MUSIC MONDAY My Letter to Travis Barker who appears in the video “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” by Johnny Cash

____

—-

3-9-16

To Travis Barker, From Everette Hatcher of Little Rock, AR

You and I have something in common and it is the song GOD’S GONNA CUT YOU DOWN. You were in the video and my post about that video entitled, People in the Johnny Cash video “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” is the most popular post I have done in recent years. It ranked #1 for all of 2015 and I have over 1,000,000 hits on my http://www.thedailyhatch.org blog site. The ironic thing is that I never knew what a big deal Johnny Cash was until he had died. I grew up in Memphis with his nephew Paul Garrett and we even went to the same school and church. Paul’s mother was Johnny Cash’s sister Margaret Louise Garrett.

Stu Carnall, an early tour manager for Johnny Cash, recalled, “Johnny’s an individualist, and he’s a loner….We’d be on the road for weeks at a time, staying at motels and hotels along the way. While the other members of the troupe would sleep in, Johnny would disappear for a few hours. When he returned, if anyone asked where he’d been, he’d answer straight faced, ‘to church.’”

Have you ever taken the time to read the words of the song?

You can run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Sooner or later God’ll cut you down
Sooner or later God’ll cut you down
Go tell that long tongue liar
Go and tell that midnight rider
Tell the rambler,
The gambler,
The back biter
Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut ’em down
Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut ’em down
Well my goodness gracious let me tell you the news
My head’s been wet with the midnight dew
I’ve been down on bended knee talkin’ to the man from Galilee
He spoke to me in the voice so sweet
I thought I heard the shuffle of the angel’s feet
He called my name and my heart stood still
When he said, “John go do My will!”

 Well you may throw your rock and hide your hand

Workin’ in the dark against your fellow man
But as sure as God made black and white
What’s down in the dark will be brought to the light
You can run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Sooner or later God’ll cut you down
___
Johnny Cash sang this song of Judgment because he knew the Bible says in  Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.” The first part of this verse is about the judgment sinners must face if not pardoned, but the second part is about Christ who paid our sin debt!!! Did you know that Romans 6:23 is part of what we call the Roman Road to Christ. Here is how it goes:
  • Because of our sin, we are separated from God.
    For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  (Romans 3:23)
  • The Penalty for our sin is death.
    For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
  • The penalty for our sin was paid by Jesus Christ!
    But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
  • If we repent of our sin, then confess and trust Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will be saved from our sins!
    For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.  (Romans 10:13)
    …if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9,10)

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Thanks for your time.

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221

PS:If one repents and puts trust in Christ alone for eternal life then he or she will be forgiven. Francis Schaeffer noted, “If Satan tempts you to worry over it, rebuff him by saying I AM FORGIVEN ON THE BASIS OF THE WORK OF CHRIST AS HE DIED ON THE CROSS!!!

________________

Johnny Cash – God’s Gonna Cut You Down

Johnny Cash’s version of the traditional God’s Gonna Cut You Down, from the album “American V: A Hundred Highways”, was released as a music video on November 9 2006, just over three years after Cash died. Producer Rick Rubin opens the music video, saying, “You know, Johnny always wore black. He wore black because he identified with the poor and the downtrodden…”. What follows is a collection of black and white clips of well known pop artists wearing black, each interacting with the song in their own way. Some use religious imagery. Howard sits in his limo reading from Ezekiel 34, a Biblical passage warning about impending judgment for false shepherd. Bono leaning on a graffiti-filled wall between angel’s wings and a halo, pointing to the words, “Sinners Make The Best Saints. J.C. R.I.P.” A number of artists wear or hold crosses.

Faces in Johnny Cash God's Gonna Cut You Down music video

Artists appear in this order: Rick Rubin, Iggy Pop, Kanye West, Chris Martin, Kris Kristofferson, Patti Smith, Terence Howard, Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Q-Tip, Adam Levine (Maroon 5), Chris Rock, Justin Timberlake, Kate Moss, Sir Peter Blake (Sgt Peppers Artist), Sheryl Crow, Denis Hopper, Woody Harrelson, Amy Lee of Evanescence, Tommy Lee, Natalie Maines, Emily Robison, Martie Maguire (Dixie Chicks), Mick Jones, Sharon Stone, Bono, Shelby Lynne, Anthony Kiedis, Travis Barker, Lisa Marie Presley, Kid Rock, Jay Z, Keith Richards, Billy Gibbons, Corinne Bailey Rae, Johnny Depp, Graham Nash, Brian Wilson, Rick Rubin and Owen Wilson. The video finishes with Rick Rubin traveling to a seaside cliff with friend Owen Wilson to throw a bouquet of flowers up in the air.

  • American singer and civil rights activist Odetta recorded a traditional version of the song. Musician Sean Michel covered the song during his audition on Season 6 of American Idol. Matchbox Twenty also used the song before playing “How Far We’ve Come” on their “Exile in America” tour.

  • The New Jersey rock band The Gaslight Anthem have also covered the song.[citation needed] Canadian rock band Three Days Grace has used the song in the opening of their live shows, as well as the rock band Staind . Bobbie Gentry recorded a version as “Sermon” on her album The Delta Sweete. Guitarist Bill Leverty recorded a version for his third solo project Deep South, a tribute album of traditional songs. Tom Jones recorded an up-tempo version which appears on his 2010 album Praise & BlamePow woW recorded a version with the Golden Gate Quartet for their 1992 album Regagner les Plaines and performed a live version with the quartet in 2008. A cover of the song by Blues Saraceno was used for the Season 8 trailer of the TV series DexterPedro Costarecorded a neo-blues version for the Discovery channel TV show Weed Country (2013). Virginia based folk rock band Carbon Leaf covered the song many times during their live shows.
  • Chart positions[edit]

    Moby version: “Run On”[edit]

    Chart (1999) Peak
    position
    UK Singles Chart 33

    Johnny Cash version[edit]

    Chart (2006) Peak
    position
    UK Singles Chart 77

  • American Idol contestant ministers in Chile

  • SANTIAGO, Chile (BP)–Sean Michel smiled through his distinctive, foot-long beard as he slid the guitar strap over his shoulder and greeted the crowd at El Huevo nightclub with what little Spanish he knows. The former American Idol contestant and his band then erupted into the sounds of Mississippi Delta blues-rock.But unlike other musicians who played that night, the Sean Michel band sang about every person’s need for God and the salvation that comes only through faith in Jesus Christ.”We came down [to Chile] to open doors that other ministries couldn’t,” said Jay Newman, Michel’s manager. “To get in places that only a rock band could — to create a vision for new church-planting movements among the underground, disenfranchised subcultures of Chile.”The Sean Michel band recently traveled through central Chile playing more than 15 shows in bars, churches, schools and parks. The group consists of Southern Baptists Sean Michel, lead singer; Alvin Rapien, lead guitarist; Seth Atchley, bass guitarist; and Tyler Groves, drummer.”Although we’re a blues rock ‘n’ roll band, we’re an extension of the church,” Michel said. “We’re kind of like ‘musicianaries,’ if you will.”MISSIONS-MINDED MUSICIANSThe band formed after Michel and Newman met as students at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark. While there, the two began recording and selling Michel’s music as a way to raise money for mission trips to Africa and Asia.”We were just trying to raise money for a mission trip, but we’d also seen God speaking to people through the music,” Michel said. “So we were like, ‘Well, maybe we need to do something with this,’ and we became a music ministry. But it’s always been rooted in missions and … in the Great Commission.”Michel graduated from Ouachita in 2001, Newman in 2004. In 2007, Newman talked Michel into auditioning for American Idol. The exposure Michel received through the television show gained a wider audience for their ministry.”The whole American Idol thing was so weird,” Michel said. “We just kind of went on a whim. But the Lord used it in a big way.”During his tryout, Michel belted out a soulful rendition of Johnny Cash’s “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.” The video of the audition went viral on the Internet.Soon he was doing radio interviews in which he identified himself as a Christian and directed listeners to the band’s Gospel-laden MySpace page. On their next mission trip to Asia, Michel and Newman found that being recognizable gave them access to venues they couldn’t have entered before.The band is now an official extension of First Southern Baptist Church of Bryant, Ark., where the musicians have long been active members serving in the music and youth ministries. Every mission trip they have taken has involved working with International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries.”We’re Southern Baptist,” Michel said. “That’s who we roll with.”

    TOUR DE FAITH

    “With short-term mission trips, you can plan, but you just got to be willing for your plans to change,” said Michel. When the band arrived in Chile, they were surprised to find that their schedule wasn’t nearly as full as expected. Almost no public venues had booked shows, and many rock-wary churches had declined to host the band.

    “The biggest barrier we had was the pastors,” said Cliff Case, an IMB missionary in Santiago, Chile, and a 1984 graduate of Ouachita Baptist. “The older pastors on two or three different occasions gave excuses for not doing it. It was a real frustration in that sense.”

    Disappointed by the lack of interest, the band prayed for God’s help. They met Jose Campos — or Pépe, as the band came to know him. Campos works with music and youth for the Ministry of the Down and Out, an independent Christian ministry that seeks to reach the often-overlooked demographics of Santiago.

    Campos was able to use his connections to book shows for the band in venues they wouldn’t have known about otherwise.

    “Had we met Pépe (Campos) two or three weeks before the group came, there’s no telling how many shows we might have done,” said Case, who met Newman at Ouachita when Case and his wife, Cinthy, were missionaries-in-residence there.

    Campos booked the show at El Huevo, possibly Chile’s most popular club. Playing there has given the band musical credibility among Chilean rockers. And, one Chilean church reported that a youth accepted Christ after hearing Newman talk before a show. The band already is contemplating a return tour next year.

    OPENING NEW DOORS

    Sharing the Gospel through their songs is only the beginning for the Sean Michel band. Their vision is to be a catalyst to help churches — and missionaries — connect with the lost people of their communities.

    “God is not saving the world through rock bands,” Michel said. “He’s saving the world through the church. And it will always be through the local body.”

    The band wants to see churches take ministry beyond the church doors.

    “If you’re going to want to legitimately reach lost people, you’re going to have to get out,” Michel said. “Go out into the dark places. Those are the places we need to be to reach out.”

    The band’s ministry in Chile opened new doors for IMB missionaries to reach the young, musical subculture of Chilean society.

    “They laid the groundwork for more opportunities,” Case said. “Now we have a network of who to talk to and how to get organized. We can focus on how to use the work they’re doing so we can win people to the Lord and plant some churches.”


    Tristan Taylor is an International Mission Board writer living in the Americas.

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BREAKING DOWN CARL SAGAN’S LOGIC ON ABORTION Part 92 “A morality that depends on, and changes with, technology is a fragile morality” (My 1995 correspondence with Sagan) Adrian Rogers v Carl Sagan concerning infanticide!!!

The last few posts have dealt with material from Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer.

Carl Sagan asserted, “A morality that depends on, and changes with, technology is a fragile morality.” I would go one step further. A morality that is based on selfishness will take us further down the road to infanticide.

Adrian Rogers observed:

Pro-choice is rooted in selfishness. Pro-choice advocates want you to beliece that abortion is really an act of mercy. But the truth is that 97% of the abortions in America are convenience abortions. 

The following fictional letter suggests what could well lie in the logical outcome of a policy of eliminating unwanted people. 

January 22, 2023


Dear Mom: 

Can you believe it is already the year 2023? I’m still writing ’22 on everything! It seems like only yesterday that I was sitting in the first grade and celebrating the change to a new century.

I know we really haven’t chatted since Christmas, Mom, and I’m sorry. Anyway, I have some difficult news to share with you, and I really didn’t want to call and talk face to face.

But before I get to that, let me report that Ted’s had a big promotion, and I should be up for a hefty raise this year if I keep putting in all those crazy hours-you know how I work at it. Yes, we’re still struggling to pay the bills.

Little Timmy’s been okay at Kindergarten, although he complains about going. But then, he wasn’t happy about the day care center either. So what can we do? He’s been a real problem, Mom. He’s a good kid, but quite honestly, he’s an unfair burden on us at this time in our lives.

Ted and I have talked this through, and we have finally made a choice. Plenty of other families have made the same choice and are really better off today.

Our pastor is supportive of our choice. He pointed out the family is a system, and the demands of one member shouldn’t be allowed to ruin the whole. The pastor told us to be prayerful and to consider all the factors as to what is right to make our family work. He says that even though he probably wouldn’t do it himself, the choice really is ours. He was kind enough to refer us to a children’s clinic near here, so at least that part is easy.

Don’t get me wrong, Mom-I’m not an uncaring mother. I do feel sorry for the little guy. I think he heard Ted and me talking about it the other night. I turned and saw him standing at the bottom of the stairs in his PJ’s with his little teddy bear that you gave him under his arm-and his eyes were sort of welled up with tears.

Mom, the way he looked at me just about broke my heart, but I honestly believe this is better for Timmy too. It’s not fair to force him to live in a family that can’t give him the time and attention he deserves.

And please, Mom, don’t give me the kind of grief that grandma gave you over your abortions. It’s the same thing, you know. There’s really no difference.

We’ve told Timmy he’s just going in for a vaccination. Anyway, they say the termination procedure is painless. I guess it’s just as well that you haven’t seen that much of little Timmy lately. Please give my love to Dad. 

Your daughter,

—-

Pure fiction, yes. But I wonder if the time is not coming coming. 


Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer and Adrian Rogers


Carl Sagan pictured below:

_________

Recently I have been revisiting my correspondence in 1995 with the famous astronomer Carl Sagan who I was introduced to when reading a book by Francis Schaeffer called HE IS THERE AND HE IS NOT SILENT written in 1968. 

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer

I was blessed with the opportunity to correspond with Dr. Sagan, and in his December 5, 1995 letter Dr. Sagan went on to tell me that he was enclosing his article “The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers”by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan. I am going to respond to several points made in that article. Here is a portion of Sagan’s article (here is a link to the whole article):

Image result for carl sagan ann

Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan pictured above

 “The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers”

by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan

For the complete text, including illustrations, introductory quote, footnotes, and commentary on the reaction to the originally published article see Billions and Billions.

The issue had been decided years ago. The court had chosen the middle ground. You’d think the fight was over. Instead, there are mass rallies, bombings and intimidation, murders of workers at abortion clinics, arrests, intense lobbying, legislative drama, Congressional hearings, Supreme Court decisions, major political parties almost defining themselves on the issue, and clerics threatening politicians with perdition. Partisans fling accusations of hypocrisy and murder. The intent of the Constitution and the will of God are equally invoked. Doubtful arguments are trotted out as certitudes. The contending factions call on science to bolster their positions. Families are divided, husbands and wives agree not to discuss it, old friends are no longer speaking. Politicians check the latest polls to discover the dictates of their consciences. Amid all the shouting, it is hard for the adversaries to hear one another. Opinions are polarized. Minds are closed.

 

Is it wrong to abort a pregnancy? Always? Sometimes? Never? How do we decide? We wrote this article to understand better what the contending views are and to see if we ourselves could find a position that would satisfy us both. Is there no middle ground? We had to weigh the arguments of both sides for consistency and to pose test cases, some of which are purely hypothetical. If in some of these tests we seem to go too far, we ask the reader to be patient with us–we’re trying to stress the various positions to the breaking point to see their weaknesses and where they fail.

In contemplative moments, nearly everyone recognizes that the issue is not wholly one-sided. Many partisans of differing views, we find, feel some disquiet, some unease when confronting what’s behind the opposing arguments. (This is partly why such confrontations are avoided.) And the issue surely touches on deep questions: What are our responses to one another? Should we permit the state to intrude into the most intimate and personal aspects of our lives? Where are the boundaries of freedom? What does it mean to be human?

Of the many actual points of view, it is widely held–especially in the media, which rarely have the time or the inclination to make fine distinctions–that there are only two: “pro-choice” and “pro-life.” This is what the two principal warring camps like to call themselves, and that’s what we’ll call them here. In the simplest characterization, a pro-choicer would hold that the decision to abort a pregnancy is to be made only by the woman; the state has no right to interfere. And a pro-lifer would hold that, from the moment of conception, the embryo or fetus is alive; that this life imposes on us a moral obligation to preserve it; and that abortion is tantamount to murder. Both names–pro-choice and pro-life–were picked with an eye toward influencing those whose minds are not yet made up: Few people wish to be counted either as being against freedom of choice or as opposed to life. Indeed, freedom and life are two of our most cherished values, and here they seem to be in fundamental conflict.

Let’s consider these two absolutist positions in turn. A newborn baby is surely the same being it was just before birth. There ‘s good evidence that a late-term fetus responds to sound–including music, but especially its mother’s voice. It can suck its thumb or do a somersault. Occasionally, it generates adult brain-wave patterns. Some people claim to remember being born, or even the uterine environment. Perhaps there is thought in the womb. It’s hard to maintain that a transformation to full personhood happens abruptly at the moment of birth. Why, then, should it be murder to kill an infant the day after it was born but not the day before?

As a practical matter, this isn’t very important: Less than 1 percent of all tabulated abortions in the United States are listed in the last three months of pregnancy (and, on closer investigation, most such reports turn out to be due to miscarriage or miscalculation). But third-trimester abortions provide a test of the limits of the pro-choice point of view. Does a woman’s “innate right to control her own body” encompass the right to kill a near-term fetus who is, for all intents and purposes, identical to a newborn child?

We believe that many supporters of reproductive freedom are troubled at least occasionally by this question. But they are reluctant to raise it because it is the beginning of a slippery slope. If it is impermissible to abort a pregnancy in the ninth month, what about the eighth, seventh, sixth … ? Once we acknowledge that the state can interfere at any time in the pregnancy, doesn’t it follow that the state can interfere at all times?

Abortion and the slippery slope argument above

This conjures up the specter of predominantly male, predominantly affluent legislators telling poor women they must bear and raise alone children they cannot afford to bring up; forcing teenagers to bear children they are not emotionally prepared to deal with; saying to women who wish for a career that they must give up their dreams, stay home, and bring up babies; and, worst of all, condemning victims of rape and incest to carry and nurture the offspring of their assailants. Legislative prohibitions on abortion arouse the suspicion that their real intent is to control the independence and sexuality of women…

And yet, by consensus, all of us think it proper that there be prohibitions against, and penalties exacted for, murder. It would be a flimsy defense if the murderer pleads that this is just between him and his victim and none of the government’s business. If killing a fetus is truly killing a human being, is it not the duty of the state to prevent it? Indeed, one of the chief functions of government is to protect the weak from the strong.

If we do not oppose abortion at some stage of pregnancy, is there not a danger of dismissing an entire category of human beings as unworthy of our protection and respect? And isn’t that dismissal the hallmark of sexism, racism, nationalism, and religious fanaticism? Shouldn’t those dedicated to fighting such injustices be scrupulously careful not to embrace another?

Adrian Rogers’ sermon on animal rights refutes Sagan here

There is no right to life in any society on Earth today, nor has there been at any former time… : We raise farm animals for slaughter; destroy forests; pollute rivers and lakes until no fish can live there; kill deer and elk for sport, leopards for the pelts, and whales for fertilizer; entrap dolphins, gasping and writhing, in great tuna nets; club seal pups to death; and render a species extinct every day. All these beasts and vegetables are as alive as we. What is (allegedly) protected is not life, but human life.

Genesis 3 defines being human

And even with that protection, casual murder is an urban commonplace, and we wage “conventional” wars with tolls so terrible that we are, most of us, afraid to consider them very deeply… That protection, that right to life, eludes the 40,000 children under five who die on our planet each day from preventable starvation, dehydration, disease, and neglect.

Those who assert a “right to life” are for (at most) not just any kind of life, but for–particularly and uniquely—human life. So they too, like pro-choicers, must decide what distinguishes a human being from other animals and when, during gestation, the uniquely human qualities–whatever they are–emerge.

The Bible talks about the differences between humans and animals

Despite many claims to the contrary, life does not begin at conception: It is an unbroken chain that stretches back nearly to the origin of the Earth, 4.6 billion years ago. Nor does human life begin at conception: It is an unbroken chain dating back to the origin of our species, hundreds of thousands of years ago. Every human sperm and egg is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, alive. They are not human beings, of course. However, it could be argued that neither is a fertilized egg.

In some animals, an egg develops into a healthy adult without benefit of a sperm cell. But not, so far as we know, among humans. A sperm and an unfertilized egg jointly comprise the full genetic blueprint for a human being. Under certain circumstances, after fertilization, they can develop into a baby. But most fertilized eggs are spontaneously miscarried. Development into a baby is by no means guaranteed. Neither a sperm and egg separately, nor a fertilized egg, is more than a potential baby or a potential adult. So if a sperm and egg are as human as the fertilized egg produced by their union, and if it is murder to destroy a fertilized egg–despite the fact that it’s only potentially a baby–why isn’t it murder to destroy a sperm or an egg?

Hundreds of millions of sperm cells (top speed with tails lashing: five inches per hour) are produced in an average human ejaculation. A healthy young man can produce in a week or two enough spermatozoa to double the human population of the Earth. So is masturbation mass murder? How about nocturnal emissions or just plain sex? When the unfertilized egg is expelled each month, has someone died? Should we mourn all those spontaneous miscarriages? Many lower animals can be grown in a laboratory from a single body cell. Human cells can be cloned… In light of such cloning technology, would we be committing mass murder by destroying any potentially clonable cells? By shedding a drop of blood?

 

All human sperm and eggs are genetic halves of “potential” human beings. Should heroic efforts be made to save and preserve all of them, everywhere, because of this “potential”? Is failure to do so immoral or criminal? Of course, there’s a difference between taking a life and failing to save it. And there’s a big difference between the probability of survival of a sperm cell and that of a fertilized egg. But the absurdity of a corps of high-minded semen-preservers moves us to wonder whether a fertilized egg’s mere “potential” to become a baby really does make destroying it murder.

Opponents of abortion worry that, once abortion is permissible immediately after conception, no argument will restrict it at any later time in the pregnancy. Then, they fear, one day it will be permissible to murder a fetus that is unambiguously a human being. Both pro-choicers and pro-lifers (at least some of them) are pushed toward absolutist positions by parallel fears of the slippery slope.

 

Another slippery slope is reached by those pro-lifers who are willing to make an exception in the agonizing case of a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest. But why should the right to live depend on the circumstances of conception? If the same child were to result, can the state ordain life for the offspring of a lawful union but death for one conceived by force or coercion? How can this be just? And if exceptions are extended to such a fetus, why should they be withheld from any other fetus? This is part of the reason some pro-lifers adopt what many others consider the outrageous posture of opposing abortions under any and all circumstances–only excepting, perhaps, when the life of the mother is in danger.

By far the most common reason for abortion worldwide is birth control. So shouldn’t opponents of abortion be handing out contraceptives and teaching school children how to use them? That would be an effective way to reduce the number of abortions. Instead, the United States is far behind other nations in the development of safe and effective methods of birth control–and, in many cases, opposition to such research (and to sex education) has come from the same people who oppose abortions.continue on to Part 3

For the complete text, including illustrations, introductory quote, footnotes, and commentary on the reaction to the originally published article see Billions and Billions.

The attempt to find an ethically sound and unambiguous judgment on when, if ever, abortion is permissible has deep historical roots. Often, especially in Christian tradition, such attempts were connected with the question of when the soul enters the body–a matter not readily amenable to scientific investigation and an issue of controversy even among learned theologians. Ensoulment has been asserted to occur in the sperm before conception, at conception, at the time of “quickening” (when the mother is first able to feel the fetus stirring within her), and at birth. Or even later.

Different religions have different teachings. Among hunter-gatherers, there are usually no prohibitions against abortion, and it was common in ancient Greece and Rome. In contrast, the more severe Assyrians impaled women on stakes for attempting abortion. The Jewish Talmud teaches that the fetus is not a person and has no rights. The Old and New Testaments–rich in astonishingly detailed prohibitions on dress, diet, and permissible words–contain not a word specifically prohibiting abortion. The only passage that’s remotely relevant (Exodus 21:22) decrees that if there’s a fight and a woman bystander should accidentally be injured and made to miscarry, the assailant must pay a fine.

Neither St. Augustine nor St. Thomas Aquinas considered early-term abortion to be homicide (the latter on the grounds that the embryo doesn’t look human). This view was embraced by the Church in the Council of Vienne in 1312, and has never been repudiated. The Catholic Church’s first and long-standing collection of canon law (according to the leading historian of the Church’s teaching on abortion, John Connery, S.J.) held that abortion was homicide only after the fetus was already “formed”–roughly, the end of the first trimester.

But when sperm cells were examined in the seventeenth century by the first microscopes, they were thought to show a fully formed human being. An old idea of the homunculus was resuscitated–in which within each sperm cell was a fully formed tiny human, within whose testes were innumerable other homunculi, etc., ad infinitum. In part through this misinterpretation of scientific data, in 1869 abortion at any time for any reason became grounds for excommunication. It is surprising to most Catholics and others to discover that the date was not much earlier.

From colonial times to the nineteenth century, the choice in the United States was the woman’s until “quickening.” An abortion in the first or even second trimester was at worst a misdemeanor. Convictions were rarely sought and almost impossible to obtain, because they depended entirely on the woman’s own testimony of whether she had felt quickening, and because of the jury’s distaste for prosecuting a woman for exercising her right to choose. In 1800 there was not, so far as is known, a single statute in the United States concerning abortion. Advertisements for drugs to induce abortion could be found in virtually every newspaper and even in many church publications–although the language used was suitably euphemistic, if widely understood.

But by 1900, abortion had been banned at any time in pregnancy by every state in the Union, except when necessary to save the woman’s life. What happened to bring about so striking a reversal? Religion had little to do with it.Drastic economic and social conversions were turning this country from an agrarian to an urban-industrial society. America was in the process of changing from having one of the highest birthrates in the world to one of the lowest. Abortion certainly played a role and stimulated forces to suppress it.

 

One of the most significant of these forces was the medical profession. Up to the mid-nineteenth century, medicine was an uncertified, unsupervised business. Anyone could hang up a shingle and call himself (or herself) a doctor. With the rise of a new, university-educated medical elite, anxious to enhance the status and influence of physicians, the American Medical Association was formed. In its first decade, the AMA began lobbying against abortions performed by anyone except licensed physicians. New knowledge of embryology, the physicians said, had shown the fetus to be human even before quickening.

Their assault on abortion was motivated not by concern for the health of the woman but, they claimed, for the welfare of the fetus. You had to be a physician to know when abortion was morally justified, because the question depended on scientific and medical facts understood only by physicians. At the same time, women were effectively excluded from the medical schools, where such arcane knowledge could be acquired. So, as things worked out, women had almost nothing to say about terminating their own pregnancies. It was also up to the physician to decide if the pregnancy posed a threat to the woman, and it was entirely at his discretion to determine what was and was not a threat. For the rich woman, the threat might be a threat to her emotional tranquillity or even to her lifestyle. The poor woman was often forced to resort to the back alley or the coat hanger.

This was the law until the 1960s, when a coalition of individuals and organizations, the AMA now among them, sought to overturn it and to reinstate the more traditional values that were to be embodied in Roe v. Wade.continue on to Part 4

If you deliberately kill a human being, it’s called murder. If you deliberately kill a chimpanzee–biologically, our closest relative, sharing 99.6 percent of our active genes–whatever else it is, it’s not murder. To date, murder uniquely applies to killing human beings. Therefore, the question of when personhood (or, if we like, ensoulment) arises is key to the abortion debate. When does the fetus become human? When do distinct and characteristic human qualities emerge?

Section 8 Sperm journey to becoming Human 

We recognize that specifying a precise moment will overlook individual differences. Therefore, if we must draw a line, it ought to be drawn conservatively–that is, on the early side. There are people who object to having to set some numerical limit, and we share their disquiet; but if there is to be a law on this matter, and it is to effect some useful compromise between the two absolutist positions, it must specify, at least roughly, a time of transition to personhood.

Every one of us began from a dot. A fertilized egg is roughly the size of the period at the end of this sentence. The momentous meeting of sperm and egg generally occurs in one of the two fallopian tubes. One cell becomes two, two become four, and so on—an exponentiation of base-2 arithmetic. By the tenth day the fertilized egg has become a kind of hollow sphere wandering off to another realm: the womb. It destroys tissue in its path. It sucks blood from capillaries. It bathes itself in maternal blood, from which it extracts oxygen and nutrients. It establishes itself as a kind of parasite on the walls of the uterus.By the third week, around the time of the first missed menstrual period, the forming embryo is about 2 millimeters long and is developing various body parts. Only at this stage does it begin to be dependent on a rudimentary placenta. It looks a little like a segmented worm.By the end of the fourth week, it’s about 5 millimeters (about 1/5 inch) long. It’s recognizable now as a vertebrate, its tube-shaped heart is beginning to beat, something like the gill arches of a fish or an amphibian become conspicuous, and there is a pronounced tail. It looks rather like a newt or a tadpole. This is the end of the first month after conception.By the fifth week, the gross divisions of the brain can be distinguished. What will later develop into eyes are apparent, and little buds appear—on their way to becoming arms and legs.By the sixth week, the embryo is 13 millimeteres (about ½ inch) long. The eyes are still on the side of the head, as in most animals, and the reptilian face has connected slits where the mouth and nose eventually will be.By the end of the seventh week, the tail is almost gone, and sexual characteristics can be discerned (although both sexes look female). The face is mammalian but somewhat piglike.By the end of the eighth week, the face resembles that of a primate but is still not quite human. Most of the human body parts are present in their essentials. Some lower brain anatomy is well-developed. The fetus shows some reflex response to delicate stimulation.By the tenth week, the face has an unmistakably human cast. It is beginning to be possible to distinguish males from females. Nails and major bone structures are not apparent until the third month.By the fourth month, you can tell the face of one fetus from that of another. Quickening is most commonly felt in the fifth month. The bronchioles of the lungs do not begin developing until approximately the sixth month, the alveoli still later.

So, if only a person can be murdered, when does the fetus attain personhood? When its face becomes distinctly human, near the end of the first trimester? When the fetus becomes responsive to stimuli–again, at the end of the first trimester? When it becomes active enough to be felt as quickening, typically in the middle of the second trimester? When the lungs have reached a stage of development sufficient that the fetus might, just conceivably, be able to breathe on its own in the outside air?

The trouble with these particular developmental milestones is not just that they’re arbitrary. More troubling is the fact that none of them involves uniquely humancharacteristics–apart from the superficial matter of facial appearance. All animals respond to stimuli and move of their own volition. Large numbers are able to breathe. But that doesn’t stop us from slaughtering them by the billions. Reflexes and motion are not what make us human.

Section 9 Sagan’s conclusion based on arbitrary choice of the presence of thought by unborn baby

Other animals have advantages over us–in speed, strength, endurance, climbing or burrowing skills, camouflage, sight or smell or hearing, mastery of the air or water. Our one great advantage, the secret of our success, is thought–characteristically human thought. We are able to think things through, imagine events yet to occur, figure things out. That’s how we invented agriculture and civilization. Thought is our blessing and our curse, and it makes us who we are.

Thinking occurs, of course, in the brain–principally in the top layers of the convoluted “gray matter” called the cerebral cortex. The roughly 100 billion neurons in the brain constitute the material basis of thought. The neurons are connected to each other, and their linkups play a major role in what we experience as thinking. But large-scale linking up of neurons doesn’t begin until the 24th to 27th week of pregnancy–the sixth month.

By placing harmless electrodes on a subject’s head, scientists can measure the electrical activity produced by the network of neurons inside the skull. Different kinds of mental activity show different kinds of brain waves. But brain waves with regular patterns typical of adult human brains do not appear in the fetus until about the 30th week of pregnancy–near the beginning of the third trimester. Fetuses younger than this–however alive and active they may be–lack the necessary brain architecture. They cannot yet think.

Acquiescing in the killing of any living creature, especially one that might later become a baby, is troublesome and painful. But we’ve rejected the extremes of “always” and “never,” and this puts us–like it or not–on the slippery slope. If we are forced to choose a developmental criterion, then this is where we draw the line: when the beginning of characteristically human thinking becomes barely possible.

It is, in fact, a very conservative definition: Regular brain waves are rarely found in fetuses. More research would help… If we wanted to make the criterion still more stringent, to allow for occasional precocious fetal brain development, we might draw the line at six months. This, it so happens, is where the Supreme Court drew it in 1973–although for completely different reasons.

Its decision in the case of Roe v. Wade changed American law on abortion. It permits abortion at the request of the woman without restriction in the first trimester and, with some restrictions intended to protect her health, in the second trimester. It allows states to forbid abortion in the third trimester, except when there’s a serious threat to the life or health of the woman. In the 1989 Webster decision, the Supreme Court declined explicitly to overturn Roe v. Wade but in effect invited the 50 state legislatures to decide for themselves.

What was the reasoning in Roe v. Wade? There was no legal weight given to what happens to the children once they are born, or to the family. Instead, a woman’s right to reproductive freedom is protected, the court ruled, by constitutional guarantees of privacy. But that right is not unqualified. The woman’s guarantee of privacy and the fetus’s right to life must be weighed–and when the court did the weighing’ priority was given to privacy in the first trimester and to life in the third. The transition was decided not from any of the considerations we have been dealing with so far…–not when “ensoulment” occurs, not when the fetus takes on sufficient human characteristics to be protected by laws against murder. Instead, the criterion adopted was whether the fetus could live outside the mother. This is called “viability” and depends in part on the ability to breathe. The lungs are simply not developed, and the fetus cannot breathe–no matter how advanced an artificial lung it might be placed in—until about the 24th week, near the start of the sixth month. This is why Roe v. Wade permits the states to prohibit abortions in the last trimester. It’s a very pragmatic criterion.

If the fetus at a certain stage of gestation would be viable outside the womb, the argument goes, then the right of the fetus to life overrides the right of the woman to privacy. But just what does “viable” mean? Even a full-term newborn is not viable without a great deal of care and love. There was a time before incubators, only a few decades ago, when babies in their seventh month were unlikely to be viable. Would aborting in the seventh month have been permissible then? After the invention of incubators, did aborting pregnancies in the seventh month suddenly become immoral? What happens if, in the future, a new technology develops so that an artificial womb can sustain a fetus even before the sixth month by delivering oxygen and nutrients through the blood–as the mother does through the placenta and into the fetal blood system? We grant that this technology is unlikely to be developed soon or become available to many. But if it were available, does it then become immoral to abort earlier than the sixth month, when previously it was moral? A morality that depends on, and changes with, technology is a fragile morality; for some, it is also an unacceptable morality.

And why, exactly, should breathing (or kidney function, or the ability to resist disease) justify legal protection? If a fetus can be shown to think and feel but not be able to breathe, would it be all right to kill it? Do we value breathing more than thinking and feeling? Viability arguments cannot, it seems to us, coherently determine when abortions are permissible. Some other criterion is needed. Again, we offer for consideration the earliest onset of human thinking as that criterion.

Since, on average, fetal thinking occurs even later than fetal lung development, we find Roe v. Wade to be a good and prudent decision addressing a complex and difficult issue. With prohibitions on abortion in the last trimester–except in cases of grave medical necessity–it strikes a fair balance between the conflicting claims of freedom and life.What do you think? What have others said about Carl Sagan’s thoughts on 

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Carl Sagan states in the above article, “A morality that depends on, and changes with, technology is a fragile morality” and this is challenged by Francis Schaeffer’s assertion, “If there are no absolutes by which to judge society, then society is absolute.” Francis Schaeffer, How Shall We Then Live? (Old Tappan NJ: Fleming H Revell Company, 1976), p. 224. 

It really comes down to your basis for morality and secular humanists like Sagan only have relativistic value systems that change constantly. 

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Francis Schaeffer is a hero of mine and In the past I attempted to honor him with a series of posts on Sundays called “Schaeffer Sundays” which included his writings and clips from his film series. I have posted many times in the past using his material.

Philosopher and Theologian, Francis A. Schaeffer has argued, “If there are no absolutes by which to judge society, then society is absolute.” Francis Schaeffer, How Shall We Then Live? (Old Tappan NJ: Fleming H Revell Company, 1976), p. 224.

Al Mohler wrote the article ,”FIRST-PERSON: They indeed were prophetic,” Jan 29, 2004, and in this great article he noted:   .

“We stand today on the edge of a great abyss,” they wrote. “At this crucial moment choices are being made and thrust on us that will for many years to come affect the way people are treated. We want to try to help tip the scales on the side of those who believe that individuals are unique and special and have great dignity.”

This year marks the 25th anniversary of “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?” by Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop. The anniversary serves to remind us just how unaware and unawake most evangelicals really were 25 years ago — and how prophetic the voices of Schaeffer and Koop were.

Whatever Happened to the Human Race? was both a book project and a film series, the fruit of an unusual collaboration between Francis Schaeffer, one of the truly significant figures of 20th-century evangelicalism, and C. Everett Koop, one of the nation’s most illustrious pediatric surgeons. They were an odd couple of sorts, but on the crucial issues of human dignity and the threat of what would later be called the “Culture of Death,” they were absolutely united.

Francis Schaeffer, who died in 1984, was nothing less than a 20th-century prophet. He was a genuine eccentric, given to wearing leather breeches and sporting a goatee — then quite unusual for anyone in the evangelical establishment. Then again, Schaeffer was never really a member of any establishment, and that is partly why a generation of questioning young people made their way to his Swiss study center known as L’Abri.

Big ideas were Schaeffer’s business — and the Christian worldview was his consistent framework. Long before most evangelicals even knew they had a worldview, Schaeffer was taking alternative worldviews apart and inculcating in his students a love for the architecture of Christian truth and the dignity of ideas.

Key figures on the evangelical left wrote Schaeffer off as a crank, and he returned the favor by denying that they were evangelicals at all. They complained that he did not follow their rules for scholarly publication. He pointed out that people actually read his books — and young people frustrated with cultural Christianity read his books by the thousands. They were looking for someone with ideas big enough for the age, relevant for the questions of the times, and based without compromise in Christian truth. Francis Schaeffer — knee pants and all — became a prophet for the age.

Dr. C. Everett Koop, on the other hand, is a paragon of the American establishment — a former surgeon-in-chief at the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia and later surgeon general of the United States under President Reagan. In 1974 Koop catapulted to international attention by performing the first successful surgical separation of conjoined twins. A Presbyterian layman, Koop lives in quasi-retirement in Pennsylvania. His surgical procedures remain textbook cases for medical students today.

Whatever Happened to the Human Race? awakened American evangelicals to the anti-human technologies and ideologies that then threatened human dignity. Most urgently, the project put abortion unquestionably on the front burner of evangelical concern. The tenor of the times is seen in the fact that Schaeffer and Koop had to argue to evangelicals in the late 1970s that abortion was not just a “Catholic” issue. They taught many evangelicals a new and urgently needed vocabulary about embryo ethics, euthanasia and infanticide. They knew they were running out of time.

“Each era faces its own unique blend of problems,” they argued. “Our time is no exception. Those who regard individuals as expendable raw material — to be molded, exploited, and then discarded — do battle on many fronts with those who see each person as unique and special, worthwhile, and irreplaceable.”

Every age is marked by both the “thinkable” and the “unthinkable,” they asserted — and the “thinkable” of late-20th-century Western cultures was dangerously anti-human. The lessons of the century — with the Holocaust at its center — should be sufficient to drive the point home. The problem, as illustrated by those who worked in Hitler’s death camps, was the inevitable result of a loss of conscience and moral truth. They were “people just like all of us,” Koop and Schaeffer reminded. “We seem to be in danger of forgetting our seemingly unlimited capacities for evil, once boundaries to certain behavior are removed.”

By the last quarter of the century, life and death were treated as mere matters of choice. “The schizophrenic nature of our society became further evident as it became common practice for pediatricians to provide the maximum of resuscitative and supportive care in newborn intensive-care nurseries where premature infants were under their care — while obstetricians in the same medical centers were routinely destroying enormous numbers of unborn babies who were normal and frequently of larger size. Minors who could not legally purchase liquor and cigarettes could have an abortion-on-demand and without parental consent or knowledge.”

Schaeffer and Koop pointed to other examples of moral schizophrenia. Disabled persons were given new access to facilities and services in the name of human rights, while preborn infants diagnosed with the same disabilities were often aborted — with the advice that it would be “wrong” to bring such a baby into the world.

Long before the discovery of stem cells and calls for the use of human embryos for such experimentation, Schaeffer and Koop warned of attacks upon human life at its earliest stage. “Embryos ‘created’ in the biologist’s laboratory raise special questions because they have the potential for growth and development if planted in the womb. The disposal of these live embryos is a cause for ethical and moral concern.”

They also saw the specter of infanticide and euthanasia. Infanticide, including what is now called “partial-birth abortion,” is murder, they argued. “Infanticide is being practiced right now in this country, and the saddest thing about this is that it is being carried on by the very segment of the medical profession which has always stood in the role of advocate for the lives of children.” Long before the formal acceptance of euthanasia in countries like the Netherlands, Koop and Schaeffer saw the rise of a “duty to die” argument used against the old, the very sick and the unproductive. They rejected euthanasia in the case of a “so-called vegetative existence” and warned all humanity that disaster awaited a society that lusted for a “beautiful death.”

Abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia are not only questions for women and other relatives directly involved — nor are they the prerogatives of a few people who have thought through the wider ramifications,” they declared. “They are life-and-death issues that concern the whole human race equally and should be addressed as such.”

How did this happen? This embrace of an anti-human “humanism” could only be explained by the rejection of the Christian worldview. “Judeo-Christian teaching was never perfectly applied,” they acknowledged, “but it did lay a foundation for a high view of human life in concept and practice.” Through the inculcation of biblical values, “people viewed human life as unique — to be protected and loved — because each individual is made in the image of God.”

Two great enemies of truth were blamed for this loss of biblical truth — modern secularism and theological liberalism. The secularists insist on the imposition of a “humanism” that defines humanity in terms of productivity, arbitrary standards of beauty and health, and an inverted system of value. Theological liberalism, denying the truthfulness of the Bible, robs the church and the society of any solid authority. The biblical concept of humanity made in the image of God is treated as poetry rather than as truth. But, “if people are not made in the image of God, the pessimistic, realistic humanist is right: The human race is indeed an abnormal wart on the smooth face of a silent and meaningless universe.”

Everything else simply follows. “In this setting, abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia … are completely logical. Any person can be obliterated for what society at one moment thinks of as its own social or economic good.” Once human life and human dignity are devalued to this degree, recovery is extremely difficult — if not impossible.

The past 25 years has been a period of even more rapid technological and moral change. We now face threats to human dignity unimaginable just a quarter-century ago. We must now deal with the ethical challenges of embryo research, human cloning, the Human Genome Project and the rise of transhuman technologies. Even with many Christians aware and active on these issues, we are losing ground.

Francis Schaeffer and Everett Koop ended their book with a call for action. “If, in this last part of the twentieth century, the Christian community does not take a prolonged and vocal stand for the dignity of the individual and each person’s right to life — for the right of each person to be treated as created in the image of God, rather than as a collection of molecules with no unique value — we feel that as Christians we have failed the greatest moral test to be put before us in this century.”

In this new century, that warning is even more threatening and more urgent. The challenges of the 21st century are even greater than those faced in the century before. This should make us even more thankful for the prophetic witness of Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop — and even more determined to contend for life. Humanity still stands on the brink of that abyss.
–30–
Adapted from the Crosswalk.com weblog of R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.

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BREAKING DOWN CARL SAGAN’S LOGIC ON ABORTION Part 91 “If killing a fetus is truly killing a human being, is it not the duty of the state to prevent it? Government [should] protect the weak from the strong” (My 1995 correspondence with Sagan) Adrian Rogers versus Carl Sagan (Rogers sums up many refutations to common pro-choice points)

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Below is an excerpt from a paper by Carl Sagan on abortion followed by an excerpt from a sermon by Adrian Rogers.

Carl Sagan noted: “If killing a fetus is truly killing a human being, is it not the duty of the state to prevent it? Government [should] protect the weak from the strong…”

Sagan said this only to attempt to poke holes in this argument.

Adrian Rogers answers back with some logical points:


  • “I can do whatever I want with my body. A woman’s body is hers to do with as she wishes. She has freedom of choice.” 

No, you don’t have complete control over your own body. You don’t have a right to ingest crack cocaine or be a prostitute. You can’t even ride a motorcycle in this state without a helmet on. We don’t have an absolute right to our own bodies.

And the child is not merely “part of the mother’s body.” He or she is a new life, altogether different, with their own unique DNA, circulatory system, often a different blood type than the mother, and certainly their own unique fingerprints. The nucleus of a human cell has 46 chromosomes, 23 from the father and 23 from the mother. The child is is as much a part of the father as the mother. It is life, and it is life from God. The mother is carrying a completely different person. She does not have freedom of choice in God’s sight to kill another person, even if that person is living inside her body. The baby is in her body; the baby is not her body. I have no right to kill an unwanted guest in my home. They may cause me inconvenience, but I have no right to put them to death. 

  • “Without abortion, the poor will be overburdened.”

We’re told having a child overburdens the poor. But 53% of those getting abortions have no other children. Over 33% are going back for the second, third, and fourth abortion. In many instances they are professional women who do not want their profession interrupted, or have conceived through illicit sex, or just don’t want to be bothered with a child. 

  • “Life begins when the child begins to breathe.” The baby is already receiving oxygen through the umbilical cord.
  • “Abortion is sometimes necessary to save the mother’s life.” Only in the rarest instances. In fact, former Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Coup said that with medical advances, abortion is never needed today to save the mother’s life: “With all that modern medicine has to offer, partial birth abortions are not needed to save the life of a mother.” Dr. Jerome LeJune, world famous geneticist, said he would set out to save the life of a mother, and if in the process the child dies, it would be tragic. “I would do everything I could to save the life of the mother, but I would never attack and kill an unborn child.” With today’s medicine, the need for an abortion to save a mother’s life is extremely rare. 
  • “What if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest?” Only one-tenth of 1% of today’s abortions are performed on babies conceived because of rape. This argument does not hold water. Of course, rape is a terrible, horrible, heinous crime, but the baby didn’t commit the crime. Ethel Waters, who is now in heaven, sang many times in the Billy Graham crusades. A great Gospel singer, she was born out of a pregnancy due to rape. Who would say Ethel Waters should not have been born to bless the world? Ruth, an ancestress of the Lord Jesus Christ, was a descendent of Moab, born out of an incestuous relationship. You can’t play God in cases like that. 

Let me ask a question. If there is a one month old baby in the crib, born to a victim of rape, would you kill the one month old baby? If you wouldn’t, don’t kill the baby when it is one month before being born. 

  • “There may be a danger of deformity.” There may be. Are we going to eliminate everyone we feel is defective or deformed? To be allowed to live, how perfect do you need to be? If we eliminate the deformed in the womb, why don’t we eliminate the deformed after birth? An eminent professor at Yale University now advocates just that: keep the baby for a while to decide whether or not you want the child to live (infanticide). If we are going to eliminate the deformed, who draws the line where we stop? 
  • “I’m personally against abortion myself, but I don’t want to take away someone’s right to choose.”You hear politicians use this as an “out” all the time. Let’s suppose we had been alive back in the days of Nazi Germany. Suppose people were saying Hitler ought not to be killing the Jews in the Holocaust. But suppose one of our politicians were to stand and say, “I am personally against killing Jews, but what somebody does in his own private gas chamber is his business.” Do you see the parallel with “I’m personally against abortion, but what somebody does with their own body is their business”? 
  • “I choose not to have this baby.” No, you already have a baby. Your choice is, are you going to choose a live baby or a dead one? You already have a baby; that’s the point.
  • “Unwanted babies are victims of child abuse.” Statistics prove children who were unplanned or unwanted when conceived are no more apt to be abused than others. And there are many loving couples standing in line saying, “Give us that baby. We will love and take care of it.” 
  • “We need to be concerned about the population explosion.” The old “population bomb” myth was put to rest years ago. In fact, many countries are below zero population growth now. There are childless couples wanting babies, begging for babies, wanting to adopt babies, and can’t get them. We may be eliminating the person who has the cure for cancer because we put them to death.

What Should Christians Be Doing?

1. Be informed. Do not continue with your head in the sand. 
2. Find out where the candidates stand on the issue of life.
3. Vote for pro-life senators and representatives. 
4. Work for a constitutional amendment banning abortion. 
5. Teach sexual morality at home and in the church. Parents and the Church—the voices who need to be speaking the most—are often the most silent.
6. Forget our self-righteousness and have compassion for the unwed mother so she is not afraid to come to us. Be filled with love, not a hypercritical spirit. 
7. Show the love and forgiveness of the Lord Jesus Christ for those who’ve had an abortion. There is mercy, forgiveness and grace with Almighty God. He removes the guilt. He may not remove the pain, but He will remove the guilt. 
8. Speak out clearly. Remember,
Cry aloud, and spare not...” Isaiah 58:1
If thou forbear…” Proverbs 24:11-12 
Speak up in the office, on the street, at the ball game, in the Sunday School class. Refuse to be swayed by high-sounding arguments of liberals, humanists, or social planners. They haven’t got a clue. 
9. Pray that God will give us time as a nation to repent! We are on the threshold of disaster. We need to bring this nation to God in repentance saying, “God have mercy on us for the shedding of innocent blood.” 

I believe we are making progress. The abortion rate is dropping. People are finally getting their eyes opened. But the battle is raging.

I’m not nearly so much afraid of what terrorists are going to do to us as I am what God is going to do to us in this country of ours. We’d better get right with God. But I thank God that the Bible still teaches in 2 Chronicles 7:14:

If My people who are called by My name shall humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked way, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and” [hallelujah] “heal their land.” 

Do you know who’s failed, primarily? We preachers of the gospel have failed. The churches in America have failed. We once had a biblically based morality in the United States, but that is fast receding over the horizon, and today we’re living in a different society where it is “morality by majority,” and expedience rather than a fixed face of right or wrong. And I believe that there’s little wrong in America today that could not be changed radically, dramatically, and swiftly if we had a generation of preachers who would stand up in pulpits across America and say, “Thus saith the Lord. Thus saith the Lord.”

I’m living for that day when we have a revival of righteousness in America and I want to believe it’s coming, that God—not any preacher, not any president, but God—is going to do something in America. Oh, for God to do something! Lord, haste that day. Don’t you long for a burning, sweeping, glorious revival to blow across America?


Carl Sagan pictured below:

_________

Recently I have been revisiting my correspondence in 1995 with the famous astronomer Carl Sagan who I was introduced to when reading a book by Francis Schaeffer called HE IS THERE AND HE IS NOT SILENT written in 1968. 

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer

I was blessed with the opportunity to correspond with Dr. Sagan, and in his December 5, 1995 letter Dr. Sagan went on to tell me that he was enclosing his article “The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers”by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan. I am going to respond to several points made in that article. Here is a portion of Sagan’s article (here is a link to the whole article):

Image result for carl sagan ann

Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan pictured above

 “The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers”

by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan

For the complete text, including illustrations, introductory quote, footnotes, and commentary on the reaction to the originally published article see Billions and Billions.

Adrian Rogers (1931-2005) I shared my correspondence with Carl Sagan with Dr Rogers and the fact that many of my letters to Sagan contained material from Rogers.


The issue had been decided years ago. The court had chosen the middle ground. You’d think the fight was over. Instead, there are mass rallies, bombings and intimidation, murders of workers at abortion clinics, arrests, intense lobbying, legislative drama, Congressional hearings, Supreme Court decisions, major political parties almost defining themselves on the issue, and clerics threatening politicians with perdition. Partisans fling accusations of hypocrisy and murder. The intent of the Constitution and the will of God are equally invoked. Doubtful arguments are trotted out as certitudes. The contending factions call on science to bolster their positions. Families are divided, husbands and wives agree not to discuss it, old friends are no longer speaking. Politicians check the latest polls to discover the dictates of their consciences. Amid all the shouting, it is hard for the adversaries to hear one another. Opinions are polarized. Minds are closed.

 

Is it wrong to abort a pregnancy? Always? Sometimes? Never? How do we decide? We wrote this article to understand better what the contending views are and to see if we ourselves could find a position that would satisfy us both. Is there no middle ground? We had to weigh the arguments of both sides for consistency and to pose test cases, some of which are purely hypothetical. If in some of these tests we seem to go too far, we ask the reader to be patient with us–we’re trying to stress the various positions to the breaking point to see their weaknesses and where they fail.

In contemplative moments, nearly everyone recognizes that the issue is not wholly one-sided. Many partisans of differing views, we find, feel some disquiet, some unease when confronting what’s behind the opposing arguments. (This is partly why such confrontations are avoided.) And the issue surely touches on deep questions: What are our responses to one another? Should we permit the state to intrude into the most intimate and personal aspects of our lives? Where are the boundaries of freedom? What does it mean to be human?

Of the many actual points of view, it is widely held–especially in the media, which rarely have the time or the inclination to make fine distinctions–that there are only two: “pro-choice” and “pro-life.” This is what the two principal warring camps like to call themselves, and that’s what we’ll call them here. In the simplest characterization, a pro-choicer would hold that the decision to abort a pregnancy is to be made only by the woman; the state has no right to interfere. And a pro-lifer would hold that, from the moment of conception, the embryo or fetus is alive; that this life imposes on us a moral obligation to preserve it; and that abortion is tantamount to murder. Both names–pro-choice and pro-life–were picked with an eye toward influencing those whose minds are not yet made up: Few people wish to be counted either as being against freedom of choice or as opposed to life. Indeed, freedom and life are two of our most cherished values, and here they seem to be in fundamental conflict.

Let’s consider these two absolutist positions in turn. A newborn baby is surely the same being it was just before birth. There ‘s good evidence that a late-term fetus responds to sound–including music, but especially its mother’s voice. It can suck its thumb or do a somersault. Occasionally, it generates adult brain-wave patterns. Some people claim to remember being born, or even the uterine environment. Perhaps there is thought in the womb. It’s hard to maintain that a transformation to full personhood happens abruptly at the moment of birth. Why, then, should it be murder to kill an infant the day after it was born but not the day before?

As a practical matter, this isn’t very important: Less than 1 percent of all tabulated abortions in the United States are listed in the last three months of pregnancy (and, on closer investigation, most such reports turn out to be due to miscarriage or miscalculation). But third-trimester abortions provide a test of the limits of the pro-choice point of view. Does a woman’s “innate right to control her own body” encompass the right to kill a near-term fetus who is, for all intents and purposes, identical to a newborn child?

We believe that many supporters of reproductive freedom are troubled at least occasionally by this question. But they are reluctant to raise it because it is the beginning of a slippery slope. If it is impermissible to abort a pregnancy in the ninth month, what about the eighth, seventh, sixth … ? Once we acknowledge that the state can interfere at any time in the pregnancy, doesn’t it follow that the state can interfere at all times?

Abortion and the slippery slope argument above

This conjures up the specter of predominantly male, predominantly affluent legislators telling poor women they must bear and raise alone children they cannot afford to bring up; forcing teenagers to bear children they are not emotionally prepared to deal with; saying to women who wish for a career that they must give up their dreams, stay home, and bring up babies; and, worst of all, condemning victims of rape and incest to carry and nurture the offspring of their assailants. Legislative prohibitions on abortion arouse the suspicion that their real intent is to control the independence and sexuality of women…

And yet, by consensus, all of us think it proper that there be prohibitions against, and penalties exacted for, murder. It would be a flimsy defense if the murderer pleads that this is just between him and his victim and none of the government’s business. If killing a fetus is truly killing a human being, is it not the duty of the state to prevent it? Indeed, one of the chief functions of government is to protect the weak from the strong.

If we do not oppose abortion at some stage of pregnancy, is there not a danger of dismissing an entire category of human beings as unworthy of our protection and respect? And isn’t that dismissal the hallmark of sexism, racism, nationalism, and religious fanaticism? Shouldn’t those dedicated to fighting such injustices be scrupulously careful not to embrace another?

https://content.swncdn.com/zcast/oneplace/host-images/love-worth-finding/640×480.jpg?v=181220-090

For the complete text, including illustrations, introductory quote, footnotes, and commentary on the reaction to the originally published article see Billions and Billions.

Here is an excerpt of a message from Adrian Rogers on DOES CHARACTER COUNT?

Here’s a final trait of leadership that God requires. A leader must protect the weak and the helpless.

In Proverbs 31:8-9, God says to King Lemuel, “Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.”

A president, or any leader, must speak up for those who can’t speak up for themselves, those who are about to be destroyed. When a president is inaugurated, he takes a pledge to defend the nation. There are many defenseless people in America today, and they’re depending on the government to defend them. The President should be standing up for the unborn, the most defenseless of all those who cannot speak for themselves.

I once testified in Washington before a Senate committee dealing with abortion. After I left the room there at the Capitol, a female lawyer met me in the hall. “You don’t understand,” she said. “You’re a man, so you don’t understand what a trauma it is to have an unwanted pregnancy.”

I said to her, “Do I understand you to say that if somebody traumatizes you, you can eliminate them? Because you’re traumatizing me right now. What if I were to put both my thumbs on your windpipe and strangle you right now? At least you could scream or run. But a baby in its mother’s womb can’t do either.”

She just turned and walked off. I’m sure she told someone, “That Baptist preacher said he was going to strangle me!” But I only said, “What if?”

It’s the job of a ruler to speak up for the unborn! “Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction,” God commands the one in authority. Someone may say, “But Pastor Rogers, abortion is legal.” Then hear these verses: “Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law? They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood” (Ps. 94:20-21).

If a throne of iniquity is one that uses the law to commit evil, then what we have in America today is a throne of iniquity! Laws are passed to shed innocent blood. But NOTHING IS POLITICALLY RIGHT THAT IS MORALLY WRONG.

Jeremiah said concerning evil King Jehoiakim, “Thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence, to do it” (22:17). The prophet Habakkuk warned, “Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity!” (2:12).

The king, the prince, the president, must be the protector of the helpless. This is the character that God requires.

Related posts:

Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part F “Carl Sagan’s views on how God should try and contact us” includes film “The Basis for Human Dignity”

April 8, 2013 – 7:07 am

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is Saline […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis SchaefferProlife | Edit | Comments (0)

Carl Sagan v. Nancy Pearcey

March 18, 2013 – 9:11 am

On March 17, 2013 at our worship service at Fellowship Bible Church, Ben Parkinson who is one of our teaching pastors spoke on Genesis 1. He spoke about an issue that I was very interested in. Ben started the sermon by reading the following scripture: Genesis 1-2:3 English Standard Version (ESV) The Creation of the […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersAtheists ConfrontedCurrent Events | TaggedBen ParkinsonCarl Sagan | Edit | Comments (0)

Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 4 of series on Evolution)

May 24, 2012 – 1:47 am

Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 4 of series on Evolution) The Long War against God-Henry Morris, part 5 of 6 Uploaded by FLIPWORLDUPSIDEDOWN3 on Aug 30, 2010 http://www.icr.org/ http://store.icr.org/prodinfo.asp?number=BLOWA2http://store.icr.org/prodinfo.asp?number=BLOWASGhttp://www.fliptheworldupsidedown.com/blog _______________________ I got this from a blogger in April of 2008 concerning candidate Obama’s view on evolution: Q: York County was recently in the news […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Atheists ConfrontedCurrent EventsPresident Obama | EditComments (0)

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BREAKING DOWN CARL SAGAN’S LOGIC ON ABORTION Part 90 “Roe v. Wade…permits abortion at the request of the woman without restriction in the first trimester” (My 1995 correspondence with Sagan)

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Carl Sagan noted: “Roe v. Wade…permits abortion at the request of the woman without restriction in the first trimester.”

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Adrian Rogers responds to this type of thinking with these comments:

I am pro-life because it resonates with the heart of God.

14. What is the heart of the Lord toward these little ones? Turn to Isaiah 40:10-12: 

See the strength of Almighty God in this passage. Contrast it with His gentleness in the middle verse. Ponder this carefully and slowly: 

10 Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him: behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.

11 He shall feed His flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

12 Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meted out Heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?

a. In verse 11, we see the Good Shepherd contrasted with the omnipotent God, the mighty Creator of the universe. How does our Lord treat the most vulnerable among His flock?

b. Circle these verbs in v. 11: feed, gather, carry, lead. How does He lead?

As Isaiah 58:1 commands, we need to speak with the voice of a trumpet. No stutter, no stammer, no apology, and no fear. No let-up, back-up, or shut-up until we’re taken up. 

We are at the close of the biblical passage portion of this Digging Deeper study. If you would like to know more of what Dr. Rogers said on this subject, the following are his additional thoughts when he preached this message:

On the day you are reading this, in America 3,000-4,000 lives will be snuffed out. They’ve not had the benefit of a trial; they’ll have no counsel to represent them. They’ll be executed in a cruel, inhumane way. Though they’ve committed no crime, one will die about every 21 seconds. 

Who are the co-conspirators of this atrocity? Who is putting the unborn to death? 

  • Supreme Court justices. Six of them, high priests of humanism, wrapped in their robes, sided with Justice Harry Blackmun to rule this. 
  • Governmental social planners. Some like Planned Parenthood receive your tax dollars and mine. 
  • Willing physicians.
  • The willing mother or father of the child. 
  • Abortion clinics, getting wealthy on the death of the unborn.
  • Many others who are silent and unconcerned. Or too timid to speak out. 
  • Politicians who put self-interest and re-election above the lives of innocent children. 

January 22, 1973, was a day which will live in infamy, one of the darkest in American history, like 9/11 or Pearl Harbor. In America it is now legal to kill a baby. That probably just went right past you. It is now legal to kill a baby

The only requirements are:

1. The baby still lives inside the mother, at least a portion of the baby. (Part of the baby can now be outside the mother.) 
2. The mother wants the baby killed. 
3. A doctor is willing to do the killing. 

The Court ruled in 1973: “A state is forbidden to proscribe (forbid) abortion any time prior to the birth if in the opinion of one licensed physician an abortion is necessary to preserve the life or the health of the mother.”

Few would argue about “life of the mother.” But note that key word “health of the mother.” The court elaborated: “All factors, physical, emotional, psychological, familial and the woman’s age, relevant to the wellbeing of the patient” could legally justify the taking of an innocent human life. 

Roe ruled abortion is permitted if the woman says it would (1) distress her (2) produce psychological harm (3) tax her mental and physical health by child care, or (4) bring distress associated with an unwanted child. That is, “If I don’t want this child, then that’s my mental health condition that okays the child being put to death.” Or, “We can’t take of the baby; kill it.” Or, “We didn’t get married. We are pregnant. Kill the baby.” 

Most people are aware of Roe v. Wade, but few of Doe v. Bolton, companion piece to Roe v. Wade, legalizing any abortionist to kill a baby through all nine months of pregnancy. It is even legal to kill a baby while the mother is in labor and the baby is partially delivered, partially out of the birth canal. 

In America, if you crush a bald eagle’s egg you can be fined $5,000 and spend a year in jail, but you can make a handsome living killing babies in the mother’s womb. Pharaoh and Herod must now take second place to America. Pharaoh, who murdered the little babies, and Hitler, who slaughtered millions in his gas chambers, are going to have to take a back seat; they’ve fallen back into the shadows.

In America, a teenage girl can receive amoral sex education in school and be given contraceptives with government money, and if she comes up pregnant, she can be taken to a Planned Parenthood clinic without her parents’ knowledge or consent, where she can have the baby killed. Yet many of these same schools would not dare give an aspirin without parental consent. That is barbaric. It is also crazy.

Recently I have been revisiting my correspondence in 1995 with the famous astronomer Carl Sagan who I had the privilege to correspond with in 1994, 1995 and 1996. In 1996 I had a chance to respond to his December 5, 1995letter on January 10, 1996 and I never heard back from him again since his cancer returned and he passed away later in 1996. Below is what Carl Sagan wrote to me in his December 5, 1995 letter:

Thanks for your recent letter about evolution and abortion. The correlation is hardly one to one; there are evolutionists who are anti-abortion and anti-evolutionists who are pro-abortion.You argue that God exists because otherwise we could not understand the world in our consciousness. But if you think God is necessary to understand the world, then why do you not ask the next question of where God came from? And if you say “God was always here,” why not say that the universe was always here? On abortion, my views are contained in the enclosed article (Sagan, Carl and Ann Druyan {1990}, “The Question of Abortion,” Parade Magazine, April 22.)

I was introduced to when reading a book by Francis Schaeffer called HE IS THERE AND HE IS NOT SILENT written in 1968. 

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Francis Schaeffer when he was a young pastor in St. Louis pictured above.

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Francis Schaeffer and Adrian Rogers

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(both Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer mentioned Carl Sagan in their books and that prompted me to write Sagan and expose him to their views.


Carl Sagan pictured below:

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_________

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer

I mentioned earlier that I was blessed with the opportunity to correspond with Dr. Sagan. In his December 5, 1995 letter Dr. Sagan went on to tell me that he was enclosing his article “The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers”by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan. I am going to respond to several points made in that article. Here is a portion of Sagan’s article (here is a link to the whole article):

Image result for carl sagan and ann druyan

Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan pictured above

 “The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers”

by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan

For the complete text, including illustrations, introductory quote, footnotes, and commentary on the reaction to the originally published article see Billions and Billions.

The issue had been decided years ago. The court had chosen the middle ground. You’d think the fight was over. Instead, there are mass rallies, bombings and intimidation, murders of workers at abortion clinics, arrests, intense lobbying, legislative drama, Congressional hearings, Supreme Court decisions, major political parties almost defining themselves on the issue, and clerics threatening politicians with perdition. Partisans fling accusations of hypocrisy and murder. The intent of the Constitution and the will of God are equally invoked. Doubtful arguments are trotted out as certitudes. The contending factions call on science to bolster their positions. Families are divided, husbands and wives agree not to discuss it, old friends are no longer speaking. Politicians check the latest polls to discover the dictates of their consciences. Amid all the shouting, it is hard for the adversaries to hear one another. Opinions are polarized. Minds are closed.

 

Is it wrong to abort a pregnancy? Always? Sometimes? Never? How do we decide? We wrote this article to understand better what the contending views are and to see if we ourselves could find a position that would satisfy us both. Is there no middle ground? We had to weigh the arguments of both sides for consistency and to pose test cases, some of which are purely hypothetical. If in some of these tests we seem to go too far, we ask the reader to be patient with us–we’re trying to stress the various positions to the breaking point to see their weaknesses and where they fail.

In contemplative moments, nearly everyone recognizes that the issue is not wholly one-sided. Many partisans of differing views, we find, feel some disquiet, some unease when confronting what’s behind the opposing arguments. (This is partly why such confrontations are avoided.) And the issue surely touches on deep questions: What are our responses to one another? Should we permit the state to intrude into the most intimate and personal aspects of our lives? Where are the boundaries of freedom? What does it mean to be human?

Of the many actual points of view, it is widely held–especially in the media, which rarely have the time or the inclination to make fine distinctions–that there are only two: “pro-choice” and “pro-life.” This is what the two principal warring camps like to call themselves, and that’s what we’ll call them here. In the simplest characterization, a pro-choicer would hold that the decision to abort a pregnancy is to be made only by the woman; the state has no right to interfere. And a pro-lifer would hold that, from the moment of conception, the embryo or fetus is alive; that this life imposes on us a moral obligation to preserve it; and that abortion is tantamount to murder. Both names–pro-choice and pro-life–were picked with an eye toward influencing those whose minds are not yet made up: Few people wish to be counted either as being against freedom of choice or as opposed to life. Indeed, freedom and life are two of our most cherished values, and here they seem to be in fundamental conflict.

Let’s consider these two absolutist positions in turn. A newborn baby is surely the same being it was just before birth. There ‘s good evidence that a late-term fetus responds to sound–including music, but especially its mother’s voice. It can suck its thumb or do a somersault. Occasionally, it generates adult brain-wave patterns. Some people claim to remember being born, or even the uterine environment. Perhaps there is thought in the womb. It’s hard to maintain that a transformation to full personhood happens abruptly at the moment of birth. Why, then, should it be murder to kill an infant the day after it was born but not the day before?

As a practical matter, this isn’t very important: Less than 1 percent of all tabulated abortions in the United States are listed in the last three months of pregnancy (and, on closer investigation, most such reports turn out to be due to miscarriage or miscalculation). But third-trimester abortions provide a test of the limits of the pro-choice point of view. Does a woman’s “innate right to control her own body” encompass the right to kill a near-term fetus who is, for all intents and purposes, identical to a newborn child?

We believe that many supporters of reproductive freedom are troubled at least occasionally by this question. But they are reluctant to raise it because it is the beginning of a slippery slope. If it is impermissible to abort a pregnancy in the ninth month, what about the eighth, seventh, sixth … ? Once we acknowledge that the state can interfere at any time in the pregnancy, doesn’t it follow that the state can interfere at all times?

Abortion and the slippery slope argument above

This conjures up the specter of predominantly male, predominantly affluent legislators telling poor women they must bear and raise alone children they cannot afford to bring up; forcing teenagers to bear children they are not emotionally prepared to deal with; saying to women who wish for a career that they must give up their dreams, stay home, and bring up babies; and, worst of all, condemning victims of rape and incest to carry and nurture the offspring of their assailants. Legislative prohibitions on abortion arouse the suspicion that their real intent is to control the independence and sexuality of women…

And yet, by consensus, all of us think it proper that there be prohibitions against, and penalties exacted for, murder. It would be a flimsy defense if the murderer pleads that this is just between him and his victim and none of the government’s business. If killing a fetus is truly killing a human being, is it not the duty of the state to prevent it? Indeed, one of the chief functions of government is to protect the weak from the strong.

If we do not oppose abortion at some stage of pregnancy, is there not a danger of dismissing an entire category of human beings as unworthy of our protection and respect? And isn’t that dismissal the hallmark of sexism, racism, nationalism, and religious fanaticism? Shouldn’t those dedicated to fighting such injustices be scrupulously careful not to embrace another?

Adrian Rogers’ sermon on animal rights refutes Sagan here

There is no right to life in any society on Earth today, nor has there been at any former time… : We raise farm animals for slaughter; destroy forests; pollute rivers and lakes until no fish can live there; kill deer and elk for sport, leopards for the pelts, and whales for fertilizer; entrap dolphins, gasping and writhing, in great tuna nets; club seal pups to death; and render a species extinct every day. All these beasts and vegetables are as alive as we. What is (allegedly) protected is not life, but human life.

Genesis 3 defines being human

And even with that protection, casual murder is an urban commonplace, and we wage “conventional” wars with tolls so terrible that we are, most of us, afraid to consider them very deeply… That protection, that right to life, eludes the 40,000 children under five who die on our planet each day from preventable starvation, dehydration, disease, and neglect.

Those who assert a “right to life” are for (at most) not just any kind of life, but for–particularly and uniquely—human life. So they too, like pro-choicers, must decide what distinguishes a human being from other animals and when, during gestation, the uniquely human qualities–whatever they are–emerge.

The Bible talks about the differences between humans and animals

Despite many claims to the contrary, life does not begin at conception: It is an unbroken chain that stretches back nearly to the origin of the Earth, 4.6 billion years ago. Nor does human life begin at conception: It is an unbroken chain dating back to the origin of our species, hundreds of thousands of years ago. Every human sperm and egg is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, alive. They are not human beings, of course. However, it could be argued that neither is a fertilized egg.

In some animals, an egg develops into a healthy adult without benefit of a sperm cell. But not, so far as we know, among humans. A sperm and an unfertilized egg jointly comprise the full genetic blueprint for a human being. Under certain circumstances, after fertilization, they can develop into a baby. But most fertilized eggs are spontaneously miscarried. Development into a baby is by no means guaranteed. Neither a sperm and egg separately, nor a fertilized egg, is more than a potential baby or a potential adult. So if a sperm and egg are as human as the fertilized egg produced by their union, and if it is murder to destroy a fertilized egg–despite the fact that it’s only potentially a baby–why isn’t it murder to destroy a sperm or an egg?

Hundreds of millions of sperm cells (top speed with tails lashing: five inches per hour) are produced in an average human ejaculation. A healthy young man can produce in a week or two enough spermatozoa to double the human population of the Earth. So is masturbation mass murder? How about nocturnal emissions or just plain sex? When the unfertilized egg is expelled each month, has someone died? Should we mourn all those spontaneous miscarriages? Many lower animals can be grown in a laboratory from a single body cell. Human cells can be cloned… In light of such cloning technology, would we be committing mass murder by destroying any potentially clonable cells? By shedding a drop of blood?

 

All human sperm and eggs are genetic halves of “potential” human beings. Should heroic efforts be made to save and preserve all of them, everywhere, because of this “potential”? Is failure to do so immoral or criminal? Of course, there’s a difference between taking a life and failing to save it. And there’s a big difference between the probability of survival of a sperm cell and that of a fertilized egg. But the absurdity of a corps of high-minded semen-preservers moves us to wonder whether a fertilized egg’s mere “potential” to become a baby really does make destroying it murder.

Opponents of abortion worry that, once abortion is permissible immediately after conception, no argument will restrict it at any later time in the pregnancy. Then, they fear, one day it will be permissible to murder a fetus that is unambiguously a human being. Both pro-choicers and pro-lifers (at least some of them) are pushed toward absolutist positions by parallel fears of the slippery slope.

 

Another slippery slope is reached by those pro-lifers who are willing to make an exception in the agonizing case of a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest. But why should the right to live depend on the circumstances of conception? If the same child were to result, can the state ordain life for the offspring of a lawful union but death for one conceived by force or coercion? How can this be just? And if exceptions are extended to such a fetus, why should they be withheld from any other fetus? This is part of the reason some pro-lifers adopt what many others consider the outrageous posture of opposing abortions under any and all circumstances–only excepting, perhaps, when the life of the mother is in danger.

By far the most common reason for abortion worldwide is birth control. So shouldn’t opponents of abortion be handing out contraceptives and teaching school children how to use them? That would be an effective way to reduce the number of abortions. Instead, the United States is far behind other nations in the development of safe and effective methods of birth control–and, in many cases, opposition to such research (and to sex education) has come from the same people who oppose abortions.continue on to Part 3

For the complete text, including illustrations, introductory quote, footnotes, and commentary on the reaction to the originally published article see Billions and Billions.

The attempt to find an ethically sound and unambiguous judgment on when, if ever, abortion is permissible has deep historical roots. Often, especially in Christian tradition, such attempts were connected with the question of when the soul enters the body–a matter not readily amenable to scientific investigation and an issue of controversy even among learned theologians. Ensoulment has been asserted to occur in the sperm before conception, at conception, at the time of “quickening” (when the mother is first able to feel the fetus stirring within her), and at birth. Or even later.

Different religions have different teachings. Among hunter-gatherers, there are usually no prohibitions against abortion, and it was common in ancient Greece and Rome. In contrast, the more severe Assyrians impaled women on stakes for attempting abortion. The Jewish Talmud teaches that the fetus is not a person and has no rights. The Old and New Testaments–rich in astonishingly detailed prohibitions on dress, diet, and permissible words–contain not a word specifically prohibiting abortion. The only passage that’s remotely relevant (Exodus 21:22) decrees that if there’s a fight and a woman bystander should accidentally be injured and made to miscarry, the assailant must pay a fine.

Neither St. Augustine nor St. Thomas Aquinas considered early-term abortion to be homicide (the latter on the grounds that the embryo doesn’t look human). This view was embraced by the Church in the Council of Vienne in 1312, and has never been repudiated. The Catholic Church’s first and long-standing collection of canon law (according to the leading historian of the Church’s teaching on abortion, John Connery, S.J.) held that abortion was homicide only after the fetus was already “formed”–roughly, the end of the first trimester.

But when sperm cells were examined in the seventeenth century by the first microscopes, they were thought to show a fully formed human being. An old idea of the homunculus was resuscitated–in which within each sperm cell was a fully formed tiny human, within whose testes were innumerable other homunculi, etc., ad infinitum. In part through this misinterpretation of scientific data, in 1869 abortion at any time for any reason became grounds for excommunication. It is surprising to most Catholics and others to discover that the date was not much earlier.

From colonial times to the nineteenth century, the choice in the United States was the woman’s until “quickening.” An abortion in the first or even second trimester was at worst a misdemeanor. Convictions were rarely sought and almost impossible to obtain, because they depended entirely on the woman’s own testimony of whether she had felt quickening, and because of the jury’s distaste for prosecuting a woman for exercising her right to choose. In 1800 there was not, so far as is known, a single statute in the United States concerning abortion. Advertisements for drugs to induce abortion could be found in virtually every newspaper and even in many church publications–although the language used was suitably euphemistic, if widely understood.

But by 1900, abortion had been banned at any time in pregnancy by every state in the Union, except when necessary to save the woman’s life. What happened to bring about so striking a reversal? Religion had little to do with it.Drastic economic and social conversions were turning this country from an agrarian to an urban-industrial society. America was in the process of changing from having one of the highest birthrates in the world to one of the lowest. Abortion certainly played a role and stimulated forces to suppress it.

 

One of the most significant of these forces was the medical profession. Up to the mid-nineteenth century, medicine was an uncertified, unsupervised business. Anyone could hang up a shingle and call himself (or herself) a doctor. With the rise of a new, university-educated medical elite, anxious to enhance the status and influence of physicians, the American Medical Association was formed. In its first decade, the AMA began lobbying against abortions performed by anyone except licensed physicians. New knowledge of embryology, the physicians said, had shown the fetus to be human even before quickening.

Their assault on abortion was motivated not by concern for the health of the woman but, they claimed, for the welfare of the fetus. You had to be a physician to know when abortion was morally justified, because the question depended on scientific and medical facts understood only by physicians. At the same time, women were effectively excluded from the medical schools, where such arcane knowledge could be acquired. So, as things worked out, women had almost nothing to say about terminating their own pregnancies. It was also up to the physician to decide if the pregnancy posed a threat to the woman, and it was entirely at his discretion to determine what was and was not a threat. For the rich woman, the threat might be a threat to her emotional tranquillity or even to her lifestyle. The poor woman was often forced to resort to the back alley or the coat hanger.

This was the law until the 1960s, when a coalition of individuals and organizations, the AMA now among them, sought to overturn it and to reinstate the more traditional values that were to be embodied in Roe v. Wade.continue on to Part 4

If you deliberately kill a human being, it’s called murder. If you deliberately kill a chimpanzee–biologically, our closest relative, sharing 99.6 percent of our active genes–whatever else it is, it’s not murder. To date, murder uniquely applies to killing human beings. Therefore, the question of when personhood (or, if we like, ensoulment) arises is key to the abortion debate. When does the fetus become human? When do distinct and characteristic human qualities emerge?

Section 8 Sperm journey to becoming Human 

We recognize that specifying a precise moment will overlook individual differences. Therefore, if we must draw a line, it ought to be drawn conservatively–that is, on the early side. There are people who object to having to set some numerical limit, and we share their disquiet; but if there is to be a law on this matter, and it is to effect some useful compromise between the two absolutist positions, it must specify, at least roughly, a time of transition to personhood.

Every one of us began from a dot. A fertilized egg is roughly the size of the period at the end of this sentence. The momentous meeting of sperm and egg generally occurs in one of the two fallopian tubes. One cell becomes two, two become four, and so on—an exponentiation of base-2 arithmetic. By the tenth day the fertilized egg has become a kind of hollow sphere wandering off to another realm: the womb. It destroys tissue in its path. It sucks blood from capillaries. It bathes itself in maternal blood, from which it extracts oxygen and nutrients. It establishes itself as a kind of parasite on the walls of the uterus.By the third week, around the time of the first missed menstrual period, the forming embryo is about 2 millimeters long and is developing various body parts. Only at this stage does it begin to be dependent on a rudimentary placenta. It looks a little like a segmented worm.By the end of the fourth week, it’s about 5 millimeters (about 1/5 inch) long. It’s recognizable now as a vertebrate, its tube-shaped heart is beginning to beat, something like the gill arches of a fish or an amphibian become conspicuous, and there is a pronounced tail. It looks rather like a newt or a tadpole. This is the end of the first month after conception.By the fifth week, the gross divisions of the brain can be distinguished. What will later develop into eyes are apparent, and little buds appear—on their way to becoming arms and legs.By the sixth week, the embryo is 13 millimeteres (about ½ inch) long. The eyes are still on the side of the head, as in most animals, and the reptilian face has connected slits where the mouth and nose eventually will be.By the end of the seventh week, the tail is almost gone, and sexual characteristics can be discerned (although both sexes look female). The face is mammalian but somewhat piglike.By the end of the eighth week, the face resembles that of a primate but is still not quite human. Most of the human body parts are present in their essentials. Some lower brain anatomy is well-developed. The fetus shows some reflex response to delicate stimulation.By the tenth week, the face has an unmistakably human cast. It is beginning to be possible to distinguish males from females. Nails and major bone structures are not apparent until the third month.By the fourth month, you can tell the face of one fetus from that of another. Quickening is most commonly felt in the fifth month. The bronchioles of the lungs do not begin developing until approximately the sixth month, the alveoli still later.

So, if only a person can be murdered, when does the fetus attain personhood? When its face becomes distinctly human, near the end of the first trimester? When the fetus becomes responsive to stimuli–again, at the end of the first trimester? When it becomes active enough to be felt as quickening, typically in the middle of the second trimester? When the lungs have reached a stage of development sufficient that the fetus might, just conceivably, be able to breathe on its own in the outside air?

The trouble with these particular developmental milestones is not just that they’re arbitrary. More troubling is the fact that none of them involves uniquely humancharacteristics–apart from the superficial matter of facial appearance. All animals respond to stimuli and move of their own volition. Large numbers are able to breathe. But that doesn’t stop us from slaughtering them by the billions. Reflexes and motion are not what make us human.

Sagan’s conclusion based on arbitrary choice of the presence of thought by unborn baby

Other animals have advantages over us–in speed, strength, endurance, climbing or burrowing skills, camouflage, sight or smell or hearing, mastery of the air or water. Our one great advantage, the secret of our success, is thought–characteristically human thought. We are able to think things through, imagine events yet to occur, figure things out. That’s how we invented agriculture and civilization. Thought is our blessing and our curse, and it makes us who we are.

Thinking occurs, of course, in the brain–principally in the top layers of the convoluted “gray matter” called the cerebral cortex. The roughly 100 billion neurons in the brain constitute the material basis of thought. The neurons are connected to each other, and their linkups play a major role in what we experience as thinking. But large-scale linking up of neurons doesn’t begin until the 24th to 27th week of pregnancy–the sixth month.

By placing harmless electrodes on a subject’s head, scientists can measure the electrical activity produced by the network of neurons inside the skull. Different kinds of mental activity show different kinds of brain waves. But brain waves with regular patterns typical of adult human brains do not appear in the fetus until about the 30th week of pregnancy–near the beginning of the third trimester. Fetuses younger than this–however alive and active they may be–lack the necessary brain architecture. They cannot yet think.

Acquiescing in the killing of any living creature, especially one that might later become a baby, is troublesome and painful. But we’ve rejected the extremes of “always” and “never,” and this puts us–like it or not–on the slippery slope. If we are forced to choose a developmental criterion, then this is where we draw the line: when the beginning of characteristically human thinking becomes barely possible.

It is, in fact, a very conservative definition: Regular brain waves are rarely found in fetuses. More research would help… If we wanted to make the criterion still more stringent, to allow for occasional precocious fetal brain development, we might draw the line at six months. This, it so happens, is where the Supreme Court drew it in 1973–although for completely different reasons.

Its decision in the case of Roe v. Wade changed American law on abortion. It permits abortion at the request of the woman without restriction in the first trimester and, with some restrictions intended to protect her health, in the second trimester. It allows states to forbid abortion in the third trimester, except when there’s a serious threat to the life or health of the woman. In the 1989 Webster decision, the Supreme Court declined explicitly to overturn Roe v. Wade but in effect invited the 50 state legislatures to decide for themselves.

What was the reasoning in Roe v. Wade? There was no legal weight given to what happens to the children once they are born, or to the family. Instead, a woman’s right to reproductive freedom is protected, the court ruled, by constitutional guarantees of privacy. But that right is not unqualified. The woman’s guarantee of privacy and the fetus’s right to life must be weighed–and when the court did the weighing’ priority was given to privacy in the first trimester and to life in the third. The transition was decided not from any of the considerations we have been dealing with so far…–not when “ensoulment” occurs, not when the fetus takes on sufficient human characteristics to be protected by laws against murder. Instead, the criterion adopted was whether the fetus could live outside the mother. This is called “viability” and depends in part on the ability to breathe. The lungs are simply not developed, and the fetus cannot breathe–no matter how advanced an artificial lung it might be placed in—until about the 24th week, near the start of the sixth month. This is why Roe v. Wade permits the states to prohibit abortions in the last trimester. It’s a very pragmatic criterion.

If the fetus at a certain stage of gestation would be viable outside the womb, the argument goes, then the right of the fetus to life overrides the right of the woman to privacy. But just what does “viable” mean? Even a full-term newborn is not viable without a great deal of care and love. There was a time before incubators, only a few decades ago, when babies in their seventh month were unlikely to be viable. Would aborting in the seventh month have been permissible then? After the invention of incubators, did aborting pregnancies in the seventh month suddenly become immoral? What happens if, in the future, a new technology develops so that an artificial womb can sustain a fetus even before the sixth month by delivering oxygen and nutrients through the blood–as the mother does through the placenta and into the fetal blood system? We grant that this technology is unlikely to be developed soon or become available to many. But if it were available, does it then become immoral to abort earlier than the sixth month, when previously it was moral? A morality that depends on, and changes with, technology is a fragile morality; for some, it is also an unacceptable morality.

And why, exactly, should breathing (or kidney function, or the ability to resist disease) justify legal protection? If a fetus can be shown to think and feel but not be able to breathe, would it be all right to kill it? Do we value breathing more than thinking and feeling? Viability arguments cannot, it seems to us, coherently determine when abortions are permissible. Some other criterion is needed. Again, we offer for consideration the earliest onset of human thinking as that criterion.

Since, on average, fetal thinking occurs even later than fetal lung development, we find Roe v. Wade to be a good and prudent decision addressing a complex and difficult issue. With prohibitions on abortion in the last trimester–except in cases of grave medical necessity–it strikes a fair balance between the conflicting claims of freedom and life.What do you think? What have others said about Carl Sagan’s thoughts on 

END OF SAGAN’S ARTICLE

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Carl Sagan with his wife Ann in the 1990’s
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I grew up in Memphis as a member of Bellevue Baptist Church under our pastor Adrian Rogers and attended ECS High School where the books and films of Francis Schaeffer were taught. Both men dealt with current issues in the culture such as the film series COSMOS by Carl Sagan. I personally read several of Sagan’s books.  (Francis and Edith Schaeffer pictured below in their home at L’ Abri in Switzerland where Francis  taught students for 3 decades.
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630 × 414Images may be subject to copyright.

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BREAKING DOWN CARL SAGAN’S LOGIC ON ABORTION Part 89 “[Pro-lifers} must decide what distinguishes a human being from other animals” (My 1995 correspondence with Sagan) Adrian Rogers versus Carl Sagan

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Adrian Rogers never imagined in 1956 when he graduated from Seminary that he eventually have to preach a sermon entitled “The Bible and Animal Rights.”


Carl Sagan pictured below:

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Carl Sagan notes: “[Pro-lifers} must decide what distinguishes a human being from other animals.”

Adrian Rogers responds:


Some Pro-Abortion Arguments and My Answers to Them:

  • “It’s not human.”

Scripture has already settled this, but you may hear the following argument.

Someone wrote “Dear Abby” saying they were a pro-choice because “to believe the ovum and sperm united are human life would like believing a vehicle was in existence after a nut and bolt were joined together at the beginning of an auto assembly line.” So if you have an egg and sperm come together, that’s no more life, they say, than a nut and bolt in a car factory is a car. 

What convoluted logic! There is a great difference. A nut and bolt are only a nut and bolt. They will not one day become a Cadillac! But when the egg and sperm come together, that is a human life, and no carburetor, fender, steering wheel or engine is added. Everything is already there! All that little life needs is nutrition and water to grow. You don’t add anything. It’s a human being already.

A young man, John de Haas, was the object of an attempted abortion in Korea. But they bungled the procedure. The little baby came out, his body injured, his head, because they had scraped and twisted and torn it, was bent out of shape, but he was breathing. When they took this baby from his mother’s womb and he was laid there, cast aside, they noticed that there was still life. Someone in the operatory there had compassion on this so-called “aborted fetus” and said, “No! You’ll not continue to commit this murder,” and stood between John and further harm. His body was mangled. His arms were twisted and mutilated. But they went to work. By a miraculous sequence of events, Reverend and Mrs. John DeHaas, missionaries in Korea, found that little Korean boy, adopted him, raised him, and now he’s perfectly healthy. As a little boy, John gave his testimony on Jerry Falwell’s television program. He quoted Scripture verses, sang songs, and he loves the Lord Jesus Christ. How glad he is to be alive! Don’t let anyone tell you that these little ones are not human beings. John was a baby!

Recently I have been revisiting my correspondence in 1995 with the famous astronomer Carl Sagan who I was introduced to when reading a book by Francis Schaeffer called HE IS THERE AND HE IS NOT SILENT written in 1968. 

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Francis Schaeffer

I was blessed with the opportunity to correspond with Dr. Sagan, and in his December 5, 1995 letter Dr. Sagan went on to tell me that he was enclosing his article “The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers”by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan. I am going to respond to several points made in that article. Here is a portion of Sagan’s article (here is a link to the whole article):

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Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan pictured above

 “The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers”

by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan

For the complete text, including illustrations, introductory quote, footnotes, and commentary on the reaction to the originally published article see Billions and Billions.

The issue had been decided years ago. The court had chosen the middle ground. You’d think the fight was over. Instead, there are mass rallies, bombings and intimidation, murders of workers at abortion clinics, arrests, intense lobbying, legislative drama, Congressional hearings, Supreme Court decisions, major political parties almost defining themselves on the issue, and clerics threatening politicians with perdition. Partisans fling accusations of hypocrisy and murder. The intent of the Constitution and the will of God are equally invoked. Doubtful arguments are trotted out as certitudes. The contending factions call on science to bolster their positions. Families are divided, husbands and wives agree not to discuss it, old friends are no longer speaking. Politicians check the latest polls to discover the dictates of their consciences. Amid all the shouting, it is hard for the adversaries to hear one another. Opinions are polarized. Minds are closed.

 

Is it wrong to abort a pregnancy? Always? Sometimes? Never? How do we decide? We wrote this article to understand better what the contending views are and to see if we ourselves could find a position that would satisfy us both. Is there no middle ground? We had to weigh the arguments of both sides for consistency and to pose test cases, some of which are purely hypothetical. If in some of these tests we seem to go too far, we ask the reader to be patient with us–we’re trying to stress the various positions to the breaking point to see their weaknesses and where they fail.

In contemplative moments, nearly everyone recognizes that the issue is not wholly one-sided. Many partisans of differing views, we find, feel some disquiet, some unease when confronting what’s behind the opposing arguments. (This is partly why such confrontations are avoided.) And the issue surely touches on deep questions: What are our responses to one another? Should we permit the state to intrude into the most intimate and personal aspects of our lives? Where are the boundaries of freedom? What does it mean to be human?

Of the many actual points of view, it is widely held–especially in the media, which rarely have the time or the inclination to make fine distinctions–that there are only two: “pro-choice” and “pro-life.” This is what the two principal warring camps like to call themselves, and that’s what we’ll call them here. In the simplest characterization, a pro-choicer would hold that the decision to abort a pregnancy is to be made only by the woman; the state has no right to interfere. And a pro-lifer would hold that, from the moment of conception, the embryo or fetus is alive; that this life imposes on us a moral obligation to preserve it; and that abortion is tantamount to murder. Both names–pro-choice and pro-life–were picked with an eye toward influencing those whose minds are not yet made up: Few people wish to be counted either as being against freedom of choice or as opposed to life. Indeed, freedom and life are two of our most cherished values, and here they seem to be in fundamental conflict.

Let’s consider these two absolutist positions in turn. A newborn baby is surely the same being it was just before birth. There ‘s good evidence that a late-term fetus responds to sound–including music, but especially its mother’s voice. It can suck its thumb or do a somersault. Occasionally, it generates adult brain-wave patterns. Some people claim to remember being born, or even the uterine environment. Perhaps there is thought in the womb. It’s hard to maintain that a transformation to full personhood happens abruptly at the moment of birth. Why, then, should it be murder to kill an infant the day after it was born but not the day before?

As a practical matter, this isn’t very important: Less than 1 percent of all tabulated abortions in the United States are listed in the last three months of pregnancy (and, on closer investigation, most such reports turn out to be due to miscarriage or miscalculation). But third-trimester abortions provide a test of the limits of the pro-choice point of view. Does a woman’s “innate right to control her own body” encompass the right to kill a near-term fetus who is, for all intents and purposes, identical to a newborn child?

We believe that many supporters of reproductive freedom are troubled at least occasionally by this question. But they are reluctant to raise it because it is the beginning of a slippery slope. If it is impermissible to abort a pregnancy in the ninth month, what about the eighth, seventh, sixth … ? Once we acknowledge that the state can interfere at any time in the pregnancy, doesn’t it follow that the state can interfere at all times?

Abortion and the slippery slope argument above

This conjures up the specter of predominantly male, predominantly affluent legislators telling poor women they must bear and raise alone children they cannot afford to bring up; forcing teenagers to bear children they are not emotionally prepared to deal with; saying to women who wish for a career that they must give up their dreams, stay home, and bring up babies; and, worst of all, condemning victims of rape and incest to carry and nurture the offspring of their assailants. Legislative prohibitions on abortion arouse the suspicion that their real intent is to control the independence and sexuality of women…

And yet, by consensus, all of us think it proper that there be prohibitions against, and penalties exacted for, murder. It would be a flimsy defense if the murderer pleads that this is just between him and his victim and none of the government’s business. If killing a fetus is truly killing a human being, is it not the duty of the state to prevent it? Indeed, one of the chief functions of government is to protect the weak from the strong.

If we do not oppose abortion at some stage of pregnancy, is there not a danger of dismissing an entire category of human beings as unworthy of our protection and respect? And isn’t that dismissal the hallmark of sexism, racism, nationalism, and religious fanaticism? Shouldn’t those dedicated to fighting such injustices be scrupulously careful not to embrace another?

Why do we set humans above animals?

There is no right to life in any society on Earth today, nor has there been at any former time… : We raise farm animals for slaughter; destroy forests; pollute rivers and lakes until no fish can live there; kill deer and elk for sport, leopards for the pelts, and whales for fertilizer; entrap dolphins, gasping and writhing, in great tuna nets; club seal pups to death; and render a species extinct every day. All these beasts and vegetables are as alive as we. What is (allegedly) protected is not life, but human life.

Adrian Rogers sermon on the Bible and Animal Rights is a perfect answer to Sagan!!

And even with that protection, casual murder is an urban commonplace, and we wage “conventional” wars with tolls so terrible that we are, most of us, afraid to consider them very deeply… That protection, that right to life, eludes the 40,000 children under five who die on our planet each day from preventable starvation, dehydration, disease, and neglect.

Those who assert a “right to life” are for (at most) not just any kind of life, but for–particularly and uniquely—human life. So they too, like pro-choicers, must decide what distinguishes a human being from other animals and when, during gestation, the uniquely human qualities–whatever they are–emerge.

The Bible talks about the differences between humans and animals

Despite many claims to the contrary, life does not begin at conception: It is an unbroken chain that stretches back nearly to the origin of the Earth, 4.6 billion years ago. Nor does human life begin at conception: It is an unbroken chain dating back to the origin of our species, hundreds of thousands of years ago. Every human sperm and egg is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, alive. They are not human beings, of course. However, it could be argued that neither is a fertilized egg.

In some animals, an egg develops into a healthy adult without benefit of a sperm cell. But not, so far as we know, among humans. A sperm and an unfertilized egg jointly comprise the full genetic blueprint for a human being. Under certain circumstances, after fertilization, they can develop into a baby. But most fertilized eggs are spontaneously miscarried. Development into a baby is by no means guaranteed. Neither a sperm and egg separately, nor a fertilized egg, is more than a potential baby or a potential adult. So if a sperm and egg are as human as the fertilized egg produced by their union, and if it is murder to destroy a fertilized egg–despite the fact that it’s only potentially a baby–why isn’t it murder to destroy a sperm or an egg?

Hundreds of millions of sperm cells (top speed with tails lashing: five inches per hour) are produced in an average human ejaculation. A healthy young man can produce in a week or two enough spermatozoa to double the human population of the Earth. So is masturbation mass murder? How about nocturnal emissions or just plain sex? When the unfertilized egg is expelled each month, has someone died? Should we mourn all those spontaneous miscarriages? Many lower animals can be grown in a laboratory from a single body cell. Human cells can be cloned… In light of such cloning technology, would we be committing mass murder by destroying any potentially clonable cells? By shedding a drop of blood?

For the complete text, including illustrations, introductory quote, footnotes, and commentary on the reaction to the originally published article see Billions and Billions.

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Adrian Rogers (1931-2005) I shared my correspondence with Carl Sagan with Dr Rogers and the fact that many of my letters to Sagan contained material from Rogers.

Adrian Rogers on “The Bible and Animal Rights”:

NOW, THE ANIMAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT IS A SYNTHESIS, OF A NUMBER OF THINGS: SECULAR HUMANISM, HINDUISM, NEW AGEISM, EVOLUTIONARY THOUGHT–ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE TOGETHER. AND SO, UH, WHAT, WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF THOSE WHO ARE CAMPAIGNING FOR ANIMAL RIGHTS? WELL, NUMBER ONE, THEY REJECT–LISTEN TO ME–THEY REJECT THE IDEA THAT MAN IS ESSENTIALLY, INTRINSICALLY, BASICALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE ANIMALS. AND THEIR GOALS, THEREFORE, ARE TO SET THE ANIMALS FREE. NOT JUST SIMPLY FROM INHUMANE TREATMENT, NOT A ONE OF US, I HOPE, WOULD ARGUE AGAINST INHUMANE TREATMENT FOR ANY ANIMAL. BUT THEY’RE NOT WANTING TO SET THE ANIMALS FREE FROM INHUMANE TREATMENT. THEY ARE WANTING TO SET THE ANIMALS FREE FROM THE DOMINION OF MANKIND. WHAT THEY’RE TRYING TO SAY IS THIS: THAT THERE IS BASICALLY NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MAN AND ANIMAL YOU SAY, “WELL, WHAT, WHAT IS THE IMPACT?” HUH, WELL, THE IMPACT, MY DEAR FRIEND, IS INCREDIBLE. NOW, LET ME JUST READ, UH, SOME OF WHAT THESE ARE SAYING. FOR EXAMPLE, UH, WE SAY, “WELL, LET’S BE HUMANE TO THE ANIMALS.”

BUT, MICHAEL, UH, FOX, A VETERINARIAN, WHO DIRECTS THE CENTER FOR THE RESPECT OF LIFE AND ENVIRONMENT AT THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES SAYS, QUOTE, “HUMANE TREATMENT IS SIMPLY SENTIMENTAL, SYMPATHETIC PATRONAGE.” THAT IS, “WE’RE NOT JUST LOOKING FOR HUMANE TREATMENT.”

Gary L. Francione

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GARY FRANCIONE, A LAW PROFESSOR, WHO LITIGATES ANIMAL RIGHTS CASES, SAID HE “WOULD NOT ALLOW AN ANIMAL TO SUFFER, EVEN IF THE RESEARCH WOULD PRODUCE A CURE FOR CANCER.” HE SAID, AND I QUOTE, “I DON’T BELIEVE IT IS MORALLY PERMISSIBLE TO EXPLOIT WEAKER BEINGS, EVEN IF WE DERIVE BENEFITS.” AND IN A SYMPOSIUM WITH THESE ANIMAL RIGHTS PEOPLE, ONE PERSON ASKED A QUESTION LIKE THIS: “IF A PIG COULD GIVE ITS LIFE TO SAVE THE LIFE OF A BABY, WOULD YOU BE FOR IT?” AND THIS ANIMAL RIGHTIST SAID, “ABSOLUTELY NOT!” HE SAID, HE WARNED STERNLY AGAINST THAT, AND SAID THAT THE BABIES PARENTS SHOULD BE MADE TO CARE ABOUT THE PIG. NOW, WE HEAR ABOUT RACISM AND SEXISM. GET READY! THERE IS A NEW WORD COMING: SPECIES-ISM. THAT IS, IF YOU’RE, UH, FOR HUMAN BEINGS, THINK THAT HUMAN BEINGS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANIMALS, YOU ARE A, “SPECICIST.” HARD TO SAY, SO MAYBE IT WON’T GO FOR VERY WELL. BUT IT’S HARD TO SAY. NOW, NOW LISTEN. YOU SAY, “THIS IS ALL SILLY!”

(Peter Singer below)

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BUT PETER SINGER’S FOUNDATIONAL TEXT, ANIMAL LIBERATION, IS, UH, IS, UH, THE TEXTBOOK THAT MANY OF THESE -GO BY. AND LET ME QUOTE FROM THAT. QUOTE, “IT CAN NO LONGER BE MAINTAINED BY ANYONE BUT A RELIGIOUS FANATIC THAT MAN IS THE SPECIAL DARLING OF THE UNIVERSE.” AND, BY THE WAY, MOST OF YOU HERE ARE WHAT HE WOULD CONSIDER RELIGIOUS FANATICS. AND HE GOES ON TO WRITE, “OR THAT OTHER ANIMALS WERE CREATED TO PROVIDE US WITH FOOD, OR THAT WE HAVE DIVINE AUTHORITY OVER THEM, AND DIVINE PERMISSION TO KILL THEM.” AND

“THE CONTRASTS OF MAN AND THE ANIMALS.” 

BUT NOW LET ME TALK TO YOU ABOUT “THE CONTRASTS OF MAN AND THE ANIMALS.” WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MAN AND AN ANIMAL? OR ARE THESE RIGHT WHEN THEY SAY THAT THERE IS BASICALLY NO INTRINSIC DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MAN AND AN ANIMAL? LET ME SHOW YOU THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN AND ANIMALS.

“Craving for Deity”

NUMBER ONE, MAN HAS A LONGING IN HIS HEART TO KNOW GOD. HE HAS A CRAVING FOR DEITY. NOTICE VERSE 26, (GENESIS 1:26), “AND GOD SAID, LET US MAKE MAN IN OUR IMAGE, (AND) AFTER OUR LIKENESS…” NOW, MY DEAR FRIEND, WHEN GOD MADE YOU, GOD MADE YOU IN HIS IMAGE. NOT IN HIS PHYSICAL IMAGE, GOD DOESN’T HAVE HANDS, AND FEET, AND EYES, AND EARS. GOD IS A SPIRIT! WHEN GOD MADE YOU IN HIS IMAGE, HE MADE YOU IN HIS MORAL AND SPIRITUAL IMAGE. IT’S A SPIRITUAL IMAGE! PUT THIS VERSE DOWN,

COLOSSIANS 3, VERSE 10. THE BIBLE SAYS, “…PUT ON THE NEW MAN, WHICH IS RENEWED IN KNOWLEDGE AFTER THE IMAGE OF HIM THAT CREATED HIM.” SO, YOUR NEWNESS HAS TO DO WITH YOUR KNOWLEDGE. IT IS A, IT IS A MORAL, A MENTAL, A SPIRITUAL CAPACITY. THAT’S WHAT IT MEANS TO BE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. AND THIS ONE, EPHESIANS, CHAPTER 4, AND VERSE 24, “THAT YE PUT ON THE NEW MAN, WHICH AFTER GOD IS CREATED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND TRUE HOLINESS.” LISTEN TO IT AGAIN, “…WHICH 15 CREATED AFTER GOD, WHICH AFTER GOD IS CREATED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND TRUE HOLINESS.”

YOU SEE, BECAUSE WE ARE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD, WE HAVE A MORAL AND A SPIRITUAL NATURE. HINDUISM, NEW-AGEISM HAS BASICALLY NO MORALS. AND YOU CAN UNDERSTAND IT. YOU SEE, IF GOD IS EVERYTHING, AND EVERY-THING IS GOD, THEN EVIL IS GOD, AS WELL AS GOOD IS GOD. BAD IS GOD, AS WELL AS GOOD. AND SO THERE ARE NO REAL MORAL DISTINCTIONS. AND THAT’S THE REASON ANYTHING GOES IN THE NEW-AGE MOVEMENT, BECAUSE THERE IS NO MORAL, SPIRITUAL BACKBONE. THAT’S THE REASON THE NEW AGE HAS A MENACING DANGER TO ALL OF US. YOU SEE, MAN MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD HAS A MORAL, MENTAL, SPIRITUAL PROCLIVITY TO REFLECT HIS CREATOR. HAS A “CRAVING FOR DEITY.”

CAPABILITY FOR DOMINION.

HE ALSO HAS A “CAPABILITY FOR DOMINION.” LOOK IN VERSE 26 (GENESIS 1). GOD SAYS, “….AND LET THEM HAVE DOMINION….” MAN, MY DEAR FRIEND, IS MEANT TO RULE. PSALM 8, VERSES 6 THROUGH 8, GOD SAYS, “THOU MADEST HIM (MAN) TO HAVE DOMINION OVER THE WORKS OF THY HANDS; THOU HAST PUT ALL THINGS UNDER HIS FEET: (7) ALL SHEEP AND OXEN, YEA, AND THE BEASTS OF THE FIELD; (8) THE FOWL OF THE AIR, (AND) THE FISH OF THE SEA, AND WHATSOEVER PASSETH THROUGH THE PATHS OF THE SEA(S).” GOD MADE MAN TO HAVE DOMINION OVER THE ANIMALS. AND WHEN JESUS CHRIST WAS HERE ON EARTH, HE DEMONSTRATED THAT DOMINION. JESUS RODE A WILD DONKEY INTO JERUSALEM, ‘UPON WHICH NEVER A MAN SAT. I WANNA SEE ONE OF YOU TRY THAT! JESUS HAD DOMINION! JESUS HAD A, ROOSTER TO CROW AT THE EXACT, PRECISE MOMENT HE WANTED THAT ROOSTER TO CROW, AFTER PETER HAD DENIED HIM. REMEMBER THAT? MAN, I WANNA SEE YOU MAKE ONE CROW, MUCH LESS, I WANNA SEE KEEP ONE FROM CROWING. YOU KNOW, THE ROOSTER THINKS BECAUSE HE CROWS THE SUN COMES UP. BUT JESUS HAD DOMINION OVER THE FOWLS OF THE AIR. JESUS HAD DOMINION OVER THE FISH OF THE SEA. WHEN IT WAS TIME FOR JESUS TO PAY HIS TAXES, HE SAID, “YOU GO CAST, A HOOK INTO THE SEA.” AND THERE WAS ONE PARTICULAR FISH, OUT OF ALL OF THOSE FISH, THAT OUR LORD HAD GUIDED TO A CO I N LY I NG ON THE BOTTOM OF THAT, UH, GALILEAN SEA, AND THEN GUIDED TO THAT HOOK. NOW, FRIEND, LISTEN, HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU GONE FISHING AND NOT CAUGHT ANYTHING? BECAUSE, YOU SEE, MAN, TO SOME DEGREE, HAS LOST HIS DOMINION. BUT GOD GAVE MAN DOMINION OVER THE ANIMALS. THERE’S NO IF AND’S, AND BUT’S ABOUT IT. YOU SEE, MAN HAS SOMETHING THAT ANIMALS DON’T HAVE, BECAUSE ANIMALS HAVE SOMETHING THAT MEN DON’T HAVE. DO YOU KNOW WHAT ANIMALS HAVE?

ANIMALS HAVE INSTINCT. MEN DON’T HAVE INSTINCT. GOD, IN MERCY, GAVE THE ANIMALS INSTINCT. I SOMETIMES GO OUT IN THE MORNING, AND I MARVEL WHEN I SEE A SPIDER’S WEB, WITH THE DEW IN IT. HAVE YOU EVER DONE THAT? LOOKED AT THAT ENGINEERING MARVEL! NOW, DEAR FRIEND, A SPIDER CANNOT HAVE A VERY BIG BRAIN, ‘CAUSE I HAVE LOOKED. I MEAN, YOU KNOW. AND YET, OVERNIGHT, THAT’S INCREDIBLE THAT HE CAN DO THAT! AND THE BEEHIVE, AS THEY BUILD THOSE LITTLE EIGHT-SIDED THINGS. UH, IT, IT’S INCREDIBLE WHAT GOES ON IN THE BEEHIVE. AND THE BEAVER AS HE BUILDS H I S BEAVER DAM, LIKE WE HAD SOME UP HERE ON OUR LAKE. MY DEAR FRIEND, YOU’LL NEVER SEE A BEAVER BUILD AN EIGHT-SIDED CELL, OR YOU’LL NEVER SEE A BEE BUILD A DAM. ALL THEY HAVE IS INSTINCT THAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO THE CREATURES. BUT GOD DIDN’T GIVE MAN INSTINCT. GOD MADE MAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE! AND GOD GAVE MAN THE HOLY SPIRIT! THE HOLY SPIRIT IS TO MAN .. WHAT INSTINCT IS TO THE ANIMALS. NOW, IF YOU WERE TO TAKE THE INSTINCT OUT OF THE BEEHIVE, WHAT WOULD HAPPEN? IT’D BE VERY MUCH LIKE OUR WORLD TODAY MEN WITHOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT. MEN WITHOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT. YOU SEE, WHAT HAS HAPPENED, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD TODAY IS THAT MAN IS NOT OPERATING AT FULL FUNCTION. YOU SEE, MAN HAS A, A CAPACITY FOR DOMINION, A “CAPABILITY FOR DOMINION.” AND THEN HE HAS, I WANNA SAY, A “CAPACITY FOR DEPRAVITY.” ANIMALS DON’T HAVE, ANIMALS CAN’T SIN, ‘CAUSE ANIMALS DON’T HAVE ANY CHOICE. THE REASON THEY DON’T HAVE ANY CHOICE IS THEY DON’T HAVE ANY MORAL BASIS. BUT MEN DO! AND THE SAD THING IS THIS, THAT MAN CREATED A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS HAS MORALLY BECOME A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANIMALS. I MEAN, MEN CAN DO THINGS THAT ANIMALS CAN’T DO. MEN HAVE A CAPACITY FOR SIN THAT ANIMALS DON’T HAVE. SOMEBODY WROTE A POEM ABOUT MONKEYS SITTING IN A TREE, DISCUSSING EVOLUTION. I DON’T HAVE THE WHOLE POEM, BUT THE KICKER, THE LINE IN THIS, SAID ONE MONKEY SAID TO ANOTHER, AS HE WAS SO ASHAMED OF THE DRUGS AND EVERYTHING. HE SAID: “MAN DESCENDED, THE ORNERY CUSS, BUT, BROTHER, HE DIDN’T DESCEND FROM US.” I HEARD ABOUT SOME MONKEYS HAD A NEW LITTLE BABY MONKEY. AN’ THE FATHER MONKEY AN” UH, THE MOTHER MONKEY WERE LOOKING DOWN AT THAT LITTLE BABY MONKEY. AND ONE OF THEM SAID, “AH, THANK GOD IT’S NORMAL. I WAS AFRAID OF EVOLUTION.” I MEAN, DEAR FRIEND, LET ME TELL YOU, THAT MEN WILL DO THINGS THAT ANIMALS WOULDN’T DO! YOU DON’T HAVE SEXUAL PERVERSION AMONG THE ANIMALS, LIKE WE HAVE AMONG MEN. IT’S INCREDIBLE! SEE, LISTEN, MAN HAS A “CRAVING FOR DEITY. MAN, MY DEAR FRIEND, HAS A “CAPABILITY OF DOMINION.”

“CAPACITY FOR DEPRAVITY!” 

BUT HE HAS A “CAPACITY FOR DEPRAVITY!” I ‘LL TELL YOU SOMETHING ELSE ABOUT MAN THAT MAKES MAN DIFFERENT FROM THE ANIMALS.

MY DEAR FRIEND, MAN HAS A “CONCERN FOR HIS DESTINY.” MAN IS THE ONLY CREATURE WHO KNOWS HE’S GOING TO DIE. NO ELEPHANT KNOWS HE’S GOING TO DIE. HE MAY, BY INSTINCT, GO TO THE BURIAL GROUNDS. UH-HUH, THE SALMON MAY SWIM UPSTREAM AND SPAWN AND THEN DIE. BUT THEY NEVER THINK ABOUT DEATH. THEY NEVER SAY, “I ID BETTER PREPARE FOR ETERNITY.” BUT THE BIBLE SAYS THAT GOD, CONCERNING MAN, GOD HAS PUT ETERNITY IN OUR HEARTS!”(ECCL 3:11)  A GALLOP POLL HAS SI SHOWN THAT 67% OF AMERICANS BELIEVE IN LIFE AFTER DEATH. DEAR FRIEND, WE DON’T BELIEVE IT BECAUSE WE’VE PROVED IT. WE MOVE HEAVEN AND EARTH TO PROVE IT BECAUSE WE BELIEVE IT! WHY DO WE BELIEVE IT?! BECAUSE WE’RE MADE IN THE IMAGE OF ALMIGHTY GOD! THERE IS A DIFFERENCE! PLANTS HAVE A BODY, BUT THEY DON’T HAVE A SOUL. ANIMALS HAVE A BODY AND A SOUL. YOUR SOUL IS YOUR MIND, YOUR EMOTION, AND YOUR WILL. BUT ONLY MAN HAS A SPIRIT. AND THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE HUMAN SPIRIT IS WHAT MAKES US WHAT WE’RE TO BE. GOD GAVE MAN A SPIRIT. WITH YOUR BODY YOU KNOW THE WORLD BENEATH YOU. WITH YOUR SOUL YOU KNOW THE WORLD AROUND YOU. BUT WITH YOUR SPIRIT, YOU KNOW THE WORLD ABOVE YOU! AND GOD MADE MAN WITH A SPIRITUAL CAPACITY TO KNOW HIM, TO LOVE HIM, AND TO SERVE HIM! NOW LISTEN TO ME,

DEAR FRIEND, YOU’RE NO ANIMAL. YOU’RE THE DISTINCT CREATION OF ALMIGHTY GOD. AND WHAT DID GOD MAKE A FISH TO DO? GOD MADE A FISH TO SWIM IN THE SEA. AND WHAT DID GOD MAKE A BIRD TO DO? GOD MADE A BIRD TO FLY IN THE SKY. AND WHAT DID GOD MAKE YOU TO DO? GOD CREATED YOU TO KNOW HIM, TO LOVE HIM, AND TO SERVE HIM. THE BIBLE SAYS, “IT IS IN HIM THAT WE LIVE, AND MOVE, AND HAVE OUR BEING.” NOW LISTEN VERY CAREFULLY, IF YOU DON’T KNOW GOD AND IF YOU DON’T SERVE GOD, YOU HAVE MISSED THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH YOU WERE CREATED. AND YOU WILL BE LIKE A FISH OUT OF THE SEA. TAKE A FISH OUT OF THE SEA AND PUT IT IN A TREE AND HE’S AN UNHAPPY FISH. TAKE A BIRD OUT OF THE AIR AND PUT THAT BIRD IN THE WATER, AND TO SAY THE LEAST, HE’S AN UNHAPPY FISH. DEAR FRIEND, IF YOU ARE NOT SERVING GOD.

IF YOU DON’T KNOW GOD, YOU HAVE MISSED IT ALL. AND HOW CAN YOU KNOW GOD? BY RECEIVING JESUS CHRIST AS YOUR PERSONAL SAVIOR AND LORD. GOD LOVES YOU SO MUCH. JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR YOU IN AGONY AND BLOOD. YOU ARE NO ACCIDENT AND YOU ARE NO ANIMAL. YOU ARE MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. YOU ARE MADE FOR HIS GLORY. HEADS ARE BOWED AND EYES ARE CLOSED.

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 272 My May 26, 2016 Letter to Hugh Hefner based on message by pastor Steve Gaines of Bellevue Baptist of Memphis, TN (Featured artist is Lonnie Holley )

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Image result for hugh hefner laughing

Over and over I have read that Hugh Hefner was a modern day King Solomon and Hefner’s search for satisfaction was attempted by adding to the number of his sexual experiences. Richard Zowie makes the same comparison below:

King Solomon would disagree with Gene Simmons about Hugh Hefner

August 2, 2010richardzowieLeave a commentGo to comments

Gene Simmons, echoing a statement he made a few years ago when blogging about attending a party at the Playboy Mansion, expressed his reverence for “Hef” (Mr. Hefner, I understand, dislikes his first name and prefers the nickname “Hef”). The Israeli-born rocker/businessman said in a recent documentary on Hefner: “Show me any guy, of any age, anywhere in the world, at any time in history, today or tomorrow, that wouldn’t give his left [testicle] to be Hugh Hefner.”

Yoo-hoo, Gene! Over here!

<Richard waves both his hands and tries to get Simmons’ attention>

Simmons and Hefner are more than entitled to do as they wish with their lives, and as long as their actions are with other consenting adults, I prefer to stay out of it.

That being said, with all due respect, Mr. Simmons, speak for yourself. I get the feeling an ancient Hebrew king might say the same thing.

Besides, about 2,900 years before there was ever a Hugh M. Hefner, there was a Hebrew king named Solomon. Reading through First Kings and Second Chronicles indicates that Solomon could’ve easily schooled Hefner on women: Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. We can only imagine the other sex partners he had whenever he went to a party and had his selection of any woman he wanted.

I wonder if Solomon would’ve given his left testicle to be Hefner. It’s a pointless question, because Solomon not only was Hefner, but he no doubt was bigger than Hefner. When you read about Solomon and his downfall, you get the strong feeling his appetite for women was absolutely insatiable. In fact, he was probably the guy Hefner would’ve aspired to be.

This is funny, of course, because Ecclesiastes is a book where Solomon looks back on his life of money, sex, power, fame, sex, wisdom, knowledge and sex and utters this in verse two:

“Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.”

Or:

“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!”

In other words, Solomon–the Original Hugh Hefner with his bottomless harem of wives, concubines and one-night stands–had every man’s ultimate sexual fantasy.

And Solomon couldn’t have been more miserable.

The last thing I want to do is use this blog as a soapbox to attack Mr. Hefner and his lifestyle or to attack Simmons for glamorizing it, but I wonder if either is truly happy. If Solomon was miserable in a life where he strayed off his path with God, I suspect these two men are also.

Richard Zowie is a Christian writer, who considers Ecclesiastes to be one of his favorite books of the Bible. Post comments here or drop a line to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

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Many of the sermons that I heard or read that inspired me to write Hugh Hefner were from this list of gentlemen:  Daniel Akin, Brandon Barnard,Matt Chandler, George Critchley,  Darryl Dash, Steve DeWitt, Steve Gaines, Norman L. Geisler, Greg Gillbert, Billy Graham, Mark Henry, Dan Jarrell, Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., R. G. Lee,  Chris Lewis, Kerry Livgren, Robert Lewis,    Bill Parkinson, Ben Parkinson,Vance Pitman, Nelson Price, Adrian Rogers, Philip Graham Ryken, Francis Schaeffer, Lee Strobel, Bill Wellons, Kirk Wetsell,  Ken Whitten, Ed Young , and Ravi Zacharias, Tom Zobrist, Richard Zowie.

The letter I wrote to Hugh Hefner that is featured today is based primarily on a sermon by Steven Gaines. See it below:

Image result for steve gaines adrian rogers

(Adrian Rogers wasting the feet of Steve Gaines pictured above at Bellevue Baptist where Rogers was the pastor from  1972 to 2004 and Gaines is now)

Image result for steve gaines bellevue baptist church

May 26, 2016

Hugh Hefner
Playboy Mansion  
10236 Charing Cross Road
Los Angeles, CA 90024-1815

Dear Mr. Hefner,

I understand you were longtime friends with Tony Curtis and that he even took up a long-term residence at the Playboy Mansion at one time.  Actually over his long life he suffered from alcoholism, drug addiction and what he called an “addiction to women.” Francis Schaeffer observed concerning King Solomon, “You can not know woman by knowing 1000 women.” Since it was your philosophy that produced these results in countless homes in modern times do you feel somewhat responsible to those children who have been disenfranchised by the broken homes?

Tony had fling with Monroe

Wife number one: Janet Leigh, who Curtis married in 1951

Wife number one: Janet Leigh, who Curtis married in 1951

Curtis family seen above

In the article, “The worst father in the world? Tony Curtis neglected his children. Now they’re having to sue for a share of his £37million fortune” By ALISON BOSHOFF FOR THE DAILY MAIL,  31 March 2011, I read the following:

To his millions of fans he was the last of the great matinee idols, the most handsome of all Hollywood stars and a man whose incredible sexual career encompassed a fling with Marilyn Monroe and a period of taking showgirls ‘two a day’ like vitamin pills.

But to his family, life with Tony Curtis — who had six children and six wives — was a more fraught affair. His actress daughter Jamie Lee Curtis has declared numerous times that he ‘wasn’t a father’ to her, and he admitted candidly that he had been a lousy dad…

Meanwhile Allegra, the black sheep among the children, who posed for Playboy in her youth, has recently written a book describing her father as a drug-addicted ‘demon’, and bemoaning the fact that he never gave her a chance to be his daughter.

‘My father was a victim of his fame, and I am the victim of my father, the global star. I got to learn about the dark side of the spotlight,’ she said. ‘My life with him was always unstable.’

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Happier times: Tony Curtis and first wife Janet Leigh pose with their daughters Kelly and Jamie Lee

Happier times: Tony Curtis and first wife Janet Leigh pose with their daughters Kelly and Jamie Lee

From the movie SOME LIKE IT HOT

Wife number two: Christine Kaufmann was mother of Alexandra and Allegra (who is pictured in 1967)

Wife number three: Leslie Allen bore Curtis two sons, one of whom died

Wife number four: Actress Andrea Savio was Curtis' next wife

Wife number four: Actress Andrea Savio was Curtis’ next wife

Wife number five: Lawyer Lisa Deutsch, who he married in 1993

Wife number five: Lawyer Lisa Deutsch, who he married in 1993

Wife number six: Jill Vandenberg was married to Curtis until his death

Wife number six: Jill Vandenberg was married to Curtis until his death

I grew up at Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee and recently I got to listen to a CD with the sermon entitled WHY AM I HERE? by Steve Gaines the current pastor of Bellevue Baptist. This sermon really does describe those who like TONY CURTIS who are looking for life’s meaning in liquor, luxuries or lust. Here is an excerpt:

Today we are going to do a very quick overview of the Book of Ecclesiastes. If you want to describe Ecclesiastes then you could describe it with these words BEEN THERE DONE THAT, NOW WHAT?

Ecclesiastes was written by a frustrated old man who had wasted his life on this earth. Solomon wrote three books. He wrote THE SONG OF SOLOMON when he was a young man in love and he was in love with a precious wife and would to God that he would have stayed in that vein. Then as an older man he wrote Book of Proverbs and he showed that he was indeed a very wise man at the moment he wrote those words inspired by the Holy Spirit. But at the end of his life when he had turned his heart from the Lord and he had married all these women from many different religions and he had all these different concubines and he had tried everything in life then he sat down and wrote his opus call Ecclesiastes. It is a book of frustration written by a man who had wasted his life.

Let’s look first at why we are not here.

FIRST, we are not here primarily for scholarship or learning.

Ecclesiastes 1:12-13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

12 I, the Preacher, have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I set my [a]mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven. It is [b]a grievous task which God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with. 14 I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is [c]vanity and striving after wind.

SECONDLY, we are not here primarily for possessions and pleasure.

Ecclesiastes 2:3-11 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

 I explored with my [c]mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my [d]mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men [e]to do under heaven the few [f]years of their lives. 4I enlarged my works: I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for myself; I made gardens and parks for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees; I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves and I had [g]homeborn slaves. Also I possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself male and female singers and the pleasures of men—many concubines.

Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me. 10 All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor. 11 Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had [h]exerted, and behold all was [i]vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.

(Verse 8 is put this way by THE MESSAGE, “I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song,     and—most exquisite of all pleasures— voluptuous maidens for my bed.”)

THIRDLY, we are not here primarily for work.

Ecclesiastes 2:22-23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

 22 For what does a man get in all his labor and in [d]his striving with which he labors under the sun?23 Because all his days his task is painful and grievous; even at night his[e]mind does not rest. This too is vanity.

FOURTHLY, we are not here primarily for money.

Ecclesiastes 5:10-12 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

10 He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is [a]vanity. 11 When good things increase, those who consume them increase. So what is the advantage to their owners except to [b]look on? 12 The sleep of the working man is pleasant, whether he eats little or much; but the [c]full stomach of the rich man does not allow him to sleep.

If we are not here primarily for scholarship, possessions, pleasures, work or money then what are we here for?

We are here primarily for God.

Ecclesiastes 12:1, 13-14 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

12 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no delight in them”;

13 The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. 14For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.

You see Solomon is the one who wrote in Proverbs:

Proverbs 9:10 Amplified Bible (AMP)

10 The [reverent] fear of the Lord [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the beginning and the preeminent part of wisdom [its starting point and its essence],
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding and spiritual insight.

But then Solomon wasted his life. He didn’t fear and revere  and serve the living God, and then he comes back full circle and says he was right when he first wrote Proverbs 9:10.

Jesus said we are here to focus on the king and his kingdom.  “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt 6:33). Jesus when he was praying to the Father said, “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent,” (John 17:3).

My life is supposed to be about Jesus.

Matthew 22:35-38 English Standard Version (ESV)

35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment.

We are here everyday to enjoy God and to have fellowship with God. To get to know God, to worship God, to serve God and to prepare to meet our God and who we are going to stand before and give account of the life he has given us. That is why we are here. Not primarily for scholarship, possessions, money and career.

Let me read something:

If any one person were to be singled out as the most influential promoter of hedonism in modern times, it would surely have to be Hugh Hefner. His Playboy magazine, first published in the mid-1950s has had an unusually large circulation – especially among college and university people – in the intellectual community. Playboy has also had the second largest circulation of all American magazines in all of Western Europe, preceded only by the Reader’s Digest.[6] Through Playboy‚ Hefner has produced a slackening of moral standards, an excessive freedom of profane expression, and a much less disciplined world.

The destructive nature of Hefner’s philosophy, endorsed and promoted by the networks, hasn’t escaped some of the secular press. Chicago Tribune‚ columnist Bob Greene makes some startling and intriguing personal assessments in an article on Hefner. Green credits him with being one of the two most influential Americans in the second half of the twentieth century.[8]

Green says, “Hugh Hefner let Americans know that they could behave in any way they pleased. Conventional ideas of morality didn’t matter; the standards of one’s parents didn’t matter; the approval of one’s peers didn’t matter. All that mattered was that feeling good became an end in itself.”[9] To say that Hugh Hefner is the originator of the immoral revolution we’ve witnessed in recent decades would be incorrect. However, to say that no one person in modern times has more effectively exploited immorality than has Hugh Hefner would not be inaccurate. He took advantage of the fact that, for most Americans, moral standards had already been emptied of their Godly authority.

When a personal sense of duty, responsibility and a sense of moral righteousness is no longer rooted in a belief that God holds all men accountable for their actions, then human behavior is often regulated by one’s own personal pleasures. In the name of freedom, Hefner championed pleasure. By calling for individual freedom, Hefner promoted individual selfishness and social irresponsibility that worked havoc on our cultural morality and especially on the institution of marriage.

This is the legacy of HUGH HEFNER, a modern day Solomon…Can you imagine what it will be like for HUGH HEFNER to stand before the judgment seat of God with a wasted life and having led so many boys and men into pornography and destroyed so many marriages all for hedonism. All for living for pleasure just like Solomon did way back when and I am telling you friend there is no (satisfaction you derive from ) it. What is real is knowing God.

Colossians 1:15-16 English Standard Version (ESV)

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by[a] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

Money, possessions, hedonistic pleasures, clubbing around, pornography, food, alcohol, drugs, work, or career will NOT satisfy you . Your ultimate reason for being on this planet is to come to know God. He created this world as a paradise. With sin we messed it all up but he wouldn’t leave us un-reconciled. He kicked out ancestors out of the garden, but then he sent his own son back to this earth to redeem us and reconcile us, to die as an atoning sacrifice for our sins to bring us back to himself so everyday we could wake up and say good morning father. We can know our sins are forgiven. We can know in this broken world that we have been healed of our brokenness by the one who entered into our suffering, not a God who is distant from our suffering but a God who loved us enough to enter into our suffering to give eternal abundant life. That is what life is about, a relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. Would you today give Him your life?

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Steve Gaines mentioned that Christ came and laid his life down to die for our sins. Let me share some Old Testament prophecy that indicates the Bible is true concerning Christ being executed on a cross. Some 400 years before crucifixion was invented, both Israel’s King David and the prophet Zechariah described the Messiah’s death in words that perfectly depict that mode of execution. Further, they said that the body would be pierced and that none of the bones would be broken, contrary to customary procedure in cases of crucifixion (Psalm 22 and 34:20; Zechariah 12:10). Again, historians and New Testament writers confirm the fulfillment: Jesus of Nazareth died on a Roman cross, and his extraordinarily quick death eliminated the need for the usual breaking of bones. A spear was thrust into his side to verify that he was, indeed, dead.

Psalm 22 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

For the choir director; upon [a]Aijeleth Hashshahar. A Psalm of David (Solomon’s father)

22My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?
[b]Far from my deliverance are the words of my [c]groaning.
O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer;
And by night, but [d]I have no rest.
But I am a worm and not a man,

A reproach of men and despised by the people.
7All who see me [g]sneer at me;
They [h]separate with the lip, they wag the head, saying,
[i]Commit yourself to the Lord; let Him deliver him;
Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.”

12 Many bulls have surrounded me;
Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me.
13 They open wide their mouth at me,
As a ravening and a roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water,
And all my bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It is melted within [l]me.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And my tongue cleaves to my jaws;
And You lay me [m]in the dust of death.
16 For dogs have surrounded me;
[n]A band of evildoers has encompassed me;
[o]They pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I can count all my bones.
They look, they stare at me;
18 They divide my garments among them,
And for my clothing they cast lots. The spiritual answers your heart is seeking can be  found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221

PS: HUGH I have written you 37 TIMES and many of those letters have been from the sermons at my church in Little Rock but today was a little different since the sermon was from the church that I grew up in. Steve Gaines is the pastor of Bellevue Baptist in Memphis and there have only been 4 pastors at Bellevue since you were born in 1926. Robert G. Lee till 1959 and then Ramsey Pollard till 1972 and Adrian Rogers till 2004 and Steve Gaines since then.

Featured artist is Lonnie Holley

Lonnie Holley – Art Is Life…

Lonnie Holley

Lonnie Holley was born in 1950 in Birmingham, Alabama. One of the South’s preeminent self-taught artists, Holley lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. His practice extends from assemblage and sculpture to music. He made his debut as a recording artist in 2012, at sixty-two years old; he has since worked with such figures as Bon Iver, the Dirty Projectors, and Animal Collective.

After a wild and unsettled youth, Holley started making sand sculptures at age twenty-nine and in time began working with found objects and painting. His assemblages, which bring together recycled and natural materials, remain his most widely known works. Holley was included in the 2006 book, The Last Folk Hero: A True Story of Race and Art, Power and Profit, about the collector Bill Arnett, and was featured in the landmark 1981 exhibition, More than Land and Sky: Art From Appalachia, at the National Museum of American Art.

Links:
Artist on Facebook

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 154f My July 24, 2016 letter to Stephen Hawking

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Image result for stephen hawking movie

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Image result for stephen hawking
Image result for stephen hawking harry kroto

STARMUS panel announces ground-breaking Stephen Hawking Medals for Science Communication at the The Royal Society Featuring: Professor Sir Harry Kroto, Alexei Leonov, Dr Richard Dawkins, Dr Brian May, Professor Stephen Hawking, Professor Garik Israelian 

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, Harry-Kroto

I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Arif Ahmed, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman PhilipseCarolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

In  the first video below in the 15th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

_________________________________

In the popular You Tube video “Renowned Academics Speaking About God” you made the following statement:

“M-Theory doesn’t disprove God, but it does make him unnecessary. It predicts that the universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing without the need for a creator.” –Stephen Hawking, Cambridge theoretical physicist

Earlier I responded to Dr. Hawking’s assertion.

My 7-24-16 letter to Stephen Hawking

Hugh Hefner’s Playboy mansion in Chicago

The Playboy Mansion on Dec. 9, 1974. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
Hefner poolside in 1975. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)

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Ignaz Semmelweis washing his hands in chlorinated lime water before operating.

Ignaz Semmelweis washing his hands in chlorinated lime water before operating.

Bettmann/Corbis

Semmelweis considered scientific inquiry part of his mission as a physician.

i

Semmelweis considered scientific inquiry part of his mission as a physician.

De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images

At Vienna General Hospital, women were much more likely to die after childbirth if a male doctor attended, compared to a midwife.

i

At Vienna General Hospital, women were much more likely to die after childbirth if a male doctor attended, compared to a midwife.

Josef and Peter Schafer/Wikipedia

NPR's Ebola coverage team brought a lot of cleaning equipment — not because they planned to go into risky places but because you can never be too careful. The boots are very handy and can be washed with chlorine. Wearing surgical gloves reminds our correspondent not to touch her face.

GOATS AND SODA

Out, Out, Damned Ebola: Liberia Is Obsessed With Hand Washing

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If a kid is already washing his hands well, adding sanitizer in school doesn't appear to help reduce illnesses and absences.

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Starmus Medal launch

July 24, 2016

Dr. Stephen Hawking, c/o Centre for Theoretical Cosmology
Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
Centre for Mathematical Sciences
Wilberforce Road, Cambridge
CB3 0WA, UK

Dear Dr. Hawking,

I recently posted on my blog this article, RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Stephen Hawking theoretical physicist, Cambridge, “M-Theory doesn’t disprove God, but it does make him unnecessary. It predicts that the universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing without the need for a creator.”

I noticed in December of 2015 that you and Harry Kroto both spoke at the Starmus Medal launch event. In fact, there also was Kip Thorne (Interstallar), Hans Zimmer, Prof Garik Israelian, Alexi Leonov, Dr Brian May,  and Dr Richard Dawkins. You have had an amazing life.  I am finishing up a 3 day trip to Chicago and today my son Hunter and I visited the Michigan Ave Bridge and I took a picture of Hunter on  that bridge. Let me share with you an event that happened on this same bridge  63 years ago:

Hugh Hefner returns to his roots,  Hugh Hefner, coming to town for a screening of a film on his life, talks about the years in Chicago — and the return of the bunnyOctober 27, 2010|By Nina Metz, Tribune reporter

On a bleak January day in 1953, Hugh Hefner stood on the Michigan Avenue bridge, staring out toward the lake and pondering his future. He was 26, unhappily married and working as circulation manager for a magazine called Children’s Activities, and his thoughts turned toward the morose. “Is that all there is? Is my life going to be nothing more than a repeat of my parents’ life?” he recalled asking himself when reached at his home in Los Angeles. “And it was in the days and weeks following that I started making plans for Playboy magazine.”

Even the Playboy Hugh Hefner struggled to find a meaning for his life. The sad thing is that he never really found satisfaction in what he tried to do with his life and here is just a few words for a letter I just finished writing him:

Let me make a couple of points. First, you rightly concluded on Michigan Avenue while staring out over the lake that THERE IS MORE TO LIFE THAN DRAWING YOUR BREATH AND DRAWING YOUR SALARY. We were put on this earth for a purpose and it is to have a personal relationship with Christ and to tell others about the infinite personal God. Actually Solomon said a long time ago,  “[God]has placed eternity on the hearts of men.” Scientist Blaise Pascal put it this way,  “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.” No wonder life is unsatisfying to you since you are an agnostic that is not seeking a relationship with God.King Solomon wrote 3,000 years ago in the Book of Ecclesiastes that attempting to find satisfaction in life UNDER THE SUN is equal to CHASING THE WIND.

Second, over and over you have been compared to King Solomon of the Bible and the reason for that is that you both tried to achieve satisfaction through the number of sexual conquests, but you both came up empty. The only difference is that Solomon has admitted that and you haven’t.

You are a man of science and you demand evidence. If the Bible is true then wouldn’t it be true in the area of history and science? Did you know that it took the  the medical community  thousands of years to catch up with what Moses said 3500 years ago? Let me show you what I mean. Here are the words of Moses:

“He who touches the dead body of anyone shall be unclean seven days. He shall purify himself with the water on the third day and on the seventh day; then he will be clean. But if he does not purify himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not be clean.”

The Doctor Who Championed Hand-Washing And Briefly Saved Lives, January 12, 20153:22 AM ET, Heard on Morning Edition, REBECCA DAVIS,

This is the story of a man whose ideas could have saved a lot of lives and spared countless numbers of women and newborns’ feverish and agonizing deaths.

You’ll notice I said “could have.”

The year was 1846, and our would-be hero was a Hungarian doctor named Ignaz Semmelweis.

Semmelweis was a man of his time, according to Justin Lessler, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

It was a time Lessler describes as “the start of the golden age of the physician scientist,” when physicians were expected to have scientific training.

So doctors like Semmelweis were no longer thinking of illness as an imbalance caused by bad air or evil spirits. They looked instead to anatomy. Autopsies became more common, and doctors got interested in numbers and collecting data.

The young Dr. Semmelweis was no exception. When he showed up for his new job in the maternity clinic at the General Hospital in Vienna, he started collecting some data of his own. Semmelweis wanted to figure out why so many women in maternity wards were dying frompuerperal fever — commonly known as childbed fever.

He studied two maternity wards in the hospital. One was staffed by all male doctors and medical students, and the other was staffed by female midwives. And he counted the number of deaths on each ward.

When Semmelweis crunched the numbers, he discovered that women in the clinic staffed by doctors and medical students died at a rate nearly five times higher than women in the midwives’ clinic.

But why?

Semmelweis went through the differences between the two wards and started ruling out ideas.

Right away he discovered a big difference between the two clinics.

In the midwives’ clinic, women gave birth on their sides. In the doctors’ clinic, women gave birth on their backs. So he had women in the doctors’ clinic give birth on their sides. The result, Lessler says, was “no effect.”

Then Semmelweis noticed that whenever someone on the ward died of childbed fever, a priest would walk slowly through the doctors’ clinic, past the women’s beds with an attendant ringing a bell. This time Semmelweis theorized that the priest and the bell ringing so terrified the women after birth that they developed a fever, got sick and died.

So Semmelweis had the priest change his route and ditch the bell. Lessler says, “It had no effect.”

By now, Semmelweis was frustrated. He took a leave from his hospital duties and traveled to Venice. He hoped the break and a good dose of art would clear his head.

When Semmelweis got back to the hospital, some sad but important news was waiting for him. One of his colleagues, a pathologist, had fallen ill and died. It was a common occurrence, according to Jacalyn Duffin, who teaches the history of medicine at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

This was a revelation — childbed fever wasn’t something only women in childbirth got sick from. It was something other people in the hospital could get sick from as well.

“This often happened to the pathologists,” Duffin says. “There was nothing new about the way he died. He pricked his finger while doing an autopsy on someone who had died from childbed fever.” And then he got very sick himself and died.

Semmelweis studied the pathologist’s symptoms and realized the pathologist died from the same thing as the women he had autopsied. This was a revelation: Childbed fever wasn’t something only women in childbirth got sick from. It was something other people in the hospital could get sick from as well.

But it still didn’t answer Semmelweis’ original question: “Why were more women dying from childbed fever in the doctors’ clinic than in the midwives’ clinic?”

Duffin says the death of the pathologist offered him a clue.

“The big difference between the doctors’ ward and the midwives’ ward is that the doctors were doing autopsies and the midwives weren’t,” she says.

So Semmelweis hypothesized that there were cadaverous particles, little pieces of corpse, that students were getting on their hands from the cadavers they dissected. And when they delivered the babies, these particles would get inside the women who would develop the disease and die.

If Semmelweis’ hypothesis was correct, getting rid of those cadaverous particles should cut down on the death rate from childbed fever.

So he ordered his medical staff to start cleaning their hands and instruments not just with soap but with a chlorine solution. Chlorine, as we know today, is about the best disinfectant there is. Semmelweis didn’t know anything about germs. He chose the chlorine because he thought it would be the best way to get rid of any smell left behind by those little bits of corpse.

Semmelweis didn’t know anything about germs. He chose the chlorine because he thought it would be the best way to get rid of any smell left behind by those little bits of corpse.

And when he imposed this, the rate of childbed fever fell dramatically.

What Semmelweis had discovered is something that still holds true today: Hand-washing is one of the most important tools in public health. It can keep kids from getting the flu, prevent the spread of disease and keep infections at bay.

You’d think everyone would be thrilled. Semmelweis had solved the problem! But they weren’t thrilled.

For one thing, doctors were upset because Semmelweis’ hypothesis made it look like they were the ones giving childbed fever to the women.

And Semmelweis was not very tactful. He publicly berated people who disagreed with him and made some influential enemies.

Eventually the doctors gave up the chlorine hand-washing, and Semmelweis — he lost his job.

Even today, convincing health care providers to take hand washing seriously is a challenge.

Semmelweis kept trying to convince doctors in other parts of Europe to wash with chlorine, but no one would listen to him.

Even today, convincing health care providers to take hand-washing seriously is a challenge. Hundreds of thousands of hospital patients get infections each year, infections that can be deadly and hard to treat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says hand hygiene is one of the most important ways to prevent these infections.

Over the years, Semmelweis got angrier and eventually even strange. There’s been speculation he developed a mental condition brought on by possibly syphilis or even Alzheimer’s. And in 1865, when he was only 47 years old, Ignaz Semmelweis was committed to a mental asylum.

The sad end to the story is that Semmelweis was probably beaten in the asylum and eventually died of sepsis, a potentially fatal complication of an infection in the bloodstream — basically, it’s the same disease Semmelweis fought so hard to prevent in those women who died from childbed fever.

____

Yes Moses was a literal person and the Bible is historically accurate and you can investigate that you want more evidence.Here is a good place to start and that is taking a closer look at the archaeology of the Old Testament times.  Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem, 2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism), 4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites, 6.Shishak Smiting His Captives, 7. Moabite Stone, 8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.,

Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible and believe it or not it deals with the time of Moses.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnote #96)

We should take one last step back into the history of the Old Testament. In the previous note we looked first at the Dead Sea Scrolls, dating to around 100 B.C. Then we went back to the period of the Late Monarchy and looked first at the siege of Hezekiah in Jerusalem by Sennacherib in 701 B.C. and also at the last years of Judah down to about 600 B.C. Then we went further back to about 850 B.C., to Ahab and Jezebel, the ivory house, the Black Obelisk, the Moabite Stone and so on–then back again to about 950 B.C., to the time of Solomon and his son Rehoboam and the campaign by Shishak, the Egyptian pharaoh.

This should have built up in our minds a vivid impression of the historic reliability of the biblical text, including even the seemingly obscure details such as the ration tablets in Babylon. We saw, in other words, not only that the Bible gives us a marvelous world view that ties in with the nature of reality and answers the basic problems which philosophers have asked down through the centuries, but also that the Bible is completely reliable, EVEN ON THE HISTORICAL LEVEL.

The previous notes looked back to the time of Moses and Joshua, the escape from Egypt, and the settlement in Canaan. Now we will go back further–back as far as Genesis 12, near the beginning of the Bible.

Do we find that the narrative fades away to a never-never land of myths and legends? By no means. For we have to remind ourselves that although Genesis 12 deals with events a long time ago from our moment of history (about 2000 B.C. or a bit later), the civilized world was already not just old but ancient when Abram/Abraham left “Ur of the Chaldeans” (see Genesis 11:31).

Ur itself was excavated some fifty years ago. In the British Museum, for example, one can see the magnificent contents of a royal burial chamber from Ur. This includes a gold headdress still in position about the head of a queen who died in Ur about 2500 B.C. It has also been possible to reconstruct from archaeological remains what the streets and buildings must have been like at the time.

Like Ur, the rest of the world of the patriarchs (that is, of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) was firm reality. Such places as Haran, where Abraham went first, have been discovered. So has Shechem from this time, with its Canaanite stone walls, which are still standing, and its temple.

Genesis 12:5-9New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the [a]persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they [b]set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan. Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the[c]oak of Moreh. Now the Canaanite was then in the land.The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your [d]descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord andcalled upon the name of the Lord. Abram journeyed on, continuing toward the[e]Negev.

Haran and Shechem may be unfamiliar names to us but the Negrev (or Negeb) is a name we have all read frequently in the news accounts of our own day.

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221

________

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April 2, 2015 – 7:05 am

The John Lennon and the Beatles really were on a long search for meaning and fulfillment in their lives  just like King Solomon did in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Solomon looked into learning (1:12-18, 2:12-17), laughter, ladies, luxuries, and liquor (2:1-2, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). He fount that without God in the picture all […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events, Francis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 52 THE BEATLES (Part D, There is evidence that the Beatles may have been exposed to Francis Schaeffer!!!) (Feature on artist Anna Margaret Rose Freeman )

March 22, 2015 – 12:30 am

______________   George Harrison Swears & Insults Paul and Yoko Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds- The Beatles The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged Anna Margaret Rose Freeman, George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul MacCartney, Ringo Starr, Stg. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band | Edit| Comments (0)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 51 THE BEATLES (Part C, List of those on cover of Stg.Pepper’s ) (Feature on artist Raqib Shaw )

March 19, 2015 – 12:21 am

  The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA Uploaded on Nov 29, 2010 The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA. The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul MacCartney, Raqib Shaw, Ringo Starr | Edit | Comments (0)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 50 THE BEATLES (Part B, The Psychedelic Music of the Beatles) (Feature on artist Peter Blake )

March 12, 2015 – 12:16 am

__________________   Beatles 1966 Last interview I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about them and their impact on the culture of the 1960’s. In this […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul MacCartney, Peter Blake, Ringo Starr | Edit | Comments (1)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 49 THE BEATLES (Part A, The Meaning of Stg. Pepper’s Cover) (Feature on artist Mika Tajima)

March 5, 2015 – 4:47 am

“Music Monday” THE BEATLES ( The Beatles’ best song ever is A DAY IN THE LIFE which is on Sgt Pepper’s!) (Feature on artist and clothes designer Manuel Cuevas )

 

SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND ALBUM was the Beatles’ finest work and in my view it had their best song of all-time in it. The revolutionary song was A DAY IN THE LIFE which both showed the common place part of everyday life and also the sudden unexpected side of life.  The shocking part of the song included the story of TARA BROWNE. You can read more about Tara Browne later in this post and another fine article on him was written by GLENYS ROBERTS in 2012 called, “A Day in the Life: Tragic true story behind one of the Beatles’ most famous hits revealed in new book.”

(Francis Schaeffer pictured below)

Francis Schaeffer noted that King Solomon said that death can arrive unexpectedly at anytime in Ecclesiastes 9:11-13: 

11 Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all. 12 For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them. 13 I have also seen this example of wisdom under the sun, and it seemed great to me.

______

Death can come at anytime. Albert Camus in a speeding car with a pretty girl, then Camus dead. Lawrence of Arabia coming over the crest of a hill at 100 mph on his motorcycle and some boy stands in the road and Lawrence turns aside and dies.  

The Beatles reached out to those touched by this reality. No wonder in the video THE AGE OF NON-REASON Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.”

Paul McCartney (The Beatles) – A Day In The Life [HD Live] – Vancouver 2012 – On The Run Tour

Tara Browne with Rolling Stones:

_________________ ___________

(Tara Browne pictured above)

_____________________________________

A Day In A Life- The Beatles/Jeff Beck

The Beatles- A Day in the Life

What is the best Beatle song of all time? It is my opinion that is the song A DAY IN THE LIFE, and that is also the conclusion of Elvis Costello in his article “100 Greatest Beatles Songs,” September 19, 2011.

It is a song that takes a long look at the issue of death. It starts off telling the story of Tara Browne who “had made the grade” but then gets blow up in a car. It is true that Browne was a very wealthy friend of the Beatles and unfortunately he sped through a red-light in London going 100 miles per hour and ended his life. King Solomon noted, “No one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times  that fall unexpectedly upon them.”

The Beatles- A Day in the Life

Beatles – A Day In The Life Lyrics

I read the news today, oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grade
And though the news was rather sad
Well I just had to laugh
I saw the photograph.He blew his mind out in a car
He didn’t notice that the lights had changed
A crowd of people stood and stared
They’d seen his face before
Nobody was really sure
If he was from the House of Lords.I saw a film today, oh boy
The English army had just won the war
A crowd of people turned away
But I just had to look
Having read the book
I’d love to turn you on.Woke up, fell out of bed,
Dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup,
And looking up I noticed I was late.Found my coat and grabbed my hat
Made the bus in seconds flat
Found my way upstairs and had a smoke,
Somebody spoke and I went into a dream.I read the news today oh boy
Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire
And though the holes were rather small
They had to count them all
Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall.
I’d love to turn you on.
Songwriters: LENNON, JOHN WINSTON / MCCARTNEY, PAUL JAMES
____________________________
The article below explains the meaning of these words from the song:
“They’d seen his face before
Nobody was really sure
If he was from the House of Lords.”
12:03AM BST 10 Aug 2002

The 4th Lord Oranmore and Browne, who has died aged 100, is believed to hold the record as the longest-serving member of the House of Lords, having taken his seat in 1927 and been evicted under the Government’s reforms of 1999.

He earned the unspoken admiration of many by never speaking in the chamber, and was better known for his three marriages, particularly to the heiress Oonagh Guinness and to the actress Sally Gray.

It was also his misfortune to be associated in the public memory with the tragic deaths in traffic accidents of first his parents in 1927, and then of his son Tara Browne, an icon of the Swinging Sixties, almost 40 years later.

Dominick Geoffrey Edward Browne was born in Dublin on October 21 1901, heir to the Irish peerages of Oranmore and Browne of Carrabrowne Castle, Co Galway, and Castle Mac Garrett, Co Mayo.

Oranmore and Browne married three times, first Mildred Helen, daughter of Thomas Egerton, a cousin of the Duke of Sutherland; they had two sons and three daughters (one of whom died aged 13). They divorced in 1936, so he could marry Oonagh Guinness, one of the “Golden Guinness girls”; she was a considerable heiress in her own right and the owner of Luggala, a fairytale Gothic lodge in the Wicklow mountains.

They had three sons, the eldest of whom is Garech Browne, the pony-tailed squire of Luggala, a guardian of Irish lore and founder of The Chieftains. The second son died after a week. The third was Tara Browne, a friend of John Lennon who drove his Lotus Elan into a lamp-post in Redcliffe Square, London, in 1966. Tara was the subject of the Beatles’ song A Day in the Life, which contained the verse:

He blew his mind out in a car
He didn’t notice that the lights had changed
A crowd of people stood and stared
They’d seen his face before,
Nobody was really sure if he was from the House of Lords.

A Day in the Life

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“A Day in the Life”
Song by The Beatles from the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Released 1 June 1967
Recorded 19 and 20 January and
3 and 10 February 1967,
EMI Studios, London
Genre Art rock,[1] psychedelic rock,[2]progressive rock,[3] baroque pop[4]
Length 5:35
Label Parlophone, Capitol
Writer Lennon–McCartney
Producer George Martin
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Bandtrack listing
“A Day in the Life”
Single by The Beatles
A-side Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band/With a Little Help from My Friends
Released 14 August 1978 (US)
30 September 1978 (UK)
Format 7″
Label
The Beatles UK singles chronology
Back in the U.S.S.R.
(1976)
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” / “With a Little Help from My Friends” /
A Day in the Life
(1978)
The Beatles Movie Medley
(1982)
The Beatles US singles chronology
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
(1976)
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” / “With a Little Help from My Friends” /
A Day in the Life
(1978)
The Beatles Movie Medley
(1982)

A Day in the Life” is the final song on the BeatlesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Credited to Lennon–McCartney, the song comprises distinct sections written independently by John Lennonand Paul McCartney, with orchestral additions. While Lennon’s lyrics were inspired by contemporary newspaper articles, McCartney’s were reminiscent of his youth. The decisions to link sections of the song with orchestral glissandos and to end the song with a sustained piano chord were made only after the rest of the song had been recorded.

The supposed drug reference in the line “I’d love to turn you on” resulted in the song initially being banned from broadcast by the BBC. Since its original album release, “A Day in the Life” has been released as aB-side, and also on various compilation albums. It has been covered by other artists, and since 2008, by McCartney in his live performances. It was ranked the 28th greatest song of all time by Rolling Stonemagazine.[5] The magazine also ranked it as the greatest Beatles song.[6]

Composition[edit]

According to Lennon, the inspiration for the first two verses was the death of Tara Browne, the 21-year-old heir to the Guinness fortune who had crashed his Lotus Elan on 18 December 1966 in Redcliffe Gardens, Earls Court. Browne had been a friend of Lennon and McCartney,[7] and had, earlier in 1966, instigated McCartney’s first experience with LSD.[8] Lennon’s verses were adapted from a story in the 17 January 1967 edition of the Daily Mail, which reported the ruling on a custody action over Browne’s two young children:

Guinness heir Tara Browne’s two children will be brought up by their 56-year-old grandmother, the High Court ruled yesterday. It turned down a plea by their mother, Mrs. Nicky Browne, 24, that she should have them …This, she said, happened after Mr. Browne, 21, from whom she was estranged, had taken them for a holiday in County Wicklow [Ireland] with his mother.

Mrs. Browne began an action for their return in October [1966], naming Mr. Browne and his mother as defendants. The action, held in private, was part way through when Mr. Browne died in a crash in his Lotus Elan car in South Kensington a week before Christmas.[9]

“I didn’t copy the accident,” Lennon said. “Tara didn’t blow his mind out, but it was in my mind when I was writing that verse. The details of the accident in the song—not noticing traffic lights and a crowd forming at the scene—were similarly part of the fiction.”[10]

____

Tara Browne in 1966

Suki Poitier (centre) and Tara Browne (right), 1966

_________________

keith suki brian and mick. suki would later survive a car(Lotus Elan) crash driven by Tara Browne- heir to the Guinness fortune. The driver perished(blew his mind out in a car, he didn’t notice that the lights had changed) made famous by a Beatles song.

___________________

Musical structure and recording[edit]

The Beatles began recording the song, with a working title “In the Life of …”, on 19 January 1967, in the innovative and creative studio atmosphere ushered in by the recording of “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” over the preceding weeks.[19]The two sections of the song are separated by a 24-bar bridge.[20] At first, the Beatles were not sure how to fill this transition. Thus, at the conclusion of the recording session for the basic tracks, this section solely consisted of a simple repeated piano chord and the voice of assistant Mal Evans counting the bars. Evans’ guide vocal was treated with gradually increasing amounts of echo. The 24-bar bridge section ended with the sound of an alarm clock triggered by Evans. The original intent was to edit out the ringing alarm clock when the missing section was filled in; however it complemented McCartney’s piece well; the first line of McCartney’s song began “Woke up, fell out of bed”, so the decision was made to keep the sound.[21] Martin later said that editing it out would have been unfeasible in any case. The basic track for the song was refined with remixing and additional parts added at recording sessions on 20 January and 3 February.[21] Still, there was no solution for the missing 24-bar middle section of the song, when McCartney had the idea of bringing in a full orchestra to fill the gap.[21] To allay concerns that classically trained musicians would not be able to improvise the section, producer George Martin wrote a loose score for the section.[22] It was an extended, atonal crescendo that encouraged the musicians to improvise within the defined framework.[21]

Recognition and reception[edit]

“A Day in the Life” became one of the Beatles’ most influential songs. Paul Grushkin in his book Rockin’ Down the Highway: The Cars and People That Made Rock Roll, called the song “one of the most ambitious, influential, and groundbreaking works in pop music history”.[45] In “From Craft to Art: Formal Structure in the Music of The Beatles”, the song is described thus: “‘A Day in the Life’ is perhaps one of the most important single tracks in the history of rock music; clocking in at only four minutes and forty-five seconds, it must surely be among the shortest epic pieces in rock.”[46] Richard Goldstein of The New York Times called the song “a deadly earnest excursion in emotive music with a chilling lyric … [that] stands as one of the most important Lennon-McCartney compositions … an historic Pop event”.[47]

The song appears on many top songs lists. It placed twelfth on CBC‘s 50 Tracks, the second highest Beatles song on the list after “In My Life“.[48] It placed first in Q Magazine ’s list of the 50 greatest British songs of all time, and was at the top of MojoMagazine’s 101 Greatest Beatles’ Songs, as decided by a panel of musicians and journalists.[49][50][51] “A Day in the Life” was also nominated for a Grammy in 1967 for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist Or Instrumentalist.[52] In 2004, Rolling Stoneranked “A Day in the Life” at number 26 on the magazine’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time“,[5] and in 2010, the magazine deemed it to be the Beatles’ greatest song.[53] It is listed at number 5 in Pitchfork Media‘s The 200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s.[54]

On 27 August 1992 Lennon’s handwritten lyrics were sold by the estate of Mal Evans in an auction at Sotheby’s London for $100,000 (£56,600).[56] The lyrics were put up for sale again in March 2006 byBonhams in New York. Sealed bids were opened on 7 March 2006 and offers started at about $2 million.[57][58] The lyric sheet was auctioned again by Sotheby’s in June 2010. It was purchased by an anonymous American buyer who paid $1,200,000 (£810,000 ).[59]

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true as Schaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACEThere is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This link shows how to do that.

The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

You want some evidence that indicates that the Bible is true? Here is a good place to start and that is taking a closer look at the archaeology of the Old Testament times. Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

______________________________

September 19, 2011

By Elvis Costello

My absolute favorite albums are Rubber Soul and Revolver. On both records you can hear references to other music — R&B, Dylan, psychedelia — but it’s not done in a way that is obvious or dates the records. When you picked up Revolver, you knew it was something different. Heck, they are wearing sunglasses indoors in the picture on the back of the cover and not even looking at the camera . . . and the music was so strange and yet so vivid. If I had to pick a favorite song from those albums, it would be “And Your Bird Can Sing” . . . no, “Girl” . . . no, “For No One” . . . and so on, and so on. . . .

Their breakup album, Let It Be, contains songs both gorgeous and jagged. I suppose ambition and human frailty creeps into every group, but they delivered some incredible performances. I remember going to Leicester Square and seeing the film of Let It Be in 1970. I left with a melancholy feeling.

The Beatles- A Day in the Life

1

‘A Day in the Life’

the beatles 100 greatest songs
Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Writers: Lennon-McCartney
Recorded: January 19 and 20, February 3, 10 and 22, 1967
Released: June 2, 1967
Not released as a single

“A Day in the Life” is the sound of the Beatles on a historic roll. “It was a peak,” John Lennon told Rolling Stone in 1970, recalling the Sgt. Pepper period. It’s also the ultimate Lennon-McCartney collaboration: “Paul and I were definitely working together, especially on ‘A Day in the Life,'” said Lennon.

After their August 29th, 1966, concert in San Francisco, the Beatles left live performing for good. Rumors of tension within the group spread as the Beatles released no new music for months. “People in the media sensed that there was too much of a lull,” Paul McCartney said later, “which created a vacuum, so they could bitch about us now. They’d say, ‘Oh, they’ve dried up,’ but we knew we hadn’t.”

With Sgt. Pepper, the Beatles created an album of psychedelic visions; coming at the end, “A Day in the Life” sounds like the whole world falling apart. Lennon sings about death and dread in his most spectral vocal, treated with what he called his “Elvis echo” — a voice, as producer George Martin said in 1992, “which sends shivers down the spine.”

Lennon took his lyrical inspiration from the newspapers and his own life: The “lucky man who made the grade” was supposedly Tara Browne, a 21-year-old London aristocrat killed in a December 1966 car wreck, and the film in which “the English army had just won the war” probably referred to Lennon’s own recent acting role in How I Won the War. Lennon really did find a Daily Mail story about 4,000 potholes in the roads of Blackburn, Lancashire.

Lennon wrote the basic song, but he felt it needed something different for the middle section. McCartney had a brief song fragment handy, the part that begins “Woke up, fell out of bed.” “He was a bit shy about it because I think he thought, ‘It’s already a good song,'” Lennon said. But McCartney also came up with the idea to have classical musicians deliver what Martin called an “orchestral orgasm.” The February 10th session became a festive occasion, with guests like Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Marianne Faithfull and Donovan. The studio was full of balloons; the formally attired orchestra members were given party hats, rubber noses and gorilla paws to wear. Martin and McCartney both conducted the musicians, having them play from the lowest note on their instruments to the highest.

Two weeks later, the Beatles added the last touch: the piano crash that hangs in the air for 53 seconds. Martin had every spare piano in the building hauled down to the Beatles’ studio, where Lennon, McCartney, Ringo Starr, Martin and roadie Mal Evans played the same E-major chord, as engineer Geoff Emerick turned up the faders to catch every last trace. By the end, the levels were up so high that you can hear Starr’s shoe squeak.

In April, two months before Sgt. Pepper came out, McCartney visited San Francisco, carrying a tape with an unfinished version of “A Day in the Life.” He gave it to members of the Jefferson Airplane, and the tape ended up at a local free-form rock station, KMPX, which put it into rotation, blowing minds all over the Haight-Ashbury community. The BBC banned the song for the druggy line “I’d love to turn you on.” They weren’t so far off base: “When [Martin] was doing his TV program on Pepper,” McCartney recalled later, “he asked me, ‘Do you know what caused Pepper?’ I said, ‘In one word, George, drugs. Pot.’ And George said, ‘No, no. But you weren’t on it all the time.’ ‘Yes, we were.’ Sgt. Pepper was a drug album.”

In truth, the song was far too intense musically and emotionally for regular radio play. It wasn’t really until the Eighties, after Lennon’s murder, that “A Day in the Life” became recognized as the band’s masterwork. In this song, as in so many other ways, the Beatles were way ahead of everyone else.

Appears On: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

2

‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’

the beatles 100 greatest songs
Daily Express/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Writers: Lennon-McCartney
Recorded: October 17, 1963
Released: December 26, 1963
15 weeks; no. 1

When the joyous, high-end racket of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” first blasted across the airwaves, America was still reeling from the November 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Beatles songs had drifted across the Atlantic in a desultory way before, but no British rock & roll act had ever made the slightest impact on these shores. The Beatles and their manager, Brian Epstein, were determined to be the first, vowing that they wouldn’t come to the U.S. until they had a Number One record.

“I Want to Hold Your Hand” changed everything. “Luckily, we didn’t know what America was — we just knew our dream of it — or we probably would have been too intimidated,” Paul McCartney told Rolling Stone in 1987. The single was most Americans’ first exposure to the songwriting magic of Lennon and McCartney, who composed the song sitting side by side at the piano in the London home of the parents of McCartney’s girlfriend, Jane Asher.

“I remember when we got the chord that made the song,” John Lennon later said. “We had, ‘Oh, you-u-u/Got that something,’ and Paul hits this chord, and I turn to him and say, ‘That’s it! Do that again!’ In those days, we really used to write like that — both playing into each other’s noses.”

The song “was the apex of Phase One of the Beatles’ development,” said producer George Martin. “When they started out, in the ‘Love Me Do’ days, they weren’t good writers. They stole unashamedly from existing records. It wasn’t until they tasted blood that they realized they could do this, and that set them on the road to writing better songs.”

The lightning-bolt energy lunges out of the speakers with a rhythm so tricky that many bands who covered the song couldn’t figure it out. Lennon’s and McCartney’s voices constantly switch between unison and harmony. Every element of the song is a hook, from Lennon’s riffing to George Harrison’s string-snapping guitar fills to the group’s syncopated hand claps.

With advance orders at a million copies, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was released in the U.K. in late November and promptly bumped the band’s “She Loves You” from the top of the charts. After a teenager in Washington, D.C., persuaded a local DJ to seek out an import of the single, it quickly became a hit on the few American stations that managed to score a copy. Rush-released in the U.S. the day after Christmas, the song hit Number One on February 1st, 1964.

Having accomplished their goal, the Beatles’ appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9th, drawing 70 million viewers, the most in the history of TV to that time. “It was like a dam bursting,” Martin said.

Teens weren’t the only ones swept up in Beatlemania. Some of America’s greatest artists fell under their spell. Poet Allen Ginsberg leapt up to dance the first time he heard “I Want to Hold Your Hand” in a New York club. Composer Leonard Bernstein rhapsodized about the Sullivan appearance, “I fell in love with the Beatles’ music — the ineluctable beat, the Schubert-like flow of musical invention and the Fuck-You coolness of the Four Horsemen of Our Apocalypse.” Bob Dylan, who had just released The Times They Are A-Changin’, saw the future. “They were doing things nobody was doing,” Dylan said in 1971. “Their chords were outrageous. It was obvious to me they had staying power. I knew they were pointing in the direction of where music had to go. In my head, the Beatles were it.”

Appears On: Past Masters

THE BEATLES: PEPPERLAND 1967 VOL.2 Sgt. Pepper

Published on Jul 15, 2012

THE BEATLES: PEPPERLAND 1967 VOL.2
April thru June of 1967 – After recording Pepper and the albums’ release – the interviews, promo videos and Mal’s home movies (complete for the first time – from several sources!) and recording sessions footage – its all here – in improved upgraded quality and some video firsts plus the Making of Pepper – enjoy these highlights!

The Beatles Interview 1966

BEATLES: MOVIES AND MEDITATION 1967 VOL.4

Published on Jul 21, 2012

THE BEATLES: MOVIES AND MEDITATION 1967 VOL.4
September thru October 1967! From Magical Mystery Tour home movies and interviews to Favid Frost interview (2nd show complete) to How I won the War premiere and Pul in France – with new finds and upgrades on all!! EVERYTHING!

<a style=”color:#373731;text-decoration:underline;outline:none;font-size:28px;line-height:31px;” title=”Permanent Link to Inside the Making of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band, Rock’s Great Concept Album” href=”http://www.openculture.com/2015/01/inside-the-making-of-the-beatles-sgt-peppers-lonely-hearts-club-band-rocks-great-concept-album.html&#8221; rel=”bookmark”>Inside the Making of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band, Rock’s Great Concept Album

The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band may or may not still be the “greatest rock album of all time,” but—as the presenter in the documentary above remarks—it most certainly is “an extraordinary mirror of its age.” The album also marks several great leaps forward in studio recording techniques and pop songwriting, as well as production time and cost. Sgt. Pepper’s took five months to make and cost 40,000 pounds. By contrast, the first Beatles album, Please Please Me, was recorded live in a single day for a cost of about 400 pounds.

The band decided to make such investments in the studio after becoming fed up with constant touring. In addition to the grueling schedule, John Lennon had alienated many of the band’s religious American fans with the flippant “more popular than Jesus” remark. And in the Philippines, they failed to turn up for an event put on by Ferdinand Marcos, offending both the dictator and his wife; they “barely escaped with their lives,” we’re told above. Furthermore, amplification technology being what it was at the time, there was no possibility of the band’s sound on stage competing with the volume of screaming fans in the stadium crowds, and they found themselves nearly drowned out at every show.

They retreated somewhat—Harrison to India to work with Ravi Shankar, Lennon to Spain to work with filmmaker Richard Lester—until they were rallied by Paul McCartney, whom Ringo calls “the workaholic” of the band. Having firmly decided to leave the road behind for good, says McCartney, they “very much felt that it could be done better from a record than from anywhere else,” that “the record could go on tour.” Recording began on November 24, 1966 with “Strawberry Fields Forever,” a track that didn’t even appear on the album, but on its follow-up, Magical Mystery Tour.

We’re treated in the documentary to the original recording of the song, with commentary from George Martin, who explains that recording technology at the time was “in a primitive state,” only just entering the multitrack stage. Limited to four tracks at a time, engineers could not separate each instrument onto its own individual track as they do today but were forced to combine them. This limitation forced musicians and producers to make firm decisions about arrangements and commit to them with a kind of discipline that has gone by the wayside with the ease and convenience of digital technology. Martin talks at length about the making of each of the songs on the album, patiently explaining how they came to sound the way they do.

As a musician and occasional engineer myself, I find that the heart of the documentary is these moments with Martin as he plays back the recordings, track by track, enthusiastically recounting the production process. But there’s much more here to inspire fans, including interviews with the classical musicians who played on the album, stories from Paul, George, and Ringo about the writing and development of the songs, and even an interview with reclusive Beach Boy and studio wizard Brian Wilson about his Pet Sounds, an experimental precursor and inspiration for Sgt. Pepper’s. We do not hear much about that famous album cover, but you can read all about it here.

For Paul McCartney, “the big difference” Sgt. Pepper’s made was that previously “people played it a bit safe in popular music.” The Beatles “suddenly realized you didn’t have to.” Over the next few months, they cobbled together their personal influences into a glorious pastiche of rock, pop, balladeering, vaudevillian show tunes, psychedelic studio experimentation, television advertising jingles, and Indian and symphonic music—creating the world’s first concept album. Nothing like it had ever been heard before, and it may not be too much of a stretch to say that nearly every pop record since owes some debt, however small, to Sgt. Pepper’s, whether by way of the songwriting, the conceptual ingenuity, or the studio experimentation. To see the influence the album had on a handful of popular English musicians forty years later, watch the BBC television special above, produced in honor of the album’s fortieth anniversary and featuring bands like Travis, the Magic Numbers, and the Kaiser Chiefs covering the album in its entirety.

Related Content:

The Strawberry Fields Forever Demos: The Making of a Beatles Classic (1966)

The Beatles: Unplugged Collects Acoustic Demos of White Album Songs (1968)

The Making (and Remaking) of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, Arguably the Greatest Rock Album of All Time

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

 Great article below:
Beatles Interviews Database: Beatles Interview: Sgt Pepper Launch Party 5/19/1967ABOUT THIS INTERVIEW:
On May 19th 1967, Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein hosted a dinner party in his London home to mark the launch of the Beatles’ upcoming album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Invited to the party were a small number of important disc jockeys and journalists, and also attending were the Beatles themselves. Norrie Drummond was among the invited, representing the New Musical Express magazine.Drummond had the opportunity to briefly interview each of the Fab Four. The following interview, entitled ‘Dinner with the Beatles,’ was published one week later in NME’s May 27th issue.At the time of its release in 1967, the Sgt. Pepper album drew both praise and pans from professional critics. Meanwhile an entire generation around the globe quickly adopted it as the anthem of the times. It has since become a regular favorite on lists of the greatest albums of all time, sometimes claiming the top spot. Sgt. Pepper was released in the UK on June 1st where it became the number one LP for 27 weeks. In the United States the album was released on June 2nd, staying at number one on the Billboard charts for 15 weeks.- Jay Spangler, http://www.beatlesinterviews.org


John Lennon walked into the room first. Then came George Harrison and Paul McCartney, followed closely by Ringo Starr and road managers Neil Aspinall and Mal Evans. The Beatles had arrived at a small dinner party in Brian Epstein’s Belgravia home, to talk to journalists and disc jockeys for the first time in many months.

Despite their flamboyant clothes which made even Jimmy Savile look startled, the Beatles are the same sane, straight-forward people they were four years ago. Their opinions and beliefs are the same only now they understand why they believe in them.

“I’ve had a lot of time to think,” said John, peering at me through his wire-rimmed specs, “and only now am I beginning to realize many of the things I should have known years ago. I’m getting to understand my own feelings. Don’t forget that under this frilly shirt is a hundred-year-old man who’s seen and done so much, but at the same time knowing so little.”

John regards the Beatles new LP ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ as one of the most important steps in the group’s career.

“It had to be just right. We tried and I think succeeded in achieving what we set out to do. If we hadn’t then it wouldn’t be out now.”

Apart from his green frilly shirt John was wearing maroon trousers and round his waist was a sporran.

Why the sporran, I enquired. “A relative in Edinburgh gave it to Cynthia as a present and as there are no pockets in these trousers it comes in handy for holding my cigarettes and front door keys.”

I joined George sitting quietly on a settee nibbling on a stick of celery. He was wearing dark trousers and a maroon velvet jacket.

On the lapel was a badge from the New York Workshop of Non-violence. Their emblem is a yellow submarine with what looked like daffodils sprouting from it. “Naturally I’m opposed to all forms of war,” said George seriously. “The idea of man killing man is terrible.”

I asked him about his visit to India and what it had taught him. “Firstly I think too many people here have the wrong idea about India. Everyone immediately associates India with poverty, suffering and starvation but there’s much, much more than that. There’s the spirit of the people, the beauty and goodness. The people there have a tremendous spiritual strength which I don’t think is found elsewhere. That’s what I’ve been trying to learn about.”

He believes that religion is a day-to-day experience. “You find it all around. You live it. Religion is here and now. Not something that just comes on Sundays.”

What had he been doing for the past year, I asked. Didn’t he ever get bored? “Oh, I’ve never been bored. There’s so much to do – so much to find out about,” he said enthusiastically. “We’ve been writing and recording and so on.”

The LP ‘Sgt Pepper’ took them almost six months to make and it has received mixed reviews from the critics. Having achieved world-wide fame by singing pleasant hummable numbers, don’t they feel they may be too far ahead of the record buyers?

George thinks not. “People are very, very aware of what’s going on around them nowadays. They think for themselves and I don’t think we can ever be accused of under-estimating the intellegence of our fans.”

John agrees with him. “The people who have bought our records in the past must realize that we couldn’t go on making the same type forever. We must change and I believe those people know this.”

Of all four Beatles, Ringo I think is the one who has changed the least. Perhaps a little more talkative, more forthcoming. The one whose personality isn’t quite as obvious as the others and still the most reticent. He is very contented, and what’s best by the others is all right by him. What had inspired the sleeve cover of the album – a montage of familiar faces crowding around the Beatles?

“We just thought we’d like to put together a lot of people we like and admire.”

Included in the picture are Diana Dors, Oscar Wilde, Karl Marx, Shirley Temple, Max Miller, Lawrence Of Arabia, Bob Dylan, and Stuart Sutcliffe the former member of the Beatles who died in Hamburg.

I drifted over to where the now clean-shaven, and much thinner Paul was sitting sipping a glass of champagne. He greeted me in his usual charming manner and enquired after my health.

“You know,” he said, “We’ve really been looking forward to this evening. We wanted to meet a few people because so many distorted stories were being printed.”

“We have never thought about splitting up. We want to go on recording together. The Beatles live!” he said, raising his glass into the air.


In a section separated from the interview, Norrie Drummond gives an overview of the party and describes the events as they occured that evening:

Just a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace stands Brian Epstein’s four-story Georgian house. On either side live doctors, business executives, architects and actors – several houses in the quiet street are up for sale.

The doorbell is answered by Epstein’s driver Brian, who says: “Go straight in. They’re up there somewhere.” Through the glass doors and on a shelf on the right is an antique clock – a Christmas present from Paul McCartney to Brian Epstein, who is standing beside it.

He is telling disc jockeys Jimmy Savile, Alan Freeman and Kenny Everett about the LP cover. Brian is delighted with it. Also in the room is Peter Brown, Brian’s right-hand man who resembles a 30-year-old Ernest Hemingway.

In the center of the room is a table laden with salads, radishes, fruit, cheeses, eggs, cream, hams and loads of other goodies.

The Beatles are at the moment upstairs surrounded by a horde of photographers. Brian welcomes the other guests as they arrive while Peter Brown plies them with champagne. Brian’s secretary Joanne Newfield flutters around delightfully, making everyone feel at home and the Beatles press officer Tony Barrow distributes cigarettes.

Photographers start coming down the stairs, then road manager Neil Aspinall – now wearing a mustache – appears with the group. “Just one more shot on the doorstep, boys,” Tony Barrow instructs the photographers.

Two minutes later the Beatles reappear minus the photographers. George and John head for the table and start eating. Paul tries to, but is cornered by two enthusiastic writers. Ringo stands smoking and talking to Jimmy Savile who’s wearing a jacket which looks like one of Fatty Arbuckle’s cast-offs.

Paul is trapped over at the window by the two scribes and begins looking round for someone to rescue him. Tony Barrow asks everyone to go upstairs to the lounge. Everyone wanders up to the spacious lounge where the LP is playing. For a couple of hours everyone chats and drinks.

Brian Epstein leaves early to head to his country cottage in Sussex. George is the first Beatle to leave – somewhat abruptly. One writer has apparantly put his foot in it and upset him.

The other three slowly drift off and the evening draws to a close.

Source: Transcribed by http://www.beatlesinterviews.org from original magazine issue

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Manuel Cuevas is the designer and artist featured today!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Manuel Arturo José Cuevas Martínez, Sr. or just Manuel (born April 23, 1933[1] in Coalcomán Michoacán, Mexico) is a designer best known for the garments he created for prominent rock and roll and country music acts.

Early life[edit]

Manuel Arturo José Cuevas Martínez, Sr was born on April 23, 1933 in Coalcomán de Vázquez Pallares in Mexico as the fifth of twelve children of Esperanza Martínez (1911) and José Guadalupe Cuevas (1901). He attended the University of Guadalajaraand majored in psychology.[2]

Manuel first learned how to sew in 1945 from his older brother, Adolfo, in Coalcoman, Michoacan, Mexico. “I started making prom dresses when I was 13,” says Manuel. “You know that grandmothers and aunts made the prom dresses for all the kids. But I started making prom dresses that were pretty expensive, and all the girls said, ‘Mommy I don’t want you to make my prom dress. I want Manuel to make my prom dress!’ I continued making prom dresses and in one year I made 77 dresses, then the next year I made 110, and from then on I hired people to help me sew. I made a fortune.”[3]

Los Angeles[edit]

After his success in making prom dresses in Mexico, Manuel moved to Los Angeles in 1951 and worked for several tailors. He was soon referred to and started working for Sy Devore, tailor to The Rat Pack. Manuel was offered $55 a fitting, which would often only take 15 minutes. Soon he was tailoring suits for elite members of the Los Angeles community including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Bob Hope, Don Rickles, and Joey Bishop.[3]

Not long after starting to work with Sy Devore, Manuel attended the Pasadena Tournament of the Roses (commonly known as the Rose Parade). He was inspired by the elaborate and flamboyant clothing. Upon learning that the pieces were designed by Nathan Turk, Manuel visited the designer to ask him who was responsible for the embroidery on his clothing. It turned out the embroidery was created by master embroiderer, Viola Grae. While still working as the “fitter” at Sy Devore’s, Manuel bartered his sewing expertise with Grae, saying he would cut the shirts and pants for her in return for teaching him the “craft of embroidery.”[3]

It was through Viola Grae that Manuel met Nudie Cohn, famous for his grand, rhinestone embellished “Nudie Suits.” At first, Manuel was only making shirts for Nudie. Then one Saturday morning, the great World War II veteran turned actor, Audie Murphy, came in the Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors concerned about the fit of some the suits that were being made for his latest film and whether or not they would be done in time for filming on Monday morning. Manuel worked all weekend tailoring the suits, and Monday morning, delivered all the outfits to Audie Murphy. It was then that Nudie offered Manuel the full-time job he wanted. Working alongside Nudie, Manuel would later became head tailor, head designer, and eventually partner of Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors in North Hollywood.[2][4]

Clients knew Manuel as the quiet tailor in the back at Nudie’s who also did all of the fittings. Manuel designed and created many of the suits that Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors became famous for in the late 50’s, 60’s, and early 70’s. Even though Nudie encouraged Manuel to make repeat “copies” of designs that sold well, Manuel refused. It was at Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors that Manuel became known for his one-of-a-kind designs, making each piece unique.[2][4]

In September 1965 Manuel married Nudie’s only daughter, Barbara L. Cohn. They would go on to have a daughter, Morelia (born in 1968).[5] In 1975, after Manuel and Barbara got divorced, Manuel opened his own shop, Manuel Couture, just down the street from Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors in North Hollywood. Many of the friends and clients that Manuel made while working with Nudie, including Johnny Cash, Marty Stuart, and George Jones supported Manuel and his new shop.[2][4]

From 1975 till 1988, Manuel Couture became the “go-to” designer and image maker for up-and-coming musicians in Los Angeles. “His customers seem to place a near-blind faith in Manuel putting their professional images in his hands, believing that what he whips up for them will be right. ‘That’s partly why I have survived as a designer all these years. People put their trust in me to create something truly unique,’ he says.”[6] Throughout his North Hollywood career, Manuel also worked closely with famed costumer, Edith Head and made costumes for over 90 movies and 13 television shows, including making the jeans James Dean wore in the movie Giant,[7] and Lone Ranger’s infamous mask.[8][9]

Nashville[edit]

After nearly 40 years in Los Angeles, Manuel Cuevas decided he needed a change. He moved his growing business and growing family (second wife Susan, and three children Morelia, Manny Jr., and Jesse-Justin) to Nashville, Tennessee. “I wanted to see the kids grow healthy and safe, and L.A. started to get a little too tight for me, and too complicated. I am thankful for my time there though because that was the place where I made my career flourish.”[7]

Cuevas’s new design space (located at 1922 Broadway) was as equally historical as his designs. An old Victorian house near Nashville’s Music Row was four stories; three were designated for work space with the main floor designated as a showroom and retail space. [10] While in Nashville, with encouragement from the public, Cuevas became interested in designing for the every-day client. In 1989, with the popularity of the California Jacket worn by long-time friend and client Dwight Yoakam, Cuevas offered a limited-edition, similar version of the Hillbilly Deluxe jacket in his Nashville showroom.[6]

After moving to Nashville, in the late 1990s, Manuel began creating his 50 State Jacket Collection as his gift back to the United States. He researched details from each of the fifty states to create the one-of-a-kind collection. The collection debuted in 2005 at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville. Cuevas says the goal is to eventually donate each state’s jacket to that state’s museum after it has toured the United States and internationally as a collection.[11]

In 2005, in an effort to design for the “average Joe”, Cuevas worked with his son Manny Jr. to create a men’s and women’s luxury, ready-to-wear clothing line featured at New York Fashion Week in 2006. The limited-piece collection was manufactured in Italy and was the first and only time that Manuel produced any clothing outside of the United States.[12][8]

After 25 years at 1922 Broadway, Manuel decided he needed to be closer to downtown Nashville and more open to the public. Manuel American Designs opened its new 3,100-square-foot retail space located at the corner of 8th and Broadway, a foot-traffic-heavy spot close to the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Ryman Auditorium, and the Lower Broadway honkytonks. Manuel American Designs officially opened at 800 Broadway in Nashville, Tennessee, in September 2013.[13]

On January 24, 2014, Manuel and Maria Salinas Del Carmen surprised Nashville with a “quickie” wedding at the Davidson County Courthouse. This is Manuel’s fourth marriage. Manuel still lives just outside of Nashville, and continues to design at his 800 Broadway showroom in downtown Music City.[1]

Client list[edit]

His client list continues to grow and includes but is not limited to: all four Hank Williams, Waylon Jennings, Porter Wagoner, John Wayne, Clayton Moore (the Lone Ranger), Dwight Eisenhower, Little Jimmy Dickens, John Lennon, Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Glen Campbell, Ernest Tubb, Gene Autry, the Osmonds, David Cassidy, Bobby Sherman, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Roy Rogers, Neil Young, Elton John, The Grateful Dead, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, George H. Bush,George W. Bush, the Bee Gees, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Catherine Bach (Daisy Duke), The Jackson Five, John Travolta (Urban Cowboy), Robert Redford (The Electric Horseman), Robert Taylor, Marlon Brando, Burt Reynolds, Raquel Welch, David Lee Roth, Jack Nicholson, Sylvester Stallone, Shooter Jennings, Kid Rock, The Killers, Jack White, Kenny Chesney, Randy Travis, Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Zac Brown Band, Miranda Lambert, Jon Pardi, Frankie Ballard, Matt Wilkinson, and countless others.[8][11][7][6][14][15][16]

Notable clients[edit]

“Record companies call me to help fabricate personalities for their artists … I do for artists what they need, not what they think they need.”[17]

Salvador Dalí[edit]

Manuel designed a shirt for famed artist Salvador Dalí while working with Viola Grae. Upon receiving the shirt, Dalí looked in the mirror and says “What kind of flower is this?” Manuel said, “That is a Hispanic flower.” Dalí knew Manuel was kidding and said “I’ve got to do something for you.” He then scribbled a drawing of the two of them as they stood in front of the mirror, and Dalí then gave the original piece of art to Manuel as an impromptu gift.[3]

Johnny Cash[edit]

Manuel is attributed as being the man who put Johnny Cash in black.[18] It was early 1956 and Johnny Cash was just about to go on tour. He called Manuel and said I would like to have nine new suits. Three months later Cash calls Manuel and says “I got the suits I ordered from you.” “Good,” Manuel said. “Are they all right?” Cash paused. “How come they’re all black?” “They’re all black,” Manuel said, “but they’re not all the same style, you know.” “Yes,” Cash said. “So?” “So, OK, let’s try it.” Cash tried it and kept ordering from Manuel for 40 years. “I want four of this, four of that, but you…” Cash would say. “You know what?” Manuel responded. “Black,” Cash stated.[8]

Marty Stuart[edit]

Long time friend and client, Marty Stuart, made his first pilgrimage to Hollywood and Nudie’s in 1974. He said he’d saved up $250 and was intending on buying an outfit. When he tried on a jacket that he liked, Nudie calmly informed him it that it cost $2500. Then Manuel stepped in. “He said,” Stuart remembered, “‘Someday, you will walk in here and buy the whole store. But today you get a free shirt.”[19]

Over the course of his distinguished career, not only has Marty Stuart purchased countless Manuel suits, but he has also one of the largest and most significant collections of country music memorabilia aside from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. The collection includes his personal Manuel suits, along with the Manuel suits, Nudie suits, and Nathan Turk suits that were worn by some of country music’s most influential musician’s. [20]

Dwight Yoakam[edit]

Manuel and Dwight Yoakam collaborated for about 15 years to come up with his signature, “Hillbilly Deluxe” look featuring low-slung tight-fitting jeans and sparkling arrow-stitched embroidered jackets. “In Dwight’s case, he is no dummy, he knows exactly what he wants.” Manuel says. “He said he wanted some of those short jackets from the 50’s, the boleros, so I made him one of those. We got about 3,000 calls for that jacket, they have become very popular again. He has a great respect for his older peers, like Buck Owens, Hank Williams Sr., and Ernest Tubb, so this ‘new style’ of his is a blend of the retro and the new. “I can’t say enough good things about Dwight.” Likewise, Yoakam says: “Manuel always sets aside his ego and lets me be a part of the creative process. I’ll talk about what I like and he’ll sketch it. He never copies; everything’s an original. I still wear the hat he blocked for me 10 years ago. It has become a good luck hat.”[14]

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The Key To Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart

Sgt. Pepper

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WILCO & The Nudie Suit

ashes-of-american-flagsMonday night, alongside Mr. Capps of D&D, I had the opportunity to see the latest in a series of excellent documentaries featuring the band, WILCO. Ashes of American Flags, the band’s first concert film, follows them as they trounce their way around the southeastern United States on tour in 2008. Among the many moments that stood out were drummer Glenn Kotche and guitarist Nels Clineicing themselves after a gig, multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone’s spot-on South-side Chicago accent introducing backing band “The Total Pros,” and bandleader Jeff Tweedy’s Nudie suits.

nud_titlewilco-1Nudie Cohn, a Ukrainian-American tailor in North Hollywood who came to prominence in the fifties and sixties, is – without question – the most famous tailor in rock and country music.

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Mr. Cohn, on the left, made this gold lamé suit for Elvis Presley’s LP 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong.

nudiepepper1While working for Mr. Cohn, his protégé Manuel Cuevas designed the suits for The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Johnny Cash’s black suits, the roses and skeletons logo for The Grateful Dead, and Mick Jagger’s inflated lips pillows which inspired John Pasche’s tongue and lips design for The Rolling Stones.

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nudiegram3Arguably the most famous Nudie suit, Gram Parsons wore this on the cover of The Flying Burrito Brothers’ Gilded Palace of Sin. This is the suit most-often referenced as quintessentially Nudie: high on pyrotechnics and a big ol’ middle finger, but crafted with a beautiful drape and the sharpest lines, not a stitch was out of place.nudietweedy2The fundamentals of Mr. Tweedy’s suit, while more PC and more classically tailored, reference those of Mr. Parsons’.

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http://widgets.vodpod.com/w/video_embed/Groupvideo.2444759At minute 1:53 in this video of WILCO singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” at Wrigley Field, Mr. Tweedy talks about the Nudie suit, and at minute 4:20 he explains why he’s a fan of The St. Louis Cardinals.

See the movie. It’s screening in several North American cities over the next few weeks. In celebration of Record Store Day, they’re releasing the DVD on Saturday the 18th at independent stores nationwide, and it will be available everywhere on the 28th.

“They sound really good live. I was shocked,” a friend less familiar with the band said as we were leaving. As a fan of hyperbole, I reminded him, “Yeah, they’re the best band in America.”

Hands down.

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Related posts:

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 271 My May 16, 2016 Letter to Hugh Hefner based on message by pastor Ken Whitten of Idlewild Baptist of Tampa (Featured artist is Nicholas Hlobo )

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Over and over I have read that Hugh Hefner was a modern day King Solomon and Hefner’s search for satisfaction was attempted by adding to the number of his sexual experiences.

Rankin Wilbourne noted: 

Imagine a man more brilliant that Albert Einstein, more wealthy than Bill Gates, more powerful than Barack Obama, the spiritual pedigree of Billy Graham, but more of a hedonist that Hugh Hefner. That’s King Solomon, who wrote the book of Ecclesiastes – who chased  “if only” in terms of power, money, sex, fame and learning – but who concluded, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!”

Many of the sermons that I heard or read that inspired me to write Hugh Hefner were from this list of gentlemen:  Daniel Akin, Brandon Barnard,Matt Chandler, George Critchley,  Darryl Dash, Steve DeWitt, Steve Gaines, Norman L. Geisler, Greg Gillbert, Billy Graham, Mark Henry, Dan Jarrell, Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., R. G. Lee,  Chris Lewis, Kerry Livgren, Robert Lewis,    Bill Parkinson, Ben Parkinson,Vance Pitman, Nelson Price, Adrian Rogers, Philip Graham Ryken, Francis Schaeffer, Lee Strobel, Bill Wellons, Kirk Wetsell,  Ken Whitten, Ed Young ,  Ravi Zacharias, Tom Zobrist, and Richard Zowie.

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Today I have quoted in my letter to Hugh Hefner extensively from sermons from Ken Whitten of Idlewild Baptist of Tampa, Florida, and Brandon Barnard of Fellowship Bible Church of Little Rock, Arkansas. Plus I quoted Francis Schaeffer concerning some Biblical Archaeology that indicates the Bible is accurate concerning historical details.

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 May 16, 2016 Hugh Hefner
Playboy Mansion  
10236 Charing Cross Road
Los Angeles, CA 90024-1815   Dear Mr. Hefner,  

Just a few weeks ago I congratulated you on your 90th birthday and today I am turning 55 years old today and many people call that middle age but how many 110 year old people you see walking around?    I also  have started to think about the end of my life in recent days since it is fast approaching all of us. King Solomon in his book of ECCLESIASTES talks about death quite a lot and he wrote a passage in chapter 2 that I wanted to quote and then I wanted to include some comments from the preacher Ken Whitten in his sermon HAUNTED BY DEATH:Ken Whitten pastor of Tampa’s Idlewild Baptist Church

King Solomon gives us a little key to his heart in the Book of Ecclesiastes when he said he looked for everything imaginable to find satisfaction UNDER THE SUN.  Now folks anytime you look for satisfaction UNDER THE SUN it means you have an earthly view of life and if all you have is an earthly view of life you are going to be discouraged. You can tell Solomon is cynical. In Ecclesiastes 2 it says Solomon has tried LEARNING, LABOR, LEISURE, LUST, LAUGHTER, and LIQUOR but it is just like chasing the wind. It was like a little bubble that a kid would blow and then he catches it and there is nothing left there.

12 So I turned to consider wisdom, madness and folly; for what will the man do who will come after the king except what has already been done? 13 And I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness. 14 The wise man’s eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I know that one fate befalls them both. 15 Then I said [j]to myself, “As is the fate of the fool, it will also befall me. Why then have I been extremely wise?” So [k]I said to myself, “This too is vanity.” 16 For there is no [l]lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise man and the fool alike die! 17 So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was [m]grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.

Solomon is saying no matter if you are a fool or a wise-man it has nothing to do with removing the reality of death. It is an universal experience and it is going to happen to everyone. The Bible says it “befalls” or overtakes them all. Death overtakes us all.

Solomon looks at life like a race. At the beginning of life and when you are younger you look over your shoulder and in the far distance you see that someone is chasing you and he is in the race with you but you don’t pay much attention to him and there is no sense looking back since you are so far ahead. You think he will never catch you. Then you get a little older and guess what you notice. He seems to be going a little faster and you seem to be going a little slower. And you notice that while you continue to move you are starting to hear the footsteps and you starting failing.

Something is happening to us and we are deteriorating physically. In verse 14 Solomon says one fate  befalls both the fool and the wise and that is they both die. The rich is gonna die and the poor is gonna die. The actors, athletes, entertainers and the movie stars are gonna die.

Solomon doesn’t like this very much and he says in verses 16-17:

16 For there is no [l]lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise man and the fool alike die! 17 So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was [m]grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.

Solomon is saying that he doesn’t like this. It doesn’t matter how famous you get because there will be very little remembrance of you. Regardless of how famous you become there are people behind you who are going to be famous and they need your space in the history books and they will take it.

The rich and poor are gonna die. It doesn’t matter what is in your pocketbook but only what is in your heart. If you died tonight where would you spend eternity?

(End of sermon by Ken Whitten)

Below Ken is pictured with his wife Ginny

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You might said that this letter is a real downer but I have some good news to share with you. On Easter morning March 27, 2016 at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH our teaching pastor Brandon Barnard delivered the message THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING based on I Corinthians chapter 15 and I wanted to share a portion of that sermon with you today.

Teaching pastor at my church, Brandon Barnard, Fellowship Bible Church

This day is the day that changes everything. The resurrection changes everything and that is why we are gathered here today to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ because it changes everything.

Some of you are going to be blown away by the opportunity before you this Easter morning because the resurrection of Jesus Christ stands at the very heart of Christianity. If what we we are gathered here to celebrate did not happen then people need to pity us as believers.  They need to feel sorry for you and me more than anyone on earth because we have set our hopes firmly on a lie.

But if the resurrection really did happen, then we need to repent and we need to believe in Jesus and we need to rejoice that we have hope in this life and the life to come. 

Paul wrote this to the believers in Corinth.

1 Corinthians 15:3-6, 13-21 English Standard Version (ESV)

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.

13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.19 If in Christ we have hope[a] in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.

If Christ hasn’t been raised then these facts are true:

  1. PREACHING AND FAITH ARE IN VAIN.
  2. WE ARE FALSE WITNESSES
  3. WE ARE STILL IN OUR SINS.
  4. THOSE WHO DIED IN FAITH ARE STILL DEAD
  5. WE ARE TO BE PITIED MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD.

Verse 20 says, “but Christ has been raised!!! Therefore, these things are true:

  1. Our faith is significant, valuable and eternal.
  2. we are truth tellers!!
  3. we are forgiven of our sins.
  4. death is not our final stop.
  5. don’t pity us but join us in believing in Jesus Christ.

(End of Sermon from Brandon)

A lot of people say they do not believe in an afterlife. However, would you agree that if the Bible is correct in regards to history then Jesus did rise from the grave? Let’s take a closer look at evidence concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

I know that you highly respected Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and he co-authored with Francis Schaeffer the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? Below is a piece of evidence from that book:

Surgeon General C. Everett Koop

Francis Schaeffer

We should take one last step back into the history of the Old Testament. In the previous note we looked first at the Dead Sea Scrolls, dating to around 100 B.C. Then we went back to the period of the Late Monarchy and looked first at the siege of Hezekiah in Jerusalem by Sennacherib in 701 B.C. and also at the last years of Judah down to about 600 B.C. Then we went further back to about 850 B.C., to Ahab and Jezebel, the ivory house, the Black Obelisk, the Moabite Stone and so on–then back again to about 950 B.C., to the time of Solomon and his son Rehoboam and the campaign by Shishak, the Egyptian pharaoh.

This should have built up in our minds a vivid impression of the historic reliability of the biblical text, including even the seemingly obscure details such as the ration tablets in Babylon. We saw, in other words, not only that the Bible gives us a marvelous world view that ties in with the nature of reality and answers the basic problems which philosophers have asked down through the centuries, but also that the Bible is completely reliable, EVEN ON THE HISTORICAL LEVEL.

The previous notes looked back to the time of Moses and Joshua, the escape from Egypt, and the settlement in Canaan. Now we will go back further–back as far as Genesis 12, near the beginning of the Bible.

Do we find that the narrative fades away to a never-never land of myths and legends? By no means. For we have to remind ourselves that although Genesis 12 deals with events a long time ago from our moment of history (about 2000 B.C. or a bit later), the civilized world was already not just old but ancient when Abram/Abraham left “Ur of the Chaldeans” (see Genesis 11:31).

Ur itself was excavated some fifty years ago. In the British Museum, for example, one can see the magnificent contents of a royal burial chamber from Ur. This includes a gold headdress still in position about the head of a queen who died in Ur about 2500 B.C. It has also been possible to reconstruct from archaeological remains what the streets and buildings must have been like at the time.

Like Ur, the rest of the world of the patriarchs (that is, of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) was firm reality. Such places as Haran, where Abraham went first, have been discovered. So has Shechem from this time, with its Canaanite stone walls, which are still standing, and its temple.

Genesis 12:5-9New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the [a]persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they [b]set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan. Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the[c]oak of Moreh. Now the Canaanite was then in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your [d]descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord andcalled upon the name of the Lord. Abram journeyed on, continuing toward the[e]Negev.

Haran and Shechem may be unfamiliar names to us but the Negrev (or Negeb) is a name we have all read frequently in the news accounts of our own day. 

The spiritual answers your heart is seeking can be  found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221

PS: HUGH I have written you 36 TIMES and many of those letters have been from the sermons at my church in Little Rock. HUGH you may not think the  Bible is correct about the existence of an afterlife. However, are you willing to take a look at some evidence that demonstrates the Bible is historically accurate and trustworthy?

Haran pictured below

UR of the Chaldees was the port of CHALDEA (Babylonia), a major trade and commerce post.

Headdress of Queen Puabi of Ur, Mesopotamia, 2550 BCE:

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Featured artist is Nicholas Hlobo

Preview: Nicholas Hlobo in Season 9 of Art21 “Art in the Twenty-First Century” (2018)

Nicholas Hlobo

Nicholas Hlobo was born in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1975 and grew up in Transkei, South Africa. His works on paper, sculptures, installations, and performances utilize rubber, ribbon, leather, and a variety of domestic objects to explore both his identity as a gay Xhosa man and issues of masculinity, sexuality, and ethnicity in South African culture.

Subtly and subversively weaving together bodily innuendos and historical references, Hlobo uses raw materials to represent female and male forms and question gender roles. Interested in the history of colonization in South Africa and the broad and subtle ways that colonization occurs in contemporary life, Hlobo cuts and stitches materials back together, to represent the idea of the healing that follows a tearing apart.

Nicholas Hlobo received a fine-art degree from the Technikon Witwatersrand (2002). His awards and residencies include the Rolex Visual Arts Protégé (2010–11); Standard Bank Young Artist Award (2009); and Tollman Award for Visual Art (2006). He has had major exhibitions at Uppsala Konstmuseum, Sweden (2017); Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague (2016); Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC (2015); Savannah College of Art and Design (2014, 2010, 2007); Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (2014); Locust Project, Miami (2013); Biennale of Sydney (2012); La Triennale at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012); Venice Biennale (2011); National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo (2011); Liverpool Biennial (2010); Tate Modern, London (2008); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2008); Guangzhou Triennial, China (2008); and Studio Museum in Harlem (2008). Hlobo lives and works in Johannesburg.

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 154e My April 15, 2016 letter to Stephen Hawking

Image result for stephen hawking movie

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Image result for stephen hawking harry kroto

STARMUS panel announces ground-breaking Stephen Hawking Medals for Science Communication at the The Royal Society Featuring: Professor Sir Harry Kroto, Alexei Leonov, Dr Richard Dawkins, Dr Brian May, Professor Stephen Hawking, Professor Garik Israelian 

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Image result for stephen hawking



Stephen Hawking and his daughter Lucy Hawking.

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On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, Harry-Kroto

I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Arif Ahmed, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman PhilipseCarolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

In  the first video below in the 15th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

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In the popular You Tube video “Renowned Academics Speaking About God” you made the following statement:

“M-Theory doesn’t disprove God, but it does make him unnecessary. It predicts that the universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing without the need for a creator.” –Stephen Hawking, Cambridge theoretical physicist

Earlier I responded to Dr. Hawking’s assertion.

Letter on April 15, 2016

John Martin, Belshazzar’s Feast, c.1821; half-size sketch held by the Yale Center for British Art

RembrandtBelshazzar’s Feast, 1635, (National Gallery, London). The message is written in vertical lines starting at the top right corner, with “upharsin” taking two lines.

In 1976 Adrian Rogers led a group from our church Bellevue Baptist to Israel on a tour and I was privileged to be a part of that tour and we saw some of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Dead Sea Scrolls

Francis Schaeffer pictured below

Surgeon General C. Everett Koop pictured below:

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April 15, 2016

Dr. Stephen Hawking, c/o Centre for Theoretical Cosmology
Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
Centre for Mathematical Sciences
Wilberforce Road, Cambridge
CB3 0WA, UK

Dear Dr. Hawking,

Today is April 15, 2016 or tax day as you know. The government always comes to get the balance of their taxes on this day every year and many people hate it. There is coming another day for every person when  their works will be weighed and you don’t want the judge to say, “You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting” just like the writing on the wall said about King Belshazzar. Here is portion of Daniel chapter 5:

 King Belshazzar made a great feast for a thousand of his lords and drank wine in front of the thousand.

Belshazzar, when he tasted the wine, commanded that the vessels of gold and of silver… of the temple in Jerusalem be brought, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. Then they brought in the golden vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.

Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, opposite the lampstand. And the king saw the hand as it wrote. Then the king’s color changed, and his thoughts alarmed him; his limbs gave way, and his knees knocked together. The king called loudly to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers. The king declared[b] to the wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing, and shows me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.”

24 “Then from his presence the hand was sent, and this writing was inscribed. 25 And this is the writing that was inscribed: Mene, Mene, Tekel, and Parsin. 26 This is the interpretation of the matter: Mene, God has numbered[g] the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; 27 Tekel, YOU HAVE BEEN WEIGHED IN THE BALANCES AND FOUND WANTING28 Peres, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”[i]

29 Then Belshazzar gave the command, and Daniel was clothed with purple, a chain of gold was put around his neck, and a proclamation was made about him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.

30 That very night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed. 31 [j]And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.

On You Tube you can watch the short sermon “Adrian Rogers – How you can be certain the Bible is the word of God,” and you will hear these words:

Do you remember the story about the handwriting on the wall that is found in the fifth chapter of Daniel? Belshazzar hosted a feast with a thousand of his lords and ladies. Suddenly, a gruesome hand appeared out of nowhere and began to write on a wall. The king was disturbed and asked for someone to interpret the writing. Daniel was found and gave the interpretation. After the interpretation, “Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.” (Daniel 5:29). Basing their opinion on Babylonian records, the historians claim this never happened. According to the records, the last king of Babylon was not Belshazzar, but a man named Nabonidas. And so, they said, the Bible is in error. There wasn’t a record of a king named Belshazzar. Well, the spades of archaeologists continued to do their work.In 1853, an inscription was found on a cornerstone of a temple built by Nabonidas, to the god Ur, which read: “May I, Nabonidas, king of Babylon, not sin against thee. And may reverence for thee dwell in the heart of Belshazzar, my first-born favorite son.” From other inscriptions, it was learned that Belshazzar and Nabonidas were co-regents. Nabonidas traveled while Belshazzar stayed home to run the kingdom. Now that we know that Belshazzar and Nabonidas were co-regents, it makes sense that Belshazzar would say that Daniel would be the third ruler.

Over and over again in these letters I have compared you to King Solomon because of your lifestyle and your vain pursuit of satisfaction in the 6 “L” words. According to the Book of Ecclesiastes Solomon looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20) in his pursuit of satisfaction UNDER THE SUN and then in the final chapter he looks ABOVE THE SUN and brings God back into the picture.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.[c] 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, with[d] every secret thing, whether good or evil.

On Easter morning March 27, 2016 at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH our teaching pastor Brandon Barnard delivered the message THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING based on I Corinthians chapter 15 and I wanted to share a portion of that sermon with you today.

This day is the day that changes everything. The resurrection changes everything and that is why we are gathered here today to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ because it changes everything.

Some of you are going to be blown away by the opportunity before you this Easter morning because the resurrection of Jesus Christ stands at the very heart of Christianity. If what we we are gathered here to celebrate did not happen then people need to pity us as believers.  They need to feel sorry for you and me more than anyone on earth because we have set our hopes firmly on a lie.

But if the resurrection really did happen, then we need to repent and we need to believe in Jesus and we need to rejoice that we have hope in this life and the life to come. 

The first Adam messed it up for all of us, but the second Adam, Jesus Christ, he made everything right. The scripture says, “As in the first Adam everyone dies, but in the second Adam (Jesus Christ) we all can be made alive.

The latest statistic is one out of one people die. No one escapes death, but there is one who defeated it, and what you and I believe about this one determines our eternal destiny. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus changes everything.

Jesus predicted this would happen in John 2:18-22:

 18 So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three daysI will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple,[a] and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

Paul wrote this to the believers in Corinth.

1 Corinthians 15:3-6, 13-21 English Standard Version (ESV)

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.

13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.19 If in Christ we have hope[a] in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.

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STEPHEN you said above that you do not believe in an afterlife. However, would you agree that if the Bible is correct in regards to history then Jesus did rise from the grave? Let’s take a closer look at evidence concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

I know that you highly respected Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and he co-authored with Francis Schaeffer the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? Below is a piece of evidence from that book.

A much more dramatic story surrounds the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the present century. The Dead Sea Scrolls, some of which relate to the text of the Bible, were found at Qumran, about fifteen miles from Jerusalem.

Most of the Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew, and the New Testament in Greek. Many people have been troubled  by the length of time that has elapsed between the original writing of the documents and the present translations. How could the originals be copied from generation to generation and not be grossly distorted in the process? There is, however, much to reassure confidence in the text we have.

In the case of the New Testament, there are codes of the whole New Testament (that is, manuscripts in book form, like the Codes Sinaiticus and Codex Alexandrinus, dated around the fourth and fifth centuries respectively) and also thousands of fragments, some of them dating back to the second century. The earliest known so far is kept in the John Rylands Library in Manchester, England. It is only a small fragment, containing on one side John 18:31-33 and on the reverse, verses 37 and 38. It is important, however, both for its early date (about A.D.125) and for the place where it was discovered, namely Egypt. This shows that John’s Gospel was known and read in Egypt at that early time. There are thousands of such New Testament texts in Greek from the early centuries after Christ’s death and resurrection.

In the case of the Old Testament, however, there was once a problem. There were no copies of the Hebrew Old Testament in existence which dated from before the ninth century after Christ. This did not mean that there was no way to check the Old Testament, for there were other translations in existence, such as the Syriac and the Septuagint (a translation into Greek from several centuries before Christ). However, there was no Hebrew version of the Old Testament from earlier than the ninth century after Christ–because to the Jews the Scripture was so holy it was the common practice to destroy the copies of the Old Testament when they wore out, so that they would not fall into disrespectful use.

Then in 1947, a Bedouin Arab made a discovery not far from Qumran, which changed everything. While looking for sheep, he came across a cave in which he discovered some earthenware jars containing a number of scrolls. (There jars are now in the Israeli Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem.) Since that time at least ten other caves in the same vicinity have yielded up other scrolls and fragments. Copies of all the Old Testament books except Esther have been discovered (in part or complete) among these remains. One of the most dramatic single pieces was a copy of the Book of Isaiah dated approximately a hundred years before Christ. What was particularly striking about this is the great closeness of the discovered text tothe Hebrew text, whicch we previously had, a text written about a thousand years later!

On the issue of text, the Bible is unique as ancient documents go. No other book from that long ago exists in even a small percentage of the copies we have of the Greek and Hebrew texts which make up the Bible. We can be satisfied that we have a copy in our hands which closely approximates the original. Of course, there have been some mistakes in copying, and all translation lose something of the original language. That is inevitable. But the fact that most of us use translations into French, German, Chinise, English, and so on does not mean that we have an inadequate idea of what was written originally. We lose some of the nuances of the language, even when the translation is good, but we do not lose the essential content and communication.

The spiritual answers your heart is seeking can be  found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221

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