2. Separation of School and State: Part II

R.J. Rushdoony • Mar, 19 2024

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  • Series: Christian Education
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[Audience Leader] Well good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the SEPCOM ’97, our third annual conference of the Separation of School and State Alliance. This session is Lessons Learned from Four Decades of Proposing Separation and introducing the speakers today is Douglas Philips. Doug Philips is a homeschool father and an attorney who was with the Homeschool Legal Defense Association for 6 years, he is currently the director of Family Vision Ministries and owns an audio book and publishing company, and is from Leesburg Virginia. Doug Philips?

[Doug Philips] Good afternoon. You know, if it were possible to find a single individual, if we could find one person who had perhaps the greatest impact on the development of the modern Christian home education movement, if it were possible to find such a man, that man would have to be Dr. R.J. Rushdoony. For more than four decades he has been the herald of the foundational philosophy of Christian education. Dr. Rushdoony is the author of many books; back when long before people were speaking of conferences like this separation of school and state, Dr. Rushdoony was testifying before state legislators and before school boards, and in favor of the separation of school and state, clearly articulating the principle that education is inescapable a religious discipline.

Dr. Rushdoony’s magnum opus, The Institutes of Biblical Law has become a foundation for many students of the word of God today, and his work The Messianic Character of American Education articulated more clearly perhaps than ever before our modern education and public education specifically, has been a tool to promote a secularist philosophy of life, in fact a religion. It has been my privilege to know Dr. Rushdoony as a friend of our family for 20 years, I have listened to more than 1,000 of his tapes, read twelve of his books, and I consider him to be a great and tremendous mentor in my life. I believe that future generations will look back on Dr. Rushdoony as one of the greatest theologians of the 20th century, and a man who is in large part responsible for the development of the Christian homeschool and private school movement in America. Without any further ado I would like to introduce to you the president of Chalcedon, Dr. R. J. Rushdoony. (applause)

I grew up in the great central valley of California, and in those days it was an area of immigrants; in my home town I knew of only two old line American families. The rest were all immigrants, and one foreign language or another was native to the family and to their home conversations. Those were wonderful days, and I grew to love the idioms of some of the old immigrants. One that I still cherish was the old man who said: “Too late we grow smart.” Well, that has occurred to me in the past 14 months, too late I’ve grown smart. I’ve been, as Douglas mentioned, before a lot of state legislatures and a lot of courtrooms, testifying for Christian schools, homeschools, and their freedom; and before very hostile groups.

Now I have realized in the last 14 months what a marvelous prop a cane is; you get instant sympathy when they see you hobbling up to the platform. I should have thought of it years ago. Well in the mid 50’s, I started to work on the subject of statist education and its philosophy. I produced a kind of introductory, more popular volume in 1959: Intellectual Schizophrenia, Culture Crisis in Education; and then in ’63 The Messianic Character of American Education came out. The interesting thing is, nobody in the media, certainly not a single Christian periodical, ever reviewed it. But a number of state departments of education had it reviewed, they were very, very distressed that a book would come out analyzing the philosophies of public education, and arguing against the establishment of schools by the state, calling for the separation of state and school.

They were right to be afraid. Since then, the Christian and homeschool movements have grown phenomenally. This past summer I spoke in three places in California to regional homeschool conventions; there were other conventions besides those three, but those were the three I was invited too, and at the third in Anaheim the total registration was perhaps over 10,000.

Free education, free from state control, is definitely on its way. It is important for us to appreciate the significance of this movement. It means that a growing number of people are taking back government from the state, and this is all important. (applause) It is so serious that there are public educators who are saying they are afraid that the end of public education is in sight. I believe Matthew Hodge may be here, he was here last night, he is a young man from Australia who is here to do some work together with Howard Philips. His father is a leader in home education in Australia; and the superintendent of public instruction in Queensland told him in some amazement, he told him the most rapidly growing movement in the world today is homeschooling; and it is cutting into the Australian school situation every year.

So we see a very, very important factor today, it is a revolution, it is a reformation. What it is doing is to create parents who are responsible, and as they homeschool or put their children into Christian schools, they are growing in their own sense of independence from the state.

Now when I was a child, nobody was troubled about the state schools; I am 81 so I go back to the first World War. In fact, in those days I recall vividly that while the state schools represented Dewey’s Progressivism, they were not belligerent, they were working quietly. A local high school for example might invite a visiting pastor- in some communities, a local Lutheran pastor might control the local state school, or the local priest if it were a predominately Catholic area, and nobody minded. I know that in more than one occasion in my travels in those early years, the local Lutheran pastor or Presbyterian, or the local priest would call on me and say: “You have an interesting story to tell about your work among the American Indians on an isolated Reservation, come and speak to the high school, and don’t hesitate to state your Christian convictions.” That was routine; but little by little, polarization took place. This is inevitable. Men do not like to have to make a stand. They do not welcome polarization, which means that they have to say: “Here I stand, I can do no other” and face a hostile world.

But I recall, going back to the old immigrants, the elderly Dutchman who told me- he was a farmer and I was a young man and he knew I was going to go into missionary work and at the same time write- and he said: “Young man, force the antithesis. Force the antithesis. Get people to see the difference between what their stand is and what the world believes.” Always, he said, force the antithesis.

And he was right, and it became so much an ingrained habit with me that I did not see how far out I was some times as far as people were concerned. But people were used to trying to make everything look the same; “public education was the blessing of the world.” Oh yes, there were things they didn’t like, but if you criticized it you were un-American. After all, remember, we were seeing at the beginning of this century an obliteration of lines. Does anyone here know the name of Charles Ferguson? None? Well, thank God he is now forgotten. (laughter) He was in the early 1900’s before Arthur Brisbane, a few of you may remember his name- the front page editorial writer for the Hearst Papers from coast to coast. He actually affirmed democracy as the true religion. He held- and this was his statement- “We want a government of men, not of laws.” Because men are naturally good. He was the antithesis of everything that a Christian and a Conservative should believe, but his thinking was taken for granted because instead of forcing the antithesis there was a synthesizing of all the strands of thought into a mishmash.

Well, WW1 ended that because of the Russian Revolution. It was one of the best things that ever happened to the world, horrible as it was, because it set forth a clear line of division. You are young and you may not remember, but it became a matter of horrifying news to read about the mass murders of priests in Russia. At least 200,000 priests and nuns butchered in the most horrible way; the mass starvation- my grandmother went through it- the horrors that were routine, day after day; and it really isn’t over yet in spite of the façade they have.

Well, it was a shock to the American world and to the European world, because they were ready to say at first: “They were somewhat extreme over there in Russia, but you’ve got to realize they are reacting against the old regime.” But little by little they had to say: “It is evil, it is wrong; there is no excusing it.” That is what created a Christian position as against the world. That is what created a truly conservative movement. God in His infinite wisdom had forced the antithesis on us, and He has been doing it ever since.

Now we face a battle, a winning battle, we may run into some very real trouble because of pending legislation which may set educational standards that will be imposed upon Christian schools and homeschools- we have got a big battle there, and we have got to be prepared to fight and to win- but why? Why this plan of salvation by controlling children and their schooling from cradle to grave? The roots are very deep, very important for us to understand. They go back to a man, or a group of men, notably Aristotle, whose influence of western civilization and on Christendom, Catholic and Protestant has been enormous. I won’t go into all the facets of that influence, but there is one that is important, his little work on politics. It can be read in a very short time. Its fundamental thesis is very simple, Aristotle says flatly: “Man is a political animal.” What follows from that? Man is to be defined by the state. Moreover, Aristotle’s Politics precedes his Ethics, because the political order determines the ethical order. Politics is determinative.

Now consider the implications of this, it is radically different from another strand of thought that comes out of the Old Testament; in that strand you have a line of division drawn institutionally between church and state to use modern terms, between priest and king. Anyone who crossed it, there was judgement as on King Uzziah. That carried over into the Christian community, and one of the great shocks to the Roman world was the work of the apostles and the New Testament.

Paul calls himself ‘an ambassador for Christ’ a word that was used for the church was ‘parochia,’ our word ‘parish’ is derived from it; but it meant an extraterritorial area, an embassy with extra territorial rights, a foreign government; and Paul said: “I am an ambassador for Christ.” Now this was a shock to Rome, because it meant that the church saw itself as an Imperium in Imperia, the ultimate offense; an Empire within the Empire, ruled by a king who is the higher king.

This was later, very early in the history of the church formulated by Pope Gelasius who made clear that there was a line of division between Church and state that could not be broken, could not be bridged by one claiming power over the other. Well, the doctrine was further developed by John Calvin into the concept of sphere laws, that every area has its own sphere of jurisdiction, that politics should not govern economics nor mathematics. Each sphere is under God, so that we live in interlocking spheres, but each under God rather than under church, or state, or any other agency.

Now consider the implications of this; on the one hand, a stream coming out of Aristotle’s Politics representing of course all pagan thinking, Roman thinking was no different, Persian thinking- and Persia was a very great culture of antiquity- was no different, and certainly ancient Egypt was no different. A unitary order, everything under the state; the state as in some form, God walking on earth.

As against a Biblical perspective which said: “All these areas of life, these spheres, are equally under God, and they cannot attempt to rule one another.” And then on top of that, instead of man being a political animal, he is neither animal nor political, but a creature created by God, responsible, not to the state, but to God; that the supreme ruler cannot be the state, it must be God.

Now, if you understand the difference between these two doctrines, man a political animal, man a religious creature, you will then be able to understand the history of Christianity, the battle it has been engaged in for 2,000 years; and how the battle lines are being drawn more and more clearly. In order to save man, given the premises of statism, it must control every sphere of life and thought. But from the Biblical perspective, man’s salvation is not from man but from God. This is the great line of division, this is the battle we are all engaged in. Thank you.

[Audience Leader] Thank you Dr. Rushdoony. Some of you have seen the bumper sticker out there which says: “If you can read this, thank a teacher.” And maybe perhaps you’ve laughed when you saw that bumper sticker and said: “Well, they learned it not withstanding the teacher.” But homeschoolers have a new bumper sticker which is going to say: “If you can read this, thank Sam Blumenfeld!”

Sam is one of the delightful leaders and men of influence within the Christian education movement in America today, just an absolutely delightful man, the author of seven books; perhaps one of the most important was Is Public Education Necessary? A brilliant work which I encourage you all to purchase, and NEA the Trojan Horse in America. He graduated from the city college of New York, studied in France for two years, one reviewer of his book, his The Whole Language/OBE Fraud wrote: “Blumenfeld superbly documents the Government education establishments seemingly deliberate effort to corrupt and sabotage educational excellence in our country.” Mr. Blumenfeld’s writings appear in diverse publications. It is my pleasure to introduce to you Sam Blumenfeld.

[Sam Blumenfeld] Well, it is certainly a great pleasure to be here at this momentous conference, and of course to have this opportunity, not to respond to Dr. Rushdoony bit to add to it to any extent that I can in this brief 5 minutes.

He is very right that the Unitarians who fomented the public school movement really believed in the moral perfectibility of man, they rejected the Calvinist notion of man’s innate depravity, and they just said that salvation could be achieved through a good education, a Harvard education.

Of course they all came from Harvard. Harvard has been the source of so much of what is wrong with this country, in fact, you know the Calvinists were thrown out of Harvard; Harvard was created by Calvinists, but they were taken over by the Unitarians, and so you had this battle going on since then, this is the early 19th century, so Harvard has been anti Calvinist, more than pro humanist they have been anti Calvinist, and that is why we’ve had this incredible running battle in the United States between so called Fundamentalists or the Orthodox, and the Liberals. In fact, political Liberalism stems from Unitarianism, you cannot understand political Liberalism until you understand its spiritual source in Unitarianism.

Well, how do we fight that? You know I’d become very discouraged with this so-called Republican Congress that is supposed to be stemming the tide of all of this educational legislation, school (to work?) careers, goals 2,000; where are the Republicans in all of this? Why aren’t they stopping this? In fact we have a Republican like Mr. (Goodling?) who is charging ahead with it, and he is a Republican.

So what do we do? The sole source of solace that I have is in the quiet revolution of the Homeschool movement, you see. That is where the real revolution is taking place; and isn’t it wonderful that we can have a revolution without blood, without riots in the street? It is incredible how America works, you see, so you have this quiet revolution and Rush referred to 10,000 homeschoolers attending the conference of the convention in Anaheim, I spoke at a convention about 11 years ago in Ohio at which there were 300 homeschoolers, and then I spoke 10 years later and there were something like 3,000 or 4,000 or 5,000; I can’t remember, it was just a huge convention center full of homeschoolers, and you see the parents poring over books; you know, the idea that parents aren’t interested in education is so ridiculous, the idea that parents don’t know what they want their children to learn; and of course the beauty of it is that the parents learn so much, because they have been so fully educated in American schools that- you know.

So that’s why the great dividends of this revolution, and one of the great things we have discovered, is that what we are finding is the reconstruction of the family, of the Christian family particularly, because 85% of homeschoolers are Christians. But do you know what is really interesting? That even humanists are now looking into homeschooling, there is a humanist home school association, believe it or not. So even humanists who have been the strongest supporters of the public schools since Horace Mann are now beginning to realize how bad that system really is, and how they have to move away from it to genuine education, albeit a humanist one.

As a matter of fact, the Unitarian churches has its Sunday school, and in Concord Massachusetts there is a tremendous scandal going on because in this humanist Sunday school they had a sex education program in which they actually showed pornography to the children, and this has caused a great stir. But it gives you an idea of how humanists think, they’ve gone a long way since Harvard to what they believe today and I suppose it is a form of paganism; as a matter of fact they even welcome witches and all kinds of interesting crazies into their movement. In any case- well, I’ve been told to stop, so I will stop there. Thank you very much.

[Audience Leader] It is my privilege to introduce another friend, Neil (Marktha?), an author, lecturer, teacher, who has counseled regarding the kingdom of God and having a Biblical world view, Mr. (Marktha?) is also an attorney and a proud father of 8 children. Neil (Martha?).

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[Audience Leader] It is my privilege to introduce another friend, Neil (Marktha?), an author, lecturer, teacher, who has counseled regarding the kingdom of God and having a Biblical world view, Mr. (Marktha?) is also an attorney and a proud father of 8 children. Neil (Martha?).

[Neil (Marktha?)] Thank you very much. What an awesome experience for sitting at the same table with such giants! This is an exciting day that we live in, and a few years ago I learned that every problem that exists in our society today, whether it is an individual problem, family problem, a church problem or a problem in the civil government, that that problem can always be traced to its source as someone having exercised power without authority; and I believe that our speaker this afternoon Dr. Rushdoony has really highlighted the importance of that understanding of authority in God and not the state.

The government schools as we have so commonly referred to them here in this meeting is no exception to this, and the fact that it does not have any authority to exist is the subject of a brand new book I just received a couple of days ago, a very good friend of mine, Kerry Morgan, has just had this book released, it is called: Real Choice and Real Freedom and I thought what a good occasion to tell you about this, because this gives you the legal and constitutional case for parental rights, and against the governmental control of education in the United States; this is a really terrific piece of work because it goes right to the heart of what I just said. In order for anything to exist it should have the authority to exist, and of course we know that these public schools that we have do not have the authority except for the fact that the public schools are teaching in their government classes that the only way you get authority is if you have what they call ‘legitimacy’ and what they teach the children in government and public school government classes is that the way you get authority is simply to act politically, and then wait to see if anyone reacts to it, and if you don’t get any negative reaction then you have a legitimate point of view and therefore you have authority. And therefore consequently, because the church has neglected to teach this nation the rule of law as it is supposed to, as it was commanded to by our Lord who said we are to teach the nation to obey all that He has commanded us.

We have not done that ladies and gentlemen, and consequently we find ourselves in this situation where few of us, even as Christians even understand what the rule of law is. A good example of this is that a number of Christians are still sending their children to public schools, where they are being indoctrinated into the philosophical point of view that is totally contrary to anything that the Bible stands for.

Now this of course violates the rule of law that says that we are to understand that which is good, and be innocent of that which is evil. I am convinced that not until we see the Christian church once again begin to hold that particular law of action, that rule of action in the esteem that it is supposed to have, we will not see a change take place in our nation. So I just simply urge those of us who have some insight into the problem, that we can begin to inspire some of our friends to realize that it is time to take their children out of the government schools. Thank you very much.

[Audience Leader] Those of you who were with us early this morning will remember hearing from (Franz Jordan?), a (reseem?) Wisconsin native, ordained into the priesthood in 1950 he served the Arch diesis in Milwaukee for 29 years and for 63 years he has been involved in Catholic Action, the lay apostolate; in recent years he has become an ecclesiastical assistant to many and varied lay groups including homeschoolers and pro-life groups. Welcome.

[Franz Jordan] Let me begin by saying that the government schools are a great success. They are a great success if we understand what the real mission statement is, the real mission is. Their mission is to keep people subservient to the elite, to make them manipulatable by advertisers and by the so-called leaders. They have done a great job in doing that. When G.K. Chesterton, the famous English author was in- after he came to the United States about 70 years ago- he brought a book, and in that book he said back in the stone age when Ug said: “Ug made the best bone hatchet” everybody could perceive his lack of objectivity. We just look at the ads we see today on television, or in magazines: “Chevrolet makes the best cars.” Do you expect them to say they make the worst?

But actually, when we understand this is what they are at, this is part of the problem or this is what is going on, the real issue of line of division goes back even farther than Reverend Rushdoony said. It goes back before this world was created. It goes back to a time when Lucifer rebelled against God; that civil war goes back till then, and continues to this day.

We are told that the source of all evil is the world, the flesh, and the devil. The devil is trying to get as many as he can to join him, he has legions of angels, he is trying to get as many of us as he can to join him. God created this world to populate heaven. This material world will not exist forever. When God created us, He created each one of us individually when He created our immortal soul. Our bodies came from our parents; He not only chose our parents but our grandparents, so we would have special gifts; each one of us has been created for a special purpose, to share in His work, share in the work of creation and share in the work of redemption, to bring His love to all people. Everything we have, everything we are is a gift of God given out of love, but given for a purpose, and when we use the gifts God gave us for the purpose for which He gave them to us, then we are preparing ourselves to receive even greater gifts. You know that, when you give your children gifts, and they use them intelligently, rationally; aren’t you inclined to give them more and more gifts when they know how to use them?

So our job then is to learn how to use these gifts that God gave us, for the purpose for which He gave them to us; and He wants us to use these in service of others, not for selfishness. There is no love of God, no genuine love of God that does not flower in love of neighbor, and there is no possibility of loving our neighbor unless it is rooted in love of God, those are inseparable. And that is really what we are dealing with, all these forces of evil, and we have to understand, you know, the world, the flesh, our own human weakness, pride, the great danger that pride does- anybody in a leadership position wearing the collar is a great temptation for pride.

Remember how Jesus could not stand the Pharisees. They were the religious leaders of their time. Humility is not easy, but it is something we all have to learn though. To realize everything we have, everything we are is a gift of God given out of love, to be given as He wants us to give it. And so we’ve had to have that conflict, we’ve had to conflict down through the ages, you know, the civil government versus God and His people.

The Psalms, the 2 Psalm, deals with that very explicitly. Civil authorities think that they are going to be able to conquer God, and God sits back and He laughs. (applause)

[Audience Leader] At this time I would like to invite Reverend Rushdoony to have 8 more minutes.

[Rushdoony] I am a grateful for the additional insights contributed by the responders. One of the things that interested me was Sam’s comment about the Unitarians, because over the years I have collected a little material, hopefully some time to deal with that Unitarian aspect of our history. If you are familiar with the writings of Horace Mann, the founder of statist education you realize he was a Unitarian, he did believe in salvation through politics, he saw the school as the arena whereby salvation was mediated to the people. Moreover, if you read one of the very, very important Unitarian thinkers of Horace Mann’s day, O.B. Frothingham, his key work was titled The Religion of Humanity; a very revealing title, and he made clear in that book that it is the spirit of the age which must determine the thought of the age, and no thinking, he said, that is alien to that spirit can have any weight.

So the Unitarian influence has been very powerful. We often mistake that influence because we assume that like the founder of the Unitarian movement, William Ellery Channing, the movement was theistic; but by the time of the birth of the state school movement, it had abandoned even its theistic presupposition, to insist rather on the ultimacy, and in effect the deity of mankind. No standard beyond man.

Its influence in our history has been very, very powerful; beginning with the triumph of statist education we tended to have within the bureaucracy a Unitarian establishment. Now it is interesting to me that even in California at the other end of the country from the New England Puritans. The early names of streets in San Francisco were named after Unitarian leaders, because these were the people who gravitated into Civil Government. It was important for them, that was where their mission lay; and as very passionate believers in salvation by the state, they very early molded one area of Civil government after another in terms of their premises.

They went so far for example in California to make it illegal for any parent to criticize a teacher; that was to criticize the ultimate priesthood. Well, of course that was too much for the Californians of a century and a quarter ago, and they quickly got rid of that, but it gives you and idea the extent to which the Unitarian movement very early from coast to coast was influential in the shaping of Civil government and of public education, and of setting standards whereby you were to look to Civil government, to the state for salvation in one sphere after another.

Sam has read a great deal of the early literature in this area, so he could tell you even more about the impact of the Unitarians; so that what we are doing is in a sense overturning a revolution that occurred in the 1830’s. We have seen the development of that revolution over the generations. Now as Christians we have to reestablish the freedom of the sphere’s to be under God and not under the state. That is our goal. We have succeeded in some sphere, for example in the late 70’s and early 80’s the church and state trials were very numerous, and I was going all over the country as a witness, and now those trials are ended, they are trying through more indirect ways, through the U.N., or through some kind of thing like educational standards to impose something on all schools everywhere. We have to fight against every attempt, eternal vigilance is still the price of liberty. And so we have a battle ahead; we’ve won some significant battles in recent years, they are important and we have set a standard for some other countries. Among my visitors this summer was a former attorney general for the Zulu kingdom of (Leesoso?), a high ranking official within the British colonial service, and a man who has won a great legal battle for the freedom of Christian homeschools in Australia.

So, the battle is spreading and the victories are being won, here and there around the world. One of the great battles today, let me add parenthetically, is Africa. A great deal of what happens in the coming century I believe will be determined by whether we win or lose in Africa, and then again, also China. There are, according to estimates of the underground churches, a 100 million Christians in Red China, suffering incredible persecution of the most savage and evil sort, and scarcely anyone to raise a voice in their defense. But the battle is being waged in every continent, men are dying for the freedom of the faith; we should remember them in our prayers, and we should remember that we have a victory in Christ. God has ordained all things from the foundation of the world, the scriptures tell us.

So we know how the war is going to come out; we shall triumph. (applause)

[Audience Leader] At this time we would like to open up the microphone for questions and answers, and please give us your name and where you are from.

[Vincent (trearry?)] Well I am Vincent (triari?) and I’m from Hillsborough Virginia, and my comment I would like to Dr. Rushdoony’s feedback on what I am about to say, and it is in his first address, he mentioned the fact that interpreted Aristotle’s (anthopos politico anzolos?) ‘Man as a political animal’ as though men were somehow- the state were forming man in kind of a negative way, and I submit for comment here that he is misunderstanding Aristotle, because in the Ethics at the end of the Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle lays out kind of his conclusion, and he has gone through the distinction of the moral virtues and the distinction of the intellectual virtues and how those make up what man is. Now, he says: “Let us not then listen to those who say these things are too great for us or too hard for us to strive to, but let us put every fiber of our being try to make ourselves better and more like what the good man is.” And then he says: “Now we turn to the statesman” and the politics comes after that, so ethics really is higher than politics and guides politics I think.

[Rushdoony] What you have said is accurate; on the other hand, Aristotle was not always consistent. He makes statements in his Politics which very clearly mean the priority of the political sphere to every other. Now, those contradictions of course have in time resolved in favor of the political domination of every sphere, so that since the political order makes the basic laws of society, it determines also the ethics.

[Suzanne (Gazzaniga?)] Hi, yes, I am Suzanne (Gazzaniga?) from Baltimore Maryland, my question is for Father Jordan, I read recently that the Arch Diocese of Pittsburgh recently came out with some kind of manual for Catholic homeschoolers, and this was hailed as the most important that any Catholic organization had ever given to homeschooling, and I wonder if you could comment on how much support the Catholic church or different branches of it are offering to homeschoolers and what you see for the future in this area?

[Father Jordan] I am not familiar with those outlines, I’ve heard that it is a fairly good one. It depends again on the administration on what is going to be done, I think a lot of it depends on the initiative being taken by people, I find that even working with the homeschoolers in my area; those who take initiative are able to get what they want, where sometimes some regulations come up which might restrict them, I tell them they don’t have to follow those regulations unless it impedes them in some way, it is hard to speak in general about these areas, but there are many things that people can do on their own, and sometimes authority tries to impose rules on them that they have no authority to impose, and therefore they should respect their freedom and act accordingly. Again, it depends on the pastors, I know some pastors- many pastors- who are very supportive of homeschooling and encourage it, many others are not even aware of it. So it ranges all over, so it pretty much depends on the initiative of the people. [54:45]

[Micahel (edelsteen?)] My name is Michael (Edelsteen?) from San Francisco California, this question is for Sam. Sam, you had mentioned that you were disappointed in the Republican Congress, by that I took you to mean that you had some expectations that they would do some good? (laughter) Given some lessons that we see all the time from politics, one that politicians say one thing then do another, and also politics corrupts, I was wondering what you saw in the Republican Congress that led you to expect better?

[Samuel Blumenfeld] Well you’re probably right, but I think that we all hope that this Republican Congress composed of so many conservatives would at least take a stand against some of this educational reform, because it is so blatantly totalitarian in every aspect of it, and so I was disappointed; but as I say, regardless of what the congress does, you see, the American people are doing it their way; you are having this quiet revolution going on because they have lost confidence in things being done by the Congress. Which is wonderful, I think that’s probably the best way that things can turn out. So yes I am disappointed and I suppose I should not have expected it to do better, but there was always the hope.

[Brian Ray] I am Brian Ray from Oregon, and I agree with Sam that homeschooling represents a marvelous revolution; at the same time I want to ask Reverend Rushdoony, and you Sam: What is the most effective way that we can help even homeschoolers understand that they should not be flocking to and rushing to these public funded, public homeschool programs, and they are doing it by the hundreds if not thousands, all across the country. Alaska is a brand new program, it is mushrooming; so what can we do in an effective, practical way to teach and convince homeschoolers and others that they should not be doing this?

[Rushdoony] That is not an easy question to answer, but basically as their faith deepens they will recognize that they must be under God, and it is usually a defective theology that leads them to compromise. We therefore need some kind of ministry to homeschoolers, I am glad to see that in one or two areas homeschoolers are coming together just to discuss such issues, and we need to encourage more of that sort of thing.

[Sam Blumenfeld] Yes, I would definitely second that, I think homeschoolers have to learn that God is sovereign over all, that He is sovereign over the Civil Government, the church, and the family; and that the family is directly under God and not under the state, and you simply have to keep educating the homeschoolers, because they just come out of the public school system, many of them don’t know very much, and they have to be taught, they have to learn from those of us who at least can give them the advice so that they won’t endanger the homeschool movement. And I am sure Brian that you know that there are even some people at very high levels of the homeschool movement who are fascinated by politics, and this is something that we have to watch out for.

[Audience Leader] We have three minutes left.

[Tony Mull] Tony Mull from Central Pennsylvania. I would like to point out that to say that man is a political animal is by no means to say that that is all that man is, or to say that man is or should be merely a creature of the state; I would refer you to book one of the Nicomachean Ethics where Aristotle specifically discusses the relationship between ethics and politics, and indicates very strongly that ethics is more fundamental than politics, and that the statesman needs to act on the basis of an accurate understanding of human nature and the human good. Thank you- which is a given, built into human nature not determined by the state, but rather the state needs to respect that and create the conditions that enhance the development of human potential and human perfection. Thank you.

[Audience Leader] In response to that?

[Rushdoony] No, I don’t think there is any need for a response, his statement is correct, but the point is that the politics has been determinative in history because in Christendom the source of ethics has been Biblical, primarily, rather than philosophical.

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