Our Threatened Freedom

Can Crime Stopping Be Dangerous? (03:03)

R.J. Rushdoony


R.J. Rushdoony: 00:01 Can crime stopping be dangerous? This is R.J. Rushdoony with a report on our threatened freedom.

R.J. Rushdoony: 00:09 A recent issue of Science Digest carried a very important article entitled “Twenty-first Century Crime Stoppers” by Richard Koenig. The article deals with research into the predictions of crime. All of us to some degree are involved in the prediction of criminal or abnormal behavior. We look at some of the neighborhood youth and we predict that some of them will come to no good end. Sometimes we are right and sometimes we are very, very wrong.

R.J. Rushdoony: 00:44 Now, however, we have scientists who believe that testing of various kinds will enable man and a generation also to single out accurately and clearly the criminal in advance, long before he has committed any crime. Even to estimating how many crimes a year that person will commit. It is proposed by some that such people be jailed or executed in advance of any such behavior.

R.J. Rushdoony: 01:15 American Civil Liberties Union lawyer David Landaw has protested against this kind of thinking, stating, and I quote, “Almost all social science studies show that you cannot predict future criminality with any accuracy. There’s also a Constitutional objection. You are talking about punishing people for crimes they have not committed.”

R.J. Rushdoony: 01:42 There is another important objection, a religious one. Basic to Biblical faith is the doctrine of responsibility before the law for actual acts, not possible ones. Law must deal with actions to be just. Moreover a person at 18 may show every indication of becoming a criminal and later change. Perhaps the most vicious young hoodlum of 18 I ever knew, and from whom no one expected any good, was converted soon thereafter, went to college and became a prominent university professor.

R.J. Rushdoony: 02:20 There are better ways of crime stopping than jailing or executing potential criminals. We need to begin dealing with the actual ones. Besides, what if many of us, who are innocent of any kind of crime, flunk the test of these social scientists? Or what if these tests reflect political overtones? And those of us who are critical of the powers that be are found to be potential criminals? This kind of crime stopping is not only dangerous but is criminal as well.

R.J. Rushdoony: 02:58 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