Euthanasia - EC344

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Euthanasia
Course: Course - Easy Chair Series
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 42
Length: 0:53:46
TapeCode: ec344
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 344, August 9, 1995.

In this session Douglas Murray, Andrew Sandlin and Mark Rushdoony and I will be discussing euthanasia. I am not happy about discussing this, rather saddened by the fact that it is an issue of importance and one that should be discussed.

In my college days I recall vividly that one of the things that marked Adolf Hitler and made his philosophy so detestable was the practice of euthanasia. And it was regarded as indicative of the evil of Nazism, that and abortion. And now people who consider themselves to be liberal and enlightened are not only in favor of abortion, but now euthanasia. And the question that was raised in my youth as against the whole Nazi philosophy and one which was shared by virtually everyone in this country was: If the state once decides that certain people, the elderly, the extremely sick or the mentally retarded, as under Hitler, can be executed, then what is to prevent them from saying people, this or that racial background or color should not also be executed? Because once you have broken a barrier, it is simply a question of the state determining who it wants to get rid of.

So the subject is a grim on. Once you breach the barrier then there is no restraint whatsoever. Once you say that not God but man decides who shall die, then the society is going to go down the drain.

I should add that there are too many people even in the church now, Catholic and Protestant, who don’t know that God says that whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed. [00:03:04]

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] So we are seeing a serious situation where for lack of knowledge of the Bible and out of purely humanistic and sentimental concerns people are ready to advocate euthanasia.

Douglas, would you like to comment on the subject?

[Murray] Well, I... I don’t mean to trivialize it, but as you were speaking there almost a thought popped into my mind that perhaps memorandums should be send to some of these churches to remind them of God’s law, because ...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] ...they apparently don’t bother to read the Bible. Euthanasia is a very troubling subject. I have recently had to... well, actually over the past couple of years have had to deal with this subject in relation to my mother is very seriously ill the past two years and in a convalescent home. And I was... the first doctor that she had called me at 11 o'clock at night. I had never met this man in my life, wouldn’t know him if I saw him on the street and he is pitching me with the fact that I should sign a do not resuscitate form for my own mother. And I was enraged and I fired him. And I got the next doctor I got, I said, “Don’t bring up the subject.” You and I are going to fight.

[Rushdoony] Yeah.

[Murray] But you get it from, quotes, health professionals.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] And I have... that... that word sticks in my throat.

[Rushdoony] Absolutely.

[Murray] You know, health professionals who are supposed to preserve life are now dedicated to ending it.

[Voice] Who are more interested in their profession than health.

[Murray] Yeah. And ... and... and the purpose is for the convenience of the medical profession.

[Voice] Right.

[Murray] For the convenience of the apparatus that is supposed to take care of.... of people of advanced age. So needless to say, I didn’t sign any of these forms until it, you know, got to the point where my mother was, you know, being.... her time was... had come and then when I was in the room I got there. I drove all night to get to my mother’s bedside in Seattle and I got there about an hour before she died and I was holding her hand and reciting the Lord’s Prayer and the hospital administrator came in with these forms and demanded that I sign them and I threw her out of the room and I told my brother, “You stand guard at the door.”

[Rushdoony] Absolutely.

[Murray] And, you know, whatever is going to happen is going to happen.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] I don’t want anybody in this room, because I am ready to swing.

[Rushdoony] Good.

[Murray] It is... it is... I mean, you are just stunned. You can’t... it ... it is very difficult to believe that the... the... the crass level of insensitivity that these people have.

[Voice] That is right.

[Murray] It is a business to them.

[Voice] Absolutely. [00:06:23]

[Murray] It is purely a business to them...[edit]

[Murray] It is purely a business to them. But, you know, the... the... the... the... I am amazed particularly on television recently. We have had instances where new born babes have been left in trash cans. And this is...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] ...probably not a new phenomenon. It probably happened in biblical times up to the present, but what strikes me is that when television reporters go and interview man on the street interview, what do you think about this, they don’t know what to think about it. And, you know, it all goes back to when this abortion ruling was handed down by the Supreme Court I just, you know, intuitively felt that, you know, we have gone around a big bend. We have gone over a big hill here.

[Voice] Yes.

[Murray] And it is going to have major repercussions down the line in the way people view the sanctity of life. And today among the general public there is no sanctity of life. They think more of their dogs...

[Voice] That is right.

[Murray] ...than they do of members of their own family.

[Voice] Absolutely.

[Murray] And now you have 911 emergency people who are in the ridiculous situation of being required to give mouth to mouth or CPR, resuscitation to animals and yet they have to follow the dictates of signed agreements not to resuscitate certain people.

[Voice] Yes, well, this is a theological problem as all problems are, because man wants to vest himself with God’s sovereignty. I mean, that is the problem. Man wants to play God. When man no longer believes in the sovereign God of authoritative Scripture, then he wants to vest himself with that authority. And that is why life is considered so cheap today, because if you lose a proper view of God you are not going to have a proper view of man as Rush has pointed out for so many years. So this is ... we can’t just bring up some Roman Catholics and natural law people and any other center it just on the suffering and problems of man. The problem is a theological problem. Men have a wrong view of God, a defective view of God and that is why they treat their fellow man so wickedly.

[Voice] You know, I might have a slightly different view of this because I think sometimes we... we confuse some of the... the issues involved. Of course, there is obviously the euthanasia where you are actively killing people which is, I believe, legal in the Netherlands. I am sure it goes on more... in more cases than we are really aware. And, of course, then there is the Kevorkian type of assisted suicide. However, there is the other element of allowing people to die naturally without a lot of artificial machines assistance. And I... I... I am... I am not totally against letting someone die without hooking them to a respirator if that is their wish. [00:09:50]

If you believe in heaven and you don’t believe that...[edit]

If you believe in heaven and you don’t believe that living an extra day, an extra week, an extra month is the most important thing, then you may be willing to accept that. And I think people have a right to determine what kind of medical care or lack thereof they receive. And sometimes doctors could go to an extreme of sign... like you say, sign the papers or they can go to the other extreme of let’s hook them up to this machine. Let’s get this going. We will do this and that. And this may not be what the individual wants. If ... if you don’t want, you know, abscessed tooth removed, you have the right to be miserable.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ...and in pain. You have the right to the type of medical care that you want. And I don’t think that we should say that there is an absolute moral necessity that we have to do everything medically possible....

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] prolong someone’s life. But that is a separate issue form euthanasia.

[Voice] Yes, someone else is...

[multiple voices]

[Voice] However, I have noticed in that... the pro life groups how awfully confused the... the... the issue. And that is because...

[multiple voices]

[Voice] There is a matter: Are you going to prevent someone from going on an artificial life system? Then there is another whole moral issue. Once somebody is put on an artificial life support system, do you remove them?

Twenty years ago there was a famous case Karen Ann Quinlan. I mean, she was a household word for months because a legal debate went on and on and on. This was a girl who took drugs and alcohol. She was in a coma and vegetative thing. And the... the argument, the legal battle was, if you remove this girl, you are committing murder because she will die if you remove her from artificial life support systems. The family, I believe it was the family, won the case. She was allowed to be removed from the artificial life support system. Lo and behold, the medical experts were wrong. She lived for just about a year after that.

[Voice] Well, the difficulty is knowing when man is interfering with God’s will and knowing when... whether you understand what the, you know, the... it is God’s will that someone is to die. This is, you know, what the medical ethicists are supposedly grappling with.

But I think most people, most reasonable people know when that time is. But when you hand this, when you write a blank check to a... whether it is a hospital or to someone else, then you are... I think you are on dangerous grounds. [00:12:43]

[Voice] The... the... the reasons hospitals legally like to have those forms is because once they put someone on a machine, then it is a much more difficult legally...

[Voice] Sure.

[Voice] ... it is a... it is a very difficult question on can they remove them from that machine. And that is when the court cases appear. It is the same thing is if somebody has a heart attack and you start CPR. If you are trained in CPR, legally, you are required to continue CPR and there are several conditions. One if you are too physically exhausted and you cannot continue or someone else continue that is... that comes in that is qualified to take over for you or a qualified medical personnel declares that person to be dead. Otherwise, legally, if you start CPR on someone and you stop, you are in serious legal {?}. And it is.... it ... and it becomes that much more involved if a hospital hooks someone up to a machine.

[Voice] Ok.

[Voice] So part of the problem here is the assumption that man and the medical profession in specifically controls life or death.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] And that... that is the problem is when we are saying we are determining whether this person lives or dies.

[Voice] You made the statement...

[Voice] And as I... I believe it is a whole different issue if someone is hooked up to a machine versus the problem I sometimes have is I hear about these cases where people are in a coma. Their eyes can follow individuals. Sometimes they can maybe even squeeze a hand. They are conscious, but they have a feeding tube, because they cannot... now lots of people who are... can even talk can’t feed themselves, because they use their arms. And the hope... what... what happens to the whole question of do we stop the feeding tube and let them starve to death? Because that is what is being done very often because relatives say, “They wouldn’t want to live like this.”

[Voice] Well, it is the advent of advances in medical technology that cause many of these problems. Two hundred years ago we wouldn’t even be discussing this to a large degree.

[Voice] Rush, we are...

[Rushdoony] Shortly after the war I became better acquainted with a minister, an older man who had been in a coma in a hospital for six months, wasn’t conscious the whole time. And he did recover, was able with a cane to get around, tolerably well. And subsequently became a chaplain in an old folks home. It was a most amazing recovery. [00:15:39]

On the other hand, in the early ...[edit]

On the other hand, in the early 50s I knew this man who had taught science and had a very considerable knowledge of things medical who had had a series of light strokes. And he told his wife very emphatically, “I know enough to be able to tell when a stroke is coming. And when the big one comes, just let me die in bed here. I will go quickly. And I will let you know,” because he said, “I have learned with all the series of strokes I have had since I retired, a great deal about what is happening.”

Well, this one day he told his wife, “This is it, the big one. Let me die here at home.”

Well, the married daughter was a true blue liberal and she came over as soon as her mother called her and persuaded her mother to call an ambulance and take him to the hospital where he lived for months. And instead of having enough money to live on for the rest of her life, it cost her all the money that she... her husband had saved up and the lovely house they had. Then she had to move in with that daughter who made her life miserable because she felt imposed upon.

Now, I do think that the problem we have is that both in continuing life and in trying to cut it off, men are trying to play God.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] And both efforts are really immoral.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] It was very sad, the case of that widow. She was now in a church that was modernist to the core. Everything that she heard offended her and upset her. She did not like her daughter’s very liberal ideas with regard to everything including child care. It was total misery for that woman. And the daughter created the situation. [00:18:32]

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] Well, I think the answer, at least what I arrived at is that we each individually have to take responsibility for giving our very best effort, our best good faith effort...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ... to understand God’s will.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] And that is the best you can do.

[Rushdoony] Just pray about it and make your decision. That is what we have to do when we are faced with something like that.

[Voice] Because man is not omnipotent and man is not omniscient.

[Rushdoony] No.

[Voice] Mark mentioned something I want to pick up on. You know, a lot of natural law advocates oppose euthanasia and abortion because they believe that life has infinite value, life has... human life is infinitely valuable. We need to oppose that. I don’t like the idea of pro life. Perhaps we should say pro law.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] Because the important thing is not... the most important issue is not that a life is being taken, but that God’s law is being broken. And we... we can’t defend it on a natural law basis, but on a biblical law basis.

[Rushdoony] There was a prominent theologian in Germany who in the last century developed a theology which was centered around the believe in the infinite value of the human soul.

Well, we cannot make man’s life equal to God.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] And ... and we cannot speak of its infinite value.

[Voice] Only God’s life is of infinite...

[Rushdoony] What we have to say where human life is concerned we have to go by God’s law, because if we decide that we are going to make the decisions, then we have taken a wrong turn and the world is going to suffer.

[Voice] Also we can fall into terrible inconsistencies like Ron Cider.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] You know well about Ron Cider who opposes abortion, supposedly, but also opposes capital punishment, you see, because he is pro life. For him it is man that is the center of the universe and therefore he has to oppose abortion and has to oppose, he says, capital punishment. That is why we have to be pro law and not specifically pro life. It is God’s law that is paramount and not man’s life that is paramount.

[Voice] There is another uglier side to euthanasia which we haven’t gotten into which I will lay the more classical understanding of the shaping of a society, the shaping of the demographics of a society through euthanasia.

Those of us old enough to remember World War II became aware of what Hitler was trying to do in shaping the demographics in Germany and this seems to be repeated over and over again to one degree or another. You mentioned before about the Netherlands. I know {?} by the Netherlands, but the... the general understanding is... is that one of the reasons that people 50 years old and older won’t go to hospital in the Netherlands is because they a less than even chance of getting out alive. So they come to the United States or go to England or anywhere else. [00:21:52]

So what it boils down to is that it is for the convenience...[edit]

So what it boils down to is that it is for the convenience of the state.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] Simply because in their view they don’t have room enough for everybody. Well, now you jump out of that microcosm to what we have here in the United States. The liberals have decided that we don’t have enough resources that humans are fouling the air and fouling the water and fouling the land and ... and so forth and therefore have to be controlled like you would control the number of animals in a cage or in a zoo.

So it has broader implications which are now being carried forward. Where it is going to go, I don’t know. But it has ominous signs for the future and has to be opposed.

[Voice] In some of these cases you hear about you will hear their family members interviewed and it is not really a question of are they alive or not, but, you know, my son or my husband would not want to live with a lack of a quality of life. In other words...

[Voice] Those words are being put into their mouths by, quotes, health care professionals.

[Voice] Right. Right.

[Voice] People who make that stuff up.

[multiple voices]

[Voice] You talk about the quality of life and ... and then you have other people saying, “Well, being paralyzed, being in a coma is not the quality of life. This person was a vibrant, active individual.”

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] athletic person. Therefore I don't believe that they would want to... to live with this quality of life. And, again, it is all centered on man and really man’s convenience, not with his morals.

[Voice] Also I have to tell you there is greed involved in the process.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] Over the past couple of years and right though this situation with my mother, I found out that for the first 90 days, you know, under Medicare, assuming you are over 65 Medicare pays the bulk of the hospital bill. After 90 days, in other words, if you are in a convalescent home for an extended period of time that drops... drops away.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] And you become private pay until you run out of money. Well, I found out that in this particular convalescent hospital they have three wings. There is the private pay wing and there is the Medicare wing. Now the Medicare wing the convalescent hospital can bill the government 170 dollars a day. In the private pay wing they can only bill 100 dollars a day. Plus, during the first 90 day period when you first go into a convalescent hospital, they pitch the family on particularly if you are a stroke victim on rehabilitation. [00:24:51]

So you go through a ...[edit]

So you go through a 15 to 20,000 dollar rehab program which is all billed to the federal government. And in 99 percent of the cases it doesn't do the person any good, because once you have had the stroke, you know, the mental processes are gone. All the rehab in the world isn’t going to get that back.

So you follow the money and you find out that there is good old fashioned greed involved.

[Voice] Right.

[Voice] In other words, you need to churn the patients in convalescent hospitals and keep a fresh crop coming in so that they can get that 15 to 20,000 dollars worth of Medicare billings for rehabilitation and they can bill 170 dollars a day instead of 100 dollars a day. So you are talking big, big money when you look at it nationally. Hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And there have been exposés of how the hospitals have gone beyond that to false billing.

[Voice] Oh, yes.

[Voice] It is ripe. I... I was down there arguments every month. They are billing... they have a . ... a little drink called ensure.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ...which is chocolate milk with a bunch of vitamins in it. I got a billing for 270 dollars for one can.

[Rushdoony] Oh, my. Oh, my.

[Voice] I mean, I wouldn’t think that anybody would have that much guts to try to get {?}

[Voice] It must have been a lot of vitamins.

[Voice] Yeah.

[multiple voices]

[Rushdoony] I think it is about....

[Voice] {?} the moon here.

[Rushdoony] Joanna, ensure is how much a can?

[Voice] A dollar 90.

[Voice] A dollar 25.

[Voice] You can buy a can...

[Rushdoony] A dollar 25.

[Voice] You can buy a case of 12 cans for nine dollars at Thrifty.

[Voice] Well, the medical profession has changed dramatically. I remember reading a ... a little survey taken by nurses or of nurses about 15 years ago in which the majority of them said that the main reason that they were involved in the nursing profession is altruistic reasons, to help people. The ... so the same survey was given about five or six years ago and most of them said, “We got in it because it is a lucrative profession.”

[Voice] You bet ya.

[Voice] It is a lucrative profession.

[Voice] You bet ya. Their firms are listed in the stock exchange.

[Voice] Oh, yeah.

[Voice] It is big... big business. [00:27:08]

[Rushdoony] Could you repeat again? It was such a shock...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Could you repeat again? It was such a shock I can’t... how much does one can at a store cost?

[Voice] Billing was for 271 dollars for on can.

[Rushdoony] Two hundred and seventy...

[Voice] It was 271 dollars for one can.

[Rushdoony] Two hundred and seventy one dollars. A lot of mothers use that feeding their babies.

[Voice] You know what is ironic about that? I have seen those TV exposés and I have actually seen doctors defend that kind of charging.

[Voice] Oh, yeah.

[Voice] I have seen them defend that. Unbelievable.

[Rushdoony] Well, they are as good as the Pentagon, then. I would like to shift the discussion slightly, but to get back to it basically in a round about way.

I am currently reading a very, very interesting often highly amusing book, P. J. Rourke’s All the Trouble in the World. Have any of you read that?

[Voice] No.

[Voice] I know about it.

[multiple voices]

[Rushdoony] All right. Now one of the things... if I may take a little while with it, because I think it is highly interesting. He has a chapter on Bangladesh, the former Bengal state within in the British India, now an independent country, something of a basket case. He makes it a very interesting discussion of socialist economies because Bangladesh when it was under the British was the world’s major source of jute, which... from which burlap sacks are made. But, lo and behold, sacks are no longer made of burlap. They are made out of plastic which works better and it is cheaper.

So the socialist economy of Bangladesh doesn't have the sense to say with the rich soil we have, why don’t we grow something else? No. They grow jute and more jute and they are trying to find other uses for jute. And he said they were calling him up and inviting him in to state offices to discuss jute with him. Being a journalist, they wanted to sell him on the potentialities of jute.

Well, they are making rugs out of jute. The trouble is it is a rough material. You walk across it and you break the threads and you have a messy looking rug after you have gone over it a few times. On the top of that, it absorbs 25 percent of its weight I moisture. So in a very humid climate you walk across the jute rugs and the rugs squish under your feet. [00:30:27]

But they are sold on jute and they are going to sell...[edit]

But they are sold on jute and they are going to sell it to the world. Well, with this kind of Socialist problem all the authorities all over the world say that Bangladesh has a serious problem, over population. And it looks convincing when you look at the poverty, when you look at some of the slums almost unspeakable in their poverty and filth. But what P. J. O’Rourke did was to do a comparative study of another area with the same concentration of population, Fremont, California. Fremont is a middle class city, does not have a bad section, a low crime rate. In a recent year they did have two murders. They don’t have any problems like Bangladesh and yet they have the same concentration of people. And that is with all the parks and historic sites and so on that they have there in Fremont.

So after going over that in various ways and calling attention to other areas like Bangladesh, P. J. O’Rourke says, “Where are these over populated areas?” Some of them are not as heavily populated as, say, the Netherlands or Belgium or various states of the United States that are big city states.” They said, “All these people are in areas of races that are liberals are not honest enough to say they would like to see diminished in numbers.” So, he says, “The idea of over population is a way of advocating the disappearance, the euthanasia of peoples in the world that we would rather not see. We would rather have them controlled by us or disappear as they are. We want the kind of world we liberals represent, we white liberals.” He said, “They are not honest enough...” [00:33:13]

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] ... to say they want vast segments of the world eliminated. And the whole myth of over population is a way of trying to accomplish the same thing.

And this is why we have been working secretly through the UN and other ways to fund depopulation in places such as China where the one child and no growth idea is so prevalent.

So the whole idea of euthanasia—and this is my point—confronts us in a number of ways. I believe it is behind abortion.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] It is behind the whole myth of over population. It is behind the emphatic teaching in the earliest years of school including kindergarten, the idea that there are too many people and the we are destroying the earth. We have increased in the past 50 years the forests in the US by a tremendous percentage. And yet we go on talking about destruction of the forests and destruction of species. And the idea, of course, is we are not to destroy even certain cockroaches which supposedly are in short supply or certain kinds of rats. What we are to destroy people created in God’s image.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] I can remember I was in junior high when Rowe versus Wade came down. And I can remember one of the first criticisms of abortion was that it was commonly said that abortion would lead to euthanasia, because killing babies that you didn’t find valuable was the same as killing other people especially elderly people who you didn’t consider valuable to society anymore or wanted by society.

And that was commonly said. And that was poo pooed by the proponents of abortion at the time that it was totally ludicrous to make that association, that it had nothing to do with elderly people and that it was totally ludicrous to even make that association. And yet here we are just a ... 30 years later, less than 30 years later and the whole issue has come around to euthanasia. [00:36:05]

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] Abortion is a form of euthanasia.

[Voice] Sure.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] We can’t isolate this one topic from these others. No. {?}

[Voice] You know, any... any attempt to shape the demographics of a people by either the front end or the back end is still euthanasia. You are still shaping the ... the demographics.

[Voice] The abortion advocates always come back to we don't want unwanted babies in the world.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Voice] And you are not going to take them into your home, which is largely a lie, because the are people waiting for babies to adopt.

[Voice] Absolutely.

[Voice] But you don’t want these babies. Therefore, they are unwanted babies. Therefore it is ... it is the best thing to do.

[Voice] This quality of life business is totally wrong. I think of what God said to Moses. Who made man’s mouth? The sovereign God has a right to make those whom he will and if he wants to make some mentally retarded, he can do so and who are we to dictate to God who should live and who should not live.

[Rushdoony] In the 60s I wrote a little book which will be out maybe later this year again in a collection of my shorter writings on the myth of overpopulation. It is hard to look back and realize how intense the furor over that book was. It was noted even in the Wall Street Journal favorably, let me say. But when I, at that time, for the intercollegiate society of individualists made a tour of a number of university campuses to speak on that subject, twice there were near riot conditions. And at one such university in the Midwest, a major technological university, there was quite a long, an intensely volatile period after I spoke of discussion and debate. And this one Hindu student who apparently was high... upper caste, got up to say that there are too many people of the wrong sort in the world. And they should be eliminated.

Afterwards a girl told me that I don’t understand your position. You surely must realize there are too many people of the wrong sort. And it was interesting. I spoke at a prominent Christian school and I was to have lunch afterwards with the faculty. They wouldn’t sit with me. So the student body president and his girlfriend took me to the faculty dining room and the three of us ate while the faculty sat around looking at me as though I were a pariah. [00:39:31]

[Voice] The Sanhedrin don’t know...[edit]

[Voice] The Sanhedrin don’t know...

[Rushdoony] Yes. The interesting thing was that I called attention to the fact that a high percentage of the abortions—and I had at the time a clipping from the Santa Anna Register in my hand—were among black women. And there were a number of black students there, basketball players and others. And they immediately came around me like a body guard to escort me out of the auditorium.

[Voice] You remember, Rush, right after World War II when the Communists took over in China, I was always amused by the long succession of five year programs...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] Like they just... they just... they couldn’t get it right. And what happened they were supposed to send these people out into the countryside to count heads and see how much food production they were going to need to feed themselves. Well, apparently a lot of them didn’t bother to... they just sent back some numbers and didn’t bother to actually count heads, because all of the sudden hordes of people started showing up in the big cities, because they heard that there was free food. Here is all these guys out digging ditches in the hinterlands and they got the word that you could go down to the big city and they would hand out free food. So they all dropped their shovel and left for the big city.

Well, that is... what tickles me in a perverse way about this euthanasia thing is really government’s admission that they cannot do the job that they seek to do. It is an admission of failure when they have to resort to controlling the number of people just like the... like the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia had to kill 20 million...

[Voice] Oh, yes.

[Voice] ... of their own people in order to get the numbers of the population down to a point where they thought they could handle them. And it has always been government’s answer. If you can’t solve the problem, kill a bunch of people.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] ... until you get the problem down at the size you can manage.

[Voice] That began with the French Revolution.

[Voice] Yes. Absolutely.

[Rushdoony] But we don’t talk about it anymore.

[Voice] That is absolutely right.

[Rushdoony] They were trying to figure out many should we eliminate to have the right number to work with. [00:41:56]

Going back to P...[edit]

Going back to P. T. O’Rourke’s book, he has a passage there about population figures and he said, “What you must realize is nobody has gone through Bangladesh or India or any of these countries in Africa or Asia or elsewhere to count the people. What they do is this. They are applying for foreign aid or something from the world bank. And the more people they have, the more money they can get.

[Voice] Sure.

[Rushdoony] So they send in figures that run into the tens and hundreds of millions down to 346 or some figure like that as though they have had an absolutely accurate count of the entire population. But it has one purpose, to get money. And, of course, then the over population people and euthanasia people will talk about too many people based on these manufactured figures designed to get money out of the European and US countries.

[Voice] Well, that is just like the guy that made the statement there were six million homeless sin the United States. And when they actually got down to counting they could only find a couple of hundred thousand people that fit the description.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] You know, this idea of defending euthanasia which you alluded to earlier, Rush, is prominent in the number of schools even at the smallest age. These little open ended questions are quite popular. You know, if you were on a boat with an elderly person and a younger person and ...and the boat were going to sink and only perhaps two could be saved, which ones would you save.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] And forcing children to moral dilemmas like that.

[Rushdoony] Right.

[Voice] very evil and it is very pervasive.

[Rushdoony] One of the things that tickled me to wander a bit in P. J. O’Rourke’s book is his tour of the Amazon country by a boat stopping here and there at camps and, of course, the tour is very popular with the environmentalists. He describe the absolute horror of it. All you see are endless trees and brown dirty water. You stay in camps that you wouldn’t put a convict in. And they are supposed to be things that you rejoice in because you are back to nature. He describes conditions that are barely repeatable with no end of humor. I enjoyed reading many portions of the book thus far as I have read to Dorothy. [00:45:11]

But he does puncture these environmentalists, over...[edit]

But he does puncture these environmentalists, over population people and others and Al Gore.

[Voice] Well, a lot of the third world countries have objected in the recent conference in... where was that, Cairo?

[Rushdoony] Cairo, yes.

[Voice] There was a great deal of opposition to the demand for... to promote abortion. There was a great deal of opposition to do that. And, in fact, it was something ... the... the conference was, it turned out to be something of the... of a fiasco.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ...for... for its promoters, because these... these minority groups, these third world groups, the implication is that this isn’t lost on them.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] And the same is true in the black community here. A... a lot of people are very upset with the idea of promoting population control amongst the black people, because they think it is a way of to get rid of black people and to reduce the ... the size of the black population.

[Rushdoony] It is.

[Voice] Well... well, rightly so.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] You know, once it gets loose, it is a... it is a monster and it can consume anybody, not just black people.

[Voice] That is exactly right. Black people should be out in the forefront opposing these things.

[Voice] A lot of the same people will... will criticize the... the conservatives who talk about family values.

[Voice] Oh, yes.

[Voice] And now suddenly that is only the real problem the black community is not the number of black people, it is the fact that the total breakdown of the family structure.

[Voice] Absolutely.

[Voice] How blind will the government...

[Rushdoony] Yeah.

[Voice] The government is the chief element in the breakdown of the...

[Voice] Absolutely.

[Voice] ...among black people.

[Voice] The government has been subsidizing immorality and evil for ... since FDR and probably before.

We are hoping that changes pretty soon, but it something we have to pray and work for.

[Rushdoony] Well, I think the Cairo conference was particularly important because for the first time many of the third world countries, so-called, talked back to the western liberals.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] They made it clear they did not agree and particularly proud that the Christian regime in Zambia was very vocal.

[Voice] I was just going to bring that up. He was there and was... of course, the liberal press didn’t want to hear these people. But they were quite vocal in... in opposing the ... the majority liberal view. I was so proud to hear that and read of it.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] Well, I think they are ... they are giving the west .... restricted in their... in their criticism of the west because we are not doing a very good job over here.

[Voice] No.

[Voice] We… we have no right to tell them what to do. [00:48:09]

[Rushdoony] I think these advocates of the myth of...[edit]

[Rushdoony] I think these advocates of the myth of over population and euthanasia and abortion and so on, forget while... when they are playing God that there is a God.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] And that he is not happy with them. So he is going to deal with them in good time. That is why Psalm Two has always been a favorite of mine.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] As against the world conspiracy of the ungodly nations, God who sits in the circle of the heavens shall laugh. He shall have them in derision.

[Voice] That is right. And what is it? Galatians five says that we reap what we sow.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] We have an abortion and euthanasia culture which will reap impotence and destruction. And we are seeing that, of course, as it is now.

[Rushdoony] Well...

[Voice] It reminds me talking about playing God. Years ago my dad had on his refrigerator a Calvin and Hobbs comic strip. The little boy was standing over a little plant with a watering can screaming at the plant and saying...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ... “I am ... I totally control whether you live or die. You do things my way or else.”

And standing there with the watering can. And suddenly this cloud burst came and this drenching rain came down and this utterly defeated look on his face as he walked away.

[Rushdoony] Yes. He looked up at heaven sourly at the end.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Well, according to Bob and I have read this, too, is the population of the world is given one square foot per person they would fit in Jacksonville, Florida. And I recall some years ago the fact that I read a very fine scholars work that the whole population of the world could be fitted into Ventura County and live comfortably. We have gotten the idea that that the world is vastly over populated. But there is no country in the world that doesn’t have a great deal of wilderness, a great deal of land that is not used, a great deal of land that all that it needs is water. And the fact that we forget is that a great deal of land in the United States that was agricultural at the beginning of this century has reverted to forest simply because the productivity of the remaining farmland has increased so dramatically. And this is happening elsewhere as modern methods of farming are exported.

In this country, the farm population decreased to less than 10 percent not too long after World War II and it is still going down. But we are producing more food than ever before. And yet in places like China and Russia they have to have about 50 percent of the people engaged in farm production. And the reason for it is their inability to use the soil properly. [00:51:54]

And, of course, that is emphatically true of Bangladesh...[edit]

And, of course, that is emphatically true of Bangladesh. Some of the richest soil in the world and yet it is a basket case economically and it has a continual problem with hunger and the jute keeps piling up because the government of Bangladesh is determined that the world is going to be sold on the idea of squishy jute rugs.

Well, our time is almost over. Do each of you have a last comment you would like to add?

[Voice] Well, again, euthanasia is the attempt of man to play God and it is a theological problem. And it must be extirpated right at the root theologically and not just as sort of blind religious do goodism. But we need the full, authoritative comprehensive faith of the Scriptures preached and applied in all areas of life to solve this problem and all others.

[Voice] I just think the heart of the problem is man playing God.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] And if you look at it that way that... that doctors don’t have the right to play God and we don’t have the right to play God over others that we keep... we keep decisions like this in perspective.

[Rushdoony] Yes, I agree. And I would much rather have God be God than any man or even myself.

[Voice] Absolutely.

[Rushdoony] Well, thank you all for listening and God bless you.