any European settlers, any whites in any native Americans happened between the pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians led by Chief Massasoit, just such an incredible legacy.
And as Dr. Jehle really pointed out, the Pilgrims weren’t perfect at all. They had a lot of issues and mistakes, even kind of some of their experiments with socialism among other things, they made a lot of mistakes along the way. But it’s very clear that God used them in significant ways. It’s also clear there were people so motivated by their faith that when they have this moment, but we know as the first Thanksgiving they’re going to spend three days together fellowshipping with the Indians. And again, significant, the Indians brought the majority of the food. The pilgrims at that time, there’s approximately 53 pilgrims left. According, I think, the Plymouth Historic Society is the one who identified that they actually have a list of all 53 names that you can get and go see who was still alive at that time.
There were 90 male braves there were Chief Massasoit. There’s only 22 male pilgrims there that first Thanksgiving. Had they had bad relations with the natives, that first Thanksgiving could have gone a very different direction. The fact it didn’t is an indication of the moral underpinnings, the value, the Christian faith of the pilgrims.
And as we look back, they were people who even in hard times were able to find time to thank God. Hard times, because half their people had just died that first winter, and yet they recognize because God had brought them friends, God had brought them allies, and God had helped them through their friends through Squanto learn how to grow crops and survive in the new world. They found a way to be thankful to God.
A Week Of Thanksgiving – With Dr. Paul Jehle From Plymouth Rock Foundation
And guys, this is the 400th anniversary of that first Thanksgiving. 400 years ago, that first Thanksgiving happened from the pilgrims. This is a really cool anniversary that first Thanksgiving. And man, what a fun time for us to celebrate Thanksgiving.
And it’s really cool that this past weekend, they had a thanksgiving parade. And people got to be exposed to that Thanksgiving message. Paul was actually the commentator for the news throughout that whole parade. And this is a second largest parade in America, only behind Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. They had about 100,000 people there at that little bit of town of Plymouth for this parade. So it’s great that this is making a comeback. It’s also great that with this being Thanksgiving, we can now officially start Christmas season. So back to Christmas music, there you go, guys.
I can’t believe we held him off this long, Tim.
I’m proud of us. We did well.
Well, that will be our new theme music for the next 30, how many days that that will happen?
Probably at least into the new year.
No, 365 days, we got to carry this the next Thanksgiving.
Yeah. Well, Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas and all of those things to all of you as our listeners. We’re also thankful for you. Thanks for being a listener of WallBuilders Live. And so many of you out there that support WallBuilders Live, thank you for those donations that you make at wallbuilderslive.com But we just want to say thank you to all of you for sharing, for listening, for doing your part in your community. Be sure to have a special Thanksgiving with your family and share with them how thankful you are for our country.
God bless you and thanks for listening today to WallBuilders Live.