Christians and Politics in Washington DC - RR161BN122

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Contents

Lesson

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Christians & Politics in Washington D.C.
Course: Course - From the Easy Chair
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 122
Length: 0:53:21
TapeCode: RR161BN122
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, RR161BN122, Christians & Politics in Washington D.C. from the Easy Chair, excellent colloquies on various subjects.

[Rushdoony] This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 242, April 17, 1991.

Otto Scott, John Lofton and I are now going to discuss a subject which may sound like an oxymoron or like a radical contradiction in terms, Christians and politics in Washington.

Now a great many things can be said on the subject. I recall vividly in the late 50s one Washington commentator who said superficially the most religious city in the United States was Washington, DC. Everybody went to church who was anybody. But, he said, there is not a thimble full of real Christianity in all of Washington, DC. It is all a show for the public.

Well, of course, at that time it was still important to maintain appearance. These were the years of Eisenhower. Since then it has not become that important to maintain appearances, although one book recently maintained that however intellectually lacking and spiritually ignorant the average American may be, he wants his politicians to be good Christians. And he attributed the defeat of Dukakis essentially to that point. He was the first man who gave a consistently secularly image and both he and his wife communicated a secular image, whereas Bush and especially Mrs. Bush carried the old time appeal and she was like a motherly or grandmotherly woman who could be taken for a Sunday school teacher or something of the sort.

So, as I was telling John today, I think perhaps the winning margin in Bush’s favor may have been the fact that even though people thought he was a wimp, Mrs. Bush was appealing to millions of Americans.

So, at any rate, with that very general and not very important introduction, what would you like to say, Otto, on Christians and politics in Washington? [00:03:31]

[Scott] Well, I think not too long ago, I think when

[Scott] Well, I think not too long ago, I think when I was working on a manuscript you and I were both interested in, I looked up the polytheistic nature of the Roman state. And in the Roman state all the gods were recognized so long as the believers of these particular worshippers of these particular gods recognized the state over everything. Now that is our... that is our situation. We are living I a polytheistic society where anybody who wants to pick up a religion from the street and call it a religion can do so. We have the Satanists, for instance, are registered in our government...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ... as equal with any church in the land. So therefore when we talk about Christianity in... in Washington, I think of these prayer breakfasts and just before they stick a knife in your back and give you an autopsy, you know, on Monday morning and I think that most people in this country are still living in the fantasy...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] We don’t really have a Christian government.

[Rushdoony] No. And I think Barbara Bush is beginning to wake up some people with her pro abortion stand which was not made clear before the election and her strongly pro gay stand which, again, was not made clear before the election.

[Scott] I can’t understand women who like men who don’t like women.

[Rushdoony] Yes. There is something weird to say the least about that.

You mentioned Rome. Now a very, very wise and able historian under whom I studied a good many years ago, spoke of Rome’s careful control of all religions. Any new religion that came into the empire was viewed with suspicion and then when they finally felt it would be wise, it was licensed. You could hold no meeting without having a permit from the Roman officials and you had to offer incense at a government center to Caesar. So you acknowledged that Caesar is Lord, literally. [00:06:10]

And, of course, Christianity refused to do that

And, of course, Christianity refused to do that. But Rome was at least, however evil, wise in that it did see the necessity of religion to hold an empire together. It... they had to have social cement. Politics could not provide that. It had to be the religions and therefore the religions were the most controlled aspect of the Roman Empire. There could be no unofficial meetings, only licensed meetings and that is why the Church was persecuted, because they would not apply for a permit and be controlled and admit caesar is Lord.

[Scott] Well, we have had the same problem. Street preachers have been arrested and put in prison as under Charles II. We have church groups that have been told not to hold a meeting because they violate the zoning ordinances. We are not in as good a position as many of the religions under the Romans, but there is a great difference. The Christians under the Romans wouldn’t admit caesar was lord. But the Christians under the United States government will agree that the government is lord.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And Rome, even though it totally controlled—and I mean totally controlled—all religions, knew that religion was valuable. And our federal government and our state governments refuse to admit that fact.

[Scott] Well, they think it is trivial. It is stupid. It is backward. It is unscientific and it is intolerant.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, John?

[Lofton] Amen to all of that. I agree.

At ... at your suggestion, Rush, one of the books I looked at and have read large parts of it, not all of it, some of it is very heavy going, quite frankly, for me anyway, is Charles Norris Cochran’s book Christianity in Classical Culture.

[Rushdoony] One of the great books of the century.

[Lofton] I think it is Oxford University...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Lofton] What? In the mid 1940s, I believe,

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Lofton] ...or early 40s.

[Rushdoony] Early 40s.

[Lofton] And one of the points that Cochran makes is that Christians in the Greco Roman era denounced, Cochran says, with uniform vigor and consistency, the idea that permanent security, peace and freedom could be achieved through political action.

Now what really made those words jump off the page at me is that is exactly the way Christians in Washington, DC think and behave. They believe that permanent security, peace and freedom can be achieved through political action.

[Rushdoony] Yes. [00:09:03]

[Lofton] They do not

[Lofton] They do not... they do to think with minds that are Christians... with Christian. They do not use Scripture. There is a Christian establishment in Washington and it has become just another interest group. Oh, sure, they pray at their meetings and thy have a veneer of morality and they may have one or two issues that they are a little stronger on than some other groups, but basically they are just another special interest group.

Now let me give you one example of the kind of thing I am talking about. Robert Dugan is a top official in the National Association of Evangelicals in Washington. He has been there many years. He is a member of the Christian establishment, I would say. He has written a new book about how to ... how to engage in politics as a Christian and he says this. “My evangelical brothers and sisters occasionally cause heartburn sometimes by their use of the Bible in the political arena. Too often I have watched a Christian wave his Bible in the air at a committee hearing.” I have never seen such a thing. By the way, I have never seen anyone in Washington at any hearing waving a Bible of all things, but maybe Bob has.

And then he quotes the theologian attorney John Warwick Montgomery, he quotes him approvingly as saying this. “Believers should strive to legislate all those socially valuable moral teachings of Scripture whose value can be meaningfully argued for in a pluralistic society.” He says that evangelicals must not engage in “Christian crusades”, that is put into quote marks, implying that it is Christians versus pagans, but should offer arguments on scientific, social and ethical grounds, potentially meaningful to the non Christian, unquote.

Now that, of course...

[Rushdoony] That is typical of Montgomery. He sells out the biblical position...

[Lofton] So much... so much for the early Church. I mean we are in a battle with ... we are in a crusade. We are against pagans, but we can’t use any of this language and we certainly can’t use the Bible. We have to be scientific and that is exactly the way Christians have behaved in Washington for, what? Over a decade now since the so-called Christian right began and their other failures.

[Scott] Maybe we should ask in an organized way for the elimination of all labels for no Jew to be allowed to say that he is Jewish, for no Mormon to say that he is a Mormon and for so forth and so on and just see what happens. We accuse them of carrying their ethnicity...

[Lofton] Crusades.

[Scott] ... or their religion into the public arena where it doesn’t belong. And just see what happens. [00:12:02]

[Rushdoony] I encountered a Christian lobbyist of considerab

[Rushdoony] I encountered a Christian lobbyist of considerable power and funds who was instantly hostile. I hadn't opened my mouth. The position was that I was one of these people who went all out for the faith and made it impossible for anyone to work in the political arena. In other words, the thesis was unless you began as a compromiser and you were ready to be the nice boy or a nice girl and go along with the politicians, it ... they weren’t going to do you a favor. The moral ground, the theological ground meant nothing. It was simply a political game. And I was instantaneously disliked before I opened my mouth because I was obviously one of these people who stood on principle and that was said with contempt.

[Lofton] Well, it is really pathetic what some of the Christians in Washington, members of this Christian establishment consider to be victories. In his book Bob Dugan on page 137 under a heading, “A string of victories of the evangelicals,” the first one is that they got the appointment of Dr. C. Everett Koop as surgeon general who I know...

[Scott] He was well named that fellow.

[Lofton] One of the greatest disasters of any Christian named to any post. And a second achievement—presumably these are in the order of importance—was that in 1983 the President signed into law the year of the Bible. These are... this is the list of a string of victories.

[Scott] That is a landmark. Yes.

[Lofton] Isn’t it? You remember that, Otto.

[Scott] Oh, sure.

[Lofton] What a year, 1983.

[Scott] Well...

[Lofton] Year of the Bible, which we can’t waive...’

[multiple voices]

[Rushdoony] {?} of all people.

[Scott] Well, actually...

[Lofton] Yes. That is right.

[Scott] ...other groups are treated with a certain amount of respect in Washington, at least public respect. But Christians are treated with signal disrespect. Now I have never quite understood how the educators in this country got the idea, probably from the courts, that Christianity is outlawed in the schools.

[Lofton] Oh, yes. Yes.

[Scott] Or how the court has managed to do this without any of the justices being strung up.

[Rushdoony] Well....

[Scott] Turn the other cheek seems to have been taken too much to heart by the American Christian community.

[Rushdoony] And not in a biblical sense, but in the sense of an excuse for cowardice. That is the way it is interpreted. It is a vindication of cowardice. [00:15:02]

[Lofton] Well, the thing that interests me about Mr

[Lofton] Well, the thing that interests me about Mr. Dugan’s book is that several years ago I attended a panel discussion in Washington titled, religion, politics and the media. And there was a film clip shown of a Tim Lehay of Family Life seminars. His wife Beverly is a head of the Concerned Women for America or of America. And in this film Tim was saying that secular humanists should not hold public office in America because the Constitution is not compatible with such a view. He ... Tim felt that we should give candidates for public office a questionnaire. That we should ask them questions about their beliefs about God and the Bible. And when Bob Dugan was called upon to comment on the film clip, Dugan denounced Tim Lehay saying that these questions are embarrassing and not part of the mainstream of evangelical Christianity. Dugan said, “We, at the NAE, encourage people not to ask these kinds of questions of candidates for public office.”

So we have got this peculiar situation where Christian’s religion is totally irrelevant and it is ok to ask a candidate about his position on everything except God and the Bible and Christ. It is very peculiar.

[Scott] Or even on Christianity.

[Lofton] Sure.

[Scott] It seems. I mean if a non Christian candidate for high office is being interviewed, I would think it would be very relevant to ask him his attitude towards the Christian community and Christian rights. One of the things that really annoys me about most of the press comments on Saturday today, you know, they have a little ghetto page where they say a few things about Christian activities. You never know the affiliations of the fellow who is doing the reporting. And one of the first rules when I was a reporter and one of my first rules was: Who says? Who is he? What is his background? And I have often thought it would be very nice if we could insist that those who make religious comments about religious groups put in their own background.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] So we know...

[Lofton] Yes.

[Scott] ... who is saying this about whom.

[Lofton] Well, it is most peculiar what I am... what I am talking about because in Washington, DC it certainly is not only acceptable, but some would say mandatory that if you were a person who was Jewish and there was a candidate for public office you would ask them at some point: What is your position on aid to Israel?

[Scott] Yes.

[Lofton] That wouldn’t be looked upon as some insane effort to launch a crusade or impose your faith on someone. Indeed, there are very powerful organizations there that that is the only issue they ever talk about.

[Scott] {?} what is your... what is your position on a number of other matters?

[Lofton] Oh.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Lofton] Some of them quite ... some... [00:18:09]

[multiple voices]...

[multiple voices]

[Scott] And especially on matters that are very important to very large groups of people.

[Lofton] Yeah, like I say....

[multiple voices]

[Rushdoony] ... on South Africa.

[multiple voices]

[Lofton] Oh, on Apartheid, sure. That is...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Lofton] These are big {?}

[Scott] We... we know the position on Apartheid, but what... what about the government of South Africa? Do we really consider it the font of all evil?

[Rushdoony] Yes. That is what I meant.

[Lofton] Yes.

[Scott] Yeah.

[Lofton] Yes. Well, certain litmus tests, as I say, are not only fine and acceptable, they are mandatory, where as if any Christian has the temerity to even obliquely raise the ... what I call the G word, about God, then they are shouted down or considered some kid of horrible bigot.

[Scott] Well, Robert S. Lichter and his associates have a research outfit, as you know, in Washington. And they have recently done this study that was commissioned by the Catholic Church about the treatment of the Catholic Church by the media. Well, of course, we know the conclusion. We know that the media has been wiping its feet on the Catholic Church for a long time, for a generation at least. And I am surprised that the church even spends money to see that this is... has to be proven. And Lichter said something rather interesting. He said in examining the press reports and the television reports on the activities of the Catholics, they came to the conclusion that they were not reports, because they lacked a great deal in terms of valid statistics and precise detail. He said they are actually stories, stories about the church, stories about people in the church and stories about arguments in the church. And almost all of them portrayed the church as obsolete, medieval, intolerant, out of touch and so forth. Well, of course, evangelicals have been treated as unwashed, the duke’s family...’

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ... the duke’s family on stage and, of course, we are well aware of the Reconstructionist are... are allied with Lucifer.

[Lofton] The {?}

[Scott] Yes. {?}. I am sorry I didn’t think of that myself. It is a very great...

[Lofton] The dukes and the {?}.

[Scott] The dukes and the {?}.

[Lofton] Yeah, that...

[Scott] Now this... this goes on, but if you bring up some other issues that involve some other groups the letters to the editor go on for weeks. You try to find a live nerve in the Christian community and you can’t. You can stick the needle in no matter how deep you like and there is not even a twitch.

[Lofton] Well, see, that is the sad... I mean, I think it is awful that the media portrays the Catholic Church in the light it does and evangelicals, but those people...

[Scott] They get no reaction.

[Lofton] They have asked for it. They have... they have ... they... they have prostrated themselves and said, “Use me as a door mat.” The Catholic Church will use money to pay for the study to periodically tally the number of wounds it has suffered, but it has no strategy to combat it. Look at that. I mentioned Cardinal O’Conner. I mean, he... he originally got very angry that homosexuals were marching in the Saint Patrick’s Day parade. He originally had a very hard line courageous position. But then he agrees meet with Mayor Dinkins and they come out shaking hands and the story and the editorials are all that O’Conner has ... has been suing for peace with Dinkins. [00:21:35]

Dinkins... Dinkins didn’t even... Dinkins marked... marched with the homosexuals in the parade. Said, “Well, I won’t lead the Saint Patrick’s Day parade. I will go march with the homosexual contingent.” He didn’t just march in a parade with them. He said, “If you are going to try to kick them out, then I am... and then they come anyway, I will march with them.”

So, too.... if homosexuals are, what, say, two percent or less of the population of this country, they have more clout than Christians who are four out of five adults.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Lofton] ...in this country. It is amazing. And depressing.

[Scott] Well, the parties, the two major parties select the nominees. No other nominees appear on the ballot so that you have your choice between whichever one of two men selected by the oligarchy, the men who control the nomination process are way in the background. You don’t see them. You don’t hear them. You are to invited to their conclaves. This is ... this is what the vote means. We have been telling the rest of the world that once they get to vote, everything will be wonderful.

[Rushdoony] But Nevada, I understand, now has an alternative. You can check the last item on each slate on the ballot and it reads, “None of the above.”

[Lofton] Yes.

[Rushdoony] There has to be another election if none of the above wins. I think we need that in every state.

[Scott] That was John Randolph’s suggestion. He said, “If nobody voted the term of office would expire and the government would collapse.”

[Lofton] I was... I was looking for the copy of the page out of Robert Dugan’s book because one of the points he made was that, well, you know, it was once said there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the parties, but there really is, because the Republican party cares more about the moral issues than the Democratic party. I don’t know when Bob’s book was written, but obviously it was before Bush became the first president in our history to invite to White House bill signing ceremonies open avowed homosexual individuals and homosexual representatives of homosexual lobbying groups in Washington. Bush invited them to bill signing ceremonies and Dugan and a number of other Christians requested a meeting with Bush to complain about this and Dugan had drafted an executive order that he wanted the president to sign and, of course, the president has done nothing about it and Walt... I remember seeing Dugan at the microphone talking to the press about how we are going to really put the heat on the president over this. And I thought, Mr. Dugan doesn’t understand. The president doesn’t care what you think. You are to going to put any heat on him. If he cared what you thought there would have never been homosexuals at a White House bill signing ceremony. [00:24:48]

[Rushdoony] Well, he fired Douglas Weed

[Rushdoony] Well, he fired Douglas Weed...

[Lofton] Douglas, of course. Douglas...

[Rushdoony] ...for protesting it.

[Lofton] That very event. Doug Weed wrote letters. That is right. There is no group in Washington that is less feared than Christians.

[Scott] Well, I think it is interesting because the Democratic party, more than the Republican party has pulled on what used to be known as a time honored religious issues, compassion for the poor, the sick, the needy, the homeless, which at one time was the province of the Church. They have pulled on the idea of kindness towards minorities, the idea that you should help the people who are deprived and so forth and so on. And these instruments of the church have been seized by the politicians, by the lawyers, by the courts.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And they have been used against the Church. Now Christianity, as you know, is the most catholic of all religions.

[Lofton] Yes.

[Scott] You don’t have to be from any family. You don’t have to be from any place. You don’t have to be from any background. You can not be of any race to be a Christian. And yet they have actually called Christianity intolerant because they hold churches. I heard Jerry Falwell answer that question one time on CNN. I thought he did well.

They said, “Well, don't you get up and preach that yours is the only truth?”

And he said, “Yes, and so do the leaders of every other church. What would you prefer that we say?”

[Rushdoony] And what do the politicians do but proclaim that theirs is the only truth?

[Scott] Of course. But, you see, all their... their... their... they have floated heresies out. There is actually a feeling now in the Christian community. I remember listening to Billy Graham once and at the end of his whole thing he said, “Stand up and embrace somebody of another race.”

And I thought, why another race? What has that got to do with the price of fish?

[Rushdoony] Well, Otto, I must take my hat off to you for your very great spirit of tolerance, listening to Billy Graham. That takes...

[Scott] Oh, I read the New York Times...

[multiple voices]

[Rushdoony] Very courageous.

[Scott]

I do all kinds of things.

[Rushdoony] That would sour my disposition permanently to listen to Billy Graham and read the New York Times.

[Scott] Graham is a very interesting speaker.

[Lofton] He is.

[Scott] He is an excellent speaker and he breaks it up. He breaks up his themes. He doesn't stay with a particular point very long. Then he breaks it up with an anecdote or a... a mild joke, whatever. He shifts. He is very skilful. [00:27:46]

[Rushdoony] He is a skilful operator

[Rushdoony] He is a skilful operator.

[Scott] Very skilful. And it is impossible at the end to say what he said. But you do have a good feeling.

[Lofton] The warm fuzzies.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Yes.

[Rushdoony] The warm fuzzies.

[Lofton] Which last at least 30 seconds.

[Scott] Oh, yes. Well, I do know... I do know a man who was converted at a Billy Graham gathering. But his conversion never seemed to proceed beyond that point. There is no difference in his life before or after that conversion.

[Lofton] No, the... the problem with this advice that Christians should put away the Bible and the idea that they are on some kind of a crusade is that it causes them to sheath the sword.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Lofton] This... the ... the Scripture tells us that the ... the sword of truth is God’s Word. And so Christians get intimidated and they come to Washington and they don't really preach God’s Word. When they get an hour with the President of the United States they don’t tell the President of the United States who claims to be a Christian what God requires of him. They talk about their own, you know, I give Bible week past or something that is just a basic political agenda.

One of the things that strikes me when I read the Bible is that when Christians and believers in the Old Testament got before someone in the government, the king or the prince, they told him, often at great peril to their lives what God required them to do and their government.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Lofton] I have been reading... I have been reading some Scottish Puritan sermons and English Puritan sermons of ... of Christians that got before their government, their parliament and they not only waved the Bible, they waved it for three or four hours. I mean, they were marvelous detailed sermons about what the civil government had to do. And that is totally lost in Washington. I don’t know anyone who preaches to the parliament or to the head of the executive branch about what God requires him to do. Some way we have to restore that tradition in this country.

[Rushdoony] Yes. I am ... one of my earlier books, I don’t remember where, quoted a writer from the last century who began to see the drift of things, Emory Stores. And he said, “When hell goes out of preaching, justice goes out of civil government.” [00:30:23]

[Scott] Well, of course, the biggest biblical point

[Scott] Well, of course, the biggest biblical point is the limitation of earthly power.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Lofton] Amen.

[Scott] That governments should not undertake the role of God. And this is where our government is in particular sin, because the whole welfare state is an attempt to play God and to tell us now how we can speak about one another, who we can associate with, all the way down the line.

[Rushdoony] We are talking about things that the Puritan preachers preached about all the time.

[Scott] Everywhere.

[Rushdoony] And almost no one preaches about them nowadays. I like the story. I told you both about it, but I think it is worth repeating here and I may have used it on a previous Easy Chair, but it is worth repeating again and again.

[Scott] Oh, don’t do it again and again.

[Rushdoony] Well, it is Christopher Hill’s story at the end of his book on the Puritans in the 17th century in which he cites the case of the Scottish Calvinist preacher of a few generations ago whose congregation became a little restless with his mention of judgment and of hell. And so he spoke about it the next Sunday. And he told them a story. He said this man died and he went to hell. And he looked up to heaven and he shouted to God, “{?} or I didn’t know.” And God looked down and said, “Well, {?} now you know.”

There are too many people today who are going to wind up in hell with the preachers and can say to them, I did not know from your preaching.

[Lofton] Well, I tell you. We... and I hope I am not violating any confidence, confidences here. I don’t think I am. We have a president who is badly in need of Christian instruction. I have known George Bush since 1970, 1973 when he became chairman of the Republican National Committee. I worked there under him as the editor of the Republican party’s national weekly newspaper called Monday at the time. And I knew him. And during the eight years that he was vice president I had three so-called social call meeting with him which are off the record. They are not for publication. And I spent that time talking to him about the faith and about government and how it applied. And I suspect like most main line Episcopalians, maybe most main line Protestants, George Bush has no idea at all what ... what God has to do with government, what the Scripture has to do with civil government. I mean he heard me out. He is a very personally pleasant man, but it was just like I was a man from Mars speaking a foreign language. He had no idea. [00:33:48]

And I am sure that most of our Christian congressmen

And I am sure that most of our Christian congressmen and senators, likewise are totally ignorant of the connection between God and government.

[Scott] That is a very interesting and pertinent point. I was... always considered myself a well dressed person. And I have been steeped in books all my life and I converted very late, in my early 50s. And it wasn’t until afterwards that I began to get some dim understanding of the fact the there is a subject called theology. Now I remember discussing this with a friend of mine who was about my age, maybe a little older. And he said that for most of his life he had gone around with the theological ideas of a 14 year old boy. He said he was 14 years old when he decided that the Church was a bunch of nonsense and he walked out of it. And he said it wasn’t until he was in his 50s that it ... he began... he went back to the Church. And he began to listen and he began to read for the first time. And then he realized that most of his life he had had the ideas of a 14 year old.

Now I think this is true of millions upon millions of Americans.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] They never even look into the subject. They take it for granted that it is a bunch of garbage, that it is superstition. It is old wives’ tales or whatever. And they have no idea that it was once known as the queen of the sciences and that it is still a towering structure of intellect.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Lofton] Well, let me... let me... what I remember vividly about Mr. Bush’s reaction was that he ... he would... he was so steeped in the pluralistic model and the democratic model that when I would touch on a matter which implied any kind of exclusivity or uniqueness, his head would just shake like, I do not believe that. We... we are a nation of many views and many faiths. I cannot say that. I cannot say that in mixed groups. I just do not believe that. It is that...

[Scott] Well, he should make... he should spend six months in Jerusalem. [00:36:09]

He should go live in a theocracy

He should go live in a theocracy.

[Lofton] Yes.

[Scott] He should go to Tehran.

[Rushdoony] Well, a few years back we put out an issue of the journal on Christianity and business. And the one of the very fine friends and supporters of Chalcedon, Dan Maxwell, said since he had contact with a number of wealthy businessmen, manufacturers, corporate heads who were professing, Bible believing Christians he would approach them on the subject of doing an article on Christianity and their realm of business and its application.

And he was stunned by the uniform reaction he got, because they would listen to him and then sit back in shock and say: what the H does Christianity have to do with my business?

Then there was a celebrated case three or four years ago of the woman in a southern state who was the member of a large congregation and she was committing adultery with the mayor of that community and it was flagrant. It was known. She never denied it. And she was excommunicated by the church for her adultery and she sued them and won 400,000. And her statement was: What does the church have to do with my sex life? In other words, the church and Christianity is reduced to one thing, getting to heaven.

[Scott] Well, that is an interesting case to bring up, because it was Calvin’s first victory. The council in Geneva which ran Geneva said that Calvin had no right to excommunicate people from the church and they sent the excommunicated back to the service and Calvin said, “In that case I have to leave the city.”

And it was the second or third time that the issue came up. And on this particular occasion he had built himself enough of a following so that they didn’t want to see him leave. So they backed down. And he called it—the writer I read and I can’t think of his name off hand—called it protecting the altar.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Protecting the altar. And he said it was the first great victory of the Protestant movement that the Church had drawn a line that the state could not enter. That was the beginning of the freedom of religion from the state for the first time in the history of Christianity.

[Rushdoony] It wasn’t a victory won by words alone. They siced their dogs on Calvin in the streets.

[Scott] Oh, yes. [00:39:15]

[Rushdoony] They went under his window and shot guns

[Rushdoony] They went under his window and shot guns at night to give him no rest, because he had defied them.

[Scott] Well, it was a great victory and that defeat, the church’s defeat and in American court as because of the ignorance...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Of the Christian community there and the ignorance of the judge.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And the ignorance of the jury. If you don’t have the right to have a church and to select the members of the church and you don’t have a right to have a social club that select the members of the social club.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] You don’t have the right to have a corporation and select the people who are going to work in it. What rights do you have?

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Lofton] Well, for the Christians in Washington, the members of this so-called Christian establishment, and, believe, me, there is a Christian establishment in Washington, they are... they are just sleep walking. There was a fellow who wrote an article not long ago in the Policy Review. He was one of Pat Robertson’s advisors during the campaign. That is what advisors in failed campaigns do. They go write articles advising everyone else how to behave. It is an interesting career.

[Scott] Well, you know, it is an... it is an interesting career. I... I... I helped sink that balloon, you know, so now I am a balloon expert.

[Lofton] But this... but this... but this fellow wrote an article saying that the problem with the religious right had been that it was too pushy. It was too Christians. It was too much on a crusade and this... I mean, this was an amazing article written by a man who was in Pat Robertson’s presidential campaign, particularly when Pat Robertson couldn’t secularize his campaign fast enough. I mean, he resigned his ordination. He ... he all but denied that he was a Christian> Whenever the subject came up about him being a minister, he wanted to change the subject and talk about being a lawyer from Yale or that he once, you know lifted blocks or something, anything.

[Scott] He said he was a businessman. I never knew any businessman that got contributions.

[Rushdoony] And he also said that he was going to be equally they president of the homosexuals and the Christians.

[Scott] Oh, absolutely.

[Lofton] When he was once asked about his religious views and if he ... what would happen if he were elected he said, “Well, the presidency is a secular office.” That was his word. And, of course, my religious views are private and never the twain would meet.

[Scott] Well, when Kennedy said it, we believed it and he proved it.

[Lofton] Well, of course, Kennedy was a man whose religious was so private he didn’t even impose it on himself.

[Rushdoony] Very few presidents have in this century.

[Lofton] Yes.

[Scott] Well....

[Lofton] Well, we have got to revive somehow this tradition of getting God’s Word before government officials. I... I naturally am concerned with Washington, because I live close to there, but it is a... it is a... it is a bunch of people that are badly in need of tutoring.

[Scott] Well, I think part of the problem is the language, John. It is possible to bring the Word without bringing the same language. I mean, on the question of the right of the Church, for instance, to have its own congregation. My feeling its hat the attorneys involved in that particular issue didn't present the case properly, because if they had the woman would not have won the case. [00:42:39]

[Rushdoony] I think I know something about that case

[Rushdoony] I think I know something about that case from the attorneys. And they had excellent attorneys. And I know one of the attorneys in another case was told that if he brought up the issue of the First Amendment once again he would be in contempt of court and be removed by the bailiff to jail.

[Scott] Then it was the court.

[Rushdoony] The courts now are evil by and large. What goes on in the courts is outrageous.

[Lofton] Well, what I am talking about is the necessity of, as it is sometimes put, of the Christian to speak God’s truth to power, which is the prophetic function. I recently got a huge book. It was almost six inches thick. I think it is published by Liberty, Liberty Press. It is all election sermons in the founding era...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Lofton] ...starting after 1776.

[Rushdoony] I often mention that.

[Lofton] I mean, amazing sermons. I mean, there may be 30 of them, long sermons.

[Rushdoony] Yes. I wasn’t aware of that book so if you will send me the title, I would appreciate it.

[Lofton] Absolutely. All... and they are all about the role of God in the Bible in civil government an they are long, long sermons.

[Rushdoony] Every church would have an election sermon on the Sunday before an election in which they laid down the basic moral issues involved in terms of Scripture.

[Scott] That is now against the law.

[Lofton] Well, that is right.

[Scott] That is now against the law and when I said there... to a certain extent the question of language ... in recent generations have been using the language of previous generations on religious topics, other generations in the past used their own idiom.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And the Christian community is not tied its language into every day life.

[Rushdoony] Yes.’

[Scott] And that is one of the reasons why it loses, because it brings up antique terms as far as the average person is concerned. You have to be much more relevant. You have to be with it if you are going to convince the man.

[Rushdoony] As you said when you got converted, started going to church it was as though you had stepped back into the 17th century. [00:45:14]

[Scott] That is the way I felt

[Scott] That is the way I felt. I felt I was in a museum of some sort. They were giving me the same formulations, the same language that my great grandfather listened to. And certainly I think that Dorothy mentioned Marion Montgomery’s comment that to tell young kids or school kids or college kids that you could become president is diabolic. And he also said something else with is very interesting. He said that the misuse of a word is a sin. It is bearing false witness to use the wrong definition for a word. And we see this being done all the time. Compassion is... is used all the time.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Where is the compassion to put somebody as a slave or the government?

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] With a whole bunch of people coming in and inspecting them, giving them forms to fill out and so forth and calling it welfare. That is not welfare.

[Rushdoony] Compassion has to do with a person’s feelings and what the does for another person directly, person to person.

[Scott] Exactly. I remember years ago I heard a fellow. He had had a terrible story, many problems. And I had a pain in my chest. And I said to the guy next to me, “There is something is wrong. I have got a pain in my chest.” He says, “That is compassion, you idiot.”

I didn’t recognize it.

[Lofton] I was going to say the pain grabs me a little lower sometimes.

Talking about the law’s limitations and what is legal and illegal. In this book that I have been talking about, Robert Dugan’s, the new book about Christians and politics he says this on page 27. “The more I experience total political freedom as a citizen of the United States the more I agree with Winston Churchill’s incisive comment. ‘Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others that have been tried.’”

[Scott] We haven’t got it.

[Rushdoony] That is a very ...

[Lofton] No. No, we don't. Now on page 48 sometimes I think these books are a group effort. The authors having never met each other except maybe on the final galley. On page 48 Dugan writes this about churches and the activities that they can engage in in this total political freedom, I think, was the phrase. “Educational materials about candidates views on issues, voting records and the like, may be distributed as long as they comply with IRS rules on neutrality. Candidates may be introduced in a church service or even pray or speak, but not ask for money. Churches may contribute to a legislative, moral or educational issue campaign, although they may not spend a, quote, substantial part of their activity in so doing and churches cannot establish a political action committee or contribute funds to a candidate or political party.”

So this is his idea of total political freedom. [00:48:23]

[Scott] Has anybody told Jesse Jackson this?...

[Scott] Has anybody told Jesse Jackson this?

[Lofton] Yes, unless you are of a certain hue.

[Scott] Yes, because that ... all our laws are selectively applied.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Lofton] Jackson violates every one of those, I am feeling, at one point or another.

[Scott] He certainly is. He certainly collects money in black churches.

[Lofton] Absolutely.

[Scott] And that is not the only church group that have political rallies and raise money.

[Rushdoony] If you are to the left, you have privileges.

[Lofton] Well, I think even the Christian political... Christian conservative establishment in Washington is realizing that it is just not succeeding. It is not getting anything.

[Scott] Do they show any signs of ... of wanting to stand up?

[Lofton] Not... certainly not in public. I... I don’t think that they realize the extent to which theologies and eschatologies have consequences in the political realm, because one of the things that Dugan mentions in his book is that for too long Christians were withdrawn from the world and the political arena. But it... he appears to have no idea what might cause them... I mean, he is right, but he has no idea what caused that. So I ... I see no theological or eschatological awakening. They know... they know hey are failing. I mean at the very least they can count when the lose votes. They knew that when they go to a White House meeting like that it is simply to... to be endured, that they may hand the president some executive order, but the president probably threw it right in the trash after they left. He is certainly not going to sign anything.

[Scott] Well, of course, there is a tremendous anti Christian {?} in the country.

[Lofton] Yes.

[Scott] We have been undergoing this for a long time. And it is my private opinion that the anti Christians are going to organize the Christians.

[Lofton] Oh.

[Rushdoony] Well, our time is coming close to a conclusion. I want to wind it up by referring to a statement made to Otto and myself a couple of days ago in Seattle, Washington at the conference there. Monty Hidden said he lent one of these Easy Chairs or two or three, perhaps, to a friend hoping that he might learn something. And he returned it saying that Rushdoony and Scott were two old codgers who weren’t going to give an inch to the modern world.

Well, I think the statement was wrong on a couple of counts. First of all, any days I will be 75. So I qualify. But Otto is two years and two months younger than I am, so he is a young codger. And, as for you, John, you are just a junior codger.

[Lofton] I will be 50 next month.

[Rushdoony] Ok. Now he is wrong when he says we don’t give an inch to the modern world. That is not the right way to state it. We are going to take it back for Christ.

[Lofton] Amen.

[Rushdoony] That is what we have started. And we are going to win because... not because we are that good, but because our God is omnipotent. So God bless you all. We are part of a great victory and you are going to see it take place in Washington over both parties and all of the politicians and in London and in Moscow and the world over, because we are clearly told that every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess, imperative, that Jesus Christ is Lord. So that is our future. And don’t you forget it.

Thank you all for listening and God bless you.

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

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