FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 264 MY 8 POSTCARDS IN 2017 FROM NEW ORLEANS TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 5) dated 2-5-17 Featured artist is Kimsooja

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I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were short and from one of Hef’s favorite cities!!!!

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Postcards from New Orleans Feb 5, 2017 Proverbs 5

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  Hugh Hefner Playboy Mansion 16236 Charing Cross Road

Los Angeles, CA 90024   Feb 5, 2017 Dear Hugh   Reading a Proverb for every day of the month has been a practice of mine for a long time. Today is February 5. 2017 and I’m reading Proverbs 5 which is appropriate since I am spending a week in New Orleans this month. Here are verses 3-14:

The lips of a seductive woman are oh so sweet,
    her soft words are oh so smooth.
But it won’t be long before she’s gravel in your mouth,
    a pain in your gut, a wound in your heart.
She’s dancing down the primrose path to Death;
    she’s headed straight for Hell and taking you with her.
She hasn’t a clue about Real Life,
    about who she is or where she’s going.

7-14 So, my friend, listen closely;
    don’t treat my words casually.
Keep your distance from such a woman;
    absolutely stay out of her neighborhood.
You don’t want to squander your wonderful life,
    to waste your precious life among the hardhearted.
Why should you allow strangers to take advantage of you?
    Why be exploited by those who care nothing for you?
You don’t want to end your life full of regrets,
    nothing but sin and bones,
Saying, “Oh, why didn’t I do what they told me?
    Why did I reject a disciplined life?
Why didn’t I listen to my mentors,
    or take my teachers seriously?
My life is ruined!
    I haven’t one blessed thing to show for my life!”

Never Take Love for Granted

—-   There is hope!!! Check out John 3:16!!!   Best wishes, Everette Hatcher   Xx

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These comments below are from Francis Schaeffer’ study on Ecclesiastes and they reminded me of Hugh Hefner who was the closest person to a modern day King Solomon and I was also reminded of a Hefner’s possible bitterness against women that started when he learned of his wife’s sexual betrayal of him in 1949. Below are Schaeffer’s comments followed by an article concerning what Hefner called “the most devastating moment in my life.” 

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If one would flee to alcohol, then surely one may choose sexual pursuits to flee to. Solomon looks in this area too.

Ecclesiastes 7:25-28

25 I directed my mind to know, to investigate and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the evil of folly and the foolishness of madness. 26 And I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her.

27 “Behold, I have discovered this,” says the Preacher, “adding one thing to another to find an explanation, 28 I have looked for other answers but have found none. I found one man in a thousand that I could respect, but not one woman. (Good News Translation on verse 28)

One can understand both Solomon’s expertness in this field and his bitterness.

I Kings 11:1-3 (New American Standard Bible) 

11 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon held fast to these in love. He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away.

An expert but also the reason for his bitterness. Certainly there have been many men over the centuries who have daydreamed of Solomon’s wealth in this area [of women], but at the end it was sorry, not only sorry but nothing and less than nothing. The simple fact is that one can not know woman in the real sense by pursuing 1000 women. It is not possible. Woman is not found this way. All that is left in this setting if one were to pursue the meaning of life in this direction is this most bitter word found in Ecclesiastes 7:28, “I have looked for other answers but have found none. I found one man in a thousand that I could respect, but not one woman.” (Good News Translation on verse 28) He was searching in the wrong way. He was searching for the answer to life in the limited circle of that which is beautiful in itself but not an answer finally in sexual life. More than that he finally tried to find it in variety and he didn’t even touch one woman at the end.

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The infidelity would forever skew his view on sexuality

  • Thursday 28 September 2017 11:47 BST

A man who became famous for his hedonism, Hugh Hefner claims to have slept with more than 1,000 women with a stable of girlfriends less than a third of his age.

But it turns out that the silk-robed, pipe-smoking Casanova’s Playboy lifestyle may have been sparked by the “devastating” betrayal of his first wife.

Hugh – who died yesterday age 91 – vowed to ‘save himself’ for childhood sweetheart Mildred ‘Millie’ Williams until they got married. But just days before their wedding, Williams revealed that she had slept with someone else.

“I had literally saved myself for my wife, but after we had sex she told me that she’d had an affair. That was the most devastating moment in my life,” Hefner once said.

Despite the revelation, the pair got married in 1949 and went on to have two children – daughter Christie Hefner, born in 1952, and son David, born three years later.

However, the betrayal loomed over their marriage and Williams gave her husband permission to sleep with other women; a decision that would forever skew his views on the institution and sexuality.

View image on Twitter

After 10 years the marriage came to an end but with the successful launch of Playboy in 1953, Hefner’s lavish and lecherous lifestyle was only just beginning.

The serial ladies’ man who became famed for hosting decadent parties at his luxurious Playboy Mansion, has dated a parade of high-profile women over the years…

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Preventing Grace Podcast: Playboy, Pornography, and Jesus

October 1, 2017 Matt Kennedy Preventing Grace PodcastAnne Kennedy: The children and I are memorizing Ecclesiastes Chapter 12 this fall. I read it out on Thursday September 28th and it was if it was written for Hugh Hefner or for any person who goes throughout their life without thinking about their creator. The description of death is so interesting in Ecclesiastes 12. Solomon wrote the passage and his life looked to be as perfect as Hugh Hefner’s . Matt Kennedy:  If you had all the power in the world and all the money in the world what would you do? Solomon did whatever his heart desired. Few of us have the power or the means to do that but Solomon had both. Anne Kennedy: But the thing that Solomon regretted was that he wasn’t a peasant in a hut with his one wife. That is what he wished he could have had.

Matt Kennedy: 

What is better in life than to work with your hands and enjoy your food and the wife of your youth? That is what he wishes that he had, not the women, not the kingdom, not the riches, not the building projects. Everything he desired he got, but he was empty at the end, it was dust. It is not an inaccurate comparison to compare Hugh Hefner to King Solomon because at least in his pursuit of women Solomon probably outdid him, yet at the end Solomon came to repentance and not so sure about Hugh Hefner.

Anne Kennedy:

Solomon returned to the wisdom of his youth and it seems that Hugh Hefner never had any wisdom. He had nothing to go back to.

Matt Kennedy: 

Hefner was raised a Methodist though.

Anne Kennedy:

It seems that his parents did not communicate the substance of their faith to their son except to be ridged.

CELEBS

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner has died at the age of 91.

The American icon helped usher in the 1960s sexual revolution with his groundbreaking men’s magazine and built a business empire around his libertine lifestyle.

Hefner, once called the “prophet of pop hedonism”, peacefully passed away at his home, Playboy Enterprises confirmed.

  1. 29th July 1970: Hef and girlfriend Barbi Benton arrive at Heathrow Airport in his private jet, the “Big Bunny” during a grand tour of his empire.On board with him were Jet Bunnies dressed in all black wet-look uniforms, and they were met at the airport by British Bunnies.(Image: Daily Mirror)1 of 34  
  2. 27th September 1972: Playboy king Hugh Hefner pictured during a press conference at the Hilton Hotel.”I’m never going to grow up,” Hefner said in a CNN interview when he was 82.”Staying young is what it is all about for me. Holding on to the boy and long ago I decided that age really didn’t matter and as long as the ladies … feel the same way, that’s fine with me.”(Image: Daily Mirror)2 of 34
  3. 8th August 1971: Hef pictured at Heathrow Airport before his flight to Saint-Tropez.There to see him off was playmate Marilyn Cole. Also travelling with Hefner is Roman Polanski (left).(Image: Daily Mirror)3 of 34
  4. 26th September 1972: Hef, girlfriend Barbi Benton and Bunny Girls arrive at Heathrow Airport on the “Big Bunny”.Hefner was sometimes characterised as an oversexed Peter Pan as he kept a harem of young blondes that numbered as many as seven at his legendary Playboy Mansion.(Image: Daily Mirror)4 of 34   http://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-13/html/container.html
  5. 3rd September 1969: Hugh Hefner arriving at Gatwick Airport with his girlfriend Barbara (Barbi) Benton.(Image: Daily Herald)5 of 34
  6. 6th September 1969: Hef and Barbi in their travels again.(Image: Daily Herald)6 of 34
  7. 1966: Playboy Bunnies await Hef’s arrival at London Airport.He said his swinging lifestyle might have been a reaction to growing up in a repressed family where affection was rarely exhibited.His so-called stunted childhood led to a multi-million-dollar enterprise that centered on naked women but also espoused Hefner’s “Playboy philosophy” based on romance, style and the casting off of mainstream mores.(Image: Sunday Mirror)7 of 34  
  8. 20th February 1971: Hef on his Playboy Jet headed for chicago with, left to right, Marilyn Cole, Barbi Benton and, seated, Connie Kreski.Hef held legendary parties in his mansions – first in his native Chicago, then in Los Angeles’ exclusive Holmby Hills neighbourhood – where legions of male celebrities swarmed to mingle with beautiful young women.(Image: Sunday Mirror)8 of 34
  9. (Image: Sunday Mirror)9 of 34
  10. 25th June 1966: Hefner arrives at London Airport and is welcomed by fifty Playboy Bunnies.Hefner proved to be a genius at branding. The magazine’s rabbit silhouette became one of the best known logos in the world and the “bunny” waitresses in his Playboy nightclubs were instantly recognisable in their low-cut bathing suit-style uniforms with bow ties, puffy cotton tails and pert rabbit ears.(Image: Sunday Mirror)10 of 34  
  11. 1966: Playboy Bunnies wait to welcome Hef to London.”What I created came out of my own adolescent dreams of fantasies,” he told CNN. “I was trying to redefine what it meant to be a young, urban unattached male.”(Image: Sunday Mirror)11 of 34
  12. 25th June 1966: Hefner and his Bunny harem at London Airport.Hef, as he began calling himself in high school, also was a living logo for Playboy, presiding over his realm in silk pajamas and a smoking jacket while puffing on a pipe.(Image: Sunday Mirror)12 of 34
  13. 29th July 1970: Hef had a private DC9-30 jet, the “Big Bunny”.On board with him were Jet Bunnies dressed in all black wet-look uniforms, and they were met at the airport by British Bunnies.(Image: Daily Mirror)13 of 34

Featured artist is Kimsooja

Kimsooja was born in 1957 in Taegu, South Korea. She earned a BFA (1980) and MA (1984) from Hong-Ik University, Seoul. Kimsooja’s videos and installations blur the boundaries between aesthetics and transcendent experience through their use of repetitive actions, meditative practices, and serial forms. In many pieces, everyday actions—such as sewing or doing laundry—become two- and three-dimensional or performative activities. Central to her work is the “bottari,” a traditional Korean bed cover used to wrap and protect personal belongings, which Kimsooja transforms into a philosophical metaphor for structure and connection.

In videos that feature her in various personas (Needle Woman, Beggar Woman, Homeless Woman), she leads us to reflect on the human condition, offering open-ended perspectives through which she presents and questions reality. Using her own body, facing away from the camera, Kimsooja becomes a void; we literally see and respond through her. While striking for their vibrant color and density of imagery, Kimsooja’s works emphasize metaphysical changes within the artist-as-performer as well as the viewer.

Kimsooja has received the Anonymous Was a Woman Award (2002), among others, and has been an artist-in-residence at the World Trade Center, New York (1998); P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City (1992–93); and École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts, Paris (1984). She has had major exhibitions at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2009); Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC (2008); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2006); Magasin 3, Stockholm Konsthall, Sweden (2006); Massachusetts Institute of Technology, List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge (2005); and other institutions. Kimsooja has participated in international exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale (2001, 2005, 2007); Yokohama Triennial (2005); and Whitney Biennial (2002). Kimsooja lives and works in New York.

Links:
Artist’s website

Related posts:

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10 YEARS AGO ADRIAN ROGERS WENT TO GLORY BUT HIS SERMONS ARE STILL SHARING CHRIST LOVE TODAY!!!

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 153b Sir Bertrand Russell said “For beliefs based on faith, argument is useless,” yet Russell had a unconditional faith in an uniformity of natural causes in a closed system

 

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Bertrand Russell as a child.

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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

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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 Philipse,  Carolyn 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 14th clip in this series are his words and I will be responding to them in the next few weeks since Sir Bertrand Russell is probably the most quoted skeptic of our time, unless it was someone like Carl Sagan or Antony Flew.  

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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Quote from Bertrand Russell:

Q: Why are you not a Christian?

Russell: Because I see no evidence whatever for any of the Christian dogmas. I’ve examined all the stock arguments in favor of the existence of God, and none of them seem to me to be logically valid.

Q: Do you think there’s a practical reason for having a religious belief, for many people?

Russell: Well, there can’t be a practical reason for believing what isn’t true. That’s quite… at least, I rule it out as impossible. Either the thing is true, or it isn’t. If it is true, you should believe it, and if it isn’t, you shouldn’t. And if you can’t find out whether it’s true or whether it isn’t, you should suspend judgment. But you can’t… it seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it’s useful, and not because you think it’s true.

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Francis Schaeffer noted concerning the IMPLICIT FAITH of Bertrand Russell:

I was lecturing at the University of St. Andrews one night and someone put forth the question, “If Christianity is so clear and reasonable then why doesn’t Bertrand Russell then become a Christian? Is it because he hasn’t discovered theology?”

It wasn’t a matter of studying theology that was involved but rather that he had too much faith. I was surrounded by humanists and you could hear the gasps. Bertrand Russell and faith; Isn’t this the man of reason? I pointed out that this is a man of high orthodoxy who will hold his IMPLICIT FAITH on the basis of his presuppositions no matter how many times he has to zig and zag because it doesn’t conform to the facts.

You must understand what the term IMPLICIT FAITH  means. In the old Roman Catholic Church when someone who became a Roman Catholic they had to promise implicit faith. That meant that you not only had to believe everything that Roman Catholic Church taught then but also everything it would teach in the future. It seems to me this is the kind of faith that these people have in the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system and they have accepted it no matter what it leads them into. 

I think that these men are men of a high level of IMPLICIT FAITH in their own set of presuppositions. Paul said (in Romans Chapter One) they won’t carry it to it’s logical conclusion even though they hold a great deal of the truth and they have revolted and they have set up a series of universals in themselves which they won’t transgress no matter if they conform to the facts or not.

Here below is the Romans passage that Schaeffer is referring to and verse 19 refers to what Schaeffer calls “the mannishness of man” and verse 20 refers to Schaeffer’s other point which is “the universe and it’s form.”

Romans 1:18-20 Amplified Bible :

18 For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative. 19 For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them. 20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification].

We can actually see the two points makes playing themselves out in Bertrand Russell’s own life.

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[From a letter dated August 11, 1918 to Miss Rinder when Russell was 46]

It is quite true what you say, that you have never expressed yourself—but who has, that has anything to express? The things one says are all unsuccessful attempts to say something else—something that perhaps by its very nature cannot be said. I know that I have struggled all my life to say something that I never shall learn how to say. And it is the same with you. It is so with all who spend their lives in the quest of something elusive, and yet omnipresent, and at once subtle and infinite. One seeks it in music, and the sea, and sunsets; at times I have seemed very near it in crowds when I have been feeling strongly what they were feeling; one seeks it in love above all. But if one lets oneself imagine one has found it, some cruel irony is sure to come and show one that it is not really found.
The outcome is that one is a ghost, floating through the world without any real contact. Even when one feels nearest to other people, something in one seems obstinately to belong to God and to refuse to enter into any earthly communion—at least that is how I should express it if I thought there was a God. It is odd isn’t it? I care passionately for this world, and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted—some ghost, from some extra-mundane region, seems always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand the message. But it is from listening to the ghost that one comes to feel oneself a ghost. I feel I shall find the truth on my deathbed and be surrounded by people too stupid to understand—fussing about medicines instead of searching for wisdom. Love and imagination mingled; that seems the main thing so far.

There was evidence during Bertrand Russell’s own life that indicated that the Bible was true and could be trusted.

 

There was an archaeologist by the name of William Mitchell Ramsay and he had written extensively about the accuracy of the Bible. The funny thing is that he started about skeptical about the Bible’s accuracy just like Bertrand Russell was. Francis Schaeffer discusses William Ramsay’s life below:

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnotes #97 and #98)

A common assumption among liberal scholars is that because the Gospels are theologically motivated writings–which they are–they cannot also be historically accurate. In other words, because Luke, say (when he wrote the Book of Luke and the Book of Acts), was convinced of the deity of Christ, this influenced his work to the point where it ceased to be reliable as a historical account. The assumption that a writing cannot be both historical and theological is false.

The experience of the famous classical archaeologist Sir William Ramsay illustrates this well. When he began his pioneer work of exploration in Asia Minor, he accepted the view then current among the Tubingen scholars of his day that the Book of Acts was written long after the events in Paul’s life and was therefore historically inaccurate. However, his travels and discoveries increasingly forced upon his mind a totally different picture, and he became convinced that Acts was minutely accurate in many details which could be checked.

What is even more interesting is the way “liberal” modern scholars today deal with Ramsay’s discoveries and others like them. In the NEW TESTAMENT : THE HISTORY OF THE INVESTIGATION OF ITS PROBLEMS, the German scholar Werner G. Kummel made no reference at all to Ramsay. This provoked a protest from British and American scholars, whereupon in a subsequent edition Kummel responded. His response was revealing. He made it clear that it was his deliberate intention to leave Ramsay out of his work, since “Ramsay’s apologetic analysis of archaeology [in other words, relating it to the New Testament in a positive way] signified no methodologically essential advance for New Testament research.” This is a quite amazing assertion. Statements like these reveal the philosophic assumptions involved in much liberal scholarship.

A modern classical scholar, A.N.Sherwin-White, says about the Book of Acts: “For Acts the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming…Any attempt to reject its basic historicity, even in matters of detail, must not appear absurd. Roman historians have long taken this for granted.”

When we consider the pages of the New Testament, therefore, we must remember what it is we are looking at. The New Testament writers themselves make abundantly clear that they are giving an account of objectively true events.

(Under footnote #98)

Acts is a fairly full account of Paul’s journeys, starting in Pisidian Antioch and ending in Rome itself. The record is quite evidently that of an eyewitness of the events, in part at least. Throughout, however, it is the report of a meticulous historian. The narrative in the Book of Acts takes us back behind the missionary journeys to Paul’s famous conversion on the Damascus Road, and back further through the Day of Pentecost to the time when Jesus finally left His disciples and ascended to be with the Father.

But we must understand that the story begins earlier still, for Acts is quite explicitly the second part of a continuous narrative by the same author, Luke, which reaches back to the birth of Jesus.

Luke 2:1-7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all [a]the inhabited earth. [b]This was the first census taken while[c]Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a [d]manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

In the opening sentences of his Gospel, Luke states his reason for writing:

Luke 1:1-4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things[a]accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those whofrom the beginning [b]were eyewitnesses and [c]servants of the [d]word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having [e]investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellentTheophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been [f]taught.

In Luke and Acts, therefore, we have something which purports to be an adequate history, something which Theophilus (or anyone) can rely on as its pages are read. This is not the language of “myths and fables,” and archaeological discoveries serve only to confirm this.

For example, it is now known that Luke’s references to the titles of officials encountered along the way are uniformly accurate. This was no mean achievement in those days, for they varied from place to place and from time to time in the same place. They were proconsuls in Corinth and Cyprus, asiarchs at Ephesus, politarches at Thessalonica, and protos or “first man” in Malta. Back in Palestine, Luke was careful to give Herod Antipas the correct title of tetrarch of Galilee. And so one. The details are precise.

The mention of Pontius Pilate as Roman governor of Judea has been confirmed recently by an inscription discovered at Caesarea, which was the Roman capital of that part of the Roman Empire. Although Pilate’s existence has been well known for the past 2000 years by those who have read the Bible, now his governorship has been clearly attested outside the Bible.

Sir William Mitchell Ramsay

Image result for sir william ramsay archaeologistTop NT Archaeological Finds
/Ronald Cram
1. The Delphi (Gallio) inscription – discovered 1905, now in Delphi Museum in
Greece – Fixed the date of Gallio’s service as proconsul as AD 51-52, providing a
way of dating the events in Acts 18:12-17 and much of Paul’s ministry.
http://www.kairos2.com/BL_Gallio.htm
2. Mummy Mask Fragment of Mark – to be
published soon and will be on display at
Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. in
2017 – A pharaoh’s mummy mask is made of
gold but the average Egyptian mummy mask
was made of used papyrus. One mummy
mask has yielded a fragment of the Gospel of
Mark, expected to be the oldest known
fragment of the New Testament dated between AD 80-90. Mummy masks have
also yielded manuscripts of Homer that are much older than previously available.
http://www.livescience.com/49489-oldest-known-gospel-mummy-mask.html
3. Sergius Paulus inscription – discovered 1877 – Confirms the existence of Sergius
Paulus , proconsul of Cypress encountered by Paul in Acts 13:7.
http://www.hwhouse.com/images/4.SERGIUS_PAULUS_INSCRIPTION.pdf
4. Politarch Inscription – British Museum –
Many skeptical scholars thought Luke made
up the term “politarch” used to describe the
leaders of Thessalonica in Acts 17. This
inscription confirmed the accuracy of Luke as
an historian. Some 32 “politarch”
inscriptions from Macedonia are now known.
http://bit.ly/PolitarchInscription
5. Lysanias Inscription – Many skeptical scholars thought Luke made a mistake in
writing ‘Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene’ in Luke 3:1 (around the beginning of John
the Baptist’s ministry in A.D. 27) because the only known Lysanias died in 36 B.C.
However an inscription (CIG. 4521) discovered at Abila was found reading
“Nymphias, freedman of Lysanias the tetrarch” dated to A.D. 14-29. Sir William M
Ramsay took this as strong evidence that Luke is correct.
http://bit.ly/1PnNJxr
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6. Phrygian Altar Inscriptions – discovered in 1910 by William Mitchell Ramsay and
displayed in the Istanbul Archaeology Museum – In Acts 14, Luke writes that Paul
and Barnabus left Iconium and entered the region of Lycaonia. A century before
Luke, Cicero had written that Iconium was in the region of Lycaonia. This made
many scholars think Luke made a mistake – like saying someone left London and
entered England. The discovery of these inscriptions show the people of Iconium
did not speak the Lycaonian language but the Phrygian and Greek languages. This
discovery confirms the accuracy of Acts 14 and is one reason William Mitchell
Ramsay wrote that Luke “is a historian of the first rank” and “should be placed
along with the very greatest of historians.”
http://bit.ly/PhrygianAltar
7. Nazareth Inscription – Time and place of
discovery unknown – This inscription
became part of the private Froehner
Collection in 1878. In 1925, the Froehner
Collection became part of the Paris National
Library. More than 20 scholarly papers
were published on the inscription by 1932.
No scholar doubted the authenticity of the
inscription. It was seen as important
because it can be read as a special imperial
decree related to the apostles taking
Christ’s body from the grave. The inscription outlaws removing a body from a
tomb and calls for the death penalty. This is a very unusual law because while
people rob tombs of artifacts, no one robs a body from a tomb. The inscription
specifically mentions a seal on the tomb such as was placed on Jesus’s tomb.
http://bit.ly/NazarethInscription
8. Skeleton of Yehohanan – excavated by Vassilios Tzaferis in 1968 – Skeptics
claimed Romans tied criminals to the cross rather than used nails. Skeptics also
claim crucified criminals were buried in mass graves. This skeleton confirms the
Bible’s description of crucifixion by nails through the hands and feet and legs
broken below the knee. Now at the Israel Museum, this skeleton also confirms the
fact Romans sometimes allowed crucifixion victims to be buried honorably.
http://bit.ly/Yehohanan
9. Caiaphas Ossuary – discovered 1990 – This highly
ornate limestone bone box, appropriate for a man of
high standing, confirmed the existence of Caiaphas
the chief priest and chief antagonist of Jesus.
http://bit.ly/CaiaphasOssuary
10. Rylands Papyrus (P52) – discovered 1920 – This small fragment of the Gospel of
John (measures 3.5” x 2.5”) is the oldest universally accepted manuscript of the
3
NT. Its words describe Jesus’s trial before Pilate. It is dated to AD 125 and was
found near the Nile River, a long way from its place of composition in Ephesus.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rylands_Library_Papyrus_P52
11. Bodmer Papyrus II (P66) – discovered 1952 –
Discovered in Egypt, it contains most of John’s
gospel dated from AD 150-200.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papyrus_66
12. Chester Beatty Papyri – acquired 1931-35 – Three
papyri dating from AD 200 that contain most of the
NT.
http://bit.ly/BeattyPapyri
13. Codex Vaticanus – Vatican Library, first inventoried in 1481 – Dated to AD 325-
350 and contains a nearly complete Bible.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Vaticanus
14. Codex Sinaiticus – discovered 1859 – Codex contains nearly complete NT and over
half of the Old Testament (the earliest books of the Bible appear have been
damaged) dated to AD 350.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Sinaiticus
15. James Ossuary – made public in 2002 –
The Aramaic inscription, translated “James, son
of Joseph, brother of Jesus,” was controversial
because the last portion “brother of Jesus”
appeared to some experts to have been made
by a different hand causing some to think it
was a recent forgery. The Israeli Antiquities
Authority charged the owner, Oded Golan, with
forgery but lost the case. Patina shows the
entire inscription is ancient. Golan was
declared not guilty of forgery but was convicted of illegal trading in antiquities.
http://bit.ly/JamesOssuary
16. Uncensored Talmud (Cod. Hebr. 95) – manuscript is dated to 1343 A.D. and is
housed at the State Library at Munich – is thought to have been discovered in
France. It is the oldest nearly complete manuscript of the Babylonian Talmud
(this manuscript is sometimes called the Munich Talmud). The Talmud contains
the oral tradition of Judaism going back to the first century A.D. The uncensored
Talmud is a hostile witness to Jesus of Nazareth. It describes him as a teacher who
had disciples (five of them) and a healer and miracle-worker (although it claims
he did these works through sorcery). These are not Christian interpolations.
These descriptions closely match the statements of Jewish leaders in the gospels
4
in which they said Jesus cast out demons by “Beelzebul, prince of demons.” (Matt
12:24; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15).
http://bit.ly/UncensoredTalmud
17. The Pilate Stone inscription – discovered
1961, now in Israel Museum – Inscription
reads “Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea”
confirming the existence and office of
Pilate. This find was highly valued at the
time of discovery because no other
evidence of Pilate was known at the time.
Since this time a number of Pilate coins
have been found. See #23 below.
http://bit.ly/PilotStoneInscription
18. Pool of Bethesda – discovered in 19th century – Described in the Gospel of John
has having five porticos, this unusual feature caused many skeptical scholars to
say the pool and the story of Jesus healing the paralytic were mythical. The
discovery of a pool with five porticos confirms John 5:2-9.
http://bit.ly/PoolOfBethesda
19. Pool of Siloam – discovered 2004 – A previously identified Pool of Siloam was
proven to be wrong by this discovery. Coins found at this level show the pool was
in use during the life of Jesus. This site is identified in John 9:1-11 as the place
where Jesus healed the blind man.
http://articles.latimes.com/2005/aug/09/science/sci-siloam9
20. Temple Warning Inscriptions – discovered in 1871 and 1938 – In Acts 21:28, Paul
was accused of bringing Greeks into the temple. Josephus wrote that an
inscription “forbade any foreigner to go in, under the pain of death” (Antiquities,
15:11:5) These inscriptions confirm that capital punishment was posted as the
penalty. The 1871 discovery is on display at the Istanbul Archaeology Museum.
The 1938 discovery is at the Israel Museum.
http://bit.ly/TempleWarningInscription
21. Nazareth House – Excavated in 2009 –
Some skeptics claimed Nazareth did not
exist during the time of Jesus. The Israel
Antiquities Authority announced they
found a Nazareth house with artifacts from
the first century. Nazareth was a small
village of maybe 50 houses in Jesus’s time.
Most likely, Jesus knew the people who
lived in this house.
http://bit.ly/SkepticalOfNazareth
http://bit.ly/NazarethHouse
5
22. Capernaum Synagogue – Excavation began in 1969 – Underneath a 4th century
synagogue is the 1st century synagogue visited by Jesus (Mark 1:21 & John 6:59).
http://bit.ly/CapernaumSynagogue
23. Sea of Galilee boat – Nof Ginosaur Museum –
Discovered 1986 near Tiberias, it measures
30 feet by 8 feet and capable of carrying 15
passengers. It is like the boat Jesus and his
disciples used to cross the Sea of Galilee.
Carbon 14 dating places the boat between
120 BC and AD 40.
http://bit.ly/GalileeBoat
24. Gergesa Found – Mark 5. Matthew 8, and
Luke 8 describe the healing of the demon-possessed man. The location appears in
different manuscripts as Gergesa, Gadara and Gerasa. This may be due to scribal
error. Gergesa (probably the original reading) was not well-known and scribes
were likely to substitute better known towns like Gadara and Gerasa. Gergesa
(modern day Kursi) is located on the other side of the lake from Galilee, has tombs
nearby, and a steep bank going toward the lake – all features used to describe the
location of the miracle. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gergesa
25. Erastus Inscription Stone – discovered in
Corinth in 1929 – The inscription reads
“Erastus in return for aedileship laid [this]
pavement at his own expense.” The stone
pavement was found near the large theater
in Corinth. The name Erastus is mentioned
several times in the New Testament. Many
historians think this is the same man.
Erastus is not a common name in
inscriptions in Corinth. Paul’s letter to the Romans was probably written in
Corinth in about 56/57 AD. Paul’s Erastus was a city official in Corinth (Romans
16:23).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erastus_of_Corinth
26. Quirinius inscription – discovered by William
Mitchell Ramsay and J.G.C. Andersen in Antioch
in 1912 – Historians recognize that Quirinius
was governor of Syria when a census was
ordered in 6 AD, but this does not fit New
Testament chronology. Ramsay believes this
inscription shows Quirinius was also governor of
Syria from 10-7 B.C. One difficulty is that
Josephus wrote that Sentius Saturninus was
6
governor of Syria from 9-7 B.C. Also, Tertullian wrote that Jesus was born when
Saturnius was governor of Syria. Ramsay proposed that the authority of Quirinius
and Saturnius overlapped. Luke was apparently aware that Quirinius was
governor of Syria twice because Luke 2:32 reads “This was the first census taken
while Quirinius was governor of Syria.” This seems to indicate that Luke knew a
second census was taken when Quirinius was governor the second time in 6 A.D.
http://bit.ly/1LF4PE6
27. Pontius Pilate coins – British
Museum – Minted by Pilate, this
coin names his office as
“procurator.” On one side of the
coin is an image of Roman cultic
paraphernalia (a ladle) and on the
reverse side an image of a staff. It
was minted in the 17th year of the
reign of Tiberias – or AD 30-31 –
near the death and resurrection of Jesus.
http://bit.ly/PilateCoins
28. Freedom of Zion coin – discovered at the Temple Mount Sifting Project – This is a
bronze coin dating to the revolt against Rome (A.D. 66-70). It bears the Hebrew
phrase “Freedom of Zion.” This revolt against Rome led to the destruction of the
Temple and the city of Jerusalem and was predicted by Jesus in Matthew 24.
http://bit.ly/FreedomOfZionCoin
29. Roman Census Papyri – British Museum – This census took place in AD 104 and
was very similar to the census at the birth of Jesus described by Luke. It reads:
“Gaius Vibius Maximus, Prefect of Egypt: The census by household having begun,
it is essential that all those who are away from their nomes (districts) be
summoned to return to their own hearths so that they may perform the
customary business of registration…”
http://www.kchanson.com/ANCDOCS/greek/census.html
30. House of Peter in Capernaum – Discovered in 1968 by Virgilio Carbo – Between
1968 and 1986, Carbo led 19 digs of the site. Another four seasons of excavations
were led by Stanislao Loffreda. The first century home was buried beneath a
fourth century church, built to commemorate the site as holy. While slightly
larger than most, the first century home was simple. The site became more
important when excavators realized that the purpose of the building changed half
way through the first century. The main room of the house was completely
plastered over from floor to ceiling – a rarity at the time – shortly after the
resurrection of Jesus. Excavators believe the building began to function as an early
meeting place for Christians, an early church. According to gospel accounts, Jesus
performed miracles within these walls.
http://bit.ly/PeterHome
7
Quotes
Nelson Glueck writes: “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological
discovery has ever contraverted a biblical reference” and “Scores of archaeological
findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or exact detail historical
statements in the Bible.” (Rivers in the Desert: A History of the Negev, p. 31)
Jonathan L. Reed comments “The many archaeological discoveries relating to people,
places, or titles mentioned in Acts do lend credence to its historicity at one level;
many of the specific details in Acts are factual.” (The Harper Collins Visual Guide to the
New Testament: What Archaeology Reveals about the First Christians, p.100)
John McRay writes: “It should be remembered that only about two hundred sites out
of the approximately five thousand sites in the Holy Land have been excavated.”
(Archaeology and the New Testament, p.22)Image result for sir william ramsay archaeologist
William Mitchell Ramsay found the archaeological evidence compelling:

I may fairly claim to have entered on this investigation without prejudice in favour of the conclusions which I shall now seek to justify to the reader. On the contrary, I began with a mind unfavourable to it, for the ingenuity and apparent completeness of the Tübingen theory had at one time quite convinced me. It did not then lie in my line of life to investigate the subject minutely, but more recently I found myself brought into contact with the Book of Acts as an authority for the topography, antiquities and society of Asia Minor. It was gradually borne upon me that in various details the narrative showed marvelous truth. In fact, beginning with a fixed idea that the work was essentially a second century composition, and never relying on its evidence as trustworthy for first century conditions, I gradually came to find it a useful ally in some obscure and difficult investigations (Sir William Ramsay, St. Paul The Traveler and Roman Citizen. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1962, p. 36).

Image result for bertrand russell

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Music Monday My letter to Bill Wyman

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December 31, 2015

Bill Wyman

Dear Bill,

Believe it or not I want to talk about you as a photographer first!!!

I live in Arkansas and I just can’t get enough of the CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM in Bentonville.  In 1981 I visited 20 European countries on a college trip and I was hooked on art.

Francis Schaeffer is one of my favorite writers and he was constantly talking about modern culture and art in his books and that really got me interested in finding out what it was all about.  Actually on my blog http://www.thedailyhatch.org I devote my blog every Thursday to the series called FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE  and I examine the work of a modern day artist.

You will notice below that your name is in bold type since I took a look at your work in one of my blog post. I would honored if you took time to look it over and let me know what your reaction is to how your life is presented in the blog post.  Here is an alphabetical list of those I have featured so far:

Marina AbramovicIda Applebroog,Matthew Barney, Aubrey Beardsley, Larry BellWallace BermanPeter BlakeDerek BoshierPauline BotyBrenda Bury,  Allora & Calzadilla,   Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Heinz Edelmann Olafur EliassonTracey EminJan Fabre, Makoto Fujimura, Hamish Fulton, Ellen GallaugherRyan GanderFrancoise GilotJohn Giorno, Rodney Graham,  Cai Guo-QiangBrion GysinJann HaworthArturo HerreraOliver HerringDavid Hockney, David Hooker,  Nancy HoltRoni HornPeter HowsonRobert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Martin KarplusMargaret KeaneMike Kelley, Peter KienJeff Koons Annie Leibovitz, John LennonRichard LinderSally MannKerry James MarshallTrey McCarley, Linda McCartney, Paul McCartneyPaul McCarthyJosiah McElhenyBarry McGee, Richard MerkinNicholas MonroYoko OnoTony Oursler,John OutterbridgeNam June PaikEduardo PaolozziGeorge PettyWilliam Pope L.Gerhard Richter, Anna Margaret Rose,  James RosenquistSusan RothenbergGeorges Rouault, Richard SerraShahzia Sikander, Raqub ShawThomas ShutteSaul SteinbergHiroshi SugimotoStuart SutcliffeMika Tajima,Richard TuttleLuc Tuymans, Alberto Vargas,  Banks Violett, H.C. Westermann,  Fred WilsonKrzysztof Wodiczko,Andrew WyethJamie Wyeth, Bill WymanDavid WynneAndrea Zittel,

I noticed that you knew Andy Warhol. Let me share with you some of what Francis Schaeffer wrote about Andy Warhol’s art and interviews:

The Observer June 12, 1966 does a big spread on Warhol. Andy is a mass communicator. Someone has described pop art as Dada plus Madison Avenue or commercialism and I think that is a good definition. Dada was started in Zurich and came along in modern art. Dada means nothing. The word “Dada” means rocking horse, but it was chosen by chance. The whole concept Dada is everything means nothing. Pop Art has been said to be the Dada concept put forth in modern commercialization.

Everything in his work is being leveled down to an universal monotony which he can always sell for $8000.00.

Andy Warhol says, “It stops you thinking about things. I wish I were a machine. I don’t want to be heard. I don’t want human emotions. I have never been touched by a painting. I don’t want to think. The world would be easier to live  in if we all were machines. It is nothing in the end anyway.”

_______________________________

(Francis Schaeffer pictured below)

Francis Schaeffer

Notice Andy Warhol’s words very closely concerning the time he takes to make his movies:

“It stops you thinking about things. I wish I were a machine. I don’t want to be heard. I don’t want human emotions. I have never been touched by a painting. I don’t want to think. The world would be easier to live  in if we all were machines. It is nothing in the end anyway.”

Francis Schaeffer said that modern man may say that we all are the results of chance plus time and there is no life beyond the grave but then people can’t live that way because of the “mannishness of man.” We all have significance and the ability to love and be loved and we have the ability of rational thought that distinguishes us from machines and animals and that indicates that we were man in the image of God.

YOU HAVE LOVED AND DEEP DOWN YOU KNOW THAT GOD PUT YOU ON THIS EARTH FOR A PURPOSE AND THAT IS WHY WE HAVE ART TO BEGIN WITH BECAUSE OF MAN’S CREATIVITY!!

Your music reminds me a lot about the Memphis Blues. I thought of your music when I heard the news today, “In 2 days, Mississippi River has risen 10 feet north of St. Louis.”

Everybody is now educating themselves on the great flood of 1927. The 1927 Great Mississippi Flood was the most destructive river flood in the history of the United States, causing over $400million in damages and killing 246 people in seven states and displaced 700,000 people.

My grandfather moved to Memphis in 1927 and he told me about this flood. There was a lady named Memphis Minnie and she wrote about this flood. I always heard that there was lots of great blues music that had come out of Memphis, but I always thought that was overstated and that the Blues was not a significant form of music. (Live and learn, the Blues music out of Memphis had a GREAT AFFECT ON MUSIC WORLDWIDE!!!)

However, at the same time I was listening to groups like Led Zeppelin and the ROLLING STONES, I had no idea that many of their songs were based on old Blues songs out of Memphis.

One of my favorite Led Zeppelin songs was “When the Levee breaks.” It was based on a song by Memphis Minnie.

There are many paths that people can take to deal with the Blues but the one found by many people in this area is to repent of their sins and embrace the gospel. Actually 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.

When I examine the Blues they are really an expression of one’s desperation to deal with the hard realities we face in life. Some seek escapism through alcohol or drugs. In fact, many famous Blues musicians have died from from addictions to drugs or alcohol!!

In the paper, “THE DECLINE OF TWENTIETH-CENTURY MAN” Francis Schaeffer asserted:

For some time, young people were fighting against their parents’ impoverished values of personal peace and affluence-whether their way of fighting was through Marcuse’s New Left or through taking drugs as an ideology. The young people wanted more to life than personal peace and affluence. They were right in their analysis of the problem, but they were mistaken in their solutions.

As the sixties drew to a close and the seventies began, probably more people were taking some form of drug, and at an ever-younger age. But taking drugs was no longer an ideology. That was finished. Drugs simply became the escape which they had been traditionally in many places in the past.

Francis Schaeffer concluded though that something happened that involved the ROLLING STONES that changed everything concerning taking drugs as an ideology:


AFTER WOODSTOCK TWO EVENTS "ENDED THE AGE OF INNOCENCE," 
to use the expression of Rolling Stone magazine. The FIRST 
occurred at Altamont, California, where the ROLLING STONES put 
on a festival and hired the Hell's Angels (for several barrels of 
beer) to police the grounds. Instead, the Hell's Angels killed 
people without any cause, and it was a bad scene indeed. But 
people thought maybe this was a fluke, maybe it was just 
California! IT TOOK A SECOND EVENT TO BE CONVINCING. 

On the Isle of Wight, 450,000 people assembled, and it was 
totally ugly. A number of people from L'Abri were there, and I 
know a man closely associated with the rock world who knows 
the organizer of this festival. Everyone agrees that the situation 
was just plain hideous. 

THUS, AFTER THESE TWO ROCK FESTIVALS THE PICTURE CHANGED. IT IS  
NOT THAT KIDS HAVE STOPPED TAKING DRUGS, FOR MORE ARE TAKING  
DRUGS ALL THE TIME. And what the eventual outcome will be is 
certainly unpredictable. I know that in many places, California 
for example, drugs are down through the high schools and on 
into the heads of ten- and eleven-year-olds. But drugs are not 
considered a philosophic expression anymore; among the very 
young they are just a peer group thing. It's like permissive 
sexuality. You have to sleep with a certain number of boys or 
you're not in; you have to take a certain kind of drug or you're 
not in. THE OPTIMISTIC IDEOLOGY HAS DIED.

I was curious what you thought of these assertions. Thank you for your time and keep up the good work on your music. I have enjoyed it a great deal .

Everette Hatcher, cell phone 501-920-5733, everettehatcher@gmail.com

PS: I enclosed a short tract called HAPPY HOUR since it tells you can have a true HAPPY HOUR with your kids or grand kids  today. Take them to church!!!

___

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Foster The People – Pumped up Kicks Foster the People From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Foster the People Foster the People at the 2011 MuchMusic Video Awards, from left to right: Pontius, Foster, and Fink Background information Origin Los Angeles, California, U.S. Genres Indie pop alternative rock indietronica alternative dance neo-psychedelia[1] Years active 2009–present Labels […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

MUSIC MONDAY ‘Apple gave me advice’: Coldplay’s Chris Martin turned to 11-year-old daughter for words of wisdom ahead of Superbowl 50 By DAILYMAIL.COM REPORTER PUBLISHED: 00:58 EST, 2 February 2016

May 9, 2016 – 1:12 am

‘Apple gave me advice’: Coldplay’s Chris Martin turned to 11-year-old daughter for words of wisdom ahead of Superbowl 50 By DAILYMAIL.COM REPORTER PUBLISHED: 00:58 EST, 2 February 2016 | UPDATED: 17:20 EST, 2 February 2016 n Facebook They’ve sold 80 million records and been around for 20 years. But Coldplay’s lead singer Chris Martin, 38, […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

MUSIC MONDAY Chris Martin, Lead Singer of Coldplay: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know Published 3:44 pm EDT, February 7, 2016

May 2, 2016 – 1:05 am

__________ Chris Martin, Lead Singer of Coldplay: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know Published 3:44 pm EDT, February 7, 2016 Updated 3:44 pm EDT, February 7, 2016 Comment By Lauren Weigle 17.6k (Getty) Chris Martin has been the front-man of the band Coldplay for about 20 years, though the band changed its name a […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

MUSIC MONDAY Christian Rock Pioneer Larry Norman’s Songs Part 14

April 25, 2016 – 12:57 am

Christian Rock Pioneer Larry Norman’s Songs Part 14 I posted a lot in the past about my favorite Christian musicians such as Keith Green (I enjoyed reading Green’s monthly publications too), and 2nd Chapter of Acts and others. Today I wanted to talk about one of Larry Norman’s songs. David Rogers introduced me to Larry […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

MUSIC MONDAY Christian Rock Pioneer Larry Norman’s Songs Part 13

April 18, 2016 – 12:56 am

Christian Rock Pioneer Larry Norman’s Songs Part 13 I posted a lot in the past about my favorite Christian musicians such as Keith Green (I enjoyed reading Green’s monthly publications too), and 2nd Chapter of Acts and others. Today I wanted to talk about one of Larry Norman’s songs. David Rogers introduced me to Larry […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

MUSIC MONDAY Christian Rock Pioneer Larry Norman’s Songs Part 12

April 11, 2016 – 1:30 am

Christian Rock Pioneer Larry Norman’s Songs Part 12 I posted a lot in the past about my favorite Christian musicians such as Keith Green (I enjoyed reading Green’s monthly publications too), and 2nd Chapter of Acts and others. Today I wanted to talk about one of Larry Norman’s songs. David Rogers introduced me to Larry […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

MUSIC MONDAY Christian Rock Pioneer Larry Norman’s Songs Part 11

April 4, 2016 – 1:23 am

Christian Rock Pioneer Larry Norman’s Songs Part 11 I posted a lot in the past about my favorite Christian musicians such as Keith Green (I enjoyed reading Green’s monthly publications too), and 2nd Chapter of Acts and others. Today I wanted to talk about one of Larry Norman’s songs. David Rogers introduced me to Larry […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

MUSIC MONDAY Christian Rock Pioneer Larry Norman’s Songs Part 10 more on Album “Only Visiting This Planet”

March 28, 2016 – 1:22 am

Christian Rock Pioneer Larry Norman’s Songs Part 10 more on Album “Only Visiting This Planet” I posted a lot in the past about my favorite Christian musicians such as Keith Green (I enjoyed reading Green’s monthly publications too), and 2nd Chapter of Acts and others. Today I wanted to talk about one of Larry Norman’s […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

BREAKING DOWN CARL SAGAN’S LOGIC ON ABORTION Part 8. “New knowledge of embryology, the physicians said, had shown the fetus to be human even before quickening” (My 1995 correspondence with Sagan) Bernard Nathanson’s testimony

The last few posts have dealt with material from Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer, But today Bernard Nathanson testimony is given.

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?

Evolving technology such as the ultrasound has shown that the unborn baby is alive (see article below about the former abortion doctor Bernard Nathanson)

 

——

A while back Sherwood  Haisty took my sons Hunter and Wilson to Grace Community Church in the Los Angeles area where Dr. John MacArthur is pastor. They attended both Sunday School and Worship.

I wanted to pass along a portion of the excellent article “Bernard Nathanson: A Life Transformed by the Truth about Abortion.”

LifeNews.com Note: Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He is a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics and previously served on the United States Commission on Civil Rights. This article previously appeared in Public Discourse:

A man who made a career of death and lies became a hero for life and truth.

This morning in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Archbishop Timothy Dolan will celebrate a Mass of Christian Burial for a giant of the pro-life movement: Dr. Bernard Nathanson.

Few people, if any, did more than Bernard Nathanson to undermine the right to life of unborn children by turning abortion from an unspeakable crime into a constitutionally protected liberty. Someday, when our law is reformed to honor the dignity and protect the right to life of every member of the human family, including children in the womb, historians will observe that few people did more than Bernard Nathanson to achieve that reversal.

Dr. Nathanson, the son of a distinguished medical practitioner and professor who specialized in obstetrics and gynecology, had his first involvement with abortion as a medical student at McGill University in Montreal. Having impregnated a girlfriend, he arranged and paid for her illegal abortion. Many years later, he would mark this episode as his “introductory excursion into the satanic world of abortion.”

In the meantime, however, Nathanson would become a nearly monomaniacal crusader for abortion and campaigner for its legalization. And he would himself become an abortionist.

By his own estimate, he presided over more than 60,000 abortions as Director of the Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health, personally instructed medical students and practitioners in the performance of about 15,000 more, and performed 5,000 abortions himself. In one of those abortions, he took the life of his own son or daughter–a child conceived with a girlfriend after he had established his medical practice. Writing with deep regret in his moving autobiography The Hand of God (1996), Nathanson confessed his own heartlessness in performing that abortion: “I swear to you, I had no feelings aside from the sense of accomplishment, the pride of expertise.”

_________________________________

Nathanson later in his life became a pro-life advocate.In 1985, Nathanson employed the new fetal imaging technology to produce a documentary film, “The Silent Scream,” which energized the pro-life movement and threw the pro-choice side onto the defensive by showing in graphic detail the killing of a twelve-week-old fetus in a suction abortion. Nathanson used the footage to describe the facts of fetal development and to make the case for the humanity and dignity of the child in the womb. At one point, viewers see the child draw back from the surgical instrument and open his mouth: “This,” Nathanson says in the narration, “is the silent scream of a child threatened imminently with extinction.” 

 

 

 

Publicity for “The Silent Scream” was provided by no less a figure than President Ronald Reagan, who showed the film in the White House and touted it in speeches.
The Silent Scream Part 1 – Abortion as Infanticide 

 

 

Dr. Bernard Nathanson’s classic video that shocked the world. He explains the procedure of a suction abortion, followed by an actual first trimester abortion as seen through ultrasound. The viewer can see the child’s pathetic attempts to escape the suction curette as her heart rate doubles, and a “silent scream” as her body is torn apart. A great tool to help people see why abortion is murder. The most important video on abortion ever made. This video changed opinion on abortion to many people.
Introduction by Dr. Bernard Nathanson, host. Describes the technology of ultrasound and how, for the first time ever, we can actually see inside the womb. Dr. Nathanson further describes the ultrasound technique and shows examples of babies in the womb. Three-dimensional depiction of the developing fetus, from 4 weeks through 28 weeks. Display and usage of the abortionists’ tools, plus video of an abortionist performing a suction abortion. Dr. Nathanson discusses the abortionist who agreed to allow this abortion to be filmed with ultrasound. The abortionist was quite skilled, having performed more than 10,000 abortions. We discover that the resulting ultrasound of his abortion so appalled him that he never again performed another abortion. The clip begins with an ultrasound of the fetus (girl) who is about to be aborted. The girl is moving in the womb; displays a heartbeat of 140 per minute; and is at times sucking her thumb. As the abortionist’s suction tip begins to invade the womb, the child rears and moves violently in an attempt to avoid the instrument. Her mouth is visibly open in a “silent scream.” The child’s heart rate speeds up dramatically (to 200 beats per minute) as she senses aggression. She moves violently away in a pathetic attempt to escape the instrument. The abortionist’s suction tip begins to rip the baby’s limbs from its body, ultimately leaving only her head in the uterus (too large to be pulled from the uterus in one piece). The abortionist attempts to crush her head with his forceps, allowing it to be removed. In an effort to “dehumanize” the procedure, the abortionist and anesthesiologist refer to the baby’s head as “number 1.” The abortionist crushes “number 1” with the forceps and removes it from the uterus. Abortion statistics are revealed, as well as who benefits from the enormously lucrative industry that has developed. Clinics are now franchised, and there is ample evidence that many are controlled by organized crime. Women are victims, too. They haven’t been told about the true nature of the unborn child or the facts about abortion procedures. Their wombs have been perforated, infected, destroyed, and sterilized. All as a result of an operation about which they they have had no true knowledge. Films like this must be made part of “informed consent.” NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) and Planned Parenthood are accused of a conspiracy of silence, of keeping women in the dark about the reality of abortion. Finally, Dr. Nathanson discusses his credentials. He is a former abortionist, having been the director of the largest clinic in the Western world

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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 7 “In 1800 there was not, so far as is known, a single statute in the United States concerning abortion“ (My 1995 correspondence with Sagan) Francis Schaeffer and the awakening of the modern pro-life movement

Carl Sagan may have been right about the absence of an active pro-life movement around 1800, but I would put forth the dramatic change occurring as the result of the publication of Francis Schaeffer’s books and films in the 1970’s especially. _

I was influenced by Francis Schaeffer’s books and films and Adrian Rogers’ sermons when I grew up. I want to make the point today that no one influenced the pro-life movement more than Francis Schaeffer!!! Sagan that I was coming from point of view especially because of my letter to him on 5-15-94 which I pointed to Sagan was the 10th anniversary of the passing of Francis Schaeffer.

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.

I was curious why Sagan makes this point below and why he chose to send this article to me, but since I had sent him several letters  concerning abortion that included material from Francis Schaeffer this may be Sagan’s attempt to point out that today’s aggressive pro-life stand is a departure from the church’s historical position (see below)

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.

Francis Schaeffer more than any other person is responsible for the pro-life activism of today’s evangelicals 

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How the Evangelical Church Awoke to the Abortion Issue: The Convergent Labors of Harold O. J. Brown, Francis Schaeffer, and C. Everett Koop

ARTICLE BY   MARCH 2013
Editors’ Note: Dr. C. Everett Koop was a founding board member of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. You can purchase this month’s featured resource, Classic Koop, which includes the essay referenced below, here.
 
With the news of C. Everett Koop’s death last week, we are given the occasion to return to a question raised only a few months ago by a blog post on CNN.com which provoked reactions far and wide. The question concerns exactly when and how evangelicals came to embrace the pro-life (or as it was known then, the right to life) position.
 
A week before the presidential election this past fall, Jonathan Dudley (author of Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics, 2011) surprised many people with his provocative blog piece for CNN entitled: “My Take: When evangelicals were pro-choice.”(1) Citing well-known statements in 1968 by Bruce Waltke printed in Christianity Today – and referring to the Southern Baptist Convention’s express endorsement of abortion in 1971 – Dudley concludes that evangelical faith did not and thus does not entail a pro-life position (Waltke later changed his position, a fact Dudley fails to mention). Rather, Dudley would have us believe that the rise of the pro-life movement in evangelicalism was a late addition rooted not in core convictions, but in power politics. 
 
In his first piece, Dudley claims it was Jerry Falwell who “spearheaded the reversal of opinion on abortion in the late 1970’s,”(2) a statement that does not bear the weight of scrutiny but conveniently served to shake the faith of wavering pro-life evangelicals days before they went to the voting booth. Several responded to Dudley, including Mark Galli at Christianity Today and Al Mohler on his blog, and Dudley quickly backtracked in a follow-up piece for The Huffington Postin which he acknowledged, though somewhat dismissively, the ‘right to life’ work of Francis Schaeffer and a group called The Christian Action Council prior to Falwell’s entrance on the political scene. Dudley discounts the impact of those early efforts, however, returning to his thesis that the evangelical church was slumbering on the abortion issue up to the time when, “[i]n 1980, Falwell used his unparalleled platform to change all that.”(3) 
 
It is true that the evangelical church was slumbering for several years after the Supreme Court handed down the Roe v. Wade decision. But it is not true that “Falwell changed all that.” Instead, Falwell and the several other figures who took the lead of the pro-life movement in the 1980s were standing on the shoulders of three men whose paths and voices converged for a brief period of time in the mid-to-late 1970s, forming a powerful trio that finally awoke the evangelical church to the necessity of speaking up for the unborn.
 
And this past week, with the death of C. Everett Koop, the last of these three figures went to be with the Lord. Preceding him were Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984) and Harold O. J. Brown (1933-2007). Together, Brown, Schaeffer, and Koop “successfully called evangelical leaders back from their flirtation with abortion,” writes Allan Carlson, the President of the Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society. “These three men made opposition to abortion a defining characteristic of late twentieth-century Evangelicalism.”(4) 
 
Harold O. J. Brown
 
A Harvard-educated historian and theologian, Brown was working as the associate editor of Christianity Today when the Roe v. Wade ruling was announced. Harold Lindsell, then editor of Christianity Today, let Brown write the lead article in the magazine’s next issue, “Abortion and the Court” (CT, Feb. 16, 1973). In his response to Dudley last November, Galli quotes from this editorial denouncing the Roe decision and hails the piece as “one of the finer moments in CT history.” Unknown to readers, however, is that Brown was its author.(5)
 
Undeterred by initial and surprising indifference among evangelicals to abortion, in 1975 Brown became the editor of The Human Life Review, founded by James McFadden. No story of the nascence of the evangelical pro-life movement is complete without reference to the influence of this review, which early on included such illustrious contributors as William F. Buckley and Malcolm Muggeridge (and eventually Ronald Reagan).
 
Dudley mentions in his second piece the founding of The Christian Action Council in 1975 (which became the leading Protestant ‘right to life’ advocacy group on Capitol Hill), but he does not mention who founded it. Once again, Harold O. J. Brown was the tip of the spear. With meeting space provided by Billy Graham in Montreat, Brown met with C. Everett Koop for the initial planning meetings that led to the launch of the CAC in July, chaired by Brown. It is true that the early efforts of the CAC ran up against a brick wall of evangelical indifference (and even suspicion), but it was not from Falwell that help would arrive.
 
Francis Schaeffer
 
The story of how Brown met Schaeffer in 1961, and how Brown then arranged for the relatively unknown ‘man from Switzerland’ to come to Boston in 1964 to give the second annual ‘Christian Contemporary Thought’ lectures on Harvard’s campus, is a remarkable one that has been documented by both Barry Hankins (2008) and Colin Duriez (2008). As a result of this relationship, Schaeffer was introduced to the American evangelical scene and quickly achieved an unparalleled celebrity status that he would leverage to draw attention to the right to life issue. 
 
The film and lecture tour for How Shall We Then Live (1976) served to awaken many evangelicals to the roots and implications of their own core convictions, and concluded by connecting the right to life issue to those core convictions, as Schaeffer parsed the Supreme Court’s Roe decision in terms of his famous ‘line of despair’. This pro-life material was considered risky, and Francis Schaeffer took some persuading to include it, as his son Frank has recounted in his controversial memoir (2007). But an old friend of the Schaeffer family took notice and soon joined them in what would become the tipping-point of this story.
 
C. Everett Koop
 
A renowned pediatric surgeon in Philadelphia, Koop, who had recently come to Christ under the preaching of Donald Grey Barnhouse at Tenth Presbyterian, treated  the Schaeffer’s daughter, Priscilla, in 1948. Upon learning that they were to leave as missionaries for Switzerland in a few short months, Koop opened up about his own newfound faith, and a friendship was formed that would remain through the years.
 
Early on, Koop was convinced that “abortion amounted to taking a sacrosanct human life” (which explains his teaming up with Brown in 1975 to found The Christian Action Council). (6)
But on one Saturday in 1976, after spending the entire day operating successfully on three newborn babies that otherwise would have died, he sat in the hospital cafeteria with two of his colleagues and said: “You know, we have given over two hundred years of life to three individuals who together barely weighed ten pounds” to which one of his residents answered: “And while we were doing that, right next door in the university hospital they were cutting up perfect formed babies of the same size just because their mothers didn’t want them.”(7)
 
Koop says he knew then and there that, as a surgeon, he had to speak up more forcefully for the unborn. So he rose early the next morning and began to write, and by evening the next day had completed his 120-page treatise entitled The Right to Live; the Right to Die: Famous Pediatric Surgeon Speaks Out on Abortion and Mercy Killing. “I aimed the book primarily at Christian readers,” he recalls, “as I sought to awaken the evangelical community to a vital moral issue they were choosing to ignore.”(8)
 
Koop evidently kept Brown’s articles close at hand as he put his own thoughts to paper. He quotes from Brown more than from any other source (other than the Bible), often whole paragraphs at a time. Koop’s The Right to Live; the Right to Die would sell over 100,000 copies in the first year alone, and another 100,000 in the years that followed. 
 
After writing the book, Koop reconnected with the Schaeffers (father and son) to produce Whatever Happened to the Human Race? Released in 1979, Whatever Happened to the Human Race? did what no effort over the previous six years had succeeded in doing: it broke through. 
 
The Evangelical Embrace of the Pro-Life Position
 
Dr. Jean Garton, reviewing Whatever Happened to the Human Race? on the twenty-fifth anniversary of Roe, remembers, “As a result, there was a dramatic change in the abortion landscape. The powerful message of both the screen and printed versions of Whatever Happened to the Human Race? educated and energized an up-till-then largely uninvolved constituency-the Evangelicals.”(9)  Brown himself remembered with great appreciation the impact of Schaeffer’s and Koop’s joint efforts: “Shown in churches, schools, and homes around the country, [the film] so thoroughly aroused viewers that the term evangelical has come to be synonymous with anti-abortion.”(10)
 
In the years that followed, a ‘second generation’ would take the helm of pro-life advocacy, and we are familiar with their names: Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, Tim and Beverly LaHaye, and a host of others. And after their few years of potent convergence, Schaeffer, Brown, and Koop faced futures as different as their pasts. Schaeffer would die in 1982. Brown’s Christian Action Council, of which he remained chairman, would shift its primary focus to founding Gospel-centered crisis pregnancy care centers with remarkable results (the organization is now known as CareNet).(11) Upon his death in 2007, Brown was remembered in Christianity Today as one whose “most prominent work was helping form and intellectually arm the pro-life movement.”(12) As a reward for his pro-life efforts, Koop would be appointed by Reagan to be his Surgeon General in 1981, but pro-abortion advocates made Koop’s confirmation hearings so tortuous that he emerged less interested in being a figurehead for the pro-life movement, choosing instead to make campaigns against smoking and AIDS the hallmarks of his appointment. He is widely remembered as the most famous Surgeon General in modern memory.
 
Conclusion
 
Perhaps it is because none of these three carried the mantle of the pro-life movement in the 1980s and 1990s that we hear relatively little of them as pro-life champions today – except recently, when the last of them has departed from us. But it is reasonable to suppose that without Brown, Schaeffer, and Koop, there may not have been a pro-life movement in the 1980s at all, nor in the years that followed. And while it’s unlikely we’ll see any monuments in the near future singling out these three remarkable individuals, we would not only be forgetful, but truly ungrateful, if we did not remember their courageous efforts to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.
 
“Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them” (Rev. 13:14).
 
Rev. Matthew S. Miller is the Senior Pastor of the Greenville Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. He is currently working on a ThM at Erskine Theological Seminary.
 
NOTES:
 
 
 
4. Allan C. Carlson, Godly Seed: Evangelicals Confront Birth Control, 1873-1973 (New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2011), 154.
 
 
6. Koop, Koop: The Memoirs, 333.
 
7. Koop, Koop: The Memoirs, 332-333.
 
8. Koop, Koop: The Memoirs, 334.
 
 
10. Brown, “Protestantism, America, and Divine Law,” 19.
 
11. This change in focus was largely attributed to the vision of Curt Young, who served as the Executive Director of the Christian Action Council from 1978-1987.
 
12. Susan Wunderlink, “Theologian Harold O. J. Brown Dies at 74,” http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/julyweb-only/128-13.0.html Last accessed November 23, 2012.
 

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BREAKING DOWN CARL SAGAN’S LOGIC ON ABORTION Part 6 “All human sperm and eggs are genetic halves of ‘potential’ human beings” (My 1995 correspondence with Sagan) Kevin R. Henke versus Carl Sagan

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The last two posts I did in this series were basically points made by Carl Sagan on abortion but refuted by Adrian Rogers (pictured below). Today I am going refute Sagan’s point on abortion by using the scientific argument from my atheist friend Dr. Kevin R. Henke who is a scientist. (I first got to know Kevin R. Henke after reading his story in Ed Babinski’s book “Leaving the Fold.”)


Carl Sagan pictured below:

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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

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.

This position of only when the life of the mother is in danger is not an extreme position (see below)

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.

I sent a letter to Carl Sagan that included an article by Greg Koukl that answers Sagan’s argument on 8-30-95 and that probably prompted Sagan to send me the article on 12-5-95. It can be found at this link https://thedailyhatch.org/2019/04/02/carl-sagans-response-to-my-8-30-95-letter-to-him-about-abortion/

Here below is the genetic argument for personhood:

My good friend Dr. Kevin R. Henke is a scientist and also an atheistic evolutionist. I had a lot of discussions with Kevin over religious views. I remember going over John 7:17 with him one day. It says:

John 7:17 (Amplified Bible)

17If any man desires to do His will (God’s pleasure), he will know (have the needed illumination to recognize, and can tell for himself) whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking from Myself and of My own accord and on My own authority.

I challenged Kevin to read a chapter a day of the Book of John and pray to God and ask God, “Dear God, if you are there then reveal yourself to me, and I pledge to serve you the rest of my life.”

Kevin did that and he even wrote down the thoughts that came to his mind and sent it to me and these thoughts filled a notebook.

Kevin did not become a Christian, but I am still praying for him. I do respect Kevin because he is an honest man. Interestingly enough he  told me that he was pro-life because the unborn baby has all the genetic code at  the time of conception that they will have for the rest of their life. Below are some other comments by other scientists:

Dr. Hymie Gordon (Mayo Clinic): “By all criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.”

Dr. Micheline Matthews-Roth (Harvard University Medical School): “It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception.”

Dr. Alfred Bongioanni (University of Pennsylvania): “I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception.”

Dr. Jerome LeJeune, “the Father of Modern Genetics” (University of Descartes, Paris): “To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion . . . it is plain experimental evidence.”

Back on April 27, 2009 Fox News ran a story by Hollie McKay(Supermodel Kathy Ireland Lashes Out Against Pro Choice,”) on Jill Ireland.

It’s no secret that the majority of Hollywood stars are strong advocates for a woman’s right to choose whether or not she wants to terminate a pregnancy, however former “Sports Illustrated” supermodel-turned-entrepreneur-turned-author Kathy Ireland has gone against the grain of the glitterati and spoken out against abortion.

“My entire life I was pro-choice — who was I to tell another woman what she could or couldn’t do with her body? But when I was 18, I became a Christian and I dove into the medical books, I dove into science,”Ireland told Tarts while promoting her insightful new book “Real Solutions for Busy Mom: Your Guide to Success and Sanity.”

“What I read was astounding and I learned that at the moment of conception a new life comes into being. The complete genetic blueprint is there, the DNA is determined, the blood type is determined, the sex is determined, the unique set of fingerprints that nobody has had or ever will have is already there.”

However Ireland admitted that she did everything she could to avoid becoming a believer in pro-life.

“I called Planned Parenthood and begged them to give me their best argument and all they could come up with that it is really just a clump of cells and if you get it early enough it doesn’t even look like a baby. Well, we’re all clumps of cells and the unborn does not look like a baby the same way the baby does not look like a teenager, a teenager does not look like a senior citizen. That unborn baby looks exactly the way human beings are supposed to look at that stage of development. It doesn’t suddenly become a human being at a certain point in time,” Ireland argued. “I’ve also asked leading scientists across our country to please show me some shred of evidence that the unborn is not a human being. I didn’t want to be pro-life, but this is not a woman’s rights issue but a human rights issue.”

Kevin R. Henke is an American geochemistand former instructor at the University of Kentucky‘s department of Geology.[3] He currently works as a senior research scientist at the University of Kentucky’s Center for Applied Energy Research.[4] He is well known for his criticism of young earth creationism and the scientific arguments they make for a young earth. In particular, he has been critical of the RATE project‘s results, which claim to show that zircons contain too much helium to be billions of years old, and has argued that Russell Humphreys, a young-earth creationist who was involved in the project, has made errors in his research. These flaws include that, according to Henke, “The vast majority of Humphreys et al.’s critical a, b, and Q/Q0 values that are used in these “dating” equations are either missing, poorly defined, improperly measured or inaccurate.”[5][6]Henke has also accused Humphreys of misidentifying his specimens, fudging his data, and not considering the possibility of helium contamination in this research.[7] He has also criticized John Woodmorappe for arguing that radiometric dating is unreliable.[8] On one occasion, Henke called Kent Hovind on the phone regarding Hovind’s $250,000 challenge to “prove” evolution. Hovind told Henke that in order to win the money he would have to recreate the Big Bang in a laboratory. Henke responded by proposing several alternative “proofs” that pertained to geology (his field of expertise), but Hovind refused, saying that the project must be chosen by him and it must not pertain to the area in which Henke has scientific expertise. Hovind therefore required Henke to prove that dogs and bananas had a common ancestor, and lowered the award to only $2,000 should he succeed. Henke accepted the challenge, and later drafted a contract, which was then posted on Talk.origins. However, one of Henke’s requirements was that the judges be unbiased, and Hovind rejected the challenge for this reason, insisting that he should be the only one who can choose the judges.[9][10]

Kevin R. Henke
Born April 17, 1957 (age 62)
Alma mater Doane College, University of North Dakota
Known for Criticism of young earth creationism
Spouse(s) Yvonne
Children Two[2]
Scientific career
Fields Geochemistry
Institutions University of Kentucky
Thesis Chemistry and environmental implications of thio-red® and 2,4,6-trimercaptotriazine compounds (1997)
 

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Babinski, Edward T. (2003). Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists. Prometheus Books. p. 242.
  2. ^ “Henke Spends Summer at NDSU” (PDF). Chem-News. North Dakota State University. 1996. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  3. ^ “Kevin R. Henke”. University of Kentucky. Archived from the original on 17 April 2004. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  4. ^ “ECT Staff”. Environmental Coal Technologies. University of Kentucky. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  5. ^ “The C-Files: D. Russell Humphreys Evidence for a Young World : NOT!”. New Mexicans for Science and Reason. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  6. ^ Henke, Kevin R. (2005–2010). “Dr. Humphreys’ Young-Earth Helium Diffusion “Dates”: Numerous Fallacies Based on Bad Assumptions and Questionable Data”. TalkOrigins Archive. Retrieved 10 February2014.
  7. ^ Young, Matt (2009). Why Evolution Works (and Creationism Fails). Rutgers University Press. p. 162.
  8. ^ “Dr Kevin R. Henke exposes John Woodmorappe’s fraudulent attacks on radiometric dating and reveals other creationist misrepresentations”. No Answers in Genesis. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  9. ^ Kolosick, Jama. “Kent Hovind’s “$250,000 Award to Prove Evolution!. No Answers in Genesis. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  10. ^ Isaak, Mark (2005). The Counter-Creationism Handbook. University of California Press. p. 30.
 

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BREAKING DOWN CARL SAGAN’S LOGIC ON ABORTION Part 5 “[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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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?

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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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 4 “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

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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 pictured below:

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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.

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?

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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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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 263 MY 4 POSTCARDS IN 2017 FROM NEW ORLEANS  TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 4) Featured artist is Lucia Koch

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I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were short and from one of Hef’s favorite cities!!!!

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POSTCARD FROM NEW ORLEANS:

Feb 23, 2017 

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Feb 23, 2017     Hugh Hefner Playboy Mansion 16236 Charing Cross RoadLos Angeles, CA 90024   Dear Hugh,   Today is February 23 and I’m reading Proverbs chapter 23:    -28

A whore is a bottomless pit;
    a loose woman can get you in deep trouble fast.
She’ll take you for all you’ve got;
    she’s worse than a pack of thieves.

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29-35 Who are the people who are always crying the blues?
    Who do you know who reeks of self-pity?
Who keeps getting beat up for no reason at all?
    Whose eyes are bleary and bloodshot?
It’s those who spend the night with a bottle,
    for whom drinking is serious business.
Don’t judge wine by its label,
    or its bouquet, or its full-bodied flavor.
Judge it rather by the hangover it leaves you with—
    the splitting headache, the queasy stomach.
Do you really prefer seeing double,
    with your speech all slurred,
Reeling and seasick,
    drunk as a sailor?
“They hit me,” you’ll say, “but it didn’t hurt;
    they beat on me, but I didn’t feel a thing.
When I’m sober enough to manage it,
    bring me another drink!” King Solomon in the Book of Proverbs takes a long look at the 6 L words and LIQUOR and LADIES are two of those words he looked into in the Book of Ecclesiastes!!!! He looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).

ECCLESIASTES 2:1-3, 8, 10, 11 LAUGHTER (v. 2), LIQUOR (v. 3), LUXURIES (v. 8), and LADIES (v. 8, “many concubines”)

v. 1 I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity.[i] I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life.

v. 8 I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines,[j] the delight of the sons of man. v 10-11 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun. Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.” There is hope!!! Check out John 3:16!!!   Best wishes, Everette Hatcher   Xxxxx

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I wrote to Hefner in an earlier letter these words:

Francis Schaeffer observed concerning Solomon, “You can not know woman by knowing 1000 women.”

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THIS ARTICLE BELOW MAKES A GREAT POINT ABOUT MILLIE’S BETRAYAL AND HOW IT AFFECTED HEF, BUT SHOULD THAT CAUSE HEF TO ENCOURAGE MORE BETRAYALS OF TRUST?, I READ HEF’S BIOGRAPHY AND I SAW HOW HE LED HIS LIFE AND IT WAS FILLED WITH BETRAYAL OF TRUST!!!

September 29, 2017Hugh Hefner the moral theologian: He tried to escape from personal pain into a new lifeTerry MattinglyCOMMENTSWomenTerry MattinglySocial IssuesSexScripturesPop CulturePodcastsPeopleMethodists,Marriage & Family

Hugh Hefner looks back on life as a Playboy

So let’s put together the pieces of the Hugh Hefner puzzle that was at the heart of this week’s “Crossroads” podcast (click here to tune that in), which grew out of my earlier GetReligion post, “The crucial ‘M’ word — Methodist – that needed to be in every Hugh Hefner obituary.”

This is a journalism puzzle, but one rooted in theology.

Start with Hugh Hefner’s frequent references to his Puritan heritage (with a large “P” and a small “p”). Then you add the details of Methodist faith in which he was raised, in the conservative Midwest of the late 1940s and ’50s. We need more than the word “strict.”

Then you add the remarkable detail that Hefner was a virgin on his wedding day (with the help, he stressed, of lots of foreplay). In other words, young Hefner thought that true love waits. Ponder that.

Only he learned, as a married man, that his fiance had not waited. She had been unfaithful while he was away in the Army. In its lengthy Hefner obituaryThe New York Times noted:

A virgin until he was 22, he married his longtime girlfriend. Her confession to an earlier affair, Mr. Hefner told an interviewer almost 50 years later, was “the single most devastating experience of my life.”

The Los Angeles Times added, literally, the doctrinal fallout from this event, in terms of the moral theology written into the Playboy philosophy.

Years later he said the experience set him up for a lifetime of promiscuity because “if you don’t commit,” he told The Times in 1994, “you don’t get hurt.” He said it also showed him what was wrong with traditional attitudes towards sex: “Thinking sex is sacred is the first step toward really turning it into something very ugly,” he said on another occasion.

Put all that together and you have what? Is this a “secular” story, as in a story devoid of faith content and issues? You can make a case that the old Hefner, after this crushing blow during his first marriage, died and then he sought escape from his past, seeking to rise again as a new and changed man – the ultimate playboy.

One more thing: Is it a “secular” story that Hefner openly stated that his goal in life was to knock down centuries of Judeo-Christian teachings on sexuality?

What’s my point? There are all kinds of newsworthy subjects linked to Hefner’s gospel of sex and trendy consumerism.

One of the biggest subjects – for modern religious groups – is the omnipresent role that porn plays in the lives of legions of men, including those in pews and pulpits. The statistics are stunning. Check out this Christianity Today feature – “Porn and the new normal” – on this side of Hefner’s legacy. At the same time, divorce culture looms over the lives of millions of children and, often, the church is afraid to address this reality.

However, I remain fascinated (“haunted” might be a better word) with that stunning, soul-shattering twist that took place when the young Hefner learned his wife had been unfaithful during their engagement.

So far, I have found only one newspaper story focusing on that angle – The Sun over in the U.K. Frankly, I’d kind of like to see the subject addressed in a non-tabloid (think Page 3 girls) format. Still the facts are strong, even presented in this format:

It was the betrayal a young Hefner suffered at the hands of his first wife that marked his formative years and one that he went on to describe as “the most devastating moment” of his life.

He married Mildred Williams in 1949 in the belief the pair had ‘saved themselves’ for one another. The couple had met at college in the mid 40s.

Little did Chicago-born Hefner know that his beloved Milly had slept with another man while her beau served in the US military during the Second World War.

Explaining his heartbreak, he said: “I think the relationship was probably held together by two years of foreplay.

“That wasn’t unusual for our time. In fact, most of my immediate friends didn’t have sex until they married. Milly and I had it just before. I had literally saved myself for my wife, but after we had sex she told me that she’d had an affair. That was the most devastating moment in my life.

“My wife was more sexually experienced than I was. After that, I always felt in a sense that the other guy was in bed with us, too.”

Hefner was determined to change the rules after that, through the birth of Playboy magazine. Meanwhile, the Hefners divorced in 1959, with two children – Christie and David.

There was no looking back after that, at least not that Hefner talked about. The old faith was gone and he dedicated his life to a new one.

Is that a secular story?

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PAUL ARCHULETA/FILMMAGIC
RICH SCHMITT/AFP/GETTY

    see also  

These comments below are from Francis Schaeffer’ study on Ecclesiastes and they reminded me of Hugh Hefner who was the closest person to a modern day King Solomon:

In Ecclesiastes 1:8 he drives this home when he states, “All things are wearisome; Man is not able to tell itThe eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor is the ear filled with hearing.” Solomon is stating here the fact that there is no final satisfaction because you don’t get to the end of the thing. THERE IS NO FINAL SATISFACTION. This is related to Leonardo da Vinci’s similar search for universals and then meaning in life. 

In Ecclesiastes 5:11 Solomon again pursues this theme, When good things increase, those who consume them increase. So what is the advantage to their owners except to look on?”  Doesn’t that sound modern? It is as modern as this evening. Solomon here is stating the fact there is no reaching completion in anything and this is the reason there is no final satisfaction. There is simply no place to stop. It is impossible when laying up wealth for oneself when to stop. It is impossible to have the satisfaction of completion. 

_____

Hefner experienced great success with his PLAYBOY MAGAZINE, but the fame, fortune, and ladies that came with it did not give Hefner ultimate satisfaction.

“I never really found my soulmate”: Hugh Hefner confessed he NEVER found true love despite three marriages and bedding a bevy of Playboy bunnies

He was the ultimate ladies’ man but sadly never found The One

Hugh Hefner was, without a doubt, the ULTIMATE ladies’ man.

But after years of looking for love in all the wrong places, the Playboy founder admitted that he never found his soulmate.

Despite three marriages and forever being surrounded by a bevy of bikini-clad Playboy bunnies, poor Hef never really knew true love.

The publishing magnate died of natural causes on Wednesday at the age of 91, surrounded by his loved ones at the Playboy mansion.

But back in 1992, he told the New York Times: “I’ve spent so much of my life looking for love in all the wrong places.”

And then at age 85, he said: “I never really found my soulmate.”

Hef married three times: his college sweetheart Mildred Williams in 1949, Playmate Kimberley Conrad in 1989, and Crystal Harris – 61 years his junior – in 2012.

And aside from that, he’s bragged about bedding more than 1,000 women.

It’s even been claimed that he had his pick of the bunnies living at his mansion every night, and he was known to regularly have multiple girlfriends at the same time.

________

Hefner was married with kids twice and both times he left the marriages and embraced the playboy lifestyle.

Hugh Hefner and Mildred Williams

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Featured artist is Lucia Koch

Lucia Koch was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 1966. She lives and works in São Paulo. Employing photographs, video, and architectural interventions and installations, her work brings attention to often-overlooked aspects of environments.

In order to alter the spaces in which she works, Koch uses scrims, fabric, and other means to block and redirect light. Light and air become the materials with which the artist works, prioritizing atmosphere over color to transform a space into an architectural place. For the work Conversion at the 2013 Sharjah Biennial, Koch constructed colored filters over a sun-filled courtyard. In addition to such large-scale interventions, she has also created photographs of small models of building interiors, made of cardboard boxes, which dramatize spatial distortion in the images.

Links:
Artist’s website

Related posts:

Ecclesiastes 2 — The Quest For Meaning and the failed examples of Howard Hughes and Hugh Hefner

June 27, 2013 – 12:49 am

Ecclesiastes 2-3 Published on Sep 19, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 16, 2012 | Derek Neider _____________________________ I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I hope to show how secular […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 162 A look at the BEATLES Breaking down the song ALL WE NEED IS LOVE Part C (Featured artist is Grace Slick)

May 4, 2017 – 1:40 am

 Is Love All You Need? Jesus v. Lennon Posted on January 19, 2011 by Jovan Payes 0 On June 25, 1967, the Beatles participated in the first worldwide TV special called “Our World”. During this special, the Beatles introduced “All You Need is Love”; one of their most famous and recognizable songs. In it, John Lennon […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 158 THE BEATLES (breaking down the song WHY DON’T WE DO IT IN THE ROAD?) Photographer Bob Gomel featured today!

April 6, 2017 – 12:25 am

___________________ Something happened to the Beatles in their journey through the 1960’s and although they started off wanting only to hold their girlfriend’s hand it later evolved into wanting to smash all previous sexual standards. The Beatles: Why Don’t We Do It in the Road? _______ Beatle Ringo Starr, and his girlfriend, later his wife, […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 142 Marvin Minsky Part G (Featured artist is Red Grooms)

December 15, 2016 – 7:18 am

__________ Marvin Minsky __ I was sorry recently  to learn of the passing of one of the great scholars of our generation. I have written about Marvin Minsky several times before in this series and today I again look at a letter I wrote to him in the last couple of years. It is my […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersFrancis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 118 THE BEATLES (Why was Tony Curtis on cover of SGT PEP?) (Feature on artist Jeffrey Gibson )

June 30, 2016 – 5:35 am

Why was Tony Curtis on the cover of SGT PEPPERS? I have no idea but if I had to hazard a guess I would say that probably it was because he was in the smash hit SOME LIKE IT HOT.  Above from the  movie SOME LIKE IT HOT __ __ Jojo was a man who […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 101 BEATLES,(MANY CHRISTIANS ATTACKED THE BEATLES WHILE FRANCIS SCHAEFFER STUDIED THEIR MUSIC! Part B) Artist featured today is Cartoonist Gahan Wilson

March 3, 2016 – 12:21 am

__ Francis Schaeffer did not shy away from appreciating the Beatles. In fact, SERGEANT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND album was his favorite and he listened to it over and over. I am a big fan of Francis Schaeffer but there are detractors that attack him because he did not have all the degrees that they […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Atheists ConfrontedFrancis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

10 YEARS AGO ADRIAN ROGERS WENT TO GLORY BUT HIS SERMONS ARE STILL SHARING CHRIST LOVE TODAY!!!

November 16, 2015 – 9:33 am

On 11-15-05 Adrian Rogers passed over to glory and since it is the 10th anniversary of that day I wanted to celebrate his life in two ways. First, I wanted to pass on some of the material from Adrian Rogers’ sermons I have sent to prominent atheists over the last 20 years. Second, I wanted […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian Rogers | Tagged (Paul Kurtz (1925-2012)Albert Ellis (1913-2007)Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996)Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997)Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996)Bette Chambers (1930-)Brian Charlesworth (1945-)Carl Sagan (1934-1996)Ernest Mayr (1904-2005)Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-)George Wald (1906-1997)Gordon Stein (1941-1996)H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997)John Hospers (1918-2011)John J. Shea (1969-)Kevin Padian (1951-)Lloyd Morain (1917-2010)Mary Morain (1911-1999)Matt Cartmill (1943-)Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012)Michael A. Crawford (1938-)Michael Martin (1932-).Milton Fingerman (1928-)Milton Friedman (1912-2006)Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-)Renate Vambery (1916-2005)Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006)Robert Shapiro (1935-2011)Sol Gordon (1923-2008)Warren Allen Smith (1921-) | Edit | Comments (0)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 65 THE BEATLES ( The 1960’s SEXUAL REVOLUTION was on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s!) (Featured artist is Pauline Boty)

June 25, 2015 – 7:04 am

Looking back on his life as a Beatle Paul  said at a  certain age you start to think “Wow, I have to get serious. I can’t just be a playboy all of my life.” It is true that the Beatles wrote a lot about girls!!!!!! The Beatles – I Want To Hold your Hand [HD] Although […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in F

BREAKING DOWN CARL SAGAN’S LOGIC ON ABORTION Part 3 “A late-term fetus responds to sound–including music, but especially its mother’s voice” (My 1995 correspondence with Sagan)


Carl Sagan pictured below:

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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?

Carl Sagan recognizes that an unborn baby logically does belong to human race it seems. It comes down to if we respect human life or not.

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Child abuse has been rising dramatically in the last forty years.

In 1972 there were 60,000 reported child-abuse incidents in the U.S.  In
1976, the number had soared to over 500,000!  Child Abuse is now the fifth most frequent cause of death among children.  (Francis Shaeffer and Dr.  C.  Everett Koop, “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?”, Crossway Books, Westchester, IL.)

In the film and book Whatever Happened to the Human Race? you will see Dr. C. Everett Koop make this comment (in 1979):

There are those who try and justify abortions by saying that abortions get rid of unwanted children and therefore will cut down on child abuse, but consider this, since 1973 there have been 6 million abortions in the USA and there are therefore 6 million fewer children than there would have been without the liberal abortion ruling and yet child abuse has increased in incidents year by year from that date.

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)

Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 3 of series on Evolution)

May 23, 2012 – 1:43 am

Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 3 of series on Evolution) The Long War against God-Henry Morris, part 4 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)

Carl Sagan versus RC Sproul

January 9, 2012 – 2:44 pm

At the end of this post is a message by RC Sproul in which he discusses Sagan. Over the years I have confronted many atheists. Here is one story below: I really believe Hebrews 4:12 when it asserts: For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersAtheists ConfrontedCurrent EventsFrancis Schaeffer | Tagged Bill ElliffCarl SaganJodie FosterRC Sproul | Edit | Comments (0)

Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 4 of series on Evolution)jh68

November 8, 2011 – 12:01 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 _______________________ This is a review I did a few years ago. THE DEMON-HAUNTED WORLD: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Atheists ConfrontedCurrent Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 3 of series on Evolution)

November 4, 2011 – 12:57 am

Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 3 of series on Evolution) The Long War against God-Henry Morris, part 4 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 was really enjoyed this review of Carl Sagan’s book “Pale Blue Dot.” Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot by Larry Vardiman, Ph.D. […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Atheists ConfrontedCurrent Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Atheists confronted: How I confronted Carl Sagan the year before he died jh47

May 19, 2011 – 10:30 am

In today’s news you will read about Kirk Cameron taking on the atheist Stephen Hawking over some recent assertions he made concerning the existence of heaven. Back in December of 1995 I had the opportunity to correspond with Carl Sagan about a year before his untimely death. Sarah Anne Hughes in her article,”Kirk Cameron criticizes […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Atheists Confronted | Edit | Comments (2)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 18 “Michelangelo’s DAVID is the statement of what humanistic man saw himself as being tomorrow” (Feature on artist Paul McCarthy)

April 25, 2014 – 8:26 am

In this post we are going to see that through the years  humanist thought has encouraged artists like Michelangelo to think that the future was extremely bright versus the place today where many artist who hold the humanist and secular worldview are very pessimistic.   In contrast to Michelangelo’s DAVID when humanist man thought he […]