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Random Notes, 84

By R. J. Rushdoony
November 01, 1998
  1. I have often thought that I would like to write sometime at length on what is known, somewhat inaccurately, as political science. I would begin, first, by pointing out that a civil government, which may at times be at war with other states, is usually or always at war with its own people. It wars against some as criminals, against others as dissidents. It will do this to the people usually in the name of the people. Protection against an enemy state is not so common as protection against its own people who both must protect it and must wage war against it. The state must always be prepared for this internal warfare.

    Second
    , there is a religious reason for this warfare. Man is a sinner, both as an individual and as a corporate being, as a member of a class, a race, a group, or some like entity. As such, he will try to use the state to further his agenda, private or corporate. The state will seek to ally itself with various groups basically to further its own plans, so that it will work to break even those whom it empowers. Thus, the civil scene is one of shifting loyalties to gain a constant good, the empowerment of the state, or its parties, or its constituent members.

    Third
    , the reason for this state of affairs and the incessant warfare is sin. The people are sinners; so too are the parties, the diverse battling groups, and the members of the civil government. Unless sin is conquered, the constant warfare is not. Sin, however, is not a popular target for the state. Moreover, sin, if recognized, is localized in a particular group, race, or class, and the full recognition of this problem then is lacking. The state, as a kind of super-church, is seen only as "the remedy," not as part of the problem.

    Fourth
    , a super-state is no more the remedy than is a super-church. Sin is not abated by conglomerating it but only by confronting and overcoming it by God's grace. But God's grace has no place in political science in our time, and, as a result, this basic problem is neither confronted nor dealt with. Various arrangements will not alter a moral problem.

    Fifth
    , political "science" will not accept the fact that the state being a law order is of necessity a moral order. A moral problem requires a moral and religious answer, precisely the kind of answer the modern state avoids. How can men deal with murder if they will not recognize the morality of the matter? The state, like economics, has too often stripped itself of a moral concern, and it has lost its relevance to its basic sphere, problems of law and order.

    Sixth
    , political science is more concerned with data on civil government than with a moral perspective because it has surrendered to science and abandoned Christianity. The scientific perspective has come to mean the amoral perspective, and the scientific method means stripping the world of life and meaning. Science now too often suffers from its own version of pernicious anemia. Political science is at its best now in giving an historical analysis of the past, and at its weakest in trying to deal with the realities of the political scene.

    More can be said, but you can see my perspective.
  2. My illness during much of 1998 hurt me most in that I could not attend two family gatherings. The first was my Aunt Kohar's funeral. She died at age 93, as did her three sisters who also died natural deaths, ages 91 to 99. I never called Kohar, which means "jewel" auntie. She was more like my older sister. We went to school together. She always sat next to me at the dinner table, and when I was served foods I disliked, she sneaked them onto her plate to help me. Having lived through the Russian famine, she was ready to help!

    The second was our family reunion at my brother Haig's home. He and his wife Vula came here to see me. My cousin Ardson had planned to come then also, but was ailing.

    Family life is wealth for me, and I miss the family reunions. Haig and Vula are currently in Kosozo, a war zone, busy with their mission, Macedonian Outreach. In the Southern European war zones, they face perils from the various countries, the United Nations, and thieves. Next year, some of my grandchildren may go with them to help out.
  3. I am grateful to those of you who expressed concerns during my long illness. I believe I am definitely better now. Thank you for your prayers.

    I am also grateful to those of you who continue to support Chalcedon faithfully. Giving has fallen off in 1998, and we appreciate you faithful ones.

    It is interesting that 1997 and 1998 are described as our best post-World War II boom, but bankruptcies are at an all-time high!
  4. At the 1998 California State Fair, my granddaughter, April Rushdoony, Mark's child, won her second grand prize, the Golden Bear award, plus a cash award. In previous years, her brother, Isaac Rushdoony, also twice won the same grand prize for his meat birds, poultry.

Topics: Culture , Family & Marriage, Government, Justice

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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