Book Reviews - Easy Chair Series - EC352

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Book Reviews
Course: Course - Easy Chair Series
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 50
Length: 0:55:37
TapeCode: ec352
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Easy Chair Series.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.

This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 352, November the 23rd, 1995.

In this session Douglas Murray, Andrew Sandlin, Mark Rushdoony and I are going to discuss a couple of books that I am going to review.

The first is one I have referred to previously on an Easy Chair of a while back. The book by Dr. E. Michael Jones, John Cardinal Krol and the Cultural Revolution. This is a devastating analysis by a Catholic scholar of what has happened to the Catholic Church since 1960. At that time they appeared to be at their high point of power. They had elected a Catholic president. They had an enviable system of parochial schools all over the country. They had colleges and universities, seminaries all over the landscape. The legion of decency had a good relationship with Hollywood to ensure that movies that were family oriented would be produced. Incidentally, the legion of decency worked together with the protestant churches.

Well, in these and other ways, it seemed to be the beginning of a Catholic century. But what happened was that Vatican II, called in order to strengthen the church to meet the challenges of the years ahead, became a media event and the liberals in the church and in the media turned it into a circus and at least in the eyes of the public, if not, in fact, as well, a liberal triumph. The major cities had vast neighborhoods all over the city on all sides of working class Catholics, very devout. These were the backbone of the church in this country, very family oriented, very church oriented working peoples. But the Catholic politicians combined with the left to break up these neighborhoods, to work to destroy them by importing—and that is quite a story that some day will be written—blacks into the communities to shatter the community. So little by little the churches that were the backbone of the Catholic Church were destroyed. [00:03:18]

The church, as it began to go liberal helped destroy...[edit]

The church, as it began to go liberal helped destroy the legion of decency. Catholic colleges and universities and seminaries began to thumb their noses at the Vatican and act as though becoming Modernist and Leftist was the height of Christianity. Thus, Dr. Jones has written a very, very important work, a work that really is a superb analysis of the directions culturally of the United States after 1960.

Now, what I suggest that we do is to analyze in the same spirit as Michael Jones did, the Catholic Church the Protestant churches. The protestant churches were the establishment prior to 1960. I can recall when the statement of a Methodist bishop would shake up Washington, when the comments of any prominent churchman were news. They had a following. Their authority was respected. But all that has disappeared. The mainline churches are notable for their empty pews and their impotence in the public at large.

President Clinton has tried to revive the importance of the mainline churches, but not very successfully. They are too near death for that.

So we have a crisis. One of the reasons for the crisis is that whereas for a few centuries Protestants very strongly, including Baptists, were creed oriented.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] They stressed the main doctrines of the faith. They had catechisms in most Protestant churches. But that is all gone. [00:06:02]

Since Darwin, in particular, we have seen a gradual...[edit]

Since Darwin, in particular, we have seen a gradual erosion of authority in the name of private judgment. And since World War II the erosion has been very rapid. As a result, Protestantism has become weak and impotent. It is mostly the independent churches that draw the congregations now.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] And these tend to be too often Arminian and weak theologically.

So we have a major crisis. We have had both Protestantism and Catholicism in a virtual state of collapse in the United States and elsewhere.

Since this is something to which Chalcedon has tried from its beginning to address itself to and to provide an answer to it, I think it is important for us to analyze the many, many facets of this decline.

Douglas, would you like to say something or would you rather that we wait on you?

[Murray] Well, I think that people take a look around. They read the paper. Watch television news. There was a recent criticism of Disney. Now everybody, my generation grew up thinking of Disney as making wonderful family films, Cinderella and Pinocchio and so forth. Disney now has become a pornographer. They have recently been criticized for some of their films as just being out and out pornography and violence and depicting the worst aspects of human activity rather than trying to extol the best aspects of human activity. And everybody is... is puzzled by the fact that we now have a ... have a president. And I heard, I think, on this last weekend some political pundits were ex... had accepted the fact that the American people accepted Bill Clinton even though with all of his womanizing and lying and ties to drug running through {?} Arkansas and the ... the killings, the murder for hire killings that were going on in Arkansas. I mean, there is 26 people that died under very mysterious circumstances....

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] ... in and around Clinton and the political pundits seem to ... are saying, not seem to say, but are saying that the American people don’t care. That is the reason that Bill Clinton is president, that these things don’t matter. [00:09:10]

Well, let’s ... it... it apparently didn’t matter to 42 percent because that is all he got voted in by. But it will be interesting to see how it comes down in this next election. But what does this say about our culture, the American culture where it no longer matters that the highest leader in the land is a whoremonger, a criminal and a liar? And ... and the... the political commentators of our time say it doesn’t matte to the American people. I mean, this ought to be some kind of a wake up call to the average guy in the street that things are getting pretty well into the ditch. And this... this same attitude is mirrored by other public leaders, not all of them, but many of them feel that the America public doesn’t care, that anything goes.

[Voice] Well, we are talking about the impotence of Protestantism and, Rush, had touched on the first thing that I wrote down and that is theological literacy. We have a sort of theological existentialism today whose epitome is this crass laughing revival that is just sweeping the country in certain corners. And it most certainly is not limited to charismatic churches and some of the sound charismatics are repudiating it.

But it is so odd that evangelicals, many of them will step back and say, “Oh, this is such a terrible thing. We would never go for this nonsense.” And yet in principle they are no different, because of their existential approach to the faith which is essentially good feeling religion. Let’s get rid of sound doctrine. Let’s get rid of the creed and the confessions of the Church and just come to church and feel good about Jesus. Just forget about the law of God. And let’s be led of the Spirit, by which they mean we want to do what we want to do.

Another problem is that the Church is socially a dualistic. Everything is so church centered. And there is an emphasis on spirituality rather than on applying the faith to all areas of life as Chalcedon has done these three decades. It is a very narrow faith. And then, of course, it is doctrinally pietistic, no full orbed faith and it is confessionally deviant. We talk about Liberalism and Neo Orthodoxy and all those sorts of things. So I think those are four main factors in contributing to the impotence of ... of the modern Protestant faith and why the Church is so weak. And it is institutions like Chalcedon and churches who hold very similar beliefs who are just about the only ones out there on the forefront pressing a full orbed, virile, Calvinistic faith. And I ... when I say Calvinistic, I have to admit, too, that there are some Roman Catholics that are out doing that and there are some that would not want to be called Calvinists. And, nonetheless, are pressing the faith. And though we would disagree with them on some ... some points, we appreciate what they are doing. But for the most part, the Christian Church in the country is, in fact, impotent and it is largely just existential. It just wants to feel good. [00:12:14]

You see this on TV...[edit]

You see this on TV. Turn on the TV shows, the religious TV shows. It is all just essentially feel good religion. I was flipping through the TV the other day and it is all just let’s all feel good and feel warm and let’s all just love everybody. Nobody gets on there ... or hardly anybody. There are some exceptions. And stands up for a full orbed confessionally based, theologically sound faith. It just doesn’t happen. And there won’t be a revival, godly revival and reformation and reconstruction until people wake up to these needs.

[Murray] Well, they are... they are... they are making the ... a reality out of, what was it? Marx said that religion is the opium of the masses.

[Voice] Well, it is for too many of us.

[Murray] Well, that is what it has become. They have separated Jesus out of the trinity. They have destroyed the trinity and Jesus is just a nice guy who lived a long time ago and did some nice things for people.

[Rushdoony] Oh.

[Murray] And ... but God doesn’t exist for them. The rules... there are no rules.

[Voice] Or thy believe that God exists only for them, but they don’t exist for God. It is sort of reversed the first question in the Shorter Catechism. They think that God exists for them.

[Murray] What can God do for me?

[Voice] Exactly. And it is a smorgasbord faith. You know, I just want to come and they will dabble in church. You know, I will dabble at this church and dabble at that and it is sort of very syncretistic. But those are a number of the... the severe problems and those are things I think we need to discuss.

[Voice] I think the Church is also very retreatest.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] It is... it is self consciously retreated within itself. Its theology says it is ... it is defeatist about the future, about the past. Those who are the most vigorous tend to be Antinomian, Dispensationalists and they believe something, but what they believe is that we don’t believe very much.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] And what we believe about has to do with our personal lives and... and maybe about the... the future, but it doesn't really have much to do about today about except personal salvation. Sot hey... they ... they ... they have pulled in their horns and they have retreated into the church and they enjoy the church and they think that is the purpose of Christianity is to pull back within the church.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Voice] ...and... and recognize that we are something special and some day we will get our reward.

[Voice] And there is often a note of perversity. I was talking to one pietistic minister and he was lamenting, oh, this fact that there is abortion, widespread abortion and homosexuality is becoming more acceptable and the federal government is getting stronger and that is bad. But that is good, because that means Jesus is coming soon.

[Voice] Oh, I... that any number of cases. Well, praise God that things are so bad.

[Voice] Praise God things are bad.

[multiple voices]

[Voice] I have had people actually say that. Praise God things are bad, because it means Jesus is coming soon. And the prophecy becomes self fulfilling. Because then they pull back into the church a bit more and, of course, then the world becomes more evil about them and it is just a sort of vicious cycle. [00:15:12]

[multiple voices]...[edit]

[multiple voices]

[Voice] Exactly. That is exactly right.

[Rushdoony] Well, I mentioned earlier the fact that people instead of following the creeds or the catechism or Scripture supremely, are ready to emphasize their own private beliefs and, well, my church may believe that, but I can’t agree with that and I am as good a Catholic or I am as good as good a Presbyterian as the next person. But I can’t believe this or that. And so on.

Combined with that is an unwillingness to tolerate the least disagreement with what they believe.

[Voice] Absolutely.

[Rushdoony] I had a letter a while back from a minister who is a good man, a hard working pastor. I know he doesn’t believe everything in the Bible, although he professes to believe it from cover to cover. But a lot of things like predestination, for example, he explains away. You can show him the exact words and he is going to explain it away, but he still claims to believe it from cover to cover.

Such people as this minister, for example, and he is not alone, encounter one statement in the Chalcedon Report they don't like and they say, “Take me off the mailing list.” And you have this problem in the churches. They are not going to go back to the church that they did not like what the minister had to say.

In one instance it was simply to recite two verses of the Beatitudes. That was just totally out of line for this person.

They will tolerate nothing that they disagree with.

What has happened is that they are all guilty of the sin of Genesis 3:5, original sin, the tempter’s program. Ye shall be as God, every man his own God, determining or knowing for yourself what is good and evil.

So they are going to be the judges and it really is amazing how little they will tolerate. They will tolerate a great deal that indicates unbelief from the pulpit. But let them get anything that indicates a clear cut belief, that is different. The 10 Commandments are controversial. [00:18:10]

[Voice] Yes. Well, do you know what I think, Rush. I think when they deny historic orthodoxy, orthodoxy is inescapable. So they create their own orthodoxy. And if you disagree with their own little private orthodoxy, you have really assaulted the faith.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] But orthodoxy is a given. It is not something that we make up and reinvent every generation as you pointed out in Foundations of Social Order of course. And that is the problem, because they don’t have the guidelines of historic orthodoxy. And, you know, within the guidelines of historic orthodoxy, there is room for disagreement.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] You can disagree with one another because we have {?} here. You can’t go outside the fence and deny trinity and orthodox Christology and so forth. But because they don’t have the benefit of historic orthodoxy, they have got to create their on little private primitive orthodoxy and anybody who disagrees with that, of course, is... is off.

[Murray] Every time you ought to get yourself some color post cards with a nice picture of an ostrich with his head in the sand with a little caption that says, “Keep your head down.”

Every time somebody wants to cancel their subscription to the Chalcedon Report send one of those post cards.

[Voice] Yeah, that is...

[Rushdoony] Well, what is amusing and sad, as in the case of this minister, what he did others have done to him. In other words, everybody is ready to tolerate nothing. They want their little narrow line.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] So we are getting a nation of peoples who can’t live with the rest of the world so they hole up with their television in their homes and then they get along even less very often with their own family.

[Voice] You know, Rush, another problem is there is a really... a lack of appreciation of the church historic and of genuine branches of Christianity. No. All of us here are Protestants and we have disagreements with Roman Catholicism and yet we can appreciate contributions historically of the western church before there was Protestantism, but there are so many people, Protestants and Roman Catholics alike and Eastern Orthodox that for some reason they... they can’t do that. And so they become so very narrow and they impoverish themselves and everybody they talk to.

[Rushdoony] We have less doctrine in the churches today and more narrowness of perspective.

[Voice] And that leads to what Mark was talking about, that form of retreatism. And, oh, I have heard so many times as all of you men have the silly debates that go on because of this within churches, debates over such minutia in the Bible, things the Bible is not clear on. And while the whole world is going to hell in a handbag and they are debating over this particular little point in Scripture of whether you can use this particular instrument in church or whether this particular cross is acceptable or that one is not. Just all sorts of nonsense. [00:21:10]

[Murray] Ministers should have to sign an agreement...[edit]

[Murray] Ministers should have to sign an agreement when they are ordained that states that the 10 Commandments are non negotiable.

[multiple voices]

[Voice] Yes, that is right. The... well, Protestant ministers do that. I mean, if they are in historic Protestant churches, But unfortunately that has gone the way of all flesh too many times. It is even true in historic Lutheran churches and yet some of them are ... are given in as many of the reformed are.

[Murray] Well, do you really think that the, you know, the ministers are not going to change. They are products of the schools that they went to and the society that they come from. Any change in the ministers is going to have to come from the bottom up. It is going to have to come from the ... from the people in the church. They are going to have to demand an adherence to ... to doctrine.

[Voice] I {?} and I thin that, Rush, you will verify this, that proportionately the greatest number of Reconstructionist in the country are lay people. And I mean that is taking into account the fact that there are few ministers in general. On the whole the letters we get—and I don’t want to take away from... There are some very good Reconstructionist ministers. Don’t misunderstand, but ton the whole the Reconstructionist lay people that there.... we get letters from. I got a letter this past week from a particular man. He says, “I just preach the 10 Commandments in the Church and said some things that were in line with the law of God and it was a sensibly reformed church.” And they basically shunned him and said, “We don’t want that in our church.” But there are good lay people around and the... you are right. Many times it is the ministers that are bad.

[Murray] Well, I think, you ... you know, people are going to have to do what {?} has done is, you own find people that are searching for a doctrine based...

[multiple voices]

[Murray] and find their own church.

[Rushdoony] Well, we have a church that wants to play safe.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] And the result is, it is not safe from the judgment of God.

[Voice] Playing it safe can be dangerous.

[Rushdoony] Yes. I have been very deeply distressed and hurt by the fact that now there are churches and groups and conferences that have been held or will be held that celebrate Van Til’s hundredth anniversary of his birth. And I was close to Dr. Van Til. I know how after his retirement nobody wanted him around as they did not before his retirement. He was too controversial. He was not asked to go and speak here and there and everywhere or to speak at conferences. The invitations were rare. [00:24:10]

When Steve Schlissel took his elders to Philadelphia...[edit]

When Steve Schlissel took his elders to Philadelphia to meet with Van Til it was a great occasion for the man. But now that he is safely dead and out of the way, they are ready to honor him. Well, maybe some of them are doing it in all sincerity, but it makes me wonder. Where were they when the man was alive?

[Voice] And {?}

[Rushdoony] They are as ready as our Lord said to honor the prophets graves who would have killed him, the prophets, had they been alive in their day.

[Voice] That is exactly right.

[Murray] Well, do they want to... are they doing this so that they can reinterpret or revise what he said? Is this an instrument of a revisionism?

[Rushdoony] I don’t know, because I haven’t attended them. I think they are cashing in on the fact that he was a great man. He is safely dead. We can get together and not worry about anything, because perhaps our speakers are going to say the safe thing.

[Voice] Well, that is the very thing that I was...

[Voice] Hey, Rush, I am annoyed that they would not have invited you. But, you see, the point is you happen to be controversial, too. And, you see, I think that may be a factor in that situation. That is unfortunate that people do want to play it safe and you haven’t played it safe all these years and I don’t think that they go for that.

[Rushdoony] Well, perhaps not. But I am still invited out to speak in a way that Van Til was not. Of course, there is a movement now so we have some friends out there who will hear me.

We do have a major problem now with the disintegration of the main line churches. John Lofton in the Chalcedon Report a few years ago quipped that if the rate of disintegration in one of the major main line churches continued at the rate it was going, in time they would be able to hold their annual general convention in a telephone booth. And there is an element of truth to that, because they are going down hill. They have so many millions on their books, but a bare handful of 50 or 100 Sunday mornings in a sanctuary that seats 1000 or 2000 or more. So they are going down hill. But they are more belligerent then ever in their hostility to anyone who tries to recall them to a biblical faith. So it is a sad situation. [00:27:22]

[Murray] Well, if there are no teachers of the faith...[edit]

[Murray] Well, if there are no teachers of the faith in the church and there are no followers, does it matter?

[Rushdoony] No. And the sad fact, too, is I am thinking of one particular main line church that had vast trust funds that went back to the colonial period that enabled them to finance foreign missions and national missions, educational work and the like. But in the latter 60s as they thought that they could change the world in a few years by supporting in some instances terrorist activities the world over, they were going to overthrow, they believed, the old order and create a new one. And they laid waste all of those inherited funds.

I know in this one particular church a prominent layman was going to take the hierarchy into the courts, but nothing ever came of it.

In this second half of our Easy Chair, I am going to start off by discussing another book by E. Michael Jones. The Title is Living Machines: Bauhaus Architecture as Sexual Ideologies, published by Ignatius Press.

This is a very important book because it tells us that the Bauhaus school Gropius and all the schools of architecture affected by it including Yale in this country where Gropius taught for a while, I believe it was Yale. This philosophy has predominated. Behind it was a new religion. The purpose of Gropius, to cite his words, was to create the new man in a new environment. This meant a new house. The old idea of the privacy of the individual, the fact that man was to be open to God and God knows us, every fiber of our being, every thought in us, gave way to a public man. [00:30:12]

The illustration on the cover of the book is of a house...[edit]

The illustration on the cover of the book is of a house that is built on stilts. It is five feet off the ground and all the rooms have glass walls so there was to be no privacy. Everything you did was to be public.

[Murray] Not going to hold up very well in an earthquake.

[Rushdoony] Well, the present owner, of course, has put curtains on all the walls so that he has broken the premise of the Bauhaus house.

For example, one of the statements made by Gropius in an ... in a lecture, I quote, “The thrones have been cast down, but the old Spirit still has its hold on the entire country with its tenacious roots. What this country needs is a new communal spirituality suitable for all the people. We are still deeply enmured in the old sins. Not a political, but only a cultural revolution can liberate us completely,” unquote.

Now the whole point of his architecture was to break up the old family, that is his architecture of houses. He was involved in other areas of architecture as well. As Dr. Jones says, “It is designed to facilitate mechanical sex between interchangeable partners as opposed to monogamous marriage. It appears in specifically mechanical shapes that embody the Bauhaus philosophy which is to break down the old ideas of exclusivity in marriage, privacy and the irreplaceable and unique characteristics of the person specifically the spouse. In their place one finds the {?} of industrialism, the mechanization of sexual life, interchangeable parts and partners and a complete repudiation of the notion of the home as a private place and a refuge from the world and its instrumental values,” unquote. [00:33:00]

To stop for a moment there, when the sexual revolution...[edit]

To stop for a moment there, when the sexual revolution broke out in the 60s and you had group sex one of the unforgivable things was as everybody rolled around on the living, dining room and bedroom floors was for anyone to say to the person they were copulating with, “I like you.” That was unforgivable. It made it personal. It had to be mechanical. And this is the spirit of Bauhaus. It was closely related to Socialism and...

[Murray] When was this book written?

[Rushdoony] Just this year.

Gropius wrote, “A true modern architect is one who tries to shape our new conception of life.” So it was a religious and a revolutionary thing. Not surprisingly, he was a Socialist. He despised private property and had some very hostile things to say about it. “All sensible urban planning must remain purely utopian as long as society permits its inhabitants to retain private property,” unquote.

[Murray] This is all the anonymity we can muster.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] Again, as he said in July of 1933 in the Soviet Union, “The worst hindrance to urban planning is the immoral right of private ownership of land.” But four years later he was made chairman of the architecture department. I was wrong. Not Yale, but Harvard. And from there exercised a powerful socialistic, anti family influence.

Now one of the things that marked their whole perspective was a desire to go against nature. They were going to go against Christianity, go against private property and they were going to go against nature so that Gropius was insistent on flat roofs. He had a problem. They invariably leaked after a while. And he was very, very touchy if anyone brought up the matter of leaky roofs.

[Murray] He seemed to have a problem with {?} 5000 feet and up you were required by law to have a pitch on the roof so the snow will run off and let... Flat roofs don’t work very well. [00:36:16]

[Rushdoony] Maybe that is why such laws were passed...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Maybe that is why such laws were passed, because Gropius led to the problem all over the country.

There is a lot more that can be said. He was head of Bauhaus and there were Communist cells in the Bauhaus movement. Gropius himself was a Socialist, but there is no evidence of any membership on his part, which doesn’t say it did not exist. But when I wrote to Dr. Jones I told him that I was reminded of the construction of Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. The architects were of either the same or a related school of architecture and they tried to defy gravity almost. So some of the buildings under construction fell and it led to a lot of expense.

This is the letter that arrived just today. “Dear Rush, thanks for the note. I look forward to your Systematic Theology. Funny you should mention the architect’s attempt to invalidate gravity. That is exactly the impression I got from looking at the works of I M. Pei, a student of Gropius and creator of that monument to social decay the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I did a piece on it in the November issue of Cultural Wars. The impression is even greater when you view his Dallas City hall which looks as if it is about to collapse on the hapless pedestrian about to enter it. It is a good metaphor for the type of government we have. The motto might be, ‘We have technology. We don’t need restraints.’ That would apply in both the architectural and the moral spheres. Of course, the buildings don’t work any better than the morality does. Witness the Hancock Tower in Boston whose windows kept popping out and landing on the street. It is a miracle that no one was killed which is more than one can say of the rest of the culture. All the best, Mike.”

[Murray] I assume these buildings in San Francisco lose windows on occasion, too. You know, the... the buildings move. They actually flex like an airplane wing. You know, that... that tower, that Bank of Transamerica tower up there, that pyramid thing, it moves at the top. And, you know, you flex a building like that and the windows are going to pop out of the... out of the frames. Can you imagine a shard of glass falling 20, 30 floors?

[Rushdoony] Yes. [00:39:20]

[Murray] {?}

[Voice] Well, architecture is an art form and the arts historically have been in many cases culturally subversive. So architecture is not neutral. We can’t get that idea that it is just...

[Murray] Why does anybody even listen to these fruitcakes? I mean, it is just...

[Voice] It is an expression of their... of their religion. That is what it is.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] An expression... an expression of their evil religion and it is this true in music and in theater and in portrait art and in photography and in all of these... all of these art forms, poetry and so forth, it is an expression of their... of their religion.

[Voice] That is...

[Voice] That is what we see in this case.

[Voice] There was an interesting piece on television recently about the national cathedral in Washington. DC and how they early in the century, I believe, or if not the end of the last, decided to build a gothic cathedral. And, of course, it was many years in the building, 80 some odd years, I believe, in the building and imported many stone cutters from all over the world. And in many cases it is a very traditional gothic cathedral, but it... it even had to change because modern men built it. And one of the interesting things is said is most cathedrals right on the entrance there is a picture of the judgment to cause people to fear the judgment of God. And the emphasis in the cathedral that they said that they wanted to emphasize was creation and the continual creation and so even though they built the architecture was traditional, the artwork and the theme of the artwork as you... you moved inside the cathedral represented a very... a more of a modern, something that was appealing to modern man.

[Rushdoony] Well, an interesting thing has happened in the process. In recent years although we have books written about Frank Lloyd Wright and Gropius and others of this type of architecture, as though they were the great men of the century, most people in the past 20 years or more have been reverting to a more traditional architecture when they build homes. For example, in this county when we came here in 1975 there were 17,000 inhabitants. Now there are about 34 to 35,000. Of course, a great deal of that is down in the valley area rather than up here in the hills and mountains. But it is interesting to see the new houses that have been built whether up at Forest Meadows or down, especially around Lake Comanche where most of the growth has been. The modern architecture is not common. It is the traditional home styling that prevails. [00:42:52]

And there is an extensive return to Victorian styles...[edit]

And there is an extensive return to Victorian styles or Neo Victorian. In other words, people are not interested in the very modern style. They want a more traditional one.

[Murray] Well, there are some other reasons for that, too. You know, there is restraints in building code on... on what you can do in a residential home. And there is also the restraint of what will a lending institution lend money on. You know, they are not necessarily going to lend money on a ... some flight of fancy that they are not going to be able to resell if the initial buyer defaults. So they are going to be more inclined to want to loan money on a more traditional residential property.

[Voice] And, then, too, people see that things built as modern homes in the 60s are very dated and they are so dated that it is difficult, in many cases, to remodel them...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] look like anything other than something that was... was somebody’s bright idea in the 60s.

[Rushdoony] Also, because of their avant garde ideas, they did not build with a classical notion of how to make the house strong, how to put a lot of weight, where to put it and especially in California being earthquake country it is harder to get some of these modern ideas in architecture past anyone in the planning commission.

[Voice] I remember back in the 60s when Lois and I were looking for a home in the Bay Area we went around with a real estate agent and they took us to some of these Eichler tracts which were patterned after this type of architecture with the flat roof and big glass windows, you know, very open and so forth and we nixed all of those, not because we were aware that this particular form of architecture was an offshoot of this individual that is described in this book, but it just didn’t feel comfortable. And finally the real estate agent said in frustration, he said, “Ok, you people are the hardwood floor type, what we call the hardwood floor type.” So then he stated showing us some, you know, because we were a young couple. They thought we would want to see something very avant garde and... [00:45:39]

[Voice] You didn’t fit the stereotype...[edit]

[Voice] You didn’t fit the stereotype. That is great.

[Murray] Didn’t... didn't appeal to us.

[Rushdoony] Well, one of the things that the Bauhaus school did was to put up in various countries huge workers apartments. And these are now in this country still with us as...

[Murray] Public housing projects.

[Rushdoony] Yes, welfare housing projects. The whole idea being to depersonalize people and life. And ...

[Murray] It has worked wonderfully.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And nowhere have the people liked such housing. They struggle to get out of them.

[Murray] They are prisoners. Yeah.

[Voice] Well, they are... some of those are actually being produced today in the form of these pre-fabbed modular homes. I don’t mean trailer. I am talking about these homes that already have the...

[Murray] Manufactured.

[Voice] ...manufactured homes you can just drop in an area and they are done very cheaply and all that sort of thing. So it wasn’t limited to the 50s and 60s. Certainly it is being done today.

[Rushdoony] Well, yes.

[Voice] A couple of years ago I ... I was in the library and I was looking at all the... the different magazines. It always amazes me, you know, all these specialty magazines. And there was one that caught my eye called California Geology and I... I looked at it thinking it might be of something interest in my... one of my science classes. I ... I believe it was the title California Geology or something to that effect. What the whole magazine was really about is the follies of California architects and... and where they build and how they built and... and houses that were falling down slopes and houses that were, you know, mud slides and houses that were sliding down the mountain because they were built the wrong way or in the wrong place or for... for the geology. They didn’t conform to the reality of what they were even built on. And it reminded me of that... you know, the... the house built on sand, the little children’s story that, you know, how the kids love to see it and the house... and they like to clap their hands when the house on the sand went flat, smash.

[Murray] {?} and all these people have these great big window front homes built right down on the beach were stunned when the ocean came in to their living room. You know, as how much... how smart do you have to be not to build your house in harm’s way? [00:48:20]

[Rushdoony] Well, because the Bauhaus school was socialistic...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Well, because the Bauhaus school was socialistic, they worked hard to make everything impersonal. These monstrous workers housing units in this country our welfare housing units. Everything is exactly the same. When they built housing for people they would take two, three basic designs and build a whole subdivision on the same pattern so that if you went home late at night and were not cold sober, you might ...

[multiple voices]

[Rushdoony] ... try to get into the wrong house.

[Murray] Yeah.

[Rushdoony] The... the whole point was to depersonalize people, to depersonalize sex, to depersonalize the family, to depersonalize all of life, because while we don’t hear much about it now, when I was younger the Socialists and the Marxists in particular, Communists, did not hesitate to use the analogy of the ant hill and the bee hive to say this is how human society should be. And the reason for it was that self consciousness was, for Marx, alienation. And Marxists talk a great deal about alienation.

The ants in an ant hill don’t have self consciousness. They fall of man in Marxist theory was into self consciousness. So now he is not happy if he would lose all self consciousness and grow up thinking I am going to be a factory worker. This is my life. There is nothing else in the way of choice. Then he will be a happy person. He will not be alienated. He will not be wondering. What am I going to be when I grow up?

So this has been the goal of Socialist thinking, the radical depersonalization of man. And that is why in fiction and in film and television, they use the impersonal. What attracts people one to another? It is not because they have a common fate, not because they have common interests. It is because they are sexually attracted and sex is impersonal and that perspective.

And then they are going to establish a family and they are going to live a life that is impersonal in terms of the Bauhaus school. [00:51:10]

As a result, what our media in the way of novels, television...[edit]

As a result, what our media in the way of novels, television and films represent is a major step in depersonalizing man.

[Murray] Well, the results don’t seem to be making very many people happy.

[Rushdoony] No.

[Murray] I mean, you had how many million people in Russia who were very unhappy after 70 years of it. East Germany is a basket case. The difference between East and West German is so stark that it still stuns people even after the reunification. I mean, if results are any measure of the validity of the approach of these people, it hasn’t worked.

[Rushdoony] Another aspect in all of this is the Bauhaus buildings and homes very, very often have problems heating and cooling the premises. They are either too hot or too cold, but they cannot deal with them properly.

[Murray] The laws of physics are the same for everybody.

[Rushdoony] Yes. But they are going to make their own laws, because they are the new gods.

[Voice] {?} war with humanity, at war with themselves, at war with God.

[Rushdoony] Yes. We have come a long ways from the colonial and early American home which was built with a little room not that small, but a small room just inside the doorway. In the older houses it still survive. It is now a cloak room and that sort of thing, but it was a chapel. It was a chapel. It was near the door so that as people went in and out, apart from the family devotions, they could kneel there and say a prayer asking for God to bless them or thanking God for what had transpired that day.

We have come a long ways from that.

[Murray] Not very many people know that.

[Rushdoony] No. It is one of the forgotten facts. I believe that Eric Shroon wrote about it, but one of the very, very few who did.

Well, our time is almost over. Is there a last observation that each of you would like to make?

[Voice] Well, I probably should mention that architecture is an expression of the religious faith of its creator.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] And, of course, Rush, through the years you have emphasized the inescapably religious character of all of life, but I think our listeners need to remember that and it is true in all art forms and not to be seduced by the idea that art forms are somehow neutral. We need to inquire into the basis of the religious of the art, the religion of the art.

[Murray] Well, if you are going to build a house, find yourself a Christian carpenter.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

Let me urge you to order E. Michael Jones’ Living Machines. I think you will find it interesting reading and it behooves us as Christians to pay attention to works like this, because if we are going to bring all things into the kingdom of God, architecture, the key art, the art that affects living, that influences men in their way of living needs to be recaptured by Christians.

Well, God bless you all and thank you for listening.