Our Threatened Freedom

Why Prosecute Good Children? (05:03)

R.J. Rushdoony


R.J. Rushdoony: 00:00 Why Prosecute Good Children? This is R.J. Rushdoony with a report on our threatened freedom. In November of 1978 I was in a small city of Ohio to be a witness in a trial. Two Christians, Mr. and Mrs. James Olin, had placed their daughter Jennifer in a Christian school next door to their farm. An arrest followed with a charge of truancy against Jennifer, and her father ostensibly contributing to her delinquency by placing her in that Amish school when he was not Amish. Jim Olin is a Christian. He is not Amish, but he respects the Amish, and a good school next door was a blessing to him. By the time the case went to court, Jennifer had completed the first grade and begun the second. At the end of the first grade, in June 1978, she was tested. The test results showed that Jennifer scored between high third and low fifth. Very good indeed for a first grader.

R.J. Rushdoony: 01:13 Obviously the school was a good one. The Olins lost the case, however, and the appellate court sustained the juvenile court. The case will now go to the Ohio Supreme Court. Consider the implications of this case. Because the Olins are not Amish the court regards it as a legal offense for them to place their children in an Amish school. Does this mean that some day soon only Baptists can send their children to a Baptist school, or only Catholics can use a Catholic school? The court was supposedly concerned with Jennifer Olin’s welfare, but Jennifer Olin has a better home, and next door to her school, a better school than most children do. The school’s performance record shows that. The state could not argue that Jennifer was harmed, nor that the community was harmed, nor that any moral or educational wrong had taken place.

R.J. Rushdoony: 02:22 All that the state could honestly claim was that its supposed right or power to play God was denied. Its concern was neither the general welfare nor Jennifer Olin’s welfare. Its concern was its own totalitarian claim to power. The state wants a monopoly of power over all of us, including our children. The saddest part of this Olin case is that it is not unusual. It has happened again and again. It will continue to happen until we the people are sufficiently aroused to demand changes in the nature of civil government. Meanwhile, we have every reason to be worried. Both Hitler, Stalin and Stalin’s successors have persecuted and killed innocent people in great numbers. Almost everyone bewails that fact and condemns such tyranny.

R.J. Rushdoony: 03:31 Now in the United States godly children like Jennifer Olin in Ohio are being taken to court for no other reason than being in a Christian school getting a superior and a godly education. Is the state of Ohio so perfect that it can regard a good little girl as an offender? We need to be disgusted, ashamed, and indignant, and to demand a change. If we do not, our children soon may also be in court. Copies of this broadcast are available from R.J. Rushdoony, R-U-S-H-D-O-O-N-Y. P.O. Box 188, Vallecito, California, V-A-L-L-E-C-I-T-O, California 95251. Please send at least $1 to help toward the cost of reproduction, mailing and office help. Ask for the broadcast on Why Prosecute Good Children?

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