Our Threatened Freedom

Is Death By Government Permission Only? (03:32)

R.J. Rushdoony


R.J. Rushdoony: 00:01 Is death by government permission only? This is R.J. Rushdoony with a report on our threatened freedom.

R.J. Rushdoony: 00:09 Recently, a newsletter, The Intellectual Activist, spoke of the possibility of death by government permission only. What this periodical referred to was the fact that 12 states are considering legislation to restrict the freedom of businesses to close down. Before long, if such legislation is enacted, being broke or without customers will be no excuse. The details vary from state to state, but the proposals seek to protect the jobs of all employees. Such legislation raises some interesting questions. Why not make it illegal for tenants to move out and leave an apartment owner with empty units? Again, why not make it illegal for a car to need repairs for four years and tires to wear out before so many miles of usage? If we can abolish, by law, the right to go broke, why not abolish the right to die?

R.J. Rushdoony: 01:12 Can we extend man’s life expectancy by making it illegal to die before the age of 100 without a heavy fine? How about some legislation against droughts and floods or against scorching heat? I’m almost afraid to suggest such nonsense for a fear someone will take me seriously. Legislators I know tell me of the sometimes far-out measures which are put into the hopper.

R.J. Rushdoony: 01:41 In 1971, I was in the San Fernando Valley of California when the disastrous earthquake hit on February 9, about 6:00 AM. For a few days, there were aftershocks, which left people a bit nervous. Everywhere, people spoke about the earthquake. The classic line came from a woman in a supermarket checkout line, whom I heard say, “Why doesn’t the government do something about it?” Our problem today is precisely that the government is doing something about almost everything and doing it badly. We are treated as incompetents by Federal Officials and as stupid children in need of being controlled.

R.J. Rushdoony: 02:25 Recently, a very able businessman went to an Internal Revenue Service Office for an audit. After about two hours of treatment as a bad boy and an incompetent, he asked for a restroom break. He told me he was almost tempted to raise one or two fingers and ask, “Please, Teacher. Can I go?” Anytime we are treated as anything less than responsible adults, our freedom is threatened. Children do need supervision, care, and a certain amount of control, but adults need freedom to exercise their maturity. The whole foundation of Christianity and our form of civil government presupposes our responsibility and freedom. Moral choices are free choices. Freedom and responsibility are inseparable. The less freedom in a society, the less the responsibility.

R.J. Rushdoony: 03:26 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