Our Threatened Freedom

Did The Romans And Do The Americans Love Virtue? (03:00)

R.J. Rushdoony


R.J. Rushdoony: 00:00 “Did the Romans and do the Americans love virtue?” This is R.J. Rushdoony with a report on our threatened freedom. The early Roman love of virtue gave way in time to a love of evil. Not many Romans, however, liked to admit that this had happened. Instead of an open love for evil, they disguised their taste for sin with a supposed desire to expose wrongdoings. As a result, exposés of evil in high places became very popular. Writers, both important and unimportant, found that the sins of the high and mighty made for a large reading audience. Most Romans loved to profess outrage over sins of the mighty when, in fact, they envied them.

R.J. Rushdoony: 00:46 Writers like Tacitus, Suetonius and others had a ready market for their accounts of sin in high places. Senate investigations also became popular. Every time there was a hearing on evil in public office, many people assumed that a great forward step had been taken. The false assumption was very wide spread, that condemning evil made a man righteous. This is a dangerous belief. No man becomes righteous or moral by condemning sin in other people. The Bible tells us in Psalm 11:7, “The righteous, Lord, loveth righteousness.” We are not told that God blesses men for their interest in evil but only when they are righteous.

R.J. Rushdoony: 01:31 Today this failing of the Romans is our failing also. We have come to believe that our ability to denounce evil means righteousness on our part. We have men on the left and right of political issues who think that they are good men because they are loud in denouncing evil. More than a few periodicals have been very successful, like many politicians, simply by exposing and denouncing evil. Well, Rome always had a loud chorus of denouncers and perished all the same. Then and now the ability to investigate, denounce, or condemn evil is no guarantee of righteousness.

R.J. Rushdoony: 02:11 The Romans of old, like the Americans of today, love to see evil exposed. They love to talk about national scandals. Evil is interesting to most people whereas righteousness is not. At a dinner party a suddenly disgusted host said, “Let’s stop all this talk about scandals and evil. Let’s talk about something good for a change.” The result was a painful silence. No one was interested in talking about righteousness. But freedom rests on righteousness or justice and without righteousness, freedom perishes. Copies of this broadcast are available from R.J. Rushdoony, P.O. Box 188, Vallecito, California 95251. Ask for, “Did the Romans and do the Americans Love Virtue?”

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