Our Threatened Freedom

Does Freedom Work? (04:22)

R.J. Rushdoony


R.J. Rushdoony: 00:01 Does freedom work? This is R.J. Rushdoony with a report on our threatened freedom. One of the important aspects of American history was its intention to establish a country in which the basic governing principle would be freedom. The Founding Fathers were aware that their beginning was far from perfect. They were unhappy at having to compromise with slavery. They wrote in the abolition of the slave trade and they expected slavery itself to disappear before too long. There were other problems of course. And American history has been anything but trouble-free, however, the expectation was that problems could best be solved by a free people rather than by a powerful monarch, ruler, or bureaucracy.

R.J. Rushdoony: 00:55 To depend on freedom as the solution can be slow at times. It means that people must learn and apply the answers rather than having them applied from the top. It means, too, that evil sometimes lingers longer than we would with. However, this reliance on freedom as the basic instrument of government made the United States the envy of the world. Immigrants poured in from all over the world, and they continue to come in because this seemed to be the land of opportunity because it was the land of freedom.

R.J. Rushdoony: 01:32 By World War I, the United States was the envy of the world and the dream country for many peoples. Travelers found that even in very remote countries and places. People had some knowledge of America as a golden place. Since then, of course, that dream has tarnished. Our follies have made us unpopular and even hated. Here at home, our belief in the governing value of freedom has been steadily replaced by a belief in government, by the federal government and its bureaucrats.

R.J. Rushdoony: 02:14 Some years ago, Lin Yutang wrote that before he came to the United States what it meant to him was Patrick Henry and his great declaration, “Give me liberty or give me death.” On coming to this country, Lin Yutang found that we had now another slogan, “Give me security or give me death.” Of course, the ultimate security system is slavery. Freedom did not fail. We failed. Freedom requires work, character, and responsibility, whereas a security system requires a slave master and a slave state.

R.J. Rushdoony: 02:54 An old American principle was that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. That statement came originally from a famed Irish orator and leader, John Philpot Curran, who in a speech of 1790 said, and I quote, “It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God has given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.” Few have said it as well as Curran. He was right. The choice is freedom or slavery. Either we make freedom and the work and responsibility it involves our way of life, or we will have slavery to an all-powerful and totalitarian state.

R.J. Rushdoony: 03:55 In more than one country in Europe various forms of social security are bankrupting the nation while increasing the powers of the state. No politician dares call a halt to this insanity, and these nations stumble from crisis to crisis. Will this soon be set a bust? This is R.J. Rushdoony with a report on our threatened freedoms.

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