The term “virtue signalling” didn’t exist in 1988, but we can recognize it in what he calls Phariseeism–wearing fake guilt as a badge of nobility, obsessing on the guilt of their fathers, their country, blah-blah, but never on their own sins–never their own! They’re “guilty” of things they did not do; because they’re so pure, they have to borrow other people’s sins!
You expect them to walk into a travel agency and say, “I’d like a guilt trip, please.”
And, Rushdoony adds, “Cheap forgiveness shows contempt for the cross.” It’s so easy to shed borrowed guilt! Just pony up the money, or the votes, or enact a few more absurd public policies–and you’re clean, hallelujah!
R.J. Rushdoony’s family barely escaped with their lives when the Turkish government, in the wake of World War I, launched genocide against the Armenian people. The Rushdoonys made their way to America.
Rushdoony, with his family’s experience to reinforce his studies, well understood the slippery slope that leads from freedom into tyranny. He wrote about it often: for instance, in this little essay which we have reprinted in A Word in Season (Vol. 3).
Did we get here by overzealously following God’s laws, Christ’s teachings?
No. We got here by doing what we wanted, when we wanted. We got here by allowing government to mutate into a kind of idol that must be appeased incessantly: the pseudo-religion that R.J. Rushdoony called statism.
I take it R.J. Rushdoony wrote this essay while Alexander Solzhenitsyn was touring the West and warning anyone who’d listen that communism could happen here; and Rushdoony himself was touring U.S. courtrooms, testifying in trial after trial as an expert witness in the defense of Christian schooling and homeschooling.
Westerners didn’t understand Solzhenitsyn, Rushdoony wrote, because they don’t understand that “anti-communism” is shallow and powerless if the anti-communists are going to buy into the same humanist twaddle that supports communism. That would be belief in “the sovereignty, not of God, but the state.”
While Americans were shocked by the Soviets’ separating children from their families because their parents had given them Christian religious instruction, at the very same time, here in America, courts were separating children from Christian parents to stop Christian schooling.
No one fought harder for Christian schooling in America than Rushdoony; and by and large, our side has won that battle. But that doesn’t mean the humanists won’t try again to roll back Christian education. They’re always trying.
Western liberals were scandalized when Solzhenitsyn compared American public policies to those of the Soviets. Rushdoony shocked them, too.
Few understood that it was a religious issue. Few wanted to see it that way.
Simply speaking, Rushdoony explained that “social justice” differs from God’s justice because it’s made up by self-anointed intellectuals. It is whatever they say it is, from day to day. It could hardly have helped falling into the arms of postmodernism, which spurns day-to-day reality and goes so far as to say everything is just made up.
But because it’s the product of humanist fat-heads, “social justice” can never be true justice. Only God’s justice can be that. Only God’s law is immutable. Intellectuals’ laws are subject to sudden change. That’s what makes them so hard to live with.
By 2020 this vision of doom had pretty much passed its shelf life, at least in America. But for a while there it was giving children nightmares.
Humanism always needs a boogieman to scare people into compliance with its diktats. And along came COVID-19 to fill that role. Thanks to the panic raised up by the virus, the world has frittered away six out of this year’s nine months so far–shutting down nations’ economies, quarantining all the healthy people along with the sick, destroying small businesses, freaking people out with fear, and generating a malaise that has deadened everything.
There’s always going to be a doomsday myth. In the 1970s it was The Coming Ice Age. We get Doomsday du Jour. All marine life wiped out! White supremacists take over!
The humanists’ god is the State–that is to say, themselves–and denying the real God, they promise to do everything they say God should have done but didn’t, because there is no God. So the State will create paradise on earth–blah-blah-blah, you know the drill. And if they have to break a few eggs to make the omelet… We’ve seen that one, too.
“Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar,” wrote St. Paul (Romans 3:4).
Who else in 1978 was predicting that the mighty U.S.S.R. would collapse, and soon? The Carter administration was trying to work out the best surrender deal that it could make with Russia. And Rushdoony didn’t just predict the collapse; he told his readers why it would collapse.
All societies founded on humanism will collapse, because their foundation is not Jesus Christ, the rock, but just a lot of shifting sand.
Observing the chaos in our country’s streets today, and hearing the lunatic outcries of the Far Left Crazy–well, think about this essay. Think hard.
No, I’m not going to post a picture of a polyamorous “relationship.” Here’s a nice little bird instead.
R.J. Rushdoony used to say the only freedom statists mean to leave us is the freedom to fornicate–and that only because they want to wipe out the family, which competes with the state for an individual’s loyalty. He was right.
Speaking of America’s national character sliding down the pipe to the trash heap down below, the small city of Somerville, Massachusetts (pop. 80,000), has approved polyamory. That’s when a group of people have random sexual relations and call themselves a family. Feh. (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/01/us/somerville-polyamorous-domestic-partnership.html) They’ve redefined “domestic partnerships” to include groups of three or more persons living together as a sexual oddity.
Now public employees there can get local government health benefits if there are more than two people in the “partnership.” Members of these aggregations can now visit each other in the hospital–a change that could easily have been made without approving polyamory. But this is only to be expected from a town that flies Organized Sodomy’s “rainbow flag” from City Hall.
Family, schmamily, everything’s a family because you are whatever you call yourself. Two men, two women, a dog, and a manual typewriter can all themselves a “family.” Just another thing for our country to be ashamed of.
R.J. Rushdoony wrote this essay long before anyone ever heard of the Wuhan Death Virus From China, misgendering or microaggression, and a host of other evils that our worldly masters have visited on us.
But say “God’s law,” and you’re more than likely to get a hysterical reaction and your hearers will stop up their ears and go stampeding back to the Democrat Party to be taken care of.
But as the wisdom of God, personified, says in Proverbs 8:36, “All they that hate me love death.”