A Christian Survey of World History
Louis XIV, Revolution, Napoleon, II
*This is an unedited and unoffical print version of R.J. Rushdoony’s lecture.
R.J. Rushdoony: 00:01 We will decide [inaudible 00:00:03]. This is why when the revolution began and these philosophes took over, they had no compunctions about eliminating people, executing them for their own good. Like George Bernard Shaw, a modern philosophe, who said that in a Fabian socialist state when people disagreed you tried to persuade them, but if they continued to disagree for their own good you would execute them in a kindly manner.
R.J. Rushdoony: 00:38 This is why with the French Revolution these philosophes could sit down and debate for the good of the people, for the good of France, should we eliminate with The Terror 25%, 50%, or 75% of the people? Eliminate them. Wipe them out. Execute them. Of course, they proceeded to eliminate everyone they felt was an impediment to the will of the people.
R.J. Rushdoony: 01:06 The French Revolution, therefore, represented the ideas of the Enlightenment of the philosophes on the march to remake the world. The man who stopped it was Napoleon.
R.J. Rushdoony: 01:26 Now, Napoleon is a hard man to get the facts about, because Napoleon against his own wishes had to have England as his enemy, and most of our books about Napoleon are written by Englishmen. One of the best is written by an Englishman who appreciates Napoleon NcNair Wilson.
R.J. Rushdoony: 01:51 For a long time, the American sources were excellent until the British view after the Civil War especially began to prevail. Perhaps the best single, most readable, most exciting book on Napoleon is by Abbott, a four-volume work. It’s exciting reading.
R.J. Rushdoony: 02:11 But most of what you get in English today about Napoleon pictures him as nothing much more than a ladies’ man who spent his life going from one bedroom to the other. As the men of the day go, Napoleon was quite moral. His affairs were very, very few, very rare.
R.J. Rushdoony: 02:38 It is interesting that during his lifetime a book from England was brought in which pictured him as this terrible lecher, seducing girls all the time. He read it, and he said, “How would I ever get any of my work done if I spent as much time chasing girls as this book says I do?”
R.J. Rushdoony: 03:05 Napoleon began as a typical liberal. A believer in the ideas of the revolution. But he very quickly realized the fearful evil that was there. Especially when he went to Egypt on the Egyptian campaign and saw the depravity of people there. Every last illusion he had about the natural goodness of man disappeared. He knew that man was depraved, fearfully depraved. No one had proven the depravity of man more than these people who talked about the natural goodness of man. He recognized that there was no substitute for the legitimate power of the monarchy except fear. The revolution had to rule by fear, by terror, because it had no legitimate ground for authority.
R.J. Rushdoony: 04:07 Napoleon concluded that power without moral foundations is violence and tyranny. But how to provide the moral foundations? He was not himself a Christian. He was close to it in many of his ideas, but the Christianity he saw in France then both Catholic and Protestant was quite decadent. He wanted the Christians to provide the moral foundations, but they were not really able to do it.
R.J. Rushdoony: 04:43 He could not call the descendants of Louis XVI back to rule as he would have liked to, because Louis XVI’s family did not have the common sense that Louis XVI did. Louis XVI went to the guillotine rather than call in the British against his people. He knew the minute he did that he was finished as the King of France. You cannot call in the enemies of your country to be your allies and expect your people to have any part of you, and so he refused.
R.J. Rushdoony: 05:29 But the heirs of Louis XVI made the colossal mistake of seeking English help which meant that no Frenchman would want any part of them after that. Which meant then that Napoleon when he seized power, however willing he was to have a continuation of the monarchy and the Bourbon’s rule, there wasn’t a Bourbon who had the common sense to be used, because they were all working with the English.
R.J. Rushdoony: 06:08 If they had gone to the Spanish or to the Austrians, it would have been different, but they went to the English. The English who had taken away Canada and India from France, and no Frenchman could forgive that. This is an important fact to remember. It required foreign guns and foreign bayonets to drive out Napoleon and Napoleon III. But, Charles IX, the Bourbon who succeeded Napoleon, and Louis Philippe who later succeeded him, both were driven out by Frenchmen.
R.J. Rushdoony: 06:52 To this day the French government prohibits certain celebrations commemorating Napoleon. They’re afraid of his memory. They’re afraid of the heirs of the Napoleonic line, because they recognize this that both Napoleons thought of France first, and they created a national loyalty that no one before it created, and no one since has been able to command.
R.J. Rushdoony: 07:35 Now, Napoleon’s desire was to reestablish the power of France to prevent it from more revolution by regaining India and by reestablishing the Mediterranean as the French sphere of influence. He was not going to try to retake Canada. He’d given up on that. This is why he made his Eastern campaign. His position was a logical one. But, his downfall again was the historic downfall of the French, the lack of naval power. This was what doomed him, the lack of naval power. Had he had the naval power, he could have invaded England easily at one point. He could have prevented any English invasion of his country. He would have triumphed. But it took a coalition of all the powers of Europe to defeat Napoleon.
R.J. Rushdoony: 08:56 Now, Napoleon is important, very important to us, very important to the British, very important to the whole world. Because what Napoleon did was this. He checked for a full century the forces of the Enlightenment, of the philosophes of revolution. All those basic ideas that I outlined to you of the philosophes are ideas you recognize. But for a century they were held back because of Napoleon’s work and, only again, with the Russian Revolution did they begin to march. We have the same ideas on all sides of us today.
R.J. Rushdoony: 09:44 Now, Napoleon’s answer was an inadequate one, ultimately. Napoleon saw that ultimately, it had to be a religious answer. He himself was not able to provide it. The Napoleonic Law Code which he provided was a terrible one, because it did not have a Christian foundation. The basic premise that his lawyers worked out is that you’re guilty until proven innocent which subverts the whole of our Christian tradition.
R.J. Rushdoony: 10:21 Napoleon while he delayed the day of reckoning did not have the answer. The thing that prevented the same thing from happening in Britain was the Evangelical Revival in the Church of England and the Wesleyan Revival of Whitfield and Wesley. This is what gave England the tremendous position in the 19th century to make it the most influential power in the modern era.
R.J. Rushdoony: 10:59 Since World War I, with the same ideas once again on the march, there is not going to be another Napoleon now to postpone the day of reckoning. The issue this time is inescapably religious. Either there will be a return to a thoroughly biblical Christianity, or we shall see once again these ideas of the philosophes, not only on the march, but reordering all society, killing off people at will, treating people as nothing but building blocks to be used or not used and to be ordered about totally in terms of their preconceived anti-Christian concepts. We have two more meetings left, and we shall in these meetings deal with what happened in the 19th and 20th centuries, but you already see from what we have dealt with tonight how the issue of history is coming to a focus. It was delayed once by the Reformation. Then as the Reformation receded, Napoleon was able by his work to postpone the day of reckoning. But now in the 20th century, the issues are coming to a focus. What we do as Christians, therefore, is all important in terms of the future. Let us pray.
R.J. Rushdoony: 12:55 Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, we thank thee that thou has placed us in so great a time where every decision we make for Thee is so important for our time to come. Oh, Lord our God by Thy grace enable us so to serve Thee. That every little thing we do may add up to great things for Thy name’s sake. The end of the kingdoms of this world might become the kingdoms of our Lord and to this Christ. In Jesus name, Amen.
R.J. Rushdoony: 13:35 Now, I’m going to show you first a couple of pictures. One, a statue of Prince Eugene of Savoy and the other of his palace. Upper Belvedere was the name of it and Franz Ferdinand lived in the palace just before World War I. This is Prince Eugene in his old age. In fact, this was done after his death.
Audience: 14:11 Who did this?
R.J. Rushdoony: 14:14 [Bernini 00:14:14].
Audience: 14:14 (silence).
R.J. Rushdoony: 14:43 We don’t know much about that. We do know that they took over the czarist bureaucracy of civil service to a great extent, never changed it, because they had no way of running the country, so the czarist bureaucracy just stayed on and began to work for the Soviets. Bureaucracies stay when governments come and go.
Audience: 15:12 [inaudible 00:15:12].
R.J. Rushdoony: 15:11 Yes. Well, we do know that the Soviets train homosexuals for espionage work, so that they can contact homosexuals in foreign governments. This is a very definite part of their training. Yes?
Audience: 15:45 You mentioned the ancestry of Thomas Aquinas.
R.J. Rushdoony: 15:51 Yes.
Audience: 15:58 Have you heard, is that any connection [inaudible 00:15:58]?
R.J. Rushdoony: 15:58 Yes, right. Named after the same-
Audience: 16:02 Is that a saint?
R.J. Rushdoony: 16:04 Yes. He was one of the Medieval philosophers whose philosophy was made the official philosophy of the Catholic Church, and he was declared a doctor of the church and a saint. Now, of course, Aquinas had no children, but the family of Aquinas was an ancestor of Prince Eugene of Savoy.
Audience: 16:35 Is that liberal type of [inaudible 00:16:35]?
R.J. Rushdoony: 16:40 Aquinas College? Well, it is a conservative Catholic school, but we would not consider it too conservative from our perspective.
Audience: 16:54 That’s not the [inaudible 00:16:54] of Aquinas. That’s the modern influence [inaudible 00:16:54].
R.J. Rushdoony: 16:59 Well, yes, in my book, The One and the Many, I deal with the latent and implicit radicalism of Aquinas’s ideas. Yes?
Audience: 17:08 Well, she’s first.
R.J. Rushdoony: 17:09 Yes. [Fil 00:17:09]?
Audience: 17:09 This word philosophe is unfamiliar to me, and how do you spell it [inaudible 00:17:21]?
R.J. Rushdoony: 17:24 Philosophes. It’s a French word, P-H-I-L-O-S-O-P-H-E-S. It referred to these thinkers who regarded themselves as a kind of true philosophy. They were the thinkers. Wisdom was born with them. Their ideas were just what I described.
R.J. Rushdoony: 17:47 They have been very ably described by an American scholar of Dutch ancestry, Peter Gay, in two volumes on the Enlightenment. Peter Gay himself is not a Christian, and he’s one of the few who’s been honest about telling the truth about their anti-Christianity. Most writers cover this up. But Peter Gay very plainly admits how they were, first and foremost, anti-Christian.
Audience: 18:24 [inaudible 00:18:24].
R.J. Rushdoony: 18:33 Yes. Diderot and all the others.
Audience: 18:34 Unless, of course, the [inaudible 00:18:34].
R.J. Rushdoony: 18:34 Oh, yes. In part, some of them, but, basically, they were anti-Christian. That was the essence of their position. Yes?
Audience: 18:46 I have two questions. I want to know, are there any redeeming qualities about Voltaire? Two, what was the base of operations of the philosophes before they began their march into revolution? I’m sure you covered that as you introduced them, but I missed that. What was their base of operations? Were they influential in the court or with middle-class bureaucrats, or what-
R.J. Rushdoony: 19:11 Oh, yes. First of all, Voltaire was a thorough scoundrel. I don’t see anything redeeming about him. The so-called famous saying, “I disagree with everything you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire never said. That’s a modern invention to give him some respectability. He was a scoundrel. He was a cheat. He was a liar. Frederick the Great who invited him to his court finally had to chase him out, because he was so shameless and so contemptible.
R.J. Rushdoony: 19:44 He was probably himself also a homosexual. He certainly had strong tendencies in that part. He did everything to rob and to cheat his host. He had a lifetime berth there and the cushiest kind of conditions. But he did everything to aggravate Frederick the Great who leaned over backwards to try to be tolerant.
R.J. Rushdoony: 20:10 Now, these philosophes, of course, these Enlightenment thinkers had taken over very steadily. The court had been tolerant of them, because what you have to realize is that while there was some semblance of faith there, Louis XV was a profligate monarch who as long as the money was coming, and he could afford his mistresses and his gay court was content to let things go.
R.J. Rushdoony: 20:40 Having no great faith, he bought the ideas of these men. He subsidized them. If they got too far out of line, he cracked their knuckles a bit. But basically, he favored them and subsidized them.
R.J. Rushdoony: 20:57 Louis XVI was a very earnest, well-meaning man, very devout man. But, all the same, Louis XVI had imbibed so many of their ideas that he had no way of successfully resisting them. If you already have bought nine-tenths of your opponent’s ideas, or, even 50%, how are you going to resist him? Because the enemy is then in you.
R.J. Rushdoony: 21:27 While there was a tremendous conspiracy at work in the French Revolution, there is no question about that, and I think the best account of it is Nesta Webster’s book on the French Revolution, a very important work, very important. But still, what you have to say is it wasn’t the conspiracy that did it, but the fact that everybody in the church, in the state, among the common people, high and low had imbibed these ideas.
R.J. Rushdoony: 21:56 On the Huguenot side, there were practically none who resisted the ideas.
Audience: 22:08 But there [crosstalk 00:22:08]-
R.J. Rushdoony: 22:08 What?
Audience: 22:08 In all honesty, there weren’t many Huguenots there anymore.
R.J. Rushdoony: 22:08 No, but they did not resist it, and on the Catholic side, there were very few also. In fact, many of the bishops were prominent among those calling for everything revolutionary. Yes?
Audience: 22:33 I thought that they [inaudible 00:22:34] in the name of science. There was all this monarchal science. Yet you mentioned, they were anti-scientific. Then what were they pushing? Just humanitarianism or [crosstalk 00:22:37]-
R.J. Rushdoony: 22:38 Pushing knowledge, learning.
Audience: 22:39 That’s science, isn’t it?
R.J. Rushdoony: 22:41 No, no. There’s a difference.
Audience: 22:42 [crosstalk 00:22:42] wouldn’t that be what the [inaudible 00:22:47] we’re going to make gold out of stones, or we’re going to-
R.J. Rushdoony: 22:50 No. That-
Audience: 22:50 … [crosstalk 00:22:50] or something.
R.J. Rushdoony: 22:53 No. That kind of thing, alchemy it passed out long before.
Audience: 22:56 [crosstalk 00:22:56] [inaudible 00:22:58].
R.J. Rushdoony: 23:00 No. By and large, these philosophes were not only not interested in science but hostile to it. It was learning. It was art. It was the arty emphasis that they were selling, and this was popular with the courts, to be a patron of learning.
Audience: 23:17 Well, that would be Kissinger and his crew [inaudible 00:23:19].
R.J. Rushdoony: 23:22 No, you had that more in Kennedy and his crew. Kennedy and his crew basically had the entertainers, the dramatists, the musicians around the court. It was Camelot, another King Arthur and all these gay troubadours and so on. Kennedy’s concept was-
Audience: 23:47 But even Kissinger-
R.J. Rushdoony: 23:48 … in essence-
Audience: 23:49 … brags about his art of politics-
R.J. Rushdoony: 23:51 Well, he’s a politician primarily. That’s a minor note.
Audience: 23:58 [crosstalk 00:23:58]-
R.J. Rushdoony: 23:57 It was the Kennedy regime that was trying to create, as it were, a royal court. You had a last hangover of the Kennedy regime in the Bernstein Mass not too long ago.
Audience: 24:10 Yeah. Yeah.
R.J. Rushdoony: 24:12 Yes?
Audience: 24:17 Kissinger [inaudible 00:24:17] unimportance. He got appointed to such an important job in the new administration.
R.J. Rushdoony: 24:26 No, he was not of relative unimportance. Kissinger was a big wheel at Harvard. If you trace the history of Harvard in recent years, you find that since FDR and his Brain Trust calling in experts a la Louis XIV, Harvard has had a high place in this. Kissinger as a man in political science naturally was high up in the running. I’d say Kissinger was a natural for the job. What they wanted was someone who was more or less liberal who was in the Harvard tradition. Who could command the intellectual community and had prestige and respectability and give Nixon that prestige, and-
Audience: 25:09 He has no respectability or [inaudible 00:25:11] to the intellectual community.
R.J. Rushdoony: 25:13 Oh yes, he does. He does very definitely.
Audience: 25:16 [crosstalk 00:25:16] everybody laughs at him, even the people on his side.
R.J. Rushdoony: 25:20 I beg to differ with you. Kissinger commands a great deal of respect in the intellectual community, a great deal.
Audience: 25:29 Among the philosophes.
R.J. Rushdoony: 25:30 Among the philosophes very definitely.
Audience: 25:33 Because he’s doing a good job basically for the [inaudible 00:25:33] of the administration, but is he doing a good job for the American people? Oh, no.
R.J. Rushdoony: 25:39 Oh, no. We wouldn’t agree with that. But the point is-
Audience: 25:42 [crosstalk 00:25:42]-
R.J. Rushdoony: 25:45 As far as the American people are concerned, he’s doing a good job, because I would say he’s been a very major, political asset for Nixon. Because you may not like him, and I may not like him, but you’ve got to realize that most of the people are very happy about the kind of thing he has done.
R.J. Rushdoony: 26:04 The Democrats are themselves complaining that a lot of their campaign promises and hopes have been stolen by Nixon a la Kissinger. He’s been a major asset. Now, they don’t figure your vote and mine is anything. They’ve written that off, so they don’t care about us.
R.J. Rushdoony: 26:25 But with most of the American people, he’s been a major asset. He’s been a major asset in dealing with foreign governments. Nixon is a politician first and last. He has Kissinger there, because Kissinger is an asset to him, and he’d drop him tomorrow if he weren’t.
Audience: 26:45 Even [inaudible 00:26:45] Kissinger up as a sex symbol [inaudible 00:26:56].
R.J. Rushdoony: 27:05 See our point of view is a very, definitely a minority point of view. A man may look bad or ridiculous to us, but that doesn’t mean he is that to the country as a whole. What we thought was the most horrible thing in American history, his August 15th speech, Nixon’s, gained him more popularity than he’d had since he took office.
R.J. Rushdoony: 27:28 You have to look at the reality of the situation. I think this is one reason why conservatives have generally been impotent, because they’re sure that the people really don’t want what they’re asking for.
R.J. Rushdoony: 27:41 But they do, you see. When we take that position, we’re taking the position of the philosophes who said, “We know what the will of the people is.” We know what they really want, rather than what they say they do. But when the people vote for something, when the people approve of something, you have to say, “That’s what they want.”
R.J. Rushdoony: 28:01 This is why I don’t put any stock in what people say, “Well, most of the people in the Presbyterian or Episcopal or Methodist Church are really good Christians at heart.” If they were they wouldn’t be there. They are there, because they like what they’re getting.
R.J. Rushdoony: 28:18 What you’re saying is you know better than they do what they are, and you don’t, and I don’t. People find their kind. They seek their own level. Water always seeks its own level. These people are in those churches, because that is where they are at home. People vote for what they do, because they like it.
R.J. Rushdoony: 28:47 Yes?
Audience: 28:49 Except that I still think people who voted for Nixon [inaudible 00:29:03] supported him, I still think there’s an element of people who are more conservatively leaning and don’t really know what he stands for. He’s not really been and not really looked at [inaudible 00:29:05] and even some of the things, he’s done, they still try to say, “Oh, well, he has [inaudible 00:29:10] conservative at heart.” Just because they have not really been and have not really looked behind. They seem to not realize that he’s been a liberal since the day he first ran for Congress in California. Then supported by-
R.J. Rushdoony: 29:25 They don’t want to know, because basically, they don’t have any principles. You see? You cannot give people principles they don’t have. You can’t say, “Well, if they knew better, they would feel that way.” They don’t know better, because they don’t care.
R.J. Rushdoony: 29:40 They really don’t have principles. There are very, very few people in the country today who have any real religious principles, any real political principles. It’s basically, “What’s in it for me?”
R.J. Rushdoony: 29:55 Now, this is our problem today. I had a very interesting conversation a couple of days ago with Bill Richardson, our state senator. Bill was telling me about a radio address he had just made. It was about crime in the state of California.
R.J. Rushdoony: 30:16 The gist of it is this, now, I may not have the figures quite accurately, but I think I do. His secretary called me today, she’s going to send me the text of it.
R.J. Rushdoony: 30:25 There were over 640,000 crimes of violence against persons and property, serious crimes of violence against persons and property committed in the state of California in 1970. Now, that’s quite a few when you consider there are 20 million people, and those are families divide them say by five, the average family and then 640,000 serious crimes, you realize how many people are hit. Of those, in those cases, only 200,000 arrests were made about, less than one third. Of these 200,000 only a little better than 50,000 were taken to court by the district attorneys. 34% of those that were taken to court were already out on parole or were awaiting trial for some other offense.
R.J. Rushdoony: 31:41 Of those 50,000 that were taken to court, these were the ones where the DAs felt, “We’ve got to win. We can’t lose on this.” 5,000 served any time at all. The others were turned out on probation or something like that.
R.J. Rushdoony: 32:03 Now, what Bill pointed out, he said, “Study it carefully. Trace this out.” He’s been working on this for about eight, 10 months. Our prisons are empty now. They’re empty. We’re not sending anyone.
R.J. Rushdoony: 32:21 Now, some of the courts are real problems, but even more than the courts are the juries. The average person on the jury wants to turn them loose. Bill said, “Do you know why?” Because they figure, “Well, the next time, it could be my boy or my girl, or it could be some relative or maybe even me.”
R.J. Rushdoony: 32:45 Because they all have larceny in their hearts. There’s not enough faith in them, not enough righteousness in them to make them ready to stand up and mete out any serious sentence. The percentage of convictions are dropping all the time.
R.J. Rushdoony: 33:04 What does this mean? Well, and this is the picture across country. The percentage just varies from state to state. It means that the average American, and Bill drew this conclusion, today is on the side of the criminal, and he proves it. When he goes to court whether as a witness, in that he doesn’t want to be a witness, or whether as a member of a jury, he’s on the side of the criminal.
R.J. Rushdoony: 33:37 He proves it too in his taste in movies and his taste in television programs, a hoodlum as a hero. There’s a number of them who are unwilling to give a firm sentence, because they figure, “Well, the next person up might be my kid, and I don’t like things this strict, because I think my kid’s all right even though he does get into this and that trouble.”
R.J. Rushdoony: 34:07 It wasn’t too long ago in this area where … not too far from here, just about three, four miles. Police had to shoot a teenager who after a hold-up savagely assaulted and crippled a man, and was suspected of having done this in a couple of other cases, shot and wounded a police officer. They finally killed him.
R.J. Rushdoony: 34:42 The mother was vicious and savage in her attack on the police. Her boy was a good boy. What did they think going around killing good boys like her son?
R.J. Rushdoony: 34:56 Now, that’s the reality of our situation today. Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. Today, there is no righteousness in the American people.
R.J. Rushdoony: 35:08 We cannot give them a righteousness by saying, “Well, they’re good Americans,” and so on. They’re ungodly, and in the sight of God, they’re bound for hell. They’re going to show their hellish character, and they’re doing it.
R.J. Rushdoony: 35:24 Bill says the police are ready to quit. What’s the point in going on under the circumstances? Now imagine, 200,000 arrests where they figured they had the person. 50,000 only go to court. 5,000 convictions, and that might be a very short thing in jail, less than 1% conviction. Why it pays to be a criminal now. Crime definitely pays.
R.J. Rushdoony: 36:07 This is exactly what we were talking about this evening. The ideas of the philosophes, this anti-Christianity is revealing itself in the breakdown of law and order. We’ll never, never in all our days be able to cope with it unless we say, “We are in an ungodly generation in the midst of an ungodly people.”
R.J. Rushdoony: 36:26 Nothing short of a Christian reawakening, Christian institutions like Christian schools will turn the tide. Short of it, what happened at the French Revolution with the Reign of Terror and the Russian Revolution will take over the whole of the Western World. Now, that’s the logic of the situation. We cannot do anything until we face exactly what we have.
Audience: 36:54 [inaudible 00:36:54] a long period of time, as you know, I can imagine that at any age there’s always been an element of dissension [inaudible 00:37:18]. But as this thing grows and develops, isn’t it always somebody or some people in the background just [inaudible 00:37:24] on its destruction?
R.J. Rushdoony: 37:30 Oh, of course. There always is. You never, never, never in all history had a period when you didn’t have organized conspiratorial people in the background. But the question is, what determines things ultimately?
R.J. Rushdoony: 37:44 Now, you never had an era in American history, as I told our Sunday group some months ago, never an era in American history with more subversives than in the days of Washington and John Adams. There were so many subversives sent over here, paid revolutionaries, paid agents by the French government, the French revolutionary government, that the United States was honeycombed with them.
R.J. Rushdoony: 38:20 They had paid agents right up into the cabinet of George Washington. We had a standing army then of a hundred men. They were so powerful in this country that they thought they could take it over almost any day. You never in all of American history have had more organized, more powerful subversion than then.
R.J. Rushdoony: 38:44 But why couldn’t they do it? Because you had a strong godly element. That’s what you don’t have today. That’s the difference.
R.J. Rushdoony: 38:57 That we can never say, “It’s this subversive group that’s responsible,” or “That subversive group.” You always have to say as God requires in His Word, I, even I have done that which is evil in Thy sight.
R.J. Rushdoony: 39:11 The sin of Adam and Eve was ultimately this failure of responsibility. “The serpent did give me, and I did eat. The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she did give me, and I did eat.”
R.J. Rushdoony: 39:26 You see, as long as we take that attitude as a people and say, “It’s the Communists who are doing this to us. It’s this and that subversive group,” or “It’s the Illuminati,” or “It’s the Fabian socialists,” or somebody else. We are sinners in the sight of God. We’re not saying, “I, even I have done that which is evil in Thy sight.”
R.J. Rushdoony: 39:52 Because when men stand with God, God stands with them, and they’re going to triumph. But today, we have this mentality too often among conservatives, and it’s unbiblical. It’s anti-Christian, because in terms of Christianity, no one can plead that.
R.J. Rushdoony: 40:11 Then they’re putting themselves in the enemy’s camp. Then they are conceding to the basic environmentalism. If you become an environmentalist, then there’s no difference between you and the Marxist except one of degree. Because this is their premise, environmentalism.
R.J. Rushdoony: 40:29 Ultimately, we have to say it is the responsibility of the people. Every man has to meet his own guilt before God and come to terms with God and Christ, or there is no hope for us in the future.
R.J. Rushdoony: 40:45 This is why the conservative movement has taken millions of dollars, and it has wound up really helping us further down the road. Because it’s deflected the attention of people from the real issue, the spiritual issue.
R.J. Rushdoony: 40:59 It has accomplished nothing except to blind people to the real issue, to find excuses to say, “Really, we’re a fine people.” To pat America on the back, as it were, and say, “It’s just these handful of subversives that have done all this to us. Oh, we’re such wonderful people.”
R.J. Rushdoony: 41:20 It’s not true. We were a godly people. We are now a very ungodly people. This is our problem today.
Audience: 41:33 Well, it’s basically the people [inaudible 00:41:33].
R.J. Rushdoony: 41:49 It isn’t that it-
Audience: 41:49 … leadership that we need [inaudible 00:41:50] people.
R.J. Rushdoony: 41:52 Yes. The leadership is going to come not from any one source but from many. It’s going to come as people do things which are being done right now. The Christian school movement is a big forward step. It’s going to take thousands upon thousands of individuals, each in their calling, standing in terms of God and His Word. Each of them building godly homes, rebuilding churches, rebuilding one area of life after another. This is what’s going to do it.
R.J. Rushdoony: 42:26 I see it already being done. The real action today, I believe is precisely in that area, not in the area of politics. There is no hope in the political sphere.
R.J. Rushdoony: 42:38 Dorothy and I recently had a friend come and stay with us, I must finish with this, for three days on her way home to Northern California from Washington, DC. This friend who is a professional politician, whose work is promoting campaigns and so on, is a very competent professional politician said, “There was no hope politically. Anyone who expected anything to come out of politics and out of Washington was a fool.” That the hope had to be elsewhere. That the people were rotten to the core, and they were getting exactly what they had coming to them.
R.J. Rushdoony: 43:22 She painted a bleak picture in Washington, DC. Contrary to her previous visit, there’s not much crime at night. Nobody goes out. Everybody is behind locked doors with a gun.
R.J. Rushdoony: 43:34 She said, as of recent months, crime is a daylight affair. Because that’s when people are on the streets. You’ll be robbed when you stop for a signal at an intersection. They’ll walk into stores and rob you.
R.J. Rushdoony: 43:52 If you want further details on what goes on, Dick [Deamer 00:43:57] here can tell you what happens to cars in the Pentagon parking lot, because he was there. It’s a bleak picture. It’s one of radical, moral collapse, a very radical, moral collapse.
R.J. Rushdoony: 44:12 The only answer is the one that the Word of God provides, the saving power of Jesus Christ. Anything short of that is to delude the people and to join forces with the enemy. We can never allow anyone to think that anything short of Christ offers any hope for our future.
R.J. Rushdoony: 44:35 Well, we’ve run over time, so we will have to end it now.
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: https://chalcedon.edu/founder