Philosophy of Teaching Grammar - RR148G13

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Philosophy of Teaching Grammar
Course: Course - Philosophy of Christian Eduction in Christian Schools
Subject: Subject:Education
Lesson#: 13
Length: 1:21:23
TapeCode: RR148G13
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Philosophy of Christian Eduction in Christian Schools.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.

There is an article entitled “Johnnies Parents Can’t Read Either.” You can get reprint copies of this, I believe a dozen copies for a dollar, and larger numbers for corresponding prices, by writing to the Reader’s Digest association. The article points out that there are twenty-three million illiterates among American adults. On top of this, as I stated the other day, Colkin Greer and radical critics of the public schools, tell us that they are graduating now nine million illiterates. We are not talking simply about ghetto children. We are talking about Americans at large. This is a very real problem. It is most relevant to our subject this morning which is: Grammar: The Philosophy of Teaching Grammar.

I had a pastor tell me, not too long ago, that he had a problem. As he was reaching out to the community, and working extensively among the youth, he was indeed instrumental in the conversion of the number of them, but he found that it was very difficult to do anything with these young people because there were a percentage of them who could not read, who did not have the capacity to open the Bible and to make it understandable. The article in Reader’s Digest tell us that these twenty-three million cannot apply for a driver’s license because they cannot read enough to take the examination. They cannot read road signs. They are illiterate. Now we’re graduating more and more of the same. This pastor told me of one young man who had graduated from high school and had offers from a number of colleges and universities because he was such an outstanding basketball player. A tall, rangy, young man. He had turned them down because he wasn’t interested in anymore schooling. How he would have gotten through the college, I don’t know. I imagine the same way he got through grade and high school. He could not read. [00:03:34]

Now this poses a very serious problem...[edit]

Now this poses a very serious problem. It does tell us there is a crisis in our civilization. Increasingly, in our culture today, unskilled labor is less and less in demand. A generation ago, there was still a substantial place in American life for unskilled labor, but one invention after another has eliminated unskilled labor. A few of you here, not many, perhaps hardly any, may recall what was a common sight when I was a boy in any city, when a sewer line or any kind of pipelines was being laid, you had ditch diggers in large numbers at work laying the trench. You no longer see that. Why? One backhoe operator can, in a very short time, do what a large number of unskilled laborers did, and the savings are enormous, and that is typical of what has happened. The unskilled worker is obsolete, but now he is in greater supply than ever before. He is unemployable. He goes onto welfare, and by and large, if someone is not employed by the time they are twenty-two or twenty-three, they will never be trained for work. Their lifestyle and their habits will make them permanent welfare recipients.

Do you see again why it is that I say that humanism is committing suicide? It is destroying its own children. It is destroying its own culture. This is why it is all the more important that we undo that kind of damage. Let me submit a suggestion. You find many, many parents who are hostile to too emphatic a discipline on their children, too much homework, pushing them too much. I suggest that many of their parents don’t like to see their children doing better than they did. I submit, and I think if you wanted to embarrass the people in your church, you could ask them to get up and read a passage of scripture out loud, and you’d be amazed at how many of them stumble over their reading, and what the Christian school is doing is very rapidly, making their superior to them, and it must. It must. Otherwise, we too, like these twenty-three million products of humanism will go down the drain, and the word of God will become strange to the children and the generation of tomorrow. [00:07:36]

In no other religion is language more important than...[edit]

In no other religion is language more important than in ours. Ours is the religion of the word. God gives us a revealed word. No other religion has anything even remotely comparable to this. As a result, our faith is intensely and inseparably connected with language. We therefore must respect language, because it is the means whereby God has revealed Himself to us, and to maintain the integrity of that revelation, we must retain and maintain the integrity of language. A language, any language, and its grammar, are expressions of a people and its history, its culture, its religion.

Now we are often told today that language and grammar are accidental and purely historical products, and therefore, are artificial. They are subject to change and to development, and we who criticize the new grammar, which is no grammar at all, are accused of believing that the traditional grammar is a special revelation from God. Now, first of all, the new grammar is total relativism really. Ghetto children are told that their style of speech and expression is perfectly legitimate and they need learn nothing else, because language is conventional and arbitrary, so they are told. As a result, there is no attempt to make them improve. Of course, we saw the beginnings of this, did we not, in the third Webster’s International Dictionary. In that dictionary, the idea of standards received a body blow. It was the beginning of the belief that there are no standards with respect to language or to grammar, that language, being purely conventional, the language of the ghetto and of the illiterate is as valid as the language of Shakespeare or of Milton. Thus, increasingly, we have seen a debauchery of language, both in the schools, in popular entertainment, and in serious works of fiction. [00:11:05]

Now, it is not necessary or even sensible to believe...[edit]

Now, it is not necessary or even sensible to believe that grammar is a revelation from God in order the deny the radical relativism of contemporary educators, with respect to grammar. Grammar and language are relative to a culture, but a degree of relativity does not make it necessary nor even sensible to affirm a radical relativism. Let me explain this. Neither man nor his word are absolutes. God alone is the absolute. Therefore, all things in this world are relative to God. Because all things are God’s creation, everything in creation is relative first to God and then second, one to another within creation. There is thus a degree of relativity in all of creation. But we make all things relative to God, whereas the new grammar makes all things relative to man and denies that there can be any standard. Language and grammar are relative to a people’s faith and history. This does not mean that there is no element of value or truth in them. On the contrary, we must say that because a people’s language and grammar are products of their faith and history. The kind of religion a people has will, in time, profoundly affect their language and their grammar. Things will have their form in their language because of their faith.

Now, let us take a very quick and necessary, although superficial, glance at languages. The earliest civilization to reach greatness and to reach it in a spectacular manner was Chinese civilization. Very, very early, Chinese civilization developed to a very high degree. But very early, the philosophy of Chinese culture became relativistic. The kind of thinking we have only developed in Dewey, China developed two thousand years ago or earlier. As a result, a radical relativism has saturated for at least two millennia Chinese culture. This has left a far-reaching impact on the language of China. Chinese language, because it has the background of this intense relativism, does not have anything like the grammatical construction that we are familiar with. It is, moreover, intensely present-oriented as it views past and future. [00:15:36]

Or, let us look at Africa and its languages...[edit]

Or, let us look at Africa and its languages. In Africa, the languages manifest a past tense and a present tense, and a very near future tense. In other words, it’s tomorrow and the next day, and a very short time thereafter, and beyond that, a blank. It has no concept of the future beyond the immediate present. This is one reason why Africa has not advanced. It has not been any lack of intelligence. As a matter of fact, one of the more remarkable inventions in the history of the world, prior to the modern industrial revolution, was a sedan chair for African chiefs. It showed a perfect mastery of suspension, so that the carriers could transport the chief over the roughest kind of ground and never jar him, and never tilt the chair, no matter what the carriers did in the way of climbing up and down a hillside, or over boulders and the like. The chief always had a cushioned ride. Now, there are some tremendous principles involved in that sedan chair, but you see, all the inventiveness that marked African thinking, was similar to that present-oriented, present-oriented. No concept of the future. This is why Wycliffe Bible Translators, when they go into any area to translate the Bible or portions of scripture into the language of the various native peoples, face very difficult problems in translation, because it means taking the tools, the given language, and trying to create a new view of life, to make, in effect, out of it a new language, and this is exactly what happens.

Incidentally, before I continue, let me take a moment to talk about the Wycliffe Bible Translators. I’ve always been thrilled with their work. I first hear about them when I was a university student, and I was a reader in the department of linguistics for the course, the basic course, in linguistics, and the professor one day parenthetically remarked in answering a question in the field of linguistics said the best work in the field of linguistics, which no university in the world could equal, was done by the Wycliffe Bible Translators, and he went on to say what a strange thing it was. These people, who are so hopeless that they actually believe the Bible from cover to cover, with a scientist par excellence in language and anyone who really wanted to advance in linguistics had better read their works, and I sat there thrilled. I thought, “Aha! In one area at least we’re number one.” I believe we should work to be number one in every area, and I believe we’re beginning to be number one in another area; education. [00:19:55]

The trouble, you see, in understanding other cultures...[edit]

The trouble, you see, in understanding other cultures, is that their language carries with it a totally different world of meaning because of a different faith. Their language is conditioned and governed by those meanings, so that when you approach their language, you approach it as a stranger who takes a simple word and gives it a content that doesn’t exist. This is why to me it is a very amazing fact that Greek was framed for the translation of the New Testament, or the writing of the New Testament in the generations that preceded it. Take one word, “Agape.” For love, which is pure grace. There was no such word in classical Greek. That word suddenly appears in Greek in the Septuagint translation. There are those who feel that it was probably simply a Hebrew word carried over, a Hebrew word for grace of favor. Whether that’s the case or not, I’m certainly not competent to say, but it was there, then, because of the Septuagint for the New Testament to avail itself of.

One of our problems, incidentally, in understanding Aristotle is that we approach Aristotle too often in terms of the mind of Aquinas. Aquinas took over Aristotle’s categories of thought and revised them to give them a semi-Christian content. When I went back to read Aristotle on my own after my student days, I found myself bewildered at every turn, because I would think I knew what he meant and suddenly find he was not talking about what I was thinking about, and I suddenly came to realize that I was reading Aristotle with a Christian mind. I was putting Christian ideas into his words, exactly as Aquinas had done, and that I had better disabuse myself of all that and try to see Aristotle in terms of a Greek world that refused to know the living God, and of course, this is exactly how you must read Aristotle. When you read Aristotle in those terms, you find that his world picture is totally different from anything that we can imagine. Man is at the center. [23:41:08]

When he talks about ethics, he’s talking about something...[edit]

When he talks about ethics, he’s talking about something radically different from what you and I mean by ethics. For us, ethics is something that is derived from theology, from God. For Aristotle, his ethics is derived from his politics, because it is man as a social animal that is basic, so when he is talking about morality, he has in mind what the state says, not what “thus saith the Lord.” Well, I cite that as an example of the problems you face when you deal with various non-Christian languages.

I cited how different the views of time are in various cultures. Let me cite another example of this. Plutarch tells us of the Temple of Isis and Sais{?} and the inscription there on the image of Isis. “I am all that has come into being, and that which is and that which shall be, and no man hath lifted my veil.” Now, of course, you can see the resemblance to our Lord’s declaration to St. John in Revelation, where he declares he is the Lord, the Almighty, He who was and is and is to come. There’s a fundamental difference3 despite the close parallelism. Why? Because, for the Temple of Isis, which reflected a Greco/Egyptian culture, the past was real, the present was real, but the future was unknown. “No man hath lifted [or can life] my veil.” The future is a total mystery because it has not yet happened, and neither the gods nor the man have any knowledge of what it might be. The gods were as curious as mankind is to tomorrow, but in terms of our faith, “known unto God are all his works from the foundation of the world.” We have a plan of history. We are told what shall happen. We are told that it shall culminate in the second coming of our Lord and the last judgment, so that instead of a future which is dark so that no man can lift the veil of tomorrow, we are told that it is crystal clear to God. [00:27:28]

This gives us a totally different concept of time,...[edit]

This gives us a totally different concept of time, therefore, it gives a totally different perspective on language. What I ma trying to say is that because of the word of God, our language reflects a faith which says that we live not only in terms of the present, but in terms of tomorrow, and ultimately, in terms of the last judgment. We are the only people under the sun with that perspective, and that faith manifests itself in our thinking, in our words, in our language, and in our life. Now, the new grammar is destructive of that, so that ultimately, as you change the language through the new grammar, you will change any possibility of grasping what scripture is talking about. You will create a new religion, or more accurately, you have a new religion, humanism, which is creating the new grammar, which is waging war against the old grammar and the old faith. This is why it was so true what one Wycliffe Bible translator reported. A native convert, on reading the first Bible portion translated into his tongue by the Wycliffe Translators said joyfully, “We speak a new tongue now.” Exactly. Exactly. That is what Bible translation does. It opens up a vision with regard to time and with regard to the world, because it is governed by the fact that God is the Lord, but there is nothing outside of God and while there may be mysteries to us, there are no mysteries to God. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last. He who was, who is, and is to come. The Almighty. [00:30:35]

Now the new grammar reflects existentialism...[edit]

Now the new grammar reflects existentialism. Its emphasis is on the here and now. Let us adopt the ghetto language, the language of the moment. Language is like clothing to be used and to be tossed aside. Structure is an enemy. I don’t know whether you’ve heard this term here, but I know on the West coast some of the youth are beginning to use a new term now when they express their rebellion against any kind of discipline, or order, or authority, and they say “Don’t try to structure me. Don’t try to structure me.” But of course, life is structure. Man is not a jellyfish. His body is a structured body. His mind is a structured mind. He lives in a structured world, all of God’s making, and if he is to continue to function as a man, he is going to be structured or judged. No structure, no life. It’s that simple.

Grammar thus, is exceedingly important, because the Christian school believes in the infallible word, it must emphasize command of language, command of grammar. It must believe in structuring its pupils, in drilling them, in discipling them in grammar, and it will do this systematically and thoroughly because it is imperative to the future of the child. Moreover, it is imperative to our future as Christians. [00:33:33]

I mentioned this convert who had been a star high school...[edit]

I mentioned this convert who had been a star high school basketball player and could not read. He was a Christian, but he was a basket-case. You can stress all you want the ministry of the church and of the evangelist, but if all you do is to convert basket-cases, how strong is the church? That particular pastor went into school world, because he saw from episodes like that how basic it was. He tried to start some remedial work with some of his older converts, but didn’t find them too consistent or faithful in it, but it made him realize all the more urgently the need for Christian schooling. How can the church survive if we have today twenty-three million adults who are illiterate in the United States, and nine million more coming out of the schools and the number increasing. At the present rate, it will not be too many years before one out of four will be functional illiterates. Of course, I do not believe that will happen because the Christian school is making such tremendous inroads into the school population, but you can see the dimensions of the problem and why it is that our work is so important. I trust it will enable you to see why I am so optimistic about the future in terms of Christian schools. They will create the leadership of tomorrow.

Let me digress a moment there to tell you some of the things that should make us realize that the world is structured, by God. How many of you are familiar with J.D. Unwin’s name? Anyone? Well, no one, and I’m not surprised because J.D. Unwin was a humanist to the core, a modern scientist, whose work was so devastating to his associates that they have ignored it. In fact, Unwin, after spending most of his life developing his research, spent his last years in trying to find some loophole in it so that he could find some way to make an end run around the fact that he had discovered. Unwin, as a young anthropologist, was very cynical of the Christian perspective he encountered from many people but, “Well, if the culture declines morally, it will collapse.” He felt there was no correlation between morality, in particular, sexual morality, and culture. [00:37:33]

So, he began to study every culture of which there...[edit]

So, he began to study every culture of which there was any data. Every culture in the ancient world, every culture in the modern world, every primitive tribe. Then he began to set down their sexual regulations and standards, and then their cultural level. To his progressive dismay and amazement, he found that there was a mathematical correlation between the two. In other words, if in a culture there was neither premarital nor post-marital chastity, that culture was at a dead level. There was an ability to count beyond ten, or the fingers of one’s hands. In some, as in {?} culture in South America, they don’t count past three. Their cultural achievements were so primitive that they had only the rudest kind of shelter. Their ability to think abstractly was exceedingly limited. They were at a dead level, culturally. If, however, into a culture sexual regulations began to enter so that there might be say, post-marital chastity, there would be an immediate step upward in the cultural level, until when you came to a culture that had both premarital and post-marital chastity, then you had science and high culture in civilization. He found that there was a mathematical correlation between the two. He found, moreover, that if you had a radical breakdown, total breakdown, in three generations, you could go from the top to the bottom, from a highly sophisticated scientific culture to the dead level where you couldn’t count beyond the fingers of your two hands.

Now this was very upsetting to Unwin, and you can understand why his work has been neglected, but it does tell you something about the nature of the universe, does it not? It is structured, and the structure is a very obviously scriptural kind of structuring. The soul that sinneth it shall die, and the culture and the civilization that sins, it, too, shall die. Structure is written into the nature of reality, and this is why it is so important to us with respect to language. [00:41:16]

Again, this tells us a great deal, too, why language...[edit]

Again, this tells us a great deal, too, why language has played the part in our society that it has. Consider one fact. At the time of the Reformation, you had classic translations, magnificent ones, made into a variety of languages. Luther’s translation into German, for example, and the King James Version into English.

Now, one of the things, and I touched on this much earlier, but I’m going to go into it a little more this morning, one of the things that these translations have done has been to give fixity to the language. When the King James was translated, it was more old fashioned than obsolete than it is today. The translators went back to a very old fashioned basic Anglo Saxon kind of English, which was alien to the spoken and written language of their day, but they wanted to get to a basic English and they did. Now, the English language has departed from that again and again, but every time there has been a great revival, it’s gone back to the basically simple English, such as the King James has in its pages.

Now, this has meant that since the early 1600s to the present, we have an English language that is comprehensible to us. If you go back one hundred years or so before the King James English, you will find the language a little difficult to understand. You have to almost learn it. You go back to Chaucer, and how many of you have studied Chaucer? Good. Well, you can see how different the language is there, and you have to work at it to learn it, and the pronunciation is even more different because there was no fixity. So, for example, {?}Now, you see how alien that is to our spoken English is today, but you go back a hundred years before Chaucer and it’s hopeless, and if you master that and you go back a little earlier, you have to relearn the language all over again, this continual change, but the Bible has given fixity to the modern languages of Europe, and this has made progress possible. [00:44:54]

We do not have to learn half a dozen forms of English...[edit]

We do not have to learn half a dozen forms of English in order to be able to read what historians, and scientists, and scholars, and writers have said a hundred or two hundred years ago. We can understand them because the King James Version has given fixity to our language, and grammar, and every time we have a revival is brings us back to that and the reading of people gives them that schooling in basic English which holds the language to a pattern, and makes possible a continuity. I mentioned the other day that, in the Soviet Union, they’re trying to break that continuity, so that in a generation of two, no one will be able to read a version of the Bible that was readable a generation ago and understand it. But of course, at the same time, they will separate themselves from the whole of their culture and tradition, all their literature, they’re ready to do that. They want to start over without any hangover, as it were, from the past, from Christian civilization. This is why they’re doing it. You see, language can be a tool of revolution, and this is why in the teaching of grammar, the structure is so important, because you are insisting in maintaining a continuity and basic to that continuity is a continuity in terms of a language that is developed its thought patterns, and its sense of time in terms of the revealed word of God. This is a tremendous heritage. It is in process of being rescued by Christian schools. This is why, therefore, the Christian school must never underestimate the importance of grammar, and of the King James Version.

Are there any questions now? Yes? [00:47:53]

[Audience] {?} printing press being able to {?}

[Rushdoony] Very good question. What about the effects of the printing press which arose about the same time, in fixing the language? It can be used either way. In the Soviet Union, it is being used to change the language. The Soviet Union controls all the printing presses within its boundaries. As a result, it works systematically every year to alter the languages, and this is quite a drastic thing. For example, anyone in this country who reads anything coming out of the Soviet Union, whether in Russian, or Ukrainian, or in any of the many, many languages, fifty or sixty within the Soviet Union’s territory, will find that the languages they know it and the languages it comes out in the Soviet publications is so different that at times, it gets totally incomprehensible because they are systematically altering it. So, the printing press can fix it, but it can also act as an agent of revolution, and the Soviet Union is using that to the hilt. To the hilt. Yes?

[Audience] {?}

[Rushdoony] What about the benefit of teaching foreign languages? I shall be dealing Friday morning with teaching foreign languages, so let’s postpone that until then. Yes?

[Audience] {?}

[Rushdoony] What will be the result of changing our languages as it’s now being done? Or?

[Audience] {?} [00:50:30]

[Rushdoony] Oh, yes, how will it affect the culture...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Oh, yes, how will it affect the culture there? Well, it will, of course, destroy their roots. They’re trying to separate the younger generation from the older and, as a result, the language the children are being taught in the schools is not the language that the parents speak. It’s a different language. As a result, one of the things that’s happening in the underground is that the people are copying, by hand, portions of scripture, they are very careful to use the language in its old fashioned sense in the home, without saying a word, so that in many families, two languages really are spoken; the older form and the newer out in the street. This is their way of retaining the old language. Now, this is their way of keeping their roots in the past. Wherever you have any underground church meetings, you’ll find very clearly the older language form being emphasized. Since I’m Armenian, and what survives of Armenia is now under Soviet rule, I’m quite familiar with what’s happening there, the literature that comes out is almost hopeless sometimes to understand. It’s so heavily altered. The language of the academicians, or of records, say songs, again is so heavily altered that I have trouble following it, and I can only, my wife asks me, “What are they singing about?” if it’s a popular record from Soviet Armenia, it’s played on an L.A. station. I say, “Well, I can only tell you vaguely what it’s about. I can’t follow it.” But, if it’s an older type song, I can tell you all of it. However, the interesting thing to me is that when you talk to the people, if they are able to come to this country as a relative was, and its language within the home, it’s the old fashioned language, very clearly and plainly maintained. So, there’s an underground language as it were, and the public language. The underground church has its roots, of course, in the older language. [00:53:45]

The underground church, incidentally, is growing by...[edit]

The underground church, incidentally, is growing by leaps and bounds. Its greatest strength is in Baptist circles because they are the least organized, and therefore, if you arrest one it doesn’t lead you to another Baptist church, and the secret police have more trouble w3ith them. How many of you, by the way, have read Solzhenitsyn’s From Under the Rubble? None of you? I commend that book to you. Solzhenitsyn’s From Under the Rubble. He is the editor of it. Now, the theology, you and I won’t agree with always, because it is very strongly Russian Orthodox at many points, but it is a tremendously moving account of the life of the faithful in the Soviet Union, and the men who write it are prominent men of science. In fact, since that book was published, two of the men were arrested, but they were so important in the area of scientific research where they were engaged they had to turn them loose, because it stopped all the research in that area. They tell you very clearly that the goal of Marxism is to destroy not only all religion but humanity. It has a hatred of man, and that humanism ends in suicide. They will also give you some moving stories. The most popular tracts in all the Soviet Union are the tracts put out by the anti-God society. Why? Because the word of God is so rare and precious that these tracts will take some verse of scripture and ridicule it, so people grab the tracts and then black out everything but the text and treasure it. One of the writers gives a very moving picture of a Russian peasant, a simple farmer, who had come to the city to sell some things and having done his business, was standing on the doorsteps of a closed church in the downtown area, pleading with tears at the passersby. “Dear people of God. Is there no one here who can give me some word from God to take back to my village? We have no word of God. Will no one help us?”

I think you’ll find From Under the Rubble a very moving book. Yes?

[Audience] {?} [00:57:59]

[Rushdoony] The question is were languages originally...[edit]

[Rushdoony] The question is were languages originally developed from all speech, written languages, or independently. Now, of course, your scholars will tell you the two arose separately. This is a very common thesis, that the first written language was pictographic and, little by little, it developed letters and came somewhat closer to all language. Now, I don’t think we should have a part of that theory because it represents an evolutionary perspective. We do know this, that language is an acquired thing. It isn’t something that man does automatically when he’s born, and language was a skill, in some way or other, given to Adam by God. How soon that was put into writing we cannot say, but apparently very early, I see no reason why we need not believe that God not only taught Adam to speak, but also to read, and there is an interesting confirmation of that. Donald J. Weisman is one of the finest scholars with regard to Hebrew and Old Testament archeology in Britain, and he has written a study on the meaning of the word which is translated in English “generations.” He has studied that word in Assyrian and any number of other languages and he feels that you can translate it as “family record” or history. So that, he says, when we read, “This is the book of the generations of Adam,” he declares it means that Genesis 5:1, “This is the book of the family records of Adam, all that has transpired to this point,” and then later we have the book of the family records of Seth, Noah, and so on. Well now, if Weisman is true and accurate in his surmise(?), it means that Genesis is simply a collection of the family records of man beginning with Adam. This would tell us that all and written language go back to the first man. I think it’s a marvelous idea, a very exciting thought. Yes? [01:01:30]

[Audience] When you were talking about ...[edit]

[Audience] When you were talking about {?} why can’t Johnny read{?}

[Rushdoony] Can I give you some specifics why Johnny can’t read? Are you familiar with the book Why Johnny Can’t Read? Yes. Well, of course, he makes clear it was the shift from phonics to the modern Look/Say method, which was really a very primitive kind of learning, and when you had that shift, you began to have the phenomenal rise of reading problems. Then there’s a second matter. First, there was the abandonment of phonics. It supposedly has been reintroduced but it really isn’t back in the government schools, except with rare cases. Second, the breakdown of discipline. A drill more accurately. The breakdown of drill. Systematic learning requires drill. When you don’t have the drilling of students, you don’t have effective learning. Then third, there is the religious factor, and you cannot neglect that. When you have the rise of humanism, you are making man the ultimate value, so it is less and less necessary for man to conform himself to something outside of himself. Whenever humanism has become predominant in any culture, learning has shown a decline. If you’re a potential god, what do you need then with learning? All you need is the freedom to express yourself, so self-expression becomes more important in the schools than drill, which means subjection to somebody else’s thinking, to somebody else’s standard. So those are the three basic factors and why Johnny can’t read. Any other questions? Yes? [01:04:14]

[Audience] {?} nine million graduates.

[Rushdoony] Nine million in the schools now.

[Audience] {?} Okay, that’s {?} from this generation to {?} nine million more.

[Rushdoony] Yes, right.

[Audience] I have a friend that {?}school that could not read {?}

[Rushdoony] The question was this young woman couldn’t read when she graduated from school but after she became saved, she was able to read. I would say she picked up enough in her schooling that when she was saved, she put it together and taught herself. In other words, there was still enough of the teaching that she had retained to enable her to put the pieces together. Yes?

[Audience] As far as the methodology, {?} have to {?} large amount of schooling coming into the government school {?} and so forth, {?}

[Rushdoony] I think if you have a large number of children coming into the upper grades from the government schools, instead of altering the emphasis in your teaching of grammar, you should require them to take a remedial course during a summer session, because otherwise you’re going to penalize the other students. I think this is a must because I’ve visited classes where you have the two together and there is no way you can cope with the overwhelming problem of some who’ve never had any real teaching in grammar and those who have been brought up in the Christian school and are knowledgeable in it. So, I would strongly suggest the only solution is a remedial summer course. This should be well advertised, and it should be made clear that the new students are expected to take it, or required to take it, and you will probably get a number from the public schools who won’t register for your regular school year, but who will take it. Some schools have found this to be a good money-maker, too, during the summer. Yes? [01:07:32]

[Audience] What was the title of ...[edit]

[Audience] What was the title of {?} book?

[Rushdoony] The title of J.D. Unwin’s book is Sex and Culture, and it was, Sex and Culture, and it was published by the Oxford University Press, in England, in 1934. You may find it in some of the university libraries. He also published an abstract about the same time summarizing his book, and the title of the abstract is “Sexual Regulations and Cultural Behavior.” “Sexual Regulations and Cultural Behavior.” It’s an ironic fact that book is so important, occasionally you’ll find some scholars referring to it in passing. One professor in a secular or state institution in California wanted to use it in his classes and couldn’t locate even a copy for himself, so he borrowed my copy of the abstract and had it Xeroxed for his students in order to be able to use it. It is exceedingly important. Yes?

[Audience] {?}

[Rushdoony] Yes. You do have your conservative wing, and your liberal and radical wing in humanism, and we belong with none of them. We may agree in many areas with the conservatives, but they’re trying to root their thing on thin air. Their position cannot hold water unless it is grounded in a biblical perspective, and this is why their work winds up in frustration and futility. Humanism, of course, will, increasingly, by its very inner logic, be more and more radical, because if man is everything, you’re going to throw overboard, progressively, all the relics of a Christian perspective. Yes?

[Audience] I have two questions. One, could you maybe comment on the idea that the United States is changing many of their signs, like their road signs, to international symbols {?} and then I’d like you to comment on the United States being {?} [01:10:47]

[Rushdoony] Yes...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, I’m not an authority on either so I don’t know whether what I say will have any value other than expressing my own personal point of view. Using the international road signs may have a limited value for foreigners traveling in this country, and it may help Americans, especially who go abroad, to understand road signs abroad. The so-called conversion to the metric system is really a joke. There is no conversion. I assumed there was. I took it for granted that this is in process, but for American industry to do it would mean its destruction. It has been destroying Britain. It has dealt it a body blow economically. What, for example, Detroit is doing is simply to go on working on the basis of feet and yards, and inches, and so on, but convert it then into metrics for the purposes of satisfying the government. It’s simply not economically feasible in an advanced technological society to convert everything. The retooling would be so enormous that it would destroy this country economically. So, it’s a pseudo-conversion. Now perhaps in time, they can, little by little, then convert it, but this conversion in so many years is ridiculous. It’s not being done. The cars will be made exactly as they are now being by Detroit. They will simply express the metrics in, the inches in metric form. Yes?

[Audience] I read about two weeks ago, several {?} signs {?} all those same highways {?} one world government.

[Rushdoony] Yes, it’s tied in with that.

[Audience] {?} California

[Rushdoony] I’ll say “amen” to that. My sentiments are very intensely anti-metric, but I was just trying to express the practicalities of the situation. Let me add, further, that they have backed down a bit on some of the requirements for metric conversion, however, they are requiring it with regard to weather reporting, and in California, some of the weather reporters are protesting it. They hate the conversion to Celsius. Yes?

[Audience] {?} reading the Bible a{?}

[Audience] Do I advocate using the Bible as a reading textbook? Emphatically, yes. As a matter of fact, with my children, as soon as they learned how to read, I stressed Bible reading in the home, and the more they did in Bible reading, the better their work in school became. It had a tremendous impact on their academic performance. Yes? [01:15:03]

[Audience] {?} Is there a relationship between Freemasonry and {?}

[Rushdoony] Well, of course, I don’t like to get into talk about conspiracies, I’ve never been in on any of their circles, and they’ve never invited me, and I think any talk about conspiracies, whether they’re real or not, puts the emphasis on the wrong thing. The real problem is the sin of man, not conspiracies, and the real hope is not in exposing any conspiracies but in regenerating men and women through Jesus Christ. There’s no question that every kind of humanistic conspiracy that we have, Freemason and others, are humanistic to the core. Their entire purpose is to magnify man and man’s potential as his own god and savior. So, the issue is really a religious one, and I think we need to concentrate on the religion aspect of the matter. We’re playing their game if we allow ourselves to be distracted into endless documentation of evil. The Bible forbids it, specifically. If you question that, turn to Revelation 2:24. Revelation 2:24. “But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.” Now what was the problem? A sizable number of Christians in Thyatira were studying the depths, or the deep things, or the hidden conspiracies of Satan, and our Lord condemned them. We’re not asked to major in evil, but to major in the word of God, not to spend our time documenting the conspiracies of Satan and all his cohorts, but what God wants us to do. So, if our Lord condemns the studying of the deep things or conspiracies, or depths of Satan, I think we certainly should take warning from that. Yes?

[Audience] {?} [01:18:12]

[Rushdoony] The second international is a good one...[edit]

[Rushdoony] The second international is a good one. It still has the old standards very clearly set forth. It’s still available, by the way. Yes?

[Audience] {?}

[Rushdoony] Well, of course, anytime you get a group of Christian scholars together, you’re likely to have a new version promoted. There’s a good reason for it, as I indicated. Your new versions are all copywrited and they’re tremendous money-makers. The Revised Standard Version has kept the National Council going for a long time, and I have heard some conservative evangelical scholars say, “We need something like that on our side,” a money-maker. The King James is not a money-maker. No copyright. Anybody can publish it, so you have a tremendous drive on every side to put out the Bible, you know, and to promote it as such, and the magazine “Christianity Today” has promoted a number of new versions, and it will continue to do so. So many of the writers are involved in one or another. I was invited to participate in one new translation and I refused. First, I didn’t feel I was competent, and second, I didn’t feel that there was any need for one. I would recommend again the reading of The King James Version Defended by Edward F. Hill. If you do not know where to get it, drop me a note with an enclosed self-addressed postcard and I’ll give you the address of the Christian Research Press that puts it out. Well, shall we hold these questions for the next period because our time is within a matter of seconds of being over. [01:20:45]

End of tape.