The Easy Chair: Talks & Round Table Discussions

Episode 14

National Character and Social Conditioning – Russia; British Humor; Poetry


R.J. Rushdoony: 00:02 This is R.J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair Talk number 14, March 17, 1982. I shall begin today with a book which I don’t think is worth your while to read. Last time I dealt with Sorokin, with inflation and revolution. I’m going back to the Russian scene briefly to make a point. The book I referred to as not worth your while to read is by Hedrick, H-E-D-R-I-C-K Smith, The Russians. I believe it was a Book of the Month Club selection a few years ago. It was published by the New York Times book company in 1976.

R.J. Rushdoony: 01:00 It is a typical book of its kind. It’s interesting reading from start to finish. It holds your attention with a lot of interesting tidbits, but if you feel that you are any wiser about Russia when you finish, you’re very much mislead.

R.J. Rushdoony: 01:26 Solzehnitsyn denounced this book rather bitterly, and other books like it, and with good reason. The essential thesis that Hedrick Smith makes, who, by the way is a New York Times editor. Is that there is a Russian character, and the Russian political scene reflects that character. Now there is a superficial truth here. There are very definitely cultural and national differences between people. I would be the last one to deny it. I am, after all, an Armenian, and I’m very much aware of the things that mark my life, in terms of my cultural background.

R.J. Rushdoony: 02:22 My wife Dorothy is a Scott, and the kind of cultural context she has is, in many respects, very different. It has been amusing to me to see how one of our staff members, Douglas Kelly, a Scott also, having grown up in the Carolinas, and Dorothy in Pennsylvania, one a Yankee and the other a Southerner. Still, because of their Scottish inheritance, are so much alike in many respects. We can’t discount these things.

R.J. Rushdoony: 03:13 What we have today is an attempt by people to explain everything, in terms of a national characteristic. I have read books that have gone into the Russian character, the Russian passivity, for example, at great length. Their thesis has been that the Russian character is modeled by the centuries of Mongol domination, and by Czarist autocracy with a net result that you have a Russian character that makes the Russians radically different and everything is to be determined in terms of that.

R.J. Rushdoony: 04:09 Now I think that is nonsense. As far Russian passivity, anyone who knows Russian history knows that is rubbish, it is easy when we do not see the way people react to things, to judge them by own cultural context, and ascribe a character to them that they do not have. For example, when a decade or so ago President Nixon introduced controls one very brilliant man, a European, was horrified that there was no protest among Americans. And his immediate conclusion was that there was an incredible passivity among Americans. Here a most radical step had been taken and not a single labor leader, nor a business leader had expressed himself against it, and there was no outcry from the people.

R.J. Rushdoony: 05:29 A year later he retracted his statement because he said, what he failed to recognize was that the Americans proceeded to accept the laws and by reinterpretation to nullify them. If there was a control on furnished apartments, then they promptly changed the category of their apartments to unfurnished and were able to set a new rent price on them. One way or another, they broke the controls.

R.J. Rushdoony: 06:11 Now, this is the important point. It is easy to talk about the passivity about various peoples, Americans or Russians or Germans. And I recall when I was very young, people would talk about the passivity of the Japanese. They changed their tune with World War II. But you do is to judge without a knowledge of a context. Different people have different ways of acting and resisting. The basic factor is not national character, but that we are all created in the image of God. What governs man outside of God is sin.

R.J. Rushdoony: 07:06 We are to understand history in terms of sin. For example, there is a very extensive myth that Russia did not have any industrial development, that it was a primitive backward country. The fact is that even before Peter the Great, we did have a conspicuous development of commerce and industry within the old Russia. It developed rather steadily.

R.J. Rushdoony: 07:52 Now granted, you had a tremendous element of the population still in agriculture in old Russia. The reason is that mechanization and poverty, lack of mechanization and poverty retarded the development of Russian agriculture. To this day 52% of all Russians are still on the farm. In many respects they are far more backward now than they were in 1916.

R.J. Rushdoony: 08:32 However, a very remarkable industrial development took place in the old Russia. In fact you could compare Russia perhaps to France. Some have said that the French when they destroyed the Huguenots brought on the revolution. They destroyed the middle class that was the industrial class and created an imbalance and retarded progress in France.

R.J. Rushdoony: 09:09 Something similar could be perhaps said about the old Russia. You had three elements in the main that represented to a degree the developing middle class in the old Russia. One was your German population. People forget that the old Russia had a very sizeable German element. Some of these came from the Baltic area, others came from Germany proper. Many had been brought in during the time of Catherine the Great. But all in all, they were quite a sizeable element. Many were Mennonites by the way, not all. Many were Lutherans also.

R.J. Rushdoony: 10:12 Now the German element in the old Russia was very heavily used in the last century and earlier by the nobility to manage their vast estates. The nobility relied on two elements, the Jews and the Germans to be the managerial class. Both as a result were bitterly hated. They were more industrious they were much more progressive. And as a result the envy directed against them was intense. The lies of Prussia and of imperial Germany prevented a very open and murderous persecution of the German population until the revolution. At which time they were liquidated in great numbers. The Jew had no foreign power to protect them and the pogroms resulted. These two elements were very bitterly resented because of envy. Just as today envy is functioning in the United States and in Western Europe with deadly consequences.

R.J. Rushdoony: 11:45 There was another factor among the Jews of old Russia. They had been once the most conservative element within Russia. However, the curious fact is that when the Enlightenment hit Western Europe and then went to Russia also, one of its immediate consequences was Donald Trump destruction of the ghetto. The idea of people living within an area where they had their own law, their own government, and where they could put a chain at night across the entrance into the ghetto and say, “No outside can come in,” was abhor ant to the enlightenment, to the liberal mentality.

R.J. Rushdoony: 12:45 The ghetto originally was not what we think of as a ghetto, as a run down place. It was often very wealthy. Paris once had a German ghetto, a Paris ghetto, a Jewish ghetto, and so on. Each area being walled, an enclosed area with its own law, governing itself. This became abhorrent to the liberal mentality and to the modern state.

R.J. Rushdoony: 13:21 Well, the Jews very early as they were liberalized by the old Russia, became predominant in the Russian universities. Jewish cultures always stressed education, every Jew was literate. As a result, they naturally gravitated as new Enlightenment figures to the university world. Before long they were dominating the university world and the bureaucracy. And that’s when hostility really flared.

R.J. Rushdoony: 14:07 The reaction of the top echelon bureaucracy was very much like what we have today. They established a tacit quota system. They said we must be fair to everybody and they were genuinely concerned with being fair with equalizing the situation. We have such a percentage of Russians, of Tar Tars, of [inaudible 00:14:40], of Jews, of whatever you want to name within the Soviet Empire. In terms of population, we will set a quota at the universities and in various other fields as well.

R.J. Rushdoony: 14:58 Well how many of the various native tribes of Siberia were ready for universities? Really none. Their quotas could not be filled. But to restrict the Jews to a quota in terms of population worked an immediate injustice. The reaction was an almost immediate radicalization of the Jewish community. Especially, of the university students. Because suddenly, a very large number of them were excluded from the university world.

R.J. Rushdoony: 15:41 Well, there was another element. I mentioned German, Jews, and I said there was a third, perhaps the most important. The old believers. These go back to the patriarch, Nikon, to the split within the Russian Orthodox Church. It’s very very commonplace to think of the old believes are very backward and superstitious people. True the old believes made quite a thing of, what to an outsider would be trifling points about the wording of the liturgy, about how you crossed yourself, whether it was two fingers or three, and so on. And if you go to the standard liberal book and look up the old believes you will find they stress in most cases these trifling aspects, to present the old believer as a rather primitive and reactionary character. This was emphatically not true.

R.J. Rushdoony: 17:05 We could very definitely the old believer a Christian reconstructionist in many ways. They were very much given to communal organization, to a semi communistic set up. A very large amount of the money anyone made went into a central treasury. Now they also preserved a fairness in that the central treasury was usually governed by the men who made the major contributions to it, the wealthy men. This central treasury was used for the welfare of all and very wisely. The old believers when they found a good peasant who looked like a prospect for their cause would tell them very frankly, “We’ll help you to buy your freedom. We will help you to go from serfdom to being a land owner and a farmer. We’ll lend you the money at no interest if you join us. You come, attend our services, stud in our classes to become an old believer.”

R.J. Rushdoony: 18:31 This was a tremendous inducement. And it won a great many converts, genuine converts. Because it did impress people with the Christian brotherly concern of the old believers. They also established homes for old people. They would look out for widows and orphans and take them in and support them. If girls became pregnant out of wedlock, they took them in and housed them and provided for them. One could go on and on and cite the ways the old believers were conducting their communal activities. It is no wonder that a very considerable portion of the Russian population was converted to the old believers’ cause. Now there were divisions within the old believers, but they were a substantial part of the old Russia.

R.J. Rushdoony: 19:44 On top of that, they were the entrepreneurs. They had the capital. Max Vaber studied them briefly as a kind of Russian Calvinism, not theologically Calvinistic but sociologically. In that their thrift and their industry developed a tremendous body of capital. Because Peter the Great had made St. Petersburg the new capital, to the old fashioned Russian, Moscow was still the holy city. And as a result, these old believers in many cases moved into Moscow and made it their industrial center. The industry of old Russia was quite extensively in the hands of old believers.

R.J. Rushdoony: 20:53 Catherine the Great had been vert tolerant of them and given them some privileges. However, Nicholas the I, I believe it was, began the savage per suction of the old believers. What the Jews at the same time did not compare to what was done to the old believers. The entrepreneurial class was smashed. Some of them survived and continued by converting to the established church. But the consequences of this were quite deadly for Russia.

R.J. Rushdoony: 21:43 Now I want to back track, I got side tracked. I mentioned all this talk about national characteristics. I said I believe they are there, but they are very much overdone. Modern liberal man, even though he is an internationalist wants to explain everything in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas, in terms of national characteristics. The liberal scholars want to ascribe, as I indicated earlier, Russian statism today, not Karl Marx and his theories, but to the Russian character. It’s one way of defending the so called integrity of Marx. What they’re saying is if we develop Marxism in the United States it won’t be like the Soviet model. Nowhere has Marxism existed in control without creating tyranny.

R.J. Rushdoony: 23:03 Now, why does the liberal mentality want to stress national characteristics so heavily? Well the whole emphasis on nationalism was born with the enlightenment, why? One of the basic premises of the enlightenment was the doctrine that the mind of man is a blank paper. This goes back to Aristotle. John Locke formulated it and became the father of modern education. It is the essence of liberalism.

R.J. Rushdoony: 23:45 It means that instead of being a fallen creature or a creature created in the image of God with a given nature, whether he is in the deeps of Africa, or Asia, or Russia, or Western Europe, or in the United States, or anywhere else, man everywhere then has a neutral nature. What conditions him then? Because you then posit a conditioning. There’s a neutral nature he’s going to be conditioned. It’s his local context.

R.J. Rushdoony: 24:27 The enlightenment led to the Brothers Grimm, to the emphasis on folklore, on national cultures. And countless scholars for generations gained doctorates and prestige by studying the roots of a particular culture or subculture. Because they went deeply into the the past of every people to trace every particular subculture.

R.J. Rushdoony: 25:04 The whole point of course is that man is conditioned. And that you and I are the result of a conditioning by our culture, that there can be no given nature, God given nature. Well, you see this kind of national cultural conditioning makes it possible for you also to say, through education we can recondition everybody to make them into the new international man, cosmopolitan man, the family of man, all that kind of thinking in other words. This is what it leads to.

R.J. Rushdoony: 25:54 As a result, man has to have for them, a blank nature. A nature that is totally to be molded by the elite planners. As a result, there’s a really hostility to anyone who approaches man with any standard, with the word of God in other words, and says, “Here, God through Moses gave a law. And here is how we judge human behavior.” Oh that is intolerable, absolutely intolerable.

R.J. Rushdoony: 26:41 When I was a graduate student, I had occasionally an opportunity to sit down at lunch with some faculty members. I usually kept my mouth shut and listened, not that I learned anything. Here were true blue card carrying liberals everyone one of them. But one time I opened my mouth and I got clobbered. I really got landed on. In fact one anthropologist who is now retired, but since that time a good many years ago, has gained something of a national reputation landed on me with considerable heat.

R.J. Rushdoony: 27:44 The occasion was this. There had been published not too long before that luncheon get together a book about the Eskimos. I don’t recall the other or the title, but I recall the contents of the book very vividly. He had written as a none scientist. And naturally as a non-scientist, a liberal who still had some standards, he had reacted to a few things with a typical American attitude.

R.J. Rushdoony: 28:28 And at one point he described this Scottish trader. He was living there alone and had lived there almost all his life. And only occasionally returned to Scotland to take a long vacation before returning there again, this trader was interested in making money and he was accumulating, apparently, a pretty good amount. Well, the man had just been describing a dance and a spring fertility bash by the Eskimos. And how the Eskimo girls prepared for it. They would wash their hair with urine because it gave their hair a particular gloss. Naturally it did not improve their odor.

R.J. Rushdoony: 29:46 And when he asked the old Scottish trader if the girls there had ever appealed to them, or if he had ever gotten involved with them, the old Scot grinned and said, “No he’d never been involved with them. And when he began to find them attractive he knew it was time to take a break and go back to Scotland for a good long vacation

R.J. Rushdoony: 30:17 Well, that incident really irritated these liberal professors, the idea that looking down on those women because they washed their hair with urine. I myself, started to laugh and I said, “I thought the incident was quite funny. And I felt, I hoped that they would react just as that man had.” And with that they exploded all over me. It proved that I was a crude, middle class Christian with all kinds of bigotry just an absolute monster of prejudices.

R.J. Rushdoony: 31:08 Now was that an isolated episode. I submit that it was not. That it revealed something about your liberal intellectual. No standard dare be tolerated. He might sneak in a standard, but he wouldn’t admit to it. Like Henry Miller who apologized for the fact that he had never gotten involved in any homosexual acts. He felt he had to apologize because he was fearful that someone would misunderstand and assume that he had some kind of religious hangup. But it was just a matter of purely personal taste. He had nothing against it whatsoever.

R.J. Rushdoony: 32:04 Well to go on, a few years ago two books that gained a great deal of favorable notice and at least one was reprinted in paperback, if not both, were written by a bacteriologist since retired, Dr. Theodore Roseburry. The first of these books I believe it was the first of the two, was Life on Man, published in 1969 by the Viking Press in New York. And the second Microbes and Malls is about VD. Very revealing as to Roseburry’s general orientation. This second book published in 71, concludes with a statement that apparently Red China has successfully eliminated prostitution, venereal disease, narcotics, marijuana, and alcoholism.

R.J. Rushdoony: 33:36 I remember hearing in the late 20s early 30s statement about Red Russia. That supposedly they had eliminated all these things. In both cases, the report is equally false. However, what is revealed by that report is the gullibility of the liberal mind. If it’s radically humanistic most surely they have conquered the problems of man.

R.J. Rushdoony: 34:15 Now in Life on Man, Roseburry deals with modern man’s obsession with cleanliness. And by the way, Roseburry regards the Puritans as the epitome of the obsessed and the warped mind. What Roseburry does in Life on Man is to attack the idea of cleanliness. He says modern man is yielding to his puritanical training and background. And so he is very much in love with soaps, and deodorants, and antiseptics. And as a result, has a pathological horror for excrement, for urine, for fleas, for lice, and so on. Roseburry in this book carries this to quite a considerable degree.

R.J. Rushdoony: 35:38 And there are really some amazing passages. Thus he quotes from one traveler of 1825 among the Chupchees of Siberia. Translating from the French he says, “These people offer their women to travelers. But these lot to be shown worthy must submit to a disgusting test.” This is not Roseburry’s statement it’s his translation. “The girl or woman who is to pass the night with her new host gives him a cup full of her urine. He must rinse his mouth with it. If he has the courage to do so he is looked upon as a sincere friend. If not, he is treated as an enemy of the family.” Then he goes on to give examples from India and elsewhere of how feces and urine are used as holy things to be eaten if it’s a particularly holy man. And so on, and on, on.

R.J. Rushdoony: 36:55 Now I cite this, it’s not anything I like to talk about, to illustrate something. The hatred of standards is so great in these people that the fact that we are revolted by this kind of thing and feel that cleanliness is a virtue is proof to him that there’s something wring with us. We are not liberal in our outlook. We have no awareness of the realities of man and of his nature. We have been given standards which are alien to the life of man.

R.J. Rushdoony: 37:44 After all if a dog has fleas why shouldn’t a man? That’s a statement I once heard made. The fact that the liberal scholar who made it was himself obviously well showered and well clothed didn’t bother him in the least. His idea was that we, the rest of us, have a hangup on the subject of cleanliness. And he somehow had gotten beyond that, or claimed he had. But we who feel that there is a virtue in cleanliness, that cleanliness is next to godliness are somehow warped and obsessed creatures.

R.J. Rushdoony: 38:48 In other words all standards must go. There can be none because if man is a blank piece of paper on birth, the only standard that should govern man is humanistic man. Purely human standards created by man, channeled through the modern state to create a totally humanistic world order. The family of man, the great society must govern us. And it must govern us absolutely. Hence we have an assault in books like Life on Man by Theodore Roseburry against the most elementary standards of all, cleanliness.

R.J. Rushdoony: 39:48 Now, you can understand why the attack on faith in God, on the bible. When even simple ordinary cleanliness is something obsessive and repulsive to these people. It indicates a compulsion that is to them, mentally sick. I have taken longer with all of this than I intended and I cited the matter of the Eskimos, which I had dealt with some time back, but I did want to lead up to something that is current now. Just to mention it in passing but to put it in context.

R.J. Rushdoony: 40:49 There is a bill before the Senate, 17-71, Senate bill 17-71. It was introduced by Senator Hatfield together with Cranston, Gordon, Matthias, and Matsunaga. And it is a bill to establish in the federal government a global foresight capability with respect to natural resources, the environment, and population. To establish a national population policy to establish an inter agency counsel on global resources, environment, and population and for other purposes.

R.J. Rushdoony: 41:38 The purpose of this bill is to establish in the world population controls that will make the number of human births approximate the number of human deaths. And they do mean business. This would mean licensing birth, controlling it, doing everything necessary to change population characteristics. I’m citing the actual language of the bill as I thumb through it. It’s in itself quite a very extensive measure of a great many pages.

R.J. Rushdoony: 42:29 Moreover, all the agencies of the federal government are to be commanded by this agency. So that every branch of government is to be involved in population control. This means that at the same time the control of the environment. And all laws are to be reviewed in relationship to these two goals, the absolute control of the environment and of the population.

R.J. Rushdoony: 43:06 This is a measure to take seriously, and by the way Judge Beers of Oregon called this to my attention. The matter is a serious one because it’s tied to what we have been discussing. The liberal mentality because it wants man to be a blank piece of paper, wants the world as it were to be a blank piece of paper also, to be totally remade, recreated by man. And to be the handy work of man. It is interesting that the liberals are now saying that all the predictions of man like Dr. Erlich of Stanford and others have now been demonstrated to be true. Therefore, they were not alarmists and we must do something.

R.J. Rushdoony: 44:11 Is this so? The March 1982 Readers’ Digest had a good but too brief feature on the case against doomsday in two parts, population growth is good and famine fallacies. However, these experts like Erlich were predicting famine for various parts of the world by 1775, excuse me 1975. They were predicting that every kind of disaster would hit us by then, which has not touched us. They’ve been proven to be wrong on all their predictions. But now that their books are half forgotten, they’re treating them as though they were prophecies.

R.J. Rushdoony: 45:17 This is the kind of situation we have today with a reviving attempt at total control of the environment and total control of man. The goal of course is to remake the world in man’s image. Now we as Christians have to react to these attempts as Christians. We have to recognize that man is not a political animal or a social animal, he is a religious creature. That inescapably man will think of everything in religious terms. But today, man as in every age needs Jesus Christ.

R.J. Rushdoony: 46:17 But man can be used against their own interests if you manipulate them through envy. This was the tragedy and the disaster of the Russian Revolution as well as the French Revolution. In the Russian Revolution envy was appealed to. What had been destroyed previously was your stable element in the population. Hostility was directed against everyone who was successful. It culminated in the early 30s with the destruction of the Coulacks, the successful, the prosperous peasants. And with the destruction of the Coulacks, Russian agriculture collapsed. It has never recovered to this day. Envy created the Russian Revolution, envy has fueled it. And the liberal has no other motivating force to create social change than the use of envy. And envy is the most corrosive force socially that has been known to man.

R.J. Rushdoony: 47:39 And so envy is being used today to a very great extent. We have envy being exploited today by those who have captured say Santa Monica, California and other cities like that and imposed rent controls. The assumption is that the landlords are an evil ugly class of people who are exploiting the elderly and exploiting the poor. And no one is calling attention to the fact that inflation is destroying the landlord like everyone else. And no one is calling attention to the fact that today because of the decline of character the majority of renters are destructive of property. The majority. And so increasingly the landlords, the property owners who have rental units are faced with a crisis.

R.J. Rushdoony: 48:51 Right now it’s hard for them to seel their properties, to get out of their business. It’s hard to maintain the properties, because the renters are so destructive. And envy directed against them is exceedingly powerful today. Hence, rent controls. And rent controls are preventing the construction of new housing units in part , economics also, which could provide housing. So the decline of character is having a tremendous impact, it is paving the way for more troubles.

R.J. Rushdoony: 49:45 When old Russia those were the leaders, your Germans, your Jews, your old believers especially, it left a vast number of envious people. These who are the people that revolutionists could exploit. These were the people who could think of nothing but striking out against somebody. And today the same kind of thing governs us, envy.

R.J. Rushdoony: 50:28 Well now to turn to a somewhat lighter mood briefly, I ran across a reference not too long ago to a biography od Sidney Smith whose dates are from 1771-1845. I’ve misplaced the reference to that book. If any of you know of it let me know. Sidney Smith was one of the great wits of England in his day. A clergyman who had a knack for a witty remark and sometimes the perfect putdown. On one occasion when he was asked by someone rather persistently whether he liked a couple, he said, “I like him and his wife. He is so lady like and she is such a perfect gentleman.”

R.J. Rushdoony: 51:36 From the the same period also, perhaps a little earlier, one of the great political figures of the day was George Canning. And once when he went to church, well not that he went only once, but on one occas sin the pastor was fishing for a compliment. And he said, “How did you like my sermon Mr. Canning?” And Canning said, “You were brief.” And the clergyman said, “Yes, you know I try to avoid tedious.” And Canning said, “But you were tedious.”

R.J. Rushdoony: 52:21 Well, I’d like to read a couple of poems now by Francis Thompson who is one of my favorites. First, An Arab Love Song. “The hunched camels of the night trouble the bright and silver waters of the moon. The maiden of the morn was soon through heavens stray and sing star gathering. Now while the dark about our loves is strewn, light of my dark blood of my heart, O come. And night will catch her breath up and me done. Leave thy father, leave they mother, and thy brother, leave the black tents of thy tribe apart. Am I not thy father, and thy brother, and thy mother? And thou what needest with thy tribe’s black tents? Who has the red pavilion of my heart.”

R.J. Rushdoony: 53:18 And then another by Francis Thompson in a very different mood. “Oh nothing in this caporal Earth of man that to the imminent heaven of his high could respond with color and with shadow can lack correlated greatness. If the scroll where thoughts lie fast in spell of hieroglyph be mighty through its mighty havedence. If God be in his name grave potence, if the sounds unbound of hieratic chants. All’s vast that vastness means. Neigh I affirm nature is whole in her least thing expressed, nor know with what scope God builds the world. Our towns are copied fragments from our breast. And all man’s Babylon strives but to impart the grandeurs of his Babylonian heart.”

R.J. Rushdoony: 54:26 Among other things what Francis Thompson is there saying is that man is a unity. And all of God’s creation is a unity. So that even in the worm there are imagined scopes in God’s creation. Nature is whole in her least things expressed. Then too, as he speaks of the grandeur of man even in his sin, his sins reflect the fact that he is created in the image of God. He is imitating God even in his sin. Our towns are copied fragments from our breast. And all man’s Babylon strives but to impart the grandeurs of his Babylonian heart.

R.J. Rushdoony: 55:32 Well, if even in sin man shows such greatness consider the greatness man will show when he is faithful to the whole word of God. One of the observations that Gary North made some years ago, that I thought was one of the best incites he has made, thus comes. Immediately after the all we find a tremendous evidence of the development of various arts and crafts. Even in Cain’s family for example. What Gary said was, “Before the fall man’s mind being not diminished by the effects and ravages of sin, must have an almost computer like power.” I’ve never forgotten that remark. I think it’s very telling.

R.J. Rushdoony: 56:54 I believe there’s a very great truth there. Now as we grow in Christ, we push back the curse. We become a part of the new creation with our conversion. We push back the curse with our every growth in holiness. And as we as believers extend the scope of God’s kingdom, his new creation into every are of life and thought, we extend the realm of the blessing. And I believe that we cannot yet imagine what glories there will be when Christian man governs the Earth. When the righteousness of God, his law, covers the Earth as the waters cover the sea. Then we shall indeed see grandeurs greater than the grandeurs of man’s Babylonian heart.

R.J. Rushdoony: 58:08 Well we’ve come to the end of another Easy Chair. I’m a lot better in health than I was last time, but I still cough a great deal. So I’ve labored under a little bit of difficulty today. I hope it hasn’t made it difficult listening for you. I’m improving rapidly. By the time of our next Easy Chair I should be better or completely well. And I trust it will be easier listening for you. Thank you it has been very good to be together again.

Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916–2001), was a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numerous works on the application of Biblical law to society. He started the Chalcedon Foundation in 1965.  His Institutes of Biblical Law (1973) began the contemporary theonomy movement which posits the validity of Biblical law as God’s standard of obedience for all. He therefore saw God’s law as the basis of the modern Christian response to the cultural decline, one he attributed to the church’s false view of God’s law being opposed to His grace. This broad Christian response he described as “Christian Reconstruction.”  He is credited with igniting the modern Christian school and homeschooling movements in the mid to late 20th century. He also traveled extensively lecturing and serving as an expert witness in numerous court cases regarding religious liberty. Many ministry and educational efforts that continue today, took their philosophical and Biblical roots from his lectures and books.

Learn more about R.J. Rushdoony by visiting: