Rushdoony Blog Tour
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Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 03:13:10 AM EST
I was curious to see what bloggers were writing about Rushdoony, one of the central architects of the Christian Right.  As you will see, Rushdoony's ideas are still inspiring people today. How can we understand better why so many Americans are attracted to his ideas? Is there something we can do to counteract the spread of these ideas?
Let's start our Rushdoony blog tour by visiting Little Geneva. This blog is written by H. Seabrook who considers himself a reformed confederate theocrat. In a recent post, he writes:

Yes, Rushdoony and Scott were opposed to jazz because it was a very obvious outgrowth of immoral Negro culture, and a slang term for semen. On page 61 of The Institutes of Biblical Law, Rushdoony writes: "The background of Negro culture is African and magic, and the purposes of magic are control and power... Voodoo or magic was the religion and life of American Negroes. Voodoo songs underlie jazz, and old voodoo, with its power goal, has been merely replaced with revolutionary voodoo ['civil rights'], a modernized power drive." Then, in his footnote: "See, for the voodoo background of jazz, Robert Tallant, Voodoo in New Orleans (New York: Collier Books, 1946, 1965)." Rushdoony wished for Whites to separate themselves from Negroes. "The white man has behind him centuries of Christian culture and the discipline and the selective breeding this faith requires... The Negro is a product of a radically different past, and his [genetic] heredity has been governed by radically different considerations."

Our next blog is L'Enfant Terrible where the writer quotes Rushdoony and Doug Phillips, son of Howard Phillips who was a presidential candidate for the Constitution Party. Doug Phillips also runs the homeschool and Christian reconstruction friendly Vision Forum website. L'Enfant Terrible writes:

That's why I give Doug a lot of credit for publicly lauding Rushdoony as a great theologian, for carrying Rushdoony's materials in his online store at Vision Forum, and for continuing to quote from Rushdoony's books in his articles and blog postings. Let's all follow his example. Don't let the PC police browbeat you into silence, even if they are ordained.

Doug Wilson, who has some influence at least in his circle of conservative Presbyterians, writes:

Back in the eighties I read through a small hill of Rushdoony's books, profiting greatly from many of them. One that I was never able to get my hands on was his The Politics of Pornography. But it has just been released again by Ross House Books under the new title Noble Savages. The folks there were kind enough to send me a review copy, which I gladly read. This book is simply outstanding. Anyone who wants to understand the real fuel that is making the fires of pornography burn needs to get and read this book.

A college student writes a tribute to Rushdoony and includes this:

When it comes to how much Rushdoony has affected my thinking, my favorite book of his is actually not a systematic book. Chalcedon published The Roots of Reconstruction, which is a collection of articles by R.J. Rushdoony in a publication called the Chalcedon Report, which is now a bi-monthly magazine called Faith for All of Life. The work is obviously massive. However, if one just reads a couple of articles a day (less than 10 pages) you will be changed! Rushdoony is that powerful a writer and thinker. What most people need 2 pages to say, Rushdoony can spew it out in 2 paragraphs. While most people write about the facts, Rushdoony points you to the underlying presupposition behind the facts. It is transforming stuff.

Ben House writes a post in honor of Rushdoony. Some quotes:

At first Rushdoony seemed to fulfill my initial image of Calvinists as cold, scholarly, abstract, puritanical, overly somber, but not very 'spiritual.' Only when I began listening to his tapes did I realize that he was warm, gracious, entertaining, and filled with a heart of love toward God and His Word.

After my mother died in 1986, I often found it difficult to get to sleep at night. I began a habit of listening to Rushdoony's Easy Chair tapes after I turned the lights out. Rushdoony's voice was slow--very slow--and pleasant. Maybe it is not a complement to a preacher to say that they put you to sleep, but I found it a win/win situation. If I could not sleep, I relaxed while listening to Rushdoony's stories; if I were sleepy enough, I drifted off to sleep pleasantly while listening. I kept up this habit for years. Rushdoony accompanied me via cassette tape on many driving trips in my truck and he told me bedtime stories on many evenings.

It inspired me to write an essay, and I think I'll polish it a bit more, but here's the tail end :

"So, here we are :

In more abstract terms, this is the transmigration of Dostoevsky's "Grand Inquisitor" parable through the phantasmagoric looking glass of American culture - in the original inquisition, the Catholic church's scorched-earth war on the Cathars, to root out that heresy ( and yes, in strict terms it was indeed a "heresy" ), doctrinal conformity was imposed from above, by fire and sword, by "The Pear", The Judas Cradle, The Cat's Paw, and so on.

Then, the inquisitor was. Now, some call the inquisitor back.

Americans are - as always - innovators, and - although it would have shocked those of 1950's culture who foresaw the time of aircars and floating cities rapidly approaching - America now has come to a place and time such that many of its good citizens beg to be deprived of choice and autonomy, and they will work - and do - tirelessly and with immense zeal to resurrect institutions of inquisition and the crown - or regent-kings, as it were.

Once, so the story goes, the wicked tyrant stepped down - but the people, wanting certainty and order, peering into the Nietzcheian existential abyss, demanded that the king return. One could say - in the wider historical scope - that the Enlightenment chased away kings, queens, and many tyrants even ( though not all ) but now the people (some of them anyway) - in despair of freedom and fearing anarchy and change - now call the kings and queens and tyrants back.... as theocratic despots if not humans claiming inherited divine mandate that somehow is inherent their flesh - theocratic regents would dispense with the notion of kingly flesh and simply claim - on unclear grounds - divine mandate. You say potayto, I say potahto. So it goes.

"We do not want choice !," roars the crowd, "We want certainty. We want limits !".

And there you have it - in a postmodernist twist, fear of freedom calls back inquisitor and king, resurrected as a rock of Chalcedon against change and uncertainty, and as the mandate of divinely appointed ( somehow, the mechanism for that is rather fuzzy  ) regency.  In the hurricane winds of modernity as all that is not nailed down and much even that is melts into the wind and we find ourselves flying about amidst an infinite jumble - like feverish Dorothys peering from spinning twister borne houses at flying cows and airborne men in rowboats - and paralyzed by choice, some will learn to blow about hither and yon and eventually, even, to move about in ans enjoy the new medium - as fish in the epistemological ocean, birds in the ontological sky.

Others, however, will recoil and seek certainty, demand it, resurrect it - and in the process exhume other things not so pleasing, things perhaps uncontrollable.

It would be good for those who wish for a rock to know - a little better anyway - the nature and the true price of this alleged bargain, this rock they seek to foist on all."

by Bruce Wilson on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 11:27:36 AM EST

If some people use Rushdoony to rock them to sleep, safety and certainty, maybe others will use your prose as an alarm clock!

by Carlos on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 01:07:16 PM EST
My friend Matteo suggested that I write books, novels maybe.

That would be nice, but novels presuppose the existence of people who might read them.

by Bruce Wilson on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:42:23 AM EST

It is interesting to see some people admitting to being influenced by Rushdoony and the areas they find the influence.

It is true that he has a kind and gentle tone, but the thrust of his thought is neither.

by Mainstream Baptist on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 03:43:10 PM EST

Great topic carlos, I thank and praise God every day for Dr Rushdoony, he was the best theologian of the 20th century, a man who read 28,000 books, when I first read my first Rushdoony book I was changed forever, he is my absolute hero.  If you have any questions concerning Rush feel free to email and I will be happy to try and answer them.  God Bless!  

by chetrecon on Sun Dec 04, 2005 at 04:39:02 PM EST
I wonder, do you agree with the statement of purpose and site guidelines at Talk to Action?  By checking off the box, you were stating that you do.

by Frederick Clarkson on Mon Dec 05, 2005 at 02:08:02 AM EST

This article was great and I find Rushdoony very interesting. Haven't read a lot about him before but you woke up my interest for sure.
Joseph, Web Developer currently working on the natural anxiety cure project.
by Joseph L on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:24:05 PM EST

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This book is simply outstanding. Anyone who wants to understand the real fuel that is making the fires of pornography burn needs to get and read this book.

by madmardigan on Tue Apr 05, 2022 at 11:04:20 AM EST

The folks there were kind enough to send me a review copy, which I gladly read. This book is simply outstanding.

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