Myths About The Pilgrims, A Thanksgiving Special.  Happy Thanksgiving From WallBuilders!  We have a lot to be thankful for! Tune in now to learn about the special interview that TBN did with David and Tim!  Today, we will be covering myths about the Pilgrims! Many people don’t know much about the Pilgrims, much less know the truths about them.  Such as sabotage, why did they have a printing press on the Mayflower?  The ORIGINAL Mayflower Compact including language stating that the voyage was for the glory of God.  Even some Christian schools are teaching fallacies about the Pilgrims.

Air Date: 11/23/2017


Guests: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast.  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

Rick:

You’ve found your way to the intersection of faith and the culture, this is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, always from a Biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

That conversation today is with David Barton and Tim Barton. David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker, pastor, and president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas state legislator, national speaker, and author.

You can find out more about us at WallBuildersLive.com. That’s our radio site where you can get a list of our stations, archives of the program, several other items there.

And then WallBuilders.com is our main website. That’s where you can get all kinds of tools and just great resources for your family to educate them, inspire them, equip them, lots of great Christmas present opportunities there as well so be sure to check out WallBuilders.com when you’re doing your Christmas shopping. Give the gift of freedom to folks that you really want to invest in and help them to become better citizens as well as they get educated. And there are some very entertaining ways to do that so check it out right there at WallBuilders.com.

David, Tim, Thanksgiving Day, man!

Tim:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Rick:

Yeah! We’ve got a lot to be thankful for.

Tim:

We do have a lot to be thankful for.  By the way, Rick, as we get going into this show today, there’s a lot we want to talk about covering a lot of the myths surrounding the pilgrims. But one of the things that we had the chance to do.  Dad and I we were invited by TBN to come do an hour special and kind of retell the story of the Pilgrims. And obviously, with our collection, all the original documents we have, we were able to pull out a lot of stuff going back even to the Pilgrim Era.

So if anybody wants to watch this Thanksgiving special, it’s actually going to air tonight 7:00 p.m. Central Standard Time.  Then they are going to re-air it again at 10:00 p.m. Central Standard Time on TBN.

If anybody wants to watch that program tonight — and really it’s something I think will be great if the family wants to gather around and hear a lot of the untold story of the pilgrims because there’s so much to their story, a lot of backstory leading up to them coming to America.  Then even them getting to America, and all they had to go through.  Then they got here and what they went through.  We’ll tell some of that today but certainly not what we can do with an hour special that we had on TBN.

David:

Plus, on the hour special we also went on site and saw some just unbelievable stuff.  Actual artifacts from the Mayflower, their governor.  His Bible that was brought over, guns that they brought over with them, their hats, just really cool stuff. Well even, Tim, you and I had the opportunity to hold the deed to the Mayflower. I mean, the actual ship itself.

Just pretty unbelievable stuff that we got to do. And so you get to see that on the TV program.  If you’re not familiar with TBN, or you think you know something about it, it’s a network that’s in a really positive transition. They’re the third largest network in the United States, the largest Christian network in the world.  And they are undergoing really a shift into some really good Biblical historical worldview kind of presentations now.  Which is one of the reasons they asked us to come do this Thanksgiving special.

TBN Special Interview With David and Tim

Tim

Yeah. And one of the things you know, Dad, as we were talking about what do we want to cover on this Thanksgiving Special.  One of the questions that came up is how much of the negative do we need to address? Because certainly, there’s so much negative being said today.  And really, I mean, negatively against anybody – early America whether it’s Christopher Columbus, right?  He’s considered this great evil man today, or George Washington, or Thomas Jefferson.

David:

And, by the way, for people who didn’t catch that.  Go back and get the program we did on Columbus.  It will blow you away to find out what actually historically happened as opposed to what we’re told in the pop culture today that Columbus did. When you go back to the actual dogma, it’s a whole different story.

So you can go back and you can listen to the podcast on that. But you know, Tim’s saying Columbus and probably a lot of people had an instant negative reaction. Well, you will based on what you’ve been hearing in the culture.  But when you go back to actual documents, there’s a reason that he was a hero for 470 years.

Tim:

Well,  and probably and it’s negative reaction to Columbus if you’re 50 years or younger. Probably if you’re much older, you learned a different story, a different narrative of Columbus.

Anyway, you’re right.  When you go back to original sources, original documents, it’s a totally different story, a totally different narrative.  The discussion between us was, “How much do we need to cover?” And so we took a poll of almost a hundred millennials and said, “Okay guys, tell me what you know about Col…, about the Pilgrims. I almost Columbus.  Tell me what you know about the Pilgrims.”

What we discovered is that it wasn’t that they knew bad things about the pilgrims, it was they didn’t know anything about the Pilgrims.  We said, “Okay, well it’s easier when you’re working with a blank canvas because then you can say whatever.” You know, you can tell whatever part of the story you want to tell.  You can say whatever direction you want to say.  But for this show, I thought it would be probably good for us to take some of these modern attacks that are said against the pilgrims and saying, “Now wait a second.  Let’s just look.  Is this true? What proof do people have when they make this claim? What actually happened?”

Probably it will be good.  Let’s just talk about some of the myths surrounding the pilgrims.  Let’s talk about things that are misattributed to the pilgrims.  And let’s just have a day of kind of debunking this notion of who the pilgrims were and what they did.

Rick:

Thanks.  So guys, hang on one second.  Let’s take a quick break. We’ll come back and we can dive right in on the Thanksgiving story with the Pilgrims.

Stay with us, folks.  You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

Moment From American History

This is Tim Barton with another moment from American History. The year after the American War for Independence ended we begin addressing the issue of Muslim terrorists in North Africa, who were attacking American ships, killing, and enslaving American seamen.

Congress dispatched John Adams and Thomas Jefferson to negotiate peace. When they asked the Muslim ambassador the reason for the unprovoked attacks he told them that it was written in their Qur’an, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them whenever they could be found.

Sixteen years of negotiations failed and in 1801 America send its military to crush the terrorists. When that war ended in 1805 the first American edition of the Qur’an was published, urging Americans to read the Qur’an to see for themselves that its teachings were incompatible with the safety and peace of non-Muslims. To see the first American Qur’an and to get more information about America’s first war on Islamic terror, go to WallBuilders.com.

Rick:

Welcome back, thanks for staying with us on this WallBuilders Live special program on Thanksgiving. David and Tim, diving right back in and this is going to be rapid fire. There’s a lot of myths about the Pilgrims they’re going to shoot down right here. And Tim, if you would give the time again on the show on TBN later today.

Tim:

Yes, so on TBN tonight, they’re airing our one hour special from or starting at 7:00 p.m. Central Standard Time.  Then it will re-air at 10:00 p.m. Central Standard Time.  Really the show tonight is really telling their story.

And so it starts all the way back in England when they essentially get chased out of England.  They go up to Holland.  They’re in Holland and they’re realizing their kids are growing up without the kind of religious doctrine and boundaries they really want their kids to have.

They say.  Well, it’s not that Holland, that somehow the Dutch were mean to them.  It’s not that they took away the religious freedom like that had happened in England.  But they said, “We want something different.” And so we talk about how they get from Holland to America.  Even from dealing with the Speedwell and the holes drilled in the ship and then —

David:

Sabotage, the story of sabotage.

Tim:

Well, then on the Mayflower and you have the main beam that breaks in.  They just so happen, you know, “coincidence” or we call it “providence.”  Right?  They so happened to have this printing press that they’re bringing to America when there’s really…

David:

I mean, Rick, think about that.  Okay, these guys are coming to an uninhabited land for all practical purposes why would you bring a printing press with you?

Pilgrims Had A Printing Press On The Mayflower

Rick:

I, man, you got me.

David:

You’ve got your family and you’ve got everything you know, and the church–

Rick:

You’ve got to be thinking ahead.

Tim:

That’s the equivalent of a doomsday prepper having a copier in his bunker. Like, what are you doing with this?

Rick:

That’s good.

Tim:

Why do you even have that? It’s going to do you no good. Well, so–

Rick:

Very much thinking ahead way ahead.

Tim:

Yeah, I don’t know. So anyway, as we track the pilgrims they get here and all they did. Well, so that’s what we’re really telling their story and who they were on the TBN program tonight.  It’s something that the entire family can enjoy.

Artwork on the Pilgrims

David:

And there’s, I’ll point out there’s a lot of artwork on the Pilgrims.  There’s probably a lot more historical artwork back there than most people are aware. And there are some really nice paintings and some really nice depictions done across the centuries of the pilgrims.  These were such important people and they were important to our Founding Fathers. I mean we, when we say Founding Fathers, we’re thinking George Washington, John Adams, and John Hancock.  When the founding fathers talked founding fathers, they’re talking back to the pilgrims.  That was their founding fathers.

Tim:

I think they call them their forefathers

David:

Their forefathers.

Tim:

So what we would call founding fathers, in their terminology was forefathers. But it’s true, they look to the pilgrims.  A lot of what the pilgrims did and because, as the pilgrims were coming to America and they’re hoping to land actually in a rather civilized established colony in their mind.  God had a different idea.

And so God has their ship with these winds that will not allow them to come down to this established colony.  So they realize they’re going to have to winter at a place where there’s no civilization.  There’s no colony.  This leads them to ultimately write the Mayflower Compact because we’re going to be together, and stuck together, and live together. We’re going to have a form of government well in this compact.

David:

And that compact is the first purely secular document created in American history at least.

Tim:

Now how do we define secular document?

Mayflower Compact

David:

If I were looking to the book that was so popular in schools for so long by Ken Davis when he gets to the Mayflower Compact.  He talks about it and he cites it, but he has an ellipsis in a very strategic place.

Tim:

Yeah, he identifies this was a significant document, that this was important in helping form America.  But he does remove about a sentence or two.

David:

Yeah, and–

Tim:

From the document!

David:

It’s the part that says that the voyage having undertaken for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.  A voyage to the northern parts of — and all this stuff about the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith is where that little ellipsis appears.  So when you read this document in that book he provided for schools, you don’t get that aspect of it.

Tim:

And so this is one of the first myths.  So we had an incident, I think it was earlier this year might have been the end of last year at some point very recent.  There was a high school history teacher who we were having a conversation and he explained, “Well no, I mean, the pilgrims.”

He said, “Number one, they weren’t religious.”  He says, “They came to America for gold and they enslaved the Indians.”

And and I’m just hearing this in shock going”, I can’t believe you’re actually saying these words.  You couldn’t have had a worse representation of the pilgrims.”

David:

And as I recall, that was a teacher at a Christian school.

Even Christian Schools Are Teaching Fallacies About The Pilgrims

Tim:

It was a private Christian school, it was. And but nonetheless, so this is where if you look at this book as you’re referring to that was used in schools for a number of years.  When this book removes any God, spiritual, Christian, reference from the Mayflower Compact.  So this is.  You read their governing document and it’s at the beginning.  It’s in the first couple of sentences were they explain.  “So we’ve come from the king and under his authority.  And we’ve come to America for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.”

There’s no confusing when you read the document why they came to America.  This is where you now have people saying, “Wait a second, the pilgrims really weren’t religious.” Is one myth.

The second myth we have is that they were so religious they were actually intolerant because their religion was so staunch.  It was so intense. And this is where we get this notion that the Pilgrims were really these religious bigots who hated and were mean to everybody else.

David:

Well, this is where you hear from some people that these are the guys who did the witch trials.  And you go, “Oooops, we have now confused New York with California.” They’re on opposite coasts. They’re not part of the same state actually.

Tim:

So they weren’t in New York and California – just to clarify for our listeners.

Rick:

I was hoping you’d say something.

Tim:

Yeah.  So they weren’t actually that far apart.  But they were not in the same colony where this happened.

Three Different Massachusetts Colonies

David:

And see, that’s what most people don’t understand.  There were actually three Massachusetts colonies, all were separate colonies.  And they’re as distinct as are the states of California, and New York, and Florida.

Tim:

Distinct, not in how vastly far apart they are, but distinct in how uniquely different they are from each other.

David:

And they were different colonies.  They weren’t part of the same colony. You had the Plymouth Plantation colony which was the colony of the pilgrims. You had the Massachusetts Bay Colony which was a colony of the Puritans and John Winthrop who came in a different group with different immigration. And you had a third colony called Eastern Massachusetts which we now call the state of Maine.

So you had three.  And so when you think of Massachusetts, they’re not all the same group.  They’re not all the same people.

Tim:

And it’s significant to point out the pilgrims land in Plymouth Rock November of 1620. The witch trials didn’t happen in 1620.  The witch trials actually took place after all the original pilgrims were pretty much dead and gone.

David:

It’s only 71 years later in a different colony with a different group.

Tim:

Yeah, so a different colony, different group of people.  Not the pilgrims.  But this is another myth. 

Either they weren’t religious.  Or they were so religious they were intolerant.  They were mean.  And they were hateful to everybody, mistreated everybody else.

So these are two easy myths we can look at and go, “No, wait a second, the pilgrims absolutely came to America to secure their Christian faith.  They were NOT mean and did not mistreat people when they came to America.”  Those are two easy myths we can dispel right from the beginning.

Rick:

Yeah. Two easy ones, two down. We’ll see how many more we can knock out.

Got to take a quick break. We’ll be right back.  You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

It’s Thanksgiving Day. Be sure you take some time today to thank God for all the blessings in your life.  We are such a blessed people.

Stay with us.  We’ll be right back on this special Thanksgiving program here at WallBuilders Live.

Patriot Academy

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Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live.  It’s Thanksgiving Day and we’re debunking some of the myths about the Pilgrims. David, Tim we did two so far.

The Bible Was Important To The Pilgrims

David:

Well, you know these folks came with the Bible.  This is a big deal to them.  They tried to live by the Bible.

The Bible had been put away in Europe for hundreds of years.  Over a thousand years that people couldn’t get access to it to any degree. Now they’ve got it, and they’re reading it.  And the more they’re reading it, the more they see how corrupt things have been. 

So they come to America with the charter of the King.  Essentially the King says, “The whole new world is mine. One of my guys landed there one time and it’s all mine.” And so they have a charter for this land.  But then they get here and eventually end up meeting some Indian.  As they meet these Indians, it becomes real apparent, “Hey, this is their land.  This isn’t the king’s land.”

I mean if you look at the Ten Commandments, two of the Ten Commandments deal with protecting private property.  It’s not public property. And so this belongs to the Indians.

Tim:

By the way, those two commands are don’t steal and don’t even covet what is somebody else’s.

David:

That’s right, don’t steal somebody’s property and don’t even want their property.  So those two commands.  The pilgrims are so conscious of private property that when they finally came ashore in December of 1620, they land at a time where they don’t have time to find food.  And a lot of what they brought with them spoiled and rotted on the way over.  They’ve really got nothing.

Pilgrims Were Starving To Death

They’re looking for food and they’re starving to death, literally starving to death, not figuratively. And so as they’re out looking around.  They come upon kernels of corn that have been buried and they find this corn.  Some of the traditions hold that that corn kept them alive in the sense that every person was allowed to have eight kernels of corn a day.

Just imagine eight kernels of corn. That’s not even a row on a corn on the cob.

Tim:

That could not sustain you. I know that’s just — I understand why nearly half the pilgrims died that first winter.

David:

Yeah.

Tim:

Granted it was more than just starvation.  When you don’t have sustenance in your body, your body becomes weak, more susceptible to sickness, or disease, or whatever it was.  They got there having to stay largely on the Mayflower.

David:

And so they’ve got this corn.  Then when they see the Indians the next year they go, “That corn must have been yours. We need to pay you for that corn because that wasn’t ours.” And so they’re so caught instead of saying, “Oh how lucky was I, I found some corn out here.” They have the integrity to say that wasn’t our corn. It must have been yours.

Tim:

Now the Indians they dealt with by the way said: “Oh, no, no, no, that tribe was all wiped out.  They’re all killed.  That’s none of ours.  It’s totally fine.”

So they didn’t have to pay anybody back according to the Indians.  They were like, “No, no, no, they’re all dead.  They’re all gone. You just keep the corn you ate.”

So there was nobody to pay back. But the fact they’re looking to pay somebody back going, “Hey, we know that wasn’t ours and so you’re the only other people we know.  Do we need to pay you for this?”

They had the right mindset of knowing that private property did exist.  Not everything belonged to the king.  The king didn’t have the authority to take from somebody else and give to them. Which was largely as they begin building their colony. They realize okay, if the Indians own this land, we’re going to have to work out a negotiation that we can be on this property.

David:

They even asked for the Indian’s permission to drive cattle across the Indian’s land. I mean they didn’t assume it was theirs just driving cattle across.  They would get permission before they did that first. And as their governor pointed out and said, “There’s not a square foot of land that we own that we did not purchase from the Indians with title deed at their permission at their price.”

Pilgrim and Wampanoag Treaty

That’s one of the reasons that the longest lasting treaty in American history between Anglos and Indians is that of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians. They were great neighbors and they had great relationships together.

And so the notion that the Pilgrims stole the land from the Indians, which is another thing that you hear today is that the Pilgrims stole land.  They did not.  Wverything they had — and that’s why there was great relations.  Because they were very conscious of private property.

Tim:

Okay, now we hear that they stole land.  So maybe they didn’t steal land.  But didn’t they kill all these Indians?  And wasn’t there a mass genocide? Because that’s the other thing we hear, right?  It is either they stole all the land or they killed all the Indians.

By the way, let me back up to this notion they stole all the land. So at the first Thanksgiving, there were — there was originally 102 pilgrims.  Half of them died that first winter.  There’s now 53 left.

Well, they invite Chief Massasoit to come to this feast.  They’re giving end of the year to thank God that they’ve survived this first year.  He brings 90 Braves with him.

Now there are 53 pilgrims – men, women, and children, that are there.  53 of them total and there are 91 Indian men. If they had really stolen the land from these Indians, the first Thanksgiving would have looked a little bit different.  It would have been the Indians killing all the pilgrims and taking their land back.  But they didn’t.

They came and they had a feast.  They had a festival for three days celebrating being friends together. And it was because the pilgrims didn’t steal from them the pilgrims actually had great relations and bought their land.

But we’re told, “No, no, no, they killed all these people.”   Which actually, we probably need to come back and talk about that after the break.

Rick:

Alright, quick break.  We’ll come back for our final minutes. Stay with us.  You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

Biographical Sketches

Hi friends! This is Tim Barton of WallBuilders.This is a time when most Americans don’t know much about American history or even heroes of the faith. I know, oftentimes as parents, we’re trying to find good content for our kids to read.

If you remember back in the Bible, the Book of Hebrews it has the Faith Hall of Fame, where they outlined the leaders of faith that had gone before them. Well, this is something that as Americans we really want to go back and outline some of these heroes not just of American history, but heroes of Christianity and our faith as well.

I wanted to let you know about some biographical sketches we have available on our website. One is called, “The Courageous Leaders Collection” and this collection includes people like Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Francis Scott Key, George Washington Carver, Susanna Wesley, even the Wright brothers.

There’s a second collection called, “Heroes of History” in this collection you read about people like Benjamin Franklin, Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Harriet Tubman, the list goes on and on.

This is a great collection for your young person to have and read. And it’s a providential view of American and Christian history. This is available at WallBuilders.com.

Moment From America’s History

This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. Today, there are numerous documented accounts of individual students being disciplined simply for bringing a Bible to school. Fisher Ames would have been appalled at this open hostility toward the Bible. Fisher Ames was the Founding Father who authored the House of Representatives language for the First Amendment.

In his day, he vehemently objected to any attempt to minimize the Bible schools. In fact, he declared, “Why should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a school book? It’s morals are pure, its examples captivating, and Noble. The reverence for the sacred book that is thus early impressed last long and probably, if not impressed in infancy, never takes firm hold of the mind.”

Founding Father Fisher Ames, the man most responsible for the wording of the first amendment, believed that the most important schoolbook was the Bible. For more information on God’s hand in American history contact WallBuilders at 1 800 8 REBUILD.

Rick:

We’re back here on WallBuilders Live.  Thanks for staying with us on this Thanksgiving Day.

David and Tim have been debunking a lot of the myths about the pilgrims. Guys, got time for probably one more.  Go for it.

David:

Well coming back to what Tim said.  We heard this thing about, it was all about genocide. As matter of fact, one of the things we hear is that specifically the Thanksgiving celebration 1637 was these Massachusetts settlers giving thanks to God for all the Indians they had killed.  Again, wrong. You know, as Tim pointed out, they had great relations.

As a matter of fact, you even find that Massasoit came to the pilgrims and said, “Hey, there are some Indian tribes that are about to attack you guys secretly.  It’s going to be treachery in the night.  They’re going to sneak up on you, and they’re going to kill you.  You need to know about this.”

So they were able to defend themselves and Massasoit even helped, came and helped them fight.   So they had great relationships and there was no genocide going on.

Tim:

Now to be more specific, they had great relationships with Chief Massasoit–

David:

Right.

Tim:

–and the Wampanoag. So there were other Indians that didn’t want to have relations.  They didn’t want to get along, and they wanted to attack the pilgrims.

David:

Oh, And guess what, those other Indians were also enemies of the Wampanoags as well.

Tim:

That’s why the Wampanoags came and were like, “Hey guys, we want to help you out.  You are friends.  We get along, you look out for us, we look out for you.” So big brother situation, you know, let me help you out.

David:

Did you know that some of the Indian tribes actually did not like each other before the English?

Tim:

It’s not all the white people’s fault? What?

David:

I mean before the Anglos even got here.

Rick:

We didn’t introduce hate to the world?

David:

No, yeah and I know we’re convinced that we did.  But there are actually a lot of Indian tribes that decided.  Matter of fact, Tim and I, and Rick, you’re here in Texas, but we’re up close. Our ranch is close to what’s called Fort Richardson.  And Fort Richardson, the Comanches and the Kiowas roam northern Texas and they were the fierce tribes.  They were the ISIS warriors of the day, if you will.

And the U.S. Calvary actually had 13 Indian tribes that fought with them against the Kiowas and Comanche.  The Kiowas and Comanche were always slaughtering all the other Indian tribes. And that was not the fault of Anglos who did that.

Truth About The Pilgrims

Tim:

Well, and the Indian tribes were so happy to finally have somebody who was big enough and powerful enough to be their friend. They’re like, “Yes, let’s go fight these guys.  Let’s go get them.” Because they had been really killed and devastated for so long.  They’ve been murdered, and raped, and scalped, and so many things.  There were tensions between Indian tribes.

Anyway, so back to the pilgrims.  When these pilgrims have this conflict with the Indians, it wasn’t pilgrims against all Indians.  It was these tribes that were coming against them. But the pilgrims were joined by the Wampanoags who were helping them in this endeavor.

And there are many more stories we could point to even in regards to this genocide.  But the bottom line is the pilgrims are not who they are portrayed to be today.  They’re not this really great evil force that came to America and brought evil with them. In fact, of all the early settlers that came to America, the pilgrims ought to be upheld as the best examples of-

David:

The most tolerant, the most loving, the most gracious, the most kind, the most sharing – I mean, they were unbelievable in so many ways.

Tim:

They were what we want Americans to be. And so we ought to once again elevate them and hold them up. If you want to know more about them, check out the special tonight – 7:00 p.m. Central on TBN. You’re going to love learning about the pilgrims.

Thanks for listening today folks – you’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.