Education and Power - RR148C6

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Lesson[edit]

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Education and Power
Course: Course - Philosophy of Christian Eduction in Christian Schools
Subject: Subject:Education
Lesson#: 6
Length: 1:28:39
TapeCode: RR148C6
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Philosophy of Christian Eduction in Christian Schools.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.


Patrick Henry was dying. He told his children that the richest and most joyful request he left them was the word of God, and faith therein. Patrick Henry had instructed his family, conscientiously and faithfully, and died joyfully, witnessing as he did to his doctor on his death bed, because the doctor, a friend, was an agnostic, and joyful in the knowledge that his children had a goodly inheritance in Christ and in their faith in Him.

We forget that education is the most basic inheritance that can be left to a child. If that education is not Christian, we have beggared our children and left them powerless. Our subject this evening is education and Power. Education means the training of the generations to come and the basic values, the goals, the faith, the standards of a society. As a result, the control of education is a central key to power. It’s not the power important key to power. The faith of any society whether you examine a tribe in the jungles of South America or Africa, or a country in Europe, or the New World, the faith of that country is made manifest in its education, because every people takes pains to educate their children in terms of their basic faith, and for our Christian not to give a Christian education to his child is to disinherit that child, to render that child impotent, powerless, as that child faces the world. [00:03:08]

The new church of modern man is the state and its schools...[edit]

The new church of modern man is the state and its schools. Hence, control of education is a state function and basic to the life of the state, to the religion of the state which is humanism. In order to control the future, it is important for any people or civil order to control its education. Thus, whenever any group aims at controlling the future, they seek immediately to control the education of that society. This was the reason for state control of education in this country. The pattern was borrowed from Prussia where, very early, as it was extended throughout Germany, it make Germany, once a most Christian country, a center of unbelief, and its universities famous for the unbelief they spread among all scholars who went there from all over the world. This system was copied from Prussia precisely because of that aspect, because it meant that the state could now altar the religion that governed the people. The faith could be changed from Christianity to humanism. The Christian thus, cannot tolerate humanistic education. Christ’s lordship requires action in education.

How does the state seek control? It does so by cutting the ground out from under the Christian position intellectually. One of the great fathers of humanism and also the father of sociology was August Comte. Comte, in his basic principles of sociology, formulated the thesis that mankind has gone through three stages in its cultural and intellectual evolution, from primitive to developed society. [00:06:21]

The first, the primitive stage, he said, is the stage...[edit]

The first, the primitive stage, he said, is the stage of religion. For Comte, this included all religions, from the most primitive forms of animism to Christianity. He identified all religion with myth, with superstition. The goal, he said, of religion is to seek to know the meaning of the universe and this, as we shall see, Comte regarded as an illegitimate and totally untenable goal. Mankind, Comte held, has too long been under the bondage of religion. It has too long lived, not in terms of reality but in terms of myth, and the greatest of all myths is the belief that there is meaning to the universe, and that this meaning can be known.

But, said Comte, as mankind developed, the second stage in the development of mankind was the stage of philosophy. Men began to outgrow, first among the Greeks and subsequently elsewhere, a belief in religion. They turned, instead, to philosophy and developed metaphysical systems, philosophical systems, but he said they had essentially remained in the same world intellectually, as man had in the stage of religion or myth. The reason for this, Comte said, is this: Mankind, in the period of philosophy, still {?} to explain the meaning of the universe, and every philosophy probed for meaning. They still, thus, were guilty of believing that there is a meaning out there. They were no longer ready to call that meaning God, perhaps, but they still assumed that there was some kind of order, some kind of meaning in the universe, so they were still living in terms of myths, the ultimate myth, that there is meaning, and now Comte said, “We are beginning to outgrow these two earlier stages of mankind’s intellectual history. [00:09:57]

The third state, or stage, in the development of man...[edit]

The third state, or stage, in the development of man, the final, the mature stage, he said, is the state of science, and with the dawn of science, man abandons, he held, the pressed for meaning. He recognizes that there is no meaning to anything. The universe is not rational. The universe, he held, is totally meaningless, and science therefore, cannot concern itself under any circumstances, with the meaning of anything. In the age of science, he said, man will seek technological methodology. Means, pragmatic means of using reality. The reality, ultimately if there is to be any meaningful sense of that term is man. Outside of man there is only brute factuality, meaningless facts, and all man can do with those meaningless facts is to use them for his own life, for his own advancement. Man, he held, must renounce the quest for truth. Man must deny that there is any meaning in any absolute sense. The meaning is the use. He must see meaning, thus, in a relative, in a pragmatic sense only. Education, accordingly, must be anti-religious and pragmatic. It must see the purpose of knowledge as instrumental.

John Dewey, of course, in one of his books, denounced the quest for certainty. He spoke of his philosophy not only as pragmatism, but also instrumentalism. William James, who preceded John Dewey said the truth is what works, what works for man. Frederick Nietzsche, who had a generation earlier, developed similar ideas, said, a lie is the truth if it works for me. That, I think, should pinpoint very clearly the direction of the modern world. It explains, I trust, why current day historiography has taken the direction is has. I mentioned to one or two you yesterday that, in Otto Scott’s book, The Professional, an excellent history of America in this century, he points out that there was never a Teapot Dome Scandal. It was just a congressional and media invention which railroaded a couple men into infamy when actually, the government had gotten better of the Teapot Dome deal. It was pure politics. One could go on and on and cite all kinds of things today which are not realities but are media inventions. One historian, Daniel Boorstin, has gone so far as to say that what we get in the newspapers today is manufactured news. [00:14:48]

Well, if truth is pragmatic, if it’s what works, and...[edit]

Well, if truth is pragmatic, if it’s what works, and if a lie is the truth if it serves you, then of course, this is all understandable, and this is at the heart of the modern faith, at the heart of Comte’s third stage. Comte’s three stages are accepted as a truism, as an obvious fact by modern scholars. It should not surprise us, therefore, if they put into practice that which they believe. Of course, if you deny meaning in God’s sense, you ultimate strip man of meaning also, because for man to exist in an ocean of meaninglessness means that, ultimately, man himself is meaningless.

It should not surprise us therefore, that this is the next step that educators have taken. If after all, the goal of education is power and the state controls education, it is not going to work to enhance the power of the individual, but of the state. Thus, Ross L. Finney, in his Sociological Philosophy of Education, has written thus, and I quote, “Physically, we, that is human beings, man, have become separate. Mentally, we remain but slightly differentiated participants in a common, social plasm. Each person acquires a mind of his own only as he participates in the social mind. The notion of a separate and independent ego is an illusion.” Of course, that’s pure Deweyism. You see, we are simply atoms in a social plasm. We do not have individual and separate personalities, persons and egos. We are only individuals in the sense that an atom in my body is a particular atom, but it has no life of its own. Thus, you see, meaning has been withdrawn from the universe. There is no God out there, no meaning out there, only brute factuality. The term brute factuality, let me explain, is a philosophical term which says that the universe is simply made up, or multiverse, of meaningless of facts, that all facts are accidental products of blind, meaningless evolution, have no relationship to any other facts and no meaning. A Christian does not believe in brute factuality but only in God-ordained and God-created factuality. First meaning was withdrawn from the world out there, and then from man. Man reduced to an atom in the social plasm, and that social plasm is the state. [00:19:04]

Now let’s consider the implications of this...[edit]

Now let’s consider the implications of this. The universe is meaningless and you are meaningless. Meaning is irrelevant. The truth is what works, and things have meaning only in the sense that they can be useful, so it’s more proper to speak not of meaning but of utility. In the very bald and naked sense such as western countries have not yet applied it, Stalin and his successors saw fit to use human beings as tools for the development of mines inside Siberia, the development of roads and other things through slave labor camps. They also saw fit, in the early 30’s, to kill through the forced collectivization and when the peasants resisted, withdrawing all food from them and allowing, they finally admitted, seven million to starve to death. Foreign observers and refugees have placed it closer to thirteen million. How is this dealt with? Stalin later spoke of that. He said some of the leaders had been overzealous, but in essence, he spoke of it as an experiment that had not worked. You see, there was no right, no wrong. People are simply instruments to be used, and since there is no meaning, no right, no wrong, then there is no ground for condemnation except to say this is an experiment that did not work out, so the next time we know that this is an experiment we don’t try. We don’t speak in a laboratory of experiments that don’t work as though they were sins. There’s no sin in a laboratory and, for Stalin, no sin in social experimentation.

As a matter of fact, let me add that when Stalin died and Khrushchev denounced in the first meeting the sins of Stalin, as a means of getting favor with the Russian populace, he was very hastily corrected by party theoreticians who said, “Don’t you realize what you have done? The implications of your remarks that there was a moral wrong are deadly. They undercut the premises of Marxism.” So Khrushchev, in his next speech, corrected himself and said what he was trying to say, he declared, was that was Stalin did was correct for his time but he was striking out at those who wanted to continue Stalinism because that was manifesting a rigidity. Times have changed and therefore, there was a different program for a different era. No meaning, hence, no right, no wrong, and hence, since there is no meaning and the truth, if you can speak of it as such, is the utility of a thing. Then your doctrine of salvation becomes one of externalism. A doctrine of externalism. [00:24:01]

Our faith tells us that salvation is a matter of the...[edit]

Our faith tells us that salvation is a matter of the heart. St. Paul makes it clear that he is a Jew, and Israelite, a member of the covenant, of the election of faith who is one inwardly, not outwardly. Mohamed, by the way, chose that verse of St. Paul to strike at it deliberately, and to declare he is a Muslim who is one outwardly, who conforms with a few simple rituals. This is one reason why, because of the modern externalism, we are increasingly subjected to more and more pro-Muslim propaganda. If there’s going to be a decent religion around, Islam is that religion, because it’s a religion of pure externalism. Now this religion of externalism we’re all familiar with. Pick up your daily paper and you will see, day by day, the program of salvation as outlined by this religion, humanism, Comte’s faith. He was the first one to formulate the term, the religion of humanity.

The other day, I saw in our California papers the headlines, Schools Bet on Cash to Stop Crime. Now, that’s the religion of humanism with its externalism. Salvation by externals. Congress appropriates funds to wage was on poverty, or crime, or diseases, whatever. Externalism, because even diseases we are increasingly recognize have psychosomatic origins. “A merry heart,” Solomon said a long time ago, “doeth good like medicine.” Externalism is now the answer for everything and, as a result, the university has kept in step with the times. It dethroned, as a part of this, first theology as the queen of the sciences, and then philosophy, and there are those within the university world that began very early in this century to challenge the legitimacy of philosophy in the educational curriculum. Philosophy, they said, is still hopelessly a part of the world of religion, still hopelessly concerned with meaning. Therefore, with God. [00:27:30]

Philosophy has been working hard to remedy that...[edit]

Philosophy has been working hard to remedy that. Bertrand Russell, although he was not entirely happy with all that his followers did, became unwittingly, to a degree, the Father of Logical Analysis, and you had that school of philosophy, of which Ludwig Lichtenstein, was perhaps the most famous representative and also Carnap, which confined itself to an analysis of the meaning of words. No more concern, you see, with the meaning of life, or of the universe, or with ethics and metaphysics.

The traditional concerns of philosophy were dropped entirely by this newer school which is, in one form or another, quite extensive throughout the world today. The entire concern became the meaning of words and, at the same time, making clear that words really didn’t represent anything. So, philosophy became a kind of intellectual game. At best, a means of sharpening tools for purely instrumental purposes for the use of social scientists.

The modern university is less and less concerned with meaning, with understanding, and more and more with the pragmatic use of things. If the Bible has a place in the modern university, it will be a course on the Bible as literature. Salvation is now by externalism, by technology, by methodology, and hence, more and more funds are expended on all sides as the means of salvation. You should not be upset that what legislators are doing and feel that they’re very unreasonable people. To us, it does seem absurd that they believe they can stem crime by externals, but they are true to their religious premises. They are thoroughly logical in terms of their faith. The problem in the situation is that we are not in consistent as they are. They believe in applying their faith consistently and systematically across the boards. If I may use the term, most of your humanists in the world today are hyper-fundamentalists. They take every jot and tittle of their faith very literally and apply it rigorously, whereas on our side, too many profess the fundamentals of our faith and too few apply them. [00:31:20]

This is why, of course, the answer, you see, in modern...[edit]

This is why, of course, the answer, you see, in modern humanism to all problems is an environmental answer. It’s not sin, it’s not the heart of man that is the problem. Why, that belongs to the world of meaning. The {?} says that it is the motivation, the inner man that is responsible. No, it is the environment, the parents, the society, the capitalists, the schools, the church. You name it, someone is to blame. There is some kind of lack of externals, something from the outside which needs to be supplied, and the plan of salvation is to supply it. Of course, this is picked up by children very, very early, and so when they are very young, they quickly pick up this belief that they’re not at fault, it’s some lack in their lives that’s to blame.

There is an illustration that I use in one of my earliest books, Intellectual Schizophrenia. Perhaps some of you are familiar with it, but it’s a delight to me. It was some years ago when I was still in the pastorate. During vacation bible school I had just come to that church. There was this boy who was bedeviling the teachers. He was really a terror. I was for throwing him out after the first day, but this woman who was the teacher, who was a very fine woman, but a little soft-headed, and sometimes was a little more mush than gospel in her head, insisted that she was going to do something. She could help that child. Well, she was a sucker for that boy. He just finished the third grade, was going into the fourth grade, and he sized her up for what she was and really bedeviled her. He pushed her, he needled her, he terrorized her, but towards the end of the class on Friday of the first week, he went a little too far and all the mush went out of her and she saw red. She lost her temper and she raced across the room with blood in her eyes, and he saw what was coming. He looked around and there was no way to escape, he was cornered. So he threw up his hands like this to defend himself and said, “Don’t you hit me! Don’t you hit me! What I need is love and affection!” He was well educated, and of course, I don’t think that is an isolated instance. I think there it came out more dramatically, but very quickly and easily our children pick up from everything in our world today from their parents, from television, from their neighbors, this state. “It’s not my fault. It’s such-and-such a person’s, or such-and-such a thing’s fault, it’s the environment’s.” [00:35:53]

Now, of course, I think you have perhaps recognized...[edit]

Now, of course, I think you have perhaps recognized what we’re dealing with. It’s original sin. Man tried to be his own god, the determiner of what is right and wrong, and when confronted by God {?} the environment, what did Adam say? “Lord, it’s not my fault. The woman thou gavest to be with me, she did give me and I did eat. It’s not my fault, it’s the environment, in particular, the woman, and whose fault is it really? Yours. The woman who thou gavest to be with me. How dare you put me in such a bad environment, with a woman!” And of course, what did Eve say? Same answer. “Lord, you know I’m a sweet, innocent, helpless woman. I wouldn’t for the life of me do wrong, but that sweet-talking serpent did give me and I did eat. You know I’m the soul of innocence.” Environmentalism, externalism, you see? So humanism is simply the old sin {?} large.

Humanism is the gospel of the state and the gospel of the schools, and its plan of salvation involves externalism. It involves dealing with sin as though it’s never the fault of the individual, and so today your criminals have picked up this kind of language and vindicate and justify themselves, and they’re treated as though they are the victims. Increasingly, throughout the country in many, many states, not always openly, criminals are treated by state authorities as the victims. They are given all kinds of privileges. They’re given vacations. They’re allowed to take their girlfriend or their wife and fly to a particular island, this may surprise you, for an all-expense vacation. Society is trying to make it up to them. [00:38:46]

I live in California and I have never yet felt I could...[edit]

I live in California and I have never yet felt I could afford to fly to Santa Catalina Island for a vacation. I’m told it’s a very beautiful place. No cars allowed, very quaint place, there’s still a herd of buffalo in the mountains on the islands, beautiful, but did you know there are hardened convicts with life terms who regularly get flown there to have an all-expense paid vacation with their girlfriends? Isn’t it wonderful? Think how much good you’re doing for those poor people. Now that’s a plan of salvation in action, and of course, I have seen from the files of one friend, politician, who has made this matter, the treatment of criminals throughout the United States and abroad, a study, because he’s so bitter about it as a Christian. I have seen, from his files, pictures of the rooms and the facilities in some of the newest prisons. Swimming pools, tennis courts, badminton courts, handball courts, color TV in their rooms. Well, I don’t know why they bother to escape. We’re making it up, you see, with our humanistic plan of salvation to those poor victims of those nasty people out there.

Now, when you have this kind of plan of salvation, and when the state dedicates itself to this plan of salvation by externalism, a belief that sin is in the environment rather than in the heart of man, you will work to exclude from education everything to the contrary. Even if it offends a great many of your citizens, you’re not going to allow even the slightest Bible reading in the schools, or the slightest prayer because it militates against what your religion is. Moreover, you’re going to be more and more intolerant of that faith because its existence in the state threatens the life of the state. It is a religion that, if it succeeds, means the death of your faith and so, as a humanist, you’re going to say in your heart, “That faith must perish.” You will dedicate your faith to its destruction. You will be fearfully alarmed that at every school that arises to teach the contrary, to teach a plan of salvation such as is propounded in that book of myths, the Bible, you will do everything to undercut them, to control them without letting them know how radical your intentions are. What a fearful religion it is when it speaks of a person, known as Jesus, who made such a wild statement as to say, “I am the truth.” He not only affirmed this world of myth, you see? But he said he was it. “All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made.” Can’t you see the offense of all this to a humanist? It is as intolerable to them as anything can be. [00:43:31]

Education for them is a power...[edit]

Education for them is a power. You’ve got to give them credit for intelligence. Not for character, they’re reprobate, but for intelligence. They see the issue, they recognize that education is power. It is control of the future, and as a result, they’re out to control that future and to do in all those that stand against them, and what must we say to these things? Well, let’s turn back the pages of history to the time of scripture. The days of Augustus Caesar, when Augustus Caesar has consolidated his power, his advent was celebrated. Let’s pause for a moment to consider the significance of that word, “advent.” It means coming. Originally, the word and sometimes you still see it in older books, for Christmas was the advent, and for the second coming, the second advent. You still have it in the name of the denomination, the Second Adventists. In many respects, that older usage is far better. Advent and second advent. They were, from Antiquity, religious terms. Caesar Augustus’s advent was proclaimed. There was a religious celebration in Rome, and out from Rome went messengers to every corner of the Empire to celebrate the full power of Augustus Caesar with his proclamation. Hear it: There is none other name under heaven by which men may be saved than the name of Augustus Caesar. Does that ring a bell?

When we turn to Acts 4:12, we find that when the apostles were preaching and “the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide. And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, and Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, if we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.” And then, in that twelfth verse, a declaration of war against Rome, against the Sanhedrin, against the entire world of his day, Peter declared, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” [00:49:16]

Now do you know why Rome persecuted the church? The...[edit]

Now do you know why Rome persecuted the church? The war was inescapable, it was inevitable. Peter knew it, and in the name of Christ, he set forth the claims of Christ. None other name. It’s still the issue, and today it’s still Caesar who says salvation is of us, in our name, by our expenditures of cash, by our environmentalism, and since there is none other name under heaven by which men may be saved in the name of the state and its programs, all who stand against it are obstructionists. They are people who belong to Comte’s world, of myths, of religion, of superstitions. Their students might have a better grasp of data on achievement tests than our pupils, but they’ve missed everything. They’re living in the Dark Ages of the first stage of mankind, and we’re trying to bring them up into the modern world. We cannot have the Dark Ages brought back and allowed to govern our days. Everything that the modern humanists are doing is justified in terms of their faith, is logical in terms of their presupposition, is necessary if they’re going to survive. We have two rival plans of salvation, two rival doctrines of power at work. Two rival plans of inheritance. The state wants to bless the children through its humanism. The state believes that the blessedness of the generations to come is through the deliverance from what you represents, and either you’ll do battle with them to victory or they will destroy you. We are in a war. It’s the same war that began in the Garden of Eden. Of the final outcome of that war, there can be no doubt. The only question in this battle is this: What are you doing for the Lord in this war? Are there any questions now? [00:53:06]

[Audience] {?}

[Rushdoony] The question is this: Comte went further to say that, in terms of an organized sociological plan, it would take approximately fourteen generations to accomplish this deliverance of mankind from the world of meaning, of faith into the world of pure pragmatism and utilitarianism. We are in approximately the seventh generation since Comte, and the question is do you believe that it does constitute an organized plan? Comte did try to set up an organized directorate to implement this plan, but like all humanists, they were at each other’s throats in a hurry and most of them decided very quickly that Comte was more than a little insane, and that sociology and Comte had to be rescued from Comte. They were right about his insanity. For a good deal of his later life, he spent considerable time daily in a little chapel in his home worshiping a dead woman. I won’t go into more about that but if you want to read about a really crazy man, read about Comte. Now, as a result of that, the idea of an organized directorate quickly failed, but the faith was picked up. It is basic to the whole world of the modern university, and that’s much more effective when everybody is trying to implement it, instead of an organized group, then it wouldn’t function as well, but now everybody in his place, virtually, in the modern world of intellectuals and politicians, and bureaucrats have Comte’s dreams very much at heart. Yes?

[Audience] {?} [00:56:27]

[Rushdoony] The question is would I comment on the...[edit]

[Rushdoony] The question is would I comment on the Red Chinese in terms of this? There’s a very, very interesting book, The Thought Revolution. The Thought Revolution, by a young man who escaped from Red China. He was in the diplomatic service. When he was sent to an African country he defected at once, and he has a horrifying account of what life is like in Red China, and of course, it is precisely in terms of this kind of thing, externalism. In fact, someone who was a friend of his and told him that he expected, this friend, to be at the top of the heap, not too long after Mao Tse Tung died. Told this author, and I think his name was Sun So, to get out, because he was too interested in the idea of truth, ever to make a good communist.

Now I hesitate to tell you how he illustrates what is meant by this. If my wife were here she’d tell me to shut up, but I’ll try to do it as delicately as possible. As a university student, he said they were regularly put on work detail. So that, he said, they spent as little time as possible actually working as students at the university. They were sent out to help with the harvest, or to help with some irrigation ditch construction, of road building, and what-not, and he said that a few years ago, hunger always a part of Red China, became especially extreme, and as a result, the food that was normally fed to pigs, the basic meat in China, had to be fed to humans, and they had to use human waste as the food for pigs, and the students were asked to volunteer to carry this from every home to the pig styes. Of course, when the students were asked to volunteer, it meant they did it {?}. Now, he said, as you went from door to door and collected these in huge ten gallon tins, male and female students, with one arm, each shoulder on a short pole, and you walked across the pig styes which were very sloppy, you very often stumbled and fell and everything came right down all over you, and showers were not plentiful, and he said, “Now, you’ve proved you’re a good communist. If you are such an accomplished hypocrite, that at the next self-examination meeting, you could get up and give a testimonial,” because these self-examination meetings were testimonials, and the party authorities would sit and beam with delight and say of the person who did, “This young man,” or “That young man is going places.” What did it take? You got up there and described what happened when you slipped and fell on the mud and slop and then all this waste came tumbling on you, and you would get up and testify, “When this happened, I became very angry and upset, and all kinds of vile thoughts went through my mind, and then I felt a surge of shame, to think that I had, by my carelessness, wasted something that was so essential to the revolution, and so I felt ashamed of my bourgeois thoughts, and I was grateful that I had the example of our leader, Mao Tse Tung, the party chairman, to correct my thoughts.” Now, if you could do that with a show of great sincerity, you were a good communist because you were an accomplished hypocrite. You see, nothing had any meaning for you. There was no truth, there was no honestly, nothing. [01:01:42]

An example of the same thing from the Soviet Union...[edit]

An example of the same thing from the Soviet Union, is the account by a recent defector, a KGB captain entitled Inside the KGB by Captain Myagkov, in which he says, again there are no believers left in the Soviet Union, in communism, in the hierarchy, only accomplished hypocrites. And this is what this externalism ultimately produces. You cannot believe in truth. You cannot, therefore, believe in integrity and sincerity. You turn hypocrisy into a virtue just as you turn a lie into a virtue, and that seems a staggering thing but we cannot grasp what we are dealing with until we can begin to comprehend that mentality. Any other questions? Yes?

[Audience] {?}

[Rushdoony] I don’t know what {?} what he has come up with lately, but in California, he was a humanistic conservative in his program. That was the essence of it. Now we were grateful for what he did, up to a degree. He was a lot easier to live with than what we’ve had since, but I think part of our problem today is that our present superintendent of schools for the state was an appointee, Rafferty, who felt he had to have the left as well represented as the right, on his staff. So, there were some people who were glad to see him leave. Any other questions? Yes? [01:04:21]

[Audience]

[Rushdoony] Well, to a degree there was a Christian element in traditional education, but traditional education, as I implied in an earlier talk, had, as its foundation, a basically Greco/Roman curriculum. It was not ever sufficiently revised to represent clearly and unequivocally the Christian faith. As a result, there were always the seeds of humanism in it. What we need is a radical reworking of the curriculum, and I believe we4 will come to it, step by step. You can’t do it overnight. Remember I referred to whip socket, buggy whip socket at education. The first cars were still simply buggies, even having the buggy whip socket in the front but they just had a motor added. The traditional education, classical, placed the further along you went, the emphasis on the classics, not on scripture. On classical languages, not on biblical languages. For example, Greco/Roman philosophy held that, basic to the universe is not God, the idea of God in Greek philosophy was a limiting concept. I won’t take time to go into the meaning of a limiting concept, but it meant that they had the god idea as a useful thing by they didn’t believe in God.

Form and matter were ultimate in the universe, and geometry was a study of the basic forms that governed reality. Therefore, geometry was held to be apart from any utility it might have to be important for the training of the mind. Now, I enjoyed plane geometry. I didn’t enjoy solid geometry as much, I don’t know trigonometry, partly because I wasn’t as good. But, what use is it to most students, you see. Very little. Unless you’re going to teach it, or unless you’re going into certain very limited fields, you don’t need it, but everybody needs economics because you live in a world where you have to deal with household expenses. With money. You need to study law, because you live in a world of law. The family is a law sphere. The school is a law sphere. The school is a law sphere. The church is a law sphere. The state is a law sphere. The material world around us is a law sphere. You need to know law, but you see, we never teach it. We can go on and cite things that are basic to our lives that the classical curriculum never taught because it reflected not the world of scripture, but the world of the Greeks. It’s a very obsolete curriculum. Now I will be touching on this in one of our, I think, our next evening meeting, so I’ve jumped ahead a bit, but I think this will give you an idea. Why the old curriculum, the classical curriculum, while it’s far superior to what we have today, was still not the answer. You have to have a curriculum that places the word of God at the center, and then makes it basic in every subject. This is why, in the first issue of our Journal of Christian Reconstruction, we had an article on “God and Mathematics, or What Does God Have to Do With Numbers,” because we felt that, that issue being devoted to the doctrine of creation, we wanted to make clear how basic God was to every aspect of creation. Are there any other questions? Yes? [01:09:33]

[Audience] {?}

[Rushdoony] The question is, if in the next few years, the Christians win their court battles, what do you think the state will do? I don’t know, but I never, never underestimate the intense religious zeal of the statist educators. In the Ohio Christian school’s watchman, Alan Goldberg{?} points out there how the statist educators are bewildered by the attitude of Christian schoolmen. They feel they’re doing what they’re doing for our own welfare and our children’s welfare. They really believe it. You’ve got to give them credit for that. They’re acting as earnestly out of their faith as we are out of ours, even more so, more intensely, so they’re going to try it one way of another, to advance their faith. As a result, I think you can expect some other step{?}. However, there is this in our favor: Every new child you get in the Christian school, you have two parents, usually, who will be advocates of Christian schools and therefore, in terms of their voting, will be concerned about it. In some states, this is already being felt, and this is why it is wise to instruct your parents. Now, some of the radical humanists are already suggesting that the thing to do is to start creating their own school systems. [01:11:47]

How many of them will go along with this, I don’t know...[edit]

How many of them will go along with this, I don’t know, but this suggestion has actually been proposed, and a book on the subject by a Californian was written. As a matter of fact, it was proposed that where they couldn’t find enough to organize a school, they educate their own children, and how to go about doing it, and I’ll describe it very briefly to you to give you an idea how serious they are about this. Described a number of cases where this was done. When you move, just take your children’s transfer papers and some schools don’t bother even to check on what happens, and never enter them into another school but start teaching them yourself, and as long as they’re not out in the streets during school hours, who knows the difference? And the book reported one mother who made the mistake of going to her ten-year-old boy to the supermarket during school hours. He had done all his lessons for the day in about three or four hours in the morning, and so he was through, and so she took him with her to the supermarket, and a couple women bustled up and demanded to know why her son wasn’t in school, and she went {?} and they apologized and walked off. The poor mother had a retarded boy. {laughter} You see, the humanists take seriously what they are doing. This is the sort of thing they are resorting to, and they are producing a literature of this sort. So, they mean business. Yes?

[Audience] {?}

[Rushdoony] These lectures that I’m giving, plus more material, will be out in book form, I hope, within two years. It will be a philosophy of education and of the curriculum.

[Audience] {?}

[Rushdoony] I don’t know who the publisher will be. It could be {?} Press, or it could be any one of several publishers. It will depend on which one, at the moment, isn’t tied up with one of my books, because I sometimes have two or three in the press. Yes?

[Audience] {?} [01:15:33]

[Rushdoony] The question is, is the average fundamentalist...[edit]

[Rushdoony] The question is, is the average fundamentalist aware that the major part of the battle lies in the area of thought? No. And they need to be so instructed. This is why, and I’m glad you brought it up, the Christian school should seek to instruct not only the parents, but the pastors. Christian schools and colleges should have seminars for pastors who instruct them in what’s going on. To make them aware of the implications of Christian education and the battle between humanism and Christianity, because they have the ears of the people. There are more people in church on any given Sunday in the United States than have ever voted in any national election. Think of the power of the pulpit, and a very large percentage of those are fundamentalists, because, while numerically there are a great many on the books for modernist churches, there are not many in attendance on any given Sunday. Yes?

[Audience] What degree of militancy, or lack of, would you {?} most as far as Christian {?} humanist?

[Rushdoony] What degree of militancy should we exercise? Well, it depends on what you mean by militancy. I read today a long document from another state that was going, part of it to the state board of education, or an officer thereof, and I was thoroughly delighted with it. It was a magnificent statement theologically, and it was also the essence of sweet reasonableness. It was an offer, by the state, to take over the schools really, an invitation to do so and saying, “This is the law,” and so on, and it was a “thank you, we appreciate your concern to have us on the state board,” and so on and so forth, “but this council does represent, you see, a violation of certain principles that are essential to us.” And it went on from there to make a tremendous statement of the principles involved. Now militancy does not mean being obnoxious. It means a firm stand, and doesn’t mean being stupidly aggressive. It means making a forthright godly stand, and manifesting therein the power and the grace of our Lord. It’s always possible to win some people on the other side in the process, and I have seen this happen in some cases. [01:19:21]

In fact, I know of cases where some officials have...[edit]

In fact, I know of cases where some officials have come into a school to throw their weight around and tick off the administrator of the school, and they’ve been met very graciously but very firmly. They’ve been escorted around and shown the school. They’ve been told why, on principle, they cannot do what the state is requesting. Well, of course, it has not stopped the state from proceeding with what they’re doing but, in a few cases, they’ve won a child or two, and the child of the person who comes in to lay down the law to them. Now, that’s a victory, and it’s an important one, and that’s the kind of victory we need to win. Sometimes, we can win a victory in too costly a way. We can win it in a godly, and a gracious manner. Yes?

[Audience] I just wanted to point out that the book is available in the bookstore {?}, order it {?} bookstore as well {?} sold out {?}

[Rushdoony] Well, the question is how I produce a book. I’m always studying because I’m interested in something. I want to explore something, I want to know what God’s word is {?}, so I’m continually reading. I read and mark, and index in the back of the book some two hundred fifty, three hundred books every year. Apart from that, as I get books, and I have about 20,000 or so books in my personal library. As I get each book, I spend two or three hours browsing through it, reading an entire chapter here and there and getting the flavor of the whole book, and then if I feel it’s important for me to read it meticulously and mark it, and index it, I will go back and do it at a later date. Now, as I do this reading, there are certain subjects and concerns that become very important to me, both for this reading and for my daily devotional reading. [01:22:24]

Let me add the background to this[edit]

Let me add the background to this, much earlier when I first went into the ministry, I began every morning to tell myself I owed myself between three and four hours of Bible study. That if I, because of the press of pastoral work, could not give that much time, then I had to make it up later. Sometimes I’d end up very much in the hole and then I’d have to spend a great deal of time making it up. Well, what I would do, I started, for example, with the book of Genesis. I read the first chapter through, very carefully, and I began to make notes on it. Then I went to every commentary I had and read what they had to say on Genesis 1, and then I made notes on what they had to say. So, I would wind up with quite a few pages of notes. I wasn’t thinking about using this for preaching. I was concerned with exploring, in depth, every chapter in scripture, one by one. Well, I gave up that particular method when I, acquired after not too many years, about twenty-six or seven, overstuffed binders full of notes, but I have continued the studying, and I’m back again after I don’t know how many times, on Genesis, and this time I’m going through Genesis with quite a remarkable commentator, Cassuto, an orthodox Jew in Jerusalem, one of the great Old Testament scholars of our day. He has some very remarkable insights because of his tremendous grasp of the Hebrew and to some nuances of meaning.

Well, when I’m asked to speak somewhere, unless I’m extremely pushed for time, I will write out in advance all the lectures I’m going to give. Then after I’ve given them, I will go back and rework them, in terms of the questions that have been asked, so that the questions have always a part in the final draft. This will then become a part of a book on the subject. Now, the book on education to which I’ve referred has been about, oh, seven, eight years in the making. I have, I really don’t know off-hand, how many books, eight to ten of them, in process this way. I had to give a series of lectures at a seminary on ethics, Christian ethics. I’ve got about six or eight chapters on that. I have a number now, in fact, my wife just finished typing it the day before I left on the doctrine of infallibility. That will be a little paperback, and it will be the first section of a whole series on systematic theology. [01:26:20]

So, this is how my books get written, and wherever...[edit]

So, this is how my books get written, and wherever I go, I carry about a suitcase full of books and read steadily, and usually wind up with a heavier suitcase before I go home, and sometimes have to beg my host to mail some of the books home for me, because there is no way of getting everything into my suitcases unless I leave some clothing behind. So, this is how I operate. So, every one of my books represents, virtually, a great deal of lecturing and then reworking the lectures. The only exception to that was the book on the One and the Many, and By What Standard. But even the book on epistemology, a technical area of philosophy entitled The Word of Flux, was in itself, a series of lectures which are available on tape. These were given both to Christian layman and laywomen, as well as to seminary students. So, while the written text is more designed for philosophy classes, the tapes are directed towards the average listener.

Well, I think our time is more than passed. Thank you. [01:27:59]

End of tape.