3. From the Enlightenment: The Rise of Deism, Darwin, Kant, Hegel, and Lenin (Remastered)

R.J. Rushdoony • May, 30 2024

Know someone who would find this encouraging?

  • Series: History of Thought (Remastered)
  • Topics:

From the Enlightenment or Rise of Deism, Darwin, Kant, Hegel, Lenin

R.J. Rushdoony

A very important history of the Enlightenment was written this past year by the historian Peter Gay. One of the things that marked the significance of this work was that Peter Gay openly acknowledged, in fact developed the fact that the Enlightenment had been through and through anti-Christian. In fact the great shame of the modern world, said these Enlightenment thinkers at the dawn of the modern era, was the church and Christianity, and therefore the purpose of these thinkers was, and their slogan was, to ‘erase the shame,’ wipe out, blot out the shame of Christianity.

While the Renaissance had been pagan to the core, but it was a paganism that lived at peace with the church. The church had been captured, the popes were Renaissance popes who freely took part in the general skepticism and immorality. But that peace of church and paganism ended with war, the Reformation. Now with the Enlightenment, a new assault began by subversion.

The new faith that was propagated by the Enlightenment was deism, a substitute Christianity. Now deism paid lip service to the God of scripture by saying that indeed there is such a God, although its perspective was essentially unitarian, and it went on to say that this God did create the universe, at some unknown date in the remote past. But this God, having created the universe, like a watch maker who makes a watch and then has nothing more to do with the watch, is now an absentee landlord, as it were, from the universe, and has nothing more to do with it. So that, since the time of creation, there has been a general social evolution of man and society, and God, although he is there, has nothing to do with the world. As a result, the Greek idea of evolution was reintroduced into Society. Now it was not until Darwin that biological evolution was formulated, but very early in the seventeenth century and especially in the eighteenth, the doctrine of social evolution was formulated and developed at great length.

Immanuel Kant, as the great Enlightenment thinker, expanded this concept of isolation from God by developing to the nth degree the concept of ‘autonomous man;’ man independent from God, whose reason is the ultimate judge. Reason in Kant is the arbiter, the judge over all things, so that all things are brought to the bar of man’s reason, and man sits in judgment over whatever gods may be as well as all things in the earth.

God was thus outlawed from the world by Deism and by Kant from scientific and from rational thought. From now on, scientific and rational thinking, by definition, did not include God, in fact you became anti-rational and unscientific, if you at all included God in your thinking. So that to this day, all thinking which pretends to be intellectual, excludes automatically God from all consideration. You find this even among so-called ‘conservative’ thinkers who are nominally Christian. For example Russell Kirk is now a professing member of the Catholic church, and yet you will not find him making God the premise of his thinking, because to do so would be, in the circles in which he moves, intellectual suicide. God is something you bring in after you’ve paid lip service and bowed down to the gods of science and of reason. God is as it were, something that cannot be made central. He is outside the thinking, only after you have gone the route with science and with rational philosophy can you make a bow in the direction of God.

Now as we come to the beginning of the eighteenth century, on the threshold of the world as we know it today, the thinker who caught up all these tendencies in himself and gave great expression to them was Hegel. For Hegel, God, whom he brought back into philosophy is now redefined. The old God is to all practical intent dead. The God of Scripture is no more, there is no longer a God to whom you can pray, no longer a God who can work on men, or govern them by His grace, or absolutely predestine them by His sovereign decree. The God of Hegel is the historical process, it is ‘reason’ in History. So that, wherever you find reason developing and working, there God is manifest in history. Now without saying a word, Hegel had very definitely said that the philosophers and the scientists are the ones who best manifest God in history, as far as individuals are concerned. And the state that is a rational state, a scientific state best exemplifies God in history, in fact, the goal of history is the incarnation of reason or of God in history as the state.

And thus, modern statism began to come to focus in its modern concept. The state as the incarnation of God in history. There is no God beyond the state, because the state is the embodiment of God; that is the rational, the scientific state. Now all that was necessary for Marx to add to this was the scientific, socialist state, as the embodiment of reason, is the only God in history. Others were also to add that instead of being a particular state, it was the universal, the world state. Hegel said that it is the most powerful, the most dominant state in history that manifests God. Moreover, Hegel laid the groundwork for a one-world order because he said the particulars, the individuals are in themselves nothing, they must unite with one another because the Union, the one, alone is truth.

History thus, for Hegel, is God’s will. What man’s reason works in history is the work of God, the intellectual, the scientist, is thus the manifestation of God in action, to put it in Hegel’s words: “The march of God in the world, that is what the state is.” 1 In other words, the state is God walking on earth, it is the only god there is. Thus, we see, in terms of the new philosophy, history is moving in terms of a new incarnation. For us as Christians, history from the fall to the birth of our Lord moved to one end, the manifestation, the incarnation of Jesus Christ, the son of God. And from His death and resurrection to the second coming, it moves to the manifestation of Christ’s Law-Word in history, so that all things can be subjugated unto Him, so that every thought and every area of thought can be brought into captivity to Christ.

This new philosophy, the philosophy of the modern age says: “that Christ of Scripture, that God incarnate, the triune God is dead, that history is moving to incarnate a new God,” and of course this is precisely what Altizer, Hamilton, and van Buren and the other death of God thinkers are talking about, as well as Rubenstein. They say: “God is dead, and we must bury the old God. Then, as we have a unified world, the brotherhood of all men, God will be reborn,” that is he will be incarnated again in this triumphant world-state. History, thus, moves to a new incarnation.

Now, Jean-Jacques Rousseau added another aspect to this philosophy; the democratic aspect. He declared that the general will, that is the will of all the people, manifests this hidden God, this inner reason, this purpose of history, and this general will becomes incarnate in the leadership, so that ‘the democratic consensus’ will reveal this new God. So that now democracy as the manifestation of this God, ‘the voice of the people is the voice of God,’ who has added to this belief in the coming incarnation. Moreover, since there is no God out there, we are in this perspective, ‘beyond good and evil.’ Good and evil are categories that belong to the Bible, and because there is no God out there and the only God is the state, the idea that there is a truth and an error is fallacious.

So that, Friedrich Nietzsche, as he spoke of the superman and of this great future world order, the incarnation, as it were, in the superman and the super-state of this God in history declared:

“The question is, how far an opinion is life-furthering, life-preserving, species-preserving, perhaps species-rearing; and we are fundamentally inclined to maintain that the falsest opinions (to which the synthetic judgments a priori belong), are the most indispensable to us; that without a recognition of logical fictions, without a comparison of reality with the purely imagined world of the absolute and immutable, without constant counterfeiting of the world by means of numbers, man could not live—that the renunciation of false opinions would be a renunciation of life, a negation of life. To recognize untruth as a condition of life: that is certainly to impugn the traditional ideas of value in a dangerous manner, and a philosophy which ventures to do so, has thereby alone placed itself beyond good and evil.” 2

We saw of course that in the statism of Plato, the lie was a necessary tool in the hands of the true God, the state. Now again, as modernism eliminates the God of Scripture it again goes back to the lie, only this time it says there is no truth, and in effect there is no lie, you are beyond good and evil. And what the Christian calls a lie may be the most valuable thing under the sun. As a result, the modern state and the modern scientist, the modern planner, has no compunctions about lying. After all, he lives in a world beyond good and evil, and occasionally his lie is an embarrassment, because there are enough of us who still believe in the old God and the old truth to trouble him, but basically, he is moving in a world ‘beyond good and evil,’ according to his thinking.

Now what Karl Marx added to this thinking was that this incarnation is in the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the kind of activism that is needed is revolutionary activism. In other words, activism takes the place of God’s grace and the believer’s response to that grace. It takes the place of prayer. Activism was statist activism in Hegel, in Marx it is now revolutionary activism. And this is the role of reason or of God in history, revolutionary activism. So that, there is the inevitability of the dialectical process, the inevitability of revolution for the Marxist, it is inevitable because it is the working of the God of their religion, and of course a God by definition cannot be frustrated, what he decrees is inevitable.

For Marx therefore, heaven is in the realization of this incarnation. When this God triumphs, when the scientific socialist state finally becomes fully manifest, fully incarnate, then Heaven is here, paradise has arrived, but it is interesting that in the process there must be a hell decreed in order to make it possible for men to realize where Heaven lies. Marx wrote in his early writings:

“The criticism of religion ends with the doctrine that man is the highest being for man....” 3

That is, man is his own God.

“...with the categorical imperative to overthrow all relations in which man is a debased, enslaved, forsaken, despicable being...” 4

That is, everything which says that man is not God, because any philosophy or any religion that says that man is not God makes him an enslaved and a contemptible being. Man must be his own God.

Then he goes on to say:

“For a popular revolution and the emancipation of a particular class of civil society to coincide, for one class to represent the whole of society, another class must concentrate in itself all the evils of society, a particular class must embody and represent a general obstacle and limitation.” 5

He goes on at great length to develop this point, but you get the point. To make one class, that is the scientific socialist planners and revolutionists, the embodiment of God, the embodiment of the dialectical forces of history, another class must represent everything that is an obstacle, everything that is evil. So that the capitalist must be made to represent the demonic, the satanic in society, and to have heaven, a hell must be created for this demonic element, and they must be relegated to it. Thus now we have the idea of the state as the new God, revolution, scientific socialist revolution as the means of achieving this God in history, of incarnating him.

The next step was provided about the same time by Charles Darwin who dropped God as the source, as ‘the great watchmaker.’ Remember we pointed out that deism began the whole of the modern movement by saying: “Yes God started it, but God has had nothing to do with the world since, it has evolved on its own.” Now, with Darwin God was dropped. The world began out of nothing and evolved from some primordial spark of life which in itself evolved out of nothing, so that God was entirely dropped. Marx and Engel’s greeted Darwin’s Origin of Species with great delight and declared in letters to one another that now socialism had been made inevitable. With the old God out of the scene, the new God would become man's only hope. Because, after all, man is going to have a God. God is an inescapable category of thought, and you will either have God in the Biblical form or you will have a God fashioned after your own imagination. And the God which is the God created by the imagination of modern philosophy, is this God; the state.

As a result, Darwinism became central to all of modern thinking. He was greeted with delight. Darwin’s Origin of Species sold out on the day of publication. This was what the world was waiting for. Instead of having a resistance, this is a myth created by the textbooks, it was met with open arms on all sides; only one bishop stood up against it in the Church of England. Churchmen almost everywhere greeted it with open arms, Queen Victoria herself welcomed it. We are given some very peculiar notions about Queen Victoria, as though she were the epitome of everything conservative, which is definitely not true.

One of the very famous bits of statuary widely circulated in countless forms in the last century pictures an ape holding a human skull and contemplating it. This little bit of statuary, which perhaps you can find in antique shops, was reproduced in vast quantities and circulated everywhere in the Western world. It took the place of the cross in many homes. This particular one was on Lenin’s desk, and still remains on his desk in the Kremlin. Robert Payne in his book on Lenin, The Life and Death of Lenin, speaks of this as having had the significance of an icon, a religious symbol of Lenin. And it meant for him that man can be used, that even as this ape contemplating a human skull was a primitive crude animal, who was the forerunner of man, so man today is, by comparison to the man of the future, an ape, and an ape need not be treated with much respect. An ape can be used, he can be treated as an ape to make way for the future man. And so in terms of this, Lenin felt justified to lie to the masses, to murder them ruthlessly, to abuse them in any way possible, because they were the raw material, the apes out of which the great man of the future was to be molded by the scientific socialists like Lenin and his associates. This statue, therefore, was the religious symbol for the modern tyranny.

About the same time also Comte, the sociologist, gave birth to modern sociology and positivism. For Comte history had three stages; the first stage is the religious stage where man has all kinds of myths to account for the origin, the ‘why’ of things. The second stage is the religious stage, which is still religiously oriented, but man is thinking a little more rationally, but he is still asking questions as to the ‘why’ of things. But the third stage of history, the modern stage, is the scientific stage, and this third age is the one which will lead to the glorious future. In this third age, man is no longer childish, he is no longer religious, he no longer asks ‘why,’ he no longer wants to know the reason behind things, he is only interested in the ‘how’ of things. How do things work? How can I control man? How can I control nature? The morality, the religion behind things, the ‘why’ of things, the right and wrong of things is thus an obsolete question. It is the mark of an immature mind, of a childish mind, of a mind which is still in the primitive stages of evolution, a mind which has not come into the ‘third world,’ the third age, and so cannot think rationally and sensibly.

Thus, not only was God declared to be dead, but any question that raised the ‘why’ of things, the truth of things, the rightness and the wrongness, the morality of things, was by definition a childish question. Thus, when we object to the modern state and its lies, when we raise moral questions, religious questions, we are revealing to these people, who are the sociologists, the planners, that we are still in the primitive stages of man’s evolution, and are by definition primitive, not to be regarded. We are unable to grasp the real problem, which is the ‘how.’ How to control man? How to make things work? Therefore there is no point in paying any attention to us, and even though we may sometimes prevail in voting, might be the majority, the democratic consensus is against us, because if we truly listened to the evolving God in us, we would be where they are, so they have the right to say that we are wrong, and that they know what we really want, because if we were not so primitive we would be wanting what they, representing the third world, declare to be the truth. This is the meaning of the concept a democratic consensus. Comte thus with his positivism and with his sociology, abolished from all rational consideration, the question of morality and religion.

Freud added to the modern perspective when he declared that to abolish God we must also deal with the question of guilt by making it a scientific question. To touch on this briefly, because I go into it at length in my study on Freud, Freud said that as long as men feel guilty and turn to religion for an answer for their guilt, they will turn to God. So that all scientific attempts to abolish God will fail until science says the question of guilt is a scientific question, and the psychologist or psychiatrist gives an answer to it rather than a pastor or a priest. The answer to it is that man has three basic urges, based on the fact that he was once in the primal horde, that he was a caveman, a savage. He had a desire, because the fathers drove out the sons from the pack, to kill his father, to eat his father, and to commit incest with his mother and his sisters, and these represent the three basic instincts of man. And this is why man feels guilty, because he has these things, this is the will-to-life in him, and his guilt-feeling, because he did this centuries ago, gives him this feeling of guilt that he goes to religion about. So that, the only thing to do with any person who comes to you with these feelings of guilt about what he has done, is to tell him that this guilt is just an evolutionary hangover. Now this is what our mental institutions do today, so that a criminal who is given over to the care of a mental institution is ‘cured’ if he loses his guilt feelings about his crime, in other words he is released as a much more dangerous person, because now, as a modern man, he lives beyond good and evil, beyond the belief that there is any crime.

John Dewey, as another thinker in this school, declared that the purpose in a society must be to formulate first of all the Great Society, which is a step to the Great Community, which incarnates reason or God. And all law in this great society is positive law, it is what the state enacts. There is thus no law beyond the law. This is a myth. The Christian, of course, believes that the Law of God stands beyond the law of man and is a judge over it. But in terms of this legal positivism of John Dewey, there is no law beyond what the state enacts, and therefore to challenge the law as unjust is nonsense. It is itself, the totality of justice.

Some years ago, about the turn of the century, a Russian philosopher and theologian, Vladimir Solovyov, who was not by the way orthodox or at all trustworthy, but was at times discerning, declared:

“the Russian intelligentsia produced a faith based upon a strange syllogism; man is descended from the apes, therefore we must love one another.” 6

Now, this to us sounds very strange. We can take of course Vladimir Solovyov’s statement and say not merely the Russian intelligentsia but all modern intelligentsia believe man is descended from the apes, therefore we must love one another. If this sounds strange to us, Robert Payne in his study of The Life and Death of Lenin says that this statement by Solovyov really sums up the faith of Lenin and most modern revolutionaries. Why? To quote Robert Payne:

“Solovyov was saying in effect that the Russian intelligentsia, that science would produce the reign of love among men, and Lenin, who never tired on insisting against all the evidence that Marxism was purely scientific in character, firmly believed that once the Marxist state had been established, then and only then would men be able to live together in peace and concord.” 7

What do they mean then that man is descended from the apes, therefore we must love one another? That man has evolved so far, and that man is going to evolve further under the leadership of science. In other words, now man is now going to control his own evolution, and in the course of it eliminate all these problems that man has today of hatred, because man the scientist, his own evolution is going to bring about great changes in man's nature, and all men are going to love one another and there will be paradise on earth, heaven on earth. Science will thus in this modern faith produce the new man. Man is still half-ape, man must evolve further, in other words man must be changed, and he must be changed by science. Man cannot be changed by the God of Scripture since he is by definition dead. The new God, or the new God, who is in process of being incarnated in the state and its scientific socialist planners, must change man. Does science change man? Well it is trying. How? Well, consider the attempts at tampering with the genes in order to make a new kind of man, so that at will the scientist can produce any kind of person of any sex, any type of intelligence, or as many arms or feet, or as many heads as they choose. Or the attempts at mind tampering with drugs, and the tremendous interest in drugs. Is it any wonder that the young generation has gone in for LSD and other drugs? After all, everything that science is teaching them in the schools indicates that there must be a change by means of science, and that drugs are one of the instruments of this change in man.

Consider also the attempts at changing man by electrical control, so that in some mental institutions they are actually putting in sockets into the skulls of people to attempt to control them by the means of electrical impulses. Consider also the attempts at creating life, at creating test-tube babies. Of course, in every one of these areas what you read in the papers according to some scientists who are Christian is nine-tenths propaganda and one tenth fact. It is propaganda because they believe this will be done, and they want us to believe it will be done. But all these attempts are governed by the recognition that man must be changed, not that man is a sinner. He is good but he is incomplete, he is not fully evolved, and therefore he must be changed. Man must take control over his evolution and man must remake himself.

We must say therefore, that the left, the revolutionist, the radicals, move with a religious realism. They recognize that man needs to be changed. And, at this point we come face-to-face again with the impotence of conservatives. The left says: “man must be changed, and we are doing everything we can to change man. Since there is no God out there, since God is dead, the scientific socialist state must remake man.” And what does the conservative say? “Let’s win this election.” Conservatism refuses to face up to the basic religious issue. The left is religious. That’s why it declares with such passion: “God is dead!” That is why it says with such passion: “By revolutionary activism we must bring the new God to birth.” They are religious, and fanatically religious. They know it’s more than a matter of winning an election, it is a matter of religious faith, of changing man. In that, and that alone they are right. And not until Christians come back to the basic religious issue is there any hope. “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 8 And, having been born again, a man’s responsibility then is to proclaim the crown rights of King Jesus, to establish the Law-Word of God in every realm and in every domain.

“Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it:” 9

But one of the characteristics of the modern age has been that the church has steadily withdrawn to the inner world. It has said: “Only things spiritual are our concern.” And yet the Law-Word of God speaks to every area, it has rules not only with respect to the life of the state and the life of the family and the life of the farmer, but even with regard to our eating and drinking. It speaks to the whole of life, but we have withdrawn to the inner world, and now the enemy has invaded the inner world, and psychiatry and psychology has staked the inner world of man as their territory, and there is nowhere for the church to go except back to the Word of God, back to the whole of life, back to a reconquest of the world in the name of Jesus Christ.

The shapers of the modern world have proclaimed the death of the God of Scripture and are working to bring to birth the God of their imagination. The one-world state. But their God, the closer he comes to birth, the closer the monster chaos approaches. The vision of William Butler Yates was a very real one. When he spoke fearfully of the second coming, this time of a monster slouching towards a new Bethlehem, waiting to be born.

The world thus is moving in terms of modernism, towards the Bethlehem of the Beast. But we under God are summoned to reestablish the new Jerusalem as the governing principle of all of life. The principle that the kingdoms of this world must become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ.

* * *


[Audience Member] Would you comment on Psalm 2?

[Rushdoony] yes, Psalm 2 is one of the most marvelous passages in all of scripture. First of all it states that the heathen take counsel together. Now the reference to ‘heathen’ is the heathen nations, and some modern translations very properly say: “The ungodly nations conspire together,” that is a very good translation. What is the essence of their conspiracy? They say, “We will break the bands of Christ asunder, we will overthrow God, we will declare God to be dead and take over.” Then the psalmist says: “He that sitteth in the circle of the heavens shall laugh, the Lord shall have them in derision.” And so the psalmist then turns and summons the nation declaring that the Son can break them in pieces as a man with a rod of iron can shatter pottery. So, “Kiss the Son lest He be angry and ye perish in your way.”

Psalm 2 therefore proclaims Christ as King of the nations, Lord of the earth, that against this council, this conspiracy of the ungodly, who are working to proclaim the death of God, to overthrow God, God laughs and he moves to destroy them. It is a magnificent Psalm and one which we should have very much in mind these days. God is laughing and we need to join in His laughter.


[Audience Member] Could you comment on the rash of ‘Christian psychiatrists?’

[Rushdoony] Yes, a great many so-called Christian psychologists and psychiatrists have been taken in by this whole movement, it does use the façade of Christian terminology, it emphasizes the value of confession, of guilt and so on but it is basically and radically anti-Christian. And I do not believe in psychology, I believe it is through and through anti-Christian, and the term ‘Christian psychiatrist’ is like the term a ‘Christian atheist,’ it involves a contradiction in terms. I think we have to be very, very careful when we encounter any pastor or psychologist who is using any of these terminologies of modern psychology, because I have seen in many, many cases where churches and ministers have been led radically astray by this façade of seeming coincidence. I am very, very distrustful of those who get into this field.


[Audience Member] How important is the doctrine of creation? i

[Rushdoony] Well of course Christ is the author of the whole of Scripture from our perspective, but the doctrine of creation is fundamental. You cannot have the God of Scripture unless you have creationism. And we need to of course believe the whole of scripture, and one of the weaknesses in the church today is that too many ride hobby horses; the book of Revelation is their Bible and they are too much concerned with prophecy, we need to be concerned with it but not exclusively, or they are too much concerned with the Gospel of John or 1 Corinthians 13 and so on, and they end up with a fraction of the Bible, which is the same as being a modernist, you don’t have the whole Word of God. And what we must have is the whole of scripture, and to read and study the whole of it continuously, otherwise we end, up even while professing to believe the whole, in just a fraction of scripture, and I have seen over the years many well-meaning and fine pastors who, because they tended to concentrate on just some favorite books of the Bible, ended up with some strange doctrines because they neglected so much of Scripture, they did not teach systematically, and this throws a person off-balance.

What happens to them is about what happens to us if we say we like ice cream and steaks alone and try to live just on ice-cream and steaks. We won’t last very long or do very well on such a diet. Or if a child says: “I like candy and I am going to confine myself to candy.” We can have a bad diet in our reading the Scripture, and this is the weakness of most believers. First of all they say “I don’t understand that portion, so I am going to skip over it.” Or “That was fulfilled, so I am going to skip over it,” we need to understand it in its totality, or very soon we have an improper diet, an unbalanced diet.

[Audience Member] Many people make wild claims about the book of Revelation. ii

[Rushdoony] Yes, I know, occasionally people tell me that airplanes and atomic warfare and everything else were proved in Revelation a long time ago and forecast there, and with people like that you cannot argue.


[Audience Member] Could you comment on the book African Genesis by Robert Ardrey, Dr. Rushdoony? iii

[Rushdoony] Well first of all, African Genesis by Robert Ardrey is a very fine book despite its evolutionary thinking. One of the things it does that has upset so many people is that it points out that among animals there is a strong conception of private property and of status or social rank, that animals are neither communistic nor equalitarian. So that this has upset many, many people, but he has documented the case very well. Now as far as dealing with the intelligence of animals, there is nothing wrong with that, God created them, and he created them to be animals, but this doesn’t mean that he didn’t give them a certain amount of intelligence.

One of the things I ran across not too long ago in reading Calvin in his commentary on Romans, he says in the general resurrection the animals will be there also, and in the eighth chapter of Romans, and I checked it out very carefully in terms of exegesis, and of course my wife was very happy about this because she is fond of her pets, the statement Paul says, the animal creation around us groans and travails, waiting for the redemption of the Children of God, for the general resurrection. So there is an expectation and a groaning and a waiting for that, since they fell because of our sin and are burdened by it, they too are going to participate in the general resurrection. So we can say the whole of the animal creation, the whole of the natural creation is glorious. But it’s far more wonderful than the scientists are ready to acknowledge.

And it is so because it is God's handiwork, and we can rejoice in it. There is however a great difference between the animals and man, because man alone was created in the image of God, that anything God created is wonderful, but when God saw it, he said it was good. But when he created man and rested, then he said it was very good. So there is a difference, a marvelous difference, we are made in the image of God, but all things God created are wonderful.


[Audience Member] Could you comment on the evident waste in creation? iv

[Rushdoony] There is no waste in God’s creation; there is a purpose in everything. Periodically men have tried to say that we have some vestigial organ, only they find out that those so-called ‘vestigial’ organs have very important uses in man’s biology, and they try to say that various animals have no purpose, and then they find those animals have a very important purpose in the balance of life. They may be unpleasant to us, but they have a place. Each of them fulfills a function, so that it is all glorious.


[Audience Member] I thought Ardrey was very, very pro-evolution. v

[Rushdoony] Oh yes, Ardrey is thoroughly an evolutionist, thoroughly. And it is his thesis that the dawn of evolution was in Africa, that is he follows Doctor [Louis] Leakey in this respect. But there is a great deal of disagreement about that aspect of his thesis.


[Audience Member] Isn’t it a waste when some tribes and cultures become extinct? vi

[Rushdoony] Well, yes, first of all, there is no waste in God’s planning. Now that is in terms of God’s purposes, the fact that some people are lost does not mean that it is waste from God’s perspective.

[Audience Member] How should a Christian live in the modern world? vii

In terms of how does a Christian live in the modern world, the answer is of course by God’s Law-Word. He moves in terms of faithfulness to it, he does his duty, the results are always in the hands of God. So that, in a world of lies we have an obligation to be honest, in a world of deceit and dishonesty, disloyalty, we have an obligation to be faithful. We have an obligation as much as possible to Christian institutions, and of course that is what we are dedicated to as an organization, and this is what Christians are beginning to do. The major revolution of the last twenty years has been the birth of the Christian school movement; now that is a tremendous area, so that we have an obligation to further that, we have an obligation to battle against the powers of darkness. There is a lot for us to do, and so there is no lack of opportunity to do it. It is never easy to wage a war, it costs something, and if we are not prepared to pay the cost we can’t join in on the battle.


[Audience Member] I had a question about all these funerals all these drawn out things. Is the practice of quickly burying the body a pagan thing? viii

[Rushdoony] A good question. First of all one of the things that characterized the pagans was that as soon as someone died, they worked as quickly as possible to get rid of the body because they hated death, they feared it, they feared the spirits of the dead. So it was as out of sight as quickly as possible. Among many, not only was it buried as quickly as possible, but they were buried just anywhere out in the woods and the grave was not marked because it was not something that you wanted to encounter.

With Christianity, because there was no longer the fear of death or the old fear of the dead, there came to be a respect for the bodies of the dead, cemeteries and a careful and loving burial, and of course the body there for mourners and friends to pay their last respects. And this is why there is the counter-movement today both to close the coffin,because modern man dislikes death and doesn’t want to see anyone dead, he doesn’t want to be reminded of death, and also to make funerals a state monopoly, to take mortuaries over by means of socialist expropriation so that the religious aspect can be abolished.

So that there is this movement, which is quite powerful today, to abolish death, as it were, from the public attention, except where we have public dignitaries. And here the politicians in a sense where elsewhere the liberal mind wants to forget about death, wants to accentuate its own importance. So that today when any politician dies there is a tremendous to do about his death that kings and queens did not get of old. These are the new gods of creation as it were, and we are expected to go into the most incredible kind of mourning over them. I am glad that with General Eisenhower’s death it wasn’t dragged on as long as with the two Kennedys, with them it was just an incredible thing. But it is clearly religious, they want us to venerate every politician who dies as though a god had died, and it is carried on to an appalling degree. I wonder how many people follow it on television, apparently a fair number do judging by comments in public, they sit glued to the television, but it is offensive because it gives undue glory to man.

1. “Es ist der Gang Gottes in der Welt, dass der Staat ist.” Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. Translated by T.M. Knox. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1942, 279.

2. Friedrich Nietzsche: “Beyond Good and Evil” 4, in The Philosophy of Nietzsche. (New York, New York: Random House, Modern Library).

3. “Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Law. Introduction.” In Karl Marx, Frederick Engels : Collected Works, Vol. 3 Marx and Engels 1843-1844. New York: International Publishers, 1976, 182.

4. “Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Law. Introduction.” In Karl Marx, Frederick Engels : Collected Works, Vol. 3 Marx and Engels 1843-1844. New York: International Publishers, 1976, 182.

5. Karl Marx, “Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right,” in Early Writings, T. B. Bottomore, translator, editor (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1963), 56.

6. “Chapter Thirty-Nine – The Ape and the Skull.” In The Life And Death Of Lenin, Lume Books Edition. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1964, 737.

7. “Chapter Thirty-Nine – The Ape and the Skull.” In The Life And Death Of Lenin, Lume Books Edition. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1964, 740.

8. Jn 3:3.

9. Ps 127:1.

i. Question added due to unclear audio.

ii. Question added due to unclear audio.

iii. Question added due to unclear audio.

iv. Question added due to unclear audio.

v. Question added due to unclear audio.

vi. Question added due to unclear audio.

vii. Question added due to unclear audio.

viii. Question added due to unclear audio.

More Series