Our Threatened Freedom

Will Wishing Or Legislating Make It So? (04:36)

R.J. Rushdoony


R.J. Rushdoony: 00:01 Will wishing or legislating make it so? This is R.J. Rushdoony with a report on our threatened freedom. A few days ago, I learned of some very successful counseling workshops that teach class members how to get rich by wishing for things. By paying $75 a day or up to several hundred, you are taught how to wish for and get a new Continental or Mercedes-Benz, the house of your dreams, or whatever else your heart desires. These workshops are apparently very successful in attracting students, some of whom claim great results. The basic premise of these classes is that wishing, positive and informed wishing, can give us what we want. Now, what do we do with groups like that? Some state officers seem to believe that licensure and controls are the answer. However, given the results of licensing psychiatrists and psychologists, the licensure route is not very promising. What licensure controls is a required educational background. It is by no means an assurance of moral integrity and professional competence.

R.J. Rushdoony: 01:18 In fact, we are too often given a false sense of security by such licensing, as though the framed certificates on the wall have any relationship to integrity and character. Well, what else can we do? The simple answer is, we can and should in most cases do nothing. If a serious problem develops such as a financial fraud, we have enough laws to cover these cases. There is however no way in the world that we can legislate foolishness out of the heart of man. What can we do by attempting to suppress every possibility of fraud is to eliminate freedom, and to destroy freedom is too high a price to pay. Freedom involves your right and mine to be foolish, to make a mistake, to lose money through stupidity, and to pay the price of gullibility. We may or we may not learn by our experience, but growth requires the freedom to make mistakes.

R.J. Rushdoony: 02:29 No child learns to walk without first falling again and again without freedom. In other words, there is no growth. I think it is ridiculous to pay $100 to learn how to wish. I already do too much wishing, and I do not believe that wishing makes it so. Working might. I have some possibility of getting my dream house or my dream car if there is some sense to my wishing and some work behind it. The whole premise of licensure and control is that states supervision ensures quality. If this were true, then we should find the highest quality and performance in the licensing agency to city, county, state or federal government. However, it is precisely in these controlling agencies that we usually find the poorest performance, the lowest quality of work, and the lack of character which is so basic to integrity and performance.

R.J. Rushdoony: 03:32 Today, however, we have agencies and boards to license and control almost everything. There are hundreds if not more state and federal agencies to control almost every thing and every one except theater popcorn poppers, and maybe some states or cities have such boards. The licensing mania has become so bad that almost every occupation wants a certificate to hang on the wall stating that John Doe is a certified feather plucker. Well, it is now time for me to go pick up her new dog license, my driver’s license renewal, and a burning permit. I am glad, however, that my wedding anniversary, which is coming soon, will not require me to renew my marriage license, or is somebody at the state capitol planning to stick me with an annual renewal fee? 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