Christianity in Australia - RR161CB146

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Contents

Lesson

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Christianity in Australia
Course: Course - From the Easy Chair
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 146
Length: 0:58:54
TapeCode: RR161CB146
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, RR161CB146, Christianity in Australia, from the Easy Chair, excellent colloquies on various subjects.

[Rushdoony] This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 256, November 9, 1991.

Otto Scott, Douglas Murray and I will be talking now with Ian Hodge of Australia about Christianity in Australia.

Now, Ian, you mentioned the fact of the early parsons and how much animosity they created. It is interesting that after the War of Independence it was precisely in the areas where there had been English rectors that Christianity hit a low ebb, precisely because it was the misfits often of the me who were alcoholics who would be sent over to the colonies.

Now a few years ago one historian wrote a book here defending these English parsons and saying they had been much maligned. However, his book was not too convincing. One of the things that very few people know its hat the famous Salem, Massachusetts witchcraft trial came out of a church in Salem pastored by a Church of England man who had been in the Indies, had failed then and had come to Salem. And his daughter was the leading member of the circle of girls who were having these experiences. And it was due to the fact that they had brought up a black woman from the Indies who was into voodoo and some occult phenomenon began to take place.

At any rate, it is easy to understand that in Australia where the Church of England was the sole representative in the early years, there was an animosity created.

What is the situation today?

[Hodge] If I can just—before I answer your specific question—make the comment that I think it is understandable that the antagonism to Christianity goes back into that period. As you rightly said, the English {?} the previous type. The English government had made some pretty severe laws for minor offenses and I suspect that there is within each human being a natural revolt against the harshness of many penalties. And what you had in the {?} colonies, you know, in the {?} period of Australia, of course, was that the church was part of the establishment. And instead of perhaps speaking out against many of the injustices which were occurring, they were seen by the early settlers of Australia to be the ... on the... on the side of the... of the... of the established authorities. [00:03:48]

In many instances the early convicts could get early

In many instances the early convicts could get early release from their ... from the sentence and be given free settlement within in the colony if they could get a good report from the... from the local parson. So they were intended to be, you know, a little use of the system there, something which I suspect still carries over into Australian society. We don’t like to, you know, in... have national pastimes like, you know, tax avoidance and evasion and anything to get around the system is... is... is pretty much there.

To come into the current climate, to answer your... your question, according to recent polls in a ... in Australia, 70 now five percent or 78 percent, somewhere in that mark of Australians say they believe in God. What they mean by the word, of course is, perhaps, open to question. At the same time it is ... it is claimed in the same sort of a ... a report that ... or analysis that approximately 20 to 23 percent of Australians attend church regularly.

I dispute that ... that statistic, not on any scientific grounds, but from the sheer fact that if I take any representative area, I don’t think there are enough church buildings to hold Australians as one fifth of our population would be in church on any given Sunday.

If I was to take my own regional area where I live, we have a large... or the largest Baptist church by Australian standards and a large Catholic church. They probably seat around four or 500 people a piece. The Baptists have a couple of meetings on Sunday morning because they ... they {?}. And the rest of the churches are probably would be lucky to have 100 people. At present the only exception to that would be the local charismatic church which probably has close to a couple of thousand people. That is about 10 miles away up in one of the larger suburbs. And it does accumulate from a ... from a number of suburbs in the geographical location.

[Scott] I have noticed... I noticed here in the United States practically all the small communities have a number of churches, and fairly regularly congregations. They are not large, but they are regular. But they have a lot of churches. I was in Kentucky, for instance, had probably at least 20 churches and the city is only 35,000. [00:06:32]

But the big metropolitan churches are practically vacant

But the big metropolitan churches are practically vacant. They are... I think there may be an exception on some of the Catholic churches have pretty good attendance. But in comparison to the population of the cities, it is small attendance.

[Rushdoony] Well Murphys has five churches that I know of.

[Scott] And this is 1850 people.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And there is a reasonable attendance at all of those. So there is a ... a fairly high ratio of church attendance here in the mountains.

[Scott] And I think that is true of communities of this sort around the country.

[Rushdoony] And it is true if you get into the farming communities of the San Joaquin Valley.

[Scott] Well, that is true throughout the South.

[Rushdoony] Yes and the great plains area.

[Scott] True.

[Hodge] And in a village of this size of 1850 people in Australia you would be lucky to find a church. If you did it would be either an Anglican or ... or Catholic one or maybe a Methodist or ...

[Scott] And no church at all.

[Hodge] Otherwise no church at all.

[multiple voices]

[Hodge] Actually none of those churches that exist they would have been built this century.

[Scott] I see.

[Hodge] Or at least later than 1924.

[Murray] I am curious about this taboo in Australian society against discussing religion. Is this a strong feeling within the people in Australia? Or is this just how strong is it?

[Hodge] It is fairly strong. We would find it very difficult to be open in... you know, in ... in certain areas of society. For example, in business you wouldn’t bring, you know, your Christian faith into business too strongly at all.

[Scott] Well, that is true here. The ... I heard an exchange between Malcolm Muggeridge and William F. Buckley once on television in which Buckley said it would be ... it would destroy a dinner party to mention religion. And Muggeridge said, “Not for me.”

[Rushdoony] Of course any dinner party that Buckley goes to would be destroyed.

[Scott] Yes.

[Rushdoony] The company he keeps would be very unhappy to hear anything about Christianity. [00:09:16]

[Scott] Yes.

[Murray] Is it just that Australian society doesn’t want to deal with heavy subjects or is this such a personal issue with people in Australia that they don’t want to feel like they are imposing their views on someone else?

[Hodge] I think your former comment is the correct one. I think that Australians tend to keep away from the area because they are ignorant of it. They don’t know the answer. And in terms of evangelism in the country, the successful people who are say in church planting in Australia are foreigners, Englishmen or somebody like that who will come into the culture and who don’t have this inhibition. And they will make very successful church planters while the Australians that have been able to overcome it find that once you break the barrier there is this emptiness in people’s lives, of course, you know, that they... that they wanted to talk about.

I think Stoicism is part of the trouble we have... it has developed there for what reasons I am not sure. There is probably some element of that relates back to the... the way I think Christianity has gone post Reformation with the re emergence of... of Neo Platonism following the Reformation that I was talking about with Dr. Rushdoony yesterday or earlier today.

The English church virtually from the time it called Charles II back to the throne abandoned any kid of .... of practical outworking of the faith to the time... and once you start to read their religious literature back into the 1700s you find this... this very shallow Pietism.

[Scott] Sure. {?} parson and all that.

[Rushdoony] Well, it may have been a mere coincidence, but I found when I was there a high percentage of the pastors that I met were of a Scottish background. Would you care to comment on that? It could have been just happenstance.

[Hodge] I can’t comment on that. That is not something that I would have noticed or been aware of.

[Scott] But I think they take it very seriously, more seriously in Scotland still than the English do.

[Rushdoony] Outside the cities.

[Scott] Yes. Well, I was going to say something here on that business of discussing religion in social settings. Up until about 10 years or so ago as far as I am concerned, I think that is true. But I find more and more that the subject comes up. It comes up more than it used to come up. And we have the same thing here. You know, if ... don’t bring up religion or politics, because otherwise there will be a fight. But that was in the day when we had fights. Right now we... they don’t have fights anymore. You can bring up almost anything. [00:12:30]

[Hodge] Men to fight only ...

[Hodge] Men to fight only {?}.

[Scott] Well, men tend to fight only if they are serious about it.

[Hodge] Yeah. I think the Australians, we tend to be fairly given to... to a dislike of hypocrisy of any sort. So they ... the general criticism of the established church is that it is irrelevant, that it is hypocritical and so we are seeing massive abandonment out of the... out of the institutional churches, you know, the Anglican, the Methodist church which has now become the Uniting Church and the Presbyterian churches and the Baptist churches. None of them are really growing. The charismatic churches are the one who are accumulating the numbers and yet they are official statistics in the country for general church population haven’t altered. And that probably indicates that the mainline churches are losing to the newer charismatics, or it might mean that the mainstreams are losing people who are just abandoning the faith all together. And to some extent the... the charismatic churches are bringing new people into the faith. I don’t have enough information to be able to gauge what is exactly happening.

[Scott] Well, I have often wondered at the practice of governments and sociologists in particular who accept the answers that they are given to questions. Margaret Thatcher as very smart on that one. They wanted to have some sort of a sex survey in Britain and she nixed it right away because she said nobody ever tells the truth. And obviously we have, according to the surveys we have enormous number of born again Christians.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] But they are not evident as much as you would think from the statistics.

[Rushdoony] Well, I would say Paterson and Kim’s statistics which were, perhaps, the most thorough, indicated 90 percent of Americans claim they believe in God. Perhaps 80 to 86 percent would actually call themselves Christians, but at the same time they found that while there was a very high affirmation of believing the Bible from cover to cover, when it came to specifics a very small number believed in all 10 of the Commandments. And 43 percent did to believe in more than five of them.

[Scott] Good heavens. Which five?

[Rushdoony] It varied from person to person in terms of their particular predisposition

[Scott] Yes.

[Rushdoony] So there is a great deal of church going. There is a great deal of affirmation of the faith. But there isn’t the practical application. [00:16:00]

I think Dorothy summed it up very well when she reminded

I think Dorothy summed it up very well when she reminded me last night of... this was in relationship to something we were discussing in the car, Ian, of someone we both know who became a convert and a Christian Reconstructionist as well as a Calvinist. He was in his early 30s. No one in his family had ever set foot inside of a church. They vaguely believed in God. It just made sense. And his mother’s reaction was because he had been the one in the family who didn’t affirm a vague believer in God, that it was a good thing to believe in God and if you want to go ahead and believe in Christianity and the whole works, ok, but don’t get fanatical about it. In other words, don’t let it provide you with more than an insurance policy. And she was really upset with him.

[Scott] Oh, I think that is true. That is a general... that is a general... generally speaking that is the case.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] If you take the commandment against false witness seriously...’

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ...you run into more eyeball to eyeball confrontations than you really like.

[Rushdoony] Well....

[Scott] It takes people a while to get used to that.

[Rushdoony] And this is precisely why we are seen by the churches as a threat. We are shaking up the churches and the non churched people because we say you take it all. It is an all or nothing matter.

[Scott] Don’t say yes unless you believe it. [00:18:01]

[Rushdoony] Yes

[Rushdoony] Yes. And I think this is why, of course, in Australia people are upset with us as you have found, Ian.’

[Hodge] The ... the anti intellectualism I think in Australia is... is having a problem in that people don't read serious books. This is brought home very much to me recently because for the American readers they might want to know, or listeners, they might was to know that I actually distribute Reconstructionist material in the... in Australia. I import it and, you know, resell it. And I have a small book distribution there that retails other books as well. But I was talking one of the major suppliers in the country there, here, about 12 months ago about books. And he said if you walk into a Christian book store outside of the metropolitan areas, he said you will not find a hard back book. And the next time I was out in the country I took the opportunity to go and check ad sure enough in the Christian books apart from an odd Bible or an odd commentary on a shelf, they were all the short 150 page paper back books.

[Rushdoony] That is true here.

[Scott] It is not totally true, but it is true to a great extent.

[Rushdoony] What has happened here is that the serious books have now built up a major market through mail sales. For example, a businessman, Walter Hibbert in Delaware has started a great Christian books. And he does not sell fluff. If you order to through the mail supply it, but what he keeps on hand are books like ours and others and reprints of old classics. And what he has demonstrated is that he is highly successful. And Calvin’s commentaries in various mail catalogs are selling in tremendous numbers in this country. So the traditional pietistic, evangelical book store is still a place where you can find fluff and nothing more. But through the mail the sale of serious Christian books of reprints is tremendous.

For example, Lloyd Sprinkle in Virginia has been reprinting old Puritan classics and classics of the last century. And has done a remarkable work so that his books have helped further Christian Reconstruction simply because he is putting them in touch with people who apply the faith across the boards. [00:21:22]

So we do have people like that

So we do have people like that. And, of course, you are doing that now in Australia. And this is how it began here though the mails.

[Hodge] Well, we are exclusively mail order and even the gentleman you mentioned at great Christian books, probably has a fair following in Australia if I gauge the market right. The ... the easy use of credit cards across international borders has made book buying, you know, from Australia to America a quite simple process without any extra cost imposed of foreign bank checks and... and things like that.

[Scott] Well, we have had a publishing companies in the United States going the way of the Hollywood studios and they have been merging like crazy so that there is less and less of them. On the other hand the are a lot of small publishers the are emerging because they find that the big studio approach doesn't work because it is ... and television is falling. And the movies are falling. In the last 20 years there has been an enormous loss of audience for both films and popular and, quote, books, because the popular books are dirty, stupid and they no longer reflect the actual American society. They are fantasies of one sort or another. On the other hand, I notice the catalogs I get. I am getting an increasing number of book catalogs from small publishers who are culling out the better books and making a living out of it.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] So there is a... you know, the pendulum swings. It doesn't go one way all the way. And the pendulum here is swinging back. There are more people, I think, more serious readers and, of course, we have got a big country. So we still don’t have the numbers of readers that we ought to have. They don’t read as much as they do in Europe, for instance. And it doesn’t have the same effect as it does in Europe, but we are moving in that direction.

[Hodge] I think there is another aspect of the ... of the paper back book. If you go back to say a decade and a half, which is about the time that I started to buy your materials and similar reformed materials, the publishing companies were small. The whole concept of Reconstruction, of applying the faith outside the narrow confines of the four walls of the church, there were very few books and what we have started to see I the past decade is a number of paper backs of taking, say, your own Institutes of Biblical Law and some aspects of it and then you can buy, you know, a 150 page paperback on the biblical view of money. Now that wasn’t available just 15 years ago.’

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Hodge] So I think that is one aspect of the... of the paperback market that you are starting to see a different type of book coming not the market place. And we sell a lot of rubbish. I agree. But there are the popularization of some of these books into the mass paperback market. [00:24:52]

[Murray] Are the Australian people content with the

[Murray] Are the Australian people content with the situation as regards religion now? I mean is anybody searching or looking or are they pretty much content with the status quo?

[Hodge] If I could take you out under our beautiful sunny beaches with the surf rolling up, you wouldn’t be worried too much about too many things other than enjoying yourself in the sunshine.

[Rushdoony] When you are in Australia you are on a continent that is removed from the rest of the world. And when you read in the papers there about what is happening in Europe or the United States it is very remote. And so it is hard to get very worked up ...

[Scott] It is a prosperous country, too, isn’t it?

[Rushdoony] As long as they are prosperous they are not going not get too intensely serious. Of course, New Zealand is even less serious. It is further removed. It is off in a different planet almost.

[Murray] Well, that could change over night if the government runs out of money and can’t...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] ...keep bringing out the welfare checks.

[Hodge] Ah, they... they... it is... that... that aspect of it is becoming a major problem to our... to our government in that if you look at the demographics of Australian population over the next 20, 30 years. We have had, to go back a little bit, we have had over the last 10 to 15 years a doubling of the retirement age population as a percentage of the... of the population from five percent to 10 percent.

[Scott] The birthrate falling?

[Hodge] That is right. The birthrate has been falling. The ... the projections are that by around, I think, the year 2020 or 2030 that that will be up to 20 percent or even higher of the work force. So the... the government is having... has a major problem of welfare on its hand, because welfare is virtually a guarantee in our country. [00:27:09]

They are moving to resolve that problem by now insisting

They are moving to resolve that problem by now insisting that as part of the wages of most Australians now there will be compulsory superannuation or real retirement money. Five percent of a person’s wages will be paid by the employer into a superannuation fund. This is to get people off the welfare roles.

[Scott] Nursing homes and all that. They are looking forward to that.

[Hodge] Well, before I... I just go on to that, the ... the superannuation is the at the moment at the age 65 providing you have certain limits in terms of income and assets. You are entitled to a government pension check for the rest of your life.

Industries such as the one I am involved in have specialized in maximizing the pension that people can get from the government by usage of the current laws that are there to ... to get people maximum government welfare. What is going to happen is that the ... I believe the government is going to force everybody into a national savings plan which is the superannuation scheme. Then they will make it impossible to collect the lump sum of money that you have accumulated. They will force you into taking a pension and, of course, a pension is taxable at normal income rates. Now at present levels we can take somebody in our company to pay 250,000 dollars of assets, produce them an income, combined income for husband and wife for probably 25, 30,000 dollars per annum per year and we can probably get the taxes they pay down to maybe 2000 dollars.

If that 30,000 dollars came I as an ordinary salary into the hands of the wage earner, which would be probably the husband, the tax level on 30,000 dollars would be something around seven or 8000 dollars. And that is my prediction as the way the government is going to solve its welfare problem.

[Scott] Share the poverty.

[Rushdoony] The problems that I have seen here and have been personally involved in some situations where church troubles have developed and in one I went to arbitrate last May or June it was where the younger generation, because of the kind of education they have had and the kid of world they lived in, having been born since World War II, are really Totalitarians in their nature and they want a Totalitarian church. And they either want to rule in a Totalitarian manner or rule... be ruled. Do you have that problem there in the churches? Is there an Authoritarianism arising? [00:30:20]

[Hodge] I think there is ...

[Hodge] I think there is ... there has been an Authoritarianism in some aspects, especially the reform community. Yeah, they are the Presbyterians still seem to have an Authoritarianism that really hasn’t existed so much in the traditional churches. Our main stream churches by and large have tended to become liberal over the ... over the last half century or so. And those that fought against Liberalism are such as the Baptists Union in the state where I am, has really only started to become liberal in probably in the last 20 or 30 years.

On the other hand, just as a... by comment there. We are seeing the one church which is reforming itself which is the old Presbyterian Church. And our mutual friend there is, you know, Dr. Nigel Lee is having a ... a very enormous impact within that denomination to ... to train young men back in... in the orthodox faith. And that has reached the stage where you just last month in the general assembly of Australia there they have it termed... overturned the women’s ordination ruling that came in a decade and a half ago. And now the official position is that in the churches is no more women will be ordained into the ministry.

The Authoritarianism has... has probably existed in some of the fringe groups. There was one notable group that broke away from one of the mainstream churches in the late 60s over Liberalism. And they became very Authoritarian to the point where people could not even relocate into a community they were... where there was no, you know, denomination in, where they had no... no local church. And they were quite infamous for their very strict rules. Although they have reformed recently and it has been very encouraging to see that they have gone back to some of the people they have hurt over the years and apologized to them and tried to make amends in the... in the appropriate manner.

The Authoritarianism has arisen in the ... some aspects of the charismatic movement, of course, as you probably have here. But apart from that, Australians don't take too much to Authoritarianism. We tend to be a lawless bunch if we can get the chance.

[Scott] Well, the Americans have always talked about that. American independence. But since World War II I don’t see very much of it. We used to. We used to. Before the government created so many regulations and before these social sanctions began to apply to the use of free speech, we were very ... we were quite free. When I was very young we were very free. But we have ... we really do not have freedom in the United States today. Anyone who thinks we do is under an illusion. We don’t have freedom of speech and we lack freedom of expression in business and many other areas. [00:33:48]

Men can be ruined very easily here today by either

Men can be ruined very easily here today by either the government or private industry. Don’t make waves is the national slogan. And I get the impression from what you said about the possibility of compulsory savings and all of that that a similar trend is going on in Australia.

[Hodge] the typical Australian attitude to authority is, you know, no one is telling me what to do. And yet the history of the ... of the country is that the government can tell people what to do and the people do not revolt. They don’t complain. We are taxed at enormously high rates. And there is very little official complaining in the sense of organized. Now Australians will do everything they can to avoid paying the taxes.

[Scott] Sure.

[Hodge] And, in fact, there is a very good story, if I can just interrupt the proceedings with a little light heartedness again of two Australians who were put out of work in the recent recession and decided that they had to find something to do and in the belief the self employment offered the best job security, the first one hired and the last one fired, that they would go into business for themselves. And, of course, the only way to do this was to get tax free income. Now the only way to do that is you have got to get cash in the hand. So they decided to set themselves up with a truck and one of the roads around the Sydney area and sell what we call rock melons which is your cantaloupes, I think it is, off the back of the truck and get cash in the hand and that way they wouldn’t have to declare it to the tax office.

And they were selling the cantaloupe or the rock melons for one dollar each and they were buying them for one dollar each. And after two or three hours of this one turned to the other and he said, “We are not making very much money, are we?”

And his friend says, “No, what we need is a bigger truck.”

[Scott] They were going to make money on the... {?}

[Rushdoony] Well, the West was known as the wild west, the West of the United States. Although someone recently in a study showed that on a per capita basis, Dodge City at its worst was law abiding compared to Washington, DC today. [00:36:25]

However, there was a fierce spirit of independence

However, there was a fierce spirit of independence throughout the West which was still somewhat backward as compared to the east before World War II. For example, when Roosevelt was voted into office he carried with him men of like mind who were going to reorganize everything everywhere and one western state which was a ranching state with a lot of one teacher schools where all eight grades and... were taught and they decided to close these down and have boarding schools and take the rancher’s children and put them in the boarding schools. And the bill was put on the docket and on the day that it was to be voted on, the gallery above the state assembly was full of ranchers with rifles pointed down at the legislators. The bill unanimously lost.

Now that was the kind of temper that marked the West. Those ... I... I know one of the men who was involved in it. Those men were fiercely Christian and fiercely independent, law abiding, but they were not going to allow any group of liberal egg heads to destroy their families by removing their children from their homes and put them in boarding schools.

So that spirit disappeared after the war steadily. I think it will return with a revival of the faith. And there are people now who, in one way or another, are defying the church and state and making stands. I had someone call me a little before we left to come here who has fought church and state alike and it has cost him 40,000 and he is not going to give up. But it has wiped him out. But he is to go on fighting. [00:39:14]

So it is because he is a man of strong faith and I...

So it is because he is a man of strong faith and I do believe as the faith returns that resistance will return. And those whom I know in Australia who are staunch believers and Reconstructionists have that kind of faith. So I think it is coming in Australia.

[Scott] Well, the root of rebellion is, of course, going in Louisiana. And the President of the United States and all the press is very indignant about it. The... there was a ... a revolution of sorts through the ballot box in New Jersey. They through out the whole state legislature and put in another ... another party in which has not been paid much attention to, but I thought it was very significant. And I think that if we run into rough times, which we seem to be fairly ... fairly ahead of us, because the Democrats do not have anymore ideas on how to get us into a better frame than the Republicans. If we have rough times you will have a resurgence of the faith because, oddly enough, privation bring you closer to God and you may see some interesting events here.

The big point, as far as I am concerned, is that you cannot win anything if you don’t fight for anything. And a man who won’t fight is obviously a loser and we have got an awful lot of losers in the country in terms of their happiness, in terms of their spiritual values, in terms of their lives. You get too many losers for too long a time, well, then, something breaks.

[Rushdoony] I think Australia’s problem, if I may be so bold, as to analyze it, is like that of some of our states like Oregon which is a one city state. It has one big city, Portland which has an overwhelming proportion of the population and therefore dominates a basically very conservative and Christian community. Well, Australia with its 15 million has so many of them concentrated in a few cities and they do not represent the country at large, because I have been there three times and once I was never outside of Sydney, but the other times I was. And you can see the difference. Sydney is not too much different from our big cities. But the smaller areas there is a different temper. [00:42:19]

[Hodge] Socialism, of course, ruins people’s initiative

[Hodge] Socialism, of course, ruins people’s initiative.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Hodge] And we are heavily socialized in the country. A lot of our problems in terms of the city and the country have been created in that there is a ... and yet the rural community has declined for a number of circumstances, increased productivity, of course, I mean is one aspect of it. People have had turned to alternatives. And because they are not independently minded enough to take initiative and build for themselves industries, they tended to look to the government as the solution to the problem.

The first thing the government will say, well, you know, I moved out of the city where you have got more chance of getting a job. And so you had these enormous concentrations of people into the city area rather than what I think is ... has got potential to become a ... a ... c change I directly of that in the sense that we are relatively affluent. And I think the younger generation in Australia... I say younger generation. I mean probably under 45, have probably tended to realize that Socialism hasn’t got the answer.

It is probably curious that many of the blue collar unionists, you know, the first thing they do is send their kids off to university to become white collar workers.

[Scott] Oh, sure.

[Hodge] And the white collar worker soon realizes that the way to poverty is to be a member of the union where, you know, your wage is limited to whatever the union negotiates for you. In the non unionized sector, of course, you can take a job and increase your capacity according to your own negotiating skills and your ability to what you are doing as to ... or your ability and your job that you have. And I think we are seeing an increasing amount of that... of ... of Australians being willing to... to take the initiative in terms of business.

I think this has been helped by a number of American styles, gurus and marketing gurus who have come across there and {?} really brought Christianity into their business market place there and waking people up that there is an alternative to ... to Socialism.

Now if you take the biblical principle that as {?} puts it so well, you know, you can have anything in live that you want if you hope enough other people get in life what they really want really is a rephrasing of the biblical concept of service to your fellow man in some form. And I think if that could be established into the Australian attitude, I think this is the opportunity that the church is facing in Australia right at this moment. If they can take the faith and make it relevant to the Australians then I believe the Australians, who tend to be fairly pragmatic, will embrace Christianity. I am very confident that Reconstructionism can eventually take off there. And I could tell you some interesting stories where it already has. [00:45:27]

To give you one example there is a ...

To give you one example there is a ... I have a man who started buying the materials five or six years ago and he is a chief engineer at one of the hospitals in the state of Victoria. And he joined the local reformed church community there and he became a home schooler and an avid promoter of Christian schools. He eventually almost with reluctance convinced a local pastor that he had to do something in terms of educating his own children outside the state school system and that pastor today is home schooling and the church, for example, now provides support facilities to the families in the area who are home schooling whether they be Catholic, Lutheran, or members of their own community to the point now that the church is building a resource center on the property and each Wednesday they now are at 50, 60 families in the geographic, located roughly within a 100 mile radius accumulate there once a week and participate together with sporting activities and the mothers talk together and the parents talk together.

At the same time this man is gone into the hospital community and our hospitals there are all government run and government financed, but the ... I the current climate of the funding for the state government hospitals has bee declining so Hank in this case has gone back to the hospital with a proposal that they start a ... a fee for service based service back to the community providing one of these remote controlled services for elderly people where they wear a device around their neck and they can activate their telephone call which... their telephone which will put a call through to this hospital in Victoria and he has been given approval to proceed in ... in that direction, to provide in an nation wide service back to the community on a profit making basis and he has done it because he has read the Reconstructionist materials and is saying that this is the direction that as Christians we must go.

[Rushdoony] Well, when I was first contacted by Australians with regard to Christian schools and home schools, it was the early 1970s. And by the late 70s there were only a handful in all of Australia. And now the movement has grown very rapidly so that it is important enough for New South Wales to legislate against. They are seeing it as a threat. So things are happening, I believe, in Australia. . [00:48:23]

[Hodge] Yeah. Our problem really is those percentages of Christians here in proportion to the total population.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Hodge] If we could increase, you know, that side of the equation then, of course, we would see the Christian influence become much more powerful.

[Rushdoony] Well one thing that has increased the number of Christians here has been the Christian schools. A great many parents from coast to coast out of disgust with the public schools have sent their children to Christian schools and the end result is that they are brought into the faith. As a matter of fact, the first church and state case here in this country was in the 70s the Wisner case in Ohio. And they went after this small school. They told the parents to come to court with their children’s bags packed, because their children were going to be taken from them and placed in foster homes for their welfare.

[Scott] Was that the Amish case?

[Rushdoony] No.

[Scott] No.

[Rushdoony] It was an independent Baptist. And Bill Ball, the Catholic attorney took the case and won a smashing victory. And this was if they resisted if they didn’t shut down the school immediately. And they had a meeting. And the parents were afraid they hadn't slept all night after receiving the court order. But the one man who bucked the whole idea of his children being in the Christian school, a garage mechanic who was to Christian and had been hostile to his wife’s faith was the one who sparked the resistance. And he said that his boy had been a brat before he went to the Christian school and he said, “Now he says sir when he talks to me.” And he said, “I am going to fight for that school.”

And the Christians at the meeting were embarrassed. Here was a lone Atheist in their midst and he was going to fight for that school. [00:51:10]

So they went to court and they won a smashing victory

So they went to court and they won a smashing victory.

Now that is the kind of thing that has helped Christianity in the past 20 years grow so dramatically. A lot of the parents of these Christian school people have come into the faith.

[Hodge] The issue, of course, in the Wisner case which you mentioned, if I understand it correctly, was the question of government registration of the school.

[Rushdoony] Yes and government control.

[Hodge] And so far we haven’t seen strong resistance to that kind of mentality. The education act in New south Wales, as I said earlier, which has brought in curricula... curriculum control, has not been resisted in any strength. The churches that have... mainly the smaller fundamentalist churches which have taken a stand verbally prior to this about any kind of government registration have all capitulated and taken what amounts to a government registration for them to exist as... as independent schools.

But I think our real hope is the fact that as the educators... as the state education system decays even more, because they don't have the {?} of education {?} work. We are seeing a... a... an outflow out of our public school system. In our state the increase has been from 23 to 28 percent of the population, school age population is now in private schools which are to necessarily Christian.

[Scott] 23 percent?

[Hodge] It is around 28 percent.

[Scott] 28 percent?

[Hodge] And we had Sam Blumenfeld there last month and he got on the radio station from our home and mentioned his books and for the next week we did nothing but answer the telephone from parents who had this enormous problem at the local school and could see that the children were not being taught to read. This is the opportunity, I think, for... for the Christian school movement.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Hodge] And the churches.

[Rushdoony] Well, what happened here was that for some years they were ready to go along because they didn’t know any different. Then when wisdom resisted, others started resisting little by little, here there and across the country. People became ashamed. And people that had accepted licensure mailed back their licenses and the resistance began to spread so that now the only way the statists can think of bringing them back under control is through the voucher plan, by providing a voucher for each student whether they go to a state school or a Christian school or a private school. But since the Supreme Court has said controls must follow vouchers, they hope thereby to control them and brig them back into the status quo. [00:54:34]

So now we have another battle over that pattern

So now we have another battle over that pattern. But what will happen there is that more to people resist. They may even go to jail as some had to here. But suddenly people will wake up to the fact that it is morally wrong and that will begin to spread.

[Scott] Well, the main thing is that the poor children will come out as ignoramuses.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And their parents will realize it and they will just create a whole army, a whole army.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] You know that it is... it is the law of diminishing returns. You cannot push around most of the people.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And that people get in positions of governmental authority and they feel that nothing can happen to them. Well history proves otherwise.

[Hodge] I think we are seeing that in Australia with the question of the national identity card and the gun control issue in the... I the states. You... when the people are pushed, they know eventually dig their heel in.

[Scott] Sure.

[Hodge] It is a question of what point they will dig the heel I and what circumstances in the providence of God push them to the point.

[Rushdoony] Well, our time is nearly up. Douglas, you have been rather quiet. Would you like to say something now before we conclude?

[Murray] Oh, I just have one quick question. Is there a lot of home Bible study groups outside of the main cities where there are no churches in the smaller communities? You mentioned there are no churches. Do you people get together in home Bible studies?

[Hodge] Well, I don’t know enough to be able to answer the question. Probably in those smaller communities unless the newer charismatic churches have made an inroad or you have a, you know, a traditional evangelical church of some sort, no.

[Rushdoony] We have a number of people who subscribe to my Bible study tapes and have home church meetings invite others. In a few instances they have grown into sizable churches. But there are some who have estimated that the home church movement in the United States today easily has over a million people in it. So I think perhaps you could encourage that home church movement. [00:57:14]

[Hodge] There is an element of there especially among

[Hodge] There is an element of there especially among some of the charismatic groups who, you know, smaller groups. So it is existent. To what extent, I ... I just don’t have the knowledge.

[Rushdoony] Well, you can advertise it with the tapes and then encourage them to study the Bible together.

This is going on among both Catholics and Protestants here, because of the breakdown of both groups. There are many, many devout people who are no longer content with what the mainline church offers.

[Scott] It is very interesting, your taboos, politics and religion. In the United States both the religious and the political establishments are falling and, you know, they are not going to fall into a total vacuum. They are going to fall into alternative movements.

[Rushdoony] Well, our time is just about up. Thank you all for listening. And, Ian, it is a pleasure to have you hear with us.

[Hodge] It has been my pleasure. Thank you.

[Voice] Authorized by the Chalcedon Foundation. Archived by the Mount Olive Tape Library. Digitized by ChristRules.com.

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