Our Threatened Freedom

Are We A Nation Of Book Burners? (02:57)

R.J. Rushdoony


R.J. Rushdoony: 00:01 Are we a nation of book burners? This is R.J. Rushdoony with a report on our threatened freedom. We read periodically that some group or other is upset because a school board wants to keep certain books away from schoolchildren and the impression is given that some people known as the radical right are involved in book burning. How true is this?

R.J. Rushdoony: 00:26 Moral Majority, for one, is charged with booking banning by some, but that group has never been involved in such activities nor has Eagle Coral. It is true that in many communities parents have objected to certain books because of their content and in the belief that those books are unfit for school libraries. It is also true that librarians and library journals recommend certain books and reject others often because they are too conservative or too Christian. If we call the one censorship, we must call the other censorship also.

R.J. Rushdoony: 01:10 The fact is both sides want children to get the best perspective on life and to cloud the issue with charges of book banning is to misrepresent the facts. All the books in question can be bought by anyone at any bookstore. A Christian school will obviously avoid certain books as not worthwhile or as definitely bad. Similarly, the public school being governed by humanistic faith will select books which conform to its perspective and reject others. This will of course offend some parents. The solution is not named calling.

R.J. Rushdoony: 01:52 Basic to freedom is the fact of choice. If we deny freedom, we are denying choice. What these people who rail at the supposed book banning are really saying is that there can be no free choice for anyone except themselves. If I want the freedom to choose, I must give that freedom to others also.

R.J. Rushdoony: 02:16 True book banning would be the prohibition of publication. It would involve stopping a book before it is printed. In some countries nothing can be published without a state permit. Any violation of that process is severely punished. We have nothing even remotely resembling that in the United States, not yet at any rate. It is a very grave disservice to freedom to misrepresent issues and to speak of the threat of censorship where no such threat exists.

R.J. Rushdoony: 02:53 This has been R.J. Rushdoony with a report on our threatened freedom.

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