Censorship - Easy Chair Series - EC343

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Contents

Lesson

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Censorship
Course: Course - Easy Chair Series
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 41
Length: 0:53:21
TapeCode: ec343
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Easy Chair Series.jpg

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


This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 343, August 9, 1995.

This evening our first subject will be at the excellent suggestion of Rod and Millie Seville of British Columbia, the subject of censorship, a very, very important one, because the present trend today is to insist on the equality of all things. All ideas have equal status. All opinions have an equal right.

Now this kind of thinking goes back to the Marquis de Sade. The Marquis de Sade wanted to make legitimate every kind of speech, every kind of sexual act, every kind of non sexual act. In fact, he wanted the legalization of, well, rape, murder, theft, everything except Christianity which he felt should be the only thing abolished. He wanted total anarchy. He believed in the equality of all things. Therefore, he created a current in western civilization for a long, long time, an under current intellectually, but since World War II an overpowering current in society calling for the equalization of all things, the abolition of any kind of censorship such as we have seen in one case after another where it has been argued that pornography is simply freedom of speech. The result is that we have no legal decision that gives a clear cut definition of what pornography is. The result is the proliferation of pornography and of a variety of acts that once were not tolerable.

I recall years ago when I was a student I believe in the seventh grade. The teacher, a very superior one, had made clear that he was going to tolerate no opinion but his own in the classroom. He was teaching a course to seventh graders on Shakespeare. [00:03:21]

And he said, “None of you are capable at this time...

And he said, “None of you are capable at this time in your life to pass a judgment on Shakespeare. I am here to teach you. I am the one who is going to speak and you are going to listen and you have no freedom of speech unless I tell you.”

Well, I was very impressed with what he had to say. And he did command the class. He was an excellent teacher.

Somewhere along the line I was told in the course of my earlier education that freedom speech which the Constitution guarantees does not include any so called right to obscene speech or to dangerous speech. And I was told that a Supreme Court decision had ruled that freedom of speech did not extend to shouting fire in a crowded theater.

But all that now is under attack. People are busy insisting that pornography is covered by the constitution as freedom of speech. I can recall when in the 20s or 30s on a street car or a bus if anyone’s language was out of line, the conductor would stop the car and ask him to leave. No refund of his fare. He was expected to behave himself like a gentleman when he was on public transportation. That seems so remote today. But that actually was the case once.

Well, we have the Sadian idea of free speech prevailing now. Supposedly, people can write and speak as they choose. In fact, the more obscene and profane, the more highly regarded in some circles the literary quality of the work has been regarded. And I believe when we get past this point in civilization, people will look back on some of the very highly regarded literary works with amusement. Their main merit has been their off the wall subject, their obscenity, their exploitation of everything that is disreputable and likely to offend. That somehow passes for moral courage. [00:06:50]

All this is very important to us, because it is leading...

All this is very important to us, because it is leading to the decline of civilization.

In a foreign weekly just a few days ago I read a statement by a writer who in sorrow said that he no longer heard when he left the house, living in a major city, the happy voices of children, girls playing hopscotch, boys playing games that boys play and that sort of thing. And he said the reason is an obvious one. It is no longer safe to have your children out on the sidewalk because of the depravity of so many human beings in the city and the fact that legal authorities are no longer able to cope with the situation.

So we do live in difficult times. And to anyone who raises a voice of censorship is immediately treated with scorn and contempt as though he were some kind of tyrant. But actually in the 20s and 30s we had more freedom, far more freedom than we have now. Only the rich were taxed by the IRS. People could walk anywhere in the city in safety. Children could play at late at night outside in safety. What was censored then? Only that which was morally wrong, pornographic. We have not gained freedom with the anti censorship movements, but we have lost it. [00:09:18]

Well, with that, Douglas, would you like to comment...

Well, with that, Douglas, would you like to comment?

[Voice] Well, I think in many people’s minds censorship has always been a hallmark of a dictatorship or a repressive government. And we have seen, at least in my lifetime, since the free speech movement of the 60s the gradual, in fact, accelerated erosion of the ability of people to speak their minds freely on any subject and to discuss any subject at will.

The political correct movement that we have all become aware of in the past probably 10 years, perhaps longer, but it has really become a popular term or a household term in the past perhaps five to 10 years, means that censorship at least on an intellectual level has really arrived. And it is censorship across the board. It is in every area of life. Every human activity has to fall within these confines or it is demonized. If you take issue with any of the people who lay down these political correct guidelines, you are immediately demonized for taking issue with it. People’s lives are destroyed. Their professional lives are destroyed on the basis that they take issue with the politically correct guidelines. People are unable to earn degrees, higher degrees in universities if they take issue with the university professors in violation of the politically correct guidelines. So it is pervasive throughout our entire culture and it is really shaping the direction that we are going, because when you… when you force the people in academia to comply with these politically correct guidelines, you now have a generational thing that is being passed on from generation to generation and it is become... becoming so institutionalized that it is pretty tough to break.

[Rushdoony] Andrew?

[Voice] Certainly prominent in our culture. I should point out that this is not a new phenomenon. Plato, for example, advocated strong censorship in certain situations especially of artists and poets whom he did not trust, although, for some reason he trusted the philosopher kings of which he was one. [00:12:08]

We need to remember that the founders were attempting...

We need to remember that the founders were attempting to protect political and religious discourse when they talked about the right to free speech. They weren’t talking about obscenity and the sort of evils that Rush was mentioning. But, two, we need to remember there is no zone of neutrality. I mean, the Bible censors blasphemy, for example. So there will be some sort of censorship. The question is whether it will be godly censorship or ungodly censorship.

I was just reminded as Rush was talking about the statement by Gertrude Himmelfarb whose writings you know, Rush.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] She said, “It is really ironic that in this country today a crucifix immersed in urine is permitted as a work of art, but a crucifix not immersed in urine set up on a wall somewhere in a public institution is not permitted.”

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] Which really shows the ironic evil that we have ... we have fallen into.

Maybe also a little later we should talk about whether the federal government should be involved in the task of censorship. There is the whole issue today of... What was it this past week? Congress passed a law saying that televisions could include a little chip in them and that certain broadcasters couldn’t broadcast certain things or that they would be forbidden by means of this little... little chip. Of course, there is the argument over policing the internet and all that sort of thing. So many those are things that we need to ... need to discuss also as this discussion goes on.

[Voice] Part of this public discussion should be that believe in censorship and that everybody should as an individual, as a family and as a society. We just have to decide what we believe in censoring. And the censorship is used in the public debate almost like race. Once you bring up the term racist or sexist and your opponent is expected to back off.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] And once they accuse us of censorship or McCarthyism, then you are expected to go on the defensive.

[Voice] Some topics they want off limits and that is ... that is totally wrong. I think the reason they are that way is because they lack faith. Christians, because they do have an objective source of revelation can discuss these topics. But when they don’t have faith in a sovereign God, then they have to place certain controversial topics off limits and that is what is so prominent in the universities these days.

[Voice] One way in which they... there are a lot of ways in which things are censored and the liberals are good at subterfuge. They use words like equality and fair play.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] And... and such words and they use them incorrectly and they redefine them. They use the English language dishonestly. But there are a lot of ways people in the Church and politics and in the church and in academia censor discussion and that is by defining something as being irrelevant to the discussion.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] In theology years ago.

[Voice] Absolutely.

[Voice] ... my... my father wrote a position paper... I... I think it was a position paper on box theology.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] ...saying that you put... you put your theology in a box. It is basically irrelevant to everything, but if yow want to believe it, you keep it in the confines of the church and that theology is only valid inside the confines of the church and don’t bring it into the public debate.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] So to bring in your faith, you bring in the Bible. It is defined as being irrelevant and you are not relevant to the discussion at hand.

[Voice] Yes. [00:15:37]

[Voice] In schools they departmentalize academia so...

[Voice] In schools they departmentalize academia so if you bring in a fact extraneous to 20th century thought, says, well, that is not relevant to the 20th century. That is ... that belongs to the 15th century or the first century Christian thought.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] And they... they define something as being irrelevant to the discussion and, therefore, try to get rid of it.

[Voice] That is why the Humanists are afraid of us. When I was down in San Diego starting the Reconstruction Society down there, one of the leaders told about that, that he had talked to a Humanist, I believe it was a woman, and she said, “Boy, these Reconstructionsts.” And I believe they even mentioned your name, Rush, “These are Christians like we have never seen before. We are accustomed to irrelevant Christians, but these Christians are dangerous.” They are keeping tabs on us, because... because what Mark precisely said, because we are willing to apply the faith in all areas of life. We don’t have a box theology. And she said, “These people have a world view like we do and they can compete with us and it is frightening.”

Well, it should frighten them. That is the way that it should be.

[Rushdoony] You mentioned the political correctness, Douglas, in the academic community. There is something else there. There is cowardice.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] One of the things that has been happening in recent years is that a speaker who is invited to a college or a university—and this can include so-called Christian colleges which are no more than church related colleges.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] And he asks the person who is presiding to control the discussion, not to allow any students to get up to rant and rage and spout off. But when a student begins to do that, the presiding professor just sits there trying to shrink into nothingness because he doesn’t have the moral courage to tell the student, “Sit down. You are not the speaker. You have not right to be insulting. This is a time for questions, not for orations.”

But there are no professors or if there are, I haven’t heard of them, who are ready to do that. So what we are seeing is a remarkable moral cowardice on the part of Humanists and some professing Christians. [00:18:21]

[Voice] In some cases, Rush, students have actually...

[Voice] In some cases, Rush, students have actually rushed the stage and pulled the speaker out of the place he was speaking and the whole talk had to be called off because of that. And, you know, talking about Christian schools, I was thinking about what may be the leading supposed evangelical school in the country several years ago invited a conservative evangelical, not specifically reformed, necessarily, to talk about homosexuality and he pointed out what the Bible said as far as opposition to homosexuality. And there was an uproar, an outcry that he would say such things. And if I mentioned the name of the institution virtually everybody listening to the tape would know. Noted evangelical school. This sort of thing is going on all over the place.

[Rushdoony] I know. I know. And nothing is done by the trustees or that graduates.

[Voice] No.

[Rushdoony] Or the people who pour gifts into such schools.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Rushdoony] In fact, I am pretty sure I know the school you mentioned. I have been there and I know what the situation is and I am talking about the early 60s.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] And yet wealthy alumni will put tremendous sums into that school and others and become very angry if you call attention to the actual episodes there.

[Voice] Yes. Well, Rush, if that is the case, they are idolaters.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] They are worshipping the institution.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] Rather than the sovereign God and what is right and is pure. And those donors will have to stand before God and the trustees and the faculty and the others that refuse to stand up and speak. It is a deep and severe evil.

[Rushdoony] Well, censorship is very prevalent today. But it is an attempt to censor us.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] One of our staff in calling attention to something, citing the documents and all to call attention to what was being done by federal and state authorities using only their documents, was told by one of the prominent people who represented the liberal side of the picture, a hate monger. A hate monger simply because he quoted them. He was trying to upset people, rile them up and so on. So it doesn’t matter whether it is the truth or not.

[Voice] Well not only is that... that is almost a... a... a litmus test, an indicator that you are getting through when they start calling you names. [00:21:18]

[Rushdoony] Yes...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] You know, various radio and television commentators, conservative commentators say they can tell how effective they are by the vitriolic telephone calls and so forth that they get. So it is becoming a badge of courage.

[Rushdoony] Well, the courts are cowardly also.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Some years ago a number of statements were made all in the same direction. The Supreme Court follows the polls, because it does not give an independent decision that will make it unpopular with most Americans. And so a great many court decisions are so qualified that it is sometimes difficult to figure what side they are on. They are trying to confuse the issue and make more work for lawyers, it would seem, because they do not come out equivocally for or against anything.

And I think that what we see in the churches and in society at large is something our Lord talks about in his letter to the seven churches. When he comes to the church of Laodicea he says, “Because you are neither hot nor cold, but only lukewarm, I will spew thee out of my mouth.”

And I think that is what God is saying to church people and non church people. You are lukewarm.

[multiple voices].

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] That is exactly right. I was intrigued when you began, Rush. You were talking about the equality of all ideas. That idea, too, has pervaded the church.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] But more and more you see churches just unwilling to take a stand whenever it seems unpopular, not just the Supreme Court, but churches themselves.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ...give in to democratic popularity. In fact, just today I received a package in the mail o an envelope from someone. There is a noted reformed denomination. And again, if I mentioned it, all of you, virtually all of you would know it. They just decided not too long ago that each church or synod may decide whether they will ordain women or not. Then this ... they have a glorious heritage this particular denomination. But they are jus capitulating to the times.

[Rushdoony] Yes. [00:24:04]

[Voice] It is so frequent...

[Voice] It is so frequent.

[Rushdoony] Well, the cowardice in the churches is really appalling. And it goes hand in hand with their Antinomianism. If you don’t believe in God’s law, you don’t have a moral backbone.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] You are going to be molded by the times, by what people think. And increasingly that is how people are molded.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] They are shaped by the world around them. They are afraid to speak out on a issue.

[Voice] Rush, that is what de Tocqueville, as you know, called the tyranny of the majority.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] Which is more dangerous than an actually ... an actual government inspired physically, coercive tyranny, because that can be opposed. But when the majority are out there conditioning the way people think, and when you have cowards who won’t stand up to the truth, then you truly do have a tyranny because there are no alterative ideas and that is so frequently...

[Rushdoony] Well, de Tocqueville, whom you cited, felt that the world had taken a dangerous turn with the French Revolution because the French Revolution enthroned liberty, fraternity and equality. And he said in time, the idea of a radical equality will destroy all fraternity or brotherhood. It will make it impossible for people to feel close naturally and it will destroy all liberty.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Because it will not tolerate freedom if that freedom has anything in it that militates against the radical equality of everything.

And Charles Hodge, the Calvinist theologian of about 110 or 20 years ago in one of his articles said that the idea of equality was going to destroy education, because it would mean that you would try to equalize everything in terms of the lowest common denominator so that you would eliminate Christianity from the public schools for a vague moralism and you would eliminate that moralism. Then you would eliminate any excellence until finally you had reduced public education to the lowest common denominator.

I think I should call attention at this time to the fact that two of the 10 Commandments favor censorship. Exodus 20 verse seven. “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” And then the 16th verse of Exodus 20. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” [00:27:24]

So our speech is censored in relationship to God and in relationship to our fellow men. We are not to bear false witness nor to take the name of the Lord in vain.

Now it is out of these two commandments that western civilization has gained a great deal of freedom. Other religions have, at times, also censored some things, but they have been either too loose or too extreme. But what we have, in effect, in the 10 Commandments is an insistence on speaking the truth. We have freedom of speech if we speak the truth. We have the right, therefore, whether in speech or in writing to follow the path that we feel we should take if we speak the truth.

Now that is a healthy qualification. It has made possible the progress of civilization. But when you have a situation where anything can be said about anyone else and men in high places, whether in the military or in politics can be slandered...

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] ...and the courts will not consider it slander because it is a part of the political process, then it has to be tolerated. And this is keeping more than a few people from entering into political life.

[Voice] This is where we get down to the schism between the Humanists and Christians. Christians are given God given rights and also God given responsibilities. The Humanists have manufactured rights without any responsibility.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] And this is where the problem is.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] This problem of slander, too, is in the Church. So many... as a former pastor, I know so many tales are told about one member, about the pastor and they are passed around and they are across the country and then when a retraction comes or a correction comes, the damage has been done.

Boy, I wish that so many Christians would read what the book of Proverbs says about slander and tale bearing.

[Rushdoony] Yes. [00:30:23]

[Voice] And how dangerous...

[Voice] And how dangerous... dangerous those things are. This is, of course, true not only in the church. It is also true in the state and in society. And you are right. A number of... whoever said it, a number of people will not enter public office. In fact, I think I was reading one a couple of years ago. He was to be considered for a particular appointment and he says, “I am not going to sit there in front of these senators and their aids have gone into my background and bringing up everything that can be interpreted as being sleazy and have it on TV.” This is... this is a prominent problem we have today.

[Voice] I have... have to relate an experience to you. Hearkening back to what Mark said about the obfuscation or ... or confusion, generating confusion about the meaning of words. When I went into the army I was 18 years old. And I went into a branch of the military where I required... was required to have a very high security clearance. And during the induction process I had to pore over pages and pages of names of organizations that were considered subversive by the US government. Now at 18 years old I had no political viewpoint one way or the other. But I had to pore over all these 250 odd names of these organizations. And the one thing that struck me about this was the concerted attempt that was made in coming up with the names of these organizations to intentionally disguise the true motives of the organizations. And even at 18 years old it stood out so stark that, you know, even at 18 years old I realized that there was something wrong here. And from there on I began to see numerous instances of the intentional demeaning of language.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] That is exactly right. Well, Orwell talked about that new speak. His book 1984. It is ... well, we call the unborn baby a fetus and we will talk on the next tape about euthanasia and words like that were actually used in Germany in the 30s, euphemisms.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] That is a severe problem. You know, I wanted to mention, too, that the granting of tax exemption is a form of censorship and how more and more it is held that if a religious body sort of gets out of line on controversial topics it may lose its tax exemption. That is something, perhaps, we should mention, because I think that really could be a problem.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ... in the future.

[Voice] Well, we just had a classic example of that with the federal government threatening the governor of the state of California with the total review of funding to the University of California because they decided to take a stand against quotas and eliminate the affirmative action within the university. How fortunately they backed off.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] But, you know, here is...and we have seen numerous attempts where states in trying to either revamp their welfare laws or whatever it is, are threatened by the federal government with loss of federal funds. [00:33:55]

[Voice] Well, it happened in the Bob Jones University...

[Voice] Well, it happened in the Bob Jones University case about 10 or 12 years ago and while many of our listeners may not agree with them on all points, they had a particular conviction. We may not agree with that conviction about a dating policy, but the point is it was a religious conviction they held and the federal government says, “We don’t like it, so we are going to revoke your tax exemption.”

[Voice] Well, speaking of... of the Church, there is a lot of ways the churches like to cut off discussion. Churches like to censor people, especially if we don’t agree with the church.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] And there is a number of ways they do that. One is by church authority. If you ... if you interpret the Bible differently they can always refer to the church authority, the church tradition or whatever.

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] We sometimes accuse Catholics of believing too strongly in church tradition, but Protestants do it.

[multiple voices]

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] And to the very same extent or they will revert to denominationalism. This is what the denomination says of the church authority.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] And the church becomes the authority rather than Scripture and they don’t even want to entertain discussions of what Scripture says on a topic.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] And in a broader sense Dispensationalism censors much of what they allow people like us to say, because if we believe that the ... all of the Scriptures are relevant today and all are authoritative....

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] ... they can always refer to this... this overriding theory of Dispensationalism which is a sense... and I like to refer to it as an ... as editing the Word of God. They said, “This isn’t relevant. This isn’t relevant. This isn’t binding today. And therefore we don’t have to listen to you.”

[Voice] Called cooking the books.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Rushdoony] Well, right now a church has recalled some missionaries who did nothing other than what was required by their book of order, but they didn’t feel the headquarters authorities that it was politically wise to do so at the present time. [00:36:10]

It never occurred to those missionaries that what they...

It never occurred to those missionaries that what they did, which his routinely done in one mission field after another as well as here, would somehow come under their disapproval. So churches are censoring not in terms of the Word of God, but in terms of purely church politics and that is, I think, you know, sinful.

[Voice] Which is when... when people talk about church government and Scripture and dependent form of church government, they often forget that ... that church government even if you can scripturally defend it, a church government is only as good as the people who run it. And in an evil age.

[Voice] Yes {?}

[Voice] ... you could have a perfectly scriptural form of church government and a perfectly evil church.

[Voice] I know of people who believe that just if the right form of church government is exercised, everything will be all right. That is a total fallacy.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] One of the great quotations from John Adams at the time that the Constitution was ratified is worth citing here. I wish I had it here before to me quote exactly. But he said, “We have created a constitution. But it cannot prevent anything because it is made for a Christian and a moral people. It will not work if they are neither Christian or law.”

[Voice] And, thus, we see all of the judicial revisionism. We are forced to modern justices, the last 50 generations in the course to change the constitution precisely for that reason.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ...because it does not support anything but a moral Christian order.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] And one of the disadvantages of a representative government when you have an immoral people...

[Voice] Absolutely.

[Voice] ... is it is very difficult to reform. It is going to be very difficult to reform and utterly impossible to reform American culture in a political sphere without changing the American people.

[Voice] Yes. That is exactly right. I think Rush was talking about the Supreme Court. Well, the founders didn’t want the Supreme Court to be amenable to popular opinion and fads. But, as Rush pointed out, that has exactly been the case. I mean, that is why we want to have an independent judiciary. That was the whole idea, an unelected judiciary.

But unfortunately they have capitulated to a large degree like...

[Voice] Well...

[Voice] ...like the rest of the forms of government.

[Voice] We want them independent from man, but we don’t want them independent from God’s law.

[Voice] No.

[Voice] That is where...

[Voice] Right.

[Voice] ... that is where the problem comes in.

[Voice] Exactly. [00:39:02]

[Rushdoony] Well, censorship is going to be a more...

[Rushdoony] Well, censorship is going to be a more lively issue {?} in the years ahead.

[Voice] Censor that dog, please.

[Rushdoony] ... because as the Christian strength in this country increases, more and more of the Humanists will be screaming censorship.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] And accusing us of trying to censor them. But what are they doing to us?

[Voice] Exactly.

[Rushdoony] They have censored the Bible and prayer out of public institutions, schools and the like. And they have censored it out of historic and time honored holy days like Christmas and Easter. They are eliminating it by censorship.

[Voice] Absolutely.

[Rushdoony] But they will not call it that.

[Voice] It is amazing. It reminds me of something Stanley Fish said in one of his recent books. He says, “If you are in control in the society or classroom, you say, ‘This is the way it is going to be. We are not going to permit any dissent.’” He says, “If you are in the minority, you scream you want your rights.”

I mean he was so bold as to admit that. And what you just mentioned reminded me of that.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] And it is precisely the case. That is the way these people think.

[Rushdoony] Well, the battle is going to become more intense in the years ahead. The opposition does feel threatened by us.

[Voice] Oh, yes.

[Rushdoony] And they are going to lash out with all the anger possible. I have seen that over the years increase in interviews that have occurred. It used to be the interviews were sometimes friendly, sometimes not. Now they are uniformly hostile, because the fact that you think biblically is regarded by them as an unspeakable offense, as something evil. That is the only way to describe it.

[Voice] Well, Rush, too, I think, we represent a clear threat to their world view.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] And I think that they recognize that. I mean, you can’t defeat Humanism with there sermonic points and a poem. I mean, you can’t defeat Humanism with an Awana club and a Wednesday night prayer meeting. You have to have a full orb Christian world view which is what you have been advocating for decades and I think that they are frightened. I think that they know they can be defeated and they need to be frightened. And if they say we are dangerous, well, if they mean by that we are going to do our best to subvert their cause by the Word of God and the Spirit of God, well, they should be frightened. [00:42:16]

[Rushdoony] Well they should be frightened, above all else by God.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] ... because God is and he will judge them. And if they read history which has disappeared into social science, they would know that the times of judgment do come. They are inescapable. God is very, very patient. But sooner or later his judgment comes down upon men and nations. And we are in a time of judgment and there is no escaping it.

So we they are going to be more afraid of God before the ... all of this is over.

[Voice] And one thing is certain. They will not censor God.

[Rushdoony] No.

[Voice] As the second Psalm says, “He that sits in the heavens will laugh. The Lord shall hold them in derision.”

[Voice] I think in that... an interesting development in our culture that we have seen within our lifetimes is people rely less on words than they do on visual images.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] Statistics abound that when television first came in the 1950s something like 80 percent of the people who had television sets were watching the network programs and so forth. Now that is there viewership has dropped 50 percent. People have gone to other pursuits for their information. They are going to the alternative press, talk radio, because people can be literally driven mad by attempts at brainwashing that ... which is what the media has been trying to do here for the last 30 years. The obfuscation of meaning, words don’t mean ... things don’t mean what they say. The Bible doesn’t, you know, their attitude is the Bible doesn’t mean what it says. the Constitution doesn’t mean what it says. And it is irrelevant. The Bible is irrelevant. The Constitution is irrelevant as what, quotes, we say at the moment that is important.

And people are just being literally driven nuts by this so that they are tuning out everything and they are mesmerizing themselves with visual images, MTV, et cetera.

[Voice] Oh, that is right.

[Voice] And they are setting themselves up for the fall.

[Rushdoony] An interesting thing. Now I don’t stay up that late and, of course, a lot of TV is around the clock. Do you remember when television programs would conclude at midnight or one o'clock with a picture of the flag...

[Voice] Singing of the national anthem or something like that.

[Rushdoony] Yes and The Star Spangled Banner.

[Voice] I remember that.

[Voice] There used to be a sermon sometimes... San Francisco, when I was a kid they had a picture of the cross up on Mount Davidson as the last thing that was on television.

[Voice] Yes.

[multiple voices]

[Voice] A lot of people forget that and there was, you know, a prayer that was offered before the station went off the air.

[Voice] Who was it? Was it bishop Sheen that was one of the most popular TV programs in the 60s?

[Voice] Oh, yeah, yeah. [00:45:32]

[Voice] Neil Postman pointed out in ...

[Voice] Neil Postman pointed out in Amusing ourselves to Death, we have definitely changed from a word oriented to a visually oriented culture. And you don’t have to look anywhere than at the newspapers from late last century to see that. I mean, they weren’t colorful, not only because of lack of technology, but they were actually extensive reporting.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] Compare that to modern pop newspapers like USA Today especially which was designed to look like a TV. Now you really see the difference. You go back and read the Lincoln Douglas debates, what substantial substantive issues were dealt with there. Compare today’s debates. It is all how people look, you know, how you come across in your visual image and all that sort of thing. Thus, we have a whole society of unthinking people.

[Voice] An interesting story. I heard {?} of course we have all heard the accounts. I wasn’t around to pay any attention, but in the 1960 presidential debates....

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ... the fame is that Nixon {?} looked haggard.

[Voice] His... his five o'clock shadow and the circles under his eyes.

[Voice] And Kennedy had a makeup artist and so he just looked a lot livelier and a lot more with it. And I remember reading something about it. Somebody who was involved in the campaign was real excited about how well Nixon did, because he had listened to it in his car on the radio. And he was convinced Nixon did great. And he got to talking to some of the other people in the campaign and who were saying how horrible it was.

[Voice] What you say doesn’t matter. It is just how you look.

[Voice] Well, whatever one may think of Lincoln, there is now way he would be elected today without all of the ... I mean, he was a... oh, you know, Rush. We have talked about this. How the... And...

[Rushdoony] Yes...

[Voice] And several other presidents. Some were quite portly. Quite portly and they just wouldn’t... they just wouldn’t make it today.

It was the Washington Post.... it was the visual image rather than the word.

[Rushdoony] Well, it is interesting how much the visual image dominates. A great deal of the effectiveness of the present pope is precisely the fact that he is very effective on television. He comes across very well. And his appeal to Catholics and non Catholics is too much oriented to the visual image and less to what he says. Now liberals are not happy with a lot that he says. There are some things that he has said that I am not happy with. But the point is, the focus is not as much on the content as on the visual image in one area after another. [00:48:25]

[Voice] And the sad thing is that people that are accustomed...

[Voice] And the sad thing is that people that are accustomed to that, could be easily misled, easily tyrannized because they can’t think critically and they are going to be impressed by looks and appearance rather than by substance.

[Voice] Well, kids are tyrannized by MTV. I mean, that is... it is all....

[multiple voices]

[Voice] Yeah.

[Voice] It is all that a majority of them see.

[Voice] That is exactly right.

[Rushdoony] Well, censorship is a very important issue in our time, because we are accused constantly of wanting censorship, which we do if it is a godly one. And we are being censored out of the public arena. And any politician now whose faith is a bit too much in evidence is in big trouble.

[Voice] That is exactly right. People have accused us Reconstructionists and says... they have said that if you had your way there would be this huge, massive civil government. I don’t think that they understand that it is only according to the biblical pattern we support that there would be less civil government.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Definitely. Biblical law, according tot the rabbinic account is a total of 613 counts. We would say it is much less because what the rabbis have done is to divide a single law into its component parts. So instead of thousands upon thousands of volumes of law books, biblical law goes in terms of just a few pages of laws. And this means it is the foundation of liberty in that it leaves man freedom in most spheres.

But, of course, what they object to is that it doesn’t give them the sexual freedom they want.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Which is since the Marquis de Sade the definition of freedom, the right to do as one pleases sexually and this is what the efforts against censorship are designed to further. The people are Libertine. They want to destroy morality and society because they do not believe in morality. They want a world in which every kind of sexual act is permissible and in which, of course, a biblical morality with regard to the family and sexuality is hated. [00:51:12]

So this is our problem today...

So this is our problem today. This is why there is so much talk about freedom. But it is only in one sphere. It is not freedom in terms of its historic meaning.

Our time is nearly over. Would each of you like to make a final statement before we conclude?

[Voice] Oh, I think we need to redefine or at least reestablish in people’s minds that with rights go responsibilities.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] And everyone has to take that job on themselves and particularly in their families. If you are the head of a family, you must establish that in your home. And it has to be passed on from generation to generation. It is absolutely critical. And in the schools.

[Voice] Well, I would say quickly that censorship must be defined in terms of the Word of God and that must be enforced. Our answer is the infallible, inscripturated Word of God, period.

[Voice] I say we don’t have to feel like we have to be on the defensive when people use words like censorship, because we know liberals believe in censorship and we need to come out in the open and say we both believe in censorship. What is it...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] ... you want to prevent the Christian faith. You want to prevent a biblical morality. We have a different view of what ought to be censored.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And also that we do not believe in the equality of all acts and all words.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] This is why we have professors now who feel that any little article they write is better than Shakespeare or equal to it.

[Voice] Yes.

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