Our Threatened Freedom

Is It Safe To Rely On The Law? (03:13)

R.J. Rushdoony


R.J. Rushdoony: 00:01 Is it safe to rely on the law? This is R. J. Rushdoony with a report on our threatened freedom.

R.J. Rushdoony: 00:08 In this age of overprotection, we have laws and regulations to protect us from every kind of problem, and from fraud. How good are these laws and codes? Someone I know had a house built. A very superior one in design and planning. He moved into it happily, only to encounter some problems. Some minor and some not so minor. One serious problem was the fireplace which began [inaudible 00:00:36] to leave the house. Now the house had been built according to code and had been inspected and met all specifications. In such a situation, what do you do? The building department of the county said it was a matter between himself and the masonry firm. The mason had gone out of business, but was also back in business under another name, so the original contracting firm was now non-existent.

R.J. Rushdoony: 01:01 As a result my friend had to pay for the redoing of a job built according to code, supposedly, and approved. The building code gave him no protection when he needed it.

R.J. Rushdoony: 01:14 Another friend moved into a newly built house and after the first heavy storm the builder was back to crawl to the attic to check on the roof, to examine things under the house and then to make a minor change or two to ensure doubly that no problem would ensue. My friend was protected, not by the code, but by the contractor. The difference in the two cases was character. The building code was, in both cases, the same. No building code, however good, can replace character. In our day we relied too much on laws and building codes to protect us and too little on character. As a result we are more easily exploited by unscrupulous men.

R.J. Rushdoony: 02:02 No code can be framed which a crooked man will not twist, exploit or corrupt. By placing our confidence on laws and codes we are asking for trouble. We are forgetting too that the soundest basis for a sound economy and a trustworthy job is character. I passed a proposed subdivision recently. The builder behind it has left dissatisfaction everywhere as well as threats of lawsuits. When ready this new subdivision will not lack buyers if the economy improves. The location is beautiful and everything one knows, and everyone knows that the building code in that city is a strict one. The net result is that the most important single consideration of all is overlooked, the character of the builder. After all, who nowadays doubts the character of a successful man whose sales offices are plush and beguiling places? Who needs character references when he smells of success?

R.J. Rushdoony: 03:08 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