TBN Thanksgiving Program With WallBuilders Part Two: Happy Thanksgiving! Today we are continuing a special program in honor of Thanksgiving! David and Tim had the opportunity to 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: 11/28/2019
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 talk about today’s hottest topics on policy and faith and the culture. We always do that from a Biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.
You can learn more about us at our two websites. The first one is WallBuildersLive.com; that’s our radio site. There you can find a list of our stations across the country that air the program. You can also get archives of the program over the last few months.
If you missed out on any of those Fridays, make sure you go get those Good News Fridays. They are fantastic for encouragement, letting you know that we can win in this culture. We can actually restore our Constitutional Republic and the Biblical foundations of our nation. We do it a little bit at a time: One person to another in our communities and our states and our nation.
Be sure to check out WallBuildersLive.com and listen to some of those Good News Fridays.
You might also enjoy those Foundations of Freedom Thursday programs where we take your questions. If you’re thinking of some this week as we do our Thanksgiving special programming, you can send those questions in to [email protected]; that’s [email protected]
Also Monday through Wednesday, we have our interviews with some outstanding people across the nation that are on the frontlines fighting for our freedom, sometimes it’s a U.S. senator or congressman, a state legislator. Often it’s an attorney that is arguing in the courtrooms and winning those battles defending our religious liberties and our other freedoms. Sometimes it’s someone just like you in your community that was willing to stand up for freedom.
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We’re going to jump in right where we left off yesterday. This is a Thanksgiving special. David and Tim Barton–on TBN they got to travel and go to some really cool sites in the history of the Pilgrims and the history of Thanksgiving here in America. And they’re sharing that with you.
It’s actually a television special; but, we’re sharing the audio with you here on WallBuilders Live! If you’d like to watch the entire program, we have links for you at WallBuilders.com.
Let’s pick up right where we left off yesterday with David and Tim Barton.
As everybody who’s ever had a garden or anybody who’s ever done any kind of farming or paid attention in any kind of earth science knows, if you don’t have rain, your crops aren’t going to grow. And they recognized with no crops they weren’t going to survive.
A Miracle of Rain
So, what happened at that point was, they set aside a day for fasting. They said, “If we don’t get rain, if we don’t get God to send rain, we’re going to be in real trouble.” And they started praying, and clouds gathered, and a gentle rain started falling on the crops.
An Indian came to them and said, “We just saw that. We saw you pray and fast. Your God answered. That kind of rain doesn’t come this time of year; we don’t get gentle rains. If we get rains, it’s a destructive kind of storm, the stuff that goes with hail and the beats the crops down. I want to know your God.”
Literally, God answering their prayer caused that Indian to want to become a Christian as a result, So, that time of fasting actually led to another annual tradition.
Two Important Traditions Established by the Pilgrims
This is something that the Pilgrims really were responsible for, two traditions very influential in the New England area, many colonies embraced this. Every spring, they would do prayer fasting days, or are governors would do prayer-and-fasting proclamations. Then, every fall, they would do prayer and thanksgiving proclamations or days of prayer and thanksgiving to thank God for what He had done.
This is, just again, another little glimpse of the impact of the Pilgrims.
Moments From America’s History
David Barton with another moment from America’s history. Today, numerous court
decisions demonstrate that there’s often a conflict between the courts, the
law, and religion. Has this conflict always existed?
according to James Wilson. James Wilson was a signer of both the
Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He was a law professor as
well as an original justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. James Wilson saw no
conflict between religion and the law. In fact, just the contrary.
declared, “Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of
that law which is divine. Far from being rivals or enemies religion and law are
twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistance. Indeed, these two sciences
run into each other.”
views of Founding Father James Wilson religion and good civil law were
inseparable. For more information on God’s hand in American history contact
WallBuilders at 1-800-8-REBUILD.
The Jenney Museum
Were outside the Jenney Museum. Actually, behind this is the Plymouth Grist Mill, which a lot of Pilgrim activity happened here. As we’re talking about Thanksgiving, there’s really nobody better to talk about this than with Leo Martin. Leo, thanks for being with us today.
My pleasure; thank you for having me.
As we talk with the Pilgrims, there are a lot of things that Americans don’t know, and certainly you are very familiar with. And so, I would love to kind of get an understanding from you of maybe who the Pilgrims were and some of their story.
What we like to do at the museum is talk about the Pilgrims, 102 people who came on the Mayflower, 51 dying in the first winter. We talk about how 51 people changed the world as we know it today.
They didn’t just change it in one area; they changed it because of their faith. Their faith ran through the whole story. They valued their faith.
The Beginning of Capitalism in America
They valued their family and property ownership. All this comes into play as we stand in front of the site of the oldest mill in the United States, built in 1636. That is the beginning of capitalism in our country.
The gentleman that built that mill, a man named John Jenney, is the first person in the country to be paid for a service. He was paid to run the mill.
Who would have paid him for that?
Here’s the way that work. When the Pilgrims originally came to Plymouth, their economic situation was communal. Of course, that means that everybody on the plantation worked in the same field and grew their food, and at the end of the season, they simply evenly split with each other what they produced. It sounds fair enough.
Of course, it didn’t work. Why?
It seems that socialism doesn’t work.
The problem we have today, I believe, is we don’t look back at history and learn.
Socialism Doesn’t Work
Socialism doesn’t work. Three years into the adventure, we’ve lost half our population; everybody’s starving.
William Bradford changed the deal; he says, “Now we’re going to go over to land ownership. Every family will own land, grow the food, feed themselves, and then simply trade with each other what they had left over.” Plus, we call that “free trade.”
Sure. This prevented some of the people—because, Bradford even wrote about how people would fake sickness and injury, and they wouldn’t work and be productive. At this point, you don’t have an option not to work and be productive, or you’re not going to survive.
So, it really kind of forces people to be productive for themselves, which certainly is a Biblical thought: that we need to have individual responsibility and be producers. But, Bradford seems to follow this Biblical notion away from communal into private responsibility.
But, the problem now is all families are going out and working for themselves, and producing, and then trading with one another. By 1636, we had over 500 people in Plymouth.
To grind corn with mortar and pestle, a hollow log where you’d crush the corn into corn meal; it’s not efficient. So, this gentleman called John Jenney said, “Look, this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to build a mill, and I’ll grind corn for everybody.”
But now, here’s the problem. He can’t go out in the field and work.
The First Pilgrim Paid To Work
He had to be paid. He was the first person in the country to be paid; but, he wasn’t paid money. He was paid corn. Money had no value.
Sure. What are you going to buy with it?
Exactly. What are you going to do with money? Corn was the money.
Every time he ground a bushel of corn, he got two quarts. It was how he got paid; that was called a “pottle.”
If he’d charged more than that, he’d be removed from the mill. So, not only did we start free trade, we started regulations.
Okay. Yeah. Okay.
But, we’re all human beings; so, on occasion we have to be checked. And so, they checked John Jenney.
But again, it’s such an important thing.
The Site of Plymouth Plantation
This mill was built for the purposes–to satisfy a capitalistic system. Again, you’re standing on the site of the original Plymouth Plantation; the plantation which built right here.
Right over here was Harbor [Inaudible] Village, the Indian village. Right there was the plantation. So, We’re standing right here.
And why did the Pilgrims stay here? Because of the river.
Sure, that river.
They didn’t land here in the beginning, they lived on the tip of Cape Cod.
That’s all sand, not a great spot for a plantation. What they did is took a little boat, and they explored Cape Cod. They found the river and stayed here, simply because that river gave them three things they had to have.
The first was water power. The name of the river is Town Brook, and it’s a mile and a half long. Within a mile and a half, it dropped to 80 feet.
That’s a good place to put a mill.
It was such a good place, we had 14 mills on the river within a mile and a half. Again, this one, the Jenney Mill, is the site of the oldest mill in the country.
The second thing, if it never rained in Plymouth again, the water level will never drop. The river is spring fed. We have a constant flow of water coming out of the ground.
Now, the ground in Plymouth has sand in it, and when the water comes up through the sand, it is filtered. It does run into the river fresh drinking water.
So, they got drinking water and water power. But, sand is not good for – it’s good for filtering; it is not good for growing corn.
Fish: The Perfect Fertilizer
They had to fertilize heavily; the river supplied that fertilizer of fish. We call them “herring.”
Herring live in the ocean; but, when they spawn, they spawn up in our pond. Every spring they migrate by the mill. Pilgrims take them out of a river, put them on the ground, fertilize and grow the corn.
Now, was the fertilization something they learned from the Indians?
“A Special Gift From God”
They learned from Squanto.
As a matter of fact, William Bradford did refer to him as “a special gift from God.” But, the point is this. When people come to Plymouth, they either believe or are told that the Pilgrims stole the land from the Indians.
They did not; the Indians did not want the land. They would not come back on it because of the plague. The pilgrims took land nobody wanted.
Everything after that, they paid for to the Chief Massasoit. The idea that we stole land is not correct.
Certainly, historically, there were times land was stolen. That’s just not something the Pilgrims did. All the Anglos—
Surely, we can see historically there were times when there were abuses. The Pilgrims were so different. Again, motivated by their faith and because of their faith, they operated so differently.
You mentioned economics; but, even this notion of private property–they weren’t stealing from the Indians because they thought that was ungodly, that was unbiblical. You’re not supposed to do that.
This Precarious Moment Book
David Barton. I want to let about a brand new book we have called This
Precarious Moment, Six Urgent Steps That Will Save You, Your family, and Our
Country. Jim Garlow and I have co-authored this book and we take six issues
that are hot in the culture right now.
that we’re dealing with, issues such as immigration, race relations, our
relationship with Israel, the rising generation Millennials, and the absence of
the church in the culture wars, and where American heritage is, our godly
heritage. We look at all six of those issues right now that are under attack
and we give you both Biblical and historical perspective on those issues that
provide solutions on what each of us can do right now to make a difference.
all problems that are solvable if we’ll get involved. So you can grab the book
This Precarious Moment and find out what you can do to make a difference. This
Precarious Moment is available at WallBuilders.com.
Birth of the Free-Market System
We are sitting in what ultimately was the birth of the free-market system in America, the first privately-owned business. We are in Aptucxet, and this is a trading post that was started by the Pilgrims.
Now, they’ve been under contract with—over here, the Virginia Company, as they’re coming to America. And the King says, “You can live in Virginia, nowhere else.” They don’t make Virginia; they land in Cape Cod; they finally get up to Plymouth.
Part of the contract of them coming, by permission of the king, was they were going to have to work and pay off–essentially they’re indentured to be able to come to America. This was something very different than that.
Yes, the investors that sponsored them to come said, “Okay, we’ll take care of your voyage; we’ll carry take care of everything. All you do is give us everything you make for the next seven years.”
Oh, that’s all?
Give us everything, no big deal, just everything that you make for seven years.
All For Religious Freedom
But, the Pilgrims, although they lost their economic freedom do that, they got their religious freedom; and for them, that was a trade they were willing to make. They said, “For our religious freedom, for not being persecuted, we’ll do that.”
So, they get here; but, the Virginia Colony over in England is not doing as well as it needs to, and they’ve got all this investment over here, and now people are dying. And so, the Pilgrims renegotiate that contract and said, “We’ll just buy off everything that we have left to pay to you,” and became a good deal for the Pilgrims.
Now the Pilgrims are free from owing anything to anyone else. They now have their own debt. It’s kind of like you’ve got your own mortgage in your own hands. At this point, they start getting into free-market enterprise.
They start building things like this, where they can trade with the Dutch; they can trade with the Wampanoags. They’ve got furs they can trade; they’ve got all sorts of stuff. They can start making income that goes into their pockets, not into the pockets of those back home.
this is the first—literally—the first business where what you make doesn’t go to the king. You get to keep what you make.
“Private:” A Novel Concept
So, in other words, “private,” and then again, kind of a novel concept; because, every other company at that point in America or in the New World, you had to give what you made to the company that sponsored you or to the king. You don’t get to own stuff. This is the first time somebody’s actually owning something.
The Pilgrims were really amazing. The Pilgrims actually almost like franchised this idea, and they start building other trading posts where they’re now becoming very profitable. Actually, they were pretty much the most profitable colony per capita of all of them the English colonies.
By the way, that concept of franchising this, that couldn’t have been done under the king; because, if Great Britain was at war with Spain, you can’t trade with any Spaniards. If we’re at war with France–these guys could choose who they wanted to trade with, and they could do things no other company was doing; so, not only can they be profitable, as you said, “They franchised it, and they’re expanding this out.”
Not only do we have people working for themselves, we have people being able to enjoy all of the profit for what they are doing. Grant it, you mentioned there’s a mortgage they’re paying off, that final debt. But now, they’re the ones in charge of what they are doing; and so, they actually do become very successful doing this.
And this really is the birth of the free enterprise, of capitalism in America, is right here in this trading post.
So Many Important Beginnings
There are so many firsts that go back to the Pilgrims. Yes, we celebrate Thanksgiving; we remember the Pilgrims on Thanksgiving; but, very rarely do we sit on Thanksgiving and say, “I am so grateful for the Pilgrims because of the free enterprise system.” That’s another first that we can look to the Pilgrims and say, “Thank you; thank you for implementing those principles and changing all of the nation, including our lives today.”
I wouldn’t really say that this is probably just one more aspect of America’s hidden history.
We’re looking at Thanksgiving, and here we are in Plymouth, the home of the Pilgrims. The Pilgrims actually came into this harbor behind us; they came ashore. Once they got ashore, they wanted to build a town.
As they did, they created a street in that town, and at the end of the street is where we’re standing right now. This is Burial Hill.
There’s actually a lot of people buried on this hill from the Pilgrims; in fact, a lot of names we might even recognize, certainly the name Governor William Bradford. We’d recognize that name.
He is buried just behind us. There’s a big marker honoring him, recognizing him. There are people like elder William Brewster, who was the leader of the church for the Pilgrims. He and his family are buried here.
As you can see, this is an elevated location. This is also the hill on which they built their fort. It’s a great position to be able see what’s going on around them.
Inside that fort is where they really met for the first church. So, here on this hill there’s a lot of historic aspects of the Pilgrims.
After the Pilgrims landed there in the harbor, and they came ashore there Plymouth Rock, they needed a place to live. They started walking up toward the hill there. As they walked up toward the hill which we now call Burial Hill, they built this street.
They laid this out, and this is where they started building their first houses. Now, Leyden Street is called that today because Leiden is the place in Holland that welcomed them and gave them religious liberty. But they called it “First Street” or maybe “Main Street.”
This is the longest-in-continual-use street in America. This street was built in 1620. They built this before Christmas in 1620, and it’s been in constant use now for nearly four centuries. The oldest street in use in America was the street built by the Pilgrims.
So, at the ending of Leyden Street, actually at the end of the street is the base of Burial Hill, and that’s where the first fort was. It’s actually where the Pilgrims first church was.
We’re standing in front of a church right now that has its roots all the way back to the Pilgrims of 1620. This church was built in 1899; so, a few years after the Pilgrims, but the congregation’s foundation and roots go all the way back to the Pilgrims.
Church and State: They Got it Right
This has been a continuous congregation since 1620. And what the Pilgrims did in their congregation was they really got Church and State right. If you remember, back in Europe, Church and State were the same thing. Whoever the civil leader was, was the spiritual leader, and whatever the king or queen said, that’s what they’re going to do for theology.
When they got here they said, “Not us.” They elected their civil leaders differently from their church leaders. So, they elected John Carver as their governor; he’s their civil leader.
They elect their spiritual leaders as well. By the way, they were into accountability. They had civil elections every single year. They wanted to make sure their church leaders and their state leaders were accountable to them.
What they did was they separated the two and made sure that government could not run the Church or tell church people what they could or couldn’t do.
No Need for Secularized Government
They also never believed in the idea of government being secular either. The Pilgrims were incredibly religious. In fact, their governor was in church with them every Sunday.
It was never an idea that we need to secularized government; it just was recognizing that government has a role.
The role of government is not to run the spiritual duties and tell Christians what they can and can’t do, and where they have to go to church, and the things that they’re not allowed to talk about in religion. In the same way, the religious leaders weren’t telling the government, “These are exactly the policies you have to have, and if people don’t come to our church, put them in jail.”
No, they were separate institutions; but, they never believed in them being secular.
That was the right way to do separation of Church and State.
The Pilgrims were so driven, motivated by their faith in everything they did. And, we’ve talked about how they remembered and thank God and they had times of prayer. They shaped their economic system.
What about what about government? We often hear that the Pilgrims would hold elections every year. So, did faith shape the way they viewed government?
William Brewster and William Bradford
Absolutely. For example, their governor was William Bradford. Who was a preacher here? William Brewster.
William Brewster raised William Bradford; theologically they were exactly the same; but, not one of them could hold both jobs at the same time yeah. It doesn’t mean you remove religion; you can’t.
If you remove Christianity, for example, there’s going to be another religion.
A Christian Nation Based on Christian Principles
So, the religion stayed in it, and I like to tell people that we are a Christian nation based on Christian principles. That does not mean you have to be a Christian to reap the benefits of that society.
All it means is that because we have Christian law, Biblical law, everybody is equal under that law.
If you don’t want Biblical law, and you want me to set the law, you’ve got a problem; because, I’ll set it today and next week I’ll change it in my favor. Without that Biblical law, without that truth, without that concept, you cannot have a civil government.
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
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.
The First House In the United States
We’re here the base of Leyden Street. Actually the harbor is just right there, and I am here with Mike who is somebody that works with the Leyden Historical Preservation Society.
Behind us is a pretty significant location for a house; so, explain what is this house behind us?
This is the first house in the United States of America. It’s a nationally listed house, and has tons of great history.
When the Pilgrims get here, and they have to build a place to live to survive, this is the first location where they built.
Yes, the first foundation right here, this is where the peace treaty with the Wampanoags was signed. This is where William Bradford and his crew of 51 survived the first winter. They would come back and forth between the Mayflower at first, when they were first building it. It’s where the Mayflower Compact was stored, and it’s really cool.
This is huge, historically. Okay so, what all happened in this house?
The Peace Treaty
Ultimately, this is where the government was established. The peace treaty with the Native Americans was signed here.
Okay, now wait a second–peace treaty. I understand peace treaty; but, generally, we don’t think back early America as there being a peace treaty. The Pilgrims had a peace treaty with the Indians.
What was that for? What was it about? Because, they didn’t really have war with the Wampanoags, did they?
It was a very peaceful relationship that they had with the Wampanoags, and through the desire to spread the Gospel, which was ultimately at the heart of Bradford and most of these Pilgrims, it was really all about loving them and learning how to operate together in society with different backgrounds, different understandings, but ultimately about peace. And, it’s the longest-lasting peace treaty.
Because, we often hear about the terrible relations between the Anglos and the Indians; but, the Pilgrims are totally different. I would argue, largely because of their Christian faith. Right?
Because, it was the morals that drove them to do what they did; but, because they respected humanity, individuals. So, the Pilgrims were just so good on issues, whether it be the civil rights, the race relations, but especially, with the Indians.
It is pretty awesome. Speaking of their faith, I know they would do sometimes prayer meetings or Bible studies, would that happen in this house too?
Yes, 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.
Don’t Miss Any of the Special Thanksgiving Programs
Friends, we’re out of time for today. That was the second part in a three-part special series this week of Thanksgiving. The third part will be tomorrow.
You can actually get part one if you missed it yesterday and part two if you tuned in half way through today. Both are available at our website right now at WallBuildersLive.com. Tomorrow we’ll have the third part in this special series available.
We’ll pick up tomorrow on Thanksgiving special with David and Tim Barton. Thanks for listening to WallBuilders Live!