Episode #5 – The Public School Conspiracy and The Wasteful Use of Taxes
(Original Recorded November 9, 1981)
Opinions on: Asia Minor, The Gold Standard, Inflation, & The Nation of Israel
Is Public Education Necessary? – Samuel L. Blumenfeld
Fat City: How Washington Wastes Your Taxes – Donald Lambro
General William Booth Enters Heaven – Rachel Lindsey
Lisen To Poem
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Transcript of Episode:
Speaker 1: The Reconstructionist Radio Podcast Network presents The Easy Chair with R.J. Rushdoony.
Speaker 2: The Easy Chair with R.J. Rushdoony is brought to you by the Chalcedon and the GCS Apprenticeship Program. For more information visit chalcedon.edu and gcsapprenticeship.com.
R.J. Rushdoony: This is R.J. Rushdoony with our Easy Chair Talk #5, November 9, 1981. Well, today we’re going to start off with an answer to a couple of questions. One of them was just received by Chuck Wagner. The other I have in a letter from Ann [Strappini 00:00:59], asking me for my opinion and view of the Middle Eastern situation. Well, Ann, I’m glad you asked me for my opinion, because that’s what it is going to be. I’m not an expert in that area. I have very definite opinions. I try to read whatever is available on the subject, but it will be definitely a non-expert opinion.
I think one of the first things we need to recognize about the Middle Eastern situation is that it has a complex history, because the Middle East — what used to be called the Near East — has been the world’s highway. One empire after another has moved through that area to get to North Africa, to get to Asia, or to get to Europe, so you’ve had three continents striking at each other through that limited area known as Asia Minor. It has, therefore, at times been a very powerful area as someone has seized control of it and utilized it, and it’s often been a very depressed area as outsiders have gutted it.
Another thing to remember is that you have the two most important commercial routes in the world hitting the Middle East. The Suez Canal, its importance is incalculable. The amount of world trade that goes through the canal is staggering. Then there’s the Danube, which empties into the area near the Dardanelles and makes the Dardanelles so extremely important, because control of the Dardanelles is the control of Central Europe and, to a great degree, the control of more than Central Europe.
This is why that whole area was blighted when the Turks were able to seize the Dardanelles. This is why, too, Turkey for a couple of centuries at least has been an artificial country. It has been subsidized and tolerated by the great powers, because none of them have dared trust it into the hands of any other power. They would not trust it, for example, into the hands of, say, one of the smaller Christian nations which at one time or another have rebelled against the Turkish power. Their fear of these Christian rebels has been that they might be partisan. They might have loyalties, perhaps to Russia, perhaps to France, or Germany, or England, as the case might be.
The one thing these great powers whom I’ve just named have been unwilling to tolerate is someone who has an honest loyalty or a principle, even a fragment of a principle. Turkey has had none. Therefore, it has received subsidies from all the powers to keep it afloat. It is an artificial country, has been for a long, long time. So, you have that factor. You’ve had the blight of Turkey over that area for a couple of centuries since its power really collapsed. Only since World War I, not too long ago, has the Turkish power over the Middle East been broken.
Since then you’ve had change after change in that area, tremendous upheavals and a great deal of uncertainty, and all of this uncertainty and upheaval climaxed by the birth of Israel. That brings us to a very key issue, of course, because Israel is of momentous concern to many Americans, both pro and con. I’ll begin by putting my prejudices right out in front. I’m not a Premil, of course, so I don’t have any Premil views about the restoration of Israel, but I am, when assessing the situation, definitely on the side of Israel as against the Arab powers.
These are Islamic countries. Islam has been, and still is, brutal and savage in its treatment of Christian minorities. One of the things, for example, we really don’t realize about Iran is that the shah was ousted not for his brutalities. Those people in Iran have known nothing else for centuries. The best ruler they’ve ever had for centuries was the late shah.
Now, why did they oust him? There were two reasons. One, the shah did not pay any attention to a very Christian gentleman and economist from the United States who counseled him during World War II and thereafter, that he put the country on the gold standard, that, if he did not, if he followed the policies of the Western countries, inflation would someday undermine his country, and a discontented people, with their way of life being destroyed by inflation, would turn against him. This is exactly what happened.
Then there was another factor. The Shah of Iran worked to modernize his country and did a remarkably good job in that respect. More modernization took place under the Shah of Iran than had ever occurred in the history of that country, and it far outpaced that of other Arab countries and other Islamic countries. Strictly speaking, we cannot speak of Iran as an Arab country, although the Arabs did for a time have powerful influences there.
When the shah began the modernization of Iran, he had to rely on those elements in the population which were most congenial to a Western outlook, most ready to modernize, and who already were to a degree Westernized and also in commerce. These peoples were three groups. One was the Baha’i group, a heretical Islamic sect pretending to be a one-world religion and so on … no time now to go into that.
The Baha’is have had much of their great success in Europe and the United States and a great deal of their funding. As a result, the Persian Baha’is did have a Western influence in their midst and a Western orientation. They were an advanced group as a result. Then you had two other groups even more important: the Jewish population and the Armenian population, both of whom were already in commerce and who became more prominent therein, because the Shah was encouraging industrialization.
As a result, in the industrialization of Iran, it meant that three groups whom the majority of the Iranians hated were in the vanguard: the Baha’is, the Armenians, and the Jews. With the fall of the shah’s government, the Jews were able to escape to a great degree to Israel, but the other two groups have been suffering tremendously and have been viciously penalized.
Now, let’s skip over to Egypt before we come back to Israel. One of the arguments used very extensively by the PLO is that the Jews are outsiders. Well, to a degree that is true. A study made just a few years ago … I neglected to bring it from the library. I meant to cite data from it … studied the Jews of Europe in terms of racial types. What this study, a study of blood types and a great deal more, very emphatically proved was that the Jew represents a religious group, that when you study Spanish Jews, they are physically no different than any other Spaniard. The German Jews are Germans. The Russian Jews are Russians. The English Jews are Englishman, and the French Jews are Frenchmen. Physiologically, each of them is the exact counterpart of the Christians in that particular country.
Now, the reason for this is an important one. It goes back to the very, very early days of European history in the Christian era. With the fall of Rome, as a political vacuum existed throughout Europe, there were two groups of peoples moving out all over Europe. One group was your Christian missionary: monks sometimes, priests, pastors, evangelists, as the case may be. The other was the Jewish merchant. They tended to work together, a fact that is not commonly known. They located their centers in about the same place most of the time, very commonly at the ford of a river, because the ford of a river was where people would come and go the most. It was a natural highway.
As a result, the Jews would have their fairs to sell their goods at these fords. The Christian missionary would build a church there. The two would work together. If there were problems, the Jewish merchants’ goods were put into the church or into the monastery for safety. Since both groups believed in Biblical law, they made very early, as the cities grew up at these fords, Biblical law the basis of urban life. So, all your ancient cities of Europe have Biblical law as a background.
Now, what early happened was that these Jewish merchants would buy slaves from the, let us say, Germanic tribes, or Russian tribes, or whatever, that would come and go. Then, according to Biblical law, what these slaves would quickly realize, because it was required that everyone in the household — according to Biblical law — be instructed in the faith and be a part of the life of the faith, as soon as any one of them converted, they had to be freed. Well, this was a tremendous inducement to slaves to convert, so that these Jewish traders and the Jewish settlements that developed were converting people, not because they were trying to be missionaries, like the monks, and priests, and evangelists, and so on, but because, as they prospered and bought slaves, the slaves would convert and would have to be freed, and they’d start into a line of work on their own as Jews.
So, the majority of the Jewish peoples in any area were not of Jewish blood. They were Jews by faith. So, it is true. The people of Israel are not blood Jews. Maybe they have a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the blood of Abraham in their veins. They are Jews by religion. They are in a country which racially is not theirs. Having said that, what we would have to say is, these people who complain about that, these Middle Easterners, are pots calling the kettle black.
Take the Egyptians, for example. Now, with all due credit to the late Sadat and the outstanding work he did — one of the really remarkable men in politics in the Middle East in this century — Sadat was not an Egyptian. His wife, by the way, is half English and was very much responsible for the rather Western outlook that Sadat had. Sadat was not a typical Moslem, but Sadat called himself an Egyptian, as most of the people in Egypt do; but, they are Arabs, not Egyptians. They are outsiders who conquered the land, who are still oppressing the real, the ancient Egyptians, who are called Copts, C-O-P-T-S. The word Copts and Coptic, which is also the name of their church, comes from the Greek word for Egypt, Aegyptos, which became [foreign language 00:18:13] and was shortened to ‘Coptos,’ Coptic.
The Copts, who are Christians, and after a fashion, or nominally in many cases, are a very large and very oppressed minority in Egypt. Their church, the membership of which runs into the millions, has branches in the United States, and there are about a hundred thousand Copts in this country. They are not to be confused with an apparently somewhat esoteric group that calls itself the Coptic Brotherhood, or some such name. There’s no relationship between them and the real Copts, an ancient Christian church, albeit a heretical one.
They became involved in the Monophysite heresy, which instead of taking seriously and literally the two natures of Christ: very God of very God and very man of very man, began to hold to a unified single nature. Now, two natures in unity without confusion is the formula of the Council of Chalcedon, and it is the biblical position, but the Copts virtually suppressed the humanity in favor of the deity of Christ. So, their view of the incarnation is a defective one. On top of that, other elements entered into branches of the Coptic Church, because the Ethiopian Church is a branch of the Coptic Church.
I know, for example, that the liturgy of the Ethiopian Coptic Church includes a chant … I have a record of it … in which the choir sings at one point, “Worthy, worthy, worthy are thy saints, O Lord.” Well, that’s hardly scriptural. You don’t go before the Lord praising yourself and your worthiness. Rather, as Paul said, “There is none righteous, no not one, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Our Lord himself said that when we have done all these things, that is that the Father commands us, we must say, “We are unprofitable servants. We have done only that which it was our duty to do.” So, there are problems in the Coptic Church, although there has been a little bit of a revival there.
Now, as long as the Coptic Church was a dead church, it was no problem; but, because there has been something of a revival in the Coptic Church, there has also been with it a revived self-consciousness of the Copts, that “We are the real Egyptians.” The reaction of the fanatical Moslems in Egypt has been vicious. They’re all for going back to the murderous days and eliminating the Copts. This was one reason why Sadat took a step against Shenouda III, the head of the Coptic Church, and even more, against a number of the fanatical leaders of this Islamic brotherhood.
It was a group of these fanatical Moslems who then retaliated by having Sadat assassinated. It could be, as some have suspected, there was a Marxist or terrorist network behind these Egyptian Moslems using them in that assassination. At any rate, what I’ve been trying to say is that the rulers of Egypt are Arab peoples who invaded the land, took it over, and have been ruling oppressively ever since. So, I wonder why the people who get so worked up about the PLO don’t get worked up in favor of the Copts. After all, for centuries they’ve been under invaders who’ve mistreated them, and the Arab minority in Israel has not been treated … Now, I’ll grant you, they’ve been mistreated. They have not been treated in the way that the Copts have been. Why are we concerned with only one injustice? To me, that’s morally wrong.
Well, now, to look at Israel directly. The administrations of Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir were liberal, very much socialistically inclined. That of Menachem Begin is ostensibly conservative, but we mustn’t take those terms too seriously. They’re misleading. Frankly, I feel, despite very strong disagreements with what Golda Meir and Ben-Gurion represented, that they were closer to, say, an American conservatism than Menachem Begin. Why? Because those terms have relevance to certain internal factors and, to a minor degree, also political and especially economic.
However, the outlook of Golda Meir and of Ben-Gurion was emphatically Western. They thought like, let us say, the average American thinks about issues. They had the same regard for freedom, so that, while we may say they were contradictory in affirming very socialistic measures in many areas and often being very friendly to the Soviet Union in their policies, their basic outlook was like that of very liberal Americans.
Menachem Begin has a different outlook. He was a terrorist. He also comes out of a coalition of Oriental Jews and Orthodox Jews and others who do not have a Western outlook. One thing they have done is to pass discriminatory legislation against Christians, something the previous administrations never did. The legislation they have passed is, in effect, an Arab legislation. They have enacted the Islamic law of apostasy, making it illegal for anyone to try to convert a Jew.
Well, their legislation is taken right out of the textbooks of the Islamic countries. It represents a major step of Israel into Middle Eastern pattern, and to an Islamic type of world and life view, and with a disregard for the outlook which is essentially oriented to freedom.
I said that Menachem Begin was a terrorist and a man whom Ben-Gurion disliked intensely. It is interesting that, with his underground mentality, when he came over here. I think in the late ’50s or early ’60s, something like that, to raise money for Israel, the person he went to to help him raise money, at least here in California, was the gangster Mickey Cohen — Mickey Cohen of Los Angeles. This tells you something about his outlook. He had a perspective that the previous administrations did not have.
This is why under Begin the popularity that Israel commanded under the previous administrations has waned both among Jews and non-Jews. There’s a flavor of something a little alien there, which a great many people with a respect for freedom do not feel congenial to. They may not know what it is, but it distresses them and with good reason. The birthrate, by the way, of the Oriental Jews, is so great that, with a low birthrate among the European and American Jews who are in Israel, this perspective will increasingly dominate Israel. I predict that you’re going to see the American Jewish support for Israel wane as a result. They are going to feel alien to it, and I think there are very definitely signs of it now.
For example, in the recent AWAC controversy, Jewish opinion was not that strongly on the side of Israel. There was a lot of dutiful pressure, but there was also opposition. That opposition came very quietly from important sources. Let me cite a statement by Rabbi Balfour Brickner made in 1978 when he was the top official of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. I quote, “The Israelis have answers for everything, but they never have any solutions. What we need is for several big givers to the United Jewish Appeal to threaten to stop contributing if Israel does not retreat from its suicidal position. That is the only language the Israelis understand.” Now, that’s a statement from a very prominent rabbi.
So, the idea that there is a strong Jewish opinion is a myth, I think, propagated by the politicians. Let me digress here moment to say I do not believe in the garbage that’s given to us regularly about the, say, Jewish vote, and the Italian vote, or the Polish vote, and so on. I don’t believe it for a minute. First of all, what that myth represents is this: a sampling taken from a particular neighborhood that is overwhelmingly of a particular ethnic group.
Well, there are some Italian neighborhoods in a few of our big cities, and there are some Jewish neighborhoods, and some Polish neighborhoods, but most Italians, Jews, Poles, and any other such ethnic group increasingly scatter into the community at large. When they do, they are no longer a part of that ethnic group. They don’t follow part of the pattern. They are deliberately breaking with it, and most Jews are not in a Jewish neighborhood.
If you take a particular neighborhood and say, “Aha. We have an Italian vote here, because this is how the Italians, or the Poles, or the Jews vote,” what you’re forgetting is that that neighborhood represents a particular class group. Maybe it’s predominantly working class, or predominantly middle class, or what-have-you, usually predominantly working class when they’re still congregated together, because as they go up in the economic scale, they move out into the community at large.
Well, there are other factors, then, which predispose them to vote in a particular way. It’s not merely their ethnic character. So, to say that it’s an ethnic vote is, I think, wrong, because I believe you can go across country and find here and there neighborhoods which still have a somewhat ethnic character, where the vote is emphatically contrary to what is posited for that ethnic group. So, I simply do not believe that the ethnic vote is there.
Now, I believe the ethnic voice is there, because every group in the country with any foreign background has its professionals, people who make a living out of publishing, which is good, furthering cultural activities, which is good, but also trying to perpetuate the myth that they represent that ethnic group. So, they become professional Italians, or professional Poles, or professional Jews, or professional what-have-you, as though they were the voice of that particular group, and they are not.
Well, to get back to the subject of Israel and the Middle East … I’m taking longer at this than I intended to. I hope you’ll excuse me, but I have some very definite opinions. Let me say again, they are opinions. I’d like to pass on by way of conclusion something that I got from a man who was on our mailing list. I never met him. We corresponded quite a bit.
Somewhere, if I haven’t lost them in the process of moving, I have copies of speeches and reports he wrote and shared with me. He was in the State Department, apparently, so he had said. A professor whom I met when I lost contact with this man told me that he knew him. He was a remarkably cultured gentleman of an Austrian background, and apparently part Jewish, and had a remarkable collection of art objects, silverwork especially.
The man was an expert in Middle Eastern affairs. He could speak Arabic, and Hebrew, and several other languages. He shared with me his thinking on the subject, because we got onto it in our conversations, and he told me that he had met with leaders of Israel and leaders of all the Middle Eastern countries, and he had told them all the same thing. The gist of what he had said was this. He said that what you have to fear above all else is not each other. It’s the Soviet Union and the United States, because here we have two great powers which are to some degree in competition with each other and certainly have tremendous interests at stake in the Middle East. You have things they want.
“The policy of the United States,” he told them, “is going to be dictated by its military concerns and above all else its oil needs. So, it is not going to take an objective view. It is not going to be concerned about you, but yourselves. It is also going to be concerned about the Jewish vote in the United States, however real. So, whatever it does it will do not with your interest at heart, but its own interests, and that’s only sensible for the United States. The Soviet Union,” he told them, “is simply governed by self-interest also as it approaches you and will have very few of the qualms and ethical considerations that the United States has.”
“Now,” he said, “as long as you are divided, you’re going to be used and you’re going to be destroyed. You’re going to be caught in a tremendous power play between the US and the USSR, and there is no way you can win. You will go under one by one. The most important thing in the world, therefore, is for you to come to terms with each other, that Israel needs peace with you and you need peace with Israel.”
Well, this man told me that the reaction of these statesmen in each of these countries was that they recognized he was right, but he also said, “None of them were ready to take the first step to implement that.” Then along came Sadat, who did. Unfortunately, by the time Sadat came along to make this move, Begin was at the head of Israel, and so there was a degree of intransigence there that, in spite of some progress, did not lead to a solution. I believe that man did put his finger on the problem there, and I’m afraid that they’re not going to come to terms with each other and that the Middle East is going to go from one crisis to another, as is the whole world.
Well, I took more time than I intended to, and I hope those of you who are not interested in Israel didn’t find that too boring. One of the books I read lately that I found to be very, very stimulating and interesting was Samuel L. Blumenfeld’s Is Public Education Necessary? Published in 1981 at $12.95 by the Devin, D, as in Denver, E-V-I-N, dash, A-D-A-I-R Company, 143 Sound Beach Avenue, Old Greenwich, Connecticut, 06870. Anything Blumenfeld writes, by the way, is excellent, and I certainly commend this book most heartily.
He begins by attacking the basic myths about public education, which he says most Americans are definitely reluctant to give up. These myths are … He cites five of them … first, that public education is a great democratic institution which is fundamental to America’s prosperity and well-being. Then he says the second myth is that public education is necessary as the great equalizer in our society, together with the idea that, because it is the equalizer, it is also the neutral organization and preaches no religious doctrine.
The third myth is that it provides the best possible education, because we’re spending the most money of any country in the world. The fourth myth is that our neighborhood school is a locally controlled and governed school. The fifth is that our free society cannot survive without it.
Well, Blumenfeld points out that these are all myths, that they are not true, emphatically not true. Then he traces very, very ably the origins of the public school movement in this country. It goes right back to, as I have pointed out time and time again, to the Unitarians. It was their way of undermining the Christian foundations of this country. Blumenfeld documents very, very tellingly the Unitarian movement in its attempt to control education and to de-Christianize it. He discusses the role of Channing, and Robert Owen, and others, does a beautiful job of it. This is a book, really, of very great importance.
By the way, his quotations from Calvin are choice. He does a beautiful job in calling attention to some of the key aspects of Calvin’s thinking. One of the quotations is choice, because, as against those who, Unitarians, were not going to believe in God or anything about him that they could not understand, he says that, “The true Christian is one who does not seek to know more than God has revealed. Some people want to know everything before they believe, as though they were capable of knowing everything.” He quotes this statement from Calvin, and I quote, “Those who seek to know more than God has revealed are crazy.”
Blumenfeld is really a delight to read. Now, he documents the fact from the writings of some of these men who were responsible for the public school movement that a secret society was formed to further public schools and their control of America and to use it for the de-Christianization of this country. There’s not much knowledge available of it, but he has the plain admission of one of the men that this was done. That’s an interesting fact that very few have called attention to.
He also calls attention to another fact which is rarely touched upon and I think is very important. He says, “Public education by 1831 was being promoted by the Socialists, the Unitarians, and the religious conservatives, each for different reasons.” Well, of course, we can understand why the Socialists promoted it, because public schools mean the socialization of the child and the family. It’s the great step in every socialism and, of course, something basic to the Marxist perspective. So, the attitude of the Socialists is understandable.
The Unitarians were themselves often Socialists, but those who were not still had the religious motive of trying to destroy Christianity. The public schools were essential to that. But why the religious conservatives? Why in the world would the Evangelicals and the Calvinists of the day swing into the public school camp?
One reason, which Blumenfeld does not go into, was the influence of Revivalism, which said that it was better that the child didn’t know anything about the Bible or about the faith until he came to a revival meeting, and then you hit him hard with his sin and converted him. They felt that it was easier to convert somebody who had not been catechized and knew a great deal about the faith. There was a great deal of nonsense in the Revivalism of the early years of the last century.
The other reason, and also an extremely powerful reason and a shameful one also, was the hatred by Evangelicals and Calvinists of Catholics. They were so afraid of the Catholic migration to the United States that they felt that the necessary thing to do was to put all children into public schools and give them all the same kind of training. In the early years they felt that “We as Protestants can control the public schools, and we can de-Catholicize these German, and later Italian, and in-between, Irish immigrant children.”
So, all too many Christians made themselves suckers at the hands of the Unitarians and Socialists to help de-Christianize this country through the public schools, because their hatred of Catholicism blinded them so. I don’t believe that God forgets things like that, because they were selling out the Lord’s children, children who belonged to Jesus Christ, out of hatred. They did create public schools, and they did try to force the closure of parochial schools, and you still have voices very active today, especially as the Christian school movement grows, working to wipe out all non-state-controlled schools. The sad fact is that you had a Christian community, a Protestant community, work for that then. The sad fact is that there are still some doing it. I know because I see them in the courts giving witness for the state or the federal government.
Well, Blumenfeld does a superb job of dealing with the issues, and he points out that, before the word ‘Socialism’ was even coined, a Socialist considered the promotion of public education synonymous with the promotion of Socialism. It was that important to them. They felt that if they could get state control of education, they would ultimately control the country. Well, they have come very, very close. We have a battle on our hands, and we’ve paid an ugly price for the sellout those people made.
Now, to touch briefly on another book. Donald Lambro is an excellent writer who has written previously in 1975 The Federal Rathole, describing the waste in Washington. Now he has written another, which was published in 1980, Fat City: How Washington Wastes Your Taxes. Donald Lambro, L-A-M-B-R-O. Published by Regnery Gateway, South Bend, Indiana. The address in South Bend is 120 West LaSalle Street, South Bend, Indiana, 46601. The book is 12.95 in price.
I haven’t added up the figures, but I’m just guessing that the hundred wasteful and non-essential agencies and programs on the part of the federal government which Lambro deals with may be costing us … He gives statistics on many of them … perhaps a hundred billion dollars a year. I’m just thumbing through. Here’s one, 668 million. Another, 198 million. All of these are utterly useless programs. What they are doing is to provide money to create bureaucracies which create jobs for federal employees.
Lambro makes the point that he has not written a thorough account of waste in government. He has simply studied some of the more obvious areas. The book has two parts. The first book deals with the waste makers, the second part with one hundred non-essential federal programs, which he lists and give information about the extent of their budget. Well, consider the kind of over-government we are getting when billions are wasted every year for unnecessary things. Add to that the amount of money that goes overseas and is wasted, and it is enormous.
Well, our time is drawing near to an end, and I want to turn now to something that I relish greatly, feel very deeply about. I’m glad, by the way, that you have been enjoying the poems that I read, because I love to read poetry and I delight in sharing things that are my favorites. Well, today I want to read a poem by Vachel Lindsay. Now, I don’t have the means to read this the way he intended that it should be read.
Vachel Lindsay was a poet of the teens and twenties, a rather strange and pathetic man. He came from a Salvation Army background and he never outgrew it. Lindsay’s idea of poetry was that it should be read publicly on a street corner and preferably with a background of Salvation Army instruments. The poem I’m going to read calls for banjos, bass drums, flutes, and tambourines. Now, I’m not going to supply any of those, so you’re going to hear this poem without the musical accompaniment that Vachel Lindsay intended, but I think you’ll find the words will provide all the music you want.
It is about General William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, a blind man in his last years. It describes in this title what this poem is about.
General William Booth Enters Heaven
Booth led boldly with his big bass drum —
(Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)
The saints smiled gravely, and they said, “He’s come.
(Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)
Walking lepers followed, rank on rank,
Lurching bravoes from the ditches dank.
Drabs from the alleyways and drug fiends pale
Minds still passion-ridden, soul-powers frail:
Vermin-eaten saints with moldy breath,
Unwashed legions from the ways of death,
(Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)
Every slum had sent its half-score
The round world over. (Booth had groaned for more.)
Every banner that the wide world flies
Bloomed with glory and transcendent dyes.
Big-voice lassies made their banjoes twang.
Tranced, fanatical they shrieked and sang:
“Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?”
Hallelujah! It was queer to see
Bull-necked convicts with that land make free.
Loons with trumpets blowed a blare, blare, blare
On, on upward thro’ the golden air:
(Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)
Booth died blind and still by Faith he trod,
Still dazzled by the ways of God.
Booth led boldly, and he looked the chief,
Eagle countenance in sharp relief,
Beard a-flying, air of high command,
Unabated in that holy land.
Jesus came out from the court-house door,
Stretched forth his hand above the passing poor.
Booth saw not, but led his queer ones there
Round and round the mighty court-house square.
Yet in an instant all that blear review
Marched on spotless, clad in raiment new.
The lame were straightened, withered limbs uncurled
And blind eyes opened on a new, sweet world.
Drabs and vixens in a flash made whole!
Gone was the weasel-head, the snout, the jowl!
Sages and sibyls now, and athletes clean,
Rulers of empires, and of forests green!
The hosts were sandalled, and their wings were fire!
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
But their noise played havoc with the angel-choir.
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
O Salvation! It was good to see
Kings and princes by the Lamb set free.
The banjoes rattled and the tambourines
Jing-jing-jingled in the hands of Queens.
And when Booth halted by the curb for prayer,
He saw his Master thro’ the flag-filled air.
Christ came gently with a robe and crown
For Booth the soldier, while the throng knelt down.
He saw King Jesus. They were face-to-face,
And he knelt a-weeping in that holy place.
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Well, that’s it for this time. I’m looking forward to our next Easy Chair talk together. Thank you.
Speaker 2: Thank you for listening to The Easy Chair with R.J. Rushdoony. Please visit chalcedon.edu for more materials by R.J. Rushdoony and the Chalcedon Foundation.
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