The School and Family - RR148B3

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: The School and Family
Course: Course - Philosophy of Christian Eduction in Christian Schools
Subject: Subject:Education
Lesson#: 3
Length: 1:19:57
TapeCode: RR148B3
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.

Let us begin with prayer. We come before thee, our Father, with grateful hearts, ever mindful of thy grace and mercy unto us, that thou hast called us by thy sovereign grace and made us thy people, kings, priests, and prophets, in Jesus Christ. Make us strong in thy word and by thy grace, that in all things we may be more than conquerors through Him that loves us. That we may go forth mindful of the fact that we have been called, in Jesus Christ, to occupy till He comes, that we have His word that the gates of hell cannot prevail, cannot stand up against thy people, thy word, thy Spirit. Make us ever bond in thy word, confident in thy service, and faithful in our calling. To the end that the kingdoms of this world might become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Our subject this morning will be the school and family life. Tomorrow morning, and for the rest of the sessions, we will be dealing with specific subjects, beginning tomorrow morning with teaching Bible, and our evening meetings we will deal with some of the principles. When I was flying into Pensacola on Tuesday, my seat companion from San Francisco to Atlanta, was a young woman who was very deeply distressed because she said that everyone in her circle believed that the family and marriage were passé, and that the time had come for a new age to begin which would be post-familial. This is a belief which is quite prevalent. It is part of a propaganda campaign which confronts us on all sides. Every form of popular entertainment militates against the family. Unfortunately, too often, too much in church and also militates against the family. I have visited churches that actually issue a calendar every month and it’s their proud boast that there is something at the church every night for the children or for father or mother. What happens to family life in such a situation? One couple told me that it was not until they moved into another community, into a smaller church, that they began to have a family life. [00:03:51]

In terms of scripture, the family is the basic institution...[edit]

In terms of scripture, the family is the basic institution. Now, historically, at times, other institutions can have a greater centrality. Thus, I believe in the providence of God in our age, the key institution in terms of the future is the Christian school. But on a continuing basis, it is the family that is the basic institution in terms of the word of God. First of all, it’s the only institution in the Garden of Eden. Marriage is ordained and instituted by God in the Garden of Eden.

Moreover, as we read the scriptures and, in particular, biblical law, we find the basic powers of society are placed in the hands of the family by the Lord. What are the basic powers in any society? It’s important for you to know this because the enemy knows it and has it in mind in all his thinking and planning. The first and foremost power in any society is the control of children, because the control of children is the control of the future. This is why socialism always aims first and foremost to control the child. This is why, when the humanists first began their work in the United States, they aimed through Horace Mann, James G. Carter, Charles G. Sumner, and that whole motley crew of Unitarians, humanists to the core, to take over through the state control of the schools of this country because they felt that there is no hope for humanism unless it could command the children. Control of children is control of the future. It’s that simply. The state knows it. The humanists know it. The Marxists know it. The Fabian-Socialists know it. The Fascists know it, and it’s time we, as Christians, knew it. Consider how grievous our Lord regards it if anyone offend against a child. He says it is better if a millstone were hung about his neck and he were dropped into the deepest sea. Control of children is the basic power in any society and hence it is that in every age the enemies of God had worked to control children. What a fearful sin it is in the sight of Almighty God for a parent to turn his child over to the enemy, to give his child to an institution that bypasses the word of God, to an institution that believes that God is irrelevant to life. It is time we began telling parents who call themselves Christians and who put their children into humanistic schools how seriously offensive they are to God. [00:08:15]

The second basic power in any social order is the control...[edit]

The second basic power in any social order is the control of property. The control of property. The Bible places the control of property in the hands of the family, not the individual. The family. It moreover declares that the eldest godly child is to receive a double portion. If he is not godly or responsible he is to be passed over, because property means power. It means power in any society. If you have a school with buildings and assets, it means increased power for your school. It’s a very simple, obvious fact. Property is power, and essentially, property in scripture belongs to the family. Thus it is that increasingly today, it is an assault on the family to take away control of the children, control of property.

Then the third basic power in any society is control of inheritance. Because in terms of scripture, the parents have an obligation, both to conserve that which the Lord has blessed them with and to pass it onto their godly seed. The goal is that the people of God be enriched and the work of the Lord be prospered. Today, the state declares it is the first born of every family and has a prior right on every inheritance, and we see these three basic powers attacked. The children claimed by the state, and today the state is trying to reach into the Christian school by controlling it, by licensing it, by one way or another, asserting its {?} over the school and over the child. It taxes property which is not scriptural. This may startle you, but you do not own your property. The state does. The language of the law is that you hold it in fee simple and stockage. What does that mean? Stockage is an ancient legal term coming from ancient paganism of Anglo Saxon, which means tenancy. Fee simple means you have a right to pass it on to your heirs and to use it, but that the basic ownership resides with the state, and the state can tax it at will, confiscate it at all, restrict your use of it at will, so that your title to it is a title to use only subject to the will of the state. Now that’s the simple, legal fact. The sad fact is that a lot of lawyers don’t even know the law at this point because they just take the terms without studying their actual meaning. Today, therefore, the state has moved into all three areas: children, property, and inheritance. [00:12:25]

Let me cite still further powers that the family has...[edit]

Let me cite still further powers that the family has in terms of scripture. The family is the basic welfare institution in society. Even today, more people are supported by families than by the federal, state, county, and local governments. Relatives, grandparents, and the like. In terms of scripture, this is fundamental. “He that does not care for his own,” the scripture tells us, “is worse than an infidel.” We have an obligation to care for one another, and those who are of our family we must care for, and similarly the church must care for those in its midst who have no one to care for them. The family is thus also, the basic welfare institution according to scripture.

The finally, the family is also the basic educational institution. I’ll come back to that subsequently, but let me call attention to a simple financial fact. More money is placed into education every year by parents than by any or all agencies of government in the United States. Add up what all the Christian and private school tuitions cost, the college tuition, and it comes to a greater sum, and all the expenditures, however wasteful, of state agencies. But even more basically than that, the family is the basic educational institution. But the family has been under attack, as well as the faith.

In the early 1930’s John Buling, in his book, A Common Faith, by which he meant humanism, declared that democracy could not tolerate coexistence with biblical religion. Because, he said, a biblical base is hopelessly anti-democratic. It is aristocratic. It believes in the saved and the lost, the sheep and the goats, good and evil, right and wrong, and that’s divisive. It is anti-democratic. Then in 1948, John {?} Conant, prize-winning chemist, president of Harvard, former high commissioner of Germany after the war, also working for the National Educational Association investigating state schools, declared that the institution of the family is incompatible with democracy because the family is a hopelessly anti-democratic and aristocratic institution. The family works always to take care of its own. It doesn’t think about the children who are underprivileged, and so you introduce a fundamental inequality, an aristocracy, into society. Hence, of course, the ranting and the raging against the suburbanites and their children, the ranting and the raging against the Christian schools and their anti-democratic, anti-equalitarian nature, because they put a fundamental difference between saved and lost into the mind of the child. You see, the family is important in the plan of God. It is central. The school, therefore, must never undercut the family. It must strengthen in, and the more you strengthen the family, the more God’s work will prosper and the more your school will be blessed and appreciated. [00:17:42]

I can never forget the father who, with some arm-twisting...[edit]

I can never forget the father who, with some arm-twisting from his wife, placed their children into a Christian school. This Christian school was very strong in strengthening not only discipline, but manners, appearance and manners, so that the children were schooled to say, “Yes, Sir,” or “Yes, Ma’am,” and “Thank you, sir,” and the father couldn’t get over the fact that his son, who had been something of a headache was not only neat now, but when he spoke to him said, “What is it, sir?” He almost collapsed the first time he got that response, it was such a shock, but he appreciated it deeply. That one thing alone made him a walking salesman for that Christian school. The school must not undercut the family, and the church must not undercut the family.

Now, I think this tells you something about how irrelevant a great deal of our schooling is. Here, according to God, is the most basic fact under the sun; the family. The key to social life, to personal life. We never talk about its centrality anywhere along the lines in church or in school.

Or consider another thing, something that again is neglected. If I had time to deal with the philosophy of the curriculum at length, I would go into some of the subjects that we leave out, that should be in it. Our curriculum still follows the pattern of the Greco/World. That’s why we have plane geometry in it, but we don’t have economics, and everybody has to deal with money, even a preschool child does, and nobody ever teaches economics anywhere along the line and yet, simple economics means, well, the best definition is there’s no such thing as a free lunch. “He that doth not work, let him not eat.” That’s where economic begins. We are to teach it. In fact, our foundation is going to work towards providing material for the proper teaching of economics from a biblical perspective. [00:20:34]

But to continue, in ...[edit]

But to continue, in 1966, a very significant report was issued which, by and large, was not given the attention it merited. Known as the Coleman Report, after James B. Coleman, Johns Hopkins University professor and chairman, it was the Equality of Educational Opportunity Report. It had been some years in compilation. It was the detailed, statistical study of all schools in America fed into that new invention, the computer. It dealt with all kinds of schools; segregated schools, integrated school, black schools, white schools, schools that had tremendous funds, and schools that had very little funds and poor buildings. The results were not exactly the ones that the committee liked. In fact, the Johns Hopkins professor, Coleman, who was chairman, has tried to undercut everything the report showed in some of its writings, but basically, the findings of EEOR, or the Coleman Report, revealed the following conclusions. First, black and white schools were virtually equal in quality. This was a shocker. This came, of course, after integration had already become a reality to all practical intent. They found minor differences, sometimes the differences were in favor of the white schools and sometimes in favor of the black schools, but the statistical variation was so slight there was no significant difference between them, and yet all the time, everybody had assumed there was.

Then second, the Coleman Report revealed that money makes no difference in the results. At a poverty-stricken school district and a wealthy school district were essentially similar. Now, of course, you can see no attention is being paid to this because, on the plane I was reading some very recent writings on education, and the jist of the pleas of the educators was, “Of course we haven’t produced results, we haven’t been given the money we want.” This is a myth. [00:23:43]

The third result of the Coleman Report is the key one...[edit]

The third result of the Coleman Report is the key one. The family is basic in educational achievement, and what was the key in the family? It was the stable family. At that time, 80% of the white families represented a stable family situation, and 55% of the black families. It was with minor variations, the stable families that produced the well-disciplined pupils and the pupils with learning ability. Since then, let me add the percentage of white families that is stable has dropped. Thus, the only correlation with achievement was neither in the kind of schools, segregated or integrated, and the amount of money spent and the equipment, the correlation was only with the stability of the family.

Since then, a number of studies have confirmed this, although these studies again have not gained great public attention. They have, however, been taken very seriously by state educators. These studies have indicated that the basic learning on the part of the child, the pattern, is laid down very early, by the age of four, and that the greatest aptitude for learning is in the very early years of a child. You know there’s no difference in the IQ of a child at any point. The child has as high an IQ at the day one as day 21, or year 21. The only difference is the data that the child has accumulated in those intervening years.

Notice the child. How does it react? The minute it starts talking. Now, my children and now my grandchildren, and I’m a very, very doting grandfather, they are continually, the minute they learn to talk asking, “Why?” “How come?” They’re full of questions. They want to learn. Did you know that in Puritan America, it was the regarded as the duty of a godly mother to teach her children to read between the ages of two and four, depending on the child and his aptitude. The child then went to school, not to learn to read and write, but to get an education. This is why children could, at that time, who were advanced, learn Greek and Hebrew as they did at five, six, and seven. The child can learn foreign languages more readily at a very early age. Thus, the family, you see, has a key role. Can you begin to comprehend the deadly effect of so much that the school has taught in recent years? “Don’t try to teach your child how to read. You’re hurting him, you’ll do him damage.” Well, they do damage with that sort of thing because they retard the capacity of the child to learn. [00:28:07]

You’ve heard, no doubt, about some of the wolf children...[edit]

You’ve heard, no doubt, about some of the wolf children that they’ve occasionally found in India. They’ll be twelve, fourteen, seventeen years old. It’s next to impossible to teach them. They’re past the period of learning, successfully. They’re basic patterns are set. If you do not learn how to write at an early age, you will never develop the muscular coordination to do it. Sometimes you’ll read in history books that Charlemagne was illiterate. That’s not true. He couldn’t write. That he was a very omnivorous reader of theology and much else, that by the time he began to study and learn, his muscular coordination was no longer functioning properly to learn how to write, so he had to make an “X”, but he was not illiterate. He was a very able reader.

This is why we do our basic learning, you see, when we are young, and then we use those skills and develop them, and apply them the rest of our life. As a result, it becomes more and more imperative for us to recognize the centrality of the home and for the Christian school to develop the significance of the home and to make the parents realize their importance. Most parents today do not realize how important those early years of a child are. One of the results of this type of research that has indicated the importance of those years, is a growing movement in this country, to begin education at the ages of three to four years, and to undercut the family thereby and increase the power and the influence of the school, and so the idea is being now a days by statist educators to create a central campus, a boarding school for small infants in order to nullify the family. The excuse given, of course, is that only thus can they properly educate ghetto children. These children are so underprivileged, they tell us, they will be so permanently warped in their families, that unless we remove them from their home setting, those children have no future. Of course, the answer is not to remove the children but to convert the family and make it a new entity. [00:31:33]

The Soviet Union, in the early days, in the ...[edit]

The Soviet Union, in the early days, in the 20s, attempted precisely this kind of program. It felt that they had to make the break with the family in a drastic form, and so the children were taken from their parents and, of course, mothers were required to work, and all day long the children were in nursery schools. The mother worked long hours and picked up her baby, took it home, and brought it back the next morning. There is actually a recorded case, seen by a western observer, when a mother coming in late at night, picked up a baby and started through the door and looked at it and said, “But this isn’t my baby,” and the woman in charge said, “What difference does it make? It’s going to sleep all night and early in the morning you’ll have it back here. So, whether it’s your baby or another, it’s still a baby.” Why did the Soviet Union abandon that program? It was one of their most highly touted programs. They pinned great hopes on that program for the future of socialism. It was to create the socialist man. Well, Dr. Lebedeva, Soviet head of the Department for the Protection of Motherhood and Infancy said, a few years ago, and I quote, “Under our present conditions there is no doubt that the home offers a more stimulating environment for the development of the infant than the asylum. Not only have we decreased the death rate in this way, [by placing the institutional children in homes] but we have insured normal development to a much larger proportion of babies, since in almost every case our asylum-trained babies were both mentally and physically backward.” Consider the implications of that. Most of the babies the Soviet Union admitted were physically and mentally backward. The home and the mother are that important to the development of the child. [00:34:08]

However, let me enter an exception here to this kind...[edit]

However, let me enter an exception here to this kind of thing. Often, asylums had been on the whole, very much as Dr. Lebedeva had described them, whether they’ve been in the Soviet Union or in the West. The exception has been Christian institutions that are genuinely Christian. Let me cite a specific example, until a few years ago, when it was bought out by another outfit, one of the major shipping lines was the Captain Dollar lines, and the Dollar ships were once, from the sailing days to recent years, among the major fleets of the Pacific. Captain Dollar was an old-time Presbyterian. He established a large orphan asylum in Marin County, north of San Francisco for boys, for homeless boys. San Francisco, in those days, was a very unstable place and there were a great many homeless boys. Captain Dollar’s Boys, as they came to be known, were under the care of Christian couples. There were sixty boys to a couple, but those couples were chosen carefully. Men and women who loved children and who had a delight in looking after those boys, so that many as they were, those boys knew that their particular cabin, or dormitory, with its mom and dad, represented someone who loved them. When they finished their schooling, the boys were marched over to San Francisco, introduced to Captain Dollar, who gave them each a silver dollar, and wished them God’s speed and told them to go forth and serve the Lord wherever they went. There was never one of Captain Dollar’s Boys who went bad, and they were very proud to be known as Captain Dollar’s Boys, so that just as the only schools in ghetto areas that have ever succeeded are Christian or parochial schools, so too in the area of orphanages, the only ones that have ever succeeded are generally Christian ones.

Now, it becomes clear how important the family is in the education process. It is important, therefore, for the Christian school to recognize the centrality of the family in the educational process. The school therefore, must work with the parents, carefully, to enable the parents to see their responsibility, to recognize their importance, and to develop their confidence in their educating abilities. No one teaches a child more than its parents. Thus, for Christian parents to assume that the education of a child is going to wait till five when the child enrolls in school, and it’s the duty thereafter of the Christian school and its teachers, means a serious delinquency on the part of the parents. It is the duty of both church and school to point this out to the parents. The parents therefore, have an obligation to bring up the child in the nurture of the Lord. Over and over again, the scriptures stress the centrality of educational role of the parents in the child. We forget, and I think it’s one of the great evils in the church today, that we have despised the role of ritual in the life of the child. For example, consider what it meant before the day of passover, all leaven was to be purged from the household. How was this done? How is it still done in orthodox Jewish homes, although now the meaning is gone? Why, the father was to lead in the search, but not alone. He was to take the children with him, to light the lamp, even though it was broad daylight, and to go from room to room, shelf to shelf, closet to closet. Why, they knew where the yeast in the house was. Why then the search as it was commanded in scripture? So that the child must be taught that everything corruptible had to be cleansed from the household, from their lives, and as the parents likely said, “We must search out the dark corners from our house. We must cast out everything which the Lord will not add.{?}” Educational. The father is the educator. [00:41:04]

During my ministry, and I had not been in the practicing...[edit]

During my ministry, and I had not been in the practicing ministry as a church pastor. I consider myself an evangelist in education, since the beginning of the 60s, but in both denominations where I worked I was a real headache because they never dared tackle me on a practice, I practically defied them to, but I regularly reported to them. I did what I believed was the requirement of scripture, practiced in the Old Testament, and we know from the very earliest Christian documents, practiced in the early church. I served communion to children. I asked the parents to prepare them for communion, and I geared the communion service to the children. Now it may startle you, but remember what the passover was. The youngest child male who was old enough to speak was to ask the father at the beginning of the service, “Father, what is the meaning of this?” and the father was to say, “My son, the Lord, with a mighty arm, delivered us out of Egypt, and by his grace, he saved us,” and he was to go on and to relate the history of salvation and God’s grace, and the meaning of that which they were commemorating in the passover, and I did the same thing with every communion service. I told the children what it meant, and it was surprising how many parents learned what it meant. Now, you can go on through the Old Testament. It’s good reading, you know. And you’d be surprised how much of every one of the ordinance of the Old Testament church are geared to the child. That’s not occidental, it’s the word of God.

And we are told again and again in scripture, “And these words which I command thee this day,” Deuteronomy 6:6-8,” shall be in thine heart, and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, when thou risest up, and thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes and thou shalt right them upon the posts of thine house and on thy gates.” [00:44:29]

Now you have a lot of Old Testament professors debating...[edit]

Now you have a lot of Old Testament professors debating about the frontlets and the signs on the gates and doorway. “Well, were they taking literally something that was intended spiritually for the {?}, you’re supposed to have the Lord in all your life.” I think it was meant very literally, so that the children could see in their dress, in their doorway and their gateway, we are the Lord’s. We have an obligation, and it put an obligation on the parents to explain, why our house, why our clothes, why our appearance. Why, when we sit at the table, what we do is different from that of everyone else. The whole process of family life, in terms of scripture, is made educative. The child is schooled, not only in the passover, but in everything to ask, “Why Father, do we do this?” and the father is given the responsibility of saying, “Thus hath the Lord commanded for such and such reasons.”

You see what this opens up in terms of the meaning of scripture. Thou shalt talk of them, thou shalt diligently teach them. This is an important and central aspect of scripture. Now this, you see, puts a different light, does it not, on what our Lord said, “suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not.” They had access to their father in heaven through him, and our Lord was indicating the centrality of the child, not only in his ministry but in the ministry of all who belong to him. Don’t push them to one side. Don’t leave their education into the hands of others. You are central. Thus, the Christian school must, at all times, stress this with the parents.

Has it ever occurred to you why, and I shall touch on this more tonight, we do not have as many child prodigies as we once did? You’ve no doubt read how, in bygone days, there were so many child prodigies around who, at a very early age, could command such a remarkable scope of knowledge. The fact is those child prodigies always had parents who delighted in educating them from their very earliest days. That was the key. Those key years were never neglected. [00:49:51]

The child is already educated or not educated by the...[edit]

The child is already educated or not educated by the time it comes to you in kindergarten. The basic patterns have been set. Now the fact is that most of the children you receive come from Christian homes, or else from non-Christian homes that are concerned about their children, your children have an edge over the state-schooled children. When studies were made of the students involved, the university students and the rioting and the drug culture of the sixties and early seventies, it was found that there was a high correlation, almost an infallible one, between those children and a permissive home where the child was subjected to this so-called non-directive kind of situation. “Let the child grow up and decide for himself.” Such children were incapable of self-discipline, incapable of doing anything more than exactly what they did. Thus, you receive a child that has a greater aptitude for learning, can advance through the material at a greater rate of speed, can in various standard achievement tests show a much higher grade level, and the reason for it is the home background. Therefore, that home background must be strengthened, must be cultivated, and must be made to recognize its importance. The family is the basic institution in all of society.

I began by telling you of the seatmate in my flight from San Francisco to Atlanta who was troubled about the decay of the family. Well, actually what we are seeing is not a decay but a polarization. ON the one hand you have a great number of families where there is a radical disintegration. On the other hand, you have a strengthening of family life such as we have never seen for a century or so. Consider the Christian school movement alone. It’s made possible by parents who are sacrificing to send their children to Christian school. In many cases, the mother is working part time so that she can get her children to a Christian school. They are going without in order to provide their children with that kind of education. Moreover, these same families at the same time will show a greater predisposition to assume responsibility in other areas. So that a family that is sending its children to a Christian school is more likely to be taking care of the grandmother, and the grandfather, and helping out with relatives. In other words, it’s a family with a stronger sense of responsibility.

Zimmerman and Cervantes, in their book which, unfortunately is now out of print, entitled simply, The Family, point out that we are now in the midst, the beginnings of the greatest revival of family life, on the threshold of its greatest strength in the history of the world, the Christian family is beginning to flex its muscles and feel its power. As a result, and I shall conclude in a minute or two because I do like to leave enough time for questions, there is, as I indicated with Conant, a tremendous assault on the idea of the family, and a legal warfare being wages today against family life. That’s the meaning of the Dade County incident. [00:55:07]

One of the great women of the western world, in fact...[edit]

One of the great women of the western world, in fact one of the greatest figures in the western world of whom there is virtually nothing that is fit to read written was the Empress Theodora. Most of the surviving documents about her were written by people who hated her with a passion, and dredged up every kind of filth they could about her, and tried to portray her as a kind of female Nero or Stalin, or Hitler. Historians don’t like her. The modern world detests her. The whole of the homosexual movement and the sexual revolution is aimed at undoing what the Empress Theodora did. What did she do? Now, let me tell you her story, first of all. It’s one of the most moving, heartrending and yet most marvelous in the history of our faith.

The Empress Theodora was one of three daughters born to an animal trainer who worked for the Roman arena, the circus. He dies when his three girls were quite young, I think six, eight, and ten. Very young. The girls were sold into houses of prostitution, and at those early years, became prostitutes. Theodora had a desire to advance herself and, little by little, she freed herself from the most horrible aspects of her profession and became, by her late teens, a successful, in modern terms, call girl. She was taken on a business trip by a wealthy businessman to north Africa. She argued with him about something and he became very angry with her and dumped her, left her, without paying her. At the same time, she picked up some kind of viral infection and became seriously ill and almost died. A Christian, a presbyter, took her in and nursed her back to health, and taught her the plan of salvation and a great deal of scripture. It did not take at the time, but it entered deeply into her consciousness. When she was well, she returned to the capital. Subsequently, she became involved with a young lawyer. This young lawyer was the nephew of a general. He had grown up in a small town. His uncle, a general who had risen from the ranks, was an elderly man and had no children. He had written to his sister, a very poor woman, and said, “From all your letters, you indicate that your son is very intelligent. Send him here to me. I will adopt him and give him a good schooling.” The boy proved to have an aptitude for law. The general’s name was Justin. He changed the nephew’s name, when he adopted him, to Justinian. Justinian and Theodora met. They began to fall in love and at the same time as they began to talk about the meaning of their relationship and the seriousness of it, that also drew them to the more serious things of life, and they both became Christians, intense and dedicated Christians. [00:59:33]

The Emperor became seriously ill and was afraid he...[edit]

The Emperor became seriously ill and was afraid he would soon be dead, and without an heir, the Empire, the Roman Empire would fall into civil war, so he called in the old general, Justin, whom he trusted, and he said, “To avoid conflict in a civil war as various factions fight for control of the throne, I’m going to adopt you as my son,” which he did. Within a year, Justin became emperor and in two or three years, he died, and Justinian, the country boy who had walked all the way to the castle and been robbed in the process, being a green horn, and Theodora, who had been sold into prostitution long before her teens, were emperor and empress. Justinian set about to revise totally all the laws of the empire in terms of scripture. The Code of Justinian provided the basic Christian law for all of the western world until recent years, but more important, Empress Theodora sat down and worked with the lawyers and said, “All laws dealing with sex and the family I’m going to take a hand in and they’re going to follow scripture literally, so that all sexual relations outside of marriage are going to be against the law. The only kind of legal sexuality is between husband and wife. Second, any kind of sexual contract other than that of marriage is illegal. Every kind of perversion specifically condemned by law shall we see the punishment condemned, so that homosexuality and everything else was not only banned but the death penalty decreed for. The only heir to property will be the legal son and wife, because up until that time, a man could die and the wife and children find that a mistress and an ilegimate son they knew nothing about were the heirs. And so on, down the line. Scripture was simply written into law, and that’s why you don’t find anything good about Theodora.

Let me add another, I could talk an hour about Theodora, she’s such a remarkable figure. At one point, a revolution broke out, and nothing could be done, and finally, outside the palace there was a ship anchored and they were going to escape, try to flee somewhere to safety and surrender all hope of the empire, and when they were ready and they had started loading the ship, Theodora donned her purple robe, imperial robes, and went and sat on the throne and said, “One who puts on the purple must never take it off.” And she said, “If you want to leave, go without me,” and the general and Justinian looked at each other hopelessly. They knew she was a strong-willed woman, and they knew that if they dragged her screaming from the throne, she’d throw herself off the ship and swim back. So, the general said, “Open the gates, let’s start fighting, let’s charge them.” They did, and the revolutionaries were so shocked. They were expecting in a matter of hours, either to take the palace or to see the emperor and empress flee, but they assumed that somehow, somewhere, reinforcements had come or some army had turned in favor of the emperor, so they were panic-stricken, and in a matter of hours, they had been wiped out. [01:04:20]

But the modern world, you see, is engaged in full-scale...[edit]

But the modern world, you see, is engaged in full-scale warfare against the biblical laws that the Empress Theodora wrote into all the legal systems of the western world. Anita Viant{?} may not have known it, she may never have heard of Theodora, but she was fighting against a revolution being waged against the Empress Theodora and her work. We are in the midst of a warfare, a holy war, and everything that’s being done to undo the work of Theodora which was the Lord’s work, we must, as Christians, further the beginning she made. Are there any questions now? Yes?

[Audience] {?} that story {?}

[Rushdoony] Well, there are a number of books on Theodora. The only one, it’s not a good one, but it’s readable, and it doesn’t insult Theodora’s memory, although it isn’t fair at time, is by a popular writer of a few years ago, Harold Lamb, and I do not recall the exact title. You’ll find some very exciting and very, very true stories in that book by Harold Lamb. I think the title is Empress of the Dust, or something like that. There’ll be a great deal in that book that you can read aloud to students, quite exciting, especially the battle where they defend the castle against the Huns. Tremendous story. Any other questions? Yes?

[Audience] Concerning the polarization {?} Do you agree with that?

[Rushdoony] Yes, I believe we are seeing a polarization. Twenty years ago, most people were in the middle, and only a few were ready to make a stand at either end. Now, there is increasingly a tendency towards polarization. People are making a stand in terms of humanistic education or Christian education, in terms of an all-out faith, or anti-Christianity. So, I do feel that we are very steadily moving towards a polarization. Now, one of you remarked how visiting California recently, it was amazing to see how sharp the extremes were. We’re seeing the polarization there a little more than you will here. On both sides, the issues are a little more strongly developed. Yes? [01:08:08]

[Audience] I’d like to know, have there been ...[edit]

[Audience] I’d like to know, have there been {?} that in terms of the courts stand on racial busing and on desegregation in schools, and {?}

[Rushdoony] Apart from the Coleman Report, nothing has been done. There’s no question, I think it’s obvious that busing has really created chaos in the schools. It’s an ironic fact that everything the humanists are now doing to further their cause is only strengthening the Christian schools because it’s driving more and more children into the Christian schools. Not too long ago, in California, in the San Fernando Valley, there was a meeting with some school board present dealing with the busing issue, and a newly-established Christian school was busy their passing out leaflets advertising the Christian school. Well, the school board member publicly denounced them, in the {?} and from the meeting, as racists who were busily propagating hatred and divisiveness in a troubled situation. Well, the whole thing backfired on him because there was far more integration in the Christian school, and totally peaceful and successful than any of the schools were likely to have. Which, of course, pointed out the fact that in Christ, you can accomplish what the world can never accomplish. So, just take it, not from any surveys or tests, but from the word of God. “He that sinneth against me, wrongeth his own soul. All they that hate me, love death.” If they’re not Christian, they’re suicidal, that’s what scripture says. So they’ll self-destruct in time. The question is we must not allow ourselves to be destroyed with them. We must come apart and be separate, and establish our own institutions. Yes?

[Audience] It’s up to the state to {?} job education. I’d hazard to educate every day{?} and they cannot {?} up, but they had to go to the state{?}, so that’s often they don’t educate them. [01:11:13]

[Rushdoony] Exactly, the state schools do not see,...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Exactly, the state schools do not see, as their primary goal, education. They are ready to grant now that the Christian schools are far more successful in teaching. Thus, in court cases, they are, since the Wisner{?} case thing, “We don’t want that brought up. We’ll concede that they’re getting more book learning in the Christian schools,” but they are not being trained for democracy and for life in a democratic state. In other words, they’re not being politically oriented in terms of the humanistic plan of salvation by means of the state and the state’s educational program. So they’re saying they’re being tossed the wrong plan of salvation. That’s exactly what they mean. Yes?

[Audience] Have you read the book, Schools That Fear Built? It’s recently put out by David Nevin.

[Rushdoony] Yes. First of all, he deals with schools that are, in many cases, integrated. He never bothered to check on that fact. He assumed because these Christian schools were in areas that have racial problems or busing problems, that it was fear of integration that built them. I have visited many of those schools that he deals with. Now, there was one of them, just one to my knowledge, that was directly the product of a busing situation, but there’s some remarkable developments in that school. One of the key men in that school, a Baptist minister, whom I talked with and I told him that they were missing the boat by overlooking the negro, that they had a responsibility under Christ to be missionaries to all men. And the {?} we had left missions to such people, to the radicals and the humanists. Well now, he’s turning that city upside down with his work among negroes, and one of the men who was the major southern city, a right-hand man to Abernathy and before that, to Martin Luther King, was interviewed on television not too long ago in that particular city, and they were expecting him to give the usual answer that we need more federal funds, and this is an example of white racism and so on, this is the reason for our ghetto problem. This is the thing they could always depend upon him to say. There was a long and awkward pause when he finished speaking because he said, “Our problem here is sin, and the answer is Jesus Christ.” So you see, even that one school that supposedly fear built is now beginning to take a different attitude. So, his book is based not on actual research but on a presupposition that if there’s a Christian school, it wasn’t founded upon Christian principles, but on racial premises. Yes?

[Audience] Two questions: One, you said you had {?}

[Rushdoony] What was that? [01:14:59]

[Audience] {?}one of the things I’ve found is that many of these same families, parents come and they want to know why {?} they want help. When help is given, they’re unwilling to go {?} unwilling to make a time commitment {?} they’re not willing to go all the way. How

[Rushdoony] Alright, let’s take, let’s be very specific. You’re right, the homosexual issue is flaring up all the more. Thank God, because it’s forcing people to confront it. Now, let me give you the story in California, and I should repeat it across country. A few years ago, as a routine thing to satisfy the San Francisco gay community, the state assemblyman from San Francisco introduced a measure to legalize homosexuality in the State of California and to remove the severe penalties against it. Sad to say, when he introduced it, he did not expect to do anything but to do a favor to the gay community in San Francisco so they wouldn’t be angry with him. He thought it would die in committee. But the Christians {?}. One assemblyman tried to rally Christian opposition to it, and he was told by many pastors, “Well, that’s the social gospel, to get involved in that,” or “We believe in the separation of church and state, so we don’t want involvement.” Finally, somebody told him there was somebody who was politically oriented, meaning me. I told him, “No, I’m biblically oriented, that’s why I’m concerned.” So I did work with him on it, but it was impossible to get to the floor, so it went through. At the last, some pastors rallied, but it was too late. Then, some Christians in the state senate, and elsewhere, tried to start a measure to put it back on the ballot. The pastors killed it. They forbad, up and down the state, the admission of it into the churches. Now, of course, they’re seeing some very frightful things, and this is beginning to compel them to wake up. So you see what we’re getting is a polarization. They cannot be neutral. They tried to be neutral. They used excuses, so it’s a tremendous factor now in many circles, and compelling people to wake up. So, I’m very glad that this issue has come up because it’s forcing Christians to rethink their position and to recognize there is no neutrality in the war between Christ and Satan. I could go on with more but our time is up. Perhaps we can get back to it sometime. Thank you. [01:19:16]

End of tape.