Maturity - EC366

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Lesson[edit]

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Maturity
Course: Course - Easy Chair Series
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 64
Length: 0:53:03
TapeCode: ec366
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 366, July the fifth, 1996.

In this session Douglas Murray, Andrew Sandlin, Mark Rushdoony and I will discuss the subject of maturity.

In recent weeks a number of periodicals have touched on the subject of the loss of maturity among adults. The goal seems to be on the part of many adults one of perpetual childhood. And it is beginning to affect our culture tremendously. We see a growing loss of maturity and inability to think sensibly and logically and a childishness that is becoming endemic in our society.

The inability to think maturely is a very, very serious matter. One of the things that is apparently increasingly is that people will not think logically. Their attitude is: Why does it have to be so? Why can’t it be the way I said it? In other words, their wishes are confused with possibilities. As a result, they are childish.

Now childishness is a lack of maturity. It is an unwillingness to grow up. It is an unwillingness to cope with the problems of life.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] It is an insistence on living in a dream world.

Well, we have a population now that lives in a dream world, a world of television soap operas, the world of film and TV fair which gives us endless impossibilities. We really have a fairy land presented over and over again in films and in television. In some instances it is really amazing. It is so amazing it is interesting, because it involves such remarkable technical film work. Arnold Schwarzenegger taking on what amounts to an army coming through unscratched and everybody else dead. [00:03:07]

This is the world of fairy tales...[edit]

This is the world of fairy tales. But we want fairy tales that are grimly realistic as far as blood and death are concerned and yet still fairy tales. All this indicates that people who want to remain children, who want to live in a world of fantasy, in a world of their imagination.

We have a curious fact in that because of the decline of reading, or reading skills, television and films have replaced reading. You have a growing functional illiteracy in the population. One federal statistic says 76 million. And yet, curiously, you have a tremendous boom in the sale of romances.

[multiple voices]

[Rushdoony] And you have a tremendous sale in the realm of novels of blood and guts fiction. Both are equally romantic and unrealistic. The Schwarzenegger type of film is as much in the world of romance as the writings of the paperback romances that fill many paper back book stores. Both represent a loss of maturity in our culture. We see that loss of maturity every week in churches in that the kind of preaching is childish.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] And I do mean childish.

[Sandlin] Absolutely.

[Rushdoony] You wonder how people can put up with such drivel. And I am talking not only about evangelical churches, but modernists. Some of the modernists have the most abysmally meager preaching imaginable.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] There is no content to it. It is all entertainment. And a great deal of the very popular evangelical preaching in some parts of the country is also entertainment. This tells us we are living in the midst of a generation of childish people and when people are childish the culture ahs no future. [00:06:10]

Isaiah prophesied judgment on a generation when children...[edit]

Isaiah prophesied judgment on a generation when children ruled over the people. And by children he meant really childish and immature people. But it has become children, now, really who rule, who have temper tantrums, who can do as they please and the courts hear them. So we have an ugly situation.

There are cases now when parents—and I first heard of this years ago, but now it is much more common—threaten their parents with court action, unless they make some kind of restitution to them for having spanked them once, once 15 or 20 years ago. Of such a generation it is hard to say anything good.

[Murray] Well, Hillary Clinton is an advocate of this, you know, because it makes more work for lawyers. And anything that makes more work for lawyers they pick it up and run with it. But this ... this... this whole thing that you are talking about really is regressive behavior. But it has several sides to it. And I think the reasons are somewhat complex. I was going to mention earlier, when you are talking about the ... the... childish preaching that I almost think that churches are going to have... will resort at some point to Neilson ratings so they can see how they are doing like television programs do.

But we have had a lot of things happening in our society in the past generation, 30 years or so. And elders have been relegated to irrelevance.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] And children are being taught in the public schools that what their parents say and think and stand for is no longer relevant in the... in the current day. So many people have give in to this. Parents have given in to this. Instead of putting their kids in Christian school and taking charge of their kids’ education, they have given into it and they feel not very useful, not very important. And they have given in very easily to the governments taking away their ... their headship in the family and the reason is that they want to interrupt that chain of information and values that have been handed down... that are handed down from generation to generation.

[Sandlin] That’s right. [00:09:09]

[Murray] And the government wants to inject itself...[edit]

[Murray] And the government wants to inject itself in the process and dictate the ... the values or lack of them...

[Sandlin] And wants to be the new parent.

[Murray] Yeah. They invent new values. We are often confused by the term family values, what it means to us and what it means to...

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[Murray] ... the secular society are two different things. To them family values are the ... the ... the structure between same sex partners that are raising a child and so it means something entirely different. And people are confused by the terms. But the game is... is the government wants to take control, get total control and in order to do that they have to break the chain of handed down wisdom and values from parents to children. And they have been pretty successful at it as we see we have got kids seven, eight years old killing each other, committing murders...

[Sandlin] That’s right.

[Murray] And with no remorse, without the slightest bit of remorse. So we have got ... we have got a ... a generation now coming up of what the ... the seculars call sociopaths, but they are children who have become disconnected from their... from their family structure and their... they are subject to the whims of whatever society tells them is right and they make it up on the spot. The kids make it up on the spot and society makes it up on the spot.

[M. Rushdoony] Well, we suffer from the cult of Romanticism. It was worth what you said. The child is father of the man.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[M. Rushdoony] It is the worship of the innocent child. I marked down here just quickly several characteristics of children that these adolescent adults manifest. One is an obsession with fashions. If you have ever seen 60, 70, 80 year old people dressing in these foolish...

[Murray] Yeah.

[M. Rushdoony] You know, 70 year old ladies out on Harley motorcycles and all...

[Murray] Leisure suits.

[M. Rushdoony] Leisure suits and all this sort of repugnant nonsense.

Another was irresponsibility which Rush alluded to. Children tend to be irresponsible. They have to be taught responsibility and many adults are irresponsible. The throwing of temper tantrums of course and just self centeredness. And there are so many adults that are like that. They don’t want to serve others. They are self centered.

[Murray] Well, the signs of the times are the bumper stickers like, “We are spending our children’s inheritance.”

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] Exactly. Absolutely.

[Rushdoony] It curdles me whenever I see it.

[Sandlin] And another one, this is the remarkable one. If you... if you know children and I ... Mark certainly does. Younger children, especially are exhibitionists. They like to put on shows. And immediately I thought of this repulsive, in the religious sphere, the Christian sphere, so-called Christian sphere, this Toronto blessing, the barking, you know, adults falling down and barking like dogs and roaring like lions and all that sort of thing. The Toronto blessing which John Mark Bertude calls the Toronto curse. But we see that I the broader culture, I mean, people just wanting to get attention for themselves as adults. Well, that Is a childhood characteristic. Their way or reverting back to childhood. [00:12:40]

Biblical faith is always the ...[edit]

Biblical faith is always the ... to press on to maturity. I mean, it is, Rush, you are dealing in the book of Hebrews right now in the Sunday morning teaching and that is one of the chief themes is push on to maturity, but the modern evangelical church becomes obsessed with children and the... the ... the conversion experience, wanting to relive the days when they had real fire in their hearts for God, which is to say they want to live for emotion and intuition, which also is a childhood trait.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] Governed by feelings rather than reason and ultimately by the Word of God. So I think in these areas and a lot of others, this is a ... demonstrates the severe problem that we have as far as immaturity in ... in modern culture.

[Murray] You know, the question in my mind is: Why do people give up so easily? Why do they give up their prerogatives of raising their... their children and passing on the values that they were given by their parents? Why do people give up so easily?

[Sandlin] I will tell you one reason I think and I just wrote something about this for the report that will be published soon. People hate freedom. They like security more than freedom. It is going to cost them something to do that and they would rather have the security of watching a lot of television or just feeling good about themselves, rather that exercising their... their freedom as parents and their responsibility to train their children up in the faith. Plus, of course, there is the self centeredness involved. They don’t care about their children. They hate their children which the Bible indicates that if they don’t discipline them well.... But I think there are a lot of reasons for that. It is sad.

[M. Rushdoony] And there is a safety with going along with prevailing ideas...

[Sandlin] Absolutely, Mark.

[M. Rushdoony] ...about raising children. If you have no strong opinions.

[Sandlin] Absolutely.

[M. Rushdoony] ... on... on which is expected of a child, how you should treat a child, then you go along with prevailing opinion.

[Sandlin] Boy, that happens so many times.

[Murray] The... the... the consequences of this are already evident.

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[Murray] And older people who have raised children are not safe to walk the streets. They can’t live in the city anymore. They are afraid to go outside. I would think it would be... start ... start to hit home {?}.

[Sandlin] Well, there are indications, you know, I hear sometimes even secular psychologists on television saying, “Benjamin Spock was wrong. We do need discipline.” Of course they don’t have any biblical basis for saying it. It is just intuitive. But it is... it is empirical, too. They... they see what has happened. [00:15:04]

[Rushdoony] Just in real estate the difference between...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Just in real estate the difference between some years ago mid century and now tells us a great deal about what children mean. At one time to have a house near a school was considered an asset. And the real estate ads would speak about its proximity to schools and how close it was. Now it is no longer an asset because the children going and coming are such a headache. They are a disturbance. They are producers of trash and they do damage to things.

[Murray] Well, you have to wear a bullet proof vest when you go out to pick up the morning paper.

[Sandlin] Well, and metal detectors in the schools, of course to check the guns, of course.

[Murray] No, I would... I would think that, you know, the... the baby boom generation that the light bulbs ought to... ought to start going on. When you hear the gunfire in the street and you see on the evening news that kids seven, eight years old are committing murder without remorse and that we have a generation of sociopaths or stone cold killers coming up, but it doesn't seem to be sinking in.

[Sandlin] Well, there are all sorts of news programs on TV talking about this very thing. What are we going to do about it? There is this epidemic, you know, of these very things. And, of course, because they don’t believe in the authority of the Word of God the will never come to the right solution.

[Rushdoony] No.

[Sandlin] They will just... endless talking, endless chatter.

[Rushdoony] They will go on and on as to how to deal with this problem among the children. They will never confront the fact that they have no such problems in Christian schools.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] Yet they are endemic to the public schools. But they will not admit that as a nation and as schools, as a people we have abandoned God...

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Rushdoony] ... and we are paying the price for it.

[Sandlin] Yes. It would be too painful for them, Rush. They would be forced to question their own presuppositions. And, of course, they don’t want to do that.

[Murray] None of these so called experts on television want to admit the emperor has no clothes.

[Sandlin] That is right. Exactly.

[M. Rushdoony] A lot of the people... when people ... you look at someone’s lifestyle. Their attitude isn’t... they don’t have a good theological perspective. Their attitude isn’t is this to the glory of God. It is: What is wrong with this? What is wrong with that?

[Sandlin] Yes.

[M. Rushdoony] Same questions that were being asked when I was a... a teenager. What is wrong with this? What is wrong with that? Rather than, you know, does this help me to glorify God?

[Sandlin] Absolutely.

[M. Rushdoony] Does this contribute to my... to my...

[Sandlin] That’s a good point.

[Murray] Yeah.

[M. Rushdoony] ... to my... to my service in the kingdom of God. None of that. It is, well, really, what is, after all, what is wrong with it? [00:18:03]

[Sandlin] That is right...[edit]

[Sandlin] That is right.

[M. Rushdoony] And everything is ok unless you can prove from the Bible, chapter and verse why this is wrong. So all clothes are all right unless you can prove from the Bible why it is right. All music is ok, unless you can prove it from the Bible why it... why it... why it is really wrong. And so Christians have a very immature idea of ... of what their lifestyle should be like, what their child rearing should be like, what they should be doing with their life.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] When I was young before World War II the time of World War I and thereafter, I, as a boy, was in and out of many homes both when I was on the farm and later when I was in the city and the mid 20s on to the beginning of the 30s. So I saw a fair amount of home life. And they were not at all devout churchmen, although in those days almost everybody went to church.

The remarkable thing was that the parents were adults. They were not given to temper tantrums. They did not emote and blow off the... you heard of that sort of thing, but you never saw it. And most of the kids felt that a frown from their parents was enough to make them quail. Now the parents are having temper tantrums all the time. The children are having them. Nobody thinks anything of it and, of course, temper tantrums and stormy scenes are routine in films and especially on television. We are acting as though immaturity is natural...

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Rushdoony] ...at all times and all peoples.

[M. Rushdoony] And in morality, too.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[M. Rushdoony] You watch these kids ... these situation comedies and such that are geared really for juveniles. It is ... immorality is considered to be something that is normal, especially sexual immorality.

[Sandlin] Right. That is right.

[M. Rushdoony] They may talk about acting responsible, just to keep the networks and the advertisers happy.

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[M. Rushdoony] But they assume that the...

[Sandlin] Absolutely.

[M. Rushdoony] ...that immorality is something that happens all the time. When... when I was a kid the popular shows reflected a previous generation. And they really reflected ideas and situations that were sometimes outdated even then like The Andy Griffith Show which suffered a small town that was more .... it might have been more realistic in the 30s than... than it was, really in the.... in the 60s. And today it is... television seems to be trying to force the change to show the worst of society.

[Sandlin] When you see shows like that, Mark, today, what really strikes me is how quiet and bland they are compared to these situation comedies today which are so bombastic and loud and glitzy and showy, which, again, is a mark of children. They are obsessed by, you know, constant motion.

[M. Rushdoony] Constant change. [00:21:35]

[Sandlin] Change...[edit]

[Sandlin] Change. Absolutely.

[M. Rushdoony] Right. That is...

[Murray] Well, the marketing people who admit that all of these shows on television are geared to 12 year olds.

[Rushdoony] Yeah.

[Murray] That is their ... that is their target audience.

[Rushdoony] Yeah.

[Murray] As far as getting through, but how many programs are there on television where the advertiser really associates him... the name of the company with the content of the program? Most of the advertisers simply want access. They buy space based on how many people are going to be exposed to their advertising message.

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[Murray] With no regard to what the program is. They are... you know, how they are... how they are going to be perceived in relation to the content of the program that is on there. I think there is only one exception to that and that is the Hallmark theater.

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[Murray] You know, that is the name of the program.

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[Murray] But that is the only exception. I can’t think of any other program on television that... where the product is the name of the program.

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[M. Rushdoony] Right. They will... they will advertise it... it on any show. They will promote any show if it helps their business, if the market is there. People are watching the show, they will... they will put their commercials.

[Sandlin] Yeah. You know, yeah. You know another point. I mentioned Neil Postman’s book Amusing Ourselves to Death.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] ...which is a great work demonstrating that we have really become transformed from a word oriented society to a visual oriented society. And he points out the grave danger, you know, the stark contrast between even the United States late last century. Now how everything is so visual oriented and colorful. Even the computers tend to be that way.

[Murray] Well, there is... there is a... a... a sort of an under... an under current of discontent among computer users because ever since, for instance, Microsoft which is, you know, like having an elephant in a Volkswagen, decided to go with what they call GUI or graphic user interface, really as far as I am a concerned, they have invented a... a ... an operating system for a computer that is geared to the lowest common denominator of intelligence.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] It is...it is no long literal. I can’t stand the thing. I had it on the computer for three weeks and I threw it in the trash beaus I want to read something and understand where I am going with it.

[Sandlin] Yeah. [00:24:02]

[Murray] And not...[edit]

[Murray] And not... it is like finger painting or painting pictures on cave walls.

[Sandlin] Yeah. It irks, me that point. I don't recommend all of this man’s writings at all, but he helped me a little in the humiliation of the word. It demonstrates that ... that... that precise point how that words don’t mean much anymore. The only thing that means something is this immediate, intuitive impression, this existentialist impression that cannot be mediated through words and language. And that... the point is that the language is under assault and that is a whole different program we could do. But that is important.

[Murray] Well, the reason they are doing this is they want to capture. You know, they understand that you have got to capture the youngest possible audience.

[Sandlin] Absolutely.

[Murray] ... so that you have got a customer all the rest of their life.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] So that is the reason for the graphic user interface.

[Sandlin] But reading is a liberating concept. If you teach children how to read, it is hard to propagandize them. I mean they can tend to think for themselves. Rush, you will know that.

[Murray] Oh, we can’t have that.

[Sandlin] No, we can’t have that. That is the point. That is why we don’t ... we have to use, as Sam Blumenfeld has pointed out, we have to use the whole world method to... to... to harm their natural capacity for reading.

[Rushdoony] Well, of course, state education, Statist education is a means of indoctrination. And one of the first things that Mussolini did when he gained power was to create a national system...

[Murray] Yes.

[Rushdoony] ...of state education. And with that he had the minds of young and old.

[Murray] Well, you just described what we have.

[multiple voices]

[Sandlin] With Goals 2000.

[Murray] We have a national state education because the department of education which didn’t even exist as a cabinet post in the executive branch of government, now ... now is at the head of the... the feeding chain.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] They are dictating everything all the way down to the local school. There is no such thing as a local control in schools anymore.

[Sandlin] That’s right.

[Murray] They might decide when they need to get the roof fixed, but that is all the local school board does anymore. They have no power whatsoever, no say about content. Everything is dictated from on high.

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[Rushdoony] When I first began my studies which led to the book Messianic Character of American Education I was very strongly impressed by the fact that Horace Mann got his ideas of statist education from Prussia, from a socialist agenda to create a socialist state by using the schools to indoctrinate the children. And that is what we are getting, the same thing, a Prussianized concept of society as a result of the state schools.

[Murray] Well, you know, I get a chuckle out of the... these conflict going on between people who are arguing over whether or not they should be teaching English in the public school system or, you know, teaching foreign languages. It almost doesn't matter anymore.

[Sandlin] Yeah, that is right.

[Murray] Because we are not learning any language. They are not learning anything very well. [00:27:16]

[Sandlin] Yeah, that is just exactly right...[edit]

[Sandlin] Yeah, that is just exactly right. Schools today are for not learning, but social engineering.

[Murray] Well, they have become indoctrination centers. I mean they are...

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] They are simply not schools in the classical meaning of the... of the term.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] Well, it is important that we recognize that apart from the Christian school and the homeschool, maturity is not taught in the whole of the educational system of the United States. It is geared to immaturity and to putting a wedge between parents and children so that you have a society in which the children, in effect, have a divorce from their parents and are no longer responsible and they no longer see the parents as a role model.

Now, if you want to be mature, you have to see parents as the model for your maturity. And this is no longer true of our public school children. They see that parent as an impairment. Everything in the school and in their entertainment and television and films is anti family. The results, as a result, are deadly.

Back I the 1930s someone wrote a book about the schools in Nazi Germany. The title was a remarkably good one. It was School for Barbarians and what it did was simply to describe how by striking out against Christianity and against the family the Nazi schools were producing a generation of young barbarians. Now they didn’t have the time to develop the barbarians as much as we have had. We have followed the same course especially since about 1960 and we do have barbarians that we have produced, a generation that like the Nazis is separated intellectually, morally and culturally from their parents and a generation that is separated from Christianity. [00:30:02]

Well, what more do you want? We are doing what Hitler...[edit]

Well, what more do you want? We are doing what Hitler could not continue to do. It is amazing how in many, many things we have imitated Hitler’s program. The abortion, euthanasia...

[Murray] Homosexuality.

[Rushdoony] Homosexuality and, of course, his whole concept of education separating the children from Christian faith and from the family. So we are producing Nazis. They may not see themselves as Nazis, but they are the same as the National Socialist youth. They believe in nothing. They are worthless except in a destructive way.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] So we should not be surprised that children are actually killing babies.

[Sandlin] That is right. Recently, of course, some of you may have heard about the... was it the 12 to 14 year old boy, that skinned a younger boy alive. It is just... skinned alive, yes. I can’t remember the whole story. This was several weeks ago.

[Murray] What it... what it means is that these kids now are so easy prey to the power of suggestion through television...

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] Through comic books, through the media that their minds are very pliable when they can commit a barbarous act like that...

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] ...without remorse.

[M. Rushdoony] And there is no countervailing influence.

[Murray] No. No.

[Sandlin] {?}

[Murray] If there were a countervailing influence they would have some remorse or some....

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[Murray] … or they would think about it before they did it.

[Sandlin] Yeah, they don’t.

[Murray] But there isn’t any countervailing force in their lives.

I want to mention the economic sphere, how gullible the people are. They watch ads on television of a silver haired individual saying, “We make money the old fashioned way,” when they are, you know, hawking some financial institution or other. And yet all the financial institutions have failed have been guys that like the guy who took the Bering’s bank down was 32 or 33 years old. And some of these other guys on Wall Street that took some of these investment houses down are 29, 30 years old. And, you know, why would people invest their life savings, you know, in a company and turn it over to relative kids who have never seen an economic downturn, beaus they haven’t lived long enough?

[Sandlin] That is right. You know, another mark of immaturity is not just patritive elders, but more broadly, Rush, a hatred of history. We have a very odd anti historical temper.

[Rushdoony] Yeah.

[Sandlin] That thinks that history began, you know, with this generation.

[Murray] Even yesterday.

[Sandlin] It began yesterday. Yes. Or when they were born...

[Murray] It began with them, yeah.

[Sandlin] Exactly. And this is true, of course, in the broader culture and it is especially true in the... in the church. There is an abysmal ignorance of the history of Christianity and the history of the Church and the history of theology. And so that is why these new heresies tend to keep cropping up all the time.

[Rushdoony] Yes. [00:33:15]

[Sandlin] There aren’t any new heresies, just old heresies...[edit]

[Sandlin] There aren’t any new heresies, just old heresies and new clothes, but they keep cropping up because people don’t know history.

[Murray] Well, it is... it is endemic in politics, too, because...

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Murray] You know, you take a look a this bunch we have got in the White House and, you know, a more arrogant group you have never seen.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] They feel that they are reinventing history.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Murray] That, you know, the... the... that the other countries that have fallen doing the same thing, they just didn’t get it right and these people are going to get it right.

[Sandlin] Yeah. Rush has read a book the {?} that powerfully points that out, Billington’s Fire in the Minds of Men.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] There is always this attempt. There is this obsession of these revolutionaries with this concept of fire constantly burning. Everything has to be new every generation, you know. And, of course, we have seen... we suffer from the dregs of that in our own generation. Those that have... immediately before us have... were revolutionaries.

[Rushdoony] You referred earlier to these financial promoters. The interesting thing is that in my lifetime, since I am a little over 80, I have seen a dramatic change in that area. I recall widows of some years ago telling me that their husband had researched the various companies and purchased shares before his death a few years before in certain companies and said, “Now, stay with these. These are good money makers. Never sell them.”

In those days the financial consultants were few and far between. The number of shares traded on the market on any given day was small. I can recall the amazement when it hit 10 million shares. Now it is in the hundreds of millions every day. And it is a constant turnover, churn them and burn them.

[Murray] It is a bidding war.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And it is because the dividends are not really there, so they are just trying to make it on the speculative appreciation of the shares.

Well, this is a totally different world. It is a world lacking in maturity. The corporation does not have the maturity. It is given to this partly because of the federal policies and the requirement of quarterly reports so that long term planning is out. And partly because we have a population that is immature. [00:36:11]

So we have a very, very grimly unrealistic attitude...[edit]

So we have a very, very grimly unrealistic attitude towards the market, towards life, towards everything. We are immature. We want sudden wealth.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Sudden knowledge, sudden this and that, everything. And...

[Murray] Speed reading.

[Rushdoony] Speed reading, yes.

[Murray] {?} a big hustle.

[Rushdoony] I talk to people who told me that they have on a particular subject pushed a button on their computer and they have had the reams of material. But on subjects that I know something about they don’t know anything. You don’t get things by pushing a button. That doesn't put it in your head.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] And their ability to absorb is not speeded up by the computer.

[Rushdoony] No, it is lessened because they have so much they could call up and they feel so highly intelligent and they act as tough I am in the dark ages intellectually because I don’t have that. Well, I am glad I don’t, because it is a toy, basically. It is a toy whereby they conjure up this and that and they have the world at the fingertips and yet they still don’t know much about anything.

[Sandlin] They can read, but they can’t think.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And then they glance through it. They are not used to studying.

[Sandlin] That is right. Well, Rush, that leads to something else and that is a real lack of mental discipline. If someone is going to be a good thinker, he has to be a disciplined thinker.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] And that requires hard work.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] And people just like to sort of ... we are I the sound byte generation, you know. We just like to grab information on the run, but scholars can’t grab information on the run. They have to take time to digest it and think it over. And an immature generation doesn't want to do that.

[Rushdoony] Well, in certain circles in this country intellectual circles, high up culturally, intellectually, educationally, the ... an important thing is to read one or two of the prominent book review tabloids. They are interested in reading about books rather than reading a book.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] They will discuss the book endlessly. It was some years ago that I learned that when they talk about the book then condemn it, it is without knowledge. They have just read the review. And the reviews, I will admit, are now five and six tabloid pages long in some of these book review supplements, but they are still not the same as the book and while some of them are excellently done, they follow a particular intellectually correct line. And they do not tell you necessarily what the book is about.

[Murray] Well, that is because they... they... in college they read Cliff’s Notes.

[Sandlin] I was going to say that. Exactly.

[Murray] Digest versions of classic works.

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[Murray] Just to get... just to get the flavor of it and get through it quick. [00:39:49]

[Sandlin] Yeah, that is right...[edit]

[Sandlin] Yeah, that is right.

[M. Rushdoony] You mentioned a sound... sound bytes and being a sound byte generation. I have noticed in increasingly it has gotten much worse in the last few election campaigns how shallow the political campaigns are.

[Sandlin] Absolutely.

[M. Rushdoony] ... from every side and every candidate.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[M. Rushdoony] It is... I really think they are afraid to speak to the issues because they know the... the... too many voters don’t make decisions based on ...

[Sandlin] Absolutely.

[M. Rushdoony] ... anything firm. So they have to have campaign ads that are shallow.

[Sandlin] And you can see that in the debates. The debates are a farce. On the... more time is spent on how the hair looks and, you know, the make up and...

[Murray] Image.

[Sandlin] Exactly.

[M. Rushdoony] Saying something the right way versus saying the right things.

[Sandlin] Or a couple of little slogans that will capture people’s imagination rather than substantive discussion. That is what the people want. Then they deserve to have it.

[Murray] People are now, you know, they are at the point now in this campaign where they are going to be looking for scandal. You know?

[Sandlin] Yeah.

{?}

[Sandlin] ... and no substance, so they are looking or scandal. Yeah.

[M. Rushdoony] And that is one of the things that has stood... that... that its still effective because it is an emotional reaction. So and so’s campaign advertisement was dishonest or misleading and so everybody is accusing every ad is... the other ad was misleading. The other ad was dishonest. And they are constantly flip flopping because it is emotional reaction if you don’t have any opinion.

[Sandlin] Absolutely.

[M. Rushdoony] ... as to... as to the issue involved in the campaign ad, because if you really believe something you know where you stand, probably, before you ever saw an ad.

[Murray] Yeah, but I wonder if this is done intentionally to draw people’s attention away from the issues.

[M. Rushdoony] But people are... can be drawn away from the issues because of this lack of maturity.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[M. Rushdoony] ... this lack of thinking. They don’t make. ... they don’t have any moral opinions.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[M. Rushdoony] They don’t believe something is right or wrong. They don’t have any firm opinion about which way our country is going.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[M. Rushdoony] It is like you can talk to some people and they sound like an arch conservative one minute and if the subject changes slightly they... they are giving some socialistic whine.

[Sandlin] Well, that is... that is like Rush was saying. They don’t think logically. They don’t... they don’t understand. [00:42:07]

[Rushdoony] A few years ago I had a telephone call...[edit]

[Rushdoony] A few years ago I had a telephone call from an angry father in the South and a hurt and offended father. He had some occasion to discuss something and the name of Robert E. Lee came up and his high school son dismissed Robert E. Lee with a very course epithet, very course. And the father was horrified and said, “Where did you learn that kind of talk?” And he said, “Oh, we learned about Robert E. Lee and all those so and sos at school.”

The father was too dumbfounded to do anything about it. He was so shocked. And he called me to report on that and I said, “Well, if you read the textbooks you will begin to understand why your father... or your son talked like that. And the teacher would be much more blunt than the textbook.”

And I said, “This is not unusual. It is happening with regard to great figures in American history like George Washington, Patrick, Henry as well as Robert E. Lee and we should not be surprised.”

[Murray] They are no longer even mentioned in some history text books.

[Rushdoony] Of course not.

[Murray] Their names don’t even come up.

[Rushdoony] But there is another aspect to it. It is the disrespect for older men.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] For men of the past who are not here to defend themselves. And this has become quite routine. Our whole educational system is dedicated to it.

I know that back in the 30s there was a professor of history at Berkeley who was brought there as something of a prize because he had been a minor figure in Roosevelt’s brain trust in his first term, first couple of years actually. Well, the interesting thing was the man quickly was out of favor with the rest of the faculty, with the instructors and the section leaders who were students, graduate students, because he thoroughly admired Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Now I was never for a moment a pro FDR man, but from the training I received at home, you did not speak of anyone with disrespect. You could speak critically, but not disrespectfully. And it wasn’t the critical aspect. It was the disrespectful aspect that marked the reset of the faculty. [00:45:45]

Roosevelt, for them, was too conservative...[edit]

Roosevelt, for them, was too conservative. They were Socialists to the core. And as a result they despised Roosevelt.

Well, this kind of common disrespect has become routine in the political sphere.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] Now, granted, there... we have had men in politics who are ungodly and immoral men. But that does not entitle them to anything other than respect for their office, that they can be tried for their offenses. They can be held accountable for them by the proper authorities, but the kind of contempt and routine disrespect that our educational system now instills in children is very scary. At the same time it is tied with an adulation if someone is the teacher’s hero so that they will be uncritical and unintelligent about politicians whom the teachers think highly of and totally contemptuous of all others. And neither attitude is sensible.

But we do have schools for barbarians all around us.

[Murray] Well, teachers today exalt revolutionaries of almost any kind.

[M. Rushdoony] Yeah.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] And maturity and mature thinking is considered an obstruction. I don’t know who said it, but, you know, the smart man learns from his own mistakes and the wise man learns from the mistakes of others. And when you forget that the only way you can get wisdom is through experience...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] ...in making mistakes, you know, you are going to make mistakes in order to learn. And the only people who know anything, you know, are the people that have been around for a while.

[Sandlin] Yeah. Oh, Rush, our whole language has been polluted and corrupted, too. There is a great deal of... of crudeness and obscenity in language today that was not as prominent, I believe, 50 to 100 years ago from my experience at my reading. The English language itself has become bitterly corrupted. And good diction is really eschewed in a lot of quarters even by political figures and people that one would think should know better. But that, too, is a mark of immaturity, childishness.

[Rushdoony] Yes. [00:48:43]

[Sandlin] The use of slang and all that sort of thing...[edit]

[Sandlin] The use of slang and all that sort of thing.

[Murray] Well, the thing that has changed radically in my lifetime is that, you know, I can remember, you know, kids in the neighborhood, their mothers would wash the kid’s mouth out if he said anything.

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] But now the... the mothers are as foul mouthed as...

[Sandlin] That’s right.

[Murray] ...as... as any longshoreman. I mean, they are... they... and they... they pass it on to the kids and the kids thing nothing of it.

[Sandlin] Right.

[Murray] Sometimes the kids will ... you know, in a larger social group they will say something of color and they... the mother will, you know, say something to the kid, but it is... it is hypocritical, because at home, you know, where it counts, when they are away from the social setting, why, there is no restraint whatsoever.

[Sandlin] That is true.

[Murray] Some of these kids, you.... you hear them talk to their parents in the supermarket and you just think, you know, it just sets my teeth on edge.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Rushdoony] And you hear ...

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] ...new terms all the time. I... they invent new words so...

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[Rushdoony] ... all of which express contempt.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Rushdoony] It is impossible now to keep up with it.

[Murray] Well, and they get a lot of that from television and these cop shows, you know, the term became fashionable dirt bag and turkey and all of these demeaning terms that sometimes unprofessional people in law enforcement use as a means of dehumanizing the people that they deal with so that they don’t have any emotional problem.

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[Murray] ... with handing them. But unfortunately when this gets out on television and the kids pick it up and everyone is dehumanized. There is... and, you know, their respect is gone. There... there is no respect for life. There is no respect for people.

[Rushdoony] Well, on the positive side, in the Christian and homeschool movements, we see a rapidly growing younger generation of a totally different character. They show maturity by the eighth grade that our university students in secular institutions do not have. They show a respect, a willingness to learn and an appreciation of what they are getting. It is refreshing.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Rushdoony] So I think we can take heart, because the future belongs to us.

[Sandlin] Yes. [00:51:24]

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

[Rushdoony] Well, our time is almost up. Is there a last statement or two that each of you would like to make?

[Murray] Well, I have... in the past few years, you know, I have gotten interested in prospecting and so forth. And I found a curious thing. The only people who know anything about it have silver hair, because they found out from experience and I have had to seek out the ... the 70 year olds and the 80 year olds to find out anything authoritative on the subject, because they have been there and done it. And I think that that can be extended to almost any other sphere of life. If you want to find something out and talk to somebody who has already made the mistakes and found out what works, then you will know something.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[M. Rushdoony] I... I think maturity is basically a spiritual problem.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[M. Rushdoony] If you have a concept of what God expects of you in life and that God expects something of you, like and that you are responsible to God is going to change your attitude. You are not going be so self centered. And immaturity is basically self centeredness.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Very well put.

Well, our time is about up. Thank you all for listening and God bless you.