Colloquy on Education - RR161AL69

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Colloquy on Education
Course: Course - From the Easy Chair
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 69
Length: 1:02:01
TapeCode: RR161AL69
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, RR161AL69, Colloquy on Education from the Easy Chair, excellent colloquies on various subjects.

[Rushdoony] This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 175, July the 18th, 1988.

Tonight Otto and myself have with us Gary Mose to help us with the interviewing and one of our staff members, Sam Blumenfeld. Sam Blumenfeld has been traveling back and forth across the United States speaking on Christian education. Home schooling and formal Christian schools. If he hasn’t been to your neighborhood, just wait. He will be there. I think he has covered more communities in the United States in recent years than almost any other man living. As a matter of fact, I continually get letters from you saying that you have heard Sam Blumenfeld speak in your community and he was wonderful.

Welcome, Sam. It is good to have you with us tonight.

[Blumenfeld] It is nice to be with you, Rush.

[Rushdoony] What is happening on the home schooling front right now?

[Blumenfeld] Well, you know, since I was last with you, it is about two years, a great deal has happened. The ... the home schooling movement has grown leaps and bounds. As a matter of fact, only a couple of weeks ago, I believe in ... in southern California the California home school association had its convention and 15,000 people showed up. That was at the Disneyland hotel. So if that is a sign of the times, it is a very good sign that parents are finally doing what they have had to do all these years and that is remove their children from the public schools, from humanist education and they are deciding to educate their children at home. Some of these children do come out of Christian schools also. But I believe that that is not all bad, because the home school movement and the Christian schools are going to have to collaborate and work together.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Blumenfeld] this area.

[Rushdoony] Well, This noon I had a telephone call from John Lofton and he was telling me that we are being the subject of some verbal criticism in the media. And one or two of the statements, at least, refer to the fact that in the 50s an aesthetic catholicism was made popular by Buckley and Kerr. Men, born again Christianity, fundamentalists, {?} and Arminian, dispensational, premil came in with the 70s. And now a very dangerous group known as the Christian Reconstructionist have arrived on the scene and we were mentioned by name and it well may be because of what we are doing that the great issue of the next decade will be the public schools’ fight for survival. [00:03:52]

[Blumenfeld] Oh, yes

[Blumenfeld] Oh, yes. Absolutely. As a matter of fact, Rush, the title of my talk, my lecture that I have been giving for the last year or so is: Are the public schools harming your children? And I proved to the audience beyond the shadow of a doubt that the children are at risk in four significant ways. They are at risk academically because of the methodology used in the schools, the method of teaching reading which produces functional illiteracy. They are at risk spiritually because the public schools are doing everything in their power to destroy the Christian faith of children through such programs as values clarification, sensitivity training and situational ethics and multi culturalism and globalism and sex education and evolution and death education. Then the children are at risk morally because of their ... the kind of peer interaction. Who does your child meet in the public schools but the drug pushers and the drug users and the sexually active, the black {?} the users of foul language. That certainly is not a very good atmosphere for a youngest to be brought up in.

And then, of course, there is also the physical danger, because public schools have become dangerous places.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Blumenfeld] Kids are coming to school with guns and knives and chains and children are being assaulted and robbed and even murdered. Teacher are being murdered. Principles are being murdered. So the public school is a very dangerous place for a child and when I get through with my talk, generally the parents decide to remove their children from the public schools. They realize that the risks are much too great. The children are... they are precious enough, if they really love them, they are not going to subject them to those horrible risks.

[Rushdoony] Well, we have one of the real pioneers of the battle against the public schools with us, Otto Scott, who still has, isn’t it true, Otto, the all time record truancy in New York City?

[Scott] As far as I know, yes. It was the seven months of successful truancy, because I had two report cards, one real and one false. I presented my dad the false one and I went in the room every night to do my homework and I read books, trashy books and I wrote letters saying I was ill and some teacher finally became concerned and came over to see us. And that, of course, exposed me. [00:06:29]

Incidentally, they almost sent me away until I was

Incidentally, they almost sent me away until I was 21 for that. And I was saved by Justice Levy of the children’s court in those days. And he said to the man who made the recommendation, “If you make another recommendation of this sort, I will see to it that you lose your job.” And he and I corresponded for several years after that. He was a very interesting man. But in bringing the thing up to date and, of course, the reason that I played hooky in New York city schools, it was the only long period of public schools that I had outside of the little school up in my grandparents’ village. And I couldn’t stand the bells and the different classrooms, running between classrooms and the fellows with mustaches playing handball in the courtyard who were blocked in the sixth grade for four years running and all that. And the teacher had a chart with our names on it and you, if you put your hand up, she would look at the chart and see who you were and all that.

And I wasn’t learning anything and I had the instincts of a scholar.

Now more recently I have begun to do some reading, not so much in educational subjects, because they had never really interested me. I am not too fond of young people and I would never be a good teacher, I am sure. I would be a terrible teacher, because I don’t learn anything when I am talking anyway. But I have recently remembered Strangler who said that modern education is poorly based. It is an attempt to pour new wine into old bottles. It teaches, for instance, algebra and geometry, trigonometry and physics to people who are not going into any of the engineering sciences and who have absolutely no need for this particular... these particular subjects. They may be totally alien to them, to their instincts, to their potential, to their talents. There is no reason to teach them across the board to a modern audience, because we are no longer operating a technology based on measurements and how to figure out an isosceles triangle is a very esoteric thing for anyone who isn’t an engineer. [00:09:11]

And in similar manner we have stopped looking at the

And in similar manner we have stopped looking at the fundaments of what constitutes an education. And I think this somewhere down the line is going to have to be addressed, because even the Christian school movement and the home school movement is under tremendous pressure to fit more or less into the framework of... set up by the official educators. And we know that the SAT tests and all the rest of it, are based upon postulants, upon premises that have not been examined for 1700 years.

[Blumenfeld] Well, you know, the... the remarkable thing that is going on in the home schooling movement, Otto and Rush, is that there is this examination going on as to what to teach, what is important? Of course, they are concerned about keeping the state off their backs and everyone, you know, realizes you have got to impart literacy. You have got to teach the basics, the basic tools of learning. But apart from that there is a good deal of discussion going on in what constitutes true education. For the last day... I was ... I was never good at math, Otto. Never cared for it.

[Scott] Neither did I.

[Blumenfeld] But of the last day I have been reading a marvelous manuscript on the relationship of mathematics to religion.

[Rushdoony] By James Nichols.

[Blumenfeld] Right. As... as a... as a manifestation, as a means of understanding God by seeing the patterns in nature and ... and what mathematics... if you study mathematics under that kind of a... a view... a point of view, that is, from a godly point of view, suddenly mathematics makes sense, because it enables you to see so many invisible things in nature, things that are not visible to the eye, but which you see patterns. And ... and that is a remarkable insight that this particular manuscript gave me just reading that. So I suddenly... the interest... my interest in mathematics was quickened when I thought, my, if I had been taught mathematics this way from the very beginning, from a God centered point of view, as a means of knowing God’s world, God’s creation, I would have taken to it.

[Scott] Of course you would, because it is poetic. But don’t... the way education has been fixed for a long time has been that science is facts, religion is fiction, science is objective, art, music, religion is subjective and what is subjective cannot be evaluated, cannot be measured, cannot be weighed, cannot be proven and therefore is unscientific and an embarrassment and only technology is valid. [00:12:25]

[Rushdoony] Let me just interject that we are going

[Rushdoony] Let me just interject that we are going to publish this manuscript by James Nichol on God and mathematics.

Gary, you have a very practical involvement in Christian education both through our Christian school and the fact that Graham is being home schooled for high school...

[Mose] I...

[Rushdoony] Any comments and observations?

[Mose] Well, I have something I would like to explore with Sam along this line. You... you mentioned at the beginning of our discussion that there is going to have to be cooperation between Christian schools and home schools. I am a co founder of a Christian school and, as Rush just mentioned, my wife and I are home schooling one of our children and have home schooled two other ones in the past. And I am starting to get reports, just in recent months about tensions developing between Christian schools and home schooling families, particularly in churches which have started Christian schools in recent years and now are experiencing a number of their families pulling out of the Christian schools and home schooling.

In what ways do you think that Christians schools and families in home schools can cooperate, some practical ways in which they could cooperate?

[Blumenfeld] Well, in the first place, the Christian school can act as an umbrella, in other words, to provide some legal protection for the home schoolers as simply having them enrolled. That is one practical thing they can do. Also Christian schools can offer certain extra curricular activities, music, band, and the kind of activities that require group... you know, group support. And some home schoolers don’t feel particularly able to teach highly technical subjects, chemistry labs and that sort of thing. But also another important thing that the Christian school should realize is that while some families home school their children, you know, k though 12, if you want to use those numbers, there are many home schoolers who reach a point where they do want to put the child in a formal atmosphere. And if the ... if the... if the Christian school has been friendly to the family, they are more likely to go to that school than one that has been hostile. So it is in the interest of the Christian school to befriend the home schoolers in the interest of some day getting some of those children back, just from an economic point of view. [00:15:07]

But they have to collaborate, because we are all part

But they have to collaborate, because we are all part of the same movement. You see, it is... it is the... the same battle against secular humanist education. We are just doing it different ways and remember the Bible has given parents the responsibility for educating their children. As a matter off fact, the Bible commands parents to educate their children. So the parent has the first responsibility. If that parent wants to delegate that responsibility to a Christian school, fine. But if that parent wants to do it themselves, those parents want to do it themselves, they certainly and it should be supported by the Christian community.

[Scott] Isn’t there a point, Sam, where parents are beginning to run into sort of a dead end when you get through high school, for instance? Then what? You don't want to send the child to a seminary which is a continuation of a Christian education or Bible school. And there aren’t very many colleges so far as I know. Of course, there are Catholic colleges and I don’t whether there are any protestant colleges left at all.

[Rushdoony] Oh, there are a large number of Protestant colleges, but the question is: How many of them are worth much? So many have departed from the faith and increasingly both Catholic and Protestant colleges are so enamored of accreditation that they are ready to sell their soul to the devil.

I think perhaps one area of great potential for the future is the kind of thing that Valley Christian was doing, because here was a largely correspondence program with some on campus instruction and examination regularly. And it was enabling a great many people, particularly older ones who were going back and trying to do their educating without surrendering their jobs and taking care of their families at the same time. And the results were exceptionally good. The graduates were a distinguished group until the state intervened there.

Now I think something like that may well develop within the next generation. The modern university is making itself obsolete. It has become increasingly power oriented. The number of departments, the endless division to create new power centers so that you no longer are being trained in a department in terms of an actual vocation. You are being trained in terms of faculties idea of courses that will build up its prestige and give it more power on campus by having more students. [00:18:26]

[Scott] Yes. If you choose a major, I understand...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ...if you choose a major, then they give you certain mandatory courses that you have to take which are often very far afield from your major. And that means that at least half your time is spent in courses that you don’t intend to pursue, have no particular interest in.

[Blumenfeld] Well, you know, I believe that the university today has merely become a credentialing system. In other words, you go there to get a diploma or...

[Rushdoony] Much as a union card.

[Blumenfeld] Yeah. Yeah, to become a lawyer or a doctor. That is all it is. You have got to go t through it to get these pieces of paper that provide you with access to certain professions. Otherwise you are left out.

[Scott] You can’t even be interviewed in the average corporation without a degree.

[Blumenfeld] Exactly. I know brilliant people who would make wonderful lawyers, but they can’t practice law, because they don’t have that sheepskin and so...

[Rushdoony] Interesting. The jail house lawyers are among the best in the country.

[Scott] Well, you know, you used to be able to go to law school for two years and take and pas the bar examination. That was it. But now they insist on four years of college first and then two years.

[Blumenfeld] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Except in California.

[Scott] Except in California.

[Rushdoony] In California you can simply prepare on your own and take the bar examination.

[Scott] There is a problem, though. Only about 15 to 20 percent of the applicants to the bar examination ever pass for reasons that are quite mysterious.

[Rushdoony] Well, one of the more prominent corporation lawyers in this state who recently retired passed the bar examination that way.

[Blumenfeld] You know, Rush, I am often asked by parents, as a matter of fact, if I can recommend decent college for their youngsters. And I generally tell them that, you know, Tillsdale is not bad. It is pretty good. It has a good reputation. Then there is Grove City. And if they want a very strong traditionalist, religious education there is Bob Jones University which is really... when you go down there it is almost like going back to the 50s. The girls wear skirts and the boys wear pants and ties and shirts and everything. It is done by the numbers, but it is quite a ... a different atmosphere. [00:21:03]

So there are some colleges and universities and I feel

So there are some colleges and universities and I feel, though, that ... and particularly the military schools, the academies. We have had home schoolers who have gotten scholarships to Annapolis. And become officers in... in... in... in ... in the military. So it isn’t entirely hopeless.

[Scott] Oh, no. But I think it is a subject that is going to have to... it is becoming increasingly important.

[Blumenfeld] Yes, yes.

[Scott] As... as the Christian and home school movement graduates increase, we are now getting into the business of adult schooling.

[Blumenfeld] Yes, yes.

[Scott] That is the next big...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ...break through.

[Rushdoony] Well, the beginning of the 70s everybody was wondering what they were going to do for Christian high schools. Now they have exceptionally fine home school materials and the Christian schools have moved into that area. As a matter of fact, you can get video cassettes to teach your high school student at home which will give you better material in, say, chemistry or physics, than you can get in almost any school in the country. So the home schoolers have suddenly forged ahead in that area because of the modern technology.

[Scott] Well, of course, the thing about home school or small Christian school is that you can’t hide. And in public school there is a great deal of...

[Blumenfeld] Well...

[Scott] effect working anonymity.

[Blumenfeld] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Well...

[Blumenfeld] Well, I... I certainly wanted to second that, the point about technology in the home. But the... the home now has access to computers and video machines, VHS and cassettes. And as you know, Otto, education is... the educated people are self taught.

[Scott] Oh, well, you have to be. Yes.

[Blumenfeld] And it depends 95 percent on reading.

[Scott] Oh, sure.

[Blumenfeld] Ninety-five percent comes out of reading and the... the five percent is experience. So books are available. Tapes are available. Lectures are available. So much can be done at home, you know, rather than sitting in a lecture hall listening to some professor put you to sleep. I mean, that is not my idea of education.

[Mose] That was clearly the case with our son who just completed his junior year of high school as a home schooler. He has gone all the way through his junior high, almost all of the way through junior high and all the way through high school as a home schooler and in the early years my wife worked very intensely with him as a ... as a monitor and a teacher.

[Blumenfeld] Yeah.

[Mose] This past year as a junior he has worked almost entirely on an individual basis.

[Blumenfeld] Yeah.

[Mose] Reading, individual research. He ... he is working on a much more intensive level than I ever did probably through college. He... he dreams up his own research activities and he follows through up on that and then he has just completed his college entrance tests, first round and came out in the 99th percentile. So from my own experience I can vouch of the fact that it is possible for a home schooler to achieve very highly.

[Blumenfeld] Oh yes. [00:24:33]

[Rushdoony] I think one of the great advantages of

[Rushdoony] I think one of the great advantages of the home school and the Christian school is the lack of money.

[Blumenfeld] Oh, yeah.

[Rushdoony] Because some years ago, almost 20 year ago, a man in the sciences told me that the curse of the public schools was the money they had to spend so that, for example, in the sciences they had laboratories and they had microscopes. They had experiments to do and so on or so-called experiments, really repeating the experiment of someone generations ago. And he said all that was a waste of time and money that if in some experiment needed to be demonstrated o the students, the teacher could do it. But the time could be better spent and more cheaply. So he said the money the public schools have was a major hindrance to science education. And a Christian school and the home school not having money to spend on all that paraphernalia can concentrate on learning, not playing games with microscopes and test tubes and the like.

[Scott] Well, watching films I am told takes up an awful lot of public school students’ time.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Watching movies.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Sitting in the darkened classrooms and watching movies. Watching movies.

[Blumenfeld] It puts you to sleep. But you are right about the business of the money doing so much damage to education. As a matter of fact, in Boston, we have had this so-called compact between the large universities and the public schools and MIT was engaged in ... in trying to help create a... a technical high school and invested a... and this high school got a tremendous amount of free computers. They had a marvelous computer room which hasn’t been used for the last three years because they can’t find the software or... it is just... you know, they do all this marvelous equipment. They don't know what to do with it. They don’t know how to use it, you see. And so MIT has bowed out. They have just... they are... they have thrown up their hands with disgust in disgust and said, “We can’t even deal with these people.”

[Scott] Well, you do run into people who have excellent schooling. I do. And they ... they are quite thrown when you tell them something the school hasn’t prepared them to hear. I had a fellow working on a magazine who came from England and I said, “I want you to go out and interview, pick out five or six men in some industry or another and ask them about this particular set of developments which I had just happened to notice.” [00:27:23]

So he went out and he came back about three or four

So he went out and he came back about three or four hours later and I said, “Where did you talk to?”

He said, “Well, I went to the library.”

I said, “The library?” I said, “The library is a cemetery of information.” I said, “Everything in the library is 15 years old. I wanted you to talk to people in the business.”

And he was quite offended. He said, “Well, I was never told before that it was a waste of time to go to the library.”

I said, “You haven’t been a reporter.”

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Blumenfeld] Well, it is an entirely different thing, but that... one of... I remember, I know a home schooling family in ... in New Orleans and their son is very much interested in astronomy and he wanted to meet the professor who had discovered one of the planets. And this professor happened to be living, I believe, in Arizona or New Mexico and so the family took this trip across country and stopped off at this professor’s home and actually visited with the man who had discovered the planet. The professor was delighted to see this young man, because he had been long forgotten by his colleagues. You know, he was in retirement and all of that. But that is the kind of thing that you can do in home schooling and that is the kind of thing that home schooling encourages, this independent search for knowledge instead of being a passive recipient of some professor or some teacher.

[Scott] Drinking at a failed pool.

[Blumenfeld] Yes. That is about it.

[Rushdoony] Well, don’t encourage too much of that. One of the things that I detest is having letters and phone calls from all over the country from students in colleges and universities and sometimes Christian schools who want me to outline and sometimes send them about 10 pages on a project they are working on.

[Blumenfeld] Yes.

[Scott] They want you to do their work.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Yes.

[Blumenfeld] I get letters like that, too.

[Rushdoony] I had one young woman from the University of Colorado call me and tell me she wanted to do a paper on my ideas on education. And she hadn't read my three books on the subject. But she wanted me to send her an outline of about 10 pages. And when I said no she told me what she thought of me, how un Christian I was and banged the receiver down.

[Blumenfeld] Oh, my. [00:30:01]

[Rushdoony] Now that is the kind of thing that is taking

[Rushdoony] Now that is the kind of thing that is taking place. They are parasites.

[Blumenfeld] Yeah. That is a... that is a... you are perfectly right. I get letters like that from people who want... who want you to do their work for them. And they have got to realize that they have got to do the work themselves.

[Scott] The fun is in doing the work.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And these people today want things handed to them and feel there is something wrong with you if you don’t.

[Blumenfeld] And they usually come out of the public schools.

[Rushdoony] Oh, yes.

[Blumenfeld] Well, you know, they are the ones who have been preparing all of these outlines, you see, or getting... being told that they should have somebody else do it for them.

[Rushdoony] I have encountered instances of public school teachers who encourage people to write for data from an organization which will tell them everything they want to know.

Now as we continue, Sam, I would like to call attention to something that our oldest daughter Rebecca told us just a few weeks ago when she was here with her husband and children visiting. She said that the local grade school had a principal who made no bones about the fact that she was hoping the school would continue to drift downward in its academic performance, because then they would qualify for all kinds of special federal and state funds for schools that were dealing with children who were not performing and so on. So it would appear that our public schools reward a lack of performance rather than performance.

[Blumenfeld] Well, that is true, Rush, because the federal funding goes to the... to the schools that fail. The more failure you have, the more money you get. So there is a built in economic incentive now for failure in the public schools. And that is one of the reasons why they are not infested in methods that work. That is one of the reasons you can’t get systematic intensive phonics in the first grade of ... of ... of the schools, because they don’t want the kids to be able to read well. As a matter of fact, I have heard from teachers who have used phonics, intensive phonics in their classrooms who were accused by the other teachers as trying to undermine the school’s financial base by threatening jobs. You know, special education jobs, by producing kids who can read, you see. As a matter of fact, Rush, we now have a whole industry, a whole profession devoted to taking care of failures. It is called special education. And the largest segment of children in special ed these days are not the deaf kids of the blind kids, but the so-called learning disabled. These are children who become functionally illiterate in the first grade because of the look say whole word method that produces the symptoms of dyslexia. And we have known this since 1929 when Dr. Samuel T. Orden wrote an article in The Journal of Educational Psychology in which he warned the professors that this sight word method of teaching reading would produce reading disability. Of course, they didn’t care what he said. They just went on their merry way.

[Scott] Two years ago I was ... two days ago, rather, when we were at that picnic....

[Blumenfeld] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Yes, the Chalcedon barbeque.

[Scott] Right.

[Rushdoony] In San Jose.

[Scott] I was asked by a young woman if there was any other way to teach a child to read excepting through phonics. And I said I didn’t know, but I suggested she ask you. Did she get to you?

[Blumenfeld] I don’t believe she did, but that is the only way you can teach a child to read an alphabetic writing system. Ours is an alphabetic writing system. And an alphabet, as you know, is a set of letters that sound for the irreducible speech sounds of the language. And for generations it was taught in a very simple mechanical way. You would teach your child first to recognize the letters of the alphabet. Then you would drill the child in the sounds that the letters stood for. And the purpose of the drill was to make sure that the child develop an automatic association between letter and sound. So that when the child saw the sound he would hear the letter... saw the letter, he would hear the sounds. And then you would... once you achieve that... once you achieve that, then the child would be given words and sentences and little stories to read. So that is a three.... a three part system, three stages.

Now the look say method teaches the child to recognize the letters, but then skips step two, does not teach the letter sounds and goes directly to whole words and teaches the child to look at these words as little pictures, as little ideographs to be memorized as a sight vocabulary. And it is that ... that attempt to memorize sight vocabulary to deal with words as wholes that produced the symptoms of dyslexia, because the child is asked to look at an English word as a little picture.

Well, as you know, Otto, when you look at a picture you don’t necessary look at it from left to right or from right to left. You look at it any way you want to.

[Scott] That is right.

[Blumenfeld] And so these child develop these terrible habits of looking words in all sorts of ways, including upside down. And ... and so these child wind up guessing what these words are and developing all these horrible habits of looking at words and... and... and, you know, mixing up letters and reversing letters and all of that. And these are considered the symptoms of dyslexia. [00:36:13]

[Scott] Now some get through apparently

[Scott] Now some get through apparently. They get high marks.

[Rushdoony] They tend to learn at a phonics system on their own or with help from their parents.

[Scott] I see.

[Blumenfeld] Yes.

[Scott] I see.

[Rushdoony] There is a lot of that going on. It is bootleg education.

[Blumenfeld] Boot leg, black market education. That is right. That is right.

[Rushdoony] You know, an interesting thought here. Since state education rewards incompetence, puts more money in a school the worse it is, what if the churches operated that way?

[Scott] Turn out sinners?

[Rushdoony] Yes. The more sinners they turned out and the more people they sent to hell, the greater the prestige of the church and of the pastor.

[Scott] Well, do you think that is not happening? Haven’t you read about the homosexual denominations?

[Rushdoony] Yes. And some of our major mainline churches with their Modernism, they are rewarding the same kind of thing. Of course, it is not with our tax money, at least.

[Blumenfeld] Yes. But there is such a thing as a church of Satan.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Blumenfeld] I have seen it on television.

[Mose] The argument that continues to be made by some Christians that if Christians continue to pull out of the public schools we can only expect them to get worse. The idea is that Christians are to be salt and light in every institution, in every part of society and, as much said, we make that argument in Christian Reconstruction and Christians ought not to be pulling out of various spheres, because that just leaves the field to the... the devil. What is your response to that?

[Blumenfeld] Well, my response to that is that the secular public school was created to get God out of education. That was its primary purpose. That is why the government got involved in... in creating or in supporting a secular public education. If you study the history of ... of how the government got involved in the education business you will find that the movement, the public school movement was spurred by the Unitarians who no longer believed in the divinity of Christ, who no longer believed in the efficacy of salvation through Christ. They believed that the school, the secular school was to be the new vehicle of salvation. And then the... the... the Unitarians were then joined by the Olanite Socialists who were Atheists. They were, in turn, joined by the Hegelians who have their pantheistic view of things. And finally they were joined by orthodox Christians, Protestants who were frightened of the Catholic influx in this country and thought that perhaps they... by joining the others in a public school movement, that they could maintain the Protestant character of American culture in the face of massive Catholic immigration. [00:39:18]

Now the Catholics saw through all of this, bolted the

Now the Catholics saw through all of this, bolted the system and created their own parochial school system, because they didn’t want their children to be either proselytized into Protestantism or turned into infidels. And that is... that is why we have the system that we have today.

So the public school system will never... can never serve the educational and spiritual needs of Christian children.

[Mose] Is it redeemable?

[Blumenfeld] No. Absolutely not.

[Scott] Don't forget that, as you started off with the dangers of public schools today. Now one of the things that got me in trouble as a boy was the nature of the public schools in New York City. I was sent to what they called a junior high school. You go from the sixth grade to junior high school.

[Blumenfeld] Right.

[Scott] Now the sixth grade was up on Washington Heights at a time when there was no apartment buildings up there, just one or two brand new apartments. It was rather fancy in those days. And then I was sent to this very crowded 186 which was a junior high or which went into junior high. And where I had never played hooky excepting occasionally before, it turned me into a total and incorrigible truant. And it led to a whole series of difficulties that I got into as a boy. That particular public school experiment. And not only at that time, but since I have heard liberals say, “Well, the public school is democratic experience.” And you learn to live with other races and other groups.

Well, I don’t now how you can escape other races and other groups in the United States, in the first place.

[Blumenfeld] Yes.

[Scott] ...or in life. it is going to happen to you as soon as you leave home anyway, even if you are born and raised in an ivory tower. But in the meantime, I venture to believe that more kids have been destroyed by the public school system than any other single institution.

[Blumenfeld] Oh, you are absolutely correct on that.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Blumenfeld] I just wanted to mention one other thing. You had a miserable experience in junior high. So did I. In our junior high school they had something called an open air class which was in the corner of the building which all of the windows were kept wide open in the middle of February. The theory was that if you were under weight you needed a lot of fresh air.

[Scott] It would cure tuberculosis in those days.

[Blumenfeld] Right. And they had to recruit kids for the open air class. And they went to my mother and they told her that I was underweight and that I should be put in the open air class. And so my mother, being an immigrant woman didn’t know what was going on, agreed. And so I was put in this horrible open air class. I froze to death. It was filled with delinquents, about 10 of us there. The teacher was horrible. And that was the time when I began to play hooky. [00:42:19]

[Scott] Ok. Yes.

[Blumenfeld] Yes. I was so miserable.

[Scott] Cause and effect.

[Blumenfeld] Right. Exactly.

[Rushdoony] You spoke, Gary, of sending children. I hear this all the time and it infuriates me, into the public schools to be salt.

[Mose] Right.

[Rushdoony] Now. That is an evil idea and you tell people when they say it they are evil, because our Lord says to his disciples, mature men, ye are the salt of the earth. He doesn’t say it to children.

[Mose] Right.

[Rushdoony] Children are to be protected and nurtured, not to be sent out. We think Iran is very ugly and evil, because it is sending boys of nine, 10, 11 into the front lines with guns that are bigger than they are to die. It is the same thing only it is more brutal to send them into the public schools to have their lives blasted.

[Scott] Well, this is a totalitarian practice.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] They experiment with children and you notice that they always try to opt the very smallest children.

[Blumenfeld] Yes.

[Scott] They don’t try to opt the adolescents. They trot out the five and six and seven and eight year olds and then suddenly you don't hear anything more about it until you see the perfectly conformed university types.

[Rushdoony] They also say some of these parents... and the infuriate me so that I have reached the point where I can’t talk to them without getting very angry. They say, “My child needs and can be a witness.”

[Murray] Yes.

[Rushdoony] One woman never spoke to me again because I told her, “What kind of witness do you have?” I have never seen a witness come out of you that was anything that was anything remotely godly.

[Mose] What they are saying its hat they are going to send a little lamb in to the wolf pack to...

[Rushdoony] Right.

[Mose] ... to somehow convert the wolves.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Into the butcher shop.

[Rushdoony] And maintain their standard of living without having to pay for Christian schooling. That is the key factor.

[Scott] You are not... you cannot.... you cannot really take these different levels of intelligence, either and treat them as interchangeable integers. Some children grow up later than others. Some mature quickly. There are racial differences which are not simply matters of pigment. They are cultural differences. All these things are extremely important and to disrupt them into some sort of universal mold, the procrustean dead, which every one is forced to fit, has destroyed probably more minds in this country than poverty or anything else. [00:45:20]

[Blumenfeld] Yes

[Blumenfeld] Yes. Another thing that the public schools do is that they create teenage rebellion, because they are teaching a different set of values through values clarification. They are telling the youngsters that they don’t have to, you know, conform to or obey their parents’ values or traditions, that they can create their own. And this tends to create a conflict within the family and you get this ting called teenager rebellion in America which is considered very normal.

[Scott] And it doesn’t exist anywhere else.

[Blumenfeld] Well, it certainly doesn’t exist in the home schooling family where the ... where the families are... are integrated, that is the children and the... and the adults, the parents’ lives are integrated, whereas in the public school the children are sent off to the school where they have their social life with their peers. They develop their friendships, their loyalties with their peers. And the parents develop their own interests. You know, they play bridge or they go on a cruise and the kids are left to their devices and you get a separation and a parting of the ways, whereas in a home schooling our have an integrated family where everybody is interested in one another. The children are part of their parents lives. The parents are part of their children’s lives and that makes for a healthier family.

[Mose] To clarify that a little further, the... that is not to say that in a home schooling family there may not be conflict.

[Blumenfeld] Oh, sure.

[Mose] If I may use my own family as an example, I am... I am here to tell you that ...

[Blumenfeld] But it is a different kind of conflict.

[Mose] We have had plenty of conflict. The difference is, though, that we are not at cross purposes. The purpose of each individual member in the family is... is in the same direction and it is not rebellion in that sense, because our purpose is common.

[Blumenfeld] Yes.

[Mose] Even though we may, you know, have daily conflicts or... or conflicts over minor technical matters or personalities. Our purpose in life, the goal to... to glorify God and to reclaim this world for our King, all of our children share that value with us as parents. So conflicts are resolvable...

[Blumenfeld] Oh, yeah.

[Mose] ...mainly because we have common purpose.

[Blumenfeld] Yes, yes.

[Scott] There is... I... I recall some years ago. I told you about the conference, that youth conference that I attended because I was doing a project for the counsel, I think it was, on employment of youth which had grown out of the child labor committee. And so for a while I was ... I mean on the fringes of the educational establishment. And I remember attending a fairly well collection, a pretty big collection of teachers in which a number of them very proudly said, “I am not interested in the bright. I am interested in the disadvantaged.” And I thought a teacher that is not interested in the bright is some sort of an intellectual pervert, because the whole point in teaching is to discover and encourage the potential of the bright. [00:48:46]

What sort of a society can exist by taking care of

What sort of a society can exist by taking care of its dullards at the expense of its brilliant?

[Rushdoony] There is another aspect to the whole subject of education and it is this. In a home school the parents are concerned with the whole life of the child and with educating the child in terms of the faith, in terms of his aptitudes, in terms of a knowledge of the weaknesses of the child and you recognize yourself and your children and so you know what to watch out for, where to clobber them.

[Scott] It is humiliating, but true.

[Rushdoony] Yes. It is... Now in a Christian school, because you as a Christian have certain goals, the school shares those goals with you and watches over the child in the same way. But you have that same parental concern in a public school by people who have a totally alien faith, a totally alien goal for your children. So it leads to the warping of the child and it is a fundamental disrespect for the child and for the family of the child. And it results in a very wooden thing that they are going to force on all the children to make them into cookie cutter peoples.

I recall some few years ago when they learned something that took them a while to learn. And it was this. Maybe you remember, Otto, our generation and maybe yours, Sam. When you went to school you had to have a glass of milk every day.

[Scott] Oh, yes.

[Rushdoony] Yes. It was brought around and handed to every child.

[Scott] Yes.

[Rushdoony] And you had to drink it up. Oh, I always liked milk. It was no problem. I could drink mine and the next kid’s if he didn’t want it. And I could get away with it. But there were some children who didn’t like it. [00:51:07]

And it took some while for them to learn, many years

And it took some while for them to learn, many years of sad experience that a very high percentage of black children and a substantial percentage of white children are after the early two, three years of their life allergic to milk. It makes them bilious and gassy and miserable.

[Scott] That is right.

[Rushdoony] And there were a lot of them, I remember like that. I didn’t know the reason for it, but they were all around me in school.

Well, that was the state school. It was going to ram its pattern down the throat of all children without exception.

[Scott] And...

[Blumenfeld] Look, Rush, let me... relate... a... a humorous aspect of that business of... of... of certain black children being allergic to milk. Jesse Jackson and his wife were invited by Michael Dukakis for a Fourth of July dinner and the first course of the meal was clam chowder with milk and Jesse was... had to pass it up. He couldn’t eat the clam chowder because of the milk. He was allergic to milk and so that ... there went the first course.

These second course was salmon and peas, which is a traditional New England, you know, Fourth of July dinner. Well, of course, Jesse only eats fried fish. So that course went out of the meal.

Finally, when they adjourned to... when ... when it was all over and the adjourned to the... the... the esplanade where the concert was being played, Jesse had a TV dinner brought... I don’t know if it was TV dinner, but fast food dinner brought into him on a plastic plate he was so hungry.

[Rushdoony] No wonder... no wonder he was not happy with Dukakis.

[Scott] No wonder they didn’t get on the ticket.

[Blumenfeld] But... but... but that is the kind of thing that you would... that they... they really don’t think about when they are...

[Rushdoony] No.

[Blumenfeld] ... when they are dealing with the... with the...

[multiple voices]

[Scott] Well, when I... when I first went to school they used to skip grades.

[Blumenfeld] Yes.

[Scott] I skipped several grades. But I understand now they don’t skip grades.

[Rushdoony] No.

[Blumenfeld] Yes.

[Rushdoony] And they don’t flunk.

[Scott] And they don’t flunk.

[Rushdoony] many, many schools across the country.

[Scott] So therefore the marks mean nothing.

[Rushdoony] No.

[Scott] The grades mean nothing.

[Blumenfeld] Yes.

[Scott] And even if you have a 99 percent, it doesn’t mean that you are going to be admitted to any school you apply to.

[Blumenfeld] You know, another thing, Rush, is that the ... the public schools have actually become anti Christian.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Blumenfeld] They are not neutral, as you know. They ... they pretend neutrality.

[Rushdoony] The never have been.

[Blumenfeld] Yeah, they never have. But they are so anti Christian that I am sure you are aware of the ... the case on this equal access or the... the extra curricular clubs, Bible clubs and things. [00:54:05]

[Rushdoony] Yes

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Blumenfeld] ... have been banned on campus. And, of course, Congress passed the equal access law in order to give the schools the ability to... that is the permission to permit Bible study clubs. Well, the schools now show their true color by saying, “Well, we can’t have a Bible study club because the Bible is not relevant to the curriculum. We can only have extra... we can only have extra curricular activities that are relevant to the curriculum.” So, yes you can have a chess club, because it is relevant to logic and mathematics. But Bible study is not relevant to anything. Can you imagine the Bible not be relevant to what is going on in the schools?

The most important single book in all of...

[Scott] Not relevant to a Barbarian.

[Blumenfeld] That is about it.

[Rushdoony] I was in a trial in the South in which that was the issue. Since the children were being bussed in from miles and miles around, some got in about 35, 40 minutes ahead because the same buses had to make several routes and they made the route so that some got in much ahead of the others and they started a Bible study group, met in a classroom. And all hell broke loose. They were taken to court and lost.

[Scott] And...

[Blumenfeld] And they lost.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Blumenfeld] And, my heavens, the Bible is, you know, it is...

[Scott] It is {?} wide civilization.

[Blumenfeld] Not only the talk about civilization...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Blumenfeld] Go ahead.

[Rushdoony] Yes. There was an elderly black woman who was in the courtroom, a teacher had taught for years and years in black segregated schools and then retired about the time of integration. And she was in that courtroom listening and after I testified and left she followed me out and she said, “They talk about Sodom and Gomorrha. They talk about Babylon and we are going to put them to shame.”

[Blumenfeld] Absolutely. I was... what... what but it bothered me a great deal, Rush, was that the Christian lawyers could not see the relevance of the Bible, too, that they didn’t argue that. What they argued was that, well, the other courses weren’t relevant, you know, that chess is not relevant. And therefore it didn’t have to be relevant.’

[Scott] They ceded the grounds of the argument.

[Blumenfeld] Exactly. And I don’t know why Christian lawyers aren’t better versed on these things.

[Scott] Why are they not more literate?

[Blumenfeld] Or more literate. Perhaps they didn’t realize that the Bible is relevant to English literature, to archaeology, to ancient history, to Elizabethan English, to mathematics.

[Scott] To morality. I mean ...

[Blumenfeld] Ethics. [00:57:13]

[Scott] If we have no standard, why not kill the judge

[Scott] If we have no standard, why not kill the judge and the lawyers and go on about our business.

[Blumenfeld] Right.

[Mose] Considering what you said earlier about the public schools being established specifically to create an anti religious atmosphere in this country, if that is in fact the purpose of the public schools underlying it all, should we have Bible reading and prayer in public schools?

[Blumenfeld] Well, I think it is the... Christians have to simply abandon the public schools, because, as I said, they can never serve the spiritual or educational needs of Christian children. So why bother to tamper with them. You are going to constantly spend money on ... in court when that money could be used for home schooling or creating Christian schools. You know, these cases are very expensive. And while the opposition, Norman Lear and his crowd, can get a million dollars of... of legal service free of charge as they did in these... these last cases in the... in the creation case, the New Orleans... the Louisiana recreation case that the Tennessee textbook case, the Alabama Humanism case, the liberals donate their time, but Christians have to pay through the nose to get legal help in these things. And what happens? We have lost every case now.

[Scott] Even so, I feel uneasy about the idea of abandoning the field. There are poor people and people who both have to work, can’t take care of... they can’t put up a homeschool thing. And there are people who have disabilities of their own and so forth and so on.

[Blumenfeld] Yes.

[Scott] And there is an awful lot of millions of ... of lives involved and sooner or later we are going to develop cases that we are going to win.

[Blumenfeld] Well, I... I... I look at it this way. The... I attended a home schooling conference where a black mother got up and said that she works. She would love to home school, but she can’t. And so I suggested, well, perhaps there are other home schooling families that could help this lady, you see?

[Rushdoony] It has been done, I know.

[Blumenfeld] And as soon as the meeting was over, she ... a bunch of women converged on this mother willing to help. So there are ways of taking care of these things.

I am not saying abandon the children, though, those schools, to simply the Satanists who now run the... the... the establishment. I am simply saying, though... and I have nothing against a Christian teacher who wants to remain in a public school as a missionary. But that Christian teacher should do with his or her eyes open and know what the risks are. [00:60:14]

But that is all right

But that is all right. You know, there are Christian teachers in the public schools who are trying to do something. But I am saying, though, that ... that the parents’ first responsibility is to their own children to make sure that they get a decent education.

[Rushdoony] Well, our time is almost over. So I hate to cut it short, but I am going to have to. And I would like to add just this word. One of the problems with the Christian lawyers is that they are so harried and rushed going from case to case it is very difficult sometimes to stand back and look at the thing objectively and see the whole thing. They are... so hard pressed and they simply fight it on this issue and that issue and are short of funds. They can make more money in other kinds of law. And we do need to develop more resources here so that our lawyers are better able to fight these issues.

Well, our time is up. Thank you all for listening and thank you, Sam. It has been a delight.

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

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