The Future of Marriage - EC371

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Lesson[edit]

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: The Future of Marriage
Course: Course - Easy Chair Series
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 69
Length: 0:56:07
TapeCode: ec371
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Easy Chair Series.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.


This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 371, October the fourth, 1996.

This evening Douglas Murray is unable to be with us, but Andrew Sandlin, Mark Rushdoony and I will in the first session discuss the future of marriage.

Now marriage has been under a rather stead and often unrelenting attack from the time of Darwin to the present for a century and a half almost. The perspective of many was that evolution would in time eliminate marriage as we know it, because marriage as we know it was a product of a religious perspective and mankind would shortly outgrow it. There were, thus, all kinds of predictions about what would happen to marriage in the 20th century. In, I think, Intellectual Schizophrenia, I quoted one of the writers on science and evolution in the last century about the fact that marriage was going to be bypassed as mankind developed and evolved and reached higher states. In this century that attitude has been prominent in more than a few circles.

Unfortunately, the Christian community has paid little or no attention to all these assaults on marriage. But they have been very real, very serious and unrelenting. We have seen since World War II White House conferences define marriage in a non biblical fashion to include more than husband and wife and grandparents and related persons by blood, to include a group of people living together, to include homosexuals and to have what we now see all around us termed same sex marriages.

Of course, we now face a major attempt to promote same sex marriages. This will not cease with its defeat in any one state. I am glad that California has passed a bill banning same sex marriages within the state of California. [00:03:20]

The goal of these various assaults is not to have the...[edit]

The goal of these various assaults is not to have the freedom to do what they please, because they were already doing it. The goal is to destroy the biblical perspective on the family and on marriage. And this is a highly sophisticated and extensive assault on all fronts. Marriage is seen as a roadblock to human freedom. It is seen as repressive.

It is ironic that at the same time this attitude prevails, even in those circles most hostile to the Christian doctrine of marriage, marrying is very popular. It was years ago, before World War II that one critic of the avant-garde world of Hollywood and of many sub cultures in the United States called the kind of marriage they had as serial polygamy and called attention to the brevity of many marriages, the great number of marriages that were common place among some people in the world of entertainment and their general hostility to the Christian perspective.

That is all very true, but what I think is revealing is this. These people still want marriage. They want it because there is a stability and security in such a relationship. They want it because everything, I believe, in man’s being hungers and thirsts for the kind of world order that God has established so that anything else is alien and not desirable.

So marriage continues to be popular. But at the same time the assault is very great. We see it in a number of ways. [00:06:07]

We regularly get a great many fraudulent statistics...[edit]

We regularly get a great many fraudulent statistics telling us how few homes have two parents and how many single parent marriages there are. Now it certainly is deplorable that there are a fairly large number of such single parent families. But the point is there is a vast amount of exaggeration here. Moreover, statistics can give an fraudulent picture. For example, you have a very great number of people in the world of entertainment—films, television and other forms of the entertainment world—who have been married three, four, five, six times and occasionally more. Now average them in with everyone else and the number of divorces in the country become more impressive. You are then spreading these out so that you say on the basis of the number of divorces and the number of marriages there is a higher percentage of divorce than actually exists, because you pass around that number to all the marriages and that, of course, is not honest reading.

So we have a problem. We have an assault on marriage. We have a great deal of indifference to the Church to the fact of the assault and their response sometimes is a total hostility to divorce. For example, in one prominent church in the Midwest, a woman whose husband abandoned her married and then because he had the right to come back and seize the property which her money had bought, her lawyer said the only way to protect your home and your children from such a thing taking place is to get a divorce that will be recognized as legal in this state. But when she did the church threw her out. That kind of Pharisaism and hypocrisy is very prevalent. [00:09:12]

So the Church has not been on its toes here, has not...[edit]

So the Church has not been on its toes here, has not been aware sometimes of the full extent of the assault. There are not many worked up about the same sex marriage movement and they had better be. It is an attack against Christianity.

[Sandlin] That is right. That is right.

[Rushdoony] So the future of marriage is an important one. We must begin by recognizing that there are a large number of people out there who are dedicated to the destruction of the Christian doctrine of the family and marriage.

Now granted that the number of homosexuals in this country is a rather limited one and although Kinsey said 10 percent of the population was homosexual, it has been demonstrated over and over again that that was a fraudulent claim. Some scholars say between one and two percent, a few go as high as three percent.

Well, let’s say three percent. That would mean that perhaps there are about four and a half million homosexuals. That is not many. If it is one percent a million and a half. Well, then we have to admit these people have a great deal of influence. They are in the media. They are disproportionately powerful in politics, because very commonly they will be two men or two women living together both working with a considerable income and giving heavily to politics in order to influence both parties.

This little community of homosexuals gives more to politics than does the Christian community. As a result, they carry more weight in politics. Well, the Christian community has been derelict in not facing up to these issues. It is time it did. It has to recognize that determined people are working to ram through same sex marriages. They have failed in legislatures. They are trying now to do it through the courts where they have considerable number of judges who are homosexual. [00:12:24]

Andrew, would you like to comment on this or anything...[edit]

Andrew, would you like to comment on this or anything else related to the future of marriage?

[Sandlin] Well, there are a number of things we could talk about in the course of this discussion. We may want to begin where the Bible does in Genesis chapters one and two where we discover that marriage is the central divine institution. It is not conventional. It is not something that man devised. And it is interesting that in Genesis three Satan’s first assault was, of course, against the Christian marriage, at least indirectly. It wasn’t merely to introduce sin into the world, but to break up this divinely instituted plan of marriage.

Another point that is crucial that so much of the Church, Rush, does not understand is the teaching of Malachi chapter two that marriage is a covenant.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] An oath bound institution. But with the rise of Romanticism especially late in the 18th century or early in the 19th century and down into our own time, marriage is seen basically as just a justification for feeling good and sexual intercourse and that sort of thing and it is really seen in the... the soap operas, these afternoon soap operas which are utterly destructive of ... of Christian marriage, of marriage in general. Unfortunately, too many Christians or supposed Christians, alleged Christians tend to think that way also, sort of fall into love and then get married. But that is not a biblical idea at all. And it is very sad.

As far as assaults on marriage, I wrote down a number of things here. Of course, we think immediately of radical Feminism and a lot of these things, of course, have their roots in the French Revolution, the whole egalitarian concept which is utterly destructive of the family. And Engels idea....what was the title of the book he wrote on marriage? Essentially saying that marriage is an economic institution.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] .... you know, and that sort of thing. But it is ... you have to understand, too, that marriage is a social institution and that is why adultery and homosexuality are criminalized in the Word of God. Some people are scandalized by that. Oh, you Christian Reconstructionists believe what the Bible says about adultery and homosexuality. How harsh that seems. They don’t understand that a society, a biblical society has a right to protect itself from these evils, because when they are pervasive, adultery, homosexuality, these other things, then society itself will unravel and that is exactly what we are seeing today. [00:15:04]

Unfortunately because the Church doesn...[edit]

Unfortunately because the Church doesn't have a full orbed view and the reformed faith has traditionally understood the necessity of a full orbed faith because they are interested only in winning souls and looking for the rapture, they allow these things to go unchecked and it is really catching up with us. We have got to stand for the truth and stand whole heartedly.

And there are a number of other things we could talk about, but that is a good start.

[M. Rushdoony] I think you are right about the... the view of the covenantal family disappearing from Christianity and because without... without a covenant view of the faith there is not going to be a covenant view of the family and therefore the prevailing idea in Christian circles is that marriage is a means of self satisfaction.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[M. Rushdoony] That is ... that the whole idea of romantic love comes in, as you said, and marriage is where you find happiness and if you don’t find happiness then it is time for divorce. But without a covenantal view of family you lose all perspective on child bearing.

[Sandlin] Absolutely.

[M. Rushdoony] ...obligations to society. But the traditional marriage society had two oaths that one view, you know, I can’t think of the exact words, but view of covenant combined yourselves before God.

[Sandlin] Before God, that is right.

[M. Rushdoony] And you said I do. And then do you, John, take Mary to have and... and then the other vow was to the marriage partner.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[M. Rushdoony] So it was a...

[Sandlin] A vow to God as well as to the spouse, yeah.

[M. Rushdoony] Right. So it was a covenant between two people, but it was also a covenant of those people before God.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[M. Rushdoony] And before kind of... how the phrase goes and before God and before these...

[Sandlin] ...witnesses.

[M. Rushdoony] ...assembled. So you were making a... publicly making a vow...

[Sandlin] Yes.

[M. Rushdoony] ...that you were having ... having a covenant relationship and that was the view of marriage which transcended the personal needs or the perceived needs of the individuals, because...

[Sandlin] That is right.

[M. Rushdoony] Our needs change. What we ... what we enjoyed at entertainment at one point in our life we lose interest in. We are going to lose interest and people drift apart if they have nothing other than the personal satisfaction...

[Sandlin] Absolutely.

[M. Rushdoony] ...in view.

[Sandlin] Marriage is not, first of all, about romantic love. It is about covenant faithfulness. And, Rush, I am glad you pointed out what you did about the so called no divorce idea. I tell people when I preach, really people who say that although they sound spiritual are assaulting the covenant. What they are really saying is you can break the marital covenant all you want and still get away with it.

[M. Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] And that is thoroughly evil. It is wrong. And it is not a strong position as though people brag and say, “We have a strong position on marriage, that divorce is always wrong under any circumstances.

Well, they don’t take the covenant seriously.

[M. Rushdoony] Why do they... why do such churches who are totally Antinomian have an... such an absolute view of no divorce? [00:18:08]

[Rushdoony] Very good question...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Very good question.

[Sandlin] It is a good question.

[Rushdoony] Very good question. They have stressed not obedience, but certain conventions and they have decided that no divorce is a proof of holiness. Well, God himself the all holy one tells Israel that he is divorcing them.

[Sandlin] That is right. And that is... that is...

[Rushdoony] What you are in effect saying then is that evil does not break a covenant.

[Sandlin] Absolutely.

[Rushdoony] We are not taking evil seriously.

[Sandlin] Well there are modern Pharisees. They have established their own laws. Rush has pointed out so many times men have to live by law, so when they jettison and abandon God’s law they wreck their own, you know, standards that they equate with divine law and that is what has happened in the church unfortunately.

I know how hypocritical they become. I think of people like that that supposedly take a strong stand on divorce and yet are so willing, as you have indicated, to break the law of God, the specific law of God in other areas.

[M. Rushdoony] So adultery is really something forgivable...

[Sandlin] Exactly.

[M. Rushdoony] ...in many of these circles, but...

[Sandlin] Commit adultery all you want, just don’t divorce, that is the...

[multiple voices]

[M. Rushdoony] And very {?} for the person who seeks the divorce as the innocent party.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[M. Rushdoony] And they are held in contempt and sometimes driven out of the church as a terrible sinner and yet the person who commits forgiveness or commits adultery says, “God has forgiven me.”

[Sandlin] Exactly.

[M. Rushdoony] They are back in fellowship.

[Sandlin] Exactly.

[Rushdoony] One of the things that we need to recognize is that in the family where there is a strong father, a man who commands respect, molds the family, leads it in its faith, crime is rare among the children.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] It is in the fatherless families, especially headed by a woman where crime is most rampant. And as we are seeing the disintegration of the family in many, many areas we see precisely in those areas crime sky rocket among the children, both boys and girls. So the responsibility of the man to be moral is all important. It has a great deal to do with what the children are.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] The children are really a product of the father’s character and authority. He is the head of the household. If he abdicates then there is a very serious delinquency on the part of the children. [00:21:17]

[Sandlin] Rush, I want to pursue that, but there was...[edit]

[Sandlin] Rush, I want to pursue that, but there was something, incidentally, I was thinking about today. Humanly speaking, from the human standpoint, the main government in the earth is family government.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] And the point is if the family does its job governing well then the state really overall has very little to do.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] But an intrusive state has to step... it doesn't... it is not forced to step in, but often does step in when family government erodes because men will not stand up and... and lead their families. That is... this has been a perpetual problem, of course, historically you see it in societies where the father is not strong. You know, exactly what happens. The civil government tends to step in.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, I mentioned last night at our Bible study that a very wonderful book was written some few years back by Stephen Ozment, O Z M E N T When Fathers Rule. Now I understand that is still available in paperback. Well in that book Ozment demonstrated that one of the first consequences of the Reformation in Germany was that fathers began to rule. They created strong families.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Rushdoony] So one of the great products of the Reformation was the revolution in family life. It made the family the basic governmental unit within Germany. And three results were dramatic, dramatic in terms of the results on children and in society. So if we get back to a concept of the responsibility of a father.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Then we are going to see a great reformation and one we are desperately in need of.

[Sandlin] Another point. Some people are scandalized when I say this, but strong families make for strong churches.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] And the reason we have... one reason that we have so many weak churches and Antinomian churches is because we do not have the sort of fathers and husbands that you are mentioning, Rush.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] And some people think it is... it is amazing. They think, well, when people walk in the back doors of the church they will automatically be transformed into very spiritual and obedient people. Well, that is total nonsense. Churches will only be as strong as the families that comprise them.

[Rushdoony] I learned recently, not for the first time, of a church situation when the pastor for purely petty reasons attacked one of the finest men in the church and excommunicated him on his own. And he did this in the presence of the church board. They all remained silent, but afterwards told him, “Brother, we know you were in the right and things like that.” It was moral cowardice. [00:24:33]

And this is why churches have problems...[edit]

And this is why churches have problems. The are no men in them that are godly, strong men, men capable of ruling...

[Sandlin] Absolutely.

[Rushdoony] ... their families and the church.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] Now Paul specifies when he speaks of the qualifications of elders that the ability to rule one’s family well is basic. And that is why there was a time when no one was nominated or elected to a church board until he was demonstrably a father who had reared his children well. And that is gone now. They are simply men who are prominent in the community or successful in business or mousy enough that they will do exactly what the pastor asks of them.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Rushdoony] And then they are seen as good elders.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Good deacons, good board members, whatever the nature of the church government.

[Sandlin] That is right. You know, I recall something that Steve Schlissel said a number of months ago that I never really thought of in this light, but he says, “You know, the majority of the message of the Bible is directed explicitly to men, not because women are unimportant, but because if men will submit themselves to the law word of God then things in the family will go well.”

But we have a whole generation today—and I am thinking especially of Evangelicalism—although I can include Fundamentalism and Lutherans and Roman Catholics and others—where the Church is basically comprised of women, a large majority. Of course it was not that way 250 years ago especially in colonial America. But we have a very syrupy romantically based religion today that tends to appeal to women and most men don’t care for it. Well, I understand why. We need a strong, more manly, masculine faith.

[Rushdoony] Well, I have mentioned this before and it is worth repeating. For a long time in American history, well into the last century if a woman committed a crime, her husband went to jail, because it was felt that he had failed in his responsibilities. And the same was true of children. In other words, the father was expected to exercise authority and he paid a price.

[Sandlin] Absolutely. [00:27:13]

[Rushdoony] ...if his authority was not productive of good.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Well, we have come a long ways into an anarchistic individualism. And the result is that the family no longer has much authority. Every member of the family feels they can go their own way and in too many of television’s comedies the father is a butt of ridicule.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] He is regarded as a weak, wishy washy character and everybody can make fun of him. He is the joke.

[Sandlin] Yes and God despises that.

[Rushdoony] Yes. It has seriously warped our outlook. It began, I think, in the comic strips in the 20s with Dagwood. And Dagwood is the bumbling husband and Blondie is the all competent wife.

[M. Rushdoony] Even on the... the shows that are supposedly have been very pro family that have a father and a mother and... and well behaved kids, the father is... they were comedies and the father was the cut up man.

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[M. Rushdoony] He was... he was the one you laughed at.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Rushdoony] The one exception to that was the I Love Lucy show. And there it was not the father who was the bumbler.

I would like to read something from an article “Same Sex Marriage and the Ends of Desire” by Camille Williams, a professor of law, family law. And it is in The World and I for October, 1996. She writes, “The state has a compelling reason to preserve marriage as a union between a man ... a woman and a man. Once the state endorses a marital form that excludes women, that is, the marriage of two males, women will lose ground in the family, the economy and the culture. Because the number of gays in the population exceeds that of lesbians, it may be that the result of legalizing same sex marriages will be to increase male domination. We could end up with a hierarchy of marriages with gay unions holding more economic power...

[Sandlin] Yes, that is right.

[Rushdoony] ... and social status than lesbian or heterosexual marriage. Even if more lesbians than gays marry, it may simply reduce women’s status. Historically every field in which women dominate has lower social status than those dominated by men.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] ... the best way of predicting the status and impact of lesbian unions may be to look at the position of female headed households. These unions are likely to be poorer and their children are likely to suffer the negative effects of father absence. The most negative being the misogyny of their sons. As David Blankenship points out, ‘Boys raised by traditionally masculine fathers generally do not commit crimes. Fatherless boys commit crimes.’

[Sandlin] That is right. [00:30:58]

[Rushdoony] One of the results of a home life deprived...[edit]

[Rushdoony] One of the results of a home life deprived of the traditional male who teaches his sons the norm of paternal obligation and the duty to provide for children is a hyper masculinity that can result in unrestricted aggression,” unquote.

So take the father out of the home and you have the macho kind of pseudo masculinity that you have nowadays. Williams goes on to point out that if these advocates of same sex marriages get their way and destroy the traditional family, the ones who will suffer most will be women.

[Sandlin] Precisely correct. And, Rush, I was thinking of something we were talking about last night of a ... a leading television network that will go unmentioned that portrays itself as being very pro family sponsoring a program this fall in which the leading character comes out in favor of lesbianism. She states that she is lesbian.

But it is being widely accepted in the media as being very normal, whereas a biblical heterosexual family is being depicted as somehow off base or retrogressive, excuse me, retrogressive or that sort of thing. I think that is why we have got to be very careful about exposure of our children to the major, major media and especially television. And, of course, that is another subject, but it is... it is vital to understand that point, that we certainly are in a war.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] A many pronged war and one of Satan’s chief attacks is to erode the family and homosexuality and androgyny and Lesbianism and other things are chief means of... of doing that in addition to, of course, Feminism, radical Feminism which often goes with Lesbianism. [00:33:05]

[Rushdoony] One of the forms of attacking marriage...[edit]

[Rushdoony] One of the forms of attacking marriage and the family has been the change in the laws of inheritance.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] Nowadays one of the things that has taken place is that the state is the first born, inherits the major portion, takes its cut before anybody else in the family can. Then by destroying the tie between inheritance and the family, step by step, degree by degree it is made possible the alienation of the inheritance from the family to an illegitimate child. It has also thereby destroyed the integrity of the family.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] The family as determining its future.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] The disposition of its property.

[Sandlin] Absolutely.

[Rushdoony] Giving it to those who are the most deserving in the blood line.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] And using the inheritance under God.

Well, in one way or after another we are seeing efforts made to destroy the family. And the same sex marriage idea is the culmination of a number of efforts to undermine the family.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Now the idea is, of course, absurd. The purpose of marriage is distinctly subverted. The homosexuals prior to the development of AIDS had a life expectancy of 42 years. It has since dropped, some say to 41, but one knowledgeable person said we don’t know, but it is much more than that. In other words, their life expectancy has lessened dramatically with AIDS.

Now the family is future oriented.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] The purpose of the family is to enable a man to plan for the future.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] If not for his children, at least for his wife and himself and kinfolk who are close to him. It is always future oriented. But same sex marriages can have no future orientation. In fact, they have a very short term orientation. For one thing they are very, very unstable unions. And such groups... unions fall apart very quickly and readily. It is rare for a same sex couple to live with each other indefinitely. About the only time it happens is if the one person is a very wealthy and successful entertainer or somebody else, has lots of money and the other person hangs on and becomes their gopher to do everything that they are commanded to do and to wink at everything that is abusive of themselves. In such instances, it is an artificial life that the union has. [00:36:48]

Now the attack of our culture on marriage began with...[edit]

Now the attack of our culture on marriage began with the Marxists. Well, it preceded them. But it was certainly mounted on a large scale by the Marxists. And you had men like Engels and Babel write about the evil of the family. Babel felt that marriage was worse than prostitution, because the prostitute, he said, has freedom to withdraw from her disgraceful pursuit. But the married woman must submit to the embraces of her husband even though she hates and despises him.

Now that was a kind of rhetoric that was used.

Well, it is still with us. And it is high time the Christian community paid attention to these things.

[Sandlin] I wanted to point out that woman is designed for man in his dominion calling.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] According to Genesis chapters one and two. And even the number of modern evangelicals, I think, go astray in thinking, well, the woman’s main responsibility is as a mother and to take care of the children. Well, that is a secondary responsibility to her responsibility to her husband to exercise godly dominion which includes, of course, having children and ... and transmitting the faith. But there are a number of things we could talk about as far as assaults on the family. The press toward two income families and the result in secular day care centers. Let’s get these little children into these secular day care centers younger and younger. You have heard of the so-called head start program that was so popular, you know, among Democratic politicians especially several years ago. So it is really a vicious cycle whereby the family is destroyed. First of all the ... the marriage itself is destroyed and then, of course, the children are tithed to the Moloch state and are indoctrinated with all sorts of evil things. [00:39:11]

[Rushdoony] One of the best things written, perhaps...[edit]

[Rushdoony] One of the best things written, perhaps the best on marriage and the family from a sociological point of view, but still essentially Christian was published in 1956 Marriage and the Family by Carl C. Zimmerman and L. S. Cervantes both men at Harvard University. It is an outstanding book writing in 1956 before the all out sexual revolution and anti family culture of the 60s. They were very optimistic about the future of the family.

I would say they were right because the anti family culture really has no future. It is something for the moment. And the process is very destructive of society. But it is suicidal as well and it is very, very important to recognize that we have a suicidal movement around us.

I should add, then, that Christian community is suicidal if it pays no attention to it.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] And does nothing to counter act it, because it is seeping into the church.

[Sandlin] That is right. Well, they are preset oriented, Rush.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] Whereas, as you said, the family is future oriented. Yes, the Church ahs this attitude of diffidence. You know, I have heard even supposed Christians say, “Well, you know, that is their right. As long as they don’t bother me and my children, I don’t care what they do.” But I don’t think people like that understand that homosexuality is of itself destructive to society long term if it is not curbed. So Christians have a vested interest in actively opposing homosexuality and not in saying, “Well, it is ok for them to do what they want to do as long as they don’t affect me.”

And that is something that those listening to this tape need to recognize and take a very fervent and, if necessary public stand against homosexuality.

[Rushdoony] One of the things that I ran across the other day was a statement coming from university circles that the traditional religious idea of two sexes is nonsense, that there are all kinds of gradations and we should start speaking of these differences and have no compelling classification that forces people into a mold. [00:42:21]

Well, the fact is that the sexes are different in every...[edit]

Well, the fact is that the sexes are different in every cell in their body.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] And the idea that these differences do not exist is an absurdity. We have descended into scientific garbage in the process of trying to destroy the biblical perspective.

[Sandlin] That is right. You know, our forefathers in this country the Puritans understood the vital importance of family worship. They saw the family as a little church.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] ...with the ... with the father as being the minister of this little church and he would gather his wife and children around every day or virtually every day and teach them from the Word of God. In fact, that is one of the main reasons the Shorter Catechism, the Westminster Shorter Catechism was hammered out, not for adults for the most part, but for children.

A very good book on that, by the way, is The Puritan Family by...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] ...Ed E. Morgan, an outstanding work. But that is even last, sadly, in... in Christian families today. It is often, well, let the... you know, let the wife go ahead and take the children to church and that sort of thing. That has contributed to... to a number of these problems that we have today is a lack of husbands leaving their... and fathers leading their family in... in worship.

[Rushdoony] One of the things that Cervantes and Zimmerman had to say was that the family brings the past into the present. The number of people I encounter who can tell me that they had a few generations back a German or a Dutch or an Italian or a Spanish or a Serbian ancestor is legion. They know this. And they like the diversity. They like the things that have come. And one of the interesting things to me is that in so many instances the type of cooking is continued so that you will find old recipes continuing in a family generation after generation even though they don’t know the language or very much about their ancestry beyond that they... having had this element. But certain things are continued. The past is made alive, relevant to the present. [00:45:08]

Moreover, the family has a great many functions that...[edit]

Moreover, the family has a great many functions that we have to recognize and education is one of them. There is more education by parents who take parenting seriously than any educational institution outside of the family. It provides motivation. It provides guidance. In fact, career training is more influenced by the family...

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] ...than by the school. Although the school is trying to take over here, not very well.

In fact, the family does a better job. I have known so many instances where colleges and universities gave extremely bad advice to their students. For example, in the early 70s when certain dramatic changes took place with regard to NASA and other things, a great many engineering schools suddenly found they had too many students and too few jobs for them. And the counselors began to steer students out of engineering. Well, before long, the demand for engineers was not being met. What happens when the parent counsels the child? The parent says, “What do you really want to do? What are you interested in? Well, then go for it.”

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Rushdoony] And it isn’t as with some I have seen who have been told that they should go into this or that area and they spend the rest of their life regretting that they took specialized training in that field, because they don't enjoy it.

[Sandlin] Yeah, yeah. Other functions, too... Oh, are you finished, Rush?

[Rushdoony] Yeah.

[Sandlin] Other functions, too, Rush, you could have mentioned were in health and welfare.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] This... this proliferation today of nursing homes when it is possible in... in most cases for families to care for the elderly is really sad and a particularly lamentable commentary on our times. And the same is true of ... of medicine and other things. Those shouldn’t be pushed off on... on the state. Those are family responsibilities. But unfortunately the state has gobbled them up because the family has not been faithful in its obligations.

[M. Rushdoony] I think Darlene volunteers every week at the local convalescent hospital. She just mostly she just talks to the ... to the patients. And she mentioned the other day something very interesting that a lot of them are there because they have outlived their children, which tells me that they are, to a large extent, the elderly care is taken care of still by children, but when people out live their children it is very often then that they end up in the convalescent hospitals. [00:48:32]

[Sandlin] Yes, I am sure in some cases that is true...[edit]

[Sandlin] Yes, I am sure in some cases that is true, but I mean, I also know of cases where children just...

[M. Rushdoony] Right.

[Sandlin] ...want to put their ... put their parents away. It is so sad. I... I have preached a number of times in nursing ... in nursing homes and it is so sad to see the elderly just wheel up to me and thinking I am their son coming to visit them, because their son never comes to visit. It is just a ... just a tragedy and brings tears to your eyes, but that is another function of the family that has been abandoned among, as, Rush, as you say, education and tradition and...

[Rushdoony] Well, Cervantes and Zimmerman said, and I quote, “Family life means more now than it ever did and we need it more,” unquote. I think that that is more true than in 1956.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] Forty years have past and what do we see? Well, people who 10 and 20 years ago would go to a social worker or to some state agency or to a federal official now are afraid to go, because the interference is too great.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] So they will go to friends, to relatives or ask advice here and there, but they will avoid these agencies in a very great number of cases and in an increasing number of cases.

[Sandlin] Yes. And, too, we ought to mention, what about the assault of the modern church on the family with all of these programs and that sort of thing keeping the family so busy?

[Rushdoony] yes.

[Sandlin] When I pastored in Ohio there was a church there totally new Evangelical church. They would advertise in the Saturday paper all of the different classes, 10 or 15 classes. There is the golden agers class and the divorce recovery class and the special children’s classes and all this sort of thing dividing the family. The family members would come into the church and they would all scatter to the four winds and they would have all these sorts of programs. Well, that is evil. And the reformed church, thank God, traditionally has opposed that and should oppose that idea.

[Rushdoony] One of the remarkable ways the family has revived is its concern with Christian schooling and home schooling.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] The number of children in both kinds of schools is increasing. [00:51:10]

When World War II ended the idea that Christian schools...[edit]

When World War II ended the idea that Christian schools and home schools would steadily take over was not even considered. When I wrote Intellectual Schizophrenia in the 50s and concluded in the early 60s The Messianic Character of American Education, at that time both books seemed like interesting exercises in the irrelevant, because there was no interest in either Christian or home schools. And yet suddenly the movement showed signs of life and began to grow. And today it is very much feared by the statists because of its increasing power and its appeal.

[Sandlin] Well, I think, what was it, last spring, Rush, you delivered a lecture at the northern California home schooling and there were thousands that come. I know the one in Ohio, the home schooling organization there routinely has over 5000, whereas just 20 years ago you couldn’t get several hundred together.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] And that is true all over the country.

[Rushdoony] Well, no one would have imagined the great numbers of parents from coast to coast would take the time to teach their own children and it is not only the mothers. The fathers take an active part when they are home. This when the movement began seemed inconceivable to the statist educators. They never thought it would succeed. And here it is, a major force in the country today.

[Sandlin] Yes, well, long term we certainly are going to win.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] ...because of the things that you have been talking about, Rush. Those who are assaulting the family are not future oriented. They are only interested in present gratification. We are the ones who do not abort our children. We have children and we train them in the faith while the wicked on the whole are aborting their children and are thinking only of their own personal gratification. So there is a war and a battle we have to fight, but we are going to win in the long run.

[Rushdoony] We are seeing a polarization today. More and more men taking a strong position in their homes and becoming heads of the household. On the other hand, more and more men abandoning responsibility so that even at the beginning of the 60s nine out of 10 of the people arrested in the United States were men. Most of the persons in jail were and are men, men who are irresponsible, men who are single, men who have fathered illegitimate children, men who do nothing to meet their responsibilities in society. And yet everything that the modern movement promotes is designed to increase the number of independent men and, of course, at the same time independent women. [00:54:52]

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

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] So they want to destroy responsibility in the family and society. Well, they are destroying a segment, but at the same time as with the people involved in Christian and home schools and others in the Christian community, the Christian family is growing stronger. Men are assuming their responsibilities. The future of marriage, as a result, is a more secure one than it was 20 and 30 years ago. So we have a great deal to be grateful for and we need not recognize that the future is ours.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Any last comment?

[Sandlin] No. Well put, Rush.

[Rushdoony] Well, thank you all for listening and God bless you.