If I can be so bold as to suggest there was a blessing from the Obama years, it would be to note that the assertion my father was the godfather of the “religious right” did seem to fade away. You see, once they had power, the left viewed the opposition as irrelevant and largely ignored them. (That is a constant difference between the left and the right in the U.S. When the left is in power, it ignores the right and forces the agenda. When the “conservatives” are in power, they seek bi-partisan consensus.)
I knew it would reappear after the Republicans embarrassed the Democrats last November. The old rhetoric was bound to re-surface. The left would accuse the right of trying to establish a theocratic state. Of course, the sinister mastermind of the plan is always held to be my father, R. J. Rushdoony.
In reality, my father was disgusted with American politics, right as well as left. He quit voting for the Republican presidential candidate long before I did. When Gerald Ford lost to Jimmy Carter in 1976, he only briefly noted it in his journal:
Listened briefly to election returns and apparent defeat of Gerald Ford. I detest Carter, but am not unhappy at Ford’s defeat. Any man who has so little contact with reality as to say Poland is a free country is as dangerous as Carter.
My father’s only political interest was in reclaiming power from the political arena and returning it to the spheres of family, church, and the free enterprises of individuals. His political involvement was to fight statism, not use it as a mechanism of Christian action.
Too much thought in theonomy centers around what the state would look like and do in a Christian social order. That makes theonomy an academic subject when it should be a very practical one when God’s Law is brought to bear on our family, businesses, and church life. A theocratic order cannot be imposed by state action and that is not what my father suggested, advocated, or taught. Theonomy means “God’s law” and can only come about when it is embraced by a repentant people. The gospel of salvation must be followed by the obedience of faith. Faith must be followed by faithfulness. Our message is that of the old hymn, “Trust and Obey.”
We are grateful for those who support our work and appreciate their prayers.
- Mark R. Rushdoony
Mark R. Rushdoony graduated from Los Angeles Baptist College (now The Master’s College) with a B.A. in history in 1975 and was ordained to the ministry in 1995.
He taught junior and senior high classes in history, Bible, civics and economics at a Christian school in Virginia for three years before joining the staff of Chalcedon in 1978. He was the Director of Chalcedon Christian School for 14 years while teaching full time. He also helped tutor all of his children through high school.
In 1998, he became the President of Chalcedon and Ross House Books, and, more recently another publishing arm, Storehouse Press. Chalcedon and its subsidiaries publish many titles plus CDs, mp3s, and an extensive online archive at www.chalcedon.edu.
He has written scores of articles for Chalcedon’s publications, both the Chalcedon Report and Faith for all of Life. He was a contributing author to The Great Christian Revolution (1991). He has spoken at numerous conferences and churches in the U.S. and abroad.
Mark Rushdoony lives in Vallecito, California, his home of 43 years with his wife of 45 years and his youngest son. He has three married children and nine grandchildren.