Death and Taxes II - RR161AC54

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Death and Taxes II
Course: Course - From the Easy Chair
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 54
Length: 1:00:12
TapeCode: RR161AC54
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 permission of the Chalcedon Foundation

Dr. R. J. Rushdoony, RR161AC54, Death and Taxes II from the Easy Chair, excellent colloquies on various subjects.

[Rushdoony] This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 158, November 4, 1987.

A little while ago Otto Scott and I finished discussing the subject of taxes and taxation. Our conversation took us here and there in byways that we didn’t expect when we started. In between, as we were discussing getting started on this second one on death, the other half of death and taxes, Otto said, “This will be a little different. We have had experience with taxation, but not yet with death.” So we are ready to postpone that experience for a while. However, we will discuss death in this session.

Now in the 50s one scholar wrote an essay on the subject of death, a very interesting essay. He predicted that the old pornography, sexual pornography would soon become high respectable and no longer be classified as pornography, something forbidden, taboo, off limits. And he said a new pornography is already developing and that pornography is death. It is the subject now that is increasingly taboo, that people are unwilling to face up to, because they don’t have a faith that once marked the American people.

About that same time I learned that in many a rest home or nursing home for elderly people it was common place when someone died to tell the other patients as the mortician came to take the body that Mrs. So and so has gone to the hospital, not that Mrs. So and so has died. They were unwilling to use the word death.

Now that is the hallmark of pornography, something that is forbidden, taboo that nobody wants to discuss or talk about.

Well, this is a curious fact, but a very revealing fact. It tells us how far we have wandered from the Christian faith, because for us as Christians, death is a fact, now not necessarily one we are happy about, but it is something we have to live with. We are mortal. Perhaps some of us feel like the writer Arn Soren who in his last illness said, “I knew that all men must die and that I had to die, perhaps, someday, but somehow I thought I would be an exception.” [00:03:37]

Well, {?} go on living as though we are going to be that exception. We don’t prepare for it. We don’t think about it. It is the pornography, the ultimate pornography that we avoid.

Well, with those general comments, Otto, do you have a reaction or do you want to make some general comments now?

[Scott] Well, I think... I don’t think the average American any longer sees death. I remember when I was a child being sent up the hill to the Cowans who were relatives of my mother’s side of the family and Mrs. Cowan had died and Mr. Cowan was quite elderly and he was in bad shape. It was a Sunday morning. The women were all in the kitchen and they said, “Oh, go on upstairs. First the bedroom.”

And I went up stairs and I sat in the chair and the old man was on the bed, in the bed. And while I was sitting there, I guess I was about eight, his chest arched up and there was a death rattle and he died. And I knew that he died. It had never seen anyone die before, but I knew immediately that he died. And I went back down the stairs and I stood as a child will in the doorway of the kitchen and they said, “Well, did you see pop?” or whatever they called him. I had forgotten and I said, “Yes.” And before I could say anything more they said, “Well, go on home.” And they shooed me out.

So I went home and when the news came, somebody came running down the hill and said Mr. Cowans is dead I, to my shame, pretended surprise together with everybody else, because I didn’t know how to explain that I had been there and I thought I might be blamed or something. You know, how you are.

So years later, of course, I have seen a great deal of death. I covered crime and I was in the war and I remember on Saipan they had bodies piled up like cordwood and they were digging a trench with a trench digger. You could... it was warm weather and you could smell death in the air long before you came to the bodies. I am sure they told the people back home that they all got a separate burial, but they didn’t. There wasn’t time for that sort of a nicety. And I remember, in fact, on one of the ships I was on, we borrowed a film form the naval vessel and it was a Boris Karloff mystery and Boris Karloff was driving a stagecoach and there was a cadaver bumping against him and he was showing all kinds of fear. And all the soldiers and sailors went into hysterics. They thought it was the funniest thing they had ever seen, because to see someone ... a dead person was very common. [00:06:36]

Now we have been at peace for quite a while, pretty...

Now we have been at peace for quite a while, pretty much. I don’t think the average young person in the United States has ever seen anyone die excepting in the films, in imaginary death. And I believe the is a general American feeling now that death is an intrusion which really should not be permitted and if anyone dies it is someone else’s fault. The doctor didn’t do right or the nurse didn't right or he wasn’t... he didn't get a break or whatever. This is a violation of nature. It is not a part of nature. And that is a pretty bad way to get.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, in the 1950s I had a funeral service for an elderly woman. And she had been orphaned at an early age. She had grown up, married, had a large family, many grandchildren and so there were quite a few in that family. But there had never been a death in that family for over 60 years.

[Scott] Good heavens.

[Rushdoony] When she died it was the most tragic funeral I have ever been to or conducted, because they all fell apart. They had no contact with death.

Now I think in varying degrees that is the situation most Americans are in. Where there is a death, it is ...

[Scott] It is out of sight.

[Rushdoony] It is out of sight. They have no experience of it, whereas when you and I grew up we were constantly in the presence of death. Last death beds.

[Scott] Lots of people died.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And we ... well at least I often had to take care of the body and help out. But death became a normal part of life. It was something like taxes that was there always.

Moreover, there is this fact, too, which I think is very important. Some deaths are very painful. They are hard to witness because the persons who are dying maybe someone you know or a relative of someone, but they are without faith and they often die hard.

[Scott] Very hard. [00:09:27]

[Rushdoony] But I have seen things with Christians...

[Rushdoony] But I have seen things with Christians that are so awe inspiring, whenever I think of them I am deeply moved, because I know how trifling, really a fact, death is and how tremendous the sense of victory that some who are dying do experience.

In some instances I... they apparently briefly there have a vision of both worlds. They are in one and can see in the other.

[Scott] Their faces light up.

[Rushdoony] Their faces light up and they say things that you cannot account for. And it is a very profound experience, a very, very tremendous experience.

[Scott] Well, you recall that the Victorian writers always had and spent quite a bit of effort on their death scenes.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And this was always in every novel, practically, somebody died. And there was a death scene.

[Rushdoony] For a good deal of the history of Christendom it has been considered sad if a person dies suddenly.

[Scott] Yes, they didn’t have a chance to prepare.

[Rushdoony] Yes. The good death is, no matter how painful and lingering it is, when you die slowly and have a chance to have your family come...

[Scott] Take care of things.

[Rushdoony] take care of things, to counsel them, to plead with them to be faithful to the Lord and so on.

[Scott] Well, I had a friend who went to the physician and the doctor said, “I have bad news.” And the fellow said, “What is it?” And he said, “Well, you are going to die.” He said, “I know that, but are you implying you know the date?” And he had cancer. And he set up... he took care of everything. He set up a family trust. And as it happened, he died... his heart gave out before he even went to the hospital. So it was a good death. It was a good death.

On the other hand, the friend of mine, a sports writer went in to a hospital in New York. It is hard for me to forget him. He was a nice guy, liked him, a good writer, horse specialist, racers. And John Whitney came to see him and so forth and so on and he had an operation that removed his larynx and I when to see him a few days after that and he had fear in his eyes. And it was very hard to see, very painful to see. He died very badly, very badly. And I hated to see him go that way. [00:12:35]

[Rushdoony] Yes...

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, every now and then, about once a year, I have an occasion when conversation gets to the subject of death to talk about some of the death beds where I have been. And when I was on the Indian reservation in particular I was the only pastor for a hundred miles in any direction. So both the white ranchers and the Indians I was the only one. I was there at a great many death beds, a great many. I had more funerals than ministers have in a lifetime in a year or two at times. But the most dramatic in those years was of a young and attractive Indian girl. She was a wild girl. I knew her father quite well, but once when the weather was bad on a Sunday night she came by. I guess she came in to the church for refuge from the weather. And She came right up to about the third row and sat there and listened very attentively and I was surprised that Elizabeth was there knowing quite a bit about her. And after the service she stopped at the door to ask me a question or two as she shook my hand. And she said, when I answered her question. And I don’t remember what it was. It was something about Christ. She said, “Yes, that is true. It has to be true.” And she said a few other things and then left.

And I thought, well, I wonder if she will be back. But she was back the next week and the week after, three or four Sundays in a row. And I talked with her. She was a very happy and joyful person, truly believed. It was amazing the change in her. [00:15:18]

Well, then came the next Sunday and she was not there...

Well, then came the next Sunday and she was not there. I thought, oh, well, she has gone back to her old ways, because she was will. She had been very promiscuous. She had lived without a care in her mind.

So I was concerned and I thought I have a duty, even though it is painful, to follow up on this. Well, I found she was in the hospital. I called on her and she told me what had been diagnosed. She has paresis which is syphilis which has gone through the system and reached the brain. And she told me very matter of factly and with faith and peace that would have done credit to a saint and she asked me if I could get a cross for her, a little cross, because, she said, “I won’t be able to talk or think,” but she said, “I hope I can hold that cross and still know what it means.”

I called on her every day and she listened very joyfully to everything I had to say. You could not have imagined anyone that was more at peace and more sure of heaven.

Well, I had to go away on a trip, I don't remember where. I was gone about a week and I came back and I was told that there was nothing that they could do for her in the hospital and they sent her home. I went out there and she had been in a coma for two, three days and I prayed and she recognized my voice and she came back to consciousness and she was not able to speak, but she motioned the top of the bed where the cross was hanging. And her mother took it down and she motioned to bring it closer and she kissed it and smiled at me and drifted off.

Now when you see death like that, that was the most dramatic, because of the difference.

[Scott] Yeah. [00:18:20]

[Rushdoony] In a few weeks...

[Rushdoony] In a few weeks…

[Scott] Yeah.

[Rushdoony] ...between what Elizabeth had been and what she became.

[Scott] Well...

[Rushdoony] You realize there is more involved in our dying when we are Christians than ourselves.

[Scott] Oh yes.

[Rushdoony] We don’t face it alone.

[Scott] There is a great deal involved in how you die and how you meet death.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] It is... it is the final test. And a society that rejects death—this is an odd thing to say...

[Rushdoony] No. It is an accurate thing.

[Scott] A society that rejects death is not able to live.

[Rushdoony] No.

[Scott] Because it has forgotten what is important.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Now to do anything to stay alive is to destroy your life.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] It is to make life meaningless. It means anyone who surrenders basic ... basic surrender such as the American people are trying... being propagandized to do. They are being told they are going to be incinerated by nuclear bombs and all this sort of nonsense. The Soviets don’t have to fight us. They are maneuvering us into surrender. This is what is going on. And any country that surrenders... this is what happened to the Romans.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Death lost its meaning. It lost its significance. It lost its grandeur. People lost their importance. They were thrown to the lions like you would throw a piece of meat. And we are doing this in the films. We are making death trivial. It is taking away the significance.

One of the things that annoys me when I don’t... I watch these things as much now that I... as I used to, but one of the things that annoys me about Hollywood is that they never allow any catharsis.

[Rushdoony] Yeah.

[Scott] The villain is never erected and given a punishment. He is always knocked out the window in a minute. He freely gets away with it, but an hour and a half and then the last 10 seconds he is shot.

Well, this teaches you and you don’t see him suffer for sin. And I don’t think I have ever really been afraid of death in that sense, because, as you... as you say, it was fairly common thing. We all knew kids that died before they grew up. They died of pneumonia. They died of diphtheria. They died of all these illnesses that the doctors couldn’t do anything about. You knew you were lucky if you didn’t get it. But it wasn’t a satanic thing. There was nothing evil about it. There is an association now of death and evil. [00:21:10]

[Rushdoony] Yes...

[Rushdoony] Yes. Very good point.

[Scott] ...which is another perversion.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And... and God is treated as evil for having people die.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Sin is the... death is the penalty for sin. But it is not sin nor evil in and of itself. It is the consequence of a world that has abandoned God. And for the Christian it is the step to the fullest kind of life.

[Scott] Well, yes. If ... if you are a Christian, of all people the Christian shouldn’t be afraid of death. Under the rebel, do you remember that?

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] {?} where this... the prisoners, the ones who believed, even the KGB gives up on them.

[Rushdoony] Yes. There are some dramatic stories that have come out of the Soviet Union slave labor camps on how Christians in those horrors have lived and died and how they have known what it is to have faith in the face of monstrous evil. And part of our weakness is that as a people is that we have forgotten both how to live and die, as you said.

[Scott] Well they have put aside... they put aside the corpse. I... I... I am not any great admirer of Jessica Mitford who... whose great argument against the undertakers and embalmers is that they were making money out of their trade. Well, they have been making money out of that trade since the time of the Egyptians and before them. And admitted the... They may charge too much. I don’t know how she measures these things.

[Rushdoony] Think they are fairly modest, having been through it. I...

[Scott] They bring a lot of comfort to the bereaved. It is a mark of... it is really... the whole rite of undertaking and burial and everything else is to assuage the grief of the survivors.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Everyone knows that there is just a shell there.

[Rushdoony] What Jessica Mitford and others like her wanted was to hide death. They wanted it to be something that would lead no trace, cremation, disposal of the ashes.

[Scott] That is becoming more and more popular.

[Rushdoony] Yes. No cemeteries, because cemeteries will remind us of death.

[Scott] And you notice that the crosses have been removed from the military...

[Rushdoony] Oh, yes.

[Scott] ...lest they attend.

[Rushdoony] Yes. I think it is amusing and ironic that in big cities like New York the cemeteries have now an important role. They are wildlife refuges.

[Scott] Is that so?

[Rushdoony] Because of the trees.

[Scott] Rabbits and the squirrels and so forth?

[Rushdoony] No, birds.

[Scott] Birds? [00:24:19]

[Rushdoony] They have become a haven for birds...

[Rushdoony] They have become a haven for birds.

[Scott] You think so.

[Rushdoony] They can... since they can’t be hunted in a cemetery, you will find more varieties of birds in most urban cemeteries than in the countryside, anywhere.

[Scott] Isn’t that interesting?

[Rushdoony] So cemeteries have become a place of song birds and other birds and bird watchers are finding them be an ideal place to identify more varieties than they could identify at any other place.

[Scott] Funny.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Very funny. It is strange now. People will die in a war. I know this. I was in London quite often since World War II. I never saw anyone show signs of fear. And neither on he... Oh, I will talk it back. There was one radio operator out of one vessel I was on that cracked up. He kept getting in hearing S O S and things like that and, of course, he couldn’t transmit. He could only receive and the captain of our vessel said, “I don’t want to hear any more of those messages unless the German surfaces with 12 inch guns.” And then he didn’t even have anyone to tell the messages to.

But, across the board people were very typically brave. Now this is exactly opposite what Stephen Crain said in The Red Badge of Courage or... or What Price Glory or Journey’s End, those shows that we saw when we were kids in which there were great hysterical outbursts and all breakdowns and all that kind of thing.

Well, I never saw anyone show any of this heavy emotion. And it occurred to me then that the human race is physically very brave and has to be, because if it wasn’t brave they couldn’t have wars.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Men are not really afraid to die when they get confronted with it, but the idea of death from a distance creates a sort of a hysteria. You are never... all the peace movements of the 30s and ... and everyone saying, “Well, I don’t want my son to go to fight,” and so forth and so on and then after Pearl Harbor, crack. It was all different.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, people are not afraid to die when they believe that something is worth dying for.

[Scott] That is a good point.

[Rushdoony] That is the key.

[Scott] That is the key. That is a very good key.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And it is at that point our culture stripped people of the ability to live and to die. There is nothing in life today as the public schools rear children, as most parents do, as television and the films do, that makes life worth living or dying for. And as a result we have a bankrupt people, morally bankrupt, intellectually bankrupt. Nothing is worthwhile.

[Scott] Well, that is a terrible statement. It is overdrawn, of course, but there is a lot of truth to it. [00:27:32]

If you ... if you deny heroism, if you deny nobility, one of the great but unconscious revelations of Freud’s character was that in his entire theory he never gave a creditable motive to any human action.

[Rushdoony] Yes. A very good point.

[multiple voices]

[Scott] What a... what a... what a projection.

[Rushdoony] Everything was debased.

[Scott] Everything.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] No love, no nobility, no sacrifice, no unselfishness.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Van Til in one of his books describes the whole world of Freud and of modern philosophy, modern thought as integration downward into the void.

[Scott] A very good phrase.

[Rushdoony] Yes. He says, “Man is explained in terms of his unconscious, the man in terms of the child, the child in terms of the primitive, the primitive in terms of the animal and we have a continual regression downward.”

[Scott] Well, that is very true. We know, of course, you have read about the revelation that it was an exhibition of primitive art that gave Picasso and his associates their inspiration. And very poor imitations of primitive art, I might say, because it lacks the awe inspiring feeling that you get from looking at the real thing.

When I was in Africa I saw some actual African idols and they were awesome, grotesque, but powerful.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, the real thing that has always escaped the {?} and his crowd so it is ironic that they did gravitate to what was fraudulent and not primitive art.

Of course, it isn’t primitive, because we don’t believe in the doctrine of primitive man, but just as these people are culturally on a lower level by choice, have regressed, because they did not want to advance.

[Scott] Well, that is a different story. It is interesting. I don’t know if you had read Washing of the Spears or not. All those random murders by the chief of the tribe of the Zulus and I... I read about another place where the chief said the only way he could send a message to the departed was through killing somebody. Giving them the message and then kill them and they would tell his father.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] In the spirit world.

[Rushdoony] I remember that.

[Scott] So I thought you would remember that.

[Rushdoony] As we continue our discussion of the subject of death, we are going to get into specific areas. Otto, do you want to start of with the matter of suicide?

[Scott] Yes. Suicide in the pagan world was admired. And in Japan also and for very similar reasons the loss of face, the loss of honor in Nero’s time and Caligula and what not, it was customary for the Caesar to tell a man, as a favor...

[Rushdoony] Yes. Seneca.

[Scott] kill himself so that he could be spared the dishonor of a public execution. And there are suicide societies now flourishing in our midst telling people that they will assist them to kill themselves. And then we have the individual who will give the doctors permission to terminate his life. He will... he will tell them it is ok. Now you can turn off the support or do this or that. This is another form of suicide.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Now to accept the reality of death is one thing, but to Rush into death is something else. It is a denial of God. It is a denial of life. And it is a ... an ultimate form of escape. It is against the law in the United States, but it has turned in to a dead letter law, no pun intended. It is... it is a law that is no longer being applied.

[Rushdoony] A Thomas Masaryk, the first president of Czechoslovakia wrote a book some years prior to World War I, A Study of Suicide. And he saw it as something that arose with the loss of faith and a will, generally to death in a society so that when you see societies with an increasing number of suicides, you know there is something seriously wrong with the people in that culture.

[Scott] It is a bad sign.

[Rushdoony] Yes. [00:33:01]

[Scott] Now we could go on...

[Scott] Now we could go on. Infanticide is a form of self death.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] For a woman in particular, abortion is the death of everything that woman stands for. And, of course, it is a male solution to a female problem. I think it is very interesting that it has been sold as a woman’s choice, when, as a matter of fact, it is the man’s choice to evade responsibility and it is very painless for the men. They don’t suffer a thing. And how they manage to sell this to woman as something desirable is really a tribute to the power of propaganda, but it is the suicide of the future. You are killing the next generation. And I link it in my mind with suicide, because you are killing what is most noble in a relationship.

[Rushdoony] Back in the 50s I read a book about a primitive culture in the South Pacific and the study had been one of years research on the part of a scholar, so it went back some years before the 50s. And what the man found was that there was a great deal of abortion and infanticide in that culture and the reason for it the women were very prompt to tell him. It was their way of prolonging youth.

[Scott] Oh?

[Rushdoony] They said, “When you become a mother...

[Scott] You become older.

[Rushdoony] ... you become old. But if you don’t have children...

[Scott] You are still free to go dancing.

[Rushdoony] You are still free to go dancing and spend time with the boys.

[Scott] Sure.

[Rushdoony] And so it was an evasion of life an evasion of responsibility, an evasion of maturity.

[Scott] Yes, well, of course. And in our case, in the case of abortions here it is an evasion of maturing on the part of the man and the woman.

[Rushdoony] yes.

[Scott] And we have now aborted more people than there are in Canada. When the status demographers talk about the impossibility of social security, which because we are killing the future. There would be plenty of young people to take care of the older workers if we weren’t killing...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ...the children.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Can you imagine? We have killed 25 million so far.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Can you imagine what it will be like in the year 2040, 2030? All these tantrums. This is a dying civilization. It is killing itself, because it wants to live in comfort. And I am reminded of the days in Rome . [00:36:11]

Do you remember that the Roman gravestones, all of...

Do you remember that the Roman gravestones, all of these couples, without children.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And how the blessed union of these two people who had been married for 40 years or 20 years or whosoever it was, row after row after row.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] In the acropolis at Rome. The same thing.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] They didn't have children, because children were an expense, a burden.

[Rushdoony] This matter of aborting babies in this tribe, this Polynesian culture, I think it was, one of the islands. In order to maintain perpetual youth. I have had an interesting experience with that, which I referred to, I think, some time before, but I will repeat it again, because I think it bears repeating. Back in the early 70s, I believe it was, in a Chalcedon Report I made reference to the fact of how we had fallen in love with youth as a society, perpetual youth so that perpetual immaturity was cultivated on all sides. And I cited the case of woman in her 80s wearing a bikini who was a ghastly sight, truly ghastly.

[Scott] I know. I have been to Miami.

[Rushdoony] And she was made up as though she were a teenager and was parading proudly. And I felt that that was not only immaturity, but that it was grossly irreligious because it was denying the facts of life as God has made them.

I had some very heated letters over that.

[Scott] Is that so?

[Rushdoony] Yes. Not only from a few on our mailing list, but others who happened to see it.

[Scott] And what was there objection?

[Rushdoony] What right did I have to deprive them of the privilege of enjoying youth all their lives?

[Scott] Well, you didn’t have her arrested, did you?

[Rushdoony] No. Well...

[Scott] You just made a comment.

[Rushdoony] Yes. At the beginning of the 80s I referred to that episode and the reaction I had in another Chalcedon Report and I got a letter again about that rebuking me for daring to think that way. So as a culture we want perpetual youth.

[Scott] Well...

[Rushdoony] No maturity, no responsibility.

[Scott] Actually I find youth boring. They are very free. They are very free, but they don’t know anything. You can’t hold a decent conversation. [00:39:19]

[Rushdoony] You know the famous remark by George Bernard...

[Rushdoony] You know the famous remark by George Bernard Shaw, one of the few sensible things he said, “Youth is wasted on the young.”

[Scott] That is absolutely, Back to Methuselah was very funny.

[Rushdoony] Well, we not only have suicide and were you going to tell a story? Oh, yes.

[Scott] Yes, well, oh about skid row. When I was down the bowery at the bowery mission there was a case where seven or eight, I have forgotten the exact number, winos died drinking paint thinner which they were buying from a particular hardware store and it hit the front page of the New York Times and the Daily News and so forth and, of course, they immediately flew at the hardware store proprietor for selling them the paint thinner. And it turned out that he had changed the brand and the new brand killed them off, poisoned them.

And {?} who later on has written a number of books, was at that time a feature writer on the Times. And he ran the story about saying that people on the bowery didn’t care. And I was curious about that so the precinct house is not far away from the mission and I went over there and I talked to the detective in charge of that particular event. He said, “What do you mean they didn’t care?” He said, “What do you think this is, 1810?” He said, “These were people that had names. They had biographies.” H said, “We picked them up and put them in Rykers Island to take care of them through the winter. We knew who they were. They had families. They had relatives.” He said, “Their... their families sent for them. Some of them were on pensions and some of them were on disability and some were on social security. Their families sent for al except one and that one was decently buried because the cops took up a collection.”

And I called Therese and said, “You know, that you didn’t... you didn’t do that story right.”

He said, “I did what the city desk asked me to do. The editor told me to go down, interview the guy on the street.” And he said, “That was the reaction of the guy on the street.”

I said, “Well, why didn’t you talk to the cops?”

He said, “He didn’t tell me to.”

[Rushdoony] So much for his ability as a writer.

[Scott] And so much for the truth.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Now the real story was a good story. We don’t have as unfeeling and callous a society as is presented to us.

[Rushdoony] No.

[Scott] But we are moving in that direction via the abortion and via the suicide and via the euthanasia. [00:42:15]

[Rushdoony] Yes, well, euthanasia is a growing problem...

[Rushdoony] Yes, well, euthanasia is a growing problem, because it is being practiced, even though it is not legal.

[Scott] Did you read about hounds?

[Rushdoony] Yes, Wall Street Journal story.

[Scott] Maybe the readers don’t... don’t know what that is all about.

[Rushdoony] Well, why don’t you tell them, Otto?

[Scott] Well, the old people are afraid to go to the hospital in Holland, because the doctors are practicing euthanasia.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And they have been given permission to by the courts if in the opinion of the physician it is going to be too expensive to keep an old person alive, they just simply snuff them out. So the old people are becoming frightened to death, frightened and not to death, but frightened of the doctors. Euthanasia, the doctors in other parts of Europe had written to the Dutch medical authorities protesting against this, but so far the Dutch have refused to abandon the practice.

[Rushdoony] Well, in the... a book written a few years back Dr. Charles Rice of the Notre Dame law school predicted that by the end of this century classes of people would be put to death.

[Scott] Classes.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] The elderly, the crippled, like Hitler?

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[multiple voices]

[Scott] All the decisions...

[Rushdoony] ... {?} or any group.

[Scott] The mentally deficient.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ...or whatever.

[Rushdoony] Because, he said, “The abortion decision, as it has been subsequently implemented has now decreed that death is not a medical ... a person is not a medically defined person... entity, but a legally defined entity so that life and death and persons are now what the law declares them to be.” So if we are declared to be non persons by...

[Scott] in the womb.

[Rushdoony] the womb or out of the womb, we can be executed. He believes that unless we as Christians turn this around we will be seeing groups of people declared non persons. And I think he is right.

[Scott] Well, I am sorry to say I think he is right, too. I think they are doing that in Holland and I think this is really what we are moving into when we discuss death. We are discussing life when you discuss death. You can’t separate the two. It is a live person that dies and now we come into the question of who determines. [00:45:07]

[Rushdoony] Yes...

[Rushdoony] Yes. And her you find a tremendous contradiction, an evil contradiction, because there are countless numbers of people out there who if you open your mouth about euthanasia in any group where you don’t know the group and sometimes, surprisingly, where you think you know, they will come up with the idea that people who are terminally ill, who are going to die, should be put to death whether they want it or not.

[Scott] Now here we have one of the {?} one of the{?}, very successful man who had something minor he thought wrong and he dropped in. He had time and he dropped in and the doctor began the tests and the tests went on and it turned out that he had an extremely rare terminal disease. And it took him a number of months to die. And during those months he wrote a book. And at the end of the book he said finally he was reconciled to it and he finally said there is a time to live and a time to die and a time to sleep. And the book came out within, I think, just a few weeks of his death. And almost all the reviewers were respectful, but one. And that one, I wrote his name down and put it in my files so that I would watch out so that I would never run into that man, because he had no admiration for what was a very fine, noble departure.

But according to these people he would have been snuffed out.

[Rushdoony] Yes. All right. Now here is the thing that enraged these people. All you have to do is say that, well, if you believe that the terminally ill whose death is allowed to follow its natural course is going to be very expensive for them and for society, why not practice euthanasia with all homosexuals who have AIDS?

[Scott] Right now.

[Rushdoony] Then they are angry, because they don’t want euthanasia for their fair haired people. And the homosexuals classify those for whom we must spend millions to keep them alive.

[Scott] Well, I don’t quite understand the tenderness there for these loathsome types. They have started calling them the vultures of civilization when ever they arise in great clouds as they are now. They say the civilization is terminally ill. Well, that is a bit of an exaggeration, because, after all, you recall the period in France when the court was totally corrupted but the French nation survived. [00:48:18]

We will survive these people...

We will survive these people. They are expendable. I really don’t understand this nonsense. I think certainly everything should be done to stem the course of the disease in the name of the security of others.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] But certainly not for any sentimental reasons for what a degraded bunch of sick people.

[Rushdoony] Well, in the court of Louis XIV there was quite a powerful homosexual element headed by Louis’ younger brother. And I wish medical historians would turn their attention to those homosexuals, because I think they would find that AIDS is not new. Those people were dying horrible deaths. The same is true of the homosexuals in the Roman Empire.

[Scott] Well, isn’t it always true? All illness is due to an immunity deficiency of some sort?

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] How could this be new?

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, we are seeing that today people have a will to death and, hence, the prevalence of suicide, euthanasia, abortion and more. And we are told very plainly in Scripture in Proverbs 8:36, “He that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul. All they that hate me love death.”

So we have to say that in spite of all the supposed passion for living in our time, there is all the same, a strong love of death.

[Scott] Well, look at the Halloween just a few days ago. I think that reveling in... there is attached a diabolical significance to Halloween, all saints night, all hallows eve. This is supposed to be and was for centuries a Christian ceremony honoring the dead, your own dead, your family dead, your predecessors, your friends. And, instead, we have got these idiots running around asking for cookies.

You know, to trivialize all the great rituals has had a lot to do with bringing down the faith. [00:51:03]

[Rushdoony] You know, we have mentioned Freud earlier. There was one aspect of his work that I have always felt was very, very telling. Freud felt that man, and the kind of man he was analyzing and studied was unregenerate man, was governed by two forces, the will to live and a will to death. And he said there is no question that the will to death is much stronger and will ultimately destroy mankind.

Now I don’t agree with him in his conclusion, but he did make that statement incidentally in correspondence with Einstein. But he was right in discerning in modern man, in unregenerate man everywhere a will to death.

[Scott] Well, there is no higher purpose in life than one’s self. There is no value.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Who wants the world to be limited to his own measure?

[Rushdoony] Well, a lot of people do and they find it fatal. Most of mankind live that way by choice.

[Scott] No. There has to be a higher purpose.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And there is one other aspect and, you know, the doctors have moved in here a long way. William Bolitho in his book, Murder for Profit, a brilliant book examines serial murderers who in those days there weren’t so many of them. They are now fairly common, but he took Birken’s hair, the body snatcher’s and murderers and a number, Longdrew the Frenchman and so forth. And in his preface, it is really worth reading, he said, “From time to time he talked about the escape of the physician in Edinburgh who brought the bodies from Birken hair, even though he knew that they had murdered them to deliver them.” He said, “Now that doctor went away. He was never charged. He had to move out of Edinburgh, but he practiced, presumably somewhere else. He was a respectable man. He was a physician. And,” he said, “the medical profession has come forward time and again persistently claiming authority over these... all these areas and claiming to understand the mind of the murderer like Dr. Freud, claiming to know all about what makes people tick and so on and so forth,” but without the responsibility.

Now we have a limited number of machines that take care of people’s kidneys and things like that, so they have set up a series of rules as to who they will save. You and I would not be eligible. We are too old. No matter how much we may contribute to the world in which we live, they have decided that youth is more important. [00:54:17]

[Rushdoony] Yes...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And several other factors, not to say anything about money.

[Rushdoony] Well, we will get even with them, Otto. We will outlive the bastards, Lord willing.

Why are you shaking your head, Dorothy?

Well, the thing is, we have a society today that is afraid of death and yet is courting it. It is flirting with everything that kills. It is on drugs. The drug culture is explosive among the suicides.

[Scott] It is a slow suicide.

[Rushdoony] It is a slow suicide. And in one way or another people are doing things that will lead to death. I was told a while back of someone who was virtually a fanatic at exercise classes, exercise rituals and diet and so on, but they not only smoke steadily, but are on hard drugs.

[Scott] And exercise at the same time.

[Rushdoony] Yes. This is the kind of contradiction you find. The will of the suicide is so strong in our culture that even when they are professing to prepare to live longer and to take care of themselves, they are destructive.

[Scott] They really want to look good. They are not trying to live longer. They are just trying to live prettier.

[Rushdoony] I think you are right. Very, very right.

Well, I don’t know why, because, after all, you don’t have to see yourself. You just see others.

[Scott] Well, there is a great... there is a double whammy going on. There is lots of paradoxes. They are all going to look prettier and yet the films and the stage has never portrayed uglier people.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Isn’t that strange?

[Rushdoony] Very interesting point.

[Scott] Isn’t that strange?

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Men with great seams in their faces. They have got 55, 58, 60 year old men playing against 20 year old women. And it ... it... it ... it doesn’t make any sense.

[Rushdoony] Yes. [00:57:01]

[Scott] The good looking young me that used to play...

[Scott] The good looking young me that used to play the ingénues role or whatever they call it, have vanished.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] We have got an ugliness cult going on.

[Rushdoony] That is right. It is so many of the me who play the leads.

[Scott] You wonder how they could, you know...

[Rushdoony] Yes. They are horribly romantic figures, whatever their role may cast them as.

[Scott] So if in... what is happening here is a series of incoherencies.

[Rushdoony] Good word, incoherencies.

[Scott] It... we are losing the structure of a society. Everything is breaking into clusters and the clusters are not consistent with one another.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] What we have here, just the other day a gruesome operation on a very tiny infant putting all kinds of organs, transplanting organs into that infant at the same that we are having millions of abortions.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, I was interested last week in hearing a very fine investment banker say that when he looked a the stock market, the commodity market, Washington DC or the world at large, you would have to say that, as Yeats, the center that is not whole.

[Scott] Yes. Yes.

[Rushdoony] Having wrought the bait we have no center. And nothing holds things together and so the disbursement, the scattering, the collapse is beginning.

Well, our time is almost up. Is there some... a last word here? Otto, not a last word on death, but on any related subject?

[Scott] Well... Well, I think many of the things that we are saying and thinking are paralleled in the thoughts of millions upon millions of others. One of our problems is that the media is not engaged in any serious discussion of these series issues and will not permit some of the views that you and I have just expressed to be heard.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] If... if they ever open the gates, lots of things will change very quickly.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

Well, thank you all for listening and God bless you.

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