Abortion - RR121A2

From Pocket College Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

The media player is loading...



Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Abortion
Course: Course - Expositional Lectures
Subject: Subject:Doctrinal Studies
Lesson#: 10
Length: 1:13:58
TapeCode: RR121A2
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Expositional Lectures.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

[Other] So at this time I would like to introduce to you Reverend Rousas J. Rushdoony.

[Dr. Rushdoony] One of the surprising facts about the early Church was that, although it entered the Roman Empire in the days after Saint Paul as an illegal cult, and as a bare handful of people who regularly faced death, it took on the Empire. One of the issues at which the Church immediately took exception with Rome was abortion. This is a most significant fact. When we read the writings of the early Church fathers we find again and again that they condemned abortion. They challenged the Empire of their day on that issue. For a group of men who had a illegal status, and were facing death, to take on the Empire at that point should make us pause. Today, as a matter of fact, the situation is reversed. One of the very first victories of the Church as it confronted the world was with respect to abortion. And today the world is counter attacking at precisely that point. Consider what Congressman John Schmitts of California in his release of August 19, 1970, wrote. And I quote, “Here in Congress legislation has been introduced in both House and Senate to allow the killing of unborn children throughout the United States and to remove the Federal personal income tax deduction for all children after the second. Testimony before the House committee on an interstate inform, Commerce revealed that a bill is pending in the Florida state legislature which would legalize the killing of old people, euthanasia. And the bill in the Hawaii state legislature would compel the sterilization of all women after they have had their second child. Such a legislation heralds the coming of a new Nazi-ism to our land.” Unquote. [00:03:15]

Abortion is being pushed

Abortion is being pushed. Being pushed with all the power of State and Federal agencies. We are seeing it pushed with young girls, teenagers, without the consent of their parents. Or without the knowledge of their parents. And with welfare funds provided. As a matter of fact we are seeing in California a situation developing which is frightening some of the welfare workers. Many of the girls are having serious psychological repercussions from these abortions. They develop strong and intense guilt feelings. There is some fearfulness that one of these girls may fall in the hands of an attorney who may capitalize on the whole situation and take the welfare workers doctors and hospitals involved to court. The situation is potently explosive. And yet in spite of all the dangers there is no let up on the insistence on promoting abortion as much as possible. As a matter of fact they have the support of churchmen in this matter. The enthusiastic, the vehement support, the aggressive support, of churchmen. Just the other day I encountered this note, I quote just a couple of sentences from this report, ‘Minneapolis, an official of the American Lutheran Church has suggested that it is possible to identify an endorsement of abortion in a remark of Jesus Christ. ‘Speaking of Judas,’ wrote Dr. Carl F. Ruse{?} in the Lutheran Standard, ‘Jesus said, it would have been better for that man if he had not been born.’’ Unquote. On that flimsy basis, abortion is justified. But let us examine it from the biblical perspective, from the perspective of the Church fathers who fought it tooth and nail as they confronted Rome. Abortion, the destruction of the human embryo or fetus, is, in terms of biblical standards, murder. It was always, from Old Testament times on through until recently, regarded as a violation of the sixth commandment, thou shalt not kill. [00:06:07]

It was specifically regarded as banned by Exodus ...

It was specifically regarded as banned by Exodus 21:22-25, the Scripture read to you earlier. Recently, {?} a Jewish scholar in Israel, translating this verse rendered it, when men strive together and they hurt unintentionally a woman with child, and her children come forth but no mischief happens, that is the woman and the children do not die, the one who hurt her shall surely be punished by a fine. But if any mischief happens, that is if the woman dies or the child or children die, then you shall give life for life. But the amazing fact is that churchmen, even of evangelical persuasion, have disregarded all this. In ‘Christianity Today’, which is the ostensible voice of evangelical Christianity in the United States, the issue of November 8, 1968, {?} of Dallas, theological seminary, argued that abortion is permissible, that there is no ground in Scripture for condemning it. Now very clearly both the sixth commandment and Exodus 21:22-25 condemn it. Let’s analyze that passage, Exodus 21:22-25. This law, as much of the Mosaic legislation, is an example of case law. Now what is case law? The Ten Commandments give us ten legal principles. Thou shalt not kill. An overall statement. Then, specific cases to illustrate a minimal principle are given. The Bible itself illustrates to us the significance of case law when it gives us the commandment, thou shalt not steal. Then it declares thou shalt not muzzle the ox which treadeth out the corn. Then our Lord and St. Paul both comment on this. And they state, here we have a minimal illustration. If you cannot rob the ox of that which is due for his work, then surely the laborer is worthy of his hire. If it applies to the ox, it applies to man. And then St. Paul went on to say, how much more so it applies to me as a minister of the Gospel. Now this is case law. Case law takes a minimum illustration of a particular offense, and develops it. So if it is true there, how much more so on another level. [00:09:28]

Now, this example of case law tells us that if two

Now, this example of case law tells us that if two men are fighting, or if there is an accident, unintentional, and a woman miscarries, even if there is no harm to the woman or to the child, a fine must be imposed. Now this is a case, not of deliberate abortion, but of an accident. But according to God it is still a crime, a legal offense. Moreover, even in the case of an accident, this case law tells us that if the child dies, the man who is guilty of the accident, even though there was no evil intent, he dies. Now this is a very significant point. There are many laws in the Scripture which deal with manslaughter, accidental killings. Thus, one law specifies that if a man is chopping wood with others and the axe head flies off and hits another man and kills him, it is not murder, it is manslaughter. So the penalty is not death. However, if he had known that there was something defective about the axe handle or axe head and had done nothing about it, then it would become murder. But here there is no necessity for establishing any bad intention, any negligence, if there is an abortion as a result of an accident, the man responsible for the accident dies. If this is the case, how much worse the deliberate abortion of a fetus. Now, this is the implication of this case law. Thus the law of God clearly and strongly protects the pregnant woman and her fetus. So that every pregnant woman, in terms of Scripture, has the strongest possible hedge of law around her. [00:12:14]

You can understand something therefore of the old fashioned

You can understand something therefore of the old fashioned respect that a pregnant woman used to get a generation or so ago. The background was biblical law. Any damage to her was a deadly serious thing in the sight of God. The Scripture over and over again protects life at the source. According to Deuteronomy 22:6-7, even a mother bird with eggs, her young, is covered by law, so that clearly any tampering with the fact of birth is forbidden. Except where required or permitted by God’s law. And this is never the case with the human fetus.

Now Christianity, biblical faith, with this belief concerning the will of God, with this declaration of God’s word, moved into a world, the world of pagan antiquity, in which abortion was an accepted fact.

Let us examine, for example, Plato’s Republic, because what Plato has to say is so typical of the attitude of the day. It characterized Aristotle, it characterized Roman philosophers, and others.

Plato said, and I quote, “I should make it a rule for a woman to bear children to the state from her twentieth year to her fortieth year. And for a man, after getting over the sharpest burst in the race of life, thence forward to beget children to the state until he is fifty-five years old. If then a man who is either above or under this age shall meddle with the business of begetting children for the common wealth, we shall declare his act to be an offense against religion and justice. In as much as he is raising up a child for the state, who, should detection be avoided, instead of having been begotten under the sanction of those sacrifices and prayers which are to be offered up at every marriage ceremonial by priests and priestesses and the whole city, to the effect that the children to be born may ever be more virtuous and more useful than their virtuous and useful parents, will have been conceived under cover of darkness by the aid of dire incontinence. The same law will hold should a man who is still of an age to be a father meddle with a woman who is also of the proper age without the introduction of the magistrate, for we shall accuse him of raising up to the state an illegitimate, un-sponsored and unhallowed child.

But as soon as the woman, and the man, are past the prescribed age we shall allow the latter, I imagine, to associate freely whosever they please. So that it be not a daughter or mother or daughter’s child or grandmother. And in like manner we shall permit the women to associate with any man except a son or a father, or one of their relations in the direct line ascending or descending. [00:15:43]

But only after giving them strictest orders to do their

But only after giving them strictest orders to do their best if possible to prevent any child haply so conceived from seeing the light. But if that cannot sometimes be helped, to dispose of the infant on the understanding that the fruit of such a union is not to be reared. That too is a reasonable plan, but this is the question asked of Socrates, but how are they to distinguish fathers and daughters and the relations you describe just now? Not at all, I replied, only all the children that are born between the seventh and the tenth year from the day on which one of their number was married are to be call by him, if male his sons, if female his daughters. And they shall call him father and their children he shall call his grandchildren, these again shall call him and his fellow bridegrooms and brides grandfathers and grandmothers. Likewise all shall regard as brothers and sisters those that were born in the same period during which their own fathers and mothers were bringing them into the world. And as we said just now, all these shall refrain from touching one another. But the law will allow intercourse between brothers and sisters if the lot chances to fall that way, and if the Delphian priestess also gives it her sanction.”

This then was the attitude of the Greco-Roman world. Now some people will occasionally object and say, oh, but there were Roman laws punishing a woman for abortion. True. But those laws punished a woman for securing an abortion only if her husband were against it, it was a violation of his rights. It was not that abortion in principle was wrong, it was only if the husband or the state decreed that they needed a crop of babies. Their will should be done. The husband or the state could also decree that they not be born. Thus in terms of Plato, in terms of the Greco-Roman world, in terms of pagan antiquity, the state is the ultimate order. The working god of their social system. Therefore the state could and did order abortion, infanticide, incest and a great deal else. [00:18:21]

The Church, however, condemned abortion from the beginning

The Church, however, condemned abortion from the beginning. Just a few of the statements. The Apostolic Constitutions declared, and I quote, “Thou shalt not slay the child by causing abortion, nor kill that which is begotten, for everything that is shaped and has received a soul from God, if it be slain shall be avenged as being unjustly destroyed.” Unquote. Tertullian declared, “To hinder a birth is merely a speedier man killing. Nor does it matter whether you take away a life that is born or destroy one that is coming to birth. That is a man which is going to be one. You have the fruit already in its seed.” Unquote. In terms of this, the early Church made a frontal attack on the world around it. Because in declaring the sovereignty of God they felt that here was the place to challenge the presuppositions of the pagan world. That not man, not the state, was the lord and god over life, but the sovereign and triune God. And so they brought the issue of the Lordship of Christ and the authority of His Word to bear on this very practical point. No abortion. But the modern attitude, being statist and humanistic exalts man to the place of God. There has been a long development of this tradition of humanism. And of a soft attitude towards abortion. At the beginning of this century A.E. Crawley saw the main reason for abortion to be poverty. And he said, and I quote, “Often as not the sole reason is poverty.” Unquote. Abe Rockellis{?} saw civilization as leading to a decrease in abortion as life became more rational and more scientific. And he saw abortion, not as a sin, but as a primitive remedy for economic distress and for reckless sexual behavior. Well abortions have not decreased, but increased, as biblical faith has waned. The statistics concerning abortions have been startling, every time statistics have been available. In 1946 the famous Inez Burns case in San Francisco involved the arrest of an abortionist and the examination of her files. [00:21:24]

The annual births in San Francisco number ...

The annual births in San Francisco number 16,000. The annual abortions, just from Inez Burns records, numbered 18,000. In 1958 the estimates of abortions in the United States varied from a range of 200,000 from some authorities to 1,200,000. And since then the estimates have skyrocketed. The significant fact is that the majority of abortions are by married women. The 1960’s saw an extensive program to gain women’s right, so called right, to abortion, with United States Public Health Service leading the way. In many countries, such as the Soviet Union and Japan, it became legal. Moreover, the interesting fact is that the legalization of abortions has not decrease illegal abortions at all. As a matter of fact, the removal of the laws against abortion, the legalizing of it, has actually increased the illegal abortions, because it becomes apparent that the legal penalties are virtually gone. Several doctor friends have shown me notices that they have received, doctors in California from one hospital in New York City, advertising the fact that they will be performing abortions. It is big business. One doctor told me of an incident of a woman who flew from Florida to Los Angeles for an abortion and returned that evening, by plane. And the point he made to me was, he said, it has become big business and lucrative business. It means a tremendous turnover in the hospital, it means a nice fat fee for the doctors who perform this. It’s a tremendous money making enterprise. [00:24:02]

Now, consider the cost it involves

Now, consider the cost it involves. The doctor gets a good fee, one day in the hospital is an expensive matter today. What is the result? The illegal abortionist is capitalizing on the situation because there is no desire on the part of law authorities to cope with the situation now. Everything promotes abortion. The myth of overpopulation is promulgated. So, let’s have abortion. Abortion as every woman’s natural right. And so not only are abortions increasing through legal means, but illegal abortions, cut rate abortions are abounding. A few years ago Dr. George Devereaux{?} made an interesting study of primitive societies and abortion. It was a study of various native cultures in the South Pacific and elsewhere, all over the world. And the results of his study were very interesting. A number of reasons were given for abortion, revenge against the father, to avoid shame, as a hatred of life, as a hatred of men, as a form of castration of the father, as an analogue of suicide, as a way to preserve beauty and to stay young, as a means of continued enjoyment of freedom and responsibility, as a means to avoiding the long lactation and continence period required in some primitive cultures, but it all resolved itself into one basic factor. Hatred of responsibility. Hatred of maturity. Dr. Devereaux quoted the Papuans as saying, and I quote, “Children are a burden and we get tired of them. They destroy us.” Unquote.

The hatred of responsibility, the desire to remain forever young. Immaturity, he found to be basic to the desire for abortions. But it was significant that Devereaux, writing as an anthropologist and without any religious motive, found that in every one of these primitive societies there was a guilt feeling, even though there was total permissiveness with regard to abortion. [00:27:26]

The guilt was a major factor

The guilt was a major factor. It was felt to be murder, even though it was permitted. And he found in one culture after another the belief that the souls of the fetus had a future. And a fearfulness on {?}. Thus inescapably man has in culture after culture, where he has permitted abortion, none the less felt very definitely that the matter is a religious issue. And that guilt is inescapable.

Not to long ago a very interesting bit of research was done by Dr. A.C. {?} Professor of {?} at UCLA and by his brother, Norbert J. {?} Chairman of the division of business administration at Sacramento State College. It was to appear in the American Bar Association Journal but for some reason it never did appear. However, I was able to get a synopsis of the study, of their research. And some of their conclusions are of interest. And I quote, “They said those who deplore the loss of five to ten thousand mothers annually in illegal abortions ignore the one million or more unborn children sacrificed in the process of this massive assault on human life. The {?} brothers said some persons would justify abortion in the case of unborn infants that would crippled, born crippled or defective. Would any reputable doctor, they said, propose to try living cripples or mental or physical defectives in comparable ex parte proceedings? Start by eliminating senile persons, then the millions of blind persons? Move on to all who are bedridden, then those confined to wheelchairs, then finally those who use crutches. Proceed gradually with the disposition of the millions who wear spectacles, use hearing aids, or equipped with false teeth, or too stout or too thin. Where draw the line between acceptable and the unacceptable level of fitness, the brothers asked. No human being is perfect. Would the world, moreover, really be a better place after the destruction of the millions of defective individuals. Has the world gained or lost from the services of the epileptic Michelangelo or the deaf Edison, or of the hunchbacked Stienmetz. Of the Roosevelt’s, both the asthmatic Theodore and the polio paralyzed Franklin. It must be recognized that liberalized abortion laws would logically be followed by pressures for legalized euthanasia. The attack on life is essentially the same, they said.” Unquote. [00:30:56]

And this is true

And this is true. When I was in Milwaukee, in July, in one of my appearances, I debated a woman doctor psychiatrist, on radio, who defended abortion. I told her that the logic of her position meant that she could play God over peoples lives. And I said, it would follow, logically, if what you say is true about the right to interfere, that euthanasia should also be practiced. She was very quick to accuse me of rabble rousing and trying to inflame people by bringing in a side issue. However, later on in the debate, she accidentally let slip the fact that she did favor euthanasia, mercy killings. And I said, well that’s very interesting, you denied earlier that you favored euthanasia, you wanted just to get rid of unborn children if there were more than two children in a family. Now I know that you want to get rid of those who are senile or seriously ill. Now who else are you interested in eliminating in our world today? She felt that was a very nasty question. But the fact is that, logically, having once made herself the determiner of who shall live, the only one who could draw the line was herself, in terms of her choice, because she was now playing god. The consequence of favoring abortion is a society which denies God, and ultimately denies law. In April of this year Governor Reagan{?} of California, who has a lot to answer for here, admitted that he was worried about what is developing. [00:33:24]

And he declared, and I quote, Reagan said it took a

And he declared, and I quote, Reagan said it took a lot of soul searching for him to sign Bellensins{?} 1967 liberalization bill. Under that act, abortions are allowed when the prospective mother’s physical or mental health is in danger, or when the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest. Previously abortions were permitted only when the woman’s life was in danger. Let me tell you what’s happening, even with the liberalization that we have, Reagan told the women. Pointing to the mental health section, the governor said, our public health department has told us its projections that if the present rate of increase continues in California, a year from now there will be more abortions than there will be live births in this state, and a great proportion of them will be financed by MediCal{?}. He said, under a technicality, a young unmarried girl can become pregnant, go on welfare, and she is automatically eligible for the abortion if she wants it, under MedicHealth{?}. And all she has to do is get a psychiatrist, and they’re finding that easy to do, who will walk by the bed and say she has suicidal tendencies. (Let me say parenthetically, that a doctor told me they don’t even walk by the bed now, they just sign the papers as they’re brought to their desk) Reagan said that in Sacramento a fifteen year old girl has just had her third abortion, with the same psychiatrist each time saying she has suicidal tendencies. I don’t think the state should be in that business. But even as the governor spoke, Senator Anthony C. Bellinson{?} of Beverly Hills had submitted a bill to remove all restrictions on abortion except the requirement that a physician must perform it. And the Democratic candidate for governor, {?}, supports Bellinsons{?} proposal.

Meanwhile the class of the churches becomes apparent in their failure to make a stand here. The Catholic Church, like the Protestant churches, has failed to speak out clearly and plainly. In every area the theological collapse becomes greater. The reason for this of course is that man has moved from the sovereignty of God to the sovereignty of man. And when you move from the sovereignty of God as your operating principle, then man as sovereign determines everything in terms of his own law, that is, his experience. [00:36:32]

In the New York abortion hearings not to long ago,...

In the New York abortion hearings not to long ago, a group of women who were present began to create a major disturbance, and they declared they were tired of listening to men debate something that was of primary concern to women. What right do you men have to tell us whether we can or cannot have a child, shouted one of the women. In other words, you never had a baby, so what right do you have to speak. The sovereignty of man and his experience. As against the sovereignty of God and His law. This is the principle of anarchism. The next thing we will have murderers saying to us, what right do you have to condemn murder since you’ve never murdered anyone? It’s just as logical. The demand for abortion today is a part of the revolution that we find in the streets, on the college campuses, with the hippies, in the business world, in education, in every area of life. It is the movement away from the sovereignty of God to the sovereignty of man, and when every man is sovereign, you have anarchy.

One of the books I packed into my briefcase to read on the plane was an analysis of the development of modern philosophy by Dr. Usher. And he selects three philosophers as typical of the development. {?}, with his dread of God, because {?} is an existentialist, having declared his independence of God wanted no part of God and His law. And he feared, he hated God.

Then the existentialist Heidegger, with his dread of death. He had dropped God from his universe, and death was now the problem.

And then the contemporary, Jon Paul Sartre. And what is the point of dread with Sartre? It’s the other man. The other man. Because if you make yourself the absolute god, if you say I am my own law, and no state and no god and no human agency, no father, no wife, no mother, no husband, can lay down the law to me, then other people are, for you, the problem and the enemy. [00:39:41]

It is no wonder that at one point Sartre says, for

It is no wonder that at one point Sartre says, for me, the other person is the devil. I want my will, and other people frustrate me. I want money, I want women, I want beautiful homes, and all these other people are frustrating me when I should be the one god of the universe. Now that’s the implication of modern philosophy. That’s why we’re having the problems we’re having all around us, and abortion is one aspect of this total revolution against God and law in favor of total anarchy.

And so the women in New York said, men who cannot bear children cannot legislate regarding bearing a child. But the basic principle is not experience, but the law word of God. As Isaiah said, to the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word there is no truth in them. The issues are drawn today, and just as the Early Church confronted the world round about and challenged them at a key point, abortion, denying to every Roman citizen, every pagan, the right to take life, because God, having made life alone can govern life. And He is the one who can regenerate you and who does govern you. So that you ever face His judgment, or you bow down before Him and accept His sovereignty and his regenerating power.

[Other] Thank you Mr. Rushdoony.


[Other] Right, if you have any questions you’d like to ask, ask them. …{?}… by Mr. Rushdoony after his lecture when {?} called and asked a question, we have a little girl here in school, (I think she was about in the fifth grade) {?} Rushdoony spoke, he said to one of our teachers, {?} how did you manage to ask him a question, and she said, I tried awfully to get my hand up and I just couldn’t get it up. …{?}… [00:42:46]

[Audience] Dr. Rushdoony, I’d like to ask you a question about {?}. Now am I wrong in wishing that they would just take all these things away from him and let him go home and die in peace? Rather than waiting for {?}.

[Dr. Rushdoony] Very good question. Now, at this point what we have to say is, there’s a difference between a mercy killing and unnecessary and sometimes very wrongful prolongations. I recall a very tragic case, where a man, who had been a professor of Chemistry or Physics, I forget what, a very godly man, he’d had a number of strokes and recovered, felt ill, and he felt a stroke was coming on, and it did come on within five minutes. And he called his wife to him hurried and he said, now, I think I am going to be dead before the night is over, but whatever happens, let me die quietly here at home. Don’t drag me to the hospital and put tubes in me. I’m not afraid of death, I have a very clear and strong faith, as you know, and I’d like to go home quietly. Well of course the daughter, who was not a Christian, was there within half an hour and hysterical and talked the mother into taking the father to the hospital, where he was a vegetable for about six to eight weeks, which were very painful for the family. Now, it would not have been euthanasia, you see, to allow him to stay quietly in bed and to pass away that night. [00:45:11]

That’s different

That’s different. He wanted to die with dignity. That’s a rather different subject.

[Audience]…{?}… I assume medically they think they {?} but there’s a clear decision between the life of the fetus and the life of the mother, what should be done?

[Dr. Rushdoony] I think, you mean, when there’s a choice to make.

[Audience] Yes, a choice to make, if abortion would save the life of the mother.

[Dr. Rushdoony] Right. Well, I’ve asked that question of a number of doctors. And I’ve been told by them, that question is not a valid one. Each doctor that I asked, and I went to a number of them in California with this question, said, that’s an old, old question and we’ve had it, and we’ve had all kinds of discussion about that, but in reality it never exists. It never exists. It’s a hypothetical question. When you are dealing with a case where there is a serious crisis, it isn’t a question of either or this or that. You find as you are working, there’s one life that’s going to be saved. And that’s it. The situation makes it clear to you, one life cannot be saved and the other can and you act in terms of that. So, these doctors, and it was almost as though it were rehearsed, it was, their experiences as they described were so much alike. They said, you cannot approach any situation with a preconceived idea that in a case between mother or child I’m going to save the mother or I’m going to save the child.

What you do, you approach every case with the faith that God’s word is true, that you have an obligation to preserve the life of mother and child, come what may. And what you find is that sometimes you can only preserve one. Once in a while, neither. But they never found a case where they had a choice to make. And one of them said, I believe that the question, religiously, presupposes that man can at some point play God. And he said, I have never found in my experience, that God ever put me in a place where I had to play God. Which I think is about as good an answer as I’ve ever heard. [00:48:07]

[Other] Thank you

[Other] Thank you. Any other questions? Yes.

[Audience] Dr. Rushdoony, a point of clarification so far as the practical {?} this discussion and what we might be able to do with our lives in answering this problem and remembering the experience of the Mosaic Laws of {?} that because the law existed, there was somebody who chose not to follow the law, and I think the Prohibition and many other such experiences, do you think that legislation, proper legislation, is the answer to this problem?

[Dr. Rushdoony] Yes. We are required to legislate where God legislates. If we try to legislate where God does not, and prohibition was an example of that, we are working against law. You see. We are violating fundamental law, God’s law, where we legislate contrary to what God allows. But with abortion, if we do not work for legislation there, we are ultimately breaking the barriers which protect the life of every one of us. Now, the statement made by Congressman John Schmitz is a very good one. It represents a new kind of Nazi-ism. In other words, if you establish the principle that you can take life at one point, you can take it at every point. And today you are getting the kind of thinking, today, in our country, in many, many areas, where the right to take life is very seriously proposed. For example, in many black revolutionary circles, kill whitey is a principle. All white men should be killed off. And the tragic fact is that there are some whites whose reaction to that is, every nigger ought to be killed. And I’ve heard them say that. Now this is a frightful situation, where you get that kind of situation where men seriously are going to wipe out a portion of God’s creation, of humanity. And this is what happens when you let down the barriers. And because our humanism has allowed men to play God, he’s not going to restrict himself to killing unborn babies, he’s going to legislate whole sections of the world out of existence. Christians, maybe. The blacks, whites. They do seriously talk about this in many circles.

Now I travel back and forth enough in the country to know that this kind of talk does exist. And it is demonic.

Yes. [00:51:24]


[Dr. Rushdoony] Of course, that isn’t my subject tonight. But if I were to speak on that subject, I would say, I do not believe in interventionism. The principle of interventionism means that you intervene where you have no right. I do not believe that I, as an American citizen, have any right interfering in the affairs of other nations. I believe the constitutional safe guard, and it would be possible to trace it way back to the Mosaic law, specified that the militia, which was then the term for a drafted army, could only be used for three purposes. To repel invasion, suppress insurrection, and enforce the laws of the Union. This is why, until 1917, when Woodrow Wilson chose to disregard the Constitution, no draftees in the United States could be used outside of the territorial boundaries of the United States. I think that was a godly provision. It was in line with biblical law. But today we are playing god as a nation, all over the world. And I believe it’s wrong. And we’re doing it most immorally. We’re not in Vietnam to win the war, we are there for one purpose, to play a diplomatic game, and we’re using the lives of American youth to play a sordid game. There’s a very interesting book on the modern American university, entitled ‘The Close Corporation’. The name of the author escapes me at the moment. But it has an interesting chapter in which it touches on the Pentagon, that is the top leadership of the Pentagon. The Pentagon no longer wages war, it moves troops around, not to win battles or to win a war, but to jockey towards negotiations. [00:54:06]

So that human lives are used, not to accomplish an

So that human lives are used, not to accomplish an end for freedom or any noble purpose, but to jockey to put someone in a position to negotiate. I think a fundament national policy is immoral today. That’s why I don’t trust anything that is done, because men in Washington, as well as in our state houses, are bent on playing god. I think the plight of the South Vietnamese is tragic. I know personally one of the top ranking men there, former Vice Premier. In fact he receives my monthly Chalcedon report. I think we have done a great deal of damage there in destroying, we disarmed some of their armies. Deliberately disarmed them because we didn’t like the politics of some of their armies. We haven’t done them any favor, we’ve done them irrefragable damage. So I oppose interventionism whether it’s in the fetus or in the affairs of another country.


[Audience] I enjoyed your talk very much, Mr. Rushdoony, and I too am against abortion, but while you were speaking, one verse from 2 Chronicles kept going through my mind {?} that said, if my people, and this may not be the exact quotation but it’s close enough, if My people, who call themselves by My name, will humble themselves and pray, then will I hear from heaven and heal their land. Don’t you think that since abortion is a symptom, just one of many symptoms, of the people in our nation drifting away from God, that it is not enough to single out a particular sin, or symptom of godlessness, and to take a stand against it, that’s almost, I’m not saying that you were {?}, I can see where it would be almost like the Pharisees to say, those people are committing a sin and they are wrong. I believe that we must continually urge the Christians who aren’t performing abortions and who are against it, to spend more time in their own families in prayer, and they must be the ones, because we will wait a long time if we wait for these immoral people to humble themselves before God. If we are God’s people, we must be the ones to spend more time in plain, old-fashioned, humble prayer. [00:57:09]

[Dr. Rushdoony] I would agree that the Christians need to do more, but I think they need to do a lot more acting. There was a point in the life of Moses when he went to God and God told him, what are you doing here? Get on out there and do your duty. Let the people have it, tell them. And today I feel, important as prayer is, and I think I spend as much time in prayer as anyone, prayer can never be a substitute for action. We don’t humble ourselves just by prayer, we humble ourselves by obeying God. And this is where we’re falling short. This is a sore spot with me, because I know too many churches in California which regularly have a prayer meeting because they’re so distressed about the world and so on, and the conditions, and they want people to humble themselves. And yet I know that there are people of immoral character, in high places in the church, who ought to be booted out, and they condone it. And prayer becomes a kind of magical cure-all for this. I think if they’d meet their responsibilities and then pray, God would answer them. And I think there’s been too little obedience today. We need to pray, but we need to obey God. For to obey is better than sacrifice.


[Audience] I’ve been told a {?} times, we have placed much faith in our doctors, we trust our lives and the lives of our children with our doctors, because we feel that they revere life. Now, if this present trend continues in the next five to ten years, what will be our attitude toward our doctors if we feel that they do not revere life, anyone’s life?

[Dr. Rushdoony] Yes. A very good question. We have forgotten that originally, medicine was a religious profession. Every doctor, not only was an aspect of a religious calling, but, medicine was basically religiously controlled. The idea that any hospital was not a religious institution is a very modern one. Every hospital. In fact, hospitals were created by the Church, the Early Church. All hospitals, until within the last century, were Christian institutions. The doctor was very closely linked to the Church, to Christianity, and regarded as a religious leader. There’s a reason for this. Salvation means not only the salvation of man’s soul, but also his body, the resurrection of the body. [01:00:18]

The word salvation comes from the Latin, Salve, which

The word salvation comes from the Latin, Salve, which means health. The biblical words for salvation are health. In other words, salvation is the fullness of health, spiritual and physical. And that’s why it culminates in the resurrection of the body. That’s the fullness of salvation. As a result, medicine has been historically, a religious profession. It is now being rigorously, not only secularized, but taken over by the state, so that it will serve the state rather than God. This is why there is a great deal being done to insure that the kind of person the state wants gets into the medical schools. They are prescribing that a certain number of minority groups and so on, they are steering elements into the medical schools who would not otherwise get there. And the state is insuring that they get through. As a result, what you are seeing is the collapse of medicine as a trusted profession. By the way, one of the things that marks the doctor to this day, as a religious leader, is the fact that the doctor patient relationship is confidential. In other words, the doctor cannot give any evidence concerning anything between the patient and himself, without the permission of the patient. This is a part of the confessional, you see. Just as neither a priest or a minister can be compelled to testify concerning anything that someone comes and confesses to them, so no doctor can be compelled to testify concerning anything that a patient has to say. Why? Because in both cases they’re coming with respect to health, seeking health. Physical in one case, spiritual in the other. But both related to God’s calling to His people. To salvation, to fullness of health. So, it is regarded historically, at least it was, as an aspect of confessing to God, so therefore it was sealed off from men. Now, you see, you can’t maintain that sort of thing when the state takes over. And the doctors files are a part of the state files. So, the profession will disappear. Until recently, and I know to this day, many doctors who regard their calling as a Christian one, and some of the finest Christian work I know of that’s being done today, personal work with people, is being done by some doctors. This will disappear, of course. [01:03:30]

Yes, you had a question earlier

Yes, you had a question earlier.

[Audience] I’d like to restate my question, because I didn’t ask the question I intended to ask. I’ve realized that we have a responsibility as Christians to be ambassadors for Christ in the political arena as well as anywhere else. And I recognize the validity and the necessity of legislation. However, Jesus said, I came to bring you a better way. And I wondered what you would have to say regarding the transforming of the new birth {?} is our responsibility as it relates to abortion?

[Dr. Rushdoony] Yes. Certainly our problem today is that there is very few regenerated men. And therefore the world is manifesting paganism all around us increasingly. But regeneration is the beginning point. It’s called the new birth in the Bible. All right. When you are born as a baby, you don’t spend your life dwelling on the fact that you were born, do you? You grow up to meet responsibilities. So, when you are regenerated by the saving power of God through Jesus Christ, what’s it for? To grow up and meet responsibilities. Now of course the answer of the dispensationalist is, you don’t do this sort of thing, you don’t get involved.

In California, the leading dispensationalist, a man who has been known across country, has a favorite saying whereby he discourages any kind of involvement in the world, any kind of concern with reform, he discourages them from fighting against prostitution or against crime, or doing anything. What’s his answer? You don’t polish brass on a sinking ship. The world is a sinking ship, and Christ is going to come again at any moment. So you don’t polish brass on a sinking ship.

Now, this is not the biblical perspective. The law word of God is mandatory for believers, it’s their way of life. Now Luther and Calvin both said that justification is by faith, through the saving work of Jesus Christ. Sanctification is by the Law. The rule of faith is the law, said Calvin, and Luther used the same words also. [01:06:13]

So, having been born again, we grow up to do what?...

So, having been born again, we grow up to do what? To make the implications of God’s law order manifest in the world round about us. So in your home, what do you do? You establish a godly law order. You lay down rules for the family, this is the way, walk ye in it, God says, and I’m telling you kids this is the way you walk in it or you get paddled. And you say the same thing in society. Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness. This is God’s law order. This is what He requires. Now, this is what sanctification means, you see. Justification through the atoning work of Jesus Christ, sanctification by means of the law. Now St. Paul in Romans 7 says that we are dead to the law as a handwriting of ordinance is against us. That is, as a death sentence. When we are against the law, when we are against God, when we’re at war with Him as covenant breakers. The law’s a death penalty. When we are alive in Christ, what is it, he says in Romans 8, for? We are saved why? That the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us. You see, you have a different relationship to the Law outside of Christ, unregenerate, and in Christ.

Let’s put it in a very practical basis. If I were today, a criminal who had committed murder and robbed a bank and done a few other things, I’d be afraid of the law. The law would be a death sentence to me, would it not? But, because I am a Christian who’s not done these things, the law to me is protection. I’m glad when I see a patrol car go by my home. I don’t see that policeman as death to me now, I see him as protection. I’m glad he’s there.

And so I want to further that kind of thing. I want to further God’s law. This is the way of sanctification. You see, what’s happened to the Church in the last century is that it’s become antinomian. That is, it has become anti-law. And as a result, although church membership has been at an all time high in the last century, we have drifted progressively into anarchy and lawlessness, because we have dropped sanctification out of our vocabulary as far as the Bible is concerned, in the biblical way, which is by law. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us. Now I’ll be dealing with this aspect, I think it’s tomorrow is it not, that we are at Mrs. {?} for the bible study? The afternoon. I’ll be going into this aspect at greater length, developing an aspect of doctrine that hasn’t been taught for a few generations, almost. But which was once basic. In fact, I’ll be dealing with a verse on which every President of the United States in the early days of this republic took the oath of office. The Bible was open to that passage and he took his oath of office on it. [01:09:40]

[Audience] ..{?}..

[Dr. Rushdoony] No, I do not.


[Dr. Rushdoony] I do not believe in sterilization, either.

[Audience] Well then do you believe in contraception?

[Dr. Rushdoony] That’s an entirely different subject. Here, I don’t want to get involved, to a degree I do not believe in certain methods, others yes. There are several questions we need to ask here. We have to exam Scripture, we have to be biblical at every point. And just briefly, because I could go on for another hour on this subject. The Bible makes a difference between blessed fertility and unblessed fertility. And it speaks of the fertility of the ungodly as an abomination unto himself. But children of the godly are a heritage from the Lord. So we have to recognize there’s difference between the fertility of God’s people, and that of the ungodly. And then analyze what Scripture teaches in order that we can come to the right doctrine here. But as I said, I don’t want to get into that, because we’ll be arguing the rest of the evening. But we have to think biblically, not experimentally or emotionally.

[Other] Thank you very much and I think we’ll close our session then with prayer, and those of you who are coming out to the house, I have some directions there. I think it would be best if you just sort of followed us out so you don’t get lost. {?}

We appreciate you all coming out for the lectures tonight, and we’ll be talking about a difficult {?} subject {?} tomorrow evening. And last evening Mr. Rushdoony pointed out {?}.

Shall we pray?

O Lord our Father, we thank Thee that Thou art the creator {?}. We thank You that Thou hast made us in Thine own image and crowned us with glory and honor and given us dominion over the works of Thy hands. We thank Thee for light. We thank Thee for that abundant light that we have through regeneration, through the power of Thy Holy Spirit. We thank Thee Lord for this one Thou has sent to us this evening, and we pray that Thou wilt help us to think about these things, and above all Lord that we might take action as Thou dost give us opportunity. Grant that we may think Thy thoughts after Thee, that we may submit ourselves to Thy law and to Thy sovereign care. Knowing Lord that Thou dost control the destiny of men and nations. Watch over us now as we go through this night, and help us to live to Thy glory, for Christ’s sake, Amen. [01:13:23]

Personal tools