Monday, September 5, 2011

R.J. Rushdoony And Francis Schaeffer

Tom Woods makes me aware of an article by Gary North in which he writes:
"You were writing an anti-gold polemic in the magazine started in 1965 by R. J. Rushdoony, my father-in-law."
Ross Douthat writes:
"Overall, the casual reader who knows little or nothing about Schaeffer (i.e., most New Yorker readers) would come away from Lizza’s piece with the sense that the L’Abri founder’s worldview was almost indistinguishable from the genuinely theocratic views of a more marginal figure like the Christian Reconstructionist guru R.J. Rushdoony."
Ryan Lizza writes:
"Douthat spends quite a bit of energy rebutting an argument I did not make: that Schaeffer called for a strict theocracy."
What amazes me is that Ryan Lizza answers Ross Douthat, but ignores John Whitehead, who wrote one of the best pieces on this discussion:
"But in those early years I worked alongside Francis Schaeffer and stayed in the home of R.J. Rushdoony. I also witnessed first-hand how the teachings and writings of these two men were co-opted by leaders of the Christian socio-political movement such as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, James Dobson and Tim LaHaye, co-founder of the Moral Majority and co-author of the bestselling Left Behind novels, among others. "
Ross Douthat answered Ryan Lizzy and said this:

"Was the late-in-life Schaeffer much too paranoid about the dangers of creeping secular authoritarianism in the United States? Absolutely. Is it fair for Lizza to link his Reagan-era paranoia to the paranoia that’s sometimes manifested by figures like Bachmann today? I would say yes again."

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