Messianic Character of American Education (Q and A) - RR151A1
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[Introduction] He is the author of many books, many of which we have on sale on the table in the other building and is a real joy and privilege to have Dr. Rushdoony with us. We’re starting a little late, you take all the time you need, and we’re in no hurry.
[Rushdoony] Our subject this first hour is the messianic character of American education. However I’m not going to give a book review of my book of the same title. If you want to know what I say in the book, read it. Well I’m going to do is speak on the subject rather generally and bring it up to date as it were. Alexander Pope, an eighteenth century poet, in four lines expressed the fact which is all too true. He wrote: “Vice is a monster of so frightful mein, As to be hated needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, we first endure, then pity, then embrace.” This unfortunately is the situation with regard to government schools. When they were first proposed, Christians recognized them for the anti-Christian movement that they are. The sad fact is that all too many Christians defend the government schools today as though it were a part of our American heritage. [00:02:01]
I heard the governor of a major state two years ago...
I heard the governor of a major state two years ago, a man who is an evangelical and a Sunday school teacher, defend the public schools and summon all good conservatives to come to the defense of this very socialistic institution. Let us examine very briefly the origins of state control of education and then analyze the goals of statist education. The intellectual origins very briefly are in Hegel, who saw the state as the central institution of human society as God walking upon earth and in the American followers of Hegel, the transcendentalists. The political origins were in Prussia; Horace Mann was an imitator of Prussia and in the American socialists. The religious origins of state education are unmistakable. All the key figures in the inauguration of statist education in America were without exception were Unitarians. They were anti-Puritan to the core and anti-Christian. Their goals were to first separate Biblical faith and the schools. Second: to give the state priority in life. Third to provide statist, that is non-theological social order and fourth, to give man salvation without Jesus Christ. IT is interesting to analyze some of the key figures in the origins of state school movement. Within education the two major figures were Horace Mann and James G. Carter, both of them Unitarians, both them statists, both of them believed that emphatically salvation is by education, non-Christian statist education. They believe that the humanist education and Mann was very vocal on this score, the time would come a century hence when America would be a cleansed and purified land. When crime, poverty, sickness and all social problems would disappear and the America of the twentieth century had any prisons they would be as museums so that Americans of the twentieth century would see how crudely and savagely their ancestors lived. [00:05:28]
Of course, to cite Mann’s hopes is to mock Mann...
Of course, to cite Mann’s hopes is to mock Mann. Because everything Mann stood for not only has not been realized, but has been proven to be as false of hope as ever deluded man pursued. Two other figures were also very influential in the movement which led to the first statist system of education in this country in Massachusetts. One of them was Charles Sumner, senator, Unitarian, bitter enemy of Christianity, an Abolitionist leader and infamous senator. But even central was Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a Unitarian minister and very wealthy man who had at one point remarked that he always had money to spend for treason to his country. Thomas Wentworth Higginson not only helped finance the move that led to the formation of the first state system of education in this country, he also helped finance John Browns raid on Harpers Ferry in the hopes that it would create war, which would, he hoped, lead to revolution. Higginson had a long and active life; he lived long enough in 1905 to be one of the five men who founded the League for Industrial Democracy, the LID, and also the Intercollegiate Society of Socialist Students which trained the routers and many of the most prominent socialists of the twentieth century. Indeed, the products of that group dominated Washington when the Allied celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 1955. Now the statist schools have propagated the very extensive mythology which governs people’s ideas concerning statist education. This mythology can be summed up under two heads, first that all public or statist schools are concerned with objective neutral education, here is nonsectarian, non-partisan education, supposedly just the facts. Second, the idea is propagated that recently trouble makers have deflected the state schools from their original purpose and if we can only get back to that original purpose, all will be well. [00:08:48]
Both premises, both myths, are totally and radically...
Both premises, both myths, are totally and radically wrong. The idea that there is such a thing as an objective education is an illusion. The idea of neutrality and objectivity are myths. Man cannot be neutral; man cannot be objective, only God can. When I stand here and look out at this room I see it from a perspective. When you sit there and look you see it from a perspective. You can neither see me or the room in its entirety. First you can only see the front of me and the front of this sanctuary, and second you cannot see all of me that is, the inner man. Your perspective is limited even as mine is limited. It is partial; it is from a particular point. It is a perspective; it does not encompass the totality of things. Only God stands apart from the whole created order, only God can see all things, the beginning and the end as well as it’s totality, only God can see the inner man and know it in its entirety as well as the outer man. Thus, when the humanist claims that man can have autonomous, objective, knowledge about reality, what is he saying is that man is God, because that kind of knowledge is only possible to God. Thus a basic premise, a latent, a hidden premise in its origins, of statist education is ye shall be as gods. In other words it has adopted the premise of Satan and made it its gospel. Now on the other half of Satan’s statement is knowing, that is, determining for yourself, what constitutes good and evil. This is precisely what the statist schools presume to do, having abandoned God and his word. Now man in terms of his own concept of what constitutes right and wrong analyzes and determines good and evil for himself. [00:12:00]
Thus man in secular, in statist education is prepared...
Thus man in secular, in statist education is prepared to be his own God. Right reason is held to be capable of objective, neutral analysis and of transcendental critique of reality. The academy of the university is the tower from whence right reasons surveys reality and comes up with authoritative God-like judgments. This is the mythology of statist education, it is the mythology of humanism; it is in essence original sin made into an education philosophy. This is why Christian education must not only have its own philosophy but it must develop its own curriculum. I have a book not yet typed and in the hands of the printer which goes precisely into this area of education. The concept of a Christian curriculum, it is urgently necessary because Christian education must be root and branch, thoroughly biblical, thoroughly cleansed of this myth of objectivity. The only objectivity to which we can lay claim is God’s objectivity and when we stand in terms of his word, his declared truth, then we have the only way to objective knowledge which man is capable of. Our knowledge is subjective; this does not mean it is necessarily wrong. Because when it is premised upon God’s Word, upon God’s truths, our subjective awareness can lay hold of truth. [00:14:22]
We have dealt, very briefly, with the goals of statist...
We have dealt, very briefly, with the goals of statist education. They can be summed up really in one point. The basic function of statist education is to uphold the state. The Marxist state will have a Marxist philosophy of education, the pagan/socialist state will have a pagan/socialist philosophy of education, the democratic state will have a democratic philosophy of education, the National Socialists, the Fascists and so on will have one in terms of their basic philosophy. Every state school is concerned with furthering the life of the state and the faith of the state, the religion of the state. Every state has a religion, the idea that you can separate religion and the state is a myth. As a matter of fact throughout history the most important religious institution has been the state. Outside the world of the Old Testament and outside Christianity, every state was in essence decentralist religious institution. It was divine, the emperor or the ruler was a God, the office was a divine office. Civil government has always been a religious institution, all too often the central religion institution. It was the great work of Christianity that it de-divinized the state. It said that the state was under God, but not God. It declared that the state had a positive duty to be Christian, that it could never presume to be God or to be divine. The state is religious, inescapably. If the state is not Christian it will form another religion and the religion of the modern state is humanism. The state is a religious institution inescapably so, because every state is a law order. Now every law order is concerned with morality, thou shalt and thou shalt not, all law is simply enacted morality, this is inescapable. [00:17:36]
All law is either enacted morality or procedures for...
All law is either enacted morality or procedures for the enactment of enacted morality. This is true of traffic laws, by the way. Traffic laws deal with the protection of life and property, thou shalt not kill and thou shalt not steal by your reckless driving. The degree to which traffic laws, incidentally, are observed depends on the degree of evangelical faith in a particular country. People who have traveled in the Far East tell me that you don’t know what hair-raising experiences are until you drive with some native driver in the Far East where there is no Christianity. The lowest ratio of accidents per cars and miles driven incidentally is in the United States, where you still have more evangelical faith than you do in almost any other country in the world. Now, every law system represents therefore a moral system, and every moral system represents a kind or a theological order, thus every state is implicitly or explicitly a theological order developed into a particular kind of structure. Moreover, in any system of thought or philosophy the God of that system can be located wherever law originates. Wherever law originates there you have the God of that system, this is inescapable. And therefore when law originates as it does with us today, with man, not in terms of Gods law, but in terms of mans will then you have the worship of man and the religion of man, humanism. [00:20:15]
Max Weber, a European sociologist said that at the...
Max Weber, a European sociologist said that at the beginning of this century that the function of European education was to train civil servants for the state. For as the function of American education was to train citizens for the state. That was a good many years ago that Max Weber wrote, but Weber very clearly that which most Americans took fifty or seventy years to recognize, namely that the purpose of the schools is not to educate, the purpose of the schools is to train citizens and to train them in obedience to the state. The basic socialism you see is the socialism of the child. It is impossible for parents to object when the state takes their property and their money, when they’ve already surrendered their child, and you will never undercut socialism without undercutting its hold on the child and its hold on the mind, religiously. We will deal with that in a later hour. In 1938 the N.E.A. defined the purposes of education in American democracy as fourfold, self-realization, human relationship, economic efficiency and civil responsibility. This definition they said was in terms of social democracy. They were openly anti-Christian as well. Now you note as they defined education that they never said one thing about learning. [00:22:54]
They never mentioned that, it wasn’t that important...
They never mentioned that, it wasn’t that important. The basic purpose you see was to train the child in democratic living and civic responsibility. Hence it is in terms of democratic living that the next step was of course integration, the next step was of course the new morality, and the next step was of course to open the child’s horizons in terms of a total humanism. Democratic living, not Christian living, democratic living. Moreover, they went on to state and I quote: “The entire curriculum, the entire life of the school in fact, should be a youthful experience in democratic living. Quickening social inventiveness and agitating the social conscience, so our citizens for the democratic states successfully educate.” Now I submit with a change of a single word, this definition in substance is what Hitler would have been pleased with and what the Soviet Union would be pleased with. Substitute instead of democratic, fascist or Nazi or communist, and it would read “The entire curriculum, the entire life of the school, in fact, should be a youthful experience in (fascist, Nazi, communist) living. Quickening social inventiveness and agitating the social conscience, so our citizens for the (Nazi, fascist, communist) state successfully educate.” 25:09
The goal of statist education in every society is essentially the same, the label changes, but the reality is unchanging. The child and man for the welfare of the humanistic state, thus whenever you have statist education the first function of the school is to serve the state in its social order and second as the N.E.A. very plainly said, the conscience of the child is to be agitated not towards God and His moral law but towards the social group to further in terms of their own phrasing ‘social conscience’. Not Godly conscience, but social conscience. But what if parents want an education oriented towards God? Such schools through the years have been condemned by the N.E.A. however high their high caliber of learning, because they declare the democratic experience is lacking and there is no orientation towards a social conscience. The schools have always been what they are now, only they are now more openly so. Their purpose is to enable the state to preserve itself and to mold the child into a statist mental cast. We thus face a very real warfare. We are in a situation comparable to that of the early church in the Roman Empire, the whole world today is socialist; the labels vary but the reality is the same. The degrees of socialism vary, but the fact is omnipresent in every country. [00:27:38]
The early church at any time could have avoided persecution...
The early church at any time could have avoided persecution, Rome had no desire to persecute any religion, as a matter of fact the avowed policy of Rome was to recognize, legitimize every new religion and put it to the service of the state. Roman philosophers like the enlightenment philosophers were very, very open about their use of religion, they did not believe in it. Cicero who tragically is a hero of some conservatives and should not be, regarded the gods as a myth that he felt belief in the gods was very valuable, after all (and he was very much likable (terror? To Ayer?) in that respect) if a servant does not believe in the gods, he may rob me. But as long as he believes in the Gods and believes in that nonsense about the Gods punishing you if you don’t behave, then he’s safe to have around the place. The roman philosophers therefore very openly regarded religion as social cement, as holding society together. The emperors therefore did everything to recognize religion and to make it serve that purpose. They were not new in this; the Greeks had done this before them, and many other states before them. We have a relic of that usage of religion in our word ‘liturgy’ which comes from the Greek and literally means public work. Religion was once the department of public works, of the state. To keep us safe and in line, and to keep the people in line for the purposes of the state, the Roman emperors therefore did everything to woo the early church. If they would only go through the motions of recognizing that Caesar was the mediator, just go through the motions, a little incense on the altar and then go your own way, we won’t bother you. [00:30:34]
The struggle was inescapable because of the church...
The struggle was inescapable because of the church’s commitment to Christ and the Word of God. As a matter of fact, Saint Paul very early threw down the gauntlet when he echoed a Latin expression with a change of name. It was the Roman theology that there is none other name under heaven by which men may be saved then the name of Caesar. The state was man’s savior. The head of the state was the mediator and Saint Paul declared emphatically: “There is none other name under heaven by which man may be saved then Jesus Christ.” This is why war was inevitable, war between Christ and Caesar, war to the death, and it was that. Nowadays the tragic fact is that our mythologists in the schools are telling us the idea of the Christians being thrown to the lions and being ruthlessly executed in the arena and elsewhere is myth and legend. It was all too true. We have eye witnesses reporting very early martyrdoms, for example, of Perpetua, very moving and powerful account. She and her friends, young people, young mothers facing a meaningless Roman Empire a few generations only, early in the second century after our Lord and finding life all around them meaningless, began to try to find some meaning, some purpose, salvation. And they went to meetings in homes and found Christ. [00:33:20]
They were also arrested in such meetings...
They were also arrested in such meetings. And we have an eyewitness account of Perpetua, she had just given birth to her child and the Roman official as a friend of the family because she came from a very prominent pagan family, telling her to have pity on her father, don’t disgrace him by associating yourself with this illegal group. And her parents holding up her baby and saying to just walk past the altar, put a few pieces of incense on it and come and join us, your baby needs you. And she reporting, we have her actual words, that her breasts were heavy with milk and ached for her babe but she could not. She and countless others went to their deaths rather than surrender, and the great persecution of Diocletian, the order was to eliminate all the Christians wholesale. And we are told that the executioners with their swords and with their axes worked steadily, one head after another rolling, until when it came to relieve them either for lunch or for because the day was over, their hands had grown numb on the handle and had to be pried off. But it was Rome that lost, and Christ that triumphed, as he always shall. It is a battle again between Christ and Caesar and there is no doubt about the conclusion, no possible doubt. [00:35:37]
The only question of course is where will many of the...
The only question of course is where will many of the church members stand in the battle? With Christ in victory or with Caesar and his certain defeat. Today, the critical arena is the Christian school. There was a very interesting article a few months ago in the Los Angeles Times, one of the most powerful and more liberal papers of the United States; it was called ‘The Quiet Revolution’. This amused me because I have often used that term in describing the Christian school movement; however the ironic fact is they described the tremendous growth in the past twenty years of non-governmental schools and the fact that these schools are springing up all over the landscape, they never once mentioned the fact that these are Christian schools. Private schools are closing their doors; they’re finding long established once very successful schools that they now have insuperable discipline problems and they cannot cope. They cannot cope with the child without a moral and religious premise. [00:37:34]
One school in California which has historically a waiting...
One school in California which has historically a waiting list is one of the fix or six most prominent public schools in the United States, it is more important as a matter of fact, to say that you went to this particular school then you were a graduate of Harvard or Yale. In social circles as well as in corporate circles it means more. Usually registrations were for years and years in advance when your child was born, you placed him if he were a son on the waiting list for this school. Now for the first time in their history they have no waiting list. These schools are closing their doors, the ‘quiet revolution’ that the LA Times spoke about, is not in the area of private schools, it’s not in the area of the traditional parochial schools…the Catholic church unfortunately is retreating badly in this area. It has been closing down schools at a drastic rate, well over two hundred a year. Incidentally many of these are closed because the bishops do not believe in them and others because the teaching nuns will not go along with the left wing tendencies of their church, theologically and otherwise. As a matter of fact, parenthetically, one very beautiful plan, four million dollar plant operated by some nuns in Los Angeles shut its doors down a year ago June. There were seven or eight hundred pupils there and it is interesting that the end of the school year, the nuns sent letters unauthorized to all the parents recommending where their children should go to school for their moral and spiritual welfare and the recommendations were all evangelical schools in the area and virtually all the children wound up there. Very interesting development. [00:40:24]
The battle is being joined however between Christ and...
The battle is being joined however between Christ and Caesar in the area of the Christian school. And this is why we can expect in the days ahead more and more repressive legislation, more and more roadblocks. On the other hand we can also expect more and more attempts by legislators to curry favor with the schools, precisely because they are recognizing that so many parents are becoming involved that the Christian school movement has political force. Two years ago the governor of California went to the Association of Christian Schools convention and spoke at their banquet. It is not because our governor is interested in Christian schools but he is interested in votes. And he had been advised that there are so many parents now involved in this movement it would be wise not to neglect this area of interest. As this battle between Christian schools and the state is joined between Christ and Caesar, it becomes therefore all the more imperative that we as Christian School teachers and administrators and sponsors, supporting churches or boards, become aware of the basic issues and have a clear cut awareness of our premises. [00:42:08]
The safe school knows what it believes...
The safe school knows what it believes; it applies it systematically and thoroughly. It is a radically humanistic faith, it is imperative for us therefore to rethink Christian doctrine, develop a systematic philosophy of education, a Christian curriculum, so that root and branch, our schools are Christian. I believe that the Christian school is the key to the future; I believe that today the opposition recognizes this. I began to believe that when I wrote my book the Messianic Character of American Education. One of the very interesting things that happened when that book was published was the fact that I began to get reports (in fact I got a copy of one or two reviews) made by various state boards of education across the country. Publically they never acknowledged the existence of the book. Privately they asked someone to review it. The thing that amused me was that in one major state one of the public officials who wrote the review became a convert to the idea of Christian schools through reading the book. I was also made aware of the significance of the issue, how important this issue is in our day. When recently my son in law Gary North who is with the Foundation for Economic Education was asked to write a review of several books in education for a major publication, one of the most important publications in the United States. In the second paragraph he included a reference to my book, The Messianic Character of American Education, just one sentence. The editor immediately wrote back that that statement had to go. [00:44:44]
There could be no reference to that book and he would...
There could be no reference to that book and he would say no more. Fortunately Gary stood his ground and the reference was included, but it is significant that he was aware of the book, he was aware of the book not because the book is that important although I think it’s a good book. But because the issue is at stake is so central to our time. How can you have a statist society, a humanistic society, well today one child in three is not in the state schools, and the state grade schools. When one child in ten is not in the state high schools and in both areas the percentage is growing every year, and when the real growth is the Christian school, this is the quiet revolution; it is moreover, the quiet warfare. Saint Paul long ago gave us the council for Christian warfare, the whole armor of god and it is with this that we must prepare ourselves for the days ahead. If we so prepare ourselves, we shall be a part of the inescapable and the inevitable victory. [00:46:38]
We have a little time for questions, anyone have a...
We have a little time for questions, anyone have a question? Yes.
[Question] I would like to, you were touching on this point when speaking about the Christians, and I was wondering about the idea of a Christian Militancy, because I’ve heard some people say, I’ve heard some preachers say that it’s “It’s not my job to oppose communism, it’s my job to preach the gospel,” And usually their gospel preaching is this surface baloney as far as I’m concerned. I was wondering, as far as the early church is concerned, the only thing I ever hear, the Christians would be thrown to the lions and that’s it, and you see in Peter, the personality of a man who was given to resistance against materialistic forces, and you also see it in the character of Paul. In the early Church were there any resistance movements to the Roman Empire?
[Rushdoony Answers] The question is, were there any resistance movements to the Roman Empire. No. There were action movements, this is the key. You see, today, we are too much concerned with resistance, opposition, too little with action. For example, one of the things that the early church did, was this, it was quite common in that day for babies to be abandoned under the arches of the bridges of Rome. Before them the Jewish believers of Rome had done this, and the Christians very quickly followed suit and surpassed the Jews by far on this. They would collect those babies and rear them, as Christians…very significant step. They were training up not only their own children but abandoned children to be soldiers of Christ. Then again, the Christians took care of one another; this was a very significant fact. They took take care of their aged; they took care of their sick. In every congregation Christians took care of their own, and if there was need elsewhere they took care of them, remember Saint Paul, the collection for the needy of Jerusalem where there was a famine. It was regarded as a necessary aspect of Christian society. Now, this was a very important fact and a very deadly fact, because the Roman Empire was in the business of providing bread and security. Cradle to grave security. [00:50:06]
Under Aurelian in ...
Under Aurelian in 275 or 6 A.D. in fact it’s said that even the children of welfare recipients would have welfare as a hereditary right and their children and their children’s children after them. They were going to take care of everybody, but the Christians proceeded to take care of their own. They were creating a state within a state. Let me add parenthetically here that in the Soviet Union it is an offense against the state and counter revolutionary to indulge in private charity. If you as a Christian are living in an apartment building and Mrs. Ivanhoff is sick and her husband is sick and they have no income and you take up an offering among your fellow Christians there or your friends to take care of them, you are guilty of counter revolutionary and illegal activity. Private charity, Christian charity is strictly prohibited. Why? Because it creates a person to person and a person to God bond, as against a person to state bond. Now this is precisely what the early church was doing. It was taking care of its own, it was educating its own, it was a society that was the envy of those around about. If it hadn’t been for the fact of persecution most romans would have gladly joined the church because that’s where all the benefits were. It was obviously the most desirable society. Now, they were busy creating a Christian society and they were creating a new order amidst the ruins of an old order. [00:52:16]
I believe this is our function...
I believe this is our function. I believe we’re at the end of the age of the state. Now we may linger in its ruins for two centuries. Two centuries of slavery or we may create a Christian civilization the world over. The difference will be entirely up to the Christians. I can waste my breath from morning to evening talking against what Washington does and what our state capitol does and our board of supervisors and the communist infiltrators and the terrible people in our public schools and what have I done? I had a woman come to me who was very prominent on a national level in conservative politics and she told me with tears, she said: “I was so busy saving the country that I lost my girls. And one of my daughters was involved in narcotics, in sexual delinquency and every type of depravity imaginable well I was busy flying from one end of the country to the other trying to save the republic.” You see, it isn’t in taking a stand on things, it’s doing something. Key to this, if you don’t mind me going on a little bit further along on this, the key to this is the tithe. This is something I never get very preachy about. In terms of scripture, there were three tithes and you wives listen and bug your husbands about this. The first tithe was the Lord’s tithe which one percent had to go to the priests. The rest went to the Lord’s work which generally included church music and a great deal more. The second tithe which was every other year so it came out to five percent, you see, annually, was the poor tithe, for welfare. The third tithe which was in intervening years so that if the first, third and fifth years were the poor tithe than the second, fourth and the sixth was the tithe for rejoicing before the lord, again it averages out to five percent a year or ten percent every other year. [00:54:59]
And rejoicing before the Lord, we would say a vacation...
And rejoicing before the Lord, we would say a vacation but a Godly vacation for the joy of the family and the Lord, for their refreshing in the lord. You see God is mindful of all our needs. Now, what has happened today is that all three tithes have gone by the board. Incidentally there is no gift to the Lord according to Leviticus unless it’s above and over the tithe. Now, with the tithe all the basic social functions were taken care of in every Christian era, health, education, welfare, everything, until the last century or so virtually every hospital in Christendom was a Christian hospital, it was a product of tithes. The Puritans started job for training, that’s a familiar phrase nowadays, they started job for training for the people who are down and out to prepare them for new vocations. Schools were provided for everyone with tithe money. As a matter of fact, one of the most interesting things that in one of my forthcoming books, in fact in a couple of them I go into this, in the early years of this republic we had three million people. When this country was established, when the constitution was adopted, we had three million people. Before too long the population was doubling every few years, a very sizable percentage of those people who came in after the founding of the republic, some before but mostly after, were Catholics so this country within twenty years or so could have turned catholic but it didn’t. A very large number were criminals and hoodlums, as a matter of fact it became routine strategy for people in the various European cities whenever they had a hoodlum and they wanted rid of him, they said all right you either go to prison and get so many lashes or maybe the gallows, or we’ll put you on a boat and get out of the country. We’ll put you on a boat for America and for families that had delinquent girls who had become pregnant out of wedlock to put them on a boat and send them across the ocean. [00:58:27]
And a lot of those girls immediately began to turn...
And a lot of those girls immediately began to turn prostitutes; they landed in Boston or New York or Baltimore with nothing, nothing. It was a shocking situation, now what resolved it? de Tocqueville in a very famous footnote in his original edition and read de Tocqueville only if you can get an original unedited version, writing about eighteen thirty said that the worst cities of the world were the cities of the United States. And he felt that war was inescapable here unless revolution, unless a large standing army raised by the United States to keep order in the cities and to suppress revolution. Well de Tocqueville in other areas was a good prophet but not in this one. What solved the matter? Thousands and literally thousands of tithe agencies sprang up across the United States to deal with these immigrants, to evangelize them, to set up Christian schools for their children, to set up groups or agencies to teach their womenfolk housekeeping in America because conditions were so different, to give job training to the men, to teach them English, every kind of training imaginable. Salem I believe, I trace Salem at one time about 1790 had (I think) three thousand and 1845, 1795 had three thousand, 1845, forty five thousand. The increase was almost all immigration and yet it remained a typical New England evangelical community. How? With that tremendous influx that would have wiped it out as far as its old puritan character was concerned. Simply through these tithe agencies. That was when the tithe began to disappear that socialism appeared. You want to eliminate socialism, start tithing, and put your tithe to work for the Lord. Start creating Christian institutions, schools, hospitals, every kind of agency… take care of the people in your circle. [01:01:16]
You know, one of the things that distresses me and...
You know, one of the things that distresses me and makes me aware of how weak the church is today is the fact that there isn’t a congregation that doesn’t have its elderly that aren’t cared for, and the church is sending money off to other areas. Think of the number of elderly where the husband or the wife is bed ridden and they need someone to take them shopping, they need someone to come in regularly to clean house or to mow the lawn. Now this is Christian action, and when the church begins to do this sort of thing it’s going to change its community as well as itself. Yes.
[Question Unintelligible] Well this is very important I appreciate the fact that…we are confronted with a pagan society, but we also have a republic which in some sense has remained constant to Biblical covenant. We have an obligation…. In Holland and Britain and the United States… we would not even be a Christian citizen….
[Rushdoony Answers] Right, we have the Christian basis not entirely eroded; we have something we can work with. We also have this on our side, while we have extremely militant bitterly anti-Christian people in high places; we also have many, men without faith, who would welcome a change. I have had some very interesting experiences in that area with governmental officials, I’ve spoken to a number, a number of them run across my Chalcedon report and have sought me out. Including one man highly placed in Washington. [01:04:13]
He’s a man without any faith and yet he’s a man who...
He’s a man without any faith and yet he’s a man who is deeply disturbed about the direction of things. And he knows that our present intellectual position is morally bankrupt and when government business brought him out to Los Angeles and I didn’t even know he knew I existed, he came by and spent an entire day with me asking me endless questions. And there is no question in my mind that he and other such men, that’s just one instance of many, would gladly welcome a determined Christian initiative, a determined presentation of the biblical perspective with regards to the state, with regards to education, with regards to health, with regards to welfare, with regard to every area of life. And the faster we move into this area the more readily we can avail ourselves of the willingness of some of these people who have, if it were, a Christian hangover to become useful to us.
[Audience, hard to hear] In this respect the Kingship of Christ is two fold, you have it in the independent area, where you know love and obey, and you also have his kingship manifested in the public court…. Areas should be weighed in the areas we have left unoccupied… common grace.
[Rushdoony] Well I’m not too happy about the term common grace, I prefer to avoid it. But I know what you’re saying and I substantially agree. Yes. [01:06:27]
[Audience, hard to hear] Would you go over the connection...
[Audience, hard to hear] Would you go over the connection between State education and the mini skirt?
[Rushdoony] Yes, I forgot you asked me to go into that. Yes, statist education educates for immaturity, really. Because a statist philosophy is that the man is a ward of the state. That eh is basically not competent to take care of himself. And so a statist education will educate for permanent immaturity, for permanent childhood. And as a result you have progressively a growing immaturity in American life. People are permanently children. Tantrums are now a part of the American scene with adults as well as with children. I recall some years ago a woman who’s dates were roughly 1860 to 1940 telling me that in her time when she was a young woman and first having children, for a middle class Christian husband and wife ever to have angry words with each other more than once or twice in their lifetime meant that their marriage was really on the rocks. You always spoke very respectfully to your wife, and she to you. You never let your hair down, and now you let it all hang loose if it were, you just let it all go. This is the way and marriage, Christian marriage is involved in perpetual tantrums with people who really love each other. This is part of the childlikeness of this time. This woman told me that in my day it was a mark of the lowest of the low classes to argue in public, as she said, I see church members, husbands and wives doing very often now. [01:08:43]
This immaturity reveals itself in many ways, including...
This immaturity reveals itself in many ways, including ourselves. And the mini skirt is one expression of that. The mini skirt is a style and this is not just my saying, this has been so recorded, was adopted from the dress that children wore. A good many years ago, about fifty years ago, I know because I wore that type of mini dress when I was a baby, boys and girls alike wore them because the purpose was that you didn’t have to take off pants to change diapers, you put them on the bed and flipped them up and there was the works, you could go to work on them.
Now, this childish style was deliberately adopted in order to convey the idea perpetual childhood. Perpetual immaturity, and so today from early years on up to their seventies women use this style and they regard it as something really derogatory for anyone to speak as them as being something more than perpetually young. This is why of course, the whole of the student revolutionary movement capitalized of the idea: never trust anyone over thirty. Why? Because this perpetual world of childhood was beginning to desert them, by thirty they were getting married and having babies and how could they go on being irresponsible, you see. Footloose and fancy free, once that happened. So no matter how much they might pretend to be in this perpetual world of youth, of childhood, they had really left it when they hit thirty. Well our time is up. [01:10:51]