Our Threatened Freedom

Should Universities Get Grants From Pentagon Funds For Research? (03:53)

R.J. Rushdoony


R.J. Rushdoony: 00:01 Should universities get Pentagon funds for research? This is R.J. Rushdoony with a report on our threatened freedom. Each year the defense department awards contracts to industry for research and for new technology. Such grants are necessary and proper as long as they are honestly granted to the bitters who can deliver the best weaponry at the lowest prices. A lesser grant was to colleges and universities. The new contracts rose to $852 million dollars for the fiscal year essentially for research.

R.J. Rushdoony: 00:39 During the Vietnam War era, such grants were a major concern to the student protesters, and more than a few riots and incidents resulted. Spring 1983 began with a student protest at Ann Arbor, Michigan against the University of Michigan’s defense contracts. Before the matter goes further, it would be wise to examine the issue carefully.

R.J. Rushdoony: 01:05 It is fitting and right for industry to get such contracts, and industrial research and development departments are the major sources of our modern technology in every field. Few people appreciate the extent to which industrial research produces the inventions, technologies, and advances of our era. Without industrial research we would have very little technology and scientific advance.

R.J. Rushdoony: 01:34 In the development of technology, the role of the university is a very minor one. The university or scientist concerned is more involved in teaching than in anything else. Moreover its scientific concerns tend to be theoretical not practical. As a result, the involvement of the universities and defense department grants or contracts is actually a minor matter.

R.J. Rushdoony: 02:01 The 1982 contracts to industry totaled $116.7 billion dollars whereas those to colleges and universities came to $852 million dollars. In other words, it is much less than 1% of the total. Obviously, the Pentagon does not see university research as important. It is possible that such university grants are made partially towards funding those schools whose alumni are important in congress and the bureaucracy.

R.J. Rushdoony: 02:38 It is questionable whether the grants to universities are very productive. What good the universities do could probably be better done elsewhere. Education will be better served if the contracts go elsewhere. This is not because defense work is demeaning to science but because the essential purpose of a college and university is and should be education. Whenever any kind of fat research contract is dangled before professors teaching suffers and the professors profit.

R.J. Rushdoony: 03:17 With some schools the rationale is that a few students gain opportunities for more research but the reality is that there are better options in industry and teaching suffers when the university is involved in defense contracts. We have too many universities greedy for such contracts and education suffers as a consequence. To harm or depreciate teaching is not practical. 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