Civil Disobedience - RR161AN74

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Civil Disobedience
Course: Course - From the Easy Chair
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 74
Length: 1:00:20
TapeCode: RR161AN74
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, RR161AN74, Civil Disobedience from the Easy Chair, excellent colloquies on various subjects.

[Rushdoony] This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 180, October 12, 1988.

Otto Scott and I are not going to discuss a subject that is a very important one and very timely, civil disobedience. We are going to discuss the involvement of Christians in civil disobedience, because in recent years and this fall especially Christians have been involved in civil disobedience in several ways. I am going to discuss at present two. One is the tax revolt and the other is the sit-ins and blocking the entry ways to abortion mills.

Now a great many Christians seem to feel that you are not really doing your duty as a Christian unless you are involved in these movements and especially this anti abortion sit in. I am sure and I do know of some very fine Christians who have been involved in Atlanta and elsewhere. However, with all due respect to them and their earnestness, I do believe they are wrong.

Civil disobedience in the respect that they have practiced it is not biblical. They cannot give biblical validation to their activity. John Lofton in Washington, D. C. And Douglas Kelly in Jackson, Mississippi have both challenged these people to produce a valid reason, a biblical one for their activities and they have not been able to do so. They self consciously have adopted the method of the civil rights movement which was lawless as though because the end is good it justifies the means. As a result, they have been very active. They have been in the media and they feel they have accomplished a great deal, although the evidence indicates that they have not stopped a single abortion. Women have simply gone elsewhere. [00:03:08]

Moreover, they have become very self righteous in dealing

Moreover, they have become very self righteous in dealing with those who disagree with them. For example, Dr. Stanley of the Southern Baptist Convention issued a statement carefully reasoned and biblical without calling names in which he questioned the whole movement in Atlanta and declared that there was no biblically valid ground for it. And the leaders proceeded to question his Christian faith and to indicate that somehow Dr. Stanley was a very bad Christian and was serving the devil.

John Lofton challenged some of the leadership to validate their position from Scripture and they came up with one verse which had no relationship to what they were doing. Moreover, by breaking the law, they invite a similar attitude—as more than one person has pointed out—towards Christians. If can block the entry way of buildings or enter in and register a protest or in one way or another violate their property rights, what is to prevent the pro abortion people from entering churches to protest in the services or blocking entrance to the church of a Sunday morning? What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander as well.

As a result, I do believe that the civil disobedience movement is not biblically sound.

Let me add another thing before I turn this over to Otto. At the time of the New Testament abortion was legal in the Roman Empire. It was very prevalent everywhere. As a matter of fact, one way the church grew very rapidly was because in Rome they went to the bridges of the Tiber and the babies that could not be successfully aborted were at birth abandoned under the bridges. In each city there was a place where they were abandoned to be devoured by the wild dogs. Christians would be stationed there to collect these babies and pass them around to the church members. [00:06:00]

Now here you have our Lord and Saint Paul, Peter and

Now here you have our Lord and Saint Paul, Peter and the others living in a time of abortion, yet never once do they say, “Let us organize mass protests.” The biblical method is regeneration, not revolution.

Otto, would you like to comment now?

[Scott] It is very interesting. Very well said, Rush. Well, as you know, I read a book about that called themselves the committee of six.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] The secret six. Now the secret six were more extreme than some of the other abolitionists, but not really too much so. They were very friendly with Emerson. They were friendly with Thoreau and, of course, as you know, they got together and they funded John Brown, the terrorist. They were men who wanted the country to go where they wanted it to go at their timing and under their direction. And they didn’t care whether it tore the country apart or not. In fact, they were in favor of what they called disunity. They said that they would rather see the United States break apart than remain together as long as slavery was allowed and was legal in the land.

Now slavery was a very old institution at that time. It had already begun, however, to get obsolete. The industrial revolution made the whole question of slavery uneconomic, because instead of supporting a man and his wife and his children around the clock and throughout his entire life, you could simply hire somebody for their labor for part of the day. Much cheaper...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ...much more efficient. And in every industrialized area slaves began to disappear. They disappeared in industrial England in the late 18th century. They disappeared in the American north in the early 19th century. Nobody knows exactly when. They began to disappear in Virginia which came within one vote of emancipation in 1830. And they undoubtedly as industrialization spread throughout other parts of the world, slavery vanished in its path, because it was no longer a viable system of employing people.

Agricultural areas kept slavery longer. Brazil didn't emancipate the slaves until the 1880s and Sri Lanka didn’t emancipate the slaves until the 1950s or 60s. I have forgotten which. There are parts of Arabia that still employ slaves because they are rural and backwards and slaves are still useful. [00:09:22]

What I am saying, in other words, is that that abolitionists

What I am saying, in other words, is that that abolitionists did not eliminate slavery, but what they did do is that they led to a debacle which cost the lives of a million men.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] It ruined the South and it ruined the North as well.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] It was the great tragedy of American history and the abolitionists can take a deep bow for that.

Now the civil rights movement, which came along more recently, was an effort to revive the abolitionist pattern and the reconstruction. The civil rights movement here in the United States required very little courage. And I say that despite the murder of those three young men who went down to, I think it was Alabama. That was a... that was the only case of that sort that occurred and that was in a rural backwater. The civil rights people had the whole power and majesty of the American government, the American army, the American department of justice, the President of the United States, this people on the courts, in newspapers and churches and everyone else with them. It required about as much courage as it does to go up on the stage in a movie theater and get a gold cup.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And a great many mock heroes emerged.

[Rushdoony] That is a good term of them. Mock heroes.

[Scott] Now it is very easy—and I say this because I have been through some union wars when I was a merchant seaman. A demonstration is not a hard thing to get going. You can get a lynch crowd going on almost any subject at any time. The object is really to change a disgusting and degrading system. In this case, abortion. The rule that the Supreme Court enacted or put down, that an abortion was legal based on a case in which a woman perjured herself, as we now know, and purported by the strange idea that a woman has the right to destroy her own child, I mean, if you can destroy your own child, well, where do we stop? Can you destroy someone else’s child? Well, the doctors are doing that.

It has created an industry that now sells body parts for various uses, has made multi millionaires at out of medical men who are destroying life. And yet this industry is not spot lighted. It is not described. It is not used as the basis for a campaign. We are not following the doctors who make the money. What we are doing is something out in public. We have the idea of... it is a late idea and it comes from the left. [00:12:41]

There is a great myth about left wing revolutions

There is a great myth about left wing revolutions. The myth is that the revolutions are mounted from the bottom, but they are not.

[Rushdoony] No.

[Scott] They are mounted from the {?} the top and the top directs the bottom.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And tells the bottom to put on a demonstration to coincide with something that the men on the top are planning to do. But the abortion movement lacks the men at the top.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Lenin and Trotsky were financed by the German high command. Without that financing there never would have been a Russian Revolution.

Well, one of the things that I feel very strongly about, too, is the fact that you talk to some of these people and there are a great many out there who have only one answer to our problems and that is violence. There is scarcely a meeting where there isn’t somebody who if you talk about problems we face of church and state or the problems of growing big government who does not get up and say, “Don’t you think it is time we get our guns and do something about this?”

They are idiots. And my answer is that is the remedy of fools.

What have you done with regard to tithing to the Lord and towards Christian Reconstruction? What have you done with regard to voting? What have you done about supporting the right kind of candidates? The candidates on our side don’t get any financing so we deserve to lose. And with regard to abortion, even Blackmun has indicated that if it came to a vote now in the Supreme Court abortion would lose.

[Scott] Well, yes.

[Rushdoony] And where are the men who are providing the money to take a case to court? It would take half a million to three quarters of a million to start in a local court and get it up to the U S Supreme Court. But they are not doing it. [00:15:11]

I am sure that the cost of traveling to Atlanta, all

I am sure that the cost of traveling to Atlanta, all the people who have gone there from Washington state, from Oregon, from California, from all over the United States has spent enough money to fight a case on abortion to the Supreme Court and overturn it. But...

[Scott] Yes, but they wouldn’t exhibit to others their courage.

[Rushdoony] They wouldn’t come home acting like Mother Theresa or Father Theresa as John Lofton and I were saying.

[Scott] Well...

[Rushdoony] They get a glow from having gone there and done something.

[Scott] What have you done? What?

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] But the thing is that abortion was made legal by the stroke of the pen and another stroke of the pen can make it illegal.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Lincoln who was deeply embarrassed by John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry because it was supported by the party that he represented, the party that later nominated him and sent him into the presidency, the most radical party in the country, the Abolitionist party which called itself the Republican party at that time.

When he was confronted with the results of the raid on Harper’s Ferry he said, “Well, it is a very strange happening.” He said, “We have here men of one race killing each other over men of another race who are not fighting at all.” And he said,... they said, “Well, what about the Dred Scott decision?”

He said, “Well, the Supreme Court has been wrong before and undoubtedly will be wrong again,” and he said, “We expect in due course that they will come to their senses.”

[Rushdoony] Yes. You know, there is an ironic sidelight on that whole era. Slavery was not profitable. You used a slave for about half of the year at the most and even then it was not on a steady, day by day basis. If you are growing cotton, you don’t have work in the cotton field every day of the year. Only a limited number of days when you plant and then when you are harvesting.

So the slaves would be leased to foremen in the cities, contractors, for example. It could be carpenters or brick layers or whatever the case might be.

During the war, the slaves were earning about twice as much as confederate soldiers and union soldiers. So you were paid worse and risked your life...

[Scott] Well, the same soldiers were stopped from looting. It has been a very poorly paid profession.

[Rushdoony] They haven’t stopped, Otto. [00:18:06]

[Scott] Well, at least officially

[Scott] Well, at least officially.

[Rushdoony] Officially, yes.

[Scott] But the whole business here is that the argument is an intellectual argument. It has a physical effect. Lives are involved. Our population is involved. I ... I... I remarked, I think, to you before privately that all this nonsense about the economic soundness of the social security system is rather strange, because we have aborted so far 25 million people who would have grown up and in a period of 20 to 30 years, if we can use that word, another 40 million. There would be plenty of young people in the year 2040 to take care of the old age pensioners of the time but there are not going to be enough young workers to support the old people if we kill all the young.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] In the meantime we are bringing in immigrants who are in their child bearing years without any thought whatever of whether or not they should have children. Perhaps we should change the whole thing around and say before any newcomers come in the country they have to be made sterile and enable the rest of us to have children.

But in any event the court can change its mind if the media is forced to change its position and if the universities and women of America are presented with a mirror so that they can take a look at themselves. respect for American women has dropped precipitously since this wave of abortions has taken place. I don’t think that ever before in the history of humanity women have been convinced that they have a right to kill their own children.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And it is the old line American women who are the leaders in this. It is not your Hispanic immigrant women so that we who represent the results of Christian civilization are most contemptuous of its values.

[Scott] It is really terrible.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And it is hard for me to believe that a case this easy to argue cannot make itself heard convincingly in every area of the nation.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, what they are advocating is exactly what the left is advocating, revolution as a means of change.

[Scott] Forced and as a means of argument.

[Rushdoony] Yes. With regard to the tax revolt, the idea had its modern formulation from Karl Marx who saw it as one o the best means of overthrowing a civil government and he promoted it as a means of revolution.

Now we are not in favor of revolution. Our way, according to Scripture is regeneration. You can have a revolution and after it is over no matter how high sounding the slogans and causes may be, you still have the same depraved people, the same sinners. [00:21:37]

[Scott] Well, how are you going to murder your way

[Scott] Well, how are you going to murder your way into virtue?

[Rushdoony] Well put. But that is the thesis of civil disobedience. We are going to use lawlessness and, if need be, murder, some would say, in order to gain virtue.

[Scott] I remember when there was a proposition put together... pout out by Dean Rusk under Lyndon Johnson to build a synthetic rubber factory in Romania, a country that has all kinds of oil and synthetic rubber, as you know, uses oil as a basic ingredient. And they went to Goodyear and the chairman at that time of Goodyear was Russell DeYoung and Russell said no he wouldn’t do it because he thought that it wouldn’t be in the best interest of the country. And then they went to Raymond Firestone, Firestone. And Raymond said, “Yes, we will go along.” And I asked him why and he said, “Well,” he said, “if the secretary of state and the president thinks it should be done,” he said, “I think as a good citizen I would go along.”

Well, the Young Americans for Freedom heard about this proposition. It was going to be a turn key plan. In other words, they would put up the plan, give them the formula of how to make the most advanced synthetic rubber we have ever developed and then when the plant was completed turn the key over to them. And that was that.

The Young Americans for Freedom heard about it and decided that they were going to mount demonstrations. Amongst other things, they were going to hire a plane carrying a banner behind it in the air saying, “Firestone supports slavery,” and fly that over the 500 Indy race. I am sorry they didn’t, because I would like to have seen the reactions. And they had some other plans. In the meantime Goodyear salesmen printed a brochure saying Firestone is working with the Commies and began to get people to switch their tires from Firestone to Goodyear. And, of course, then Firestone hollered foul and the New York Daily News praised Goodyear and the New York Times frowned on private citizens interfering with foreign policy.

Well, finally the heat got so heavy that Raymond Firestone decided to withdraw, but before that point I called in the YAF kids to my office and said, “I am interested in your activities and I can understand and sympathize with your position. But I would like to know why you are mounting demonstrations in the streets.”

And they said , “Well, that is what the left does.” [00:24:21]

And I said, “Yes, the left gets in the street and mounts

And I said, “Yes, the left gets in the street and mounts a demonstration.” But I said, “If we get in the street with them, we are all in the street and then where are we?”

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Well, they didn’t have any answer. Later on after the whole matter had been dropped, the state department dropped it, the president dropped it. Raymond Firestone dropped it and everyone involved hoped the world would forget about it.

I ran into DeYoung at some industry gathering and I said, “Oh, by the way, whatever happened to Goodyear in Washington as a result of your refusal to go along?”

“Well,” he said, “you have to understand that we don’t really live on Washington to begin with.” He said, “Only maybe 15 percent of revenues come from government work.” But he said it was very strange. He said, “You know, after that they rolled out the red carpet.” He said, “We got more cooperation than we ever had before.”

Well, how do you account for that?

I said, “Our government will step back to anyone who pushes if they push in the right way.”

Now they never step back for the YAF. They never step back for the conservatives that get out on the street.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Because they didn’t have the media behind them. They didn’t have the university professor to rationalize what they were doing. The rationalization comes before anything else.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] There has to be a prepared excuse for these demonstrations. And the left once it succeeds doesn't allow any demonstrations.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And they don’t allow rationalizations either.

[Rushdoony] During the 60s when I was speaking at a number of university campuses I was driven from one university in the middle west to another by a young man who had just resigned s a YAF coordinator or whatever his title was. And he said he had done so because he suddenly felt that the whole of the activity he had been involved in was superficial, because he realized in a particular case when he didn’t see any point in the demonstration that the purpose of the demonstration was no longer a cause, but to get into the media.

[Scott] Well, now does the media govern this country? It has an influence on the country, yes. Politicians listen to the media, yes. I don’t know if the 25 million abortions represent 25 million women. Some women may have had more than one abortion. And I don’t know how they feel about it. I think it would leave a ... a deep regret...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] It is an emotional thing and it is not a pleasant experience. And then we have on the other side of the fence we have the situation of the men who in the case of legalized abortion seem to be treated more or less as random seed sowers, totally unimportant in the whole situation. I understand that one or two men have gone to court in an attempt to say that men have ... are parents have equal rights over an abortion decision and so far the lower courts have dismissed it as just it ought to be considered.

Well, then if men have no responsibility for abortion what responsibilities do they have? I understand that even under the insurance laws now if a pregnant woman is injured in an automobile accident and loses her child, the guilty party in the accident has to pay compensation. So we have here all these contradictions that for purposes of injury, a pregnant child is a human being. But for purposes of abortion a pregnant child is a thing. The language, of course, is very revealing.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] It is like sibling. The social worker’s language seems to be singularly unsocial.

[Rushdoony] It is language intended to depersonalize man, to reduce him to the animal level so that the language is always non personal. You don’t call attention to someone as an individual, someone with a uniqueness.

[Scott] Yes. I mean, we know now that the ... when the sperm means the ova there is a diagram for the entire person.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] So at what point should we say that the diagram does not exist?

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Scientifically, the minute life begins according to the biologist, the seed contains the blue print for the tree. [00:30:03]

[Rushdoony] Well, since John Dewey we have been in

[Rushdoony] Well, since John Dewey we have been in the process of depersonalizing man. And it is now far gone so that the life of an unborn baby is meaningless.

One of our problems in the question of civil disobedience is that too many people equate this with Christian action. They feel they have to do something without any regard to the fact that what they do should be biblical or they should not do it at all. They fail to realize that there is so much that can be done. I began earlier by discussing what the early church did with the aborted babies. They dealt with the problem realistically. And they gave a future to those children. They did not rail against abortion endlessly, because they knew they were living in a pagan world. They were dealing with pagan peoples. To expect ungodly men to live in terms of godly standards and to behave like good Christians is ridiculous. And I am afraid that is at the heart of the problem with many of these people. They seem to think that if they can only get some laws passed they are going to make the federal government behave as it did in 1800 or by getting some people out in the streets they are going not change the ungodly and make them suddenly into good Sunday school children. And there is an incredible delusion here. They have no knowledge of original sin. And I think this is one of the evils, Otto, of an Arminian perspective within the Church.

Sin is not taken seriously. They seem to feel that all you have to do is to ...

[Scott] Reason.

[Rushdoony] ...reason with them and they are going to be all right.

[Scott] No, it isn’t reason. Ridicule, argument...

[Rushdoony] Or emotionalism will convert them to your perspective.

[Scott] But that is not going to do it.

[Rushdoony] No.

[Scott] You... you have to ... you really have to stand up in a different way. We have this brief discussion in Los Angeles.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] After the showing down there where I said you can... you can mount arguments in court. And the man said, “Well, the courts are against us.”

I said, “The courts were against the Chicago seven, too, but they mounted their arguments notwithstanding and they mounted them in a court.”

Now, of course, they were hauled into the court. They were left wingers. They didn't get in there voluntarily, but the point is you can raise these issues. But not by preaching to the converted. [00:33:20]

[Rushdoony] Yes

[Rushdoony] Yes. And you must do things in terms of the courts, in terms of law. We have won some major victories in the courts for Christian schools and home schools and the direct action people have accomplished nothing. Nor are they ready to pay for these battles in the courts which , say, Rutherford and other groups are waging.

[Scott] Well there is a problem here, because they really don’t believe in reason. They really don’t believe in using reason. Now the reason that Somoza lost in Nicaragua was because Jimmy Carter was convinced that revolution brings a better society. And therefore he abandoned Somoza and helped the revolutionaries. Somebody had to convince him of that.

Apparently speaker of the house Wright still believes that.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And Nicaragua is now turning into the most miserable country in all Latin America very rapidly, worse than any of the right wing dictatorships.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Ok. Arguments must precede results. And I don’t say that sermons are without value. I appreciate sermons. I get a great deal from them, but in this...

[Rushdoony] You better say that, Otto.

[Scott] I have to. You are sitting right here. But in ... on the other hand, you are the only one whose sermons I listen to for this length of time. So I can be... I can be sermoned out, too.

But the... the fact is that when you have all the argument of history on your side there is no excuse for not pursuing that argument through proper channels.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] You have got the weight of history, tradition and law on your side. The Supreme Court in that one decision overthrew all precedent on the basis of a perjured testimony. And that should be sufficient to reopen the case.

[Rushdoony] Christi civilization built what we are now seeing destroyed by our enemies. Are we going to follow their destructive methods and tear down that which we helped to create?

[Scott] Exactly. Now we... that move by a logical extension into the tax revolt.

[Rushdoony] Yes. [00:36:02]

[Scott] I ran into some wild men down in Arizona last

[Scott] I ran into some wild men down in Arizona last year and so a couple of years ago. I have forgotten just when. And I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. This mans said we... “I am a free man.”

And I listened and he said, for instance, he said, “We have the roads are built with our taxes. We don’t need anyone’s permission to drive vehicle along our own roads. So therefore,” he said, “You can’t... don’t bother ... we don’t bother to take out a driver’s license, because that... by taking out a driver’s license we obey... we agree to obey the rules and we are giving up our liberty in exchange for this license. There is no need for us to licensed. So therefore we drive without a license. If the police stop us and ask for our license we say we don’t have one. They take us into court. They charge us. We ... we argue our own case,” and he said, “We tie them up into knots.

He said, “What do you think?”

I said, “Well, licensees don't cost much and I have got one.”

Because I... I really thought the issue is not really an adult issue.

[Rushdoony] Yes. I had someone write to me recently very much upset because a friend of his has become one of those people. He will pay no taxes. He will not work. He has found a place somewhere in the woods. I have forgotten what state it was where there is a cabin. He lives there. He hunts. He fishes. He refuses to believe in any kind of license including a marriage license and so on. And he probably tells all his friends and apparently he is visiting them all the time, that he is a free man.

I said, “He is not a free man. He is a drop out. He has become worthless to God and to man. And if he thinks he represents something to emulate, he is very wrong. He is a drop out and a fool.”

And we are not summoned to be drop outs in this world.

[Scott] Logic ... logic is useful. It is a... it is a useful system of thought and argument, but logic and life are only remotely connected. You simply cannot set yourself apart from the rules of society. You have to do something about a trivial governing class such as our own. We have to do something about the proliferation of regulations which are being enacted without law, without constitutional authority. But the way to do it isn’t to hide in the woods, nor is it to throw your body in front of the door of a clinic.

[Rushdoony] Yeah. [00:39:13]

[Scott] That is

[Scott] That is... that is to shirk the real hard work.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Working to educate them, working to convert them. That they don't want to do.

[Scott] Well, they don’t know how. To a great extent I think this is a... it is something like discussing young people who don’t know a legal way to earn an honest living and they steal. People who don't understand how the... our society moves or how any society moves, who don't understand how campaigns are mounted and won, who don’t understand the slightest thing about public relations or political relations and who have swallowed wholesale the arguments of the left that it was all done through spontaneous demonstrations of the people. When, as a matter of fact, it was done by infiltration into the intellectual interests of the society first.

You know that I keep running into Christians who haven’t read the most important books of our time and not unknown books, books that have been written about and reviewed and sold and that dominate the intellectual thought today.

[Rushdoony] But I think there is another factor, Otto. I think you are too kindly. There is an extensive body of opinion out there which takes itself very, very seriously and it is this and I encounter it in both Catholics and Protestants. Their attitude is that you are not really a Christian unless you come out with all of your fervor against the other side. And unless you oppose the pope or unless you oppose the dirty Protestants or unless you oppose this or that group. And they insist.... in fact, they seek me out very often or write to me and say, “We are a compromising group.”

[Scott] Really?

[Rushdoony] Because we are not insulting everybody in sight. And I have one answer to them. Have you ever won a person over to your side by spitting in his face?

Now that mentality, approving that you are really gung ho for what you believe, whether it is a body of political or economic ideas or a body of theological idea, proving it by spitting in other people’s face is very, very common place and it is idiocy. It is moral idiocy. [00:42:19]

[Scott] Well, it is a growing fashion

[Scott] Well, it is a growing fashion. We are inundated with sadistic movies. We are inundated with mean spirited humor, end quote. We are inundated with the argument that the flip answer by a young person to an older person is... is going to make him seem smart and I often wonder how many of them go around without being kicked in the ass. And this is a growing disability of the Americans. It is one of the reasons we are losing popularity around the world. I have sat in movie theatres in South America and watched American films and heard the audience hiss and come out disgusted and they think this is the way we are.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And, of course, the people that follow this business that you are talking about to be anti is to prove that you are pro are falling into that pattern.

[Rushdoony] I read a letter to a magazine or newspaper recently by a foreign student and I encountered on a recent trip a foreign student and in both instances they commented about the same thing, how wonderful it was and that the people were nothing like Americans in the movies.

[Scott] Yes.

[Rushdoony] And that was the most amazing thing to them.

[Scott] Right.

[Rushdoony] ...when they came here.

[Scott] Yes, well...

[Rushdoony] That Americans were really a very decent, thoughtful and friendly people. Nothing like the movies.

[Scott] Well, if you... you write an ... a letter to the editor in favor of the government of Belfast and you will immediately get five letters from supporters of the IRA. If you write on the troubles in the Middle East you get a host of letters from one side or the other. And none of these people have ever resolved their disputes or their problems.

[Rushdoony] No.

[Scott] And these are problems of old and long standing. Well, in other words, these are people with a history of failure when it comes to dealing with other people.

And that is because they take the argument...

[Rushdoony] This gets...

[Scott] ... the argumentative position.

[Rushdoony] Is gets back to what we were discussing a while back, the policy since the days of the secret six and John Brown of confrontation, of massive hatred focused against those with whom you disagree. [00:45:15]

[Scott] But look at the results

[Scott] But look at the results.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] The graveyards.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Ruined cities. Ruined families. Ruined situations. Now you can... it is interesting, because I have been reading rather extensively in Lord Acton’s writings recently. And he says that it wasn’t until about the year 400 or so that the Christian community began to actively work against the institution of slavery. It wasn’t, in other words, until Augustine’s time. And, oh, the Church by then was four centuries old. It wasn’t very strong until it became... it had the power of the state behind it. But then it began to work against slavery.

I mean, there are some situations which we have to say in certain periods of time there is not much you can do about it.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] We can’t do much about the tax situation. Unless we have a complete change of heart in Congress and we can’t have that unless we vote, as you pointed out, unless we vote for people.

Do you realize that in this coming election there are several dozen seats that the Republican party is not even going to contest?

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Because they can’t find anybody to run for the office. The Democrats have an arm lock on our Congress. And Congress enacts the tax laws. So there is no way that the tax revolters or rebels can do anything about the ... you know, it is not the days of Robin Hood. You can’t kidnap the sheriff of Nottingham anymore. Things... things require a little more thought than they used to.

I feel very sorry and very sympathetic for the anti abortionists and the anti tax people. Their heart is in the right place. They just don’t have too much head.

[Rushdoony] Yes. They are wasting their lives on...

[Scott] ...gestures.

[Rushdoony] Gestures, yes.

[Scott] ...on gestures instead of a... instead of an intellectual effort.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] I think Joe Soburn is one of the best writers I know and I keep reading his articles. He has got a book out Single Issues, nice essays, excellent essays. And he is, I am sure, a lot of comfort and a great assistance to he anti abortion cause. He puts together some brilliant arguments. But I don't see those arguments picked up and radiated around the way they should be. [00:48:06]

Or, as you say, the Rutherford Institute

Or, as you say, the Rutherford Institute. It is not helped in pursuing court cases.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, then there is another weakness to these people. They are single issue people. All the problems of the world or of our country are going to be solved if we all get into the tax revolt. Or if we all get out and picket. They do not see the wholeness of things, the fact that there are many, many issues and life is of a piece and you cannot expect health in one sector when it is lacking in other sectors.

[Scott] Well, moral issues. Look at the moral issues. Look at the things that tare being swept under the rug. I once made the suggestion that if we had one single honest newspaper that published the events that take place in New York City for one week, it would blow up the entire country. Look at Los Angeles. Nobody is talking about the government of Los Angeles and men are being killed there every day. More people are being killed in Los Angeles than are killed on the West Bank or that are being killed in Belfast. And yet nobody has talked about the government of the city of Los Angeles. Nobody is talking, really, about what is going on in Chicago, a dreadful situation in Chicago between the black community and the Jewish community, unprecedented in the history of the United States.

[Rushdoony] Or, as you have often pointed out, the corruption of the administration in New York City, unrivaled in all of history.

[Scott] Absolutely. It makes the Tweed crew look like boy scouts.

[Rushdoony] And yet outside of New York the media has not reported on it.

[Scott] I just read the other day that there are 70 indictments in the judiciary system in Chicago and over 14 judges have been found guilty of taking bribes.

[Rushdoony] And I hadn't read that in my paper.

[Scott] It was a very minor squib. Hardly a ripple, because they are too used to... who is up, who is down, who is ahead, who is behind, who is Dukakis, who is Bush. The... the media which has trivialized the campaign keeps complaining about its triviality. And they never let us hear the candidates.

[Rushdoony] Yeah.

[Scott] We will... we will go through this entire campaign without hearing a full dress speech by a single candidate.

[Rushdoony] Oh, I can recall when speeches were reported in full by the press.

[Scott] Right. Not a word.

[Rushdoony] Not a word today. No.

[Scott] So we are here in the cesspool swimming upstream. But we have got lost of brains in the country. We have got lots of skillful people. We have got lots of dedicated Christians. I really can’t ascribe this loss of coherence. I ... I really can’t define how we have lost coherence so thoroughly.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Of course one reason I think is probably on the religious side is that the pro abortion people have more clergymen banked up. [00:51:36]

[Rushdoony] Yes

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] favor of abortion than those against it. And I often wonder why somebody doesn’t run an ad showing the orthodox rabbis against abortion and the Catholics in the center and the Protestants on the other side.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Because they keep saying this is a Catholic issue and it isn’t. Or we can add a fourth panel and just have a completely secular individual who is against abortion. There are millions of them.

[Rushdoony] Well, we want to repeat the work of the secret six and John Brown. Confrontation that leads to destructive activity...

[Scott] It leads to a debacle.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Every woman who wants a child is against abortion. There is an awful lot of them.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Nobody has ever collected that. That was one thing I thought Bush said very well in his nominating speech. He said adoption not abortion.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Yes. Well, civil disobedience doesn’t stop.

[Scott] But it isn’t civil. It is uncivil.

[Rushdoony] Uncivil disobedience, yes.

If you feel that you can break the law when you choose, you begin, say, with a tax revolt or you begin with abortion. But what is to stop you there? You have said that you now have the freedom to decide what you can dissent with where the law is concerned?

Now God tells us we ought to obey him rather than men. But he doesn’t say these are to be in the things that concern our income or even our lives.

[Scott] No.

[Rushdoony] It is with regard to the freedom of his Word and his kingdom.

[Scott] Well, to be free in the biblical sense is to be free of sin.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] It isn’t to be free of circumstance. That is not possible in this world. [00:54:00]

[Rushdoony] Yes

[Rushdoony] Yes. There was a tax revolt under way in our Lord’s time.

[Scott] And look what it led to.

[Rushdoony] Yes. It led to the destruction of Judea.

[Scott] Yes. It led to one of the worst punishments any city has ever received in the history of mankind.

[Rushdoony] Well, our ... our Lord said it would be the most fearful event in all of history. And I question whether any war or any destruction of a city has ever rivaled the destruction of Jerusalem. The vengeance of the Romans was unspeakable. Jerusalem was a model city. It was a city of marble palaces, because since it was a critically important city in a border state, important for the eastern front, they poured all kinds of money into Judea to keep the Jews happy. And as a result, the Romans who could be very sadistic went out of their way to wreak vengeance on them of their revolt.

[Scott] Well, the tax revolters here go to jail. They lose property. Their families are disrupted. They haven’t changed the tax laws.

[Rushdoony] No. I have had very, very sad telephone calls from the wives of some of them who have children, small children and their husband feels that he is being very noble and very Christian by going to jail for six months or a year, two or three years.

[Scott] Well, certainly the taxes are not pleasant to pay, but you pay them. Almost everyone does.

[Rushdoony] Yes. But what about one’s responsibility to his wife and children? That is a God ordained one.

[Scott] You have to live within the law.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Yes.

[Scott] And if the law is unjust you can change the law.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] This is a country where there is still a large area of maneuver left for the citizen within the rules.

[Rushdoony] Well, I have been in and out of the courts for some years now involved with church and state cases, defending parents, home schools, Christian schools and churches. We have lost some cases, but we have made progress. In more than a few states we have gained a great deal of freedom and to me that is the only way to do it, here a little, there a little. And the biggest problem that we have faced—that is the attorneys and those of us who are concerned about the Church and state battle—is that too many of the people on our side want everything all at once, as though you are going to win a war in one battle. [00:57:22]

We have had instances where a state legislature has

We have had instances where a state legislature has been ready to say, “Well, yes. We will give in on that point.” And they say, “No, we want this.” And they want to roll back the clock 100 years. And that is impossible. They don’t want to be realistic.

[Scott] Well, they don't also have a good sense of history. They have no idea of how long these things take.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And they turn around and call the attorneys and call me and others who give them counsel compromisers because we tell them in terms of our Lord’s words, first the blade, then the ear, then the full ear. In other words, you don’t expect when you plant a grain of wheat to reap a harvest the next day. It takes time for it to grow and it takes time to win these battles. And there is no sense of history among people today. Everything is going to be done over night.

Well, our time is almost over. Is there anything you would like to say by some way of summation, Otto, for about a minute?

[Scott] Well, the secret six really convinced me that my school teachers were wrong when they praised the abolitionists. The abolitionists were the most mischievous people we ever had. And one of their distinctive qualities was that they consider themselves holier than the churches.

[Rushdoony] Yes and no one has gone into the fact that before the abolitionists came along, Christians were active in the anti slavery movement and in a godly way. There was a world of difference between what the two did. The abolitionists offended everyone. They were people who demanded everything to be done as of yesterday.

[Scott] That was what they wanted. They wanted to direct the destinies of mankind. But they hadn't been elected to do it.

[Rushdoony] No. Well, our time is up. Thank you all for listening and God bless you.

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