Interview with Dr Ellsworth McIntyre - EC347

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Interview with Dr. Ellsworth Mclntyre
Course: Course - Easy Chair Series
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 45
Length: 0:54:29
TapeCode: ec347
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 347, September 24, 1995.

This evening or afternoon, rather, Mark Rushdoony and I will be interviewing Dr. Ellsworth McIntyre of Naples, Florida. Andrew Sandlin is under the weather and Douglas Murray is out of town.

Now to introduce Dr. McIntyre, he is an educator, an ordained minister with a very successful background in business who has developed a system of education whereby he has accomplished some remarkable things. I will have him tell more about it in a moment, but he has pioneered in educating two to five year old children so that after he has had them for those years they are ready for the fourth grade. He now covers grades four through six in the six schools he has, has made them a tremendous financial success so that from the standpoint of accomplishing a great deal as a Christian, he is an unqualified success, educationally, a remarkable success and then economically, a remarkable success. We have a mandate as Christians to conquer all things for Christ, to occupy until he comes.

Unfortunately, too many Christians have been losers or let us say too many church people have been losers so it is refreshing to see someone like Mac who is an unqualified success in every area of endeavor.

So I am going to ask Dr. Ellsworth McIntyre now to tell us what he is doing, how he got there, what he hopes to do and so on and don’t hesitate to take as long as you want to make your statement.

[McIntyre] And thank you, Rush. It is a pleasure to be with the Easy Chair again. Since I was with you last, I guess it was earlier this spring, reverend Andrew Sandlin and myself have set about setting up a Christian Reconstructionist conference that will take place December second in Naples. And it is the plan of my family, of Pat and I to give, free of charge, all the help that is necessary to any friend of Christian Reconstruction, help in starting schools like ours. We have developed a model that can be used to start a Christian school from scratch. We have successfully replicated this thing five time. We have six schools under way right now and property to start more. [00:03:45]

So we have a working model that can be used by Christian...[edit]

So we have a working model that can be used by Christian men and women that are interested in going into the ministry and getting into a work where they don’t have to compromise their doctrine. Too often men that believe a firm Calvinist position an uncompromising position like Christian Reconstructionism find themselves affiliated with denominations and churches where they have to reign in what they have to say. They have to be very careful about what they do and they will lose their paychecks and lose their living. But if these people could start a work from scratch and do it on a good financial basis, then they could be free to teach the doctrine and to build the work from scratch and to have a congregation of people that will support them.

Also the society in general, we can convert them if we can get them young enough and get there first with the doctrine correctly. The Humanists on every side kind of press in upon our young people teaching them all of the humanistic ideas and then we have to come along later on and try to undo this. It makes good sense from an educator’s standpoint to go into these hearts and minds of these young people through Christian preschools and teach them the truths from the very beginning. God’s law and God’s application of law and all of the things that are necessary to make a success out of... out of their lives. And this can be done through a Christian preschool at a profit, as you have already mentioned. And the parents of these young people can be brought into churches and we can develop works that are independent. And we are going to give this technology away to people that would take advantage of it and that is going to be the subject of the conference that will take place December second in Naples, Florida and we hope for a good turnout

[Rushdoony] Mac, one of the things that I think is particularly wonderful is the involvement of your family in the work. Could you tell us more how many of the eight children are involved and what they are doing?

[McIntyre] We have eight children, three sons and five daughters. And at one time or another all of them have been involved in the ministry and their ... and their wives, those that are working. And we have six grandchildren who are coming up and some of the older ones are already beginning to talk about schools of their own whenever they come of age. [00:06:17]

This is one of the great advantages of a family enterprise...[edit]

This is one of the great advantages of a family enterprise of any kind. People have idealized the family forum. For example, Thomas Jefferson talked about the ... the independent gentleman having his own means of making a living, how a free man, if he is able to provide his sustenance doesn’t have to trim in what he believes as he would if he were getting a paycheck. You can’t offend the boss too often too long. You will end up out of work.

But a family enterprise does give a lot of freedom to embrace religious beliefs and political beliefs that may not be mainstream and popular for the moment. This family enterprise that we have allows that to be done. And also it does the main thing in education which needs to be done, which is more important than literacy and that is that children have a meaningful employment to do so that they develop character. And this was the big thing with the family forum. They had chores day in and day out that they had to do systematically. They had to assume responsibility and carry this out. And this develops character in the way that nothing else can.

The child, whenever he comes to the dinner table at night knows that he has contributed to the family enterprise, that, in effect, he has earned that food that is at the table. He has contributed to the family welfare. And the same thing takes place in our schools. Our youngest daughter Abigail, well, was just a third grader and she was already doing meaningful things around the school whenever we first started in 1985. And today she is the most experienced and most capable accountant that we have for the six schools, because she has years and years of experience because accounting seems to be her particular gift in that school. And she is an invaluable employee to us.

And one of these days whenever she finds a young man—she is just 19 right now—I am sure that she will have her own school and, perhaps, several of them.

And the same thing is true of the other children, because, in a family enterprise of this kind, if the child’s aptitude is teaching or if the child’s aptitude is accounting or public relations work or whatever happens to be, why there is a spot for them. But the character that they develop in doing this is very important.

Children are very much like adults. Play, recreation is not a full time employment for us. We have to have meaningful work in order to have our lives be truly happy. And if you give meaningful work to children, this quickly becomes more enjoyable to them than just mere feckless play. Play and recreation is just something we do after we work very hard and we earn a respite from it. It is certainly not a full time calling. [00:09:13]

Part of the liberal philosophy of our day is that children...[edit]

Part of the liberal philosophy of our day is that children should play and do nothing else. And quite the opposite is true. Children, if they have meaningful work to do, if they have a meaningful contribution to the family, they are far, far happier and more secure than children that just watch television or just go around breaking things all day to get attention from their parents who are bored stiff with them. So the family enterprise aspect is one of the best means of producing children that are responsible.

[Rushdoony] I am glad you brought that up, Mac. One of the things we have seen for almost two generations now is a hostility against the family and a hostility against family operated enterprises as though there is something wrong about them. I have been interested in this past year in talking to a great many people to hear a repeated refrain which is sad, but revelatory of our time, namely, that it is becoming harder and harder to hire people to work for you. They share no matter how well trained they are in a Christian college, or in your local church, the feeling of victimhood that is common to our time. They believe that if everything doesn't suit them at their place of work, they are being victimized. And they are very loud and vocal about their complaints about very fine men in their church or in their community.

I have heard men say, who small business or small operation, but ones that are quite successful in bringing a very superior income that they have dispensed with secretaries and will only have computers or they only use their daughters or close relatives in their place of business, because they can correct them and even get angry with them justifiably and it doesn’t lead to a lawsuit. It leads to them doing the thing properly. [00:12:05]

We have so self centered a population today, that they...[edit]

We have so self centered a population today, that they refuse to believe that anything they do is anything short of perfect. If somebody corrects them, they become victims immediately. And this is an impossible situation. So more and more businesses are thinking of a purely family operation. In fact, I was told that in some instances, where the work grew and they became ... they went public. They sold shares. They are buying back the shares now so that they can have exclusive control of the corporation.

So the family operated venture, I think, is a very godly one.

[McIntyre] Yes. What you say is a direct result of a removing from the school system of all competition.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[McIntyre] Competition for grades, competition for recognition and the teaching of a philosophy that somehow competition is an evil thing. One of the reasons that many successful people still come out of a sports background is that it is very difficult to convince a loser that he is a winner.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[McIntyre] But in grades, in classroom, by teachers manipulating things through various devices, can actually convince some students that they are not as bad as they really are. And thereby they deaden a striving for achievement. And this creates an artificial view of the world because the world that we live in—as every experienced adult knows—is a world of competition. You have to be proficient in whatever your calling is and you have to do it better than the other guy in order to be successful. And that is what is being successful, doing things more efficiently and better than other folks can. But these children are continually being taught in the classrooms that they don't have to be... strive for excellence. They don’t have to strive to do things well. And, as a consequence, why, when they suddenly are thrown into an enterprise where the boss is insisting of things being done correctly, they do feel like a victim because they have just spend 18, 20 some years being taught that ... that that sort of thing is not important. And so all of the sudden the boss is an unloving character who is only interested in a dollar and not interested in me and boo hoo. And whenever we hire students right out of school, very often this is the attitude that somehow or other that... that this is a very bad thing. [00:15:00]

Now to go back to the family enterprise that we have...[edit]

Now to go back to the family enterprise that we have, if the child is raised from a youth working in a family enterprise, he quickly learns where the money comes from and the money is from producing a product, a better product of less money than the competition. And this is the very survival. This family depends upon it. So he is learning a system that is real, that is genuine, that the real world operates on instead of this artificial thing that the academics have created.

It is no accident that the academics love Socialism because they are trying to produce an artificial world in which capitalistic ideas, conquest, winners and losers don’t exist. But winners and losers do exist in every system and those who learn it quickly and learn it well and have the psychological hardness to adapt to it are going to be the ones that survive. And this is one of the reasons I would like to see many thousands of Christian families across our country have family enterprises like this, because we, then, would be the folks who would come out on the competition against these people, because they are very fragile in their... in their thinking, because they really do believe that competition is bad.

Now I will illustrate that for you. In the state of Maryland I had a large Christian school of about 800 and some students and we started a band program in which I designed a program that the students had to practice their instruments daily. I didn’t leave it to be practiced at home, because I knew they didn’t have the discipline to do that. So I insisted that the music teacher have a special period every day in which those students had to study. Well, in very short order, the band became championship in its caliber. And we asked the public schools if we could come and participate in their music competitions and they agreed to do so. However, their music competitions were called a festival, because they didn’t like competition. And they didn’t like grading one school against another. Our students, on the other hand, were very offensive to them, because whenever they got a grade one, meaning they did very well, they would cheer and clap. And they would... naughty, naughty, the judges would say. This is... this is a festival and this is not supposed to be a competition. And our students, of course, were aghast because you know, in the Christian that I was administrator of, I kept injecting competition in rather than taking it out.

But this is a small scale is what educators everywhere have done where they can. And one of the reasons they dislike sports so highly, again, is because you just can’t take the competition out of sports and pretend that winning isn’t important. It is important. It is important in every area of life. That is the way the real world is established.

[Rushdoony] What you said about sports, I want to underscore. And I think what you said is also very, very important. When about 50 years ago I first went to an Indian reservation, I guess a little more than 50 years ago, one of the things that interested me was that at the Indian school the white teachers would teach them a variety of games, sports. And they would be played there at school. And basketball or rather baseball and basketball also appealed to the Indian boys. But what happened was this. If it were a non school day or a summer vacation and a group of Indian boys went out to play some baseball, if five or six year old toddlers were around they would run up and ask to be included in the game. And the Indians never refused anybody. They didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, not that of a child. You never heard a baby cry. They got what they wanted. [00:19:24]

So the children of five and six would be included in...[edit]

So the children of five and six would be included in the baseball game which would quickly end the game, because how can teenagers play with two or three, five or six year olds in a game, let alone {?}. The result is the game would quickly end.

They were thoroughly non competitive. They were the ideal of what some educators want in the way of a cooperative people.

Now when you don’t have frustration, and these children did not, this leads to a major crisis. You begin to grow up and suddenly find... you find the world is frustrating. You don’t get everything you want.

[McIntyre] Exactly.

[Rushdoony] And... and every time you turn around you are being frustrated. Well, the net result was that a very high percentage of the children, boys and girls, were alcoholics by their mid teens. And it was a very sad fact. Some of them were highly talented. In terms of IQ the Indians, I would say, probably ranked number one in the country and a test about that time showed that they did. But in achievement they are at the bottom by quite a margin. They have no sense of competition, because this has been schooled out of them. The reservation system, the collapse of family incentives, you have a non competitive people and alcoholics. [00:21:31]

[McIntyre] Yes, the surest way to raise a wild man...[edit]

[McIntyre] Yes, the surest way to raise a wild man is just give him anything he wants.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[McIntyre] And then whenever they get too disobedient, why, just drug them down with Ritalin and then ... and allow them somehow to overcome it that way and then supposedly in one day they would substitute alcohol.

But, of course, sports is one way to make sure the competition stays in, in spite of liberal teachers. Music is another, because there is instant feedback. You hit wrong note and the child has... there is no excuse. The child hit a wrong note. The same is the peg to home plate. You either... the peg either got to home plate on time or it didn’t. There is instant feedback in sports about whether you did something right or not and you always had your peers who are not going to be as tender on you as some liberal teacher might be.

And the same thing is true with good musical training. So I would advise parents out there that don’t have a Christian school to put their child in or some Christians schools, I am afraid, are well down the road on this non competition as well. A musical instrument is a good idea, because there is a tyranny to that that is very good.

I have had educators tell me that musicians and mathematician... the math ability and the music ability run together. And it isn’t all together a gifting sort of thing. It is just that in math the wrong answer is the wrong answer in spite of what modern math people may say and the wrong note is still the wrong note.

So if your child is gifted in math or gifted in music or athletics, to get them away from that non competitive environment would be certainly good parental training. And, of course, if they can get them out of that system entirely with a family day care school as ... as we have, that would be the... the best of all worlds.

But to indulge a child and to give him anything he wants is not to give him a proper view of the world. The world is very unforgiving to people who make mistakes. And we have to learn to .. to take failure and to be hardened by it just as our muscles would be hardened by work. I think the fact that suicide is perhaps the leading cause of death of... of young children nowadays in our society, I... I think if you took the accidental deaths and converted those that were really suicides that looked like accidents, that it would be the leading cause of death of our young people. And I think it is because they are so fragile in ... in their background. They just not... they have not been exposed to the toughness that comes from working and learning how to do things correctly and ... and taking correction and taking it well. They just can’t seem to take correction. This is one of the reasons the family enterprise has become the largest business that many men can handle, because we bring young people into our school system as employees and we find them very difficult time training them. They... they just are overflowing with this idea that somehow or other that it is unloving and uncompassionate. [00:24:34]

Their argument against the six year olds playing with the teenagers, first of all, that is not compassionate. Well, the... the thing is for the sake of the game, if the game is going to be played correctly, if the game is going to be played with any meaning and if the teenagers are going to make any progress, we are going to have to have some discrimination here against who plays on this particular team and who plays on that. To make the team to make the cut—and all of those things are valuable, valuable lessons to learn—and sometimes the most valuable lesson is learned is by the student who is cut rather than by the student who makes the team. But some people act as though the... if a student doesn’t make the team or doesn’t make it in some particular area that his life is over. No, he has just discovered that that isn’t his area of expertise. But the character that he has developed in the meantime, the toughness of being able to take disappointment, that is something that will be with him for the rest of his life and will help him when he gets into that area where he really has the gift and calling to be a success.

[M. Rushdoony] We see a lot of that carried over into the professions now where you have certain groups saying the... the standards are unfair, the standards are biased against white males. Therefore you must change the standards so that we can compete as well.

[McIntyre] Right, right.

[M. Rushdoony] And to give us a whole separate set of standards.

[McIntyre] Yes, I... the... the covenant that we teach, blessings for obedience, curses for disobedience, is very unforgiving. We must... and it is toughness to the child. Said good things will happen if you do this. Bad things will happen if you do that. This is also softened by this mamby pamby Arminian gospel that we have out there. Somehow or other it doesn’t matter that you can’t quite tell the truth and you can’t quite work as you should and you can’t quite respect your elders. Well, all of those things, indeed, do matter and they are sins. And good things aren’t going to happen if you continue to do that. And it all starts in the classroom where the teachers says, “No one is going to speak without permission. No one is going to get out of their seats without permission. Is that clear?”

And if the teacher manages to just get that child to follow those two simple rules, they have learned a very valuable lesson, that good things happen when you obey the authority and you obey the teacher and bad things happen if you don’t. And that follows us all of our lives. There are rules and regulations and certainly God’s law, which overarches all, that we must obey and there isn’t any ... there isn’t any alternative. It is a hard fact of reality and it is not a mark of compassion for a teacher go give the student some hope that he can break the rules and still be a success and still have a happy life. He may end up being a suicide. [00:27:19]

[Rushdoony] I would like to pick up on what you said...[edit]

[Rushdoony] I would like to pick up on what you said about suicide. The suicide rate in this country is highest among American Indians. They have been through the reservation system placed in a non competitive world and everything has accentuated that non competitive aspect of their life.

As a result, they grow up, face frustration and they readily go into alcoholism and after a while as readily into suicide. And I think we are doing the same thing in the state schools with all the teaching that is non competitive. There isn’t the satisfaction of winning. There is a frustration in our present situation.

[McIntyre] Now your point is very important, Rush, and I would like to make an application with that to many of the folks out there that are home schooling their children. In our school system we have had to hire parents who have been home schooling their children. And we have discovered to our horror that they have used the home school situation to take all of the structure out of the child’s life. He doesn’t do things on a particular schedule. He doesn’t have a firm assignments that he must complete on time. And, as a consequence, they have become an exaggerated and horrible version of what we are talking about in the public school environment. And all of the sudden they are put into our school and the have to line up to do something as simple as line up to go to the rest room and that becomes very traumatic to them.

All of the sudden they have to obey rules and all of the sudden they have to have work done at a particular time and all of the sudden mother isn’t there guiding them at every step of the way. And I would say to the home school people out there that ... who seem to dream endlessly about getting the better curriculum, that this problem is so easy to correct. Give some structure to that child’s life, some assigned task that they must do even if it as simple as speaking with permission, getting out of seat without permission, making up your bed or whatever it is. Hard and fast tasks that they must do in order to get recognition, in order to get love. And they get something else if they fail in these tasks.

But if we fail in our home schooling to teach children responsibility, we will be raising wild men just as sure as the Indians that you... that you describe. And this is a horrifying thing to us that we have brought these home schooling students in and in every case the mother is so certain that the children are so far ahead. And whenever we test them against our students, almost always they are... they are... they are deficient, deficient in compared to children that is in our system. Now, of course, they are ahead of the public school. But that is certainly nothing to measure ourselves by. [00:30:29]

We should be years ahead of the public school in testing. And our typical student is at least two years ahead of the public school environment. For example, this month we sent out a photograph of a young girl who is ... who just completed first grade with us and was... ran off the scale. She is seventh grade, six month in... in her abilities. She answered nearly every question right on the standardized Stanford Achievement Test was asked her. In other words, if she was given a more difficult test, she could even ran out further.

But she doesn't feel that she has been overworked or anything. She has just been in the system since she was two years old where she was asked to do certain tasks and it was expected of her that she do them correctly. And she is very happy, well adjusted child, very pleased with what she is doing. And this we must do or we are not doing a favor to our children to take them out of the public school system and remove what little competitives that there is from their lives that still remains there. Very good point.

[Rushdoony] I recall some years ago a parent whose attitude toward the child was he loved the child dearly, was that the child needed frustrating. And I believe that is very true, because if we are never frustrated we are never given a proper direction. We are then very easily bored. I never heard a child say when I was young, “I am bored.” But since World War II that is a common comment. I am bored. And to me that is amazing. It indicates a lack of discipline in one’s life, an inability to organize and to function unless they get what they want immediately. For example, one of the things I loved greatly when I was a child and still love is fishing. And I cannot recall how many times as a boy I ... when I was about four and five my cousin and I went to the river to fish. Didn't get a thing. But it was no less exciting to us and we kept going again and again until we caught something. And that was an exciting day. [00:33:05]

But now too many young people, children, are taken...[edit]

But now too many young people, children, are taken fishing and after a few minutes they say, “I am bored. This is no fun. I am not catching anything.”

And that is typical of the impatience and the lack of discipline in the lives of people today. And that... and I don’t believe I am overstating it, is a pre suicidal tendency. You won’t take frustration. If you throw you line into the water, a fish has to do that or you are bored or the world is not treating you right.

Well, I think parents should nip that in the bud immediately. If a child complains they are bored, something should be done like the saying it was common when Dorothy and I were growing up. I will give you something to cry about if you complain.

And the whole premise was sound. You were not to be a complainer and a whiner.

[McIntyre] Yes. The parents instinctively many times understand that something is wrong, but .. but they don’t know what it is. But as I initially said, you don’t have to have a college degree and a master’s degree and ... and a perfect curriculum. It seems like home school people drive me crazy with all what curriculum are you using and endless questions about the curriculum as though this was the heart of the matter. The heart of the matter is teaching techniques. The heart of the matter is developing character. Because let’s face it. Many of the things that the student learns in the classroom are going to have no real direct application to what that child is going to do later in life. The character, however, will have a great deal to do with it.

Character also is directly related, of course, to our covenantal theology. Character is what is going to enable us to pass up the adulterous and the fornicating situation. Character is what is going to enable us to defer gratification for greater gratification sometime in the future. If we don't catch any fish today, that is just going to be the greater pleasure later when we ... when we make that hit big. Deferred gratification is what the salesman needs. He knows he got so many time downs now, but if he keeps on going and he has the grit to keep going when others stop, why, he is going to be the successful man. He is going to be able to keep going whenever weaker men stop.

All of these things are not necessarily what the country people would call book learning. These are things that come from character this develop and doing many times repetitive, boring tasks, but doing them better and having character to do... keep at it longer than weaklings who cannot. And these, very ... I think, is one of the reasons, very often, that the drop out and the C student becomes the multi millionaire and the A student who things come so easily because maybe they have good recall, but they never develop the character, necessary to make it in the real world. And then they get out in the real world. All of the sudden they can’t understand why the world people aren’t handing them things on a platter as it was in the academic world. Well, people don’t hand you things in the real world. You have to do these boring, repetitive tasks. You have to sell people. You have to persuade people. And you have to build things and do things that are small to begin with in order to have the character to do great things later on. [00:36:44]

And all of these things are not learned from a curriculum...[edit]

And all of these things are not learned from a curriculum. They are learned from a teacher who understands them. And the understanding of it comes right down to the 10 Commandments and the idea that the child must obey God’s law and learn to obey God’s law better and better or they are not genuinely saved. We must not teach children that salvation comes to them and can be known by anything except growing character that obeys the commandments better and better. A genuinely saved person grows in the power to obey God’s law. If there isn’t any growth in this character that we are talking about, we have every good reason to doubt that child’s salvation and this must be presented to them in the classroom in the mundane, simplistic things again, like you don’t get out of your seat without permission. You don’t speak without permission. You get your homework done and all of these other things.

And, of course, as I said before, the music training and sports is more unforgiving than the weakling parents very often. And that is why these are very good things many times to supplement these ideas with.

[Rushdoony] To me one of the impressive things about my first visit to your school was that there was no free play time. It was organized play. And I felt that was very, very important, because at that age, two to five, the children are not capable of organized play. Free play means that it is just an opportunity for the teachers to do nothing while the kids run around and hurt each other and get into trouble.

[McIntyre] You are quite right. The teachers look at the playground time as break time. However, the students who have been in school sin which they have no organized activity, which was nearly all other schools for children this young, the students they are delighted with the fact that now they have a game with rules to play and they are not being bullied and not being knocked down, not being pushed around. They have something to do that has meaning to them. And they are getting recognition from the teachers. [00:39:03]

But the children are very, very happy, as I am sure...[edit]

But the children are very, very happy, as I am sure have noticed at... at our school.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[McIntyre] Because the playground time and the classroom time, all of these things are structured, which is another point that I think every educator and every preacher knows instinctively and that is that the more structure that is in the child’s life.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[McIntyre] ... and the more secure he is and security is the key to a child’s happiness. Insecurity or not knowing what is going to happen next is what will make them unhappy in a hurry. This is why divorce tears them apart. They are not sure about the affection that mother and father have for each other. They are not sure about what is going to make mother and father angry and what is going to make them happy. They are not sure about what is required of them.

They come into a world that is extremely frightening to a young child. The world doesn’t seem systematic. It seems chaotic. And we as parents and we as mature Christians, we teach them, no, that the world does have order and the world does have purpose and it all works together of the good providing they learn God’s law and they apply this in their life and they develop the character that all the world becomes their friend. And even the stones and the field will be at league with them if they learn to obey and to worship the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is our message, but it is all keyed down to structure. And this produces security. We are secure in our purpose. We are secure in why we are here. We are secure in where we are going and our whole meaning in life. And the more obedient we become, why, the happier and more purposeful we become.

The enemy of our souls, however, takes this out of education. And the child is introduced into a frightening world of chaos and the chaos is added to in the name of compassion which is really hatred, because to teach a child that... that the world cannot be conquered by themselves in the help of the Holy Spirit is to be very cruel to them indeed. This is a wonderful world and a wonderful country that we live in, provided you are a disciplined person and a person who finds his gift and calling and does it well to the glory of God.

We have the key with our covenant and it is the Lord Jesus Christ and with discipline. And this is the basis of a Christian education. And so for that reason, we introduce more and more structure into the lives of our children.

Now let me give you an example, for example. The arch enemy of Christianity, Plato, for example, in his Republic advocated no systematic work or study of any kind until the child was nearly, I think it was 10 or 12 years old. And this is largely believed instinctively by people who hate Christ and are not regenerate. They believe that children are happiest when they are doing nothing of meaning. The very opposite is the truth. The child is happiest ... happiest whenever he is doing something that has the most meaning and the most purpose and the most structure. [00:42:00]

That is why the old fashioned Christian schools were...[edit]

That is why the old fashioned Christian schools were very structured, indeed. And the new progressive educators took it all out, because they were antichrist in their viewpoint. Now they were conscious in what they were doing, but God helped some of our reformed Christians who are unconsciously following this progressive model and doing the devil’s work and all the time thinking that because they begin the class with prayer and because they smile and hug and talk about God’s love when they should be talking about disobedience and the consequences of it as well to balance their presentation, God help them, because they are not helping these children at all. They are setting them up for horrible failure.

[M. Rushdoony] Something I have... I have noticed in... in recent years. Parents are very much against the whole idea of competition.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[M. Rushdoony] Parents are very much against the idea of ... of anything that the child spends too much time on. Parents will come to us as, oh, the child is becoming a perfectionist. The child wants to redo their homework papers until they are perfect and I have to tell my child to go to home and that this is... this is... I mean, to tell them to go to bed and stuff... to stop doing this school work. And as though this is some kind of a problem. I have to tell them, you know, you should appreciate that your child wants to do ... achieve excellence. It is a rare commodity.

Another problem I often see is... and you have probably seen this, too, is parents will come and will say, “This child needs to be third grade. We need to skip this child from second to third grade. It is too easy for them and we can’t expect the teacher to always be giving them special things to do. The child belongs in the third grade.”

Say, “No, no, that will affect him socially for years to come and I want him to stay in second grade and just give him extra work.”

We lost a child last year because we were very insistent that he needed to go to third grade and the father who we rarely saw came to the school and said, “Sorry, but I don’t think you are meeting the needs of my child.” He had been here since kindergarten and we needed to skip him ahead a grade, but we weren’t meeting his need. The parents wanted him to have ... have fun with his social age group no matter what... whether it was to his detriment or not.

So parents are very, very... and, of course, many of our parents, now, of course, have been raised in a public school and they don’t like the competition. They don't want their child to work too hard. They don't want them to work too hard on any one thing. They want them to have a good social life.

[McIntyre] Yes. And it carries forth with your teacher and also and again, if I might bring up the home schooling methods. Drill is the key, particularly in the early years that ... that we specialize in. Our motto is college can begin at two. And we have youngsters many times who read fluently before their fourth birthday and will test out... oh, we have had three year olds that have tested out way up as high as the fifth grade on our standardized tests. [00:45:10]

And the way you get them there is through drill...[edit]

And the way you get them there is through drill. But drill is very boring with the teachers and the teachers have been told by their liberal professors, work on the concept, work on understanding, but don’t drill. However, the Bible teaches line upon line, concept upon... and here, there, a little bit. In other words, memorization of things that are not comprehensible to the child is very, very important. The concept will come with maturity. But they don’t know anything if they can’t at least recite it back to you. To memorize the sounds and... of the alphabet letters and to memorize numbers, facts and all of these things is... are very, very important, again, because of the character development. It is either right or wrong. It is either rote perfect or it isn’t. And as soon as you say rote, I am sure there is some liberal educated home school parents out there and school teachers that are... they are just running around in circles with foam in their mouth right now toward me, but it is not the case. The very opposite is the truth. The Word of God does teach rote learning and rote learning is very, very important. It is key for developing this character that we are talking about. And the teachers have taken this out of this classroom because nothing is more boring to a teacher than running flash cards over and over again in a contest between this group and that group. We have developed elaborate system of prizes and rewards and recognition and games, boys against girls, this team against that team in order to make it less of a ... of a boring humdrum thing. But we must not take drill out of the educated life of our children. This is comparable, again, to the music where you have to hit the right note and you have to hit it every time and you have to know it. And there isn’t any excuse. You have to know it automatically just as you would with muscle memorization of tying your shoes.

We get that point then we can work on the conceptual ideas and the application of the ideas, the esoteric ideas which go beyond that. But unless we built this foundation.... And the most important thing we are, again, we are doing is not building me memorization of the multiplication tables. What we are building is the character of saying this is the right answer and that is the wrong answer. That is the main thing and that is built through drill and lots and lots and lots of drill. And parents out there home school children they should have that and they should not give up on it. And many times you could have a students drill other students, you know, if it drives you crazy, why have the older students drill the younger ones if you have a chance to do it. And work out rewards for them.

While I am on the subject of rewards, I also find the home school parents want to have an honor roll for six weeks or three weeks or something like this. Long term reward is very ineffectual with children. Short term rewards, very ineffectual. What they do in the next five minutes, reward them for that. Whether you get correct on this particular paper, do it for that. Their attention span and their character is very weak so you make short term goals that they can do and achieve so that they develop the character to do longer and longer goals. [00:48:18]

So shrink in those things...[edit]

So shrink in those things. The six week honor roll is one of the dumbest things that educators ever did, because the child doesn’t have enough character to think six weeks into the future. That is forever. Or, for example, some preacher preaching to a chapel of kids who are going to go to hell if you sin. Well, it is very ineffectual. For example, when my mother said to me, “Your father is going to give you a paddle whenever you came home,” that was not very effectual. When he was going to come home, why that was several hours away. That was a lifetime and... and she might forget and... and he might ... but that didn’t frighten me very much.

Well, how about telling a child he is going to go to hell when he dies. Well, when he dies is ... death is so distant from him that it isn’t even funny. There is no fear in that.

Now the old people, when you preach them to go to hell whenever you die, now there is a... there is a sermon that is going to have some effectiveness. Well, with young children it is much more effective to say you are not going to get that piece of candy in the next five minutes unless you do this. And you are not going to get this reward if you don’t get these correct answers. Shorten it up. Make it more meaningful to them. This ... this brings greater results.

[Rushdoony] Well, one of the things that is very important in my perspective on this view of things, education and so on is that we have totally lost an awareness of what insanity is. The disciplined life is the free life.

[McIntyre] Amen.

[Rushdoony] The radically undisciplined life is not only unfree, but it is insane. I have had the misfortune, over the years, to have to take part in dealings with people who are insane. They are totally self centered. They are incapable of focusing on anything outside of themselves and they are impatient with any terms that anyone sets down for them. They are, in other words, totally modern. They cannot organize their lives in terms of anything but their purely selfish, egocentric concerns.

Well, we have an insane age as a result. We have people doing things without any thinking, without any concern.

[McIntyre] But it is also an age ripe with opportunity for us.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[McIntyre] If we just do things like putting structure into our children’s lives, getting them to memorize things, having them pick up a musical instrument, having them go into sports activities, having them do chores around the house and, of course, if they can start a family enterprise—I am speaking to preachers out there who very often children end up being some of the worst testimony in their church—if these preachers have a school and got their children to work a meaningful task, they probably would develop this character that we are talking about. [00:51:30]

But it is so easy to correct...[edit]

But it is so easy to correct. And it all begins with a correct understanding of the gospel. Obedience to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is the evidence of a changed life.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[McIntyre] And there is not a... has not been a born again experience that doesn’t produce this. We must look upon this nut as a ... a darkening thing, but as a... as an opportunity. If... if these people are going to be nutty and these people are going to be insane and in many respects they are, and they are going to be non competitive, they are going to... they are going to have to go to Marine Corps and get kicked in the backside by a sergeant or something and learn what discipline is all about or they are going to be years late getting into the fight. Where our people can be ready from the ... the time they hit the ground to succeed in business enterprises across our country, if we, as educators, as parents, give them this rote learning, this discipline, this task oriented approach to life, the security that comes from having a structured life. if we can give that to our students, why opportunities have never been greater. Man is ... with one eye is king in the land of the blind. And as the world is becoming blind, why, more opportunity for us.

[Rushdoony] In the 1950s a team of sociologists wrote a book The Lonely Crowd. Still exceptionally good reading. And their thesis was that what had happened was that population here in this country that had been inner directed, that is, governed by their faith and their conscience and production oriented, had become consumer oriented. They were consumers, not producers. And they were not governed by their conscience, but by the crowd, the group thinking aspect.

Well, we have seen that in a fearful way. It is continuing to develop to its logical implications so that no one thinks in terms of moral standards and conscience unless they are strong Christians.

Just a few nights ago on television I heard one man who was involved, a young man and a very brutal murder say when he was asked why he had done it, they were going to kill him, so why not? [00:54:02]

Well, our time is up...[edit]

Well, our time is up. Thank you all for listening and, Mac, God bless you and continue to prosper you in your work.

[McIntyre] Thank you for your blessing, sir.