Tertullian - Early Church - Early American Life - Christina Rossetti - College Graduate Resume - EC131
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This R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 131, September 16, 1986.
I would like to start this Easy Chair with a reference to some studying I was doing this afternoon. I am working on another study of Church and state, a kind of continuation of Christianity in the state which was published earlier this year. In the course of my study this afternoon, I was reading Tertullian’s Apology. Tertullian was one of the most interesting figures among the early Church fathers, a very brilliant man, sometimes quite wrong headed, often, one might say, crotchety, but a brilliant man with tremendous insights. At one point in his Apology, having criticized Rome and the emperor and challenging the unbelievers in terms of their instability and their lack of foundations he says to them, “Your emperor is more our emperor than he is yours.” And he goes on to make clear that because Christians believe in God they know that the emperor, for good or ill, comes from the hand of God, that he can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth, that he fulfills God’s purposes in history either as a judgment upon men or as a blessing to them. “So,” Tertullian could say, “the emperor, no matter what he does against us, is still more ours than he is yours, because we know where he comes from the, providence and the hand of God.” [00:02:21]
It was this aspect of the early Church that we tend...
It was this aspect of the early Church that we tend to neglect. They saw the hand of God in everything. As a result, they knew that in every evil trial God was there and God was making all things work together for good to them that loved him, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
It was not easy for Tertullian to make such a statement, nor for any of the other Christians of the time for that matter. But it also tells us why they were able to stand and to conquer Rome.
For their opponents life was ultimately meaningless. They had no hope, really. As a matter of fact, even the most devout and—let us say—religious pagan still could not have much hope. As W. C. Frend, points out in a book of which I will tell you more in a minute, the pagan prayer which is given to us from the records which was a prayer that marked the most devout of pagans was this.
“Oh, ye gods, grant me that which I deserve.” [00:04:04]
Well, how much could anyone get asking for what they...
Well, how much could anyone get asking for what they deserve? So, naturally, there was not much hope in paganism. This is quoted in W. H. C. Frend, F R E N D, The Rise of Christianity, published in Philadelphia by Fortress Press in 1984. It is a volume that covers the history of the early Church. It is about 1100 pages long and is full of very interesting data, but not the best of histories. It is very difficult to write detailed history of an era without losing, to a degree, the thread of continuity or in the process padding fact upon fact to overwhelm the reader.
Well, Frend does neither, but all the same while there is a great deal in the way of interesting data in the book, the fact remains that since his faith is not particular orthodox, he doesn’t have a coherent thread for his narrative. However, I would like to cite some interesting points in the book.
One of the things that we often forget is that when we look at the past, we project things from the present into the past. We believe that because Christians believe thus and so today, they must of necessity have believed the same then, or because the synagogue to us today has a certain characteristic, it must have had it then. This is why some years ago it came as such a shock when archaeology uncovered a synagogue with all kinds of murals in it. And there were many who were convinced it could not have been a synagogue because synagogues do not have murals. But this one did and it was a synagogue. [00:06:36]
Well, there was a synagogue at the beginning of the...
Well, there was a synagogue at the beginning of the Christian era, at the time of Augustus Caesar which was dedicated to Augustus Caesar and the people who were members of it were very pleased when the emperor reciprocated by sending gifts to the temple. The synagogue called itself Augustisi. That tells you something about why the synagogue in its day was so hostile to our Lord.
Again, Freud gives us some further evidence. We are told, for example, quoting from the time of Trypho that the faith of Israel had been reduced to this. “First be circumcised, then as is commanded by the law, keep the sabbath feats and God’s new moons and then perhaps you will find mercy from God.”
Well, consider the limitations of such a faith. It is comparable to that pagan prayer that I cited earlier in that it leaves your salvation very dubious, perhaps. And see how reduced the law is to circumcision, sabbath feasts and God’s new moons. This is why, quoting again from the period, Frend says that, “Many were repelled by this sort of preaching and spoke,” and I quote, “of the general silliness and deceit and fussiness and pride of the Jews,” unquote. [00:08:52]
In other words, their faith had become one of irrelevance...
In other words, their faith had become one of irrelevance and, hence, the success of Christianity was very rapid in the face of this.
It is interesting to note, too, that the faithfulness to the law was continued by the Christians for some time. It was only in the third century that one of the bishops of Rome, Callixtus, worked against the life lived in terms of Leviticus particularly. So he decided to break with this kind of disciplinary legacy. So it was specifically Leviticus that was a focal point of Callixtus’ hostility.
I find this particularly interesting because, of course, right now I am writing on Leviticus and the tapes of Leviticus are available.
Then, turning to something further from Frend, because there are a great many interesting little daffas. The clergy saw themselves as Levites, a very significant fact because they saw themselves as a continuation of the Old Testament and, thus, as Levites, they were the instructional arm of the faith. [00:10:45]
There is much, much more that I could go into with...
There is much, much more that I could go into with regard to Frend’s The Rise of Christianity, but let’s pass on to other things.
In our last Easy Chair I cited at the very last, briefly, from Ron Arnold The Grand Prairie Years: A Biography of W. C. Perry, published by Dodd, Meade and Company in 1986. I would like to read to you just a couple of passages to give you the flavor of the book because this gives us life as it was lived in the early years of this century and up to the present.
In this instant the boy Clayborn says, “Are you coming on the plane?” Excuse me. “Are you coming on the train at two, papa?” [00:11:52]
“No, son. I have got to stay with the wagon and the animals.”
“Won’t you freeze out here in the cold, papa?”
“I am a grown man, son.”
“Don’t grown men get cold?”
“Yes, son. We get cold, but a man has to protect his family and bear up with things he wouldn’t want his family to suffer.”
“Will I have to do that when I grew up?”
“I expect so, son.”
The book is rich in details like that, page after page.
Well, one more passage. This in the boy’s conversation with old grandma. [00:12:48]
“And she says to Clayborn, ...
“And she says to Clayborn, ‘Are you about to run off and marry that Partain girl?’ she demanded.
“He flushed crimson, ‘Well, yes. That is thing I want to do. You always seem to know what I am thinking.’
“‘What about it then?’
“‘Well, getting married is a big step and I...’
“‘You don’t know what to expect. I know. Every young whipper snapper don’t know what to expect, no way to tell, either. You just got to go bull your way through. Sometimes it works, sometimes it don’t. Nothing to say about it, though, except this. A woman ain’t your property. And husbands what think otherwise is living in some dream world. My John always treated me with respect, treated me good, worked hard, didn’t boss me around and I always did my part with a free heart, young un, just remember that. You may be boss, but don’t act bossy, you hear?’
“‘Yes, old grandma. But I think I know how to act with Loretta. It is her folks I am worried about.’
“‘Her folks? What has that got to do with it?’
“‘Well, should I ask them?’
“‘To marry their daughter?’ she said with contempt. ‘You ain’t marrying them. You are marrying their daughter.’
“‘Not so loud, old grandma. Nobody knows.’ [00:14:27]
“‘Don’t you worry about it. Nobody is going to know. But stop and think about this asking business. Asking is for rich folks, young one. You ask her and her pap has to pay for the wedding. The Partains may think they are better off than the Perrys. I have seen them looking down their noses when we take cane over to their sorghum mill. Not so much as you would notice, but they only been in these parts a few years longer than the Perrys, haven’t got rich. They don’t have enough to pay for any wedding.’
“‘I know they think we are poorer than them,’ said Clayborn. ‘They don’t mean anything by it. It is just natural for folks to feel that way about each other, at least a little. The Partains never say anything about it, but, old grandma, I have been going over to their place since I was six or seven years old. I have always kind of looked on them as family. I wonder if it is right to just go off without asking. And you know how all those Partains are with each other, taking on so much, hugging and kissing each other all the time. They got tender feelings. Their feelings would probably be hurt real bad.’ [00:15:44]
“‘Oh, I know, child. But you keep this in mind. Think what they would feel like iffen you married their girl baby and then it didn’t work out. It may hurt them to lose her, but think how it would hurt them to take her back. You make sure you can keep her forever before you ask anybody about marrying her or her folks. Marrying is for life. Remember, until death do you part.’
“He thought about that a long time then he said, ‘Oh, grandma, they are fine people, really good people.’
“‘Oh, I know just how you feel. My John thought that way about us Glasgows. We was all huggy and sweet talking with each other. He worried if I could live with his kind, them being so sober and not touchy at all. I told him after I married him I was a Perry as much as anybody. Us Perrys were not like other folks, boy. You have got to have the most serious mind to get ahead. You get all soft on each other and the work never gets done. And in this world, boy, you have got to work hard.’”
Well, the book is like that from cover to cover, a true story and a beautiful one. I heartily recommend it to you.
Now on to something else briefly. Georgiana Battiscombe, Christina Rossetti: A Divided Life. This is no longer in print. Battiscombe, by the way is, B, as in boy, A T T I S C O M B E. This was published in 1981. [00:17:34]
Now Christina Rossetti was a very fine poetess, one...
Now Christina Rossetti was a very fine poetess, one of the truly superior ones. She was a member of the Church of England, a devout and dedicated Anglo-Catholic. She was a person who had a great deal of sensitivity, was very much a person of her time and, for many, her poetry is perhaps a little too sensitive for our day. All the same, there is a great deal of beauty to it. And she was a master of her form. The interesting thing, however, that I do want to quote in a description of Christina Rossetti’s character, she makes this interesting point. And this is one that I think characterized a great many people in the last century. She says of Christina, “She was far more tolerant of immorality than of unbelief.”
In other words, for her unbelief was the great sin. Immorality was a minor thing or a lesser thing by comparison to it. This was followed by Moralism which said that unbelief was a matter of an opinion, whereas morality was a social concern. Now, of course, we have come to the conclusion of that route in which we feel both belief, that is religious faith, and morality are purely personal concerns. And the result, of course, is the decadence and degeneracy that we see on all sides. We need to return to a belief in the importance of both morality and belief and the fact that they are inseparably linked.
Now onto something more. Recently the Conservative Book Club in their comment in the back, but he says... the... the commentator cites a letter and I reproduce this on tape because I get this kind of letter all the time. He writes, “We just got this letter from someone about to graduate from college.” [00:20:50]
Quote, “I am writing in reference to the job of assistant...
Quote, “I am writing in reference to the job of assistant to the editor at your business. I would like very much to be considered for this position. I believe that as assistant to the editor I will be able to gain practical experience in the publishing field. I have experience in clerical work. Anything that I am not familiar with, I will be willing to learn. I think that I would be a wise choice of this job. I am a hard worker and capable of doing and learning anything that I am confronted with. This field of publishing has always interested me and I see this as an opportune chance to learn more about it. I hope you will give my request for this position much consideration. I do believe that I am the best choice of this job,” unquote.
Now there are two things about this letter that are noteworthy. First, the arrogance of someone about to graduate from college trying to jump to a position close to the top in a publishing firm. This is routine. I get letters from young men who are in school and about to graduate who tell me they are ready to join the staff of Chalcedon and what to know when I want them to arrive. Amazing the arrogance.
Then the second thing that is noteworthy is that the misspellings abound. Such words as practical, believe, learning, field and others are misspelled. The letter closed with this statement. [00:22:57]
“I do believe that I am the best choice for this job...
“I do believe that I am the best choice for this job.”
And the editor comments, “She wasn’t. God is good to us.”
Well, that kind of thing is a product of our modern education. When students who can barely write, who are barely literate are asked to write a critical analysis of Shakespeare or of Milton you know that they are early on trained in arrogance. When they assume they have the right to a discussion in a classroom about a subject in which thy have nothing but absurd opinions, you know there is something wrong. The child is taught to open his mouth and utter anything and the teacher takes it seriously. And you get this kind of result. You get youth who feels they have the right to challenge anybody, express their opinions and feel they know better than their betters. There is nothing but trouble ahead for such young people.
Now on, briefly, to a recent book, well, published in 1983, but I believe still available by Gordon Tullock, T U L L O C K, published by the Fisher Institute in Dallas, Texas at 6350 L. B. J. Freeway, Suite 183 E, published at 9.95. The title of the book is Welfare for the Well to do, Welfare for the Well to do. And he has some very interesting comments in this little book. But this paragraph from page eight I want to pass on to you. [00:25:11]
“It is highly probable that these arrangements are...
“It is highly probable that these arrangements are hard to make originally, but once they are in existence, tend to stay.”
He is talking here about controls in the marketplace, controls by regulatory agencies.
“The result is that over a long time of political stability, a democracy develops more and more such arrangements. Indeed, Mancur Olson in an important new book The Rise and Decline of Nations suggests that this may be the basic reason for differential growth rates in modern states. Germany and Japan have grown rapidly since World War II since the catastrophe of that war wiped out the organized special interest groups. And it takes time for them to reorganize. England, Canada, the United States are growing much more slowly because we had the good fortune to have a comparatively stable and successful government. The result is that this kind of organization has become more and more common. But this is a new theory and, it must be admitted, has not been proved,” unquote.
Consider the implications of that statement. The losers in a war, because their economy is shattered and their bureaucracy virtually wiped out, are in an advantageous position and they gain economically over the winners because with the winners the bureaucracy continues in power and continues to develop its regulations, whereas in the loser nations they have to start from scratch. Therefore, with a great deal more freedom and that is the key. [00:27:19]
Well, let us hope that it doesn’t take catastrophic...
Well, let us hope that it doesn’t take catastrophic defeat for us to dismantle our bureaucracies and start afresh. But they will have to be dismantled or our economies will founder.
Tullock has, in this book, a number of points which you may or may not agree with, but I think you will find them quite interesting. He deals with situations in this country, in Canada and in England, in the land of the victors. And apparently having defeated the enemy we have created regulations to strangle ourselves with and to make sure that what Hitler and the Japanese could not do, we will do to ourselves, something to think about.
Well, very briefly on to something else. I have been bringing this time and again to the Easy Chair to deal with, but haven't been able to squeeze it in. This is from a newsletter Focus on Zaire, Africa. And the statement is that, “It is noteworthy that these delegitimized states, ones that we have helped push out of existence, are all allies of the United States. Similar calls for accelerating the collapse of the leftists dictatorships in such countries as Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Burkina, Benin and Ghana, none of which came to power through legitimate means and all which are pro Soviet are to be heard only from a few voices even among conservatives,” unquote. [00:29:39]
In other words, our policy today is to declare our...
In other words, our policy today is to declare our friends to be illegitimate governments, but those that are truly illegitimate we do nothing to unseat them. In fact, we finance them to our own detriment.
Well now on to something else that I was turning to this afternoon in terms of my study, a book published some years ago I believe, first of all, in 1947. The author Harold Mattingly, The Man in the Roman Street. Mattingly is usually a good historian to read. He writes very well.
The point he makes at the onset of this study is that, and I quote, “It was the common man who was expected to be influenced. Whereas Augustus fully realized it was on the common man that the imperial power was based.”
Hence the title of his book The Man in the Roman Street. He begins by calling attention to the fact that the Roman Empire rested on the common man. And by commanding his mind, by directing his faith, his aspiration, his activities, is resources, he was basic to Roman power. Hence, it was important, if Christianity was to triumph, for Christianity to reach the man in the Roman street. And this is precisely what Christianity did. Many of the enemies of the faith have, like Gibbon, charged the Church with reaching the slave population and being a slave religion. Well, this is not true. It reached people in all classes. But their hostility is really another way of saying the gospel reached the men in the street. It was important to him. It redirected his thinking and his life so that it was striking at the heart of Rome. [00:32:12]
“By the fourth century, the townsmen,...
“By the fourth century, the townsmen,” says Mattingly, “had become Christian or rather by the fifth century.”
But it was in the villages that the old faith, the pagan beliefs lingered. However, those who held the faith didn’t have the vitality. It was no longer a creative commanding dominion oriented faith. It was something very different, just something in retreat lingering on among the country folk.
The Christians, of course, did not gain this position easily. They were hated. They were resented because they stood against everything that Rome represented. People instinctively recognize that they were a threat to the life of Rome as they knew it. And, hence, the cry, “The Christians to the lions.” All the same, the faith spread, because there was something wrong with Rome.
Now even after Rome fell, he says, many were still pagan at heart as he adds, many are still today. But the simple fact was that Rome and the pagan faith no longer had the vitality to maintain a creation. [00:34:05]
And this way, too, I think is especially relevant for...
And this way, too, I think is especially relevant for us, because... and let me quote from him.
“Peace is the boom that is most steadily and fervently desired, for on it depends such possibilities of the good life as the empire could still offer. Liberty is still valued, but no longer as the supreme good. It is never for long in the foreground. This is not an unfair picture of the Roman Empire. The empire gave stability and rest to a weary and aging world. It demanded a high price, but it did not defraud its clients of their share in the bargain,” unquote.
In other words, peace had become the highest of virtue. This is what people wanted above all else. And this is why Rome was dying.
Now if we look at the popular thinking today, even on the part of the young, we find that, again, the supreme virtue is peace. The phrase of a couple of decades ago, “Better red than dead,” the peaceniks of our day, young and old, represent this kind of retreat. When people prize peace as the supreme virtue they lose peace. Peace is usually a byproduct of more important virtues and this Rome lacked. It wanted peace and that is all it had in the way of so called virtues. But peace without the other virtues becomes simply a surrender to evil. [00:36:07]
At the same time, the family life of Rome had collapsed...
At the same time, the family life of Rome had collapsed and, very interesting, there was no great interest in the future, only in the present. What is in it for me here and now? So Rome was dying.
Another recent book by Tony Walter is titled Need, the New Religion: Exposing the Language of Need. This was published in Donner’s Grove, Illinois by the Intervarsity Press in 1985. It is a paperback of about 173 or so pages.
There are some excellent points in this book, but the whole thing could have better been said in an essay. But the point is a valid one. According to Walter, the new morality holds that meeting need is the ultimate good so that even as the Romans saw it to be peace and we do, too, there are many in our culture of whom he says, “Need is the religion of the religionless, the morality of those who pride themselves on having progressed beyond morality.” [00:37:46]
Their goal is peace so that they can meet their needs...
Their goal is peace so that they can meet their needs. What is very important and represents some brilliant thinking on the part of Walter is the fact that he traces the idea of need back to the 17th century. And he says, and I quote, “Modern notions of need draw on the kind of philosophy established by lot in the late 17th century. Whereas Descartes thought that our reason was basic to human life, ‘I think, therefore I am,’ Locke thought that desire was even more basic. Before the newborn infant gets around to thinking, he desires food, warmth, comfort. It is through desire that he begins to relate to the world. His first conscious experience of himself is as lacking something, as needing something. He comes to know those who nurture him as those who supply that lack. So, whereas early and medieval theology tended to see desire as spiritually dangerous, Locke and those who followed him saw it simply as the basis for all human experience, whether we like it or not,” unquote.’
Well, that is a very important point. And he goes on to develop Locke’s position here—I won’t take time to go into it—and how all of this, of course, leads straight to Karl Marx who insisted that Capitalism thrived on the continual creation of new wants and needs. And so Capitalism works on nurturing a need society.
Again, he has some interesting things to say on advertising and technology as they increasingly are bent towards need. Interesting fact is, and I quote, “Technology may sometimes lead to new needs, but there is nothing inevitable about this. The flushing toilet was invented 300 years before it came into general use,” unquote.
Today, of course, anything that meets needs is most readily marketable. [00:40:46]
Well, throughout this little book Walter, as he develops...
Well, throughout this little book Walter, as he develops this psychology of need in our modern world, is thoroughly on target. He says that needs have an uncanny knack of appearing to make the world simpler. Your life is going to be so much easier if you get this and that. Needs, then are transposed into rights that because you have a need, you have a right to it.
Quoting again, “Once we have established a need, then all kinds of other things are supposed to follow. People need sex. Therefore, they have a right to it. Therefore, we can want it without condemnation. It is not just advertisers who used this supposed logic, we all do. Children need love, therefore we ought to love them. In every day conversation we all try to derive moral imperatives form a supposedly factual world of needs. It really readily justifies otherwise contentious actions as well as actions about which there is consensus,” unquote.
As a result, our morality is changed, because when we say children need love and, therefore, we ought to love them, therefore, we condemn parents who are going to discipline their children and spank them. And we feel there is something wrong with them. They do not provide their children with the needs that should be met, the need for love, for example, or the need for this or that toy or the need for various things that are necessary for their fulfillment according to the needs religion.
It leads to a position where religion becomes completely turned around and the definition of man becomes changed so that it is now, “I need, therefore I am.” [00:43:15]
A very fine little book, even though a bit overly long...
A very fine little book, even though a bit overly long at points.
Well, Reginald G. Damerell, D, as in Denver, A M E R E L L is the author of a new book Education’s Smoking Gun and the subtitle is How Teachers Colleges have Destroyed Education in America. This was published for 17.95 by the Freundlich books in New York, F R E U N D L I C H Books.
He has an excellent chapter on illiterates with doctorates about their hostility to the three Rs and much more. He is, the author Damerell, a bit weak on phonics. By the way, he was an associate professor of education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst from 1970 to 1982, a very painful experience which he describes in some detail.
He does rather incidentally refer to the fact that these schools are now anti Christian as is modern education, to cite one statement.
“In 1970, Theodore Sizer, then dean of the Harvard School of Education, co edited with his wife Nancy a book entitled Moral Education. The preface set the tone by condemning the morality of The Christian Gentleman, The American Prairie, The McGuffey Reader and the hypocrisy of teachers who tolerate a grading system that is the terror of the young. [00:45:26]
“According to the Sizers all the authors in the anthology agree that the old morality can and should be scrapped. Little did the American public know that the ethics and morals of the Judeo Christian tradition fully represented in the humanities were being scrapped by humanistic education professors led by those in the Harvard and University of Massachusetts ed schools. The leading exponent of the University of Massachusetts was and still is Sidney Simon, known for values clarification. Simon preaches that nobody, including parents and teachers, has any set of right values to pass on to children. The student this values,” he says. “The value clarification teachers merely facilitating the students’ access to them. Thus, no values are taught. The emphasis is on learning how, not on learning that. The student does not learn that acts of stealing are wrong. He learns how to respond to such acts. The values clarification course is, in this sense, contentless. One does not have to be a Fundamentalist, Protestant, Roman Catholic or Orthodox Jew to be outraged by this ethical nihilism.”
The book has a great deal of very, very important information. Of course, he feels that the teachers colleges everywhere should be wiped out, that they are worthless.
Speaking of education, I would like to turn now to Mother Goose. When some of us went to school we had readers that taught morality and religion. And even the Mother Goose rhymes that were included were very, very often exceptionally good because they taught a good many things like thrift, like character and so on. [00:48:05]
Let me read a few...
Let me read a few.
Willful waste brings woeful want
And you may live to say,
How I wish I had the crust
That once I threw away.
Penny and penny laid up will be many,
Who will not save a penny shall never have many.
He that hath and will not keep it,
He that wanteth and will not seek it,
He that drinketh and is not dry,
Shall want money as well as I.
In time of prosperity,
Friends will be plenty.
In times of adversity,
Not one in twenty.
Say well and do well,
End with one letter,
Say well is good,
Do well is better.
One, two, whatever you do,
Start it well and carry it through.
Try, trying, never say die,
Things will come right, you know, by and by.
Little drops of water, little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean and the pleasant land.
That was, I think, one of the first things I had to memorize.
Patience is virtue,
Virtue is a grace,
Both put together make a very pretty face.
I wonder if you ever had that quoted to you when you were impatient.
If you are not handsome at twenty,
Nor strong at thirty,
Nor rich at forty,
Nor wise at fifty,
You never will be.
Well, that was Mother Goose and that was the light verse that we had in our readers. They were good. [00:50:11]
Now, briefly on to another book, E...
Now, briefly on to another book, E. P. Thompson Wigs and Hunters: The Origin of the Black Act, published by Pantheon books in 1975.
A very interesting book about the game laws in England. These game laws which were operative except during Cromwell’s time protected the forests and various hunting reserves for the crown and for the nobility. They were an offense to the poor people, because it was illegal for them to hunt rabbits, to hunt deer or to have them in their possession and to erect fences to keep the deer out. In fact, that was a very serious offense. The deer were to have the freedom to come in and destroy a man’s field and to eat his fruit trees and grain.
Let me say, by the way, deer are very destructive. I live in an area where we have a lot of deer and I can vouch for the fact that they will come in and destroy your plants and shrubs, your garden or your fruit trees, everything. So they can be a very serious problem. But they were either to allow this or to be severely punished and, in some cases, they were sentenced to hang.
There was a bitter intolerance abroad, an intolerance that we can scarcely appreciate. In fact, what marks Mr. Thompson or Dr. Thompson is, is discernment. He says, “In some respects,” and I am quoting, “The 18th century showed toleration. Men and women were no longer killed or tormented for their opinions or their religious beliefs as witches or as heretics. Cashiered politicians did not mount the scaffold. But in every decade more intrusions upon property were defined as capital matters.” [00:52:53]
That is a tremendous point, because the ...
That is a tremendous point, because the 18th century was finally hanging people for stealing a loaf of bread. It was not an age of toleration. It was simply that what was important for them shifted from religion to property. Now, of course, it is economics and a political economic order so that Marxism will kill people wholesale for their violation of anything that the Marxist state regards as serious.
Now turning to Reason of a few months ago, Reason magazine June 1986. This comment about Sweden.
“That progressive land where a father could be jailed for spanking his son, but officials happily condone his sleeping with his daughter. Now a Swedish court has ruled that a woman who stole clothes and sold them must be taxed as a business. She can, however, deduct any expenses she incurred on her shoplifting sprees. The court ruled that the woman ordered to undergo psychiatric treatment for kleptomania has to pay taxes on the 55,000 dollars worth of goods she was convicted of shoplifting and selling, but she can deduct any money she spent on traveling to and from stores as well as storage and telephone costs at home. Not only does crime pay, but it is deductible,” unquote.
Well, aren’t you glad that these people are thoughtful of criminals? [00:55:03]
Another item on Sweden, this from ...
Another item on Sweden, this from Insight magazine for September 23, 1985, which I have kept for some time to read to you. I quote. “Less well known, but perhaps more suggestive of the Swedish government’s efforts to control private as well as public life is the state’s intrusion into child care. Two thousand children are forcibly removed from their parents’ homes each year, this in a country with a population of only eight million. It is legal for the state to detain children on the mere suspicion that their parents might be unsuited to take care of them.
“In one particularly notorious 1979 case, a 10 year old boy was removed from his mother because she had dared to criticize Swedish social policy and had sent her boy to private school. In another case an infant was taken away from its mother before she even had a chance to see it. The state deemed her too emotionally immature to care for the child. Such matters led the Dagens Nyheter a leading Swedish daily paper to run a series of articles in 1982 under the headline, ‘Is Sweden Totalitarian?’
“One result of the tax burden and the government’s perpetual paternalism has been an exodus of businessmen, artists and scientists within the last decade,” end of quote.
Well, I cite that because Sweden is seen by many leading thinkers in this country, not good thinkers, but leading thinkers, as very, very enlightened. And what Sweden experiments with, they sooner or later try to get us to experiment with and adopt. So we had better be concerned
with what goes on in Sweden. [00:57:20]
Then very briefly this in a letter from one of you...
Then very briefly this in a letter from one of you, Gregory Todd in Utica, Michigan, about an incident in which... well, ... and I quote.
“I was in an office recently explaining to the pair of secretaries who work there the reason for the name of Davis being in my wife’s family. ‘You see,’ I said, ‘she is related to Jefferson Davis.’
“‘Who?’ asked the first secretary?’
“It was as if I had launched into an esoteric explanation of quantum physics. ‘Jefferson Davis,’ I responded. [00:58:12]
“‘Never heard of him.’
“I stared in disbelief. ‘You have never heard of Jefferson Davis?’ I inquired.
“‘Was he a president or something?’ offered the second secretary?
“‘Well, yes,’ I answered. ‘He was the President of the Confederacy during the War between the States.’
“I managed to impart this bit of information without conveying my sense of shock. But I wasn’t out of the woods yet.
“‘Wasn’t that about 100 years ago, around 1860 or 62?’ the first secretary queried.
“‘Yes. From 1860 to 1865,’ I lectured. By this point I was beginning to feel like an authority on the subject.
“Back to the second secretary. ‘I am not into presidents,’ she chuckled.
“I turned and walked out of the office in frustration and disbelief. Here were two public high school graduates from solid middle class backgrounds who held responsible jobs. One seemed only slightly cognizant of the Civil War and had no recollection of Jefferson Davis, while the other believed him to be a possible US President,” unquote. [00:59:30]
Well, our time is just about up...
Well, our time is just about up. That is not unusual. I have had letters from the South from people who tell me that they are never told anything about Jefferson Davis or the Confederacy or anything else comparable or Stonewall Jackson in the public schools.
Well, our time is up. Thank you for listening and I will be with you again soon.