Christian Charity vs Welfarism - EC369

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Christian Charity vs. Welfarism
Course: Course - Easy Chair Series
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 67
Length: 0:53:11
TapeCode: ec369
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Easy Chair Series.jpg

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

This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 369, September the fourth, 1996.

This evening Douglas Murray, Andrew Sandlin, Mark Rushdoony and I will be discussing, first of all, a general subject, but basically charity, Christian charity versus Welfarism. The reason why I chose this subject was that I recently read a very interesting book and I suddenly realized it wasn’t the first one in that perspective that I had read. However, it is the best book that I have seen in its critique of charity and its favoring of Welfarism. The man is Mark B. Katz, a professor of history and education and director of the urban studies program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a, as I said, a very able man. The book is a superior book in spite of its prejudice and its hostility to private charity.

His position can be seen by this citation. I quote, “The bifarcation of welfare into social insurance and public assistance tracked the architects of John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier and Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society who wanted to wage war on poverty. For it ruled out any serious attempt to redistribute wealth, guarantee income or tamper with the structure of American Capitalism. Indeed, as his concessions to the steel industry and tax cut made clear, John F. Kennedy did not intend to antagonize business or modify its power and prileges. Neither did Lyndon Johsnon. Rather through the magic of economic growth they expected simultaneously to strengthen American capitalism, ameliorate suffering and injustice and reduce the impact of racism on black Americans,” unquote.

That gives you his essentially statist and more or less socialist approach. It is a superior book in its historical analysis and much of the data it gives. But definitely not sympathetic to private charity, in particular, Christian charity. [00:03:10]

We are moving towards a situation in which Statism

We are moving towards a situation in which Statism wants to suppress in one area after another, the freedom of Christians to be charitable. In my lifetime, many, many of the things, institutions and agencies that once marked the Christian scene are now gone. They have been ruled out as unfit. Meanwhile the attitude of the state is an interesting one. It is less and less concerned with morality, with anything that deals directly and without restrictions with problems. I think we can see what is happening in one sphere after another, but perhaps best of all in the courts.

The Griffiths of Washington, Texas sent me a copy of a Barton letter which tells you what the law and the courts have become.

“A man was convicted,” and I am quoting, “and sentenced for drowning his wife, but the court of criminal appeals reversed the conviction because the indictment did not say specifically what she drowned in, water, milk, cola, et cetera. A man convicted of murdering a young Houston woman at a traffic light had his conviction overturned by the court of criminal appeals because the jury pool was randomly shuffled twice instead of once. A man was convicted of the shot gun slaying of a Plano liquor store clerk. He confessed, signed a written statement and initialed his Miranda rights. And yet that conviction was overturned by the court of criminal appeals because initially was not the same as waiving his rights. A man’s conviction of kicking and stomping an elderly woman to death was reversed because the courts of criminal appeals said the state did not specify that he used his feet,” unquote. [00:06:07]

Well, I cite this deliberately to illustrate what is

Well, I cite this deliberately to illustrate what is happening in one sphere after another. Not just the courts, but every area of government. What rules in all these cases? Not morality, but technicality so that whether it is in welfare problems we are steadily moved away from a moral perspective to a bureaucratic and technical one. Only when there is a threat to the welfare funds do we have heart breaking appeals, so to speak in that we are shown this poor woman and these poor children and what will happen if these cuts go through. At other times the approach is purely a bureaucratic and technical one, not a moral approach.

Well, the essence of the Christian perspective is a moral one.

Saint Paul says, with regard to charity, “He that will not work, let him not eat.” And it says that a man and his faith are to be judged by his responsibility towards them of his own household, his family in particular and the Christian community and he that is not charitable here is worse than an infidel and has denied the faith.

Well, the biblical perspective stresses that we are to love our neighbor as ourself. We are to be mindful of his needs. And it puts it on a personal and a moral level. When you put welfare in the place of charity and it becomes a function of a vast bureaucracy to administer it is depersonalized. It no longer considers the individual. It is interested in dehumanizing it, because the statist perspective is not moral nor personal. Its goal is statist power, statist authority, the predominance of the state in every and any sphere where it has controls.

Well, with that brief introduction, Douglas, would you like to comment on the matter? [00:09:13]

[Murray] Well, I was just thinking about the fact that

[Murray] Well, I was just thinking about the fact that every time Mother Theresa catches cold it is front page news in the media in the United States and she is lionized in the press in this country for her charitable work in India. Yet the same press takes great efforts to do what it can to diminish or marginalize Christian efforts in this country. And it is just kind of an incongruity there between giving recognition where it is due.

Regarding the courts, the courts are simply flexing their muscles. I have heard over and over attorneys of advise me that the judge will say what the law is and they have used that term in exactly those words, the judge will say what the law is, not applying the law or seeking ... seeking the truth to... to eventually arrive at justice in whatever the case is, but simply to impose a result as... based on whatever the judge thinks the law ought to be. And we have seen this judicial activism now for about the last 50 years in this country. And it has destroyed... people don’t know what... what is right and what is wrong anymore, because they never know when they go to court whether they are going to get justice or whether they are going to get their throat cut. You just never know, particularly in the civil case. You know, you may have the most righteous case in the world and you go into court and the judge will say, “Well, it is not worth it.” You know, for one reason or another. And it is usually very vague.

The other thing is that the ... the government or states have learned something from the private charities of using the poster child to evoke sympathy. I remember the March of Dimes drives back during World War II, the Sister Kenney Foundation and so forth and they would always, you know, put pictures up in the newsreels and on the bill boards and so forth of a child who had polio in order to evoke sympathy and get people to donate money.

Well, the federal government does the same thing. Any time that the federal governments power to be the sole dispenser of public largess they use the poster child so they are using the same tools that have been used by private charities before. [00:12:14]

The ... but there is a curious double standard regarding charity, Christian charities. As long as they are approved by the press, they are all right, but if they are not approved by the press it seems like we now have political correctness regarding charity.

[Rushdoony] You mentioned Mother Theresa, Douglas. Some few years back two things happened. Mother Theresa was given a Nobel prize. Then she attempted to begin work in the western world. She selected New York City as one such spot. She felt that there were horrible conditions there and that she and the other nuns could minister to them and be very effectual. However, what they found was that there was such a bureaucratic nightmare that there was no way they could qualify to get any piece of property and convert it into a facility to minister to the needy without spending so much money that it would have put it out of reach to begin with. So they finally gave up.

Now, the media which has hailed her throughout Europe and the United States didn't pick up on this. It was barely mentioned. Most people in this country did not know that Mother Theresa was really turned down by New Your City insofar as any effort to start a work there is concerned.

[Murray] Well, let’s... you know, it is... this is a classic case of the emperor has no clothes. The government has failed miserably in its attempts to be the sole dispenser of charity.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] And they don’t want Mother Theresa... they don’t want any competition, you know? It is like the mafia wants to keep street crime down...

[Sandlin] That’s right.

[Murray] ...beuase they don't want any competition. The federal... the federal government doesn't want any competition for Christian charities because the... its very existence, the very existence of Christian charity would indicate that the government has not been able to do the job when everybody...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] You can look in any direction and the government hasn’t done the job. They have simply made things worse.

[Sandlin] It is a rebuke to them, isn’t it?

[Murray] Sure it is. [00:15:00]

[Sandlin] Rush, think the problem with Mother Theresa

[Sandlin] Rush, think the problem with Mother Theresa was the elevators, wasn’t it?

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] Did you hear that story? She... she said, “We don’t need elevators in our building.” I said, “Nuns can go up and down the stairs with no problem.

But the... apparently they couldn’t pass the building code because they didn’t have elevators.

[Rushdoony] Yes. That was one among a number of things that was going to be made a road block.

[Murray] Well, they always find something. I remember when I lived in the San Francisco Bay area there was a soup kitchen that fed the poor that was a ... I don’t know whether it was Salvation Army charity, but it was a Christian based organization. And the city found a way of shutting them down. First they complained about the fact that the recipients had to listen to a short sermon and say a prayer over the food before they were... they could eat. And the city objected to that, when the city had no right to object to it. As long as the people were doing it voluntarily, the city had nothing to say about it. So then when that didn’t fly, then they ... they started doing the white glove inspections...

[Rushdoony] Oh, yes.

[Murray] in the military, you know, where they look in places that ... of no consequences to find the slightest speck of dust or dirt and they closed it down on health code violations when I will tell you. I used to read water gaters in San Francisco when I was going to college and I used to go in all of these restaurants particularly in Chinatown and that used to turn my stomach.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Murray] Let me tell you. The conditions in the basements and the... and the ... some of these kitchens there, it might be all right for the people that live there, but, you know, if you are worried about health code violations, there isn’t... there isn’t one in 100 of them could pass any kind of an inspection, much less one that is, you know, dotting al the Is and crossing all the Ts.

[Sandlin] Yeah. You know, too, the state has a different conceptual basis. They don’t like the word charity. They like the word entitlements.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] Their view is that the less fortunate or we would... poor people in society should be guaranteed a certain standard of living and charity has about it a pejorative expression. It is as thought the wealthy people, you know, sort of grudgingly give.

[Murray] Well...

[Sandlin] or...

[Murray] Yeah, but there is a very subtle thing involved in that terminology. When you say entitlement, as we have seen, people who acquire this attitude that they are entitled to somebody else’s sweat, start demanding. And the state likes those demands because ...

[Sandlin] Exactly.

[Murray] Then that reinforces the governments power...

[Sandlin] Absolutely.

[Murray] And... and creates an obvious need so that they can justify the taxation of the general population to support it. So, you know, the semantics... [00:18:00]

[Sandlin] Absolutely

[Sandlin] Absolutely.

[Murray] .... the semantics there is not without purpose.

[Sandlin] Entitlements in this county are all about state power.

[Murray] Exactly.

[Rushdoony] Before we go on, Mark, I will let you speak in a moment. Our engineer Bob slipped a me a not saying, “The sign above Mother Threresa’s door reads, ‘Nun, N UN, of the above.’”


[M. Rushdoony] Well, were you finished, Andrew?

[Sandlin] Yes, please go ahead.

[M. Rushdoony] Well, I think you are right about the... they don’t like charity and they don’t like private groups, especially Christian groups controlling charity, because it takes power from the state. And you don’t like power being in the hands of other organizations. Although—and I don’t know what the exact figures are—a tremendous amount of charity in this country is still charitable when you think of such organizations as United Way, Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries, and there is... and there is a host of... of smaller localized organizations from both... from, you know, local soup kitchens and such, a massive amount of local charity is still private. And that is completely ignored in the discussion of helping. I mean, when they talk about cutting a dollar from a government program they are talking about an irreplaceable dollar that will ... that poor people will never see. So they are... they speak in terms of how the government programs are all poor people will ever have available to them.

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[M. Rushdoony] And they completely ignore private charity.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[M. Rushdoony] ... in their discussion of provision for the needy.

I was told once by someone when I was... I was fighting a fire and they had a... it was a Salvation Army, kind of like a catering truck there, you know, giving soup and candy bars and hot coffee to the local residents that were affected by the fire that had chose not to evacuate, the fire fighters. And he said that he made the claim that... that the Salvation Army was the largest church in the world. I don't... I don’t know if that is true.

[Sandlin] The Catholic Church is.

[M. Rushdoony] Or maybe he meant the largest protestant church.

[Sandlin] Oh.

[M. Rushdoony] I... I ... I don’t really recall what he said.

[Rushdoony] It is the biggest operation in the sphere of charity.

[M. Rushdoony] But there is a real contempt for the word charity.

[Sandlin] Yes. That is right.

[M. Rushdoony] And there is a contempt for the word charity amongst the recipients who used to statist welfare.

[Sandlin] Absolutely. Absolutely.

[M. Rushdoony] Because charity involves that somebody is doing you a kindness, somebody is doing you a favor. It then gratitude then is... is... by implication necessary if somebody is giving you charity.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[M. Rushdoony] And they don't want to have to be grateful.

[Sandlin] They are entitled.

[M. Rushdoony] They... they like the entitlements that they have a right to.

[Murray] You know, but it is not ... it is not really, you know, people misnetperet that. It is... it is Christ’s love, Christ’s love for his people flowing out to people who need help, you know? Unless people understand that, they miss the whole point of what charity is. [00:21:17]

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[Rushdoony] There was an interesting article on the second editorial page of the Wall Street Journal in mid August of 1996. And the author called attention to the fact that a major critique by public school advocates of Christian schools is: Well, they take the best and give us the leftovers. And so it is not fair to compare them to us. Of course, they could do better when they have the best students.

The author pointed out that this very common charge is radically in error. He said there are over three thousand schools in the United States created by Christians which do nothing but minister to special cases, handicapped children, retarded, you name it. Or, of course, problem children. Over 3000 schools and yet nothing is said about them. They are not publicized. But they are there. And, of course, they don’t like the idea that Christians are so effective here. And I recall in the Lester Roloff trial of the 70s the fact was brought out that Roloff’s school for delinquent boys and girls had about a 95 percent rehabilitation ratio, that these children became very, very fine Christians as well. And then number that really went bad was very small by comparison. Not all the five percent that did not become Christian went back to their old ways.

Well, as against that, the state worked with delinquents, had almost no success with any of the thousands of children they worked with. So everything is done to suppress the success of the Christian community whether it is in the field of education or charity or rehabilitiation, whatever sphere. And to exalt the statist approach which is basically a non moral approach, the belief, just as in the public schools that education will save you is, in other spheres a psychological rehabilitation will make the child a good person or that the welfare worker is going not make the welfare recipients into fine law abiding citizens. It simply isn’t so. [00:24:47]

[Murray] Well, that is true

[Murray] Well, that is true. The statistics simply aren’t there. There was a ... a fellow the other night in law enforcement who cited that the rate of recidivism is something like 95 percent among the kids that are sent to the California youth authority. They commit another crime within hours after they get out and it is a revolving door. I mean, they practically, you know, they live there. So it is obvious that the system has failed. Yet all of these, you know, Christian boot camp type things that have been... have been highly successful, but they virtually no... no public notice.

[Rushdoony] Right.

[Sandlin] We have to acknowledge, though, that it is largely because of the delinquency of the family and the church, especially about, oh, 100, 150 years ago that the messianic state was able to come in and begin to assume these responsibilities. I mean, the theology of the church at that time was in the western world was largely an escapist theology and it was unspiritual or carnal to be concerned about matters of charity. That was for liberals, which, of course, was a foolish charge.

So the... the state swooped right into the vacuum and began assuming these responsibilities.

[Murray] Well, accepting Christian charity does not create an obligation to the individual that gives it to you, where as the state likes the sense of obligation.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] ...on the part of the person that receives it. The local welfare people I was talking to one of them. And they referred to welfare recipients as clients. I mean they have been, you know, elevated to client status which elevates their own personal status...

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[Murray] ... to the... to the level of ... of professional like a doctor or a lawyer. You know, a highly exalted professional when all they are doing is, you know, giving away somebody else’s money.

[Sandlin] Yeah, well, politicians like to buy votes by making promises about the redistribution of wealth. And they have been doing that for a number of years now, especially in this country and that is largely what wlfare is all about also.

[Murray] It is... it is getting to be a shell game. I mean, we are

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[Murray] ...we are broke for, you know, something like, what five and a half trillion dollars in debt with what is on the books and then we have got another 15, 10 or 15 trillion dollars of unfunded liabilities. So it is ridiculous for people to give away money they don’t have. [00:27:26]

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[Rushdoony] There is another area which is sometimes charitable and other times effective in its work among young people and that is the summer camp program that churches have. Here in the hill and mountain country there are any number of camps all through the area.

[Murray] That is right.

[Rushdoony] .... that all summer long are busy taking care of young people. Some of them are charity cases, rehabilitation cases, it varies from one camp ground to another. On top of that there are the church camps, which do a very important work also in that they are very effective among young and old.

All kinds of programs, educational and religious in a broad sense, biblical instruction, exist from coast to coast. For example, this past summer I went to Virginia where two pastors, reverent Pete Hurst and Byron Snapp were holding a second annual conference on a Christian world and life view for older teenagers, college youth. And it was a remarkable experience because the level of maturity of these young people coming from a background of being trained like this was startling. And I came to realize that we are going to have a very superior population in another generation with these young people taking over the leadership.

Well, it is interesting to me that every year in the summer there will be a segment on television on the news about this or that camp maintained by some community or some group to take children from the slums out of the city to rural or a mountain area where they can ride on a pony and see something of nature, all of which is supposed to be very important in rehabilitating them. But there is no moral content. But these are the programs that get a tremendous amount of free publicity. [00:30:38]

[Murray] Because they are safe

[Murray] Because they are safe. They are politically correct...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] And they are... they are safe.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] That its eh only reason the media will talk about it.

[Rushdoony] Well, one of the things that they are forgetting is that another population is growing up.

[Sandlin] Yes, that is right.

[Murray] The X generation.

[Rushdoony] The Christian community.

[Murray] Yeah.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Rushdoony] The Christian school community, the products of all these activities. Those students I spoke to in Virginia were very impressive. They would go a long ways as far as they want, because they had the intellectual caliber combined with an amazing knowledge of thinking in the Christian world today.

Peter Hurst and Byron Snapp are doing a remarkable work with that conference.

[Murray] Well, they will be able to pass it on and that is...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] The great value is once you get the ball rolling then they will see the value in it and want to perpetuate it.

[Sandlin] That is right. Sadly we have an entire generation, my generation and the generation before mine that know nothing but the welfare state.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] For many of them their entire mentality is, well if somebody is poor, well, who else would take care of them but the state? I mean, they can’t even conceive of the idea of private charity. If there is a social problem, the answer is always: What can the state do about it?

[Rushdoony] We are not against the state doing what it can when nobody else is doing anything and that his how the state came to take over. But what we must stand against is the effort by the state to prevent Christians from acting.

Now one of the problems in the country today from coast to coast, virtually, is that there are many, many earnest groups, hard working groups, very often poor groups and a number of them are black churches that are working in the slums to feed people, to try to convert them and are doing a remarkable job, but they have a problem with the city fathers. The building they are using is not a fit place. And the hostility is amazing, because many of the people who come to these places to be fed every day are street people. So it is a run down old building which was all they could afford and they cannot afford to fix it up. But they are feeding people. They are clothing them. They are teaching them the meaning of the gospel. So the efforts are many to put them out of business. [00:33:55]

[Sandlin] It is because, again, that the state wants

[Sandlin] It is because, again, that the state wants control over things like that. It is...

[Murray] Well, they keep saying that they don’t. You know, you remember George Bush’s thousand points of light. As long as they are the right points of light, that is ok.

[Rushdoony] Yeah. Yeah.

[Murray] And, you know, the current crop of presidential contenders, you know, talk about self help and private charities and so forth, but, you know, they... they mouth the words, but they don’t mean what they are saying.

[Sandlin] No.

[Murray] As long as they are politically correct and they are state approved and certified and meet all the requirements and so forth so that it... so their efforts appear as an extension of the state...

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Murray] Then the state will allow it.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Murray] But if it is, you know, another point of view...

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[Murray] They won’t allow it.

[Rushdoony] Well, and one city down in the valley recently they had a reoccurrence of something that had happened a while back. This mother apparently in this particular recent incident of the past week, starved one of her six or seven children to death.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Deliberately, apparently. And yet this family and others that have been guilty of serious mistreatment of their children are under the care of the social welfare worker. Of course, the excuse each time is we have too heavy a workload. We can’t keep up with things.

[Sandlin] They... they need more money.

[Murray] They have got a list of 29 excuses, you know.

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Murray] You just pick a number. They are never at a loss for excuses why their system fails.

[Rushdoony] Yes. So such abuses continue and in spite of promises of reform nothing is done. Well, first, we can say they may have a ... a good case in that there are so many cases now. But, perhaps it is impossible to keep up with them. But then so many of these cases even when they are visiting, they make no real recommendation. They just poke their head in, ask a few questions and wish them well and they are off on their way. [00:36:32]

So the oversight is virtually nill

So the oversight is virtually nill. The welfare worker does very, very little in the way of checking up on the actual conditions.

So conditions go from bad to worse.

[Murray] They are only interested in filing an activity report to justify their existence. They have really no love for nor interest in their, quote, clients.

[Sandlin] Some of them I have known by experience also are power hungry. They want control over families. If they can get that control they will wield that control in any way that they want to get children out of home school situation or Christian school situation and get them into foster, secular foster homes. Some of those people are very evil.

[M. Rushdoony] Part of the problem, I think is that when you... when you take any idea such as whether you are helping... if it is child welfare or any kind of charity, once you centralize it, it is going to be inefficient.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[M. Rushdoony] The more... the more centralized anything is, it is inefficient.

Now if you take something that is sin... even if it were a private organization is doing it. A few years ago there was a ... a real scandal in the United Way about that mis... misuse of funds. It is easy to lose track of what is happening. And you have to have to have too many administrators on something that is too lage. Now you take something that is highly centralized and you say, “Now the government is going to run it. The ... we are going to have a highly centralized government run operation.” Then you know it is... it is doubly inefficient.

Charity is something that has to be personal. It has to be people helping people.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[M. Rushdoony] Not just money flowing through certain channels and through certain bureaucracies.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[M. Rushdoony] So it has... you have to be able to keep tabs on people as to what their real needs are and how they can be helped.

[Sandlin] That is why all charity should be local. I mean, charity is a local matter.

[M. Rushdoony] And I ... I think it is probably legitimate when these workers say, “Our case load is too big. We can’t keep track of them.” Because the whole concept of the whole welfare agency, the... the whole organization is geared so that they can’t keep proper track.

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[M. Rushdoony] But that is now... by law that is their ... their definition so they have accepted a responsibility that they are admitting case by case when something goes wrong, that they can’t handle and they can’t really handle the responsibility that is entrusted to them.

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[Rushdoony] Well, there is an interesting aspect to charity in this country. Besides the very extensive Christian work throughout the last century and this century up until World War II, law enforcement officers were once very active in helping the homeless. If you were in a city and you were a poor man, you had lost out on what you had or come to get a job and the job didn’t pan out, you could go to the police station and you could tell them of your problem and the police would usher you into a cell, it would not be locked, where you could sleep and spend the night and maybe get a meal. [00:39:58]

[Murray] Yeah, but they would

[Murray] Yeah, but they would... they acted... they acted as kind of like a referral agency. They always... they knew where the charities were in town.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] And they would direct a person toward them. They let them stay the night and then they would say, you know, next morning, “Go see so and so. And they will either give you a job or they will, you know, get you... get you going.”

[Rushdoony] Well, there was another thing, too. The bars. The free lunch was available. There were things that you could get freely at a bar. So you would go in and get a glass of beer and have a sandwich and a lot of things besides that.

But towards the end of the last century in the 90s they started to outlaw these free lunches as unsanitary. Well, vast numbers of poor men who would find themselves stranded and jobless or had arrived too late to go anywhere and didn’t have the money, went to a bar and got free lunch for the price of a nickel, a beer.

Now there were many things like that that were done. But political bosses had lunch baskets for the poor families in the neighborhood, big baskets full of al kinds of food stuff so that whether it was the churches or it was the bars, the police or the political bosses, there was a very, very varied form of charity exercised. And we must remember that in all these groups the influence of the church was considerable. The police then were likely to be church people, depending on the city. You could identify what they were likely to be. In Ireland in the latter part of the century and to this one, they were Irish cops. Somewhat earlier in Chicago they were Dutch cops. And they all reflected their church background and were helpful. [00:42:28]

The bar keepers, too, had, because the culture was

The bar keepers, too, had, because the culture was still somewhat Christian, a sense of responsibility.

Well, now that sense of responsibility has gone from the churches themselves too often.

[Sandlin] Rush, we haven’t touched on something that is almost a thing of the past and that is orphanages. And...

[Rushdoony] Oh, yes.

[Sandlin] ... one things immediately of George Mueller and his work, I believe it was in Bristol, England.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] And maybe others. But now, of course, there are state agents that look carefully over he shoulder of... of orphans.

[Rushdoony] They were wiped out.

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[Rushdoony] In this state I know, by World War II and the legislation and then various states about the same time. They were very, very effective, but we have been crowded out of those fields.

Now there are a number of fields that groups like Chalcedon would like to get into. But we are doing things abroad that we cannot do here.

[Sandlin] That is right. Isn't that sad and ironic?

[Rushdoony] We could not afford to try it here and face all the legal battles.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] You know, what was the peace corps if not state run charity? I mean that...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] It was branching out into global, global charity.

[Sandlin] It was the missionary of the...

[Murray] Exactly. Just a carbon copy.

[M. Rushdoony] Well also haven’t touched on state enforced care for the elderly in this country and how so many children so easily when they become middle aged give up on their parents and don’t recognize their responsibility for their parents.

[multiple voices]

[Murray] That live in railroad stations. That is, you know, they are all {?}.

[multiple voices]

[Murray] Elder dumping has become a trend.

[Rushdoony] That is why I heard of a sad case last night of a man I know. He is four years younger than myself, has been a very superior man in his activities, the kind of work he has done. Well, now he is down with Parkinson’s and alone. And although he has very successful children, one very highly placed in Washington, DC, I believe, none are interested in him. They have got their own fish to fry is their attitude, apparently. And some old friends are sending him checks and the state is providing someone who comes in and cares for him ostensibly. [00:45:22]

But now what we find out is that the friends who have

But now what we find out is that the friends who have been sending him checks to enable him to do a little better than the meager funds he receives though the states, well, their checks are forged by the employees who were sent in.

[Sandlin] Oh, dear.

[Rushdoony] So if you have a charity... a welfare program without a Christian faith, why not? I was shocked to hear that. It could be an isolated instance, but what reason is there to believe it is isolated. If you don’t have a Christian conscience and here is someone who doesn't know what is happening in part of the time, it would be very easy to forge his name and cash his checks and then to say, “Well, maybe the signature doesn't look authentic, but...”

[Murray] That is becoming...

[Rushdoony] He is not... yes. He is not very competent now and he may think he never got it, but he got it.

[Murray] Well, that has become quite a criminal enterprise now. They are predators now who look for those kinds of situations so that they can take advantage of them. They ... they fabricate letters of, you know, testimonials from supposed former clients that they work for and they fabricate all of the credentials so that they can win the confidence of someone who is in the situation like that just so that they can get their hands on the money.

I have a relative in my family who just went thought the same thing, but he is still sharp enough. He caught them. And this woman has sent her to jail. She got away with several thousand dollars before he, you know, realized there was something haywire.

But the other thing I was going to point out, the curious parallel between elder dumping and what the Indians did, the plains Indains, if you couldn’t ride, if you got too old to ride a horse and you couldn’t carry your ... your weight, they would just leave you, you know, they would give you some food for a few days and they would just leave you out in the middle of nowhere to die. And that is ... you know, I mean it has descended to ... to the... to the level of savages. [00:48:01]

[Rushdoony] Yes

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] That is right. That is exactly right.

[Rushdoony] Well, we have a major crisis because Welfarism is failing. The Christian community must begin to reestablish Christian charity. I think every church could begin as a number of black churches have done, with the people in their area or their own members relatives, friends, who are in desperate need. If every church in this country, it has been said by a statistician, could take care of three families the problem would disappear. Well, there are big churches that could take care of more than three families. And those that can take care of only one or half a family, those churches could come together and accomplish a great deal.

[Sandlin] A big problem there, though, Rush, is that a lot of churches today, especially the so-called evangelical churches have an escapist sort of theology.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] According to which they say, “Well, this isn’t our problem. You know this is the responsibility of the state. It is not our responsibility.” So there also has to be a change in their theology and, of course, that is another thing Chalcedon is doing, getting people to change theologically so that they will be in a position where they will exercise the right kind of charity and have the right rationale for it.

[Murray] Do they... do they have a point of view that the state creates poverty or creates dependency?

[Sandlin] I think many of them...

[Murray] And it is therefore not the church’s problem?

[Sandlin] Well, yeah, but I think many of them don’t even think that far.

[Rushdoony] They are waiting to be raptured.

[Sandlin] Exactly.

[Rushdoony] A lot of them.

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[Rushdoony] So they don’t care about problems.

[Sandlin] They are... they are dualists, you know. The important thing is the spiritual part of man, by which they mean non material. You know, feeling good about Jesus and ... and going to heaven. And for that reason they don’t... they don’t care about charity.

[Murray] The guy who said man does not live by bread alone, try living without it for a while.

[Sandlin] Yeah. Yeah.

[M. Rushdoony] And I think to the extent that they become involved in charities such as soup kitchens, it is a means of... of just preaching the gospel.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[M. Rushdoony] It is not really a means of helping people. It is... it is...

[Sandlin] Good point.

[M. Rushdoony] It is a means of...

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[M. Rushdoony] Of... of...

[Sandlin] It is a... it is... it is a...

[M. Rushdoony] ... of winning souls.

[Sandlin] Yeah, it is a...

[Murray] Captive audience.

[multiple voices]

[Rushdoony] That is still good, however. And that is...

[multiple voices]

[Rushdoony] ...and many groups like the Salvation Army have used it very effectually. And most of these poor have enough decency so that if somebody feeds them and gives them a bed for the night, they feel it is only fair for them to listen to what they have to say to the preaching. [00:51:10]

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Murray] Well, look at the numbers. I have heard it quoted frequently that there is 40... between 40 and 45 million people who go to church every Sunday. There is something like 80 percent... between 80 and 90 percent of the people in this country that consider themselves of Christian heritage if not practicing Christians. And yet the... the over stated figures of the homeless is somewhere around six million. But the actual figures are somewhere, you know, around a few hundred thousand and they are most primarily clustered around the major cities because they know that is where the government hands out its... its attempt to help.

So those are pretty good odds. You know, if you have got 40 million people who are committed enough to go to church every... every Sunday, there ought to be enough of them to help the 600,000 or so that need the help.

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[Murray] The problem could be easily solved.

[Rushdoony] Our time is just about up. Does anyone have a concluding statement they would like to make?

[Sandlin] Well, the answer to the problem is a revival of a vital Christian faith and applying it in all areas of life. And, of course, one of those is godly charity. And that is what the church needs to be doing.

[M. Rushdoony] And tithing.

[Sandlin] Tithing, yes.

[M. Rushdoony] And one of the greatest impediments to ... to tithing today is... is our heavy taxation.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[M. Rushdoony] We have allowed the state to become so big that it has become so oppressive.

[Sandlin] Yeah. They are distributing our tithe for us.

[M. Rushdoony] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Anything else? Well, thank you all for listening and god bless you.

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