Share This Episode
Clearview Today Abidan Shah Logo

Tuesday, January 16th | The Mammoth… Cheese Affair?

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
January 16, 2024 6:00 am

Tuesday, January 16th | The Mammoth… Cheese Affair?

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 417 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

January 16, 2024 6:00 am

In this episode of Clearview Today, Dr. Shah talks one of the most instrumental documents in American history, and more than likely you’ve never heard of it.

Support the show

If you like this content and want to support the show you can visit us at Don't forget to rate and review our show! To learn more about us, visit us at If you have any questions or would like to contact us, email us at or text us at 252-582-5028. See you tomorrow on Clearview Today!

Link for Reviewing the Show:


Can We Recover the Original Text of the New Testament?


This episode of Clearview today is brought to you by Mighty Muscadine. Ryan, are you looking to boost your immune system? I'm so ill that I fainted right before we turn the show on.

I hate to hear it, but I do think I have a solution. Introducing Mighty Muscadine, king of the super fruits. Sounds like a superhero. Well, these guys are practically superheroes. Every single one of their products are packed with organic polyphenol content, essential micronutrients, and I'm telling you, these grapes are just dripping with antioxidants designed to strengthen your body's defenses.

It's going to help you stay resilient all year round. And these guys have everything. They have grape juice. They have all natural energy shots, protein powders. They've got seed oil, toothpaste, body lotion, shampoo.

And here's the best part. You can use promo code TODAY, that's T-O-D-A-Y, to unlock exclusive savings at checkout. Again, use promo code T-O-D-A-Y at checkout to enjoy a significant discount on your purchase of Mighty Muscadine products. And every single dollar you spend using that promo code helps us here at the Clearview Today Show. So don't miss this opportunity to supercharge your health and well-being with the incredible power of Mighty Muscadine. Visit their website now, that's, and experience the difference firsthand. Remember, that's promo code T-O-D-A-Y.

A healthier, happier you is just a click away. That said, let's start the show. You guys can help us keep the conversation going by supporting the show. You can share it online with your friends and family. You can leave us a good five-star review on iTunes or Spotify.

Absolutely nothing less than five stars. We say it all the time, but I'm still seeing some of those four-star reviews creep in. Y'all, stop! And they make me sad. They make me sad. Don't make me sad in January.

We're going to leave some links so that you can help us keep those reviews coming in. I'm already sad enough after we had to take down Christmas. Don't make me sad more. Oh, mercy. The verse of the day is coming to us from Colossians chapter 1 and verse 19. It says, For it pleased the Father that in him all the fullness should dwell, and by him to reconcile all things to himself, by him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of his cross. The cross is the pinnacle of history. That's true. It's the moment that all of creation from Genesis was looking forward to, and since the cross, it's what we look back at.

That's right. And it reminds us that Jesus was not some contrivance. He wasn't just some man who rose to prominence. He is God. He's co-eternal with the Father, and it says all the fullness in Christ dwells.

And that pleased the Father. Yeah. Yes. It's important for us. We say this on the show. John, you've said it before.

Dr. Shaw said it. It's important for us to get doctrine right. It is important for us. In fact, it is the most important thing, because if you mess that up, everything else starts to unravel. That's right.

That's right. And through his blood on the cross, we've been reconciled, whether things on earth or things in heaven. There's a timelessness to God.

He is this force that has always been. And unfortunately, unfortunately, that leads me to today's gripe find. How does that lead you to today's gripe find? I'm treading off thin ice, but I'm going to make it very plain. Be careful. I'm going to proceed with caution. I'm feeling the spirit of St. Nicholas. Come over me.

Please don't slap my—he's about to high-five my face. Welcome to the gripe find. All right, this is the gripe. This is our Tuesday gripe find, where we gripe about things that just kind of rub us the wrong way. Not necessarily— It's troubling to me that deep theological truths about the eternality of Christ— It doesn't. —led you to the gripe find. It did lead me to the gripe find.

But that's not the gripe. No. I love the eternality. I love the timelessness of God and his mercy and his glory. There's another fictional character who shares attributes with—I hate to even say with God. Okay, here's what's going on. I'm reading The Fellowship of the Ring. Cute. Lord of the Rings has got to be one of my all-time favorite franchises.

JRRRRRRR token. All the R's. The movies—it's of my opinion that if you're in the fantasy genre, those movies can't be touched. I would have to agree. Cannot be touched.

I'm a big fantasy nerd, like fiction, books, movies. Those movies—I mean, even now—how long have they been out? Years, probably. 2003, I think.

Yeah, okay, I was going to say like 20 years. They still stand up. Oh, heavens, yes.

I mean, they still hold up. If you like fantasy and don't like Lord of the Rings, you guaranteed like something that was influenced by Lord of the Rings. Right, and you're wrong.

Right, and you're wrong, yeah, because they are fantastic. So I thought, I'll read the books. Sure. If the movies are good, books must be better, right?

Sure. The books—I've never read all the way through the books, so y'all don't come for me on this. But I have read portions of them, and they're just—it's just different. Too much. It's a lot to get through.

Too much dried details, three or four pages describing a bridge, and so then you get to the end, you're like, oh, this bridge must be important to the story. No. Nash is a bridge. I'm so flummoxed. I'm forclumped.

You're what? I'm forclumped. I'm speechless. I don't know what that means. I'm speechless, and yet I keep talking. Forclumped. Take it over, because I'm getting angry.

I'm getting for real angry. Here's the ask, okay? Here's the ask. We're going to ask Dr. Shaw what his opinions on Tom Bombadil are. I don't know if he's actually read Lord of the Rings. He does not know who Tom Bombadil is. Well, he probably knows who he is. 100%. I don't know if he's...

Anyway. If you are out there, and you are Lord of the Rings aficionado, like this is your bread and butter, write in and let us know the purpose of Tom Bombadil's character. Please, please, please, inquiring minds want to know, and they're sitting right here.

I want to know why he's in this story. 252-582-5028, or you can visit us online at We'll be back after this. including Dr. Shaw's sermons, original music, a full online store, weekly prayer gatherings, and so much more. Not to mention the number one best-selling Christian talk show of all time. I don't know if that's accurate. Well, maybe not yet, but that's why we want people to download the app. If you're listening from the Triangle area, we encourage you to check out Clearview Church in person. But if not, you can still follow all of our content on the Clearview app.

It's 100% free on the Apple Store and Google Play Store. And best of all, all of our content is right there in one convenient spot. Make sure you download the Clearview app today, and let's get back to the show. Welcome back to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadon Shaw, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

You can visit us online at, or if you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028, or you can email us at contact at That's right. Happy Taco Tuesday to all you guys out there in this land. Did you bring tacos?

I didn't bring any tacos at all. I'm trying to watch my figure. A figure like this doesn't happen on accident. Am I right, Dr. Shaw? Uh, you guess so.

I never try to pay attention to your figure, so I don't know what to say. My wife says the same thing. Ouch. I know, right?

Yeah, it's pretty bad. But we are here in the Clearview Today studio today with Dr. Abbadon Shaw, who is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's show. Dr. Shaw, you do a lot of reading.

Sure. I'm not going to lie to you guys, I went off earlier on Mr. Tolkien. Huge fan of Tolkien.

Huge fan. But there's a lot of filler. You know what I mean? There's a lot of, like, let's get to the story. I don't want to spend three chapters reading about, you know what, let me calm down. Settle down. I don't want to spend three chapters reading about a guy who plays no part in the role of the story at all. It's very important that you know the intricacies of this one rock in the foundation of the bridge. When you read... Can I just cut to the chase?

Yeah, go for it. You know what he's guilty of? Who's that? He's guilty of being a British author. Really?

Ah, there it is. Did they get paid by the word or something? Yes, I don't know what he got paid by, but I grew up reading more British authors. Like, for example, Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, Hawthorne, all these people. I did not read them growing up. I read British authors.

Charles Dickens, Shakespeare, all these. And the problem with them is by the time they set the stage, you're already bored with it. It's like, okay, I don't even know if I want to read this anymore. That's the biggest thing that turns people off from Lord of the Rings. They're like, it's boring. And then I'm like, no, it's not boring. And then I read the book and I'm like, oh, they might be right. I get the point.

It's just on and on and on about every little detail and everybody's mood and what the sun was like and what the sky was like. That's a great point. I'm not buying it. Absolutely. And it kind of lends itself to what we're talking about today. So we're talking today about an important document that is not really filler. No. It is... How did you say it earlier?

All killer, no filler. That was an album. I think that was...

I have no idea. Oh, man. I'll look it up.

That was a really popular album. So the document today, it impacts our life here in America. It impacts church life.

It impacts what we're doing here on the Clear View Today show. That's right. Today is the anniversary of the... Let me get this right.

The ratification of the statute for... Hold on. I lost it for a second. I'm sorry. That's okay.

You okay? While you're looking it up, Sum 41 is the band. Sum 41. All killer, no filler. Greatest punk rock album I've ever listened to in my entire life.

Pop punk, I should say. Interesting. Yeah, yeah. Here, I've got it.

I'm so sorry. Yeah, you're good. It was the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Yes. It was drafted by Thomas Jefferson, and it was introduced in 1777, but it was introduced into the Virginia Assembly on January 16th, 1786. This day in history. On this day in history.

Wow. Right. So first time it was introduced was what year?

It was drafted in 1777, but then in 1786, the assembly actually made the statute into law. Right. So they were pretty much on it. The year after independence, they were like, fellas, we need to get this right. Right.

It's going to be free next year. Now, here's a big question. What is someone like me who did not grow up in America?

I was about to say Dr. Shaw, whatever do you mean? Yeah, I did not grow up in America. I did not grow up in Virginia.

I did not grow up as a Baptist, although very Baptistic in our church life. What do I have to do with this? Yeah. So here's how it happened.

Always loved American history, always loved the early American history. It always fascinated me. But when I began my PhD work, we have to take a certain number of seminars. I mean, you're reading like crazy. I mean, every week it's like two books.

Wow. Now, sometimes I was not able to pull it off. I would just have to skim through and get it done. But many times, two books a week. And these are not your average reading books.

These are thick books. And you have to take seminars. You have to take colloquiums where you are studying subjects other than your own. You are meeting other professors of other fields. I mean, you have outside scholars coming in. And these are for doctoral students. This is not for masters or bachelors.

This is doctoral work. And when it came time to sign up for my seminars, I went to my major professor, my professor, not even major professor, my mentor, Dr. Robbins. And I said, I need to take something in textual criticism. He said, there is no such seminar. I said, what do you mean? He said, there is none. There never has been one, never will be, at least at our institution, because nobody is doing it other than you.

Bro, that's a bad feeling. And there was one other guy. And I said, so what do I do? He said, take whatever you want to. So I went through my list and I'm like, okay, let's look at the syllabus and see what's available. Early American history. I said, okay, I'm taking early American history. If you can't take textual criticism, you might as well take something. It'll be in textual criticism somehow.

We'll get there. So I ended up taking early American history. So what people don't realize is prior to the Revolutionary War, Baptists were persecuted severely in Virginia. Yeah, that's something we don't tend to think about, because right now in the Bible Belt, Baptists are one of the most prominent denominations.

So we think, okay, well, that was just the default all the time. The old-fashioned status quo people. No, they were actually the outliers.

They were the ones that the established church was trying to persecute, because they were not lining up with the establishment, and they were doing their own thing. It's one of those things where I always envisioned the American Revolution, kind of like Star Wars. It's like the big war is done, and then we have the celebration. Woohoo, yay, we did it. We're all brothers, and we're together in arms against them.

That's it. And then roll credits. And we're done. But then it's like, now we're our own nation now. Now how do we live as a nation?

What does that mean? It's like, I don't know, I'm just going to come in with a sequel when everything's established and up and running. But it's like, we defeated Britain, now we're our own nation.

What do we do? One of the biggest issues was religious liberty. That's true. And we're not talking about religious liberty with all of the religions. This is among Christians. What do you do with the Baptists? Because they're there, and they want freedom. But if we give freedom to every Tom, Dick, and Baptist, it'll be bad.

We'll mess things up. So in Little's book, you'd be shocked to read some of the encounters, some of the narratives of how Baptists were thrown in prison, their hands were chopped off, they were beaten, they were whipped. So this wasn't just like, y'all can't have a church. This was straight-up persecution.

This is the real deal. That's insane. And that was happening here in America. In America, right across the line in Virginia. Was that more than one denomination, or was it just Baptists that were the subject of this religious persecution? There were others who were also, but Baptists were the ones who were coming into these colonies, or they were coming out and saying, we're Baptists. We don't go along with the Episcopal Church, or really the Anglican Church, which became the Episcopal Church after independence, right?

There's a history there, too. But they were saying, we're not part of the Church of England. We don't recognize the king as our head. We believe what we believe. We are, some would say we are products of the Reformation. Some would say, we are not quite as much product of the Reformation, but we are not from the same stream. And they were persecuted. And Baptists were the main ones who were persecuted, because others hadn't come on the scene yet. So yeah, the Methodists were there, but they were not quite the same as the Methodists we know in the 1800s. The Methodists today, I mean, it's a whole different issue going on.

It's very sad. But even Methodists back then, not on the same page. So not on the same level. So it was really the Baptists who were being persecuted.

Wow. And so we see this as a very esoteric sort of fringe case. But we were talking about it off mic. I didn't realize this until a few minutes ago before we started recording the show, that this actually, this Virginia Statute of Religious Freedoms was the precursor to the Bill of Rights. If we didn't have this document that we're talking about drafted by Jefferson, then there would be no freedom of speech in America. Right, exactly. So people like John Leland and others were not only preachers, like revival preachers, like he would be sort of like a Billy Graham of his time, coming down through Virginia preaching, teaching, and people are getting saved. Keep in mind, there is no Southern Baptist. They're not going to come on the scene until after the 1860s.

Yeah. Or prior to 1860s, but really, truly a Southern Baptist after. So there is no such thing. They're just Baptists, the American Baptists. And so he is preaching.

He is trying to win people. There is an established Baptist movement, but they're more like the high church, OK? There are a lot of different kinds of Baptists. High church, sort of Calvinistic-type Baptists, that's what they do, then they go home. Reformed in their thinking.

So there's a lot of different levels. John Leland-type Baptists were more the revivalistic type. They want to see people get saved. And he was not the first one. There were others that came down, like Shubel Stearns and Daniel Marshall. And these were also Baptistic people who came down revivalistic, getting people saved.

But John Leland was one of those. And he was really concerned about the freedom of some of his converts, or the Baptists in general, down in the Virginia colony. And at one time, he even considered running for the Virginia legislature. And there was a meeting that took place between him and Madison, because Madison was also running for the job. And so there was a meeting that took place.

And this is six miles east of Orange in the intersection of US-20, or Constitution Highway, and scenic route 650 at Clifton Road. This is the place where James Madison and Thomas, and I'm sorry, John Leland met in an oak grove. And they were going to discuss what needs to happen. Because John Leland was, I'm running. I have to fight for my people. I mean, he's a pastor.

He's a revivalist. He's like, I'm running. And Madison was like, look, yes, you can. And you probably would win.

But what if I run? I'm a politician. I mean, of course, he's also the drafter of the Constitution.

I don't think he was the sole drafter. I believe that a lot of people were involved in that. But he assures Leland, OK, this is in 1788, that if you let me do this, and I run for the office, then I will fight for the Baptist. I'll fight for religious freedom for everybody.

Trust me. And they talked for a couple of hours, I believe it was. And then finally, they stood up, shook hands. And this is in 1788.

And they went their way. Leland, of course, said, I'll throw my support for you. And if you can fight for our freedom, that's what we want. And so this was how even Jefferson is connected. Because Jefferson was also behind the scenes doing what he needs to do to help religious freedom. It was never to keep church and politics separate.

See, and I'm glad you said that. Because it was interesting to me that Leland had this burden of, I need to go into the political realm and fight for my people. He's a pastor. But he has that desire, that fire in him to go and say, I'm going to make a religious footprint in the political sphere, because we need to fight for freedom as Christians. Well, that's the purpose of this show, is to help people remember that the separation of church and state had nothing to do with, hey, you're religious, so you can't have a say here.

That's right. Honestly, it really means, let's keep Christianity out. That was never, see, even that statement comes out from a letter that Thomas Jefferson, President Jefferson, wrote to the Danbury Baptists. These were a group of Baptists who were concerned about their freedom, saying that there will be this wall of separation between church and state so that they can have the freedom to worship according to the dictates of their conscience. Right.

It's really the reverse, isn't it? So the state doesn't intervene in religious matters? Right.

In a fear. Yeah, there won't be an established state religion that compels its members to worship. That you have to tithe to, you have to give you money. Not really a tithe, it's a tax. Right.

And they felt like that's not fair. Yeah. This Virginia, what was it, the Virginia- Statue for Religious Freedom. Does that outline the whole established religion thing as well?

Yeah, it deals with that, yes. Which later on led to the Bill of Rights. So all these things are connected, all these religious freedoms that we have in America today that we get to enjoy, they're all connected by these men, these founding fathers who, and again, it's that same thing where people say, well, you know, this country was not founded on Judeo-Christian values. It's like, look how- But it was, though. Yeah, look at all of these documents that exist that prove that not only, it didn't just happen to be that way. Right. That's what it was founded on.

That's right. It was ratified by Virginia, and then this became the document for America. So it was like an experiment across the line.

It was an experiment. Let's try it here and see how it works and how we can fine-tune this, and then we can make it the law of the land. That's how we entered into the Bill of Rights. But it's a very interesting story that follows, but we can discuss that in a second. Sure.

I also think it's interesting. Thomas Jefferson is the one who introduced this. It's one of three documents that is mentioned on his epitaph. Like on his gravestone? Yeah. I've been there.

I've been to his gravesite. So it talks about the Declaration of Independence. He calls him the father of the University of Virginia, and then it lists the statute of Virginia for religious freedom. That was important to him. One of three. That'd be listed on there.

That's right. Freedom of our nation, education, and then, of course, religious freedom. Yeah, those were three very important things for him. Other than remember and be grateful, what is something that our listeners can walk away from with this?

Not an action set necessarily, but what is something you feel like that people can walk away remembering about this episode in particular? That our freedoms that we take for granted are, one, because of the sacrifices of our predecessors. Now, look, I grew up overseas. I grew up in India. I came here, and I chose this to be my nation. I had to take an exam. I wish Americans would have to take an exam to be an American. Yeah, gain citizenship. That would maybe make them appreciate it more.

Exactly. I had to take an exam. I had to spend money. I had to make so many trips to the embassy, or not the embassy, but to the INS office for my immigration.

And then, finally, I had to stand there and take the oath that I am an American now with the flag in my hand. I mean, I appreciate it. And I hope more Americans, especially Christians, would appreciate the value of their freedoms.

Yeah, that's true. Amen. Now, talking about appreciation, gratefulness. So when was the Bill of Rights passed? Was it the 1780s? Hang on one second. Yeah, I mean, once you find that, I have a very interesting story that comes through this, because it'll talk about how did Leland and some of the others make their appreciation known. I think it was 1790.

Go ahead. I'm seeing 1791. That's right. Somewhere about that time.

Yeah. So in 1801, November 1801, there was something that happened. And that something was that the Baptists, especially Leland, wanted to show his appreciation to Thomas Jefferson. Of course, Madison and others as well. But Jefferson was kind of the lead figure here for bringing about religious liberty. So they sent out, and see if you can Google this, a massive block of cheese to Thomas Jefferson.

How am I supposed to get that in my search history? So you find it as a mammoth cheese affair. Mammoth cheese affair.

Did you find anything? The bread was made to honor the mammoth cheese. A 1,200-pound cheese wheel sent to Jefferson two years ago as a political statement about religious freedom.

1,200 pounds, you say. That's a lot of cheese. The mammoth cheese was conceived by John Leland, a Jefferson supporter in the Federalist hotbed of Massachusetts. Someone asked what happened to the mammoth cheese. Believe it or not, there's still munching on it to this day. Mammoth cheese. Why is that the number one most asked question on Google? What happened to the mammoth cheese?

The official weight was 1,235 pounds. Yep. It was created by combining the milk from every cow in the town. It was last served at a presidential reception in 1805.

They kept it, and they served it for five years. Wow. So it was sort of a joke, not a joke by the one sending it, but it was sort of a joke, because it was called a mammoth cheese affair.

Wow. And John Leland, he says in November 1801, I journeyed to the south as far as Washington in charge of a cheese sent to President Jefferson. Notwithstanding my trust, I preached all the way there and on my return. So as he's taking his cheese or this cheese by every cow in this town, they're also, he's also preaching, and he says this.

I had large congregations, let in part by curiosity to hear the mammoth priest as I was called. So they were making fun of Leland with this mammoth cheese, the mammoth priest. Bro, that sounds like something I want to go to a restaurant and order. Like I'll take the mammoth cheese. Can I have the mammoth cheese, please?

I'm for it. So people even back then, now we were talking about the late 1700s into the 1800s. They had a sense of humor. So they're like, oh, the mammoth cheese. So where's the mammoth priest?

Yeah, I know. That's too funny. The mammoth cheese. So I wish they had done something like, say, a big bronze statue or a Bible made out of gold. You know, they got a big block of cheese.

And Thomas Jefferson was just sitting there looking, mm-hmm. Okay. Yeah, okay.

He pulls out a little knife. It takes a little. Well. It's good.

They all turn the cameras off. He's like. Oh, this cheese. It does say, it does say that the cheese remained at the White House for over two years being featured in a public dinner for Independence Day. And then it's eventually replaced by the mammoth loaf.

The loaf of bread. That's true. That's about true.

That's right. I remember that now. It's been, it's been, golly, this has been 20 years ago when I took that seminar, the intense three months of studying American history. Imagine trying to dump it discreetly. Like, they just tried to get it into the Potomac River.

Leland happens to be passing by. Big bobbing wheel of cheese. I gave you all that. History's wild.

You're the mammoth priest, aren't you? But it shows us, you know, not only were these real people, but that religious freedom was something that was on the heart of our founding fathers from the very beginning. It's something that makes America quintessentially American and something that we have to be grateful for. That's right. We have a lot to be thankful for, especially here on The Clearview Today Show.

It lets us do what we do and get the gospel out to as many people as possible. If you guys enjoyed today's episode, maybe you learned something about American history. I guarantee you, you did not know about the mammoth cheese before today. I promise you, you did not know that. There's no way. There's no way you did.

There's always going to be that guy that's like, I did. No, you didn't. No, Batman. Write in and let us know.

Two, five, two, five, eight, two, five, zero, two, eight. Of course, you can visit us online at You can partner with us financially on that same website. Guys doing amazing things through The Clearview Today Show.

We want you guys to be a part of that. Click that donate now button at the bottom. We want to encourage you to visit

They have a great line of products for you and for your health. Use the promo code today, T-O-D-A-Y, on checkout. That will send a portion of those proceeds right back here to The Clearview Today Show. Jon, what's coming up tomorrow? We spent the whole day talking about an American document. An American document, I should say. Would you believe it if I said the very following day, January 17th, there's another historic American document that we need to talk about. Lots popping up in January in American history. January was a good year for America. A good month, I should say. The year of January. No, listen, January was really, these guys were on it.

It's called the Monroe Doctrine. We're going to talk about it a little bit on tomorrow's episode. Very nice. We love you guys. We'll see you tomorrow on Clearview Today. Bye. Bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-16 08:17:52 / 2024-01-16 08:31:42 / 14

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime