‘Slander’ (by R.J. Rushdoony)

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Note: Normally I wouldn’t retype a whole essay while trying to hold the book open; but this piece by R. J. Rushdoony, originally published in California Farmer and now included in A Word in Season, Vol. 1, is especially timely… so here goes.

My daughter telephoned home one noon, very much upset. A girl had told her that George Washington was a scoundrel who had fathered fourteen illegitimate children and had died of venereal diseases. Was this true? I assured her that it absolutely was not. Tell the girl, I said, that your father has Washington’s collected works and has read them as well as many works about him, and there is not only no truth in such a vicious lie but Washington was a man of remarkably disciplined character and great moral integrity; ask her for evidence. Of course, she had none.

I spoke in one city on Washington’s Birthday, and the history supervisor in the public schools refused to attend, saying, “Why listen to a lot of sugarcoating for one of our worst scoundrels?” When asked for evidence for her statement, she walked away.

How, my daughter asked, do all these foul stories about great and good men get started? These people, I said, being themselves depraved, like to drag godly people down to their own level by their slanders. (“That fits this girl,” she replied.) Remember, I reminded her, what Solomon said, “As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly” (Prov. 26:11; 2 Pet. 2:22). These people love dirt, and they dirty everything they touch.

Solomon also said, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof” (Prov. 18:21), or, as the Moffatt freely translates the latter part of the verse, “the talkative must take the consequences.” Our Lord was even more blunt, “I say unto you, That every idle world that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matt. 12:36).

Remember, therefore, before you repeat slander, or before you become party to idle words, that they have serious consequences. Talk may be cheap, but the payoff is costly. Are you prepared to pay the price?


10 comments on “‘Slander’ (by R.J. Rushdoony)

  1. Very wise words, these, and I have never in my life known a time when so much slander was everywhere.

    1. Seems libs have been taking pot shots at George Washington for a long time.
      But that’s only because they hate their country.

  2. I believe that Washington suffered from the mumps as an adolescent and he became sterile; that is, he never fathered ANY children. Why do we bother to listen to these nitwits?

    1. Because a lot of those evil nitwits are “teachers” and kids are expected to listen to them.
      Which is why they need to be pulled out of public education.

  3. The tendency towards revisionism seems to be growing like a weed. The Founding Fathers were not perfect; like all other men, they were sinners and imperfect. But these men were willing to put their lives on the line in order to create a nation where liberty could flourish. While some people used that liberty unwisely, there were many others whom lived moral and upright lives. The result was the strongest, most prosperous nation in history. The America I grew up in was, like it’s Founders, imperfect, but it was far better than what America has become in the present day.

  4. Asking for evidence is a non-sequitur or even a threat to modern (or, rather, post-modern) slanderers. Remember, the whole postmodern idea is that there is no objective reality. Everything is a “narrative,” and we write our own realities. Thus, we can create any narrative we wish about anyone or anything, and since “truth” is nothing but narrative, our narrative is our truth. No evidence is necessary. Saying a thing makes it so.

    And if your truth conflicts with mine, I can ignore you or destroy you according to how dangerous to my truth your truth appears to me. In fact, even your request for evidence is a threat to my truth.

    We live in a nightmarish age.

    1. Well stated. If one does take a stand against someone else’s made-up reality, the likely outcome will be much shouting and name calling. This is very much the behavior of a cult; a term which applies to much more than certain religions. Any belief system, social, economic, religious or otherwise can take on the attributes of a cult.

      My own personal definition of a cult is a belief system which offers an alternate reality to its adherents. It can stem from the philosophies of one leader which are then expanded upon as the movement grows. Because these philosophies are not divinely inspired, they are bound to be limited and fallible. But because many people want a visible leader, they expand and adapt these beliefs over time. Eventually, this belief system becomes an alternate reality and any challenge to it is usually met with hysteria.

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