The Classroom: A History of Fear Mongering?

32736-scarecrowThe Fright Peddlers

By Rev. R.J. Rushdoony

I read something last night which took me back to my school days, to the earlier years of elementary school, but not very pleasantly. It was a statement by a prominent “authority” that we have only enough coal, oil, and gas in the world’s reserves to last another twenty years (This was in 1976!). I recall hearing that statement fifty years ago (That would have been homer_endabout 1926!) in a classroom! I was also told that the new weapons of warfare would lead to the obliteration of the human race if a second world war began, and that man’s hope was in something called, I think, the Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact, which almost all nations signed, promising to end all wars, and in the League of Nations. In fact, I heard quite a few horror stories in school about what was going to happen to the human race unless something or other was done.1 Since then, the world has gone from bad to worse, sometimes because of some of the answers then proposed!

expressionismBut our children and grandchildren still get the same horror stories, and college classrooms are full of them. We are running out of gas and oil (although some good “authorities” less publicized say we have enough for at least 2000 years); we are running out of air, space, and everything, or so it is claimed. All of this, besides being false, breeds fear and hopelessness. It exalts some scientific planners as the only ones with the answers, and it makes the rest of us a herd of cattle headed for the stockyards, unless we listen to them.skulls-khmer rouge

Above all else, it exalts the power of man to destroy, and it produces the fear of man. And this is sinful. God demands of us, “[W]ho art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; And forgettest the LORD thy maker…?” (Isa. 51:12–13).

earthThe creation of the world and its government is the work of the Lord, and it is not in His declared plan that man will destroy it. The fright peddlers (fear-mongers) are giving too much power to man. It is God’s power they need to recognize, not man’s. If man is the basic power, then the answers must come from man, but if God is the sovereign power, then the answers must come from God, and none other. God has provided the answers, and they are in His Word. Our problem is that men pay no attention to them.


  1. I post this article remembering that in my own high school years (1968 – 1970); teachers then taught that scientists were warning of a new “Ice Age” in the near future. Today it is global warming or Climate Change that is (supposedly) going to doom mankind. Unfortunately some clergymen fall for the doom and gloom narrative, especially in the premillennial and dispensational camps; it fits right in with their “end times-last days” propaganda. (Gospelbbq)

Article from

Previously published in the California Farmer 245:1 (July 10, 1976), p. 31.



This entry was posted in All-Encompassing Gospel, Law of Christ, Theology/Philosophy, Worldview/Culture, Z-Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Thank you for your interest and comment.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s