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Psychopaths

By R. J. Rushdoony
March 01, 1998

Voltaire in The History of Charles XII, King of Sweden concludes his introduction with these words, "If some prince and some ministers find some disagreeable truths in this work, let them remember that, being public men, they owe the public an account of their actions; that it is at this price they purchase their greatness."

These words indicated the great intellectual revolution underway with the Enlightenment. According to this new view, kings, prime ministers, and rulers were "public men" who were accountable to the people. Previously rulers and all peoples were seen as accountable to God. Great men and small confessed their sins and did penance. Now, however, Christian man had been replaced by public man, a major and revolutionary change.

Accountability is now to man, to rulers, because both people and their rulers are seen as public men. The results are revolutionary and also deadly. Consider the implications: the great majority of Americans profess some kind of Christian faith, or at the least over 90% claim to believe in God. In spite of this fact, politics is now a religion-free realm. Religious symbols are barred from public places and the posting of the Ten Commandments in civil courts and state schools commonly excluded.

Now, religious faith is the major motivating force in human life and yet it is excluded from the affairs of state. The Ten Commandments are God's law, imperatives for Jews and Christians, and yet they are barred while pornography, abortion, and homosexuality are legal.

Christian man has been replaced by public man, officially denuded of religion and morality. Is it any wonder that we see a proliferation of psychopaths, their serial rapes, murders and other crimes, all committed without conscience? Having by laws stripped citizens and state of Christian faith and morality, the psychopath is the logical result. It is an amazing fact that we do not have more psychopaths. The seeds thereof are to be seen in growing numbers of peoples.

Children are reared and educated in state schools stripped of Biblical Faith and morality. They are taught that values are not eternal but self-chosen, valid only for themselves. This is the mental framework of the psychopath, a total irresponsibility to God and to man. He is the logical product of our schools and culture and his numbers will only increase unless autonomy, self-law, is replaced by theonomy, God's law. Unless we have theonomy, men and nations will alike be governed by self-law, autonomy.

This leads to another implication. The modern state, by rejecting God and Christ, and God's law, seeks to impose its fiat will on everything, responsible to no higher power. The modern state has seen the rise of psychopaths because its stance is most conducive to it. Shortly after World War II, Frederick Moore Vinson, then chief justice of the U. S Supreme Court, held, "Nothing is more certain in modern society than the principle that there are no absolutes." For Vinson and others, moral and religious absolutes were replaced by fiat ones — their own words, laws and decisions.

The implications of the position of the modern state have seeped down to school children, street gangs, criminals, business men, workers, and too many clergymen. An antinomian stance is now commonplace.

Voltaire held his anti-Christian views in secrecy, as it were, sharing them only with intellectuals. On one occasion, he silenced his visitors' anti-Christian talk when a servant entered the room. If his servant, he said, were to learn unbelief, what would keep him from cutting his, Voltaire's, throat some night and robbing him? The modern heirs of Voltaire are not as wise. They insist on de-Christianizing the world; they train up psychopaths, and they envision a great new world order as a result of their policies! They shall reap the whirlwind.


Topics: Biblical Law, Statism, Education, R. J. Rushdoony

R. J. Rushdoony

Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916–2001), was a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numerous works on the application of Biblical law to society. He started the Chalcedon Foundation in 1965.  His Institutes of Biblical Law (1973) began the contemporary theonomy movement which posits the validity of Biblical law as God’s standard of obedience for all. He therefore saw God’s law as the basis of the modern Christian response to the cultural decline, one he attributed to the church’s false view of God’s law being opposed to His grace. This broad Christian response he described as “Christian Reconstruction.”  He is credited with igniting the modern Christian school and homeschooling movements in the mid to late 20th century. He also traveled extensively lecturing and serving as an expert witness in numerous court cases regarding religious liberty. Many ministry and educational efforts that continue today, took their philosophical and Biblical roots from his lectures and books.

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