5. Dangers Inherent in Public Education

R.J. Rushdoony • Mar, 19 2024

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  • Series: Christian Education: Christian Schools
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[Rushdoony] This is R.J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair Number 119, March 24, 1986. I’m here with Sam Blumenfeld again, we recorded just a little while ago the previous Easy Chair and we found it so stimulating and so important that we’re going to continue with the same subject, to go into some areas we previously did not have time to touch on. Because one of the things we need to recognize is how critical education is. Education determines the future of a people. If you want to control the future, you control the child and the school and this is why Christian education is so necessary because Horace Mann recognized that to control the future and to make it non-Christian, to make it over in terms of his Unitarianism, he had to get control of the schools, and having gained control, he has changed this country dramatically in the past century and a half. Well, we need to regain control of the child and to understand the dangers inherent in public education. Sam, do you want to comment on those dangers?

[Blumenfeld] Yes, you see, children in American schools, public schools today are at risk in four very crucial ways, Rush. First they’re at risk academically because of the methods used, teaching methods based on behavioral psychology. The look-say method of teaching reading produces thirty percent functional illiteracy, at least one third of the children who went to public schools emerge at the end of the process as functional illiterates. Incidentally, Rush, the difference between an illiterate and a functional illiterate is that the illiterate is someone who never went to school, never learned to read. But the functional illiterate is someone who spent as many as from eight to ten to twelve years in school and emerges after the process with a reading skill so abysmally low that he can barely function in our society as a literate human being, and therefore he might as well be illiterate. The differences that you have to go to school to become a functional illiterate, you see, our schools now specialize in producing functional illiteracy. And it isn’t easy for the schools to do this because it’s not easy keeping a person in school for eight, ten or twelve years and making sure that that person doesn’t learn to read. It takes quite a bit of effort.

[Rushdoony] Well they’ve found that this is true even of university graduates. They’ve had one major scandal in the past few years when it was found that a number of the football players at a major university who had graduated could not read nor write.

[Blumenfeld] Yes, yes. This is, we know this to be true and we are continuing to produce this horrid functional literacy. Just to give you an idea, Rush, on how devastating this whole process has been on the black community. In 1930 the illiteracy rate among urban blacks was 9.2% which means over ninety percent of the blacks in 1930 were literate. Today the illiteracy among blacks is around fifty percent. Now, have the blacks lost the ability to learn to read in the interim? An interesting thing is that today they have affirmative action, equal educational opportunity, billions of federal dollars in the schools, all kinds of civil right victories, and yet you have this kind of incredible decline in literacy among people who have been in this country for generations. You’re dealing with fifth and sixth and seventh generation children, Americans. You are not dealing with people just off the boat. And yet these children have become so illiterate, there are so many black youngsters with no employable skills that they cannot fit into our economy, and so that’s just part of the devastation caused by the epidemic, by the method used to teach children how to read in our schools.

We know that the black children can learn to read just as well as the white children, Martha Collins proves that every day in her school. And, Rush, I had the great pleasure of visiting Martha’s school when I was in Chicago a couple weeks ago. There I saw youngsters of four years old, four or five years old learning vocabulary, they were learning words like preposterous, claustrophobia, ostentatious, debonair, can you imagine four year old little black children learning words like that, like ‘debonair.’ Well, you know, they’re human beings like everyone else, and they have been given the gift of language by God, and so they have the same desires, the same need to communicate with God, and yet they’ve been denied this by our education system. They’ve been treated like animals by our education system and now they are suffering such incredible poverty and disenfranchisement throughout the black community. It’s one of the great scandals of our time, that we have done this to people who were supposed to have been liberated by the Civil War and yet this people now are probably worse off than they’ve ever been.

[Rushdoony] I recall on one trip, one parent saying with real grief, understandable grief, how her children who were in public school, high school, knew nothing about their past, and she asked them in shock when she became aware of how little they knew, did they learn anything about Robert E. Lee? They didn’t know who he was, probably some old coot a hundred or some odd years ago, and she was shocked, and understandably so.

[Blumenfeld] And then of course there’s the academic risk, which is very real, in other words you put your child in public school and there’s a thirty percent risk of failure. Now, nobody in his right mind would fly on an airline with thirty percent failure risk.

[Rushdoony] Now that would cure a lot of fear of flying.

[Blumenfeld] Now as a matter of fact, the only place in America where absolutes are required are in the airline business, you know, where they cannot risk using relativity. You know, just shows you how dependent our civilization is on accuracy and precision of thought and language and meaning that you cannot play around with people’s lives in such obvious spheres as in the aviation business. But you can get away with it in education, you see.

[Rushdoony] They’ll get away with it in the airline business if these planners have their way, because in the Soviet Union the fatalities and the crashes are enormous, but they will publish no statistics concerning them. They simply deny that the plane flew or that that flight existed. So you have a loved one on a particular flight that plane, and your loved one disappears, and there’s no official knowledge of any such person.

[Blumenfeld] They don’t realize that. That’s true you never hear about crashes in the Soviet Union except that they are so incredibly spectacular that they, that someone has seen them or there’s some witnesses.

[Rushdoony] There’s a very, very, high rate because if you take God out of a society, you do take meaning, and we still preserve it in some spheres, we have enough of the old character left, but we are going to lose it too.

[Blumenfeld] That’s true, that’s true. Well then the children are also at risk spiritually in the public schools because the schools nowadays are doing everything in their power to undermine the faith, the Christian faith of children in American public schools and they do this through a variety of means, they do it for values-clarification, sensitivity training, situational ethics, evolution, death education, now, Rush, are you familiar with death education?

[Rushdoony] Yes, it’s a horrifying fact. Why don’t you go into it, I think most people are not aware of the fact that there is such a thing in our schools today, all over the country is death education. It isn’t always labeled as it in the classroom, but that’s what it is.

[Blumenfeld] Yes, and what it entails is this, they take children to a cemeteries, funeral parlors. One speech I gave, a mother came up to me and told me that her daughter had actually watched a mortician embalm a corpse, that this was part of their visit to the funeral parlor. And I’ve heard stories of children trying out the coffins in these funeral parlors, the children then of course write their own obituaries, they write suicide notes, they discuss suicide at great length.

[Rushdoony] And the forms of killing oneself.

[Blumenfeld] Yes, how to commit suicide, when to commit suicide and reasons for committing suicide.

[Rushdoony] And why death is just as good as life.

[Blumenfeld] Exactly, exactly, and this increasing rate of teenage suicide, I believe, can be contributed to some degree to this teaching of death education, because both began, the rise of the teenage suicide rate coincides with the insertion of death education in the schools. And it’s interesting, Rush, that wherever you have these suicides, and the newspapers have written about them, no mention has ever been made of death education. They call out all sorts of psychiatrists and psychologists to deal with this problem, and we know it’s a spiritual problem, and yet they will bring in secular psychologists to lecture the students and to discuss this at length. But no mention is ever made of these death education courses that are given in the schools.

[Rushdoony] And the parents don’t hear about it, the children don’t talk about it or they just suppress it, and most families are unaware that it exists.

[Blumenfeld] Yes, but sometimes it’s so horrible that they become startlingly and shockingly aware, for example, a couple of weeks ago in Nebraska, three high schoolers committed suicide in the same school in one week. And this just shocked that particular town. Now here you have, you have Middle America, conservative Christian Nebraska, and students committing suicide, and nobody really knows what is going on in that school. They are probably teaching death education in that school and the parents are completely unaware of it.

Now in addition to death education, you’ve got Dungeons and Dragons which is now taught in the schools. And Dungeons and Dragons opens up the world of demonism to the youngsters. Incidentally, Dungeons and Dragons attracts the intelligent youngster, the literate youngster. So he may escape being a functional illiterate, but now he’s into Dungeons and Dragons, and also it attracts the affluent youngster because you have got to be able to afford a computer to be able to play Dungeons and Dragons. Now Dungeons and Dragons deals with role playing, with demons, magic, wizardry, spell-casting, spirit raising and of course devil worship. And now we have growing numbers of satanic cults in the public schools.

I received a call from a young lady the other day after I was on a talk show, a young Christian girl, who was a senior in high school who told me that there was a devil worship cult in her school. I imagine by now in every high school in America you have groups of youngsters who are into devil worship. As a matter of fact, John Lofton was telling me how some of the girls in his neighborhood, these young ladies were going into the basement and holding séances, and raising spirits. They are, you know, dealing with demons, this is not kid’s stuff. These youngsters are playing with fire, and we know now that there is a growth of satanism in the United States, of devil worship, of satanic cults. And I remember, Rush, at the Seattle meeting you mentioned that for the first time in the media, it’s beginning to discuss, or has become aware of the existence of these cults.

One of the things brought out in that 20/20 show that you mentioned was the fact that some Americans are now practicing cannibalism. But these are well-educated Americans, probably some of them have college degrees who are now performing ritual murders, usually on children, cutting out hearts and eating them. And whenever I discuss this with an audience I always give that as an example of human depravity. And when I tell them that when John Calvin characterized humans as being innately depraved, he was not exaggerating, that this was one of the forms of depravity we are seeing in our society today, being practiced by so-called ‘educated’ people. And this is the sort of thing that’s occurring now in America, you see, you put your child in a public school, and you don’t know what, and you’re playing Russian roulette with that child’s soul.

[Rushdoony] And the parents argue that their child won’t be affected, and their child is there as a witness. I recall some years ago, this mother and son in California who was very angry and stomped out of the meeting, and I did not see her again because I said it was the duty of Christian parents to have their child in the Christian school. And she went on about how wonderful their church was, and how marvelous the youth was, and her daughter had the best kind of Christian training imaginable, and she was a good witness at school. And I never saw her again but I heard from her about six, seven years later when she called me weeping. Did I know a school that would take her daughter? Because her daughter was now into demonism, she was out sometimes for two or three nights, was into drugs and promiscuity, if the mother tried to say anything to her the girl thought nothing about pulling a knife and backing the mother against the wall with a knife against her throat and threatening her life. And she wanted to know if there was a Christian school in town, and I told her it would take a full-time guard to stand over your daughter every moment. She felt that it was un-Christian that they wouldn’t take her daughter. And I reminded her of her stand a few years back, but she continued to whine and feel sorry for herself. Someone was to take the mess she had created, and hand her back her daughter, perhaps to stick her back in the public schools again.

[Blumenfeld] Yes, well that’s the risk that parents take with their children in the public schools, that child could come an atheist, or a nihilist, or a punker or a Satanist, you know, you don’t know what could happen, because not only is there satanism, there’s yoga, there’s transcendental meditation, there’s astrology, everything’s in the school, every sort of paganism you can imagine, Rush, is now being taught in the public schools. And Christianity has been eradicated from the public schools. As a matter of fact, Paul Vitz, Professor Paul Vitz of the New York University recently completed a survey of American textbooks, and he found that the textbooks have been completely rewritten by the humanists, and every vestige of Christianity and patriotism have been removed from the schools.

[Rushdoony] I was told about textbooks by a teacher in the deep South once when I spoke on the necessity for Christian education at the request of the pastor, it was a hostile congregation, they did not like the fact that their pastor was strong for a Christian school. And one person after another at the door told me: “well, you, of course, are not Southern, you don’t know the South. This is the deep South, every person in our schools, every teacher is a born-again Christian.” After everyone was gone, this teacher, a woman, had been standing, watching, came up and said: “they don’t know what they’re talking about. We may be born-again Christians, but our textbooks that we are required to stick to are anti-Christian to the core.”

[Blumenfeld] Well absolutely, Rush, as a matter of fact when I was in North Carolina I read over their new education reform bill and the new program that was being put in the schools, it is so completely humanistic, I have never read anything so intensely humanistic then the program in North Carolina. I’m sure that South Carolina, I read over the South Carolina program, and it’s just as bad. The Southern states, some of the Christians there are just fooling themselves into thinking that a Christian teacher can take humanist textbooks and turn them into something Christian. It’s impossible to do that!

[Rushdoony] Well, North Carolina has been a leader in one area of leftist thinking after another. Former Governor Hunt was a tremendous force in this respect, so a great many of the far-out federal programs have been first of all introduced through North Carolina, and yet it has a very conservative population that is not at all aware of what’s going on, and what that famous triangle, with its educational institutions and research centers has been doing to the state.

[Blumenfeld] Yes, it’s a very powerful force, and of course the North Carolina educational association is part of it. It’s interesting, all of these reform bills that have been passed by the various states, supposedly to achieve educational excellence, have been doing just the opposite. All they’re achieving is more humanism, they’re putting more humanism in the school under the guise of achieving excellence, but not a single one of these programs that I’ve read even mandates teaching intensive phonics to correct the reading problem, not a single one of these programs makes even the slightest effort to change the way reading is taught in these schools. So how can you believe that they’re anything but a ruse, another deception on the part of the educators to lead the American people the way they want them to go?

[Rushdoony] I often meet people who are very, very staunch Southerners, some of whom feel that the Yankees are out to do the South in. But believe me, there is not, and never has been anyone, including General Sherman, who has done more damage to the South than their own schools, headed by their own people. They need to wake up, and every part of the country needs to recognize what is being done to it by these educators, the systematic destruction of everything that people treasure and believe in.

[Blumenfeld] Well so we’ve come to the academic and the spiritual risk, now there is the moral risk that the student faces in the school, because who does the student, the youngster come into contact with in the public school; the drug users, the drug pushers, the sexually active, the uses of foul language, the blasphemers. I think it’s a sin to put a Christian child into a school where he has to listen to blasphemy day in and day out.

Now when it comes to drugs, we’ve known that drugs have been a problem in the schools for years, and it’s getting worse. Cocaine is now sweeping the high schools of America and there’s a new very dangerous form called ‘crack.’ It’s a highly concentrated form that can be smoked and is very cheap and is immediately addictive, it’s addictive on first usage, and it is now being pushed through all of the high schools of America. There’s no way that they can get this out of the schools, because the schools have become the marketplaces for the drugs in this country. Of course we know that the communists are behind a good deal of the drug traffic. Cuba, Nicaragua, are sending us, trying to do everything in their power to destroy Americans through drugs.

And now of course, in the sex department we have the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in America. We have girls at the ages of eleven and twelve and thirteen becoming mothers, and if they don’t become mothers they go for an abortion. And it’s devastating for a twelve year old girl or a thirteen year old girl to have an abortion, because the idea of killing one’s own child stays with that person for that person’s entire life. The abortionists and the birth control people want to give you the idea that having an abortion is like blowing your nose, that you just forget about it. But once these people have killed their own child it’s in them, they have it in their minds for the rest of their lives, you have women who remember the anniversary of their own dead unborn children, saying had their child lived, he or she would have been twenty years old, would be sixteen, or we would be doing this, or they would be graduating, they don’t forget, you know. This goes into their psyche; as a matter of fact I’ve heard it told that over ninety percent of the women who have anorexia have had abortions.

[Rushdoony] Oh, very interesting.

[Blumenfeld] That this is a form of self-punishment. That since society won’t punish them, they are punishing themselves. They have sentenced themselves to death, and that’s the way they do it, by starving themselves to death. It’s an incredible development, but people seem to think that women, millions of women, can have abortions, and not suffer any spiritual or physical consequences. And we are exposing our young people to this, because you know what the solution that the educators are now offering for the high number of pregnancies in the schools? Well now they are going to create contraceptive clinics in the schools themselves. In the high schools of Chicago they are now giving out pills and condoms; pills to the girls and condoms to the boys. And this, they think, is going to solve the problem, when it doesn’t even address the problem of the sexually transmitted diseases because, you know, that’s rather flimsy protection from such diseases such as AIDS and herpes and hepatitis and oh, there are a half-dozen diseases that are now being transmitted among these young people. The schools offer no protection. As a matter of fact, the latest idea of the educators is to start teaching sex in kindergarten.

Speaking of North Carolina, when I was in Charlotte, North Carolina recently there was a front page story in the Charlotte Observer about the new sex curriculum in the schools beginning with kindergarten. And the parents of North Carolina, supposedly Christian and conservative, are being confronted with that kind of sex program and without a doubt, it’s going to be put in the schools. I have no doubt about it because, Rush, where other parents have gone before school boards, they have been turned down and ignored because the school boards have nothing but contempt for the parents. They don’t care what the parents want, they don’t care what objections the parents have, they will put that sex education program in the schools because they want it, and the humanists want it. Part of their program to destroy the young lives, these young lives, and then you add to that the blasphemy and the foul language, and it’s just horrendous!

[Rushdoony] Yes, well Sam, back in the early fifties, there was a young man in Los Angeles who in high school was a drug dealer, he was a major drug dealer, his territory covered the entire school, and some of the grade schools. He told me that his goal was to become a major leader in the mafia, and he was on his way up until he got tripped up by Jesus Christ. But he told me point blank that there was not an urban high school in the United States in the early fifties that did not have a drug dealer in every classroom, nor grade school that did not have at least one drug dealer among the students on the campus. And things are much worse now.

[Blumenfeld] Oh yes. They are getting them at a younger age too, they are getting them in grade school now, and they are getting them at a younger age. It’s so frightening that I can’t imagine parents are surprised when something happens to their children in the public schools. I mean, what do you expect when you put your child in a cesspool, he’s going to come out, you know, dirty?!

[Rushdoony] Too many of them are remembering the public schools as they knew it. They refuse to believe that a thing has changed since they were young.

[Blumenfeld] Well, it has changed drastically. You know, Rush, when I started substitute teaching in 1970 in the high schools and junior high schools of Quincy, Massachusetts, I hadn’t been in a high school in twenty five years and I was absolutely shocked by the changes that had taken place from 1945 until 1970. Just the whole atmosphere, the slovenliness of it all, the intellectual slovenliness, that’s what shocked me, the complete decline in standards. And, of course, it’s much worse now. Today the youngsters learn absolutely nothing, and they’re under such risks, you see. So when you look at the risk of drugs, and sexual promiscuity. You know, you wonder how parents can put children in that kind of atmosphere, well they say that Christian schools are not perfect. Well of course they’re not, but at least the risks are reduced.

[Rushdoony] Yes, every few years the state educators tell us they turned the situation around and things now are better, and that quality education has come in and so on. I know that when Sputnik went up in the fifties we were told that this had awakened American education, to the necessity for change, and that therefore from now on we were going to see quality education in our schools. We’ve only declined further. When they produce a good test result it’s because they have lowered the quality of the testing.

[Blumenfeld] As a matter of fact all of a sudden Secretary Bennett was jubilant because the SAT scores went up a few points. But what he wasn’t telling the American people was that all of these youngsters were now taking special courses on how to pass the SAT, and not only that, but the youngsters that were taking the SATs were supposed to be the best. They’re the ones going to college. But what that simply indicates is that the youngsters are doing a little better than they did last year, but it says nothing about those at the bottom. The third who are just ejected as functional illiterates; and the second third who are just ejected as semi-literate, so it’s very deceptive.

There’s one other risk that the children are under in the public schools and that’s the physical risk because of the violence in public schools these days. Children go to schools with chains and knives and guns, even teachers have been murdered in public schools these days. But the number of assaults and robberies and rapes that go on in public schools today is so alarming that most children feel afraid in school. They really are physically afraid in school. So, Rush, if you add up all of these risks; the academic risks, the spiritual risk, the moral risk, the physical risk, you ask how can a Christian parent in his right mind put his child in a school with so many risks? I mean, if the child doesn’t become a functional illiterate, he’s liable to become a Satanist. If he doesn’t become a Satanist he’s liable to get involved with drugs and become a drug addict. And if he manages to escape all of that, then he’s liable to get hit over the head, you know, so the parent is really playing Russian roulette with that child’s life by putting that child in that sort of demonic, satanic, atmosphere.

[Rushdoony] Well, first off then is to take our children out of the public schools and put them into Christian schools or have homeschooling. Then what?

[Blumenfeld] Well, then once you remove the children you’ve also got to remove your support, your financial support. You see, the humanists only want two things from the Christians of America. They want their children and their money. And most Christians are giving them both. So who do you think is going to win this war if Christians keep giving the enemy everything they want? If Christians are going to win this, they are going to have to take their children back, they are going to have to educate their children themselves, in Christian schools or in homeschools and then they’re going to have to withdraw their financial support, and how are they going to do this? Well they’re going to have to go to court en masse, in a huge class action suit and simply claim it is unconstitutional and unfair to force Christians to pray for atheist education in public schools.

[Rushdoony] Yes, and I’ve heard some very fine legal minds say this, that if Christians would start malpractice suits against the public schools in different parts of the country, especially if they would finance a parent who has seen a disaster in his own home, they would lose a number of cases, but they would, sooner or later, get a judge whose own family situation would have been a disaster because of the public schools, or perhaps his grandchildren. And he would give a favorable verdict. And the public reaction would be so overwhelmingly favorable; it would be hard to overturn such a decision.

[Blumenfeld] Yes, because there are millions of parents who have seen their children ruined by the public schools, there are millions of parents themselves who have been ruined and who would like nothing better than to get back at the system that has either crippled them intellectually or you know, made them into a total non-entity when it comes to learning. But I believe that it is very important for Christians to begin questioning the right of the state to force Christians to pay for atheist education, because that is what the public school are, they are atheist schools.

Now, Rush, I have no objection atheists educating their own children as atheists, provided they create their own schools and pay for them themselves. But why should Christians be forced to pay for the education of atheists, and why should atheists be the privileged special group in America eligible for public funding? What makes them so special that only they are eligible for full public funding and all the property in America is taxed to support their education?

[Rushdoony] Yes, Christians have to fight on these issues if they expect to have any future. If not, we are going to end up in our gulags as slave labor, worked to death in a few years.

[Blumenfeld] That’s right. And I tell Christians that, yes, we will have to suffer some inconveniences, taking children out of public schools may be inconvenient, but the Founding Fathers went through some inconvenience to give us this country and if we want to preserve this freedoms we are going to have to go through some inconvenience ourselves. Freedom is not free. The Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal and they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights and the Declaration tells us further that the purpose of government is to secure these rights, and yet we see the government denying these rights to parents and to Christians, Christians being stripped of these unalienable rights and we’re not doing anything about it. They’re giving up these rights, we only have people, if we were to thank anyone, its people like Reverend Sullivan in Nebraska who was willing to stand up and go to jail to defend the unalienable rights of Americans to practice their religious freedom, exercise their religious freedoms and of course on the part of homeschooling parents, they have also gone to jail to defend the parents unalienable rights to teach their children at home without interference from the state.

[Rushdoony] One of the common uses used to say why children should not be put into Christian schools is the parents saying: “well, it’s alright for you to say but I can’t afford it.” But the simple fact is that a very high percentage of the parents who have their children in Christian schools are those who have the right to say: “I can’t afford it,” but who still do it. Too many people with a nice, comfortable neighborhood feel that because the neighborhood is nice and because the house is nice, my children are going to be nice children. Which is an illusion, and parents who live in neighborhoods where there is a greater tendency to problems, where there are more rougher elements all around them are more likely to feel: “I cannot afford not to put my children in a Christian school.”

[Blumenfeld] Yes, the price is so high for neglecting one’s child education. As a matter of fact when I was faced with such a question recently, when the mother got up and told me she put her child in public school and that she was very happy with the public school and that her child was a light, was a witness. But I told her, I said, you are taking all of these enormous risks with your child, and she said: “well, he’s strong enough that I believe she’s a good enough Christian to withstand it.” But then I also said, you know, your child is not getting the best education you can give her. Well she couldn’t contest with that, because the public school is not giving her the best education, you are simply using your child as a sacrificial animal. You are sacrificing your child to the state for some cause, as a Christian parent your duty should be to give your child the best education you can. That’s your duty as a parent, it’s not to turn your child into a missionary, you see, a child in the early years of life is not a trained missionary, does not know the Bible that well, cannot withstand all the satanic wiles in the schools, you see. And then also those years that the child is spending in that public school is that years that will be gone. You can’t replace those years. If something happens to that child, if that child becomes, it’s involved in sex or drugs or, as you pointed out, with that other mother who called years later and complained and sobbed about what had happened to her daughter. There are too many Christian parents who use that as an excuse. Because they don’t want to be bothered with the inconvenience of having to find a Christian school or having to spend money on a Christian school, or having to educate the child at home, so they say: “well I’m putting my child in the school to be a light, to be a witness.” But if that parent is really concerned about giving that child the best education that its parents can give a child, that parent would not put that child in the Christian schools.

[Rushdoony] Yes, well I think it's hypocrisy, I think it’s taking the Lord's name in vain to say that a child is going to school to be a witness, I think the Lord is going to judge such people. He would judge them less severely if they said: “I don’t feel my child is worth sacrificing for, so I’m going to sacrifice my child so my lifestyle is not changed.”

[Blumenfeld] Yes, well that to my mind is the thing we’ve got to work on, what disappoints me most is the lack of interest on the part of so many Christian ministers, in getting their children, the children of their congregation, into Christian schools.

[Rushdoony] Or their own children.

[Blumenfeld] Or their own children, any children, because so many of these ministers are only interested in respectability. In being on the good side of the local school board. In being on speaking terms with the superintendent, rather than caring for the souls of these children who are exposed to all of these horrible satanic influences in the public schools. And there will be casualties, no doubt about it, there are casualties every day; suicides and drug addictions and satanism and pregnancies and assaults.

I cannot understand why parents will not open their eyes and make the change because who better to assume, Rush, we don’t have all that much time, and there are millions of children, Christian children in public schools who are being lost to Christianity. You know, they get into the rock music scene, that’s a strong influence, that whole modern culture which is seducing the young in this country. Never have the young been under intensive bombardment by satanic influences than in this country at this time. In every possible way, you know, wherever you look, in every direction, what they read, what they see on television, the music, it’s coming at them from all sides, and if we don’t give these youngsters the armor of God, they’re not going to be able to survive in this kind of period. And for parents to believe that they’re, you know, invulnerable, that’s like believing infants are invulnerable to disease.

[Rushdoony] Well, the sad fact is that not only is the youth exposed to rock, but rock is coming into the church. So called ‘Christian rock,’ and it’s being sung by the choir. You actually hear now and then about a ‘rock mass’ or a ‘rock service.’ I spoke a few years ago at a very large church with a plant that was equal to a small college campus, and I don’t mean too small of a college, a fair-sized one. They had a number of choirs; they had one man in charge of all the music in the church, overall music director. A very brilliant, very intelligent man, but as wrong-headed as I’ve ever seen. He told me that his belief was that the only kind of music that should be played or sung or used in a church or any place was ‘throwaway music,’ that was his term. Music that was hip, so up to the moment, that it would capture the mood of the youth who were listening to the latest on television or radio. Music which six months down the line would be out of date because it would be throwaway music, music of the moment, in order to speak to the youth. And I tried to get through this point to him, that speaking to them in terms of what’s of the moment is not what it’s all about. It’s speaking from the Lord with eternal truths.

[Blumenfeld] You see, because we all seek that immovable center, you see, God, Jesus Christ, the immovable center, the truth. You can speak to children with words, you don’t have to use that silly music, they can understand language. That’s how you get to them, not through, you know, the beat.

[Rushdoony] Language includes, in one respect, music. It’s a form of communication, when we listen, things are communicated to us, and when you combine words in song, it’s a powerful means of communication.

[Blumenfeld] Well of course you know, you don’t find the schools any longer teach classical music, I remember when I was in the third grade in New York city we listened to classical music in music appreciation.

[Rushdoony] I had that course also.

[Blumenfeld] And that’s when I learned to love classical music! And yet today the youngsters are denied access to classical music, they don’t hear it, their ears no longer know what it sounds like, you know. And the great liturgical music of the past, the Bach cantatas, all of these tremendously great works of the liturgy that were written in the past, simply not heard today, not listened to. And if the schools don’t expose these youngsters to the culture, their own culture, when are they going to get it? I mean what is the purpose of a school if not to pass on the beauty, the culture of the past generations; the riches, the values of the past generations to the future generations. But our schools are cutting off the present generation from the past, they’ve destroyed the past. They don’t give the youngsters access to the past, actually what they do is they try and make it impossible for them to even to retrace their steps back to the past, because they don’t know how to do it.

[Rushdoony] Well when Jean-Marc Berthoud, our Chalcedon man in Switzerland was here not too many weeks ago he said that progressive education is now becoming commonplace in Europe. It is abandoning dates, so that in history you learn no dates, because it’s only the flow, the feeling, then you’re given a totally present-oriented view of the past. You go back when you look at things in terms of how bad it was, and see how wonderful we are now, we have all these things. But of course it’s bad now because we don’t have what we need, which is to clear the ground of the rubbish of the present.

[Blumenfeld] Yes, it’s a hideous and horribly destructive process. But you know when you add it all up and you see the direction that the world is going, you cannot help but believe that this is all satanically inspired, and that its long-range goal is to lead human beings to Hell. It’s to lead the entire human race to Hell, and what better way to do it then to control all the education system, to get hold of the youth before they can even learn there’s an alternative. And that’s the crime of our century, to have done this to American youth at public expense, at the taxpayers' expense.

In fact, the schools have a lien on every person’s property in the United States. They’ve undermined the integrity of private property, which of course is also part of the Marxian plan, the abolition of private property. And the schools have also managed to do that, by simply making it impossible for a person to keep his property if he doesn’t pay his taxes, by making us all renters and not owners.

[Rushdoony] Most of the money in your property tax goes for education and welfare.

[Blumenfeld] Yes, and so we’ve reached the point now that the American people have got to do something about it. And the only solution I see, Rush, is the abandonment of the public schools and the return to educational freedom. And I think the American people are now ready for it, because as you know the Christian school movement is growing by leaps and bounds, and home education movement is the fastest-growing educational phenomenon in the United States. And what it is creating is strong, wonderful families that will become the microcosm of the future. You see, as this future falls apart, the only people who are going to survive are these strong families. These strong Christian families that are intact and have a code of behavior and have the armor of God so that they can get out, they can make their way safely through this horrible period that we’re going to pass through. The people who don’t have the armor of God are the ones who are going to fall by the wayside, they are going to be destroyed, you see. So that’s why I encourage homeschooling because it creates strong marvelous families, families that have a direct relationship with God, and know where they’re going, and can survive in the stormy days ahead.

We’ll just have to see what happens, we can’t predict what’s going to happen, but we know that we’re headed for rocky seas and if anyone thinks that the public schools can reform themselves, you couldn’t be more deluded. They can’t reform themselves academically, because they have no intention of changing the way they think. They’re not going to reform themselves spiritually; in fact they are intensifying their hatred of Christianity and removing every vestige of Christianity from the schools. They’re not going to reform anything morally; they can’t even deal with the drug problem or the sex problem. And they’re certainly not going to be able to handle the physical problems in the schools. So if anyone thinks that public education is going to reform itself is simply deluding himself. The only solution, if one is really thinking of the welfare of the children, is to remove the children and then to remove our financial support from that whole system, and let it fall under its own weight.

[Rushdoony] Thank you Sam, we have about two minutes left. Is there something you’d like to say to conclude in that time?

[Blumenfeld] Well, I simply want Christians to realize that they’ve got to make tough decisions in the days ahead, it’s not going to be easy; protecting freedom is never easy. This great inheritance that we have came to us as a result of great sacrifice on the part of the Founding Fathers. They were willing to die to give us what we have today, and all I’m asking parents to do is take their kids out of the public schools, you know, that’s much less than the sacrifice and to go to court. We’re still free enough to do that, you know, so the story isn’t over yet, the last chapter hasn’t been written. I hope that Christians of America will write that last chapter.

[Rushdoony] A very large percentage of the founding Fathers, men who signed the Declaration of Independence and others after them, lost everything. They paid a price. But nobody wants to pay a price now; they want it handed to them. That has to change. Well, Sam, it’s been a delight as always to chat with you, and we very much appreciate what you are doing. We're proud to have you as one of us, and we thank you for the time you’ve taken to share these things with those who hear our ‘Easy Chairs.’

[Blumenfeld] Thank you very much.

[Rushdoony] Thank you all for listening and God bless you.

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