Family Reform - EC336

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Lesson[edit]

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Family Reform
Course: Course - Easy Chair Series
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 34
Length: 0:57:12
TapeCode: ec336
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 336, April the fifth, 1995.

In this session Douglas Murray, Andrew Sandlin, Mark Rushdoony and I will be discussing family reform. Well, that title may be a bit unusual. What is needed in the way of family reform and why use the word reform in connection with the family? Well, for starters, the family has been replaced in many of its duties by the state and by the public school. Control over the children has passed from the parents into the hands of the state.

At one time it was held that the custody of children belonged to the father unless the father were truly derelict and evil. As a matter of fact, this was carried to the point that if a man had an illegitimate child he had the care of the child. And that was quite a restraint on men because if the girl brought the child and handed it to you and said, “Here is your baby,” it was a very serious problem.

Well, now we have the reverse. In the past few weeks I have heard of two cases where very evil women were able to offset the claim of the parent, the father to child custody by accusing them, totally false, of molesting their daughter or their son or their several children.

Now this is becoming more and more common and I think it is upsetting that it has come up twice just in a matter of weeks. It tells us what is happening. It has become a means whereby the family is further destroyed, because the authority of the father is eroded and the father in one state after another from coast to coast knows that he is a loser when he goes to court. And in spite of this we have all kinds of talk about how terrible the divorces are on the women. Well, the majority of divorces now are secured by the wife and her expectations are unrealistic as, very often, her grounds are. [00:03:26]

What they fail to realize, these women who are flocking...[edit]

What they fail to realize, these women who are flocking to the divorce courts, is simply this. In divorce everybody is a loser. Under most conditions both husband and wife are losers because one income is now divided into two and there is no way that you can make it increase overnight simply because you want it to.

Well, we have a situation now where the courts reject the authority of the man. He cannot says that he does not want his child aborted. He does not have the say so over his children. If he is divorced he loses them. The result is that we really do need a reform in the sphere of the family. It has to begin in the Church and the Church has to begin by taking the Bible seriously.

[Voice] Yes, that is right.

[Rushdoony] Consider the 10 Commandments. One of them says, “Honor thy father and thy mother.” Another says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” That is two closely related to the family, essentially related to it. Then a third, “Thou shalt not steal.”

Well, property in the Bible is not personal property as much as it is family property.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] So stealing was stealing from a family. And, again, the 10th Commandment, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife or his property.” Again, family related, which means four of the 10 Commandments have to do directly with the family.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] The first four directly with God.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] So this tells us very clearly how important the family is in the sight of God. And yet there are people who think that to speak so is terrible and they insist the Church has priority over the family. Well, where is the Church in the 10 Commandments? [00:06:07]

[Voice] Absolutely...[edit]

[Voice] Absolutely.

[Rushdoony] So we need a reform of our whole perspective on the family.

Now, some remarkable research has been done on the family by a man who began by trying to disprove what Christians have historically believed about the nature of the family and sexual morality. J. D. Unwin in England. I believe his book Sex and Culture came out in 1936. It was the culmination of a series of studies which represented his life’s work.

Contrary to his expectations, what the research of all known cultures from antiquity to the present, including various tribes of Indians, tribes of Africans, Islanders and so on, what his research demonstrated was that there was a mathematical correlation between sex and culture, that in a culture where there was premarital and post marital promiscuity, the culture was in a dead level. Most of them could not count beyond 10, in other words, the fingers of their hands. And, I could add, the {?} Indians in South America can’t count beyond three, one, two and lost.

Then if a culture introduces marital chastity they begin to have an idea of life after death, of gods and begin to have a capacity for reason, rational thinking.

And when you have, as with Christian civilizations, premarital and post marital chastity, you have a totally different culture. You have the development of thinking, of sciences, of technology and so on. So Unwin showed a direct correlation between sex and culture.

Of course, in his last work he tried to figure out a way that men and society could get around this. It was a kind of a fantastic thing. He said, “Given the fact that this is the case, perhaps what we ought to do is to train an elite class and have them work as the philosopher kings, as it were, of society, until they are 40 or 45 and then we pension them off and say, ‘Go to it now. You can do as you please and live as a total Hedonist.’” [00:09:20]

Well, it is noteworthy that nobody has been able to...[edit]

Well, it is noteworthy that nobody has been able to challenge Unwin’s work, but it has been neglected.

Well, meanwhile we have seen growth of state power and this growth of state power has steadily worked to erode and undermine the power of the family so that increasingly it is difficult for a father to be the father in the family.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] The mother can do a bit more because Feminism backs her. But I have been told that one of the common problems that men seek counseling for is their feeling that they have no place in the family. It is said—and this was reported in the papers two or three years ago—that one out of six or seven men don’t really know whether their children are theirs. They are not sure. But they have no sense of any place, authority or function. And so the family is going downhill and the state is gaining power and most recent development of the past decade or more has been beginning with a White House conference, a redefinition of the family to include homosexual and lesbian groups.

The saddest part is that the mainline churches have done nothing about this and, in fact, have been working in some instances—I won’t mention the church—to formulate a liturgy which they hope somewhere down the line to have approved for lesbian and homosexual marriages.

The evangelical churches, by and large, don't say much about the family even though it is basic to four of the 10 Commandments. They don’t want to get involved in the law so they don’t say much about the family. And they are really ignorant of a great deal that we see in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy about the family.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] They really don’t know what God has to say about it, which is very, very sad.

[Voice] Yes. [00:12:39]

[Rushdoony] I am only going to take a minute more on...[edit]

[Rushdoony] I am only going to take a minute more on this, but one of the very, very interesting things in the gospels is that our Lord on the cross undergoing the most painful form of execution man has ever devised, could still look to his mother and her care and said to John, “Behold thy mother.” He was mindful of that at that point and in that respect he was a good Jew, because he recognized the basic structure of the family as all important and was not going to be negligent of his duty there.

As a result, we have to say that family reform, namely, bringing back the authority of the father, making him realize that under God he is a priest and the head of a household, not to throw his weight around, but to use his authority...

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] .... to further the redemption of his family and their service to Christ.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] This has to be stressed. We have to get back to the importance of preaching in terms of God’s laws with regard to the family.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Until we do, nothing any state or White House conference on the family is going to be anything but a progression into evil.

Douglas, with that I will ask you to take over.

[Murray] Well, you mentioned earlier about the baseless charges of sexual misconduct of fathers.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] I don’t think that that is... that is an accident. I spoke with a young female attorney who is a graduate of the local law school here. It has been some years back. She was working for a law firm that did some legal work for me. We got into a discussion about the national organization for women because she was very conscious of the... this is back in the 1970s when they were, you know, really starting to get up a head of steam. And there were bulletins circulating among the feminist groups that were forming in each of the major universities around the country and they were networking via newsletters or bulletins, rather bulletins at first and then it became newsletters and now it is email today. And the ... the female attorneys of the Gloria Allred group and so forth, the magic bullet to attack the... what they considered to be the male supremacy and to supposedly empower women or set them free from the... from what they considered the bondage of marriage, the magic bullet was to get the courts to accept without question the baseless charge of sexual misconduct. [00:16:14]

[Rushdoony] Yes...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] ... on the part of the father. And they have used that and used that and used that to the point where it has become simply accepted. Social workers, that is their ... the flag that they carry. They go into every situation automatically assuming that whatever the child says is 100 percent right, that there is no fantasy involved. There is no anger or resentment involved for some ... from some disciplining that was done by the parent and the ... the wife, if she chooses to destroy the relationship, she really has far less trouble doing so by making this baseless charge as we have seen numerous times in celebrated court cases that have been in the papers, that that same scenario has been repeated literally thousands and tens of thousands of times in this country. It just doesn’t get the ... the notoriety in the papers that... of the more celebrated cases.

But I... I know of ... you know, I have seen it happen among two or three of people that I have know down in San Francisco Bay area where the... the wife ... there be a ... a man and wife and two lovely children. The guy is, you know, keeping his nose clean, keeping his nose to the grindstone, not fooling around or anything and then all of the sudden it just blows up in his face. The wife says, “Well, I am not... I don’t feel fulfilled. I want a... I want a career.”

[Rushdoony] Yes.’

[Murray] ...and make this baseless charge. And I know one fellow who was a devout Catholic and he just really went through the ringer. I mean, it just turned the man inside out. I watched him go through a virtual living hell for about five years until he was able to free himself from this. [00:18:12]

So it is... it is not without design. They are... they are like children playing with fire and they have burned many, many people...

[Voice] Yes.

[Murray] ... and destroyed many, many families.

[Rushdoony] That is very true, Douglas. I won’t go into that because I can’t talk about some instances that I know of of that kind of thing where without the remotest foundation in fact the charges have been made and it is only the rare court appointed psychiatrist or psychologist or district attorney that says, “This is nonsense. I am not going to follow through on this.”

[Voice] Well, this is a result of Feminism which must be extirpated, rooted out, if there is to be any revival of paternal headship. We need to call Feminism, modern Feminism what it is. It is hatred for God’s divinely created order. We can’t give it any room whatsoever. Evangelicals frequently say, “Well, there is a difference between militant Feminism and our evangelical Feminism,” which will lead eventually to female ordination and that sort of apostate action. We need to call it what it is. You can’t invert or pervert God’s designed order and expect everything to go well. It will not.

I was thinking about the attacks on what is called in the universities by Feminists Patriarchalism. And I have talked to some of them. A group of these half witted gals got together last year at a scholarly conference. One of them actually read a paper on the patriarchal orientation of the New Jersey Turnpike, how that this is a male dominated architectural wonder. And they will talk about how language is male dominated. And deconstruction is largeless, the problem of deconstruction. But we have to recognize that the foes that we are fighting here. And we can’t ... So I need to point this out because there are so many men who are frightened into opposing Feminism because of the political correctness idea, even in the evangelical Church. But we need to... women need to stand up and, quote, Christian women, godly women need to stand up and point out degrading Feminism is to women. It does not bring her an exalted place. It humiliates her and takes her away from her divinely appointed calling. [00:21:07]

But that must be strongly, firmly, unalterably, incessantly...[edit]

But that must be strongly, firmly, unalterably, incessantly opposed at all costs.

[Voice] I think it is important to remember regarding the family that the marriage vows and the covenantal relationship of the family. The marriage vows, the traditional marriage vows involve the making of two covenants. One is a covenant between the man and the woman. I take thee, so and so. And the other says, “I take thee so and so...” And we ... it is a promise to one another. It is a covenant between the two individuals. But they... they... as a... as a couple they covenant with God.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] Ands if we ... if we... as long as marriage is an atomistic thing intended for the fulfillment of each member, then it is am anarchistic institution.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] ...because one’s needs, one’s sense of fulfillment is going ... is flexible. It changes from day to day, from month and month and from year to year. And you can’t have a permanent covenantal relationship of any kind with that kind of an approach to marriage.

[Voice] You know, that... that is what our approach to marriage today is. It is a matter of convenience.

[Voice] Yeah and that reminded me of something, too, Mark, and that is the modern idea of love is so perverted. People say, “I fell in love and got married.”

Well I wouldn’t want to get married because I fell into something. It is amazing that the Puritans… Read their journals. It is remarkable the Puritan young men. They would be apprenticed at, let’s say, 20, 21 and they would say, “God...” write their prayer. “God, now it is time for me to have a wife. Please bring me a wife.” It was not something they were overtaken by.

But the problem with love is defined very sentimentally and when it is defined on the basis of feelings as if you fall into it, you can easily fall out of it. And so often then marriage is a woman or a man. You say, “Well, I don’t love her anymore.” Because for them love is nothing more than a feeling and often tied to eros or sex, which is not wrong of itself, certainly. But when it is tied exclusively to that, there is on covenantal basis for it. I mean, people don’t understand that marriage is a covenant. And it is not based on a very sentimental view of... of love. But we have this soap opera idea of love. And that has, unfortunately crept into the Church and it has been utterly destructive.

[Rushdoony] I would like to correct something here. It is just... that I don’t want anyone to get a misapprehension. Feminism is prevalent not only in evangelical circles, but in Catholic and reformed circles.

[Voice] Yes, that is right.

[Rushdoony] It is very prevalent. It has saturated every area of the world today. [00:24:04]

[Voice] Yes. Well, that is exactly right and, you know, I wanted to point out, too, Rush. You were commenting on how some individuals are teaching that the institutional church is the center of the faith. I was just reading a book that you are aware of very critical of Chalcedon in which the writer made an unbelievable statement. He said, “We know, for one reason, that the Church must be the center of the faith, center of Society,” that sort of thing, “because the husband’s decision can be appealed to the elders.”

What he was basically saying is that if the wife doesn’t like the decision making of the husband or the children don’t, they can to right to the elders and the elders have the authority to somehow excommunicate this man.

Well, that is just total nonsense. And I think we need to recognize that in this case and our listeners need to recognize that, unfortunately, sometimes the church can make an assault on the family.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] That has happened and that is happening. That is unfortunate that that should be the case, because biblically the church and the family should work hand in glove, should work together. But, unfortunately, that is too often the case today.

[Rushdoony] Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy in his book Out of Revolution called attention to the fact of the Reformation’s great emphasis on the family and how it altered western civilization. Another scholar has written When Fathers Ruled how the Reformation stressed the role of the father and family life and created a tremendous social revolution in Germany.

Well, one of the consequences was that the Catholic Church stressed the role of Joseph the holy family and as a result Catholics began to develop a strong emphasis on the family. All that has been eroded in this century, in particular, since World War I so that today the family is under very, very concerted attack on all sides, not the least of which is from the children.

[Voice] Yes, that is right.

[Rushdoony] I have had parents tell me things like this. Coming home and saying that my counselor says I don’t have to do what you say and if you try to make me he will call the authorities.

Now that is more and more...

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] ... commonplace.

[Voice] Yes. [00:27:06]

[Rushdoony] The number of unruly children, boys and...[edit]

[Rushdoony] The number of unruly children, boys and girls, who use that line are legion.

[Voice] And it shouldn’t go without comment that our present first lady has championed children’s rights.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] In one of her chief areas of her agenda. And it is utterly... utterly destructive, not only of the family, but especially of paternal headship. They hate God’s created order and God’s covenantal basis for the family and they want to destroy it and they are doing an effective job for the most part.

[Voice] Well, you can’t get much more unruly than the Menendez brothers.

[Rushdoony] Right, yes. That is right.

[Voice] Precisely correct.

[Voice] They are an... an ominous sign of the times.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] They represent a pervasive culmination of this pervasive evil.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Well, there are men who are glad to go to work because it takes them out of the family.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] ...because they feel so frustrated there and they realize that they cannot use their authority because it will be under concerted attack.

[Voice] We must point out, too, that Feminism, these attacks cannot be successful because they are against the Word of God and against nature. You can’t take a fish out of the water and ask him to fly and to be successful. It does not work.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] It cannot work. It is self destructive. And that is why by God’s grace when the kingdom advances, as it advances, there will be a great revival of the family faith.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] And these others will be shown to be an utter failure.

[Voice] Some of the many women who joined the Feminist movement in their youth in their late teens and early 20s that are now gotten into past child bearing age didn’t have children and into their 40s and you see some of these desperate attempts at artificial conceiving children and so forth as last ditch attempts. But for many of them, I... they did some interviews on television and many of them felt that they were lied to, that they were misled by the Feminist movement, that they were... they got swept up in it and when they finally reached a state of maturity where they were able to look back, they ... they felt that they had been misled.

[Rushdoony] The Feminists, however, are arming for the national elections in 1996 and are determined to make women’s rights a major issue and work against any and every candidate who will not conform to their standards. [00:30:04]

[Voice] Well, I think they are going to be running...[edit]

[Voice] Well, I think they are going to be running a far second to the economic situation.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] I think that is going to be the number on problem in the 96 election and the... whatever the Feminist wants is going to get lost in the clamor. They can make, you know, a lot of noise, but they are not going to overcome the kind of vote that we had in the last election and those same people that were worried in the last election are going to... are going to be a lot more worried in this next one.

[Voice] It is Emily’s list that promotes Feminist candidates in the last election. They did very, very poorly. It has been touted for years as a major power in politics and they did very, very poorly.

[Rushdoony] The modern family represents a phase that history has seen before. Some scholars have called attention to the fact that there are three stages in the life of a family, that is in family history. First you have the patriarchal family which dominates society. It is the strong institution. It is the source of law and of order. And in the patriarchal family, contrary to the myth propagated by the Feminists, the mother is a very strong figure.

[Voice] Absolutely.

[Rushdoony] She has vast authority.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] And she is not treated lightly because she is, as it were, the queen.’

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Then as this type of family, disintegrates with the rise of the state, you have the nuclear family in which the family is still strong, but not in its cultural aspects. It is not the power in society. The state is. But the family in relationship to its members still governs them and controls them and has a great deal of residual authority. However, it is not a patriarchal order. It is a statist order which is beginning and is superseding or has superseded the family. Then, third, you have the atomistic family in which the state is the major power in society and the family is less a family than a house in which people eat and sleep together, but do not really have much to say about one another. [00:33:16]

[Voice] It is a commune...[edit]

[Voice] It is a commune.

[Rushdoony] Yes. It is basically a... a convenient arrangement. And it is this atomistic family that has since World War I prevailed in the western world and is a major part, if not a central part, together with the loss of a strong Christian faith, of the social disintegration which we see on all sides.

Now, in the late 50s a couple of Catholic scholars, father Cervantes and C. C. Zimmerman, the great family sociologist of Harvard, wrote on the disintegration they were seeing of the family all around and which has proceeded a pace since then. But they also predicted a revival of the family. I think we have seen that revival. The Christian school movement and the home school movement...

[Voice] Yes. That is right.

[Rushdoony] No one in 1950 could have imagined anything comparable, both movements growing so rapidly so that all kinds of meetings and plans are underway on the statist level to try to undermine both, because they are destroying the power of the state in those spheres.

So Zimmerman and Cervantes were accurate in seeing that as the decline continued on the one side and the erosion on the other side, there would be a rebuilding and a return to a strong patriarchal family.

[Voice] Well, there is another factor we haven’t touched on yet that has been a major destructive force in the family and that is relatively recent and that is the inheritance tax.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ...and the estate tax, because this destroys whatever wealth there is to pass on to the next generation.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] And the state has stepped in between the generations and caused an interruption in that flow.

[Voice] That is because the state is anti covenantal. The state doesn’t like the idea of wealth being transferred from generation to generation. The Word of God teaches us that is how the kingdom of God will advance in time and history from generation to generation. Well the state doesn’t like that so it wants to penalize the family, which, as I think I pointed out earlier in one of our sessions, was a chief tenet of Karl Marx in Engels. [00:36:23]

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] ...in the Communist Manifesto. It is amazing. We think that Marxism is being destroyed and yet the good old American liberal Democrats have embraced it.

[Voice] It is alive and well.

[multiple voices]

[Voice] ...and not only the Democrats, the Republicans also.

[Voice] Well, if Christians want a good issue to bring up in the next election or even now if they would like to write their elected representatives, repeal of the inheritance tax and the estate tax would be a good place to start if they want to strengthen family.

[Voice] That is exactly right.

It is interesting. I was thinking about Marx’ and Engels’ manifesto. There was also what seems to be a quite queer comment in there that Communists also want to do away with the distinction between urban and rural areas.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] It was a remarkable statement. They wanted an absolute equalization not only of wealth, but almost an absolute equalization of topography and of building and all that sort of thing. And I think that is another point that bears mentioning.

[Voice] We saw the great Romanian experiment in that.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] ...aspect where they went out and bull dozed all of the farm houses down and forced everybody to live in concrete rabbit hutches in the city.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Also bull dozed the churches.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] Yes, bull dozed the churches.

[Voice] Well, we have a different ... it is just a difference in style. Our government bull dozes the churches by putting them on the dole. They destroyed churches in this country by making them dependent on government largesse. The Russians are a little more overt about it. They just go out and knock them down and shoot the ... the church leaders and ... and pass a law that people cannot meet.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] ... for religious purposes.

[Rushdoony] Well, we are in the midst of one of the major revolutions of history. This time, however, it is world wide. So we are facing one of the most critical battles in all of history, to save the church and to reform it and to save the family and reform it. And these are the two areas that long retained their independence from the state. But what we have seen in this century especially since World War II is a direct assault on both.

[Voice] That is right. [00:39:05]

[Rushdoony] This is total war on the part of the state...[edit]

[Rushdoony] This is total war on the part of the state. And we had better realize that we are being shot at, that the hatred for us is intense.

I think we are in the next decade or so going to see what the future will be, because we are coming to the critical point where the state’s efforts to save itself are falling apart.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Will Christians continue? Will they develop further everything they are doing? That is why in the last session talking about welfare reform, I did appeal to those who were listening that we have to assume a growing responsibility in the field of Christian welfare and to... or charity and that we would be grateful for their support in this.

But we also have to recognize that the family is an area where much needs to be done and I think it is urgently important for churches to begin preaching on those aspects of God’s law.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] ...that deal with the family, that the congregation’s realize the family is not just a natural fact. As far as most people are concerned, the family is a natural fact where certain natural functions are met such as sex, eating, sleeping, well, and shelter. Well, that is all together wrong because according to the Bible the family is supposed to be also a Christian fact. From beginning to end, first, last and always a Christian fact because, consider the fact that when God talks about this world he is using the imagery of the family to describe the Church.

[Voice] Exactly.

[Rushdoony] ... to describe this relationship to his people, to describe himself. He speaks of himself as our Father.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] Now, he doesn’t say your president.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] Or your pastor or your elder in the church. He says he is our Father.

[Voice] Yes. [00:42:02]

[Rushdoony] Now that is fact of such vast importance...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Now that is fact of such vast importance that anyone who pays no attention to it is missing the point of so much of the Bible’s teaching.

[Voice] Yes. That is right.

[Rushdoony] In fact, we tend to forget, although some groups still use the language that the Puritan habit, one derived from ancient Christian usage was to speak of the pastor as father so and so and the members as brother and sister.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] The brother and sister is still used in some places. But when the Catholics adopted father, as I have pointed out so many times, the Protestants dropped it which was too bad because this was the imagery that God himself uses.

[Voice] Yes.

You know, we have to come out strongly against Christians sending their children to state financed secular schools.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] The last figure I saw was 70 percent of professed Christians who send their children to state schools. That is not only embarrassing, that is abominable. It is a sin and it needs to be called what it is. You think of nations in history. What nation in history? Think of Sparta, proud nations, strong nations that would take their children and turn them over to their enemies to educate them.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] No sound nation would do that and yet so many Christians are willing to send... to turn their children over, surrender their children, six, seven, eight hours a day, whatever the case may be. And sometimes starting with this Head Start program at two or three years old to their enemies. That must be opposed at all costs. And we have to have dads who will take the lead in the home and say with Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Teaching the children the Word of God, catechizing the children with the Westminster Confession, for example, if you are reformed. Mothers to see their high calling in the family and that their calling is subordinate to their husband’s calling. All of those things must be done if the family is to be reformed.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, it is interesting. About 10 years ago the Wall Street Journal had a report on Chicago and the fact that a higher percentage of the public school teachers had their children in Christian schools than did the Protestant clergy.

[Voice] Something... if you have ever been around a Christian school you would have heard conversations. Teachers in schools realize what is happening in our society and even in Christians schools it is extremely noticeable because you see the difference in the children from generation to generation. [00:45:10]

When I first started teaching most of the parents were...[edit]

When I first started teaching most of the parents were in their late 20s, 30s. They were basically ... they were older than I. So I was born in 1954. So most of the parents when I first started teaching were born in the mid 30s to the mid 50s. And their attitudes were very different then than today most of the parents that I am dealing with now were born in the 60s and 70s and there is a tremendous difference. It is unfortunate that very often it is easier not to deal with the parent when you have a problem with the child, because the parents reflect much of what has happened to our society. If the parent wants to blame the teacher, to blame another child when their child has shortcomings and even if they will admit, well, yes, my child was wrong, but... there is always a but which is exactly what a child wants to say when they get caught.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] Yes, I did it, but I had a good reason for doing it. And there are... I don’t want to give any specifics, but about ... when I think it was about 11 years ago Darlene and I started running the Chalcedon Christian school, very few mothers were working at that time. They were mostly stay at home mothers or if they worked, it was just a few hours in a gift shop or something they did more for fun to get out of the house for a little while. Now most of our mothers are working and it is a whole new generation that is in the school and we see a vast difference. And you really see the destructive influence on what has happened from the children of the 60s and the children of the 70s that are now having the children. They don’t know what they should be expecting out of children.

I have had very... I had... don’t know that I would have any parent in the school right now who would tell their child, “You do what the teacher says and don’t make excuses. I won’t have it.” And we... we lost a child that we wanted to advance a grade. He was so far ahead. We said he is getting into mischief. He is daydreaming because it is too simple for him. We need to advance him to the next grade level. [00:48:06]

They were so opposed to it that they finally took...[edit]

They were so opposed to it that they finally took... took him out of the school because his needs weren’t being fulfilled. He had advanced at an... we had advanced him that far and yet... we had him since kindergarten, but we weren’t fulfilling his needs.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Voice] This is becoming typical. I can’t remember the last time we told a parent, “I think your child should be advanced academically,” that they haven’t wanted to put the brakes on, because they are more concerned with the social congeniality, the social relationships than what they are learning in school.

[Voice] That is what you have.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] Exactly right.

[Voice] So we have got a ... a generation or two of ... of parents here who don’t know what a family is all about. It is not just the children we have to wait upon. Now it is the parents as well.

[Rushdoony] Back in the 20s the parents were proud if their child were advanced.

[Voice] So was... so was the child.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] Well the... you know, the... the economic problems for, you know, a Christian family where a man and wife both work , they are making payments on two cars as a rule. So, you know, what is left to pay for Christian school tuition? You know, they... they have already gotten themselves into trouble. You know, they have eliminated that. that discretionary income that could be spent on Christian school tuition. So they need to look to, you know, their own family organization, you know. Perhaps the taxes that they would save, the money that they wouldn’t have to spend on the second car, the insurance, the fuel for the car, the upkeep. It is not worth it. They might as well be spending that money on their children’s education because they are going to get far more for their dollar. Plus they are going to save money anyway. They don’t have to have bullet proof vest like they do in public school.

[Voice] Getting just a little inkling of what the problem is here. We were in a rural community which is not as bad as many places in the city, perhaps. We have 40 some odd students. Off hand I can think of at least six children who are being raised by their grandparents.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] ...because the parents really aren’t capable or have basically abandoned the child to the parent... to their parents.

[Voice] Well, the Bible says in Galatians six, “Be not deceived. God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

For the last 50 years especially, we have sowed Antinomianism, social discord and these are things that you come to expect, unfortunately. You can’t violate God’s law with impunity. You can’t do it in the family. You can’t do it in the church. You can’t do it in the state. You can’t do it in business. You can’t do it anywhere. And these are things we have to deal with. Mark, you are exactly right. I mean, you can’t get away with sin. You just can’t. It is an impossibility. [00:51:16]

[Rushdoony] Well, family reform, as I indicated earlier...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Well, family reform, as I indicated earlier, has to begin in the Church as well as the family, because the Church no longer sees the importance of the family and, indeed, as you will know, Andrew, will often attack it.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] It regards any stress on the family in the same language and with the same hatred as the Feminists.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] It is Partriarchalism and somehow evil.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] You know, another point I wanted to make, Rush, this is so crucial. If we are going to be reformed, as many of our listeners, but not all of them are, we need to be consistent. The Church rests on the covenant. The covenant doesn’t rest on the Church. The Church exists to support...

[Rushdoony] Yes, yes...

[Voice] ... the covenant. The family does not exist to support the church.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] And that is ... the family does support the Church. There is no question about that, but one of the chief reasons for the existence of the Church is to strengthen the family, not vice versa. We don’t subordinate the families of the church to sacrifice the family for the sake of the Church. That is a denial of all that the Bible teaches and that is a point that must be made.

[Rushdoony] The strong churches are the ones that have strong families.

[Voice] Exactly. And I think ministers are totally naïve if they think they can have a strong church composed of weak families.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] It is an utter impossibility. You will have a strong church if you have a strong family... if you have.. it is composed of strong families, which means that there should be strong preaching about and teaching about the family.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ...and the church.

[Rushdoony] Well, it was a disaster when the state entered into the sphere and the White House conferences on the family have had a very sad role. They began by being apparently supportive and they have become very subversive on the family in recent years. And meanwhile the churches had very little to say on this trend. It has left the matter to sociologists and to politicians.

I think it is a very sad fact, too, that increasingly the membership of the Church is atomistic.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] It used to be....

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] ...families.

[Voice] Absolutely. [00:54:06]

[Rushdoony] remember, that you counted the membership...[edit]

[Rushdoony] remember, that you counted the membership by so many families.

[Voice] Right.

[Rushdoony] And in such a... a scheme normally the family was instructed as a family and the father had a very responsible role.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] So that if there were a problem they went to the father.

[Voice] Absolutely.

[Rushdoony] And now if there is a problem it is the mother who is called in.

[Voice] That has been totally lost. Rush, you can see so many of churches now with what they call singles ministries.

[Rushdoony] yes.

[Voice] It is the whole aspect of the Church. And, of course, the are ... we recognize that there are divorcees and single people in the church and the point is not that they shouldn’t... we shouldn’t take care for them, but that strong family emphasis has been largely lost.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] And the family has been separated. The whole idea... Rush, you pointed doubt in one of your early books. In fact, one of the first things I read of yours was, I believe, an appendix in Messianic Character about the problem of modern Sunday schools.

[Rushdoony] Oh, that was Intellectual Schizophrenia.

[Voice] Intellectual Schizophrenia. I am sorry. You just deal with the separation of the family that is on the part of the churches is very, very dangerous. And that is one of the reasons we have weak families today.

[Voice] Well, we have designer churches, you know that don’t...

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] You know, they will put together anything you want, the entertainment center.

[Voice] That is... that is the ... the dregs of Arminianism, that man will determine, the congregation will determine the religion they will have and it is no different from Baal worship. None, whatsoever.

[Rushdoony] Well, our time is nearly up. Does anyone have anything further to say?

Well, if not, thank you all for listening and God bless you.