TBN Thanksgiving Program With WallBuilders Part Three: Happy Thanksgiving! Today we are continuing a special program in honor of Thanksgiving! David and Tim had the opportunity partner with TBN to make this special program just in time for the holidays. Tune in now to hear some of your most asked Thanksgiving questions answered and the full perspective on the history of Thanksgiving!
Air Date: 11/23/2018
On-air Personalities: 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. 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! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, all of it from a Biblical, historical, and Constitutional perspective.
We’re here with 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.
Today we’re in the middle of a special series for Thanksgiving, it’s actually the conclusion of a three part series. If you missed the first two, they are available at our website right now at WallBuildersLive.com, but if you’ve been listening, you’ll know exactly where we are, and even if you hadn’t you’ll enjoy this third part. We’re going to dive right back in with David and Tim Barton, and our Thanksgiving special. It’s been airing on TBN, and if you want to get a link to the actual video of this special series be sure and visit WallBuildersLive.com. We’ll have links for you there today.
Pick it up right where we left off yesterday, here’s David and Tim Barton.
The Pilgrims had the Best Anglo-Indian Relations in America
We often hear about the terrible relations between the Anglos and the Indians, but the Pilgrims are totally different. To the Pilgrims—and I would argue largely because they are Christian and because it was the morals that drove them to do what they did, but because of that, they respected humanity and individuals—the Pilgrims were just so good on issues, whether it be the civil rights or race relations, but especially with the Indians, are pretty awesome. So speaking of their faith, I know they would sometimes hold prayer meetings or Bible studies, would that happen in this house too?
Yeah, this is where the first prayer meeting in America started. This is where the Pilgrims gathered together and prayed for us today, here in America.
For the future generations. It really is amazing looking at the faith of the Pilgrims, which today so few Americans understand. We kind of talked about the first Thanksgiving, but now people are thinking, “Well they thanked the Indians.”
They probably were grateful to the Indians for helping them, but they were so religious and God conscious.
This is where so much of Christianity in America was birthed.
It’s incredible that we stand on their prayers today and live in freedom, and it’s unfortunate. Like you said, we take it for granted sometimes, and ultimately the history is being lost. That’s why I’m so grateful for guys like you and your father that are trying to preserve that remnant of history.
The first Elections in America
Well, speaking of the history that has been kind of forgotten, they also were really good on electing leaders, and that’s kind of one of the things they did well, is separating their government leaders and their church leaders. They had elections fairly often, every year, right?
The elections, we’re all familiar with elections. This is where the first election would have been held, right here behind us.
So this is the government building, this is the church meeting house, everything. So they’re signing peace treaties here. This is the place where it all started when it comes to history. Right here.
Massasoit is the gentleman that signed the peace treaty with the Indians. Massasoit was the chief of the Wampanoag, and he was our friend. Without him signing that, we wouldn’t have survived. But three years into that peace treaty, Massasoit was at a camp in Rhode Island. The man had the plague and was dying. A gentleman from Plymouth by the name of Edward Winslow put some herbs together and walked to Rhode Island to nurse Massasoit back to health.
That’s a long walk from here, forty miles.
Halfway there he was met on a path by an Indian who told him not to bother finishing the trip. Massasoit had died. He finished the trip anyway, and discovered Massasoit had not yet died, but he was very close. Edward Winslow nursed him back to health.
From that day forward they were great friends, and that peace treaty was even stronger than it was.
What Happens when you Forget Biblical Principles
Now we’ll move ahead fifty years. Fifty years later, we have the King Philip War. King Philip was not a European, he was Massasoit’s son, his Christian name was Philip. He went to negotiate, not to go to war with, the then Governor of Plymouth, Josiah Winslow—Edward Winslow’s son.
While negotiating, Phillips says, “Hey, I’m a chief. You are just the governor. I’m not going to talk to you, I’ll only talk to Kings.”
They broke off the negotiations and went to war. From that day forward Philip was referred to as King Philip because he would only talk to kings, and the two men who became great friends, they have two sons who went to war a generation later. We didn’t pass that biblical education to that generation, and it’s scary what was the result. The largest percentage of population was killed in the King Philip War than any war in our country’s history, and it could have been stopped. That’s how important Christian education is, yet without passing it from generation to generation we’ve got a problem.
Bring A Speaker To Your Area
Hey, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders. And as you’ve had the opportunity to listen to WallBuilders Live, you’ve probably heard a wealth of information about our nation, about our spiritual heritage, about the religious liberties, and about all the things that make America exceptional.
And you might be thinking, “As incredible as this information is, I wish there was a way that I could get one of the WallBuilders guys to come to my area and share with my group.”
Whether it be a church, whether it be a Christian school, or public school, or some political event, or activity, if you’re interested in having a WallBuilders speaker come to your area, you can get on our website at www.WallBuilders.com and there’s a tab for scheduling. If you’ll click on that tab, you’ll notice there’s a list of information from speakers bio’s, to events that are already going on. And there’s a section where you can request an event, to bring this information about who we are, where we came from, our religious liberties, and freedoms. Go to the WallBuilders website and Bring a speaker to your area.
So right over here beside me, this is Leyden Street, and this behind me is the Leyden Street house. In the front yard, where I’m standing right now, is where they held the very first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims. When we celebrate Thanksgiving today, it goes back to what happened right here.
Now, I’m not 100 feet from the edge of the shore there, so we’re right on the edge of the harbor, and that first Thanksgiving we celebrate it as a national holiday, which is great. We should.
But this really wasn’t the first Thanksgiving in America. I mean, we had one in Palo Jirō Canyon Texas back in the 1540s, and in the 1560s we had one over in Florida, in 1607 we had one in Cape Henry, Virginia, 1619, we had one at Berkeley Plantation, Virginia. So how come we choose this one, if it’s not the first?
Because this one is the first one that looks like what we celebrate today. The others were times of prayer, where we thank God that we got across the ocean safely. We’re here to dedicate this land or whatever.
What was the First Thanksgiving Like?
There were 51 Pilgrims with 90 Wampanoag Indian Braves, and not only did they eat together, they also had athletic competition together. So three days of feasting, and they had wrestling, and they had running matches, and they had shooting matches, and they had lots and lots of food, and they had lots of thanking God as well.
So when you look at this Thanksgiving as, “OK. We have a time to thank God, we have a time to sit down and eat and enjoy our friends. We have athletic competition,” which is what we do Thanksgiving today, we watch football games or some sporting events, or we have all this food that we bring together, the whole affair.
That’s why we go to this Thanksgiving here. What happened right here is the national precedent, and while we’ve had periodic Thanksgivings across American history, it was Abraham Lincoln who really got it established as the last Thursday in November. So when we think about our Thanksgiving holiday, it was in this yard right here in front of this house that we had that famous Thanksgiving.
The Reformation and the Dominion Charter
So it seems Massasoit—wasn’t he the chief on the first Thanksgiving who was there with all the braves?
Yes, because Massasoit was so instrumental in their survival, they thought, “Well, we should invite Massasoit and his immediate family to the celebration.”
And they did. Now, keep in mind when we came here, why are we so close with the Indians? Because the Pilgrims bring in a product of the Reformation, and starting to read the Bible, came across a few things they couldn’t deny.
For example, when John Robinson was reading the Bible, he came across a little passage called the Dominion charter. We’re to take dominion over the earth, over the animals, fish, birds, things that creep and crawl, but he also read this: Not each other. So he read that we’re all made in the image of God. His thinking was, “If we were all made in the image of God, that means no human being has a right to be above another human being without their consent.”
Self rule is a biblical principle.
You cannot have a civil government, self rule, without biblical law. So what did we just do? How can we come here, and everybody’s equal in the sight of God, and leave out the Indians?
They’re just as equal as we are, and that’s where we started having that respect. That’s why we started in signing the peace treaty, and that’s where everybody was equal under the law.
Today People Try to Tell the Story of the Pilgrims Without their Faith
Well, it does make me wonder. As we studied the Pilgrims, and even if you read Governor Bradford’s writings, you can’t escape the fact that they were people of faith. Yet today people try to tell the story of the Pilgrims without faith, without God. How can you come to the place where you see the Pilgrims without faith?
Simple, you revise the story. I’m just telling you a true story. I’m telling you the facts. You don’t have to agree with them or be a Christian, but I’m just telling you why they did what they did, and they did it because of the faith.
And the Pilgrims came looking for a place to raise a family with civil freedom, and religious freedom of course. As we study history, there’s really no way to understand the Pilgrims without understanding the motivations because of their faith.
We thank you so much for taking time to share these stories. This is history that most people just don’t hear, and nobody tells it better than you do. So we appreciate you taking time to do this.
Thank you very much, we appreciate your time.
Absolutely. There is so much more to America, and this is why we’re digging in to America’s hidden history.
And looking at the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving, we’re in the Howland house. Now as you look at 102 folks that came over on the Mayflower, the Pilgrims, one of them was a young man named John Howland. John Howland was an indentured servant to Governor Carver. Indentured Servant basically meant the Governor Carver is going to pay for your way over, but you’re going to have to give him some time to pay off what you did. So it doesn’t necessarily cost you up front, but you’re gonna have to give time to him. So John Howland comes over.
Also on the voyage among the 102 was the Tilli family. The Tilli family had a young daughter named Elizabeth. She was 13 years old.
Well, after they get here, Elizabeth Tilli survives and John Howland survives, the first winter, but Governor Carver doesn’t survive the first winter. But now, three years after they’ve been here, John Howland and Elizabeth Tilli get married. From that marriage they have 10 children, and the eighth child is Jabez. This is the home in which Jabez lived.
He bought this in 1670, so he’s a son of one of the Pilgrim couples. This is the home in which it’s believed John Howland actually died.
The Story of John Howland
But John Howland himself, has an interesting story. As they were coming over on the voyage, they were in a ship and they had some rough weather. I mean, they had the adverse weather coming across several occasions, but in this particular occasion there were 102 Pilgrims down under in the hold because bad weather up top. There’s 30 guys in the crew. So essentially you get most people under deck, and John for whatever reason, decides he needs a little fresh air. So he comes up on deck, and this storm is raging, and he gets washed overboard. He gets knocked off the ship. Now, a ship like that, it’s not like there’s a lifeboat you have to throw out and go after him, you’re not going to stop in the middle of the water and turn. You don’t do that.
So they would have ropes that they left trailing off behind the ship in case somebody fell over. If you catch the rope, fine, maybe you live. If you don’t, you’re gone. He got one of those ropes and he got drug around for a while and was submerged in and out according to the counts. And so they finally get him back on deck, which saves his life.
He comes here and he has the family, but had he lost his life, now this is the value of one life. There’s tens of thousands of people that would not exist at all in history.
Out of all the Pilgrim families, the two families that have the most descendents are the Howland family and the Alden family. So there’s thousands and thousands that would not have lived had it not been that John Howland was able to get back on board. Life was saved.
Had John Howland Died, America would be Different
By the way, among the descendants that would not be here is Nathaniel Gorham who’s a founding father. He’s a signer of the Constitution and a leader here in Massachusetts. He was at the Continental Congress. You also have three presidents. President Franklin Roosevelt is a descendant of John Howland, as is President George H.W. Bush and President George W. Bush.
So imagine the difference in the entire nation, from the Founding Fathers to modern times, had John Howland not lived. So that’s the significance of one life, and it’s also just another good reminder that there are real people involved in these stories. We hear about these stories, but seeing people like John Howland makes history come alive.
Join Us In Israel!
Hey guys what are you doing January 28th through February 7th? If you said you don’t know, let me give you an idea. We are going to Israel. Rick Green, my dad, David Barton, Tim Barton, our families are going and we would love for you to go with us. We are going to the Holy Land if you’ve ever been to Israel this is something as a Christian that will make you forever read your bible differently.
To see where Jesus walked, where He lived, where He did miracles, where so much of the Bible took place. If you’ve ever read through the Bible and you’ve given it a mental picture, the mental picture will not do justice of what happens when you’re actually on the ground. If you’ve ever thought about the story of David and Goliath and you’ve envisioned what it looks like, we’re going to go to the actual field where it took place.
There are so many things that you will see that literally makes the Bible come to life. In fact, that’s the name of the tour group we’re going with is The Bible Comes to Life. Go to CMJacksboro.com. You can click on the link, it has an Israel itinerary, all kinds of details. Hope to see you on this trip this coming year.
The National Monument to the Forefathers
So, behind us is a monument, in fact, the largest granite monument in the U.S. from a single piece of granite. It actually is a monument to the Pilgrims. It’s called the Forefathers Monument, or the National Monument to the Forefathers, and it really was to honor the Pilgrims.
This is something that they started back on the 200th anniversary of the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock, so that generation said, “These guys are so important to us that we want to do something to honor them, to remember them, and to recognize them.”
So they started making plans for this back in 1820. It was dedicated in 1889.
But 81 feet high…I mean, what a memorial for the Pilgrims.
On this, the idea was to kind of give people a picture of who the Pilgrims were. Everything about the Pilgrims life was motivated by their faith. There’s no doubt about it. Which is why in the center of this monument, the tallest image you see is actually dedicated to faith.
Faith and Morality
You see the finger pointed up to God, a Bible in her hand—actually the Bible is even open, it’s a Geneva Bible—and the Bible is open, the pages look a little worn because it was signifying they actually used the Bible a lot in what they did. From their faith were other things that they establish, again revealing a lot of who they were.
Right below faith, on our side, is morality. Certainly one of the things we learn from faith about loving God is also loving people and the way we treat people. The Pilgrims have a pretty good history of the way they treated people. In fact, one of their legacies is relations with the Indians, which nobody had a better relationship with the Indians in American history than the Pilgrims.
Yeah the Pilgrims have the longest lasting treaty in American history between Anglos and Native Americans. It was not the Pilgrims who ended the treaty, it was actually the Native Americans.
So their relationship was good, and part of that was that even though the king sent them over with what was called a patent—the king essentially said, “I own all of that land over there, you guys can use my land.”
They got here and said, “No, actually the Indians own the land.”
They actually purchased the land they lived on from the Indians at the price set by the Indians.
That wasn’t always normal relations from Anglos to Indians, so this really was special because there’s a lot of places in history where that’s not the way that relationships work between Anglos and Indians. The Pilgrims were a very different people, but their morality was very much shaped by their faith.
In addition to morality, you have education. Education certainly is something they believed in, especially the importance of their kids being able to read so that they will be able to read the Bible and know what is actually biblically true and what they should do.
Yeah. Governor William Bradford actually pushed education for all the people. Remember, that was the deal with the Reformation. Everyone needs to read the Bible. They believe that if you read the Bible, then your behavior would be moral and you would do the right things. Also your policies would be right.
They believe that so much of the tyranny that existed, both civil and religious tyranny, came because people did not know the Bible. The kings and queens sure didn’t know it. They said they were in charge of it. They weren’t living by it, and so they believed that knowing the Bible would give you good civil government.
It’s interesting that it’s here in Massachusetts that the first public school laws ever passed, passed in 1647, it’s called the Old Deluder Satan law. It’s called that because they said, “Satan wants to keep people from knowing the Scriptures, and when you do that, it’s when you get atrocities. If you know the Scriptures, you won’t have those civil atrocities.”
So education was huge to these guys.
One of the other four sides of the monument is actually dedicated to law, because one of the things also the Pilgrims were very good at was was making laws that respected the rights of individuals. Also their notion of due process. So they believed in law, but they didn’t believe in a tyrannical enforcement of law. They believed in the rights of the individuals. Even the way they did trials or court cases was different than anywhere else in the world.
Yeah. Their whole concept of law was very different. I mean, they came and they gave you a written document right at the start, the Mayflower Compact. To this day the British people do not have a constitution, there is not an overall governing document. Why would they do a governing document? Because God gave his people written laws, and when everyone has a written law, then you know what to live by. Both the rulers and the ruled, everybody has the same standard.
So they were big in the laws, their code of laws they did, within just a few years of being here they had civil penalties. You had things for burglary, or murder, or whatever, but they quoted the Bible as why it was wrong. Everyone knew what the code was. Everyone knew what was expected of them. It brought peace and stability. This was one of the lowest crime areas in the entire country.
But then again, when you have faith, and from that you teach morality, and then you educate what the Bible says, then you conduct criminal justice according to the Bible, you have a very peaceful, very stable society.
The fourth image on the bottom of this is for liberty. One of the things that we believe in is the idea of freedom. In fact, the Bible says that Christ has set us free. It was for freedom that Christ set us free.
So the idea of liberty was very strong for the Pilgrims, but the reason they were able to promote liberty is because they had internal restraints. Freedom only works if there is an internal restraint, which comes through morality, which only comes through faith, and certainly education, and law, they all kind of comes together.
This statue, done to honor the Pilgrims, from the largest one in America made out of granite, this is a big deal. Most Americans aren’t familiar with it, or even what it represents for the character and the legacy of the Pilgrims.
But this is something that, certainly when we study the history of the Pilgrims, their character is the epitome of what we want Americans to have and follow, and their legacy’s certainly left the foundation for much of what we still do in America today.
Yes. So much of what they did came because they knew the Bible, and if you don’t know the Bible then you’re not going to have the right morality, your laws will be oppressive rather than freedom loving, and you won’t have the same liberty because you will have an oppressive government. That’s what they came from.
It was their knowledge of the Bible that made all of this possible. Their knowledge of the Bible that they got away from socialism and got them into what we call the free market economy.
The Bible SHaped Every Aspect of the Pilgrim’s Society
It was their knowledge of the Bible that gave private property protection not only for them, but also for the Native Americans. It was their knowledge of the Bible that caused them to recognize civil rights. I mean, these guys opposed slavery because they recognized the bible’s teachings on equality. God doesn’t recognize races. He’s created all men, and they recognized that.
So their knowledge of the Bible is what brought such revolutionary changes to their world at that time, and this place over here became an example for all of the nations. In fact, William Bradford talked about how what they did here was just one little light, but that one little light shone all over the world.
And this monument was to help Americans remember who the Pilgrims were, what it was all about, but also the principles that were the foundation upon which this nation was built.
Front Sight Training Course
Rick Green here, from WallBuilders Live. What do Dennis Prager, Larry Elder, Ben Shapiro, Rick Greene, Tim Barton, David Barton, have in common other than the fact that they’re conservative commentators that defend the Constitution?
They’re raving about Front Sight Firearms Training Institute. Go to my website right now at RickGreen.com. You can watch the video of Dennis Prager training at Front Sight, or Larry Elder, or Tim Barton and myself out there. It’s an opportunity for you to learn how to defend yourself and your family. It is a fantastic place to train. They train 30 to 40,000 people a year, and they’re just wonderful to work with. You can go with us. We’re headed back out.
We’re going to have a great time out there, and if you’re a supporter of WallBuilders, we’re going to treat you. If you’re a donor of WallBuilders, you’ll be able to go to this Front Sight class for free. It normally cost a thousand dollars, go to FrontSight.com right now. You’ll see that it’s a thousand dollars to attend their two-day class. You are going to be able to go for free, if you’re a supporter of WallBuilders Live.
So, check out that information at RickGreen.com and join us. We are going once a month for the next three months. You can pick one of those classes. All of our previous classes have filled up. Make sure that you get online today and get signed up. Whether you’ve never shot before, or you’ve shot your whole life, you will enjoy this class. You’ll enjoy the fellowship. We’ll be training on the range during the day and studying the Constitution at night. What a great combination. Check it out today at RickGreen.com
The Pilgrims Sacrificed So Much
So as we look back over what we’ve seen, we see that the Pilgrims really sacrificed a lot. Not only what they went through in England, and then going to Holland, but then getting from Holland to America. The agreement they had to make to get here, they had to give up so much. But they were willing to do that to preserve their religious freedom and to have the opportunity to raise their children in that culture.
We’ve also seen that they had great relationships with the Wampanoag Indian tribe, and had the the longest lasting Anglo-Indian treaty in American history. It was a blessing to both of the relationships they had. We’ve also seen that there’s a lot of things that we enjoy today that really get started back in the time of the Pilgrims. They come here and they give us a written governing document. They give us written laws.
The Pilgrims Separated Church and State
They also had elections for their church leaders separate from their state leaders. They really did Church and State the right way. Good beneficial influence. You finally don’t have a state established religion where the government’s telling the church what it has to do.
Then you look at what they did with free enterprise and business, and the first privately owned business where it’s not owned by the king. You look at what they did with the concept of private property and purchasing property. Even though they had a deed from the king, they still purchased property. Just so much wholesome stuff that the Pilgrims did that have been really good for the rest of us, and we enjoy their legacy today.
This is part of America’s Hidden History, and if you want to know more about America’s history, you can go to our website WallBuilders.com. You can get the WallBuilders app. We’ve got lots of social media platforms that you can check into, YouTube channels, etc. You get a lot more information. We encourage you to stay tuned to TBN for more episodes of America’s Hidden History.
Well friends, that is the conclusion of our Thanksgiving special this week. Hope you enjoyed it. Be sure go to WallBuildersLive.com today, and you can get all three parts if you just happened to tune in at the middle of the program today. It’s a fantastic three part series, you can go to those links at WallBuildersLive.com to watch the actual video of this special, but the audio is also available at WallBuildersLive.com.
Wishing you a very, very happy Thanksgiving this weekend, be sure and sit down with your family and actually list out those things you’re thankful for.
Certainly the nation that we live in, and the opportunity to be free, and even to gather this weekend as a family and celebrate all these wonderful blessings that we have. Thanks for listening. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.