Analysis of Education Past and Present - RR161BT129

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Analysis of Education Past and Present
Course: Course - From the Easy Chair
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 129
Length: 0:50:19
TapeCode: RR161BT129
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
From the Easy Chair.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

Dr. R. J. Rushdoony, RR161BT129, Analysis of Education Past and Present from the Easy Chair, excellent colloquies on various subjects.

[Rushdoony] This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 233, January the seventh, 1991.

This evening Otto Scott and I are going to discuss education. I am sorry that Sam Blumenfeld of our staff is not with us, because he certainly is an authority without equal in the field of education. However, be that as it may, we are going to do the best as we can with what I believe is the subject of very, very great importance.

I want to start with a general statement calling attention to a couple of things. There was a front page story in the Stockton Record this past week, which, unfortunately, I did not save. But it made me so disgusted I had no desire to look at it again. It was about a judge who sentenced a mother in Stockton to prison, to spend one night or more, I have forgotten how many, in jail because her son was not in school. She said that she had allowed her son to stay home because he was very much afraid of the gang activities at school.

Now the judge did not say the department of education must make the school a safe environment and a place of learning rather than gang activities. He punished the mother, put her in prison. And, of course, the boy was taken by the truant officer to school, no doubt, to be beat up by the gang members and his mother now unable to protect him.

That kind of thing happens because despite the state’s claim to be concerned about education, it is more concerned with controlling people than anything else. And in this instance a school with a poor learning situation was forced on to a boy who was afraid to go to school. I submit that episode tells us a great deal about the problem from coast to coast in education today. [00:03:12]

Then I think there is a second point I want to make

Then I think there is a second point I want to make by way of introduction and it is this. We have made a disastrous equation. We have equated education with formal schooling, with grade and high school and college and graduate school and that sort of thing. And the two are not necessarily synonymous. We have a major problem in the United States today because especially on the university level we have an absence of freedom and of true education because it is all important for everyone to be PC, politically correct. And anyone who is not is harassed, is abused, is thrown out and in a number of ways treated as an uneducated person.

I heard recently from a man who dropped out of a graduate school in Britain because the thesis he was working on, or rather the dissertation for his doctorate had to do with the social influences of the Puritans, how they reshaped men and society. And he was told that his thesis was an impossible one and absolutely wrong. Christianity, being a product—albeit not a good one—of the evolutionary process, it represented fallacy rather than truth and, therefore, could be of no influence on society. They made it clear that if he retained his perspective he would be failed, thrown out of the graduate school. If, on the contrary he sought to prove that Christianity has no impact whatsoever on society at any time in its history, they ready to grant him his degree. He chose to drop out.

Now anyone who is going to equate education with formal schooling, I think, had better be set down as an ignoramus and uneducated.

Well, with that general introduction, Otto, do you want to make some general statements?

[Scott] Well, I must say that I am very surprised to hear you say what you did. I agree with it. I agree with it. But I realize also that it represents a considerable shift from what you must have believed some year back when schools were in better order. Although, of course, it has always been true. Education is a very large term that encompasses what you learn in life as well as what you learn in the various situations in life. To restrict education to a classroom has always been a mistake. [00:06:56]

What we have seen to have done here has been to substitute

What we have seen to have done here has been to substitute in a real sense schooling for learning.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And we have also attempted to use schools as a means of defining social class. Now there is an assumption, there is an old assumption in the United States that class in Britain, for instance, was determined by people because they went to Oxford or to Cambridge or to Eaton or Winchester or whatever. That has never been the case. Class in England was a matter of birth, never a matter of schooling. The upper class very seldom went through college, didn’t have to. And if it did go through college it very seldom even bothered to pass an examination.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Because examinations there didn't mean as much as they mean here. A degree doesn’t mean as much as it does here. There are differences in cultures. But perhaps because the United States decided to discard the idea of hereditary aristocracy it gradually came to replace it with education and then from the decline of education with just simply schooling. And we have here today an enormous number of people with degrees, but you have to go back to the school’s transcript to find out what they actually studied and what grades they actually made.

Now this is considerable amount of investigation. We can’t take on face value a degree. We have children who get out of high school who can’t read and they have a diploma. And the diploma is perfectly legal. So we are living in a ... a system, a system of thought, you might say and of class which has a great deal of the phony in it where really it is almost like a world of mirrors. We have the right labels and we have uneducated people. We have unqualified people who have all the credentials and we have no terms for those kinds of people. So we are really in a terrible situation. [00:09:26]

[Rushdoony] Yes

[Rushdoony] Yes. The idea of a class structure based on educational attainment and degrees which you called attention to was proposed by Jefferson. I think the development of it has been to an extent a perversion of Jefferson. But to a degree, also, it has been an outcome of his thinking. The University of Virginia, which was in its origins patterned after Jefferson’s ideas and therefore was to a degree the one non Christian university or college in the early days of this country, very quickly gained the reputation of being the least desirable atmosphere, a very bad situation, because all the emphasis was on learning, on classical knowledge. It drew, as a result, people who saw themselves as gentlemen because they were there and they were a very rowdy, ugly element. They were dangerous to tangle with if you were one of the ordinary folk of the area.

With regard to my own education, I spent a great many years, of course, in school and in graduate school. What I enjoyed was the University of California library. I was able to get stack privileges very early through the assistance of one or two faculty members and I spent endless hours in the stacks studying, exploring this or that subject. But as far as the teaching was concerned there were three professors all tolled, who made a very real contribution to my learning, one in the philosophy department and two in history. It was not because of any agreement a man I gained so much from in the philosophy department was a pragmatic naturalist. But he was a brilliant man. [00:12:10]

Today the emphasis increasingly is such that the kind

Today the emphasis increasingly is such that the kind of thing I did is a little more difficult to do. For example, one of the things I noticed when I returned to the University of California after having been away perhaps 25 years or so, going to the library was to see something missing. As you came through the front door on your right there used to be a large reading room. You entered there and you had to discard all notebooks and anything that would indicate study or research. But there were magnificent books there. It was a collection created by someone for students who enjoyed learning, the sheer pleasure of it. So when you went there and you had comfortable easy chairs and desks and excellent lighting, you had the privilege of reading books in history and in literature for the sheer delight of learning. That as a magnificent idea that somebody had who put up the money for that room. Perhaps it has since been transferred elsewhere or perhaps it has been totally shut down. I was not able to see in the main library where it could have been transferred to. But that type of approach to learning, the pleasure of knowing things, the delight in expanding your horizons, has given way to an emphasis on technical learning, learning in terms of a particular field and particular skills.

[Scott] Well, the impression that I get from the methods that are used now in the university and in high schools, secondary schools, is that the students are loaded down with work. The subjects get thinner and thinner in some areas, not in all, but the work is increased. The workload is increased.

In the relatively few years that I went to formal school, I don’t recall getting a great deal of homework, relatively light. You could finish it off in an hour or so and that was the end of it. If ... and not every night. But I noticed that my daughter came home with an enormous amount of work from each of the teachers. Each teacher seemed to behave as though they were the only teacher. And that was all the kid had to do. And the result was an overload, which really interferes with learning, because there is a great deal of difference between the pleasure of learning things that you describe so well and drudgery. [00:15:43]

[Rushdoony] Yes

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And sheer volume, repetition of facts and so forth.

We are running into some very odd things and, of course, as you know, the educators themselves are the most severe critics of our educational system. That is, some of the more recent ones, Bloom, et cetera. Sam Blumenfeld, for that matter, was a former teacher and his criticisms come from the experience.

I have just finished a book by Paige Smith called...

[Rushdoony] Oh, yes.

[Scott] Killing the Spirit.

[Rushdoony] Excellent.

[Scott] An excellent book in which after 30 years as a teacher he is denouncing the system that pensioned him off and that he spent his life in. And he is ... he is in an unusual individual, I would say, because he also published a book at one point consisting of excerpts from the correspondence called Letters from My Father.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And his father was an outrageous individual.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And you would hardly expect such a man to have a son as eminent as Paige Smith. But in any event it seems that it now takes something like 12 or more years to get a doctorate in the humanities and it only takes something like five to six to get a doctorate in the hard sciences.

Now that the humanities have become almost indefinable. It is a term that is cloudy. You hardly know anymore what it consists of. And why such an amorphous area should require twice as long to get doctorate in than hard scientific area is probably due to what you were talking about, the politically correct attitude, because it consists of an orientation in Liberalism more than the grasp of a subject.

You... well, for instance, literary... let’s... let’s take literature. Let’s take English. They go into Constructionism, Deconstructionism and so forth and so on. The number of commas that Shakespeare used as a dissertation to be... to be done with a computer, of course. As against this solid physics involved in engineering. [00:18:17]

So we have here just sort of a melt down of what actually

So we have here just sort of a melt down of what actually education is supposed to be.

[Rushdoony] Well, looking back on my years at Berkeley and having done some reading on the general subject of the life of the university and its history, the medieval university, perhaps, has had its closest analog in the American university, because both have very strictly followed the lecture system. That was the essence of the medieval university and it is the essence of the modern American university. And it can produce in some ways the best and the worst in education.

For example, I had a professor, this was in the mid 30s, and I would say he was not unusual. It was a little more obvious with him. He was using lecture notes that he must have devised somewhere around 1917 and 18, because the jokes he told, which were a part of his lectures were very thinly altered jokes that had reference to World War I events. So he was giving us very stale material.

Then I had another course which was on central European history. The professor in that course not only gave us the history of that era, the 19th century and the 18th and 19th centuries, but he also, as he dealt with the use of central Europe in the balance of power politics, dealt with the daily newspaper and what was happening in terms of the balance of power. And, of course, central Europe was very much involved in the whole thing as Stalin and Hitler were jockeying for power there and France and Britain were on the sidelines trying to exert an influence so that as he developed his lectures on the 18th and 19th centuries, he was teaching us how to read the daily papers and commenting on them. It was a tremendous course. [00:21:19]

Another course on Byzantine history was similar

Another course on Byzantine history was similar. It acquainted us with the basic issues that confront social orders then and now. And it reshaped my thinking to a great extent so that one of the problems with the modern academic community is the sheer laziness of most of the people involved. They are not willing to grow.

[Scott] Well, I don’t know enough about what actually goes on in the modern classroom to be able to say. The... when you were enjoying those lectures in the middle 30s, I was earning a living. And the newspaper business and, of course, it couldn’t be possible for any young man to do that today, because I didn’t have a degree, didn't have the proper credentials as my father said. He was somewhat shocked that I was able to do this. But I was getting an education I practical politics and in behavior and in the nature of the world. And that was a... an education course along different lines. I think probably a conversation between two individuals like yourself and me on this particular topic comes fortuitously, because here we stand as two different specimens of... of the methods of learning.

I did, however, try out one or two classes at Columbia at one point, because always one feels a little bit inhibited by the absence of formal school in, especially in the country like this where the question: Where did you go to school? Comes up from perfect strangers and you have wondered why they care, you know? But at any rate, I did attend a class at Columbia, one evening beginning one of the courses there and the professor spoke about newspaper ethics and I had to say when I had a chance to that I had not seen any of those ethics in operation and that I was working in journalism and had been for a number of years.

He said, “Well, we are not necessarily talking about what it prevails, but what should prevail.”

And I said, “In that case, I will transfer to the school of divinity, because I saw no point in the professor with that sort of an attitude.”

We cannot tell the world what it should do. We can only look at the world as what it is. And if we can get that far, we are pretty far along. And this is the area that is beginning to bother me about American education on a... higher education, that is, in general and that is that the products that meet— and they range from the doctorate to the specialist and so forth—do not reflect an educated attitude. And unless they have had considerable experience and that, of course, tempers people—they get pretty sensible after a while—but the young people especially are now becoming very difficult to hold a conversation with. They have fixed attitudes and if you are not expressing the same attitude that they are fixed in, there is no discussion.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Try discussing the environment with some of these Environmentalists. There is only one perspective. Anything else that you express puts you beyond the pale of civilization.

[Scott] But the problem here is that, as you know, if you express something that I don’t agree with, I will immediately say so and start to argue the point. But these people will not argue the point.

[Rushdoony] No.

[Scott] They will not do you the courtesy of arguing the point. And it is a courtesy to argue a point with another individual. Individuals for whom I have no respect, I will not bother to argue with, because it is a waste of my time.

[Rushdoony] Well, one of the things that has disappeared from the high school curriculum and there were courses when I was still in school—it disappeared while I was there—in rhetoric and debate and that sort of thing. And you were trained to take part in debate. And the debating team was one of the major teams of the student body. There were debates between the various high schools and awards given. It was like winning a letter in football. The debate team was important. [00:27:05]

[Scott] It was important and I remember listening

[Scott] It was important and I remember listening to some of those debates with considerable interest and they were on a very high level.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And one of the things that was done was that there were impromptu debates in class. And you were assigned a side irrespective of whether you shared that position and you had to get up and argue that side even though it was directly opposite to what you believed.

And you had to learn to respect argument and develop it intelligently so that if you were on the side you didn’t really believe in, you learned to puncture the bad arguments made for what you really believed by the other person. It was a remarkable discipline.

[Scott] Doesn’t it continue?

[Rushdoony] To a very minor degree, if at all.

[Scott] If at all.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] There is no debates.

[Rushdoony] No.

[Scott] There is simply indoctrination along one point.

[Rushdoony] Yes. There may be some parts of the country where a debating team still lingers on, but by and large it is not the big thing that it once was.

[Scott] Yes. I remember it was a very big thing.

[Rushdoony] It was a lot of fun,.

[Scott] Well, it is still a lot of fun, but it isn’t very much evident in American life. I think we have gone over some of this ground before and I believe I said once before that an American at a party or at any kind of a social gathering, if you disagree with the host, the hostess comes running with a cookie platter and tries her best to stop this before it gets out of hand, because you obviously came as an enemy to disrupt the whole place. And, you know, in other countries, if you agree with everything the host says, why, people consider that you must be some sort of an idiot. You don’t have any opinions of your own at all. What... you are not invited back.

[Rushdoony] One of the things about education that it think is important to understand is that the modern age began with a totally false perspective. One of the aphorisms that marked the dawn of the modern era was a three word sentence which is very much featured in history books and in various text books. Knowledge is power. Knowledge is power.

And that is contrary to the biblical perspective which says knowledge must be related to wisdom rather than power. And we are told that with all thy learning get wisdom. [00:30:14]

What has happened is that knowledge has, indeed, been

What has happened is that knowledge has, indeed, been equated with power. And while there is a sense in which that can be true, basically it has warped things. I believe I have mentioned before a U S history course I took at the University of California and the professor was a man who immediately drew a tremendous number of students. I took the course because it was required and I hadn't taken that particular course previously. But it was a huge auditorium filled and the students came there as though they were going to hear a great man. They heard a pompous fifth rate historian who had briefly been second, third or fourth echelon, I have forgotten now, member of Roosevelt’s brain trust. And because of that, he had a remarkable {?}. He had been close to the seat of power and he had left voluntarily, so he still, ostensibly had contacts.

And because of that, a man who did not say one thing during the entire course that was worth hearing nonetheless was highly regarded because he had been close to the seat of power. It is that false perspective, that false association that has warped modern education.

[Scott] Well I agree with that. There has been a triangle set up which functions very much through the Roosevelt administration and continued and expanded. Men of practical experience who used to occupy large positions of authority in Washington, temporary authority, of course, especially during World War II and before Mr. Roosevelt. In World War II we had to have the engineers and the industrialists of Detroit and the rubber industry and every other industry in order to get the war industry to continue the work. So for a while we had some very important business people in Washington. After World War II they were scrubbed out again.

[Rushdoony] Yes. [00:33:03]

[Scott] And a different sort of a triangle was set

[Scott] And a different sort of a triangle was set up with the professors at one end, the politicians at another end and positions of prestige, you might say, in society at a third end. The professor would go to Washington. The professor, first of all, would become a consultant to business or he would go to Washington and then become a consultant to business and then go back to his professorship. So we had the Schlesingers and a whole army of these fellows, moonlighting professors who were active in business and active in government and active in the university. And they introduced into industry the message of academia, the peer review, for instance where a man in a corporation would be revaluated officially every six months.

Now that didn’t exist before this new system came into being. Academia, in effect, bureaucratized the bureaucracy and it bureaucratized industry. And it bureaucratized government so they all begin to function the same as the university where the faculty and the peers and the standard of measurements, even the grades...

[Rushdoony] There was an excellent book published maybe 25 years or so ago by a writer named Westmoreland, I don’t recall the title of the book that dealt with the point you have made. The interlocking now of the federal, the education and the industrial worlds and how devastating that has been all the way around. And the book accomplished nothing. It did say that the protests of the 60s by the students began out of a bitterness, a resentment towards that alliance, the triple alliance, but it accomplished nothing. It wandered off into by paths and forgot what it had originally protested against.

At Berkeley, for example, it got too involved in defending the use of dirty words and forgot its original purpose.

[Scott] We the... one of the results has been the same in ... in industry as well as in government and in the university is that that gradual closing down of debate in a real sense, not simply in the official sense of an official debate team, but in a real sense of debate and interchange between professors and students is that the professors don’t teach anymore. This was one of Kate Smith’s big points. The graduate students teach.

[Rushdoony] Yes. [00:36:13]

[Scott] And the professors who keep publishing books

[Scott] And the professors who keep publishing books don’t do their own research. The graduate student does the research.

[Rushdoony] Oh, yes.

[Scott] The professor puts his name on it and he tells them what the slant is. He puts the curve in the book.

[Rushdoony] I knew of one book published by a particular historian in which he thanked some of his students for their assistance. Every chapter of that book was written by one or another of his graduate students.

Had the students chosen a subject other than those he wanted written on in order to produce his book, he would have flunked them.

[Scott] Absolutely.

[Rushdoony] He was that arrogant.

[Scott] Oh, he wasn’t unusual.

[Rushdoony] No.

[Scott] They... it is considered a great feather to be allowed to write... to do the research for the professor’s book. You know that guarantees you a degree.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Well, this business has had its effect in bureaucracy. Studies, monographs which the professors provide to the bureaucracy are then taken as incontrovertible. Business can say that is not the case, that our experience in the marketplace or our experience in research, our experience in the factory, our experience in visa vie labor unions and so forth, does not fit that paradigm and there is absolutely no chance of getting that objection heard. All discussion is stopped.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And you are handed from Washington, in effect, lectures that have the force of law, just as a student in the college is handed lectures that have the force of failure or success. You either accept or you are failed. This is what we are talking about. We are talking about, really, education as an instrument of control.

[Rushdoony] There is amusing aspect, grim in some ways, but amusing in others... the Fabian Socialists had a marvelous system of intimidation and control where members of parliament were concerned. They would have a variety of scholars produce very, very dull and heavily statistical studies and then summarize, ostensibly, what they had uncovered in a few pages at the end in crystal clear language. But there would be no relationship between the research and the conclusions. [00:39:15]

And they would make these available to members of parliament

And they would make these available to members of parliament who would use the conclusions, because the rest was unreadable, and the conclusions were a pure opinion and had no relationship to the research.

[Scott] Interesting. Very interesting. Well, business has had to struggle. Of course we have here in business and in industry, let’s take large corporations as what I am talking about, men who come out of the schools that we are discussing and one of the problems there is that they all give you the same answer, because, in effect, they all went to the same school. There is no difference between the Wharton school of business, the Harvard school of Business, the Yale school of business, the University of California school of business. They all teach the same things. So consequently you have all these men who have the same answers. And one of the reasons for that, one of the consequences of that is that American industry has declined in terms of inventiveness.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Now when Margaret Thatcher in England ended tenure in the universities it was interesting to me to see how many Americans that I know were shocked to hear that such a thing could be done. They had actually come to the state of mind where what is, is all that can be.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And this is exactly the opposite of what education is supposed to lead you toward.

[Rushdoony] Sam Blumenfeld sent me a copy of the December 1990 Atlantic Monthly and the article that takes up a good deal of this issue by Paul Wilkes is titled, “The Hands that would Shape our Souls. The changing and often troubled world of American seminaries deals with seminaries, Catholic, Protestant and Jewish.” And their lack of any sense of reality, the seminaries he deals with are the main line seminaries, Catholic and Protestant and Jewish and all irrelevant, playing games, getting involved with Feminist theology or black theology or liberation theology.

[Scott] Does it fit your observation of seminaries?

[Rushdoony] Yes, yes. They are not interested in the faith as much as in a sociological reshaping of society. [00:42:12]

[Scott] Well, that is a big order, isn’t it?...

[Scott] Well, that is a big order, isn’t it?

[Rushdoony] Yes. They want to be social engineers and they are using the Church.

[Scott] Well, that is power again.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] That is a ... to use learning as a means of achieving superiority of position over other people is to pervert earned learning.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And if the seminaries happen to be, let us, say, evangelical or reformed, they are still worthless for this simple reason. They buy the academic line with its emphasis on specialization. So a man who is a professor of Old Testament or a man who is a professor of New makes no attempt to relate his field of study to the other so that the Old Testament studies and the New Testament studies are largely unrelated and if you ask a professor in the one a question that would point to the other he will say, “That is not my field.”

[Scott] Oh, yes. I ... I have... well... it is interesting to me, because as a free lance writer I am very much aware of the fact that writing in general, literature in American life in general has undergone a considerable decline, namely because the universities have decided to take it over. And, of course, I have also committed the crime of writing several historical books without the credentials and not only that, but the additional crime of writing them about different periods instead of just one period. You have done the same. You have no right to be doing that. I am sure you know it.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And I am sure you have been told that in one form or another. So what we are up against and we really are up against a phalanx as sort of a organized group which has decided to take over the mind of the country and dictate to the country what it may and may not think.

[Rushdoony] We have the very ironic situation that the seminaries, whether orthodox or evangelical, Protestant, Catholic or Jewish are turning out men who are killing the churches and synagogues. Most of the growth in the churches has been outside the sphere of seminary trained men. That is a very interesting fact. A good deal of the entrepreneurship, the new corporations that are created and are important on the field are created by men who have not gone through business schools.

[Scott] Well, if they did they wouldn’t be able to build a corporation.

[Rushdoony] No. [00:45:16]

[Scott] Because a business school will teach you

[Scott] Because a business school will teach you everything except how to raise the money. And in practically every instance that I have looked at, business courses consist of how to get along with the boss. And not how to be a boss. They talk about managing, but they don’t talk about leadership. And actually leadership is the subject. How do you become a leader?

Well, my observation of many leaders has been that it... God made them. I remember Eddie Leahy during recess in the New Windsor school, it was a country school. It had a new boy. He joined us. We were sitting around under a tree. Eddie began to probe him a little bit and ask him a few questions and finally said, “Yeah.” He said, “I don’t think you ... you couldn’t climb trees and do things like that.”

Oh, the boy said, “Sure I could.”

Eddie said, “You think you could climb that tree?”

He said, “Yes.”

He said, “I don’t believe it.”

Well, the kid went over and started to climb it. Eddie got up and walked away. He had found out all he needed to know about that guy. He was... he was somebody who could be pushed just like that.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And Eddie, incidentally when he got up to walk away didn’t look behind him and everyone else got up and followed him.

[Rushdoony] Oh, my.

[Scott] ... Because Eddie was the leader of the crowd. And how do you teach this to a young boy? You certainly don’t teach it by schools of management or their... you have a fellow teaching management in a university who has never been in business.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Yes.

[Scott] So we have here form over substance, but the ... here is the substance and the substance is an attempt to dominate, an attempt to shut off debate and force you to listen and to go along along certain lines. Basically these are totalitarian trends.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And they certainly don’t fit in seminaries.

[Rushdoony] No, but they are very, very prevalent there. One of the reasons for Antinomianism in the churches is that there is no relationship of the faith to life.

[Scott] I just go through doing a thumb nail review of that play in London I saw called Speed Demon. The title doesn’t mean a thing, but it is a play about the Episcopal Church, the Church of England. It is an interesting play. Some friends of ours went to see it with a group and said that at the end of the play there wasn’t a single comment made about it. And that is because it wasn’t an easy play. It was a rather adult, complex play. [00:48:26]

The pastor, who was the central figure, was in trouble

The pastor, who was the central figure, was in trouble because the bishop didn’t think he was putting out the party line properly. And he had also underneath him a very strong evangelical subordinate who wanted a great deal more forceful teaching, but the pastor’s attitude, as best I could gather it, was that the church was really not the place to tell people how to live. The church was a place where they came for their souls, not to get a job, not to find out how to get along, but to find out what their eternal position was going to be and how they could feel more serious about their faith.

In the end the pastor lost out because they didn’t consider him practical enough. And it was interesting that the world and I ran a review of the play recently, although the play is in London and the world and I is in Washington, DC. You know, it was... it as reviewed by a... obviously non Christian reviewer, who just simply thought that the pastor was nerd and that the whole church was ridiculous, because there were a lot of social agencies to which the pastor could have sent his parishioners who had life problems. Total misunderstanding of the whole point of religion.

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