Monthly Archives: April 2014

“Music Monday” Little Rock Native David Hodges co-wrote the hit Evanescence song “Going Under”

Evanescence – Going Under

From David Hodges website:

David Hodges is a Grammy award-winning writer/producer/artist hailing from Little Rock, AR.

As the former writer and keyboardist of the band Evanescence, he and his band mates took home Best New Artist as well as the Best Hard Rock Performance trophy for their hit “Bring Me To Life” in 2004. Evanescence’s debut album Fallen has sold over 15 million copies worldwide.

David went on to write and produce Kelly Clarkson’s biggest worldwide single to date, “Because Of You”, which appeared on Clarkson’s 11 million-selling album Breakaway and garnered him the 2007 BMI Song Of The Year honor. The song was covered by Reba McEntire as the first single off her Duets album, and quickly rose up the country charts in 2007 becoming McEntire’s 30th Top 2 country single.

Hodges also penned the single, “What About Now”, which appears on American Idol Chris Daughtry’s debut album Daughtry. The 4x platinum Daughtry to date is credited as the fastest selling debut rock album in Soundscan history. “What About Now” also happens to be the first single on Westlife’s album “Who We Are.” David also won a BMI Pop award for this song.

David wrote the first single “Crush” for American Idol’s David Archuleta, which had the highest chart debut of any single since January 2007. David has since written songs for & released by Carrie Underwood, Train, Christina Perri, Celine Dion, David Cook, Lauren Alaina, The Cab, & many others.

In less than 10 years, David Hodges has been nominated for 6 Grammys & 1 Golden Globe, has won 5 BMI pop awards & 1 BMI country award, has had at least one album in the Billboard 200 for the last 8 consecutive years, and has written on albums that have sold over 50 million copies worldwide.

Going Under

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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For other uses, see Going Under (disambiguation).
“Going Under”
A woman with black hair and black dress can be seen. Three men are surrounding here. The men are not very visible. In front of the woman the words "Evanescence" and "Going Under" are written with white letters.
Single by Evanescence
from the album Fallen
Released September 9, 2003
Format CD single
Recorded 2003 (single)
Genre Alternative metalnu metal[1]
Length 3:34
Label Wind-up
Writer(s) Amy LeeBen MoodyDavid Hodges
Producer Dave Fortman
Certification Gold (ARIA)[2]
Evanescence singles chronology
Bring Me to Life
(2003)
Going Under
(2003)
My Immortal
(2003)

Going Under” is a song by American rock band Evanescence. It was released on September 9, 2003, as the second single from their debut album Fallen. It was written by Amy LeeDavid Hodges and Ben Moody, while production was handled by Dave Fortman. Initially planned to be the first single from Fallen, the release of the Daredevil soundtrack eclipsed the decision, resulting in the release of “Bring Me to Life“.

The song contains rock and metal influences among others and its main instrumentation consists of drums and guitars built around Lee’s soprano vocals. The song received mixed to positive reviews from music critics. While failing to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, “Going Under” peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. It charted in the top forty in every country and it was certified Platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association.

The music video for the song was directed by Philipp Stölzl and it was filmed in May 2003 in Germany. It shows Lee performing on a concert along with the band, while fans are turning into zombies. She designed the both dresses she wears in the video. It ranked at number 12 on the list of “The 15 Scariest Music Videos Ever” published by Billboard. Evanescence additionally added the song to the set-list on their Fallen and The Open Door Tour.

Contents

Background and release

Ben Moody (pictured) co-wrote the song along with Amy Lee and David Hodges.[3][4]

“Going Under” was written by Amy LeeDavid Hodges and Ben Moody, while production for the song was handled by Dave Fortman.[4] It was the last song written for Fallen although a demo version was recorded before the release of Fallen, and it featured a slightly different sound in the music and Lee’s vocals. An acoustic version was recorded shortly after the release of Fallen, along with several other songs.[1] According to Amy Lee, “Going Under” is about recovering from an abusive relationship, which she has stated in a number of interviews. In an interview with MTV News, Lee further explained the meaning and the inspiration behind the song,

“The lyrics are about coming out of a bad relationship, and when you’re at the end of your rope, when you’re at the point where you realize something has to change, that you can’t go on living in the situation that you’re in. It’s cool. It’s a very strong song.”[5]

The UK single of “Going Under” contains the album version of the song and a live version recorded at WNOR in Norfolk, Virginia.[1][6] An acoustic radio version of “Going Under” and an acoustic version of Nirvana‘s “Heart-Shaped Box,” recorded at WXDX-FM in Pittsburgh are placed on the single as well. The fourth track is the music video for the song.[1] Tim Sendra of Allmusic wasn’t satisfied with the cover of Nirvana saying that Lee’s vocals are “overly dramatic side here and serve to make the song into a bad joke.”[1]

Composition

According to the sheet music published by Alfred Music Publishing on the website Musicnotes.com, “Going Under” is an rockalternative metalgothic rockhard rock and chamber pop song set in common time and performed in slow and free tempo of 84 beats per minute.[7] It is written in the key of B minor and Lee’s vocal range for the song runs from the musical note of E3 to D♯5.[7] Containing some nu-metal influences,[8] the song features several guitars and drum machine as Lee sings the lines “fifty thousand tears I’ve cried”.[9] A writer for The Boston Globe said that the song is a “a mix of Lee’s ethereal soprano, piano interludes, and layers of serrated guitar crunch that conjure visions of Sarah McLachlan fronting Godsmack.”[10]

Mikel Toombs of Seattle Post-Intelligencer found a Wagnerian arrangement and metal and classic rock influences in the song.[11] Joe D’Angelo from MTV News wrote that the “toothy riffs” of songs like “Going Under” and “Bring Me to Life” might suggest that “Nobody’s Home” (2005) from Avril Lavigne‘s second studio album Under My Skin will sound like “an Evanescence song with Avril, not Amy Lee, on vocals.”[12] It was also described as a “goth-meets pop” song by Michael D. Clark of The Houston Chronicle.[13] Tim Sendra of Allmusic said that the “tinkling pianos and hip-hop-inspired backing vocals, [are] making the song perfect for those who find the male histrionics of Limp Bizkit and their ilk too oppressive.”[1] Vik Bansal of MusicOMH compared the song with Evanescence’s previous single, “Bring Me to Life” saying that it contained “Amy Lee’s temptress vocals, pseudo-electronic beats à la Linkin Park, understated but menacing metallic riffs in the background, and a ripping, radio-friendly rock chorus.”[14]

Reception

Tim Sendra of Allmusic called the song “one of the harder tracks” on Fallen.[1] Sendra also praised the acoustic version of the song placed on UK single saying that Lee’s vocals are “free rein to soar.”[1] Johnny Loftus of the same publication wrote that the song “surges nicely into its anthemic chorus, and when the guitars do show up (like on ‘Everybody’s Fool‘), Lee matches their power easily.”[15] While reviewing Evanescence’s second studio album, The Open Door, Brendan Butler of Cinema Blend compared the song with “Sweet Sacrifice” (2007) calling it the most “radio-friendly” song.[16] Joe D’Angelo of MTV News wrote that the song “should be as omnipresent as ‘Bring Me to Life“.[17] Vik Bansal of MusicOMH praised the song stating that the band “have poured bits of metal and goth into the cauldron, and by using a smattering of pop, produced a mix that makes those two musical genres more palatable to the general public.”[14] It was nominated for the Kerrang! Award for Best Single.

Although “Going Under” failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, it peaked at number 4 and 5 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles[18] and on the Alternative Songs chart respectively.[19] The song debuted at number 14 on the Australian Singles Chart on August 31, 2003 which later became the song’s peak position on that chart.[20] It was certified Gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) in 2003.[2] In Italy, “Going Under” debuted at number 16 on October 16, 2003 and it later peaked at number 9 on January 1, 2004.[21] On the year-end chart in the same country, “Going Under” was placed at number 56.[22] In the United Kingdom, the song debuted at number 8 on October 4, 2011 which later became its peak position.[23] On November 8, the song charted at number 53 and it fell out of the chart the next week.[23]

Music video

Amy Lee singing in the video with the red corset which cost US$2,500.[24]

The accompanying music video for “Going Under” was filmed in Berlin, Germany, in May 2003 and was directed by Philipp Stölzl, the same director of the video for “Bring Me to Life”.[5] The video features the band performing a concert as the audience morphs back and forth into zombies. Additional scenes involve Lee underwater, representing the lyrics “Drowning in you”. The video shows Lee designed both of the dresses she wears in the music video, and stitched the white dress used in the underwater scenes of the video, all while recovering from an illness in a hotel in Los AngelesCalifornia which was the original filming location for the music video.[5] She described the white dress during an interview with MTV News, “It’s white and has a lot of shreds. It reminds me of something someone who died would wear. It’s a long dress, ripped up. Different shreds of different fabric, just flying around underwater.”[5] The red corset that Lee designed was custom made by a designer, and cost US$2,500.[24] Lee further explained the fashion and her style in the video, “I wear lots of funky stuff onstage. I like to mix it up. I like to use two basic elements for my clothing: rock — you know, metal and chains and stuff — mixed with fairies and drama and Victorian clothing — fantasy. Honestly I just wear what I like. You know why? ‘Cause I can. I’m a rock star.”[5]

The video for the song starts with Lee in a room while preparing for a concert. Several makeup artists apply cosmetics to her face. Their faces begin to change and become distorted. Meanwhile, guitarist Ben Moody is shown being overwhelmed by several reporters and photographers in a press conference. He, like Lee, becomes shocked as they change with zombies-like faces. Those scenes are followed by Lee walking to the stage where the band starts performing the song. As Lee looks at the people in the crowd, they transform back and forth into demonic-like zombies. However, she continues singing the song and during the bridge of the song, she dives into the crowd, which appears to act as water (representing the song’s lyrics “going under, drowning in you”). Several shots show her under the water as glowing jellyfish are surrounding her. Moody surfs the crowd during his guitar solo, while from below he is seen floating in the water above Lee and the jellyfish. Lee surfaces at the end of Moody’s solo and both are thrown back onto the stage by the crowd, which has now returned to normal. At the end of the video, Lee looks at Moody. When she looks again, he has turned into a demon.[25]

The music video ranked at number 12 on the list of “The 15 Scariest Music Videos Ever” published by Billboard.[25] It was added that “Evanescence compares the trappings of fame to being haunted by ghouls in this clip for the band’s 2003 single. Singer Amy Lee’s makeup is applied by a gaggle of sinister old women, while the crowd at the band’s show morphs into a ravenous pack of zombies. Lee eventually overcomes the visions — only to find that guitarist Ben Moody is a demon as well.”[25] According to Joe D’Angelo of MTV News, the shots of Lee drowning in the video, shows a “distressed and emotionally wrought heroine.”[26]

Live performances and covers

Evanescence performed the song during the 2003 American Music Awards. During the performance, Lee was dressed in a colorful poodle skirt, tank top and flower-shaped tattoos on her forehead and neck.[27] Evanescence performed the song during the 2003 Teen Choice Awards.[28] On the 2006 Jingle Ball, Evanescence performed “Going Under” and “Call Me When You’re Sober“. Before starting to sing the song Lee announced, “We’re going to do something completely different from everyone else tonight — and rock as hard as we can.” According to Kelefa Sanneh during the performance, she was “bending over and pumping her fist”.[29] The band played the song live at their secret New York gig which took place on November 4, 2009.[30][31] On their concert at War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, on August 17, 2011, Evanescence performed “Going Under” in promotion of their new third self-titled album, Evanescence.[32] They also performed the song during the 2011 Rock in Rio festival on October 2, 2011.[33] On October 15, 2011, Evanescence performed the song on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.[34] A live version of the song from Le ZénithParis is featured on their first live albumAnywhere but Home (2004).[15][35] American rock band We Are the Fallen, which is composed mostly of the original line-up that recorded the song as Evanescence, covered the song live in June 2009 during a concert in Los Angeles.[36][37]

Usage in media

The music of “Going Under” can be heard in the credits of the video game Enter the Matrix[38] and also features in the movie and trailer of the 2006 film Tristan & Isolde. The song was also used in promotional advertisements for the television series Angel and The Grid. This song was also released as downloadable content for Rock Band Network.[39]

Track listing

CD single(Released September 9/8, 2003)[40][41]
  1. “Going Under” (Album version) – 3:34
  2. “Going Under” (Live acoustic version) – 3:12
  3. Heart-Shaped Box” (Nirvana cover, live acoustic version) – 2:47
  4. “Going Under” (Video version) – 4:00

Charts and certifications

Weekly charts

Chart (2003) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[20] 14
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[42] 28
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[43] 37
Canada (Canadian Singles Chart)[44] 11
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)[45] 16
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[46] 26
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[47] 19
France (SNEP)[48] 16
Germany (Media Control AG)[49] 15
Ireland (IRMA)[50] 18
Italy (FIMI)[21] 9
New Zealand (RIANZ)[51] 4
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[52] 8
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[19] 5
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[18] 4
US Mainstream Rock Tracks (Billboard)[44] 26
Chart (2013) Peak
position
UK Rock Chart[53] 23

Year-end charts

Chart (2003) Position
Australian Rock Chart[54] 6
Dutch Top 40[55] 186
Italian Singles Chart[22] 56
Swedish Singles Chart[56] 58
Swiss Singles Chart[57] 79

Certifications

Region (provider) Certifications
(sales thresholds)
Australia (ARIA) Gold[2]

References

  1. a b c d e f g h Sendra, Tim. “Going Under: Review”AllmusicRovi Corporation. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  2. a b c “ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2003 Singles”Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  3. ^ Kaufman, Gil (December 14, 2004). “Former Evanescence Guitarist Ben Moody Begins Work On Solo Debut”. MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  4. a b (liner notes). “Fallen”. Evanescence.
  5. a b c d e D’Angelo, Joe (June 4, 2003). “Evanescence Singer Pairs Metal Chains, Fairies For Upcoming Video”MTV NewsMTV Networks. Retrieved October 29, 2007.
  6. ^ “Going Under”. Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  7. a b “Evanescence – Going Under Sheet Music (Digital Download)”. Musicnotes.com. Alfred Music Publishing. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  8. ^ Loftus, Johnny. “allmusic ((( Fallen > Overview )))”. Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  9. ^ Begrand, Adrien (23 May 2003). “Evanescence: Fallen”PopMatters. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  10. ^ Globe Staff Writer (October 3, 2006). “For Evanescence, black is the new black”The Boston Globe (The New York Times Company). Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  11. ^ Toombs, Mikel (November 23, 2007). “Evanescence is at its best when powered up”Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Hearst Corporation). Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  12. ^ D’Angelo, Joe (February 27, 2004). “Avril Lavigne To Show Fans What Lies Beneath On New Album”. MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  13. ^ Clark, Michael D. (August 11, 2004). “Evanescence singer takes Christian band in new direction”Houston Chronicle (Hearst Corporation). Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  14. a b “Evanescence – Going Under – Track Reviews”MusicOMH. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  15. a b Loftus, Johnny. “allmusic ((( Anywhere But Home > Overview )))”AllmusicRovi Corporation. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  16. ^ Butler, Brendan (October 3, 2006). “CD Review: Evanescence’s The Open Door”Cinema Blend. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  17. ^ D’Angelo, Joe (June 24, 2003). “Evanescence Catch Cold For Headlining Tour”. MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  18. a b “Bubbling Under Top 100 Singles”BillboardPrometheus Global Media. September 6, 2003. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved August 18, 2007.
  19. a b “Evanescence Album & Song Chart History” Billboard Alternative Songs for Evanescence. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  20. a b “Australian-charts.com – Evanescence – Going Under”ARIA Top 50 Singles. Hung Medien. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  21. a b “Italiancharts.com – Evanescence – Going Under”Top Digital Download. Hung Medien. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  22. a b “Top Annuali Single: 2003”Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Hit Parade Italy. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  23. a b “Chart Stats – Evanescence – Going Under”. Chart Stats. The Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 18, 2011.
  24. a b Kaufman, Gil (May 9, 2003). “Evanescence: Fallen To the Top”VH1Viacom. Retrieved October 29, 2007.
  25. a b c “The 15 Scariest Music Videos Ever”Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. October 28, 2010. p. 4. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  26. ^ D’Angelo, Joe. “Evanescence: The Split”MTVMTV Networks. p. 3. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
  27. ^ Kaufman, Gil (November 17, 2003). “50 Cent, Luther Vandross Take Home Multiple AMAs; Many Artists Skip Out”. MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  28. ^ Moss, Corey (August 4, 2003). “Ashton Kutcher Punks The Competition At Teen Choice Awards”. MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  29. ^ Sanneh, Kelefa (December 18, 2006). “Jingle Ball – Music – Review”The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  30. ^ Harris, Chris (November 5, 2009). “Evanescence Return to the Stage at ‘Secret’ New York Gig”Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  31. ^ “Evanescence Returns To Live Stage, Taps Finger Eleven Guitarist”. Blabbermouth.net. Roadrunner Records. November 5, 2009. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  32. ^ “Evanescence Plays First Show In Almost Two Years; Video Available”Blabbermouth.netRoadrunner Records. August 18, 2011. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
  33. ^ Ribeiro, Guilherme (October 2, 2011). “Evanescence toca o bom básico no Rock in Rio” (in Portuguese). MTV Brasil. MTV Networks. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  34. ^ Hogan, Marc (October 14, 2011). “Watch Evanescence Pummel ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!'”Spin (Spin Media LLC). Retrieved October 15, 2011.
  35. ^ “Anywhere But Home (Live): Evanescence” (in German). Amazon.de. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  36. ^ “Ex-Evanescence Members Debut We Are the Fallen With Smithson”Rolling Stone (Wenner Media). June 23, 2009. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  37. ^ “Want to Know What We Are the Fallen Sound Like? (Hint: Rhymes With Sevenescence)”Dose (Postmedia Network). June 23, 2009. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  38. ^ Briggs, Newt (February 12, 2004). “Off the charts: Evanescence”Las Vegas Mercury. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  39. ^ Reynolds, Matthew (February 9, 2011). “This week on PSN… ‘Plants Vs Zombies’!”Digital SpyHachette Filipacchi Médias. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  40. ^ “Going Under [Single]”Amazon.de. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  41. ^ “Going Under [Single, Maxi]”Amazon.de. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  42. ^ “Ultratop.be – Evanescence – Going Under” (in Dutch). Ultratop 50Ultratop & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  43. ^ “Ultratop.be – Evanescence – Going Under” (in French). Ultratop 50Ultratop & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  44. a b “Evanescence – Billboard Singles”. Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 2, 2007.
  45. ^ “Dutchcharts.nl – Evanescence – Going Under” (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100. Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  46. ^ “Nederlandse Top 40 – Evanescence search results” (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Stichting Nederlandse Top 40. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  47. ^ “Finnishcharts.com – Evanescence – Going Under”Suomen virallinen lista. Hung Medien. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  48. ^ “Lescharts.com – Evanescence – Going Under” (in French). Les classement single. Hung Medien. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  49. ^ “Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de” (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  50. ^ “Chart Track”Irish Singles ChartIrish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  51. ^ “Charts.org.nz – Evanescence – Going Under”Top 40 Singles. Hung Medien. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  52. ^ “Archive Chart” UK Singles ChartOfficial Charts Company. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  53. ^ http://www.officialcharts.com/archive-chart/_/10/2013-07-06/
  54. ^ “Pandora Archive Year End Charts 2003” (PDF). ARIA ChartsPandora Archive. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  55. ^ “Dutch Top 40 Year End Chart – 2003”MegaCharts. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  56. ^ “Årslista Singlar – År 2003” (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  57. ^ “Swiss Year End Charts 2003”Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved September 6, 2011.

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“Schaeffer Sunday” Special Message on Abortion from Pastor Steven J Cole

Francis Schaeffer Whatever Happened to the Human Race (Episode 1) ABORTION

Francis Schaeffer: What Ever Happened to the Human Race? (Full-Length Documentary)


Part 1 on abortion runs from 00:00 to 39:50, Part 2 on Infanticide runs from 39:50 to 1:21:30, Part 3 on Youth Euthanasia runs from 1:21:30 to 1:45:40, Part 4 on the basis of human dignity runs from 1:45:40 to 2:24:45 and Part 5 on the basis of truth runs from 2:24:45 to 3:00:04

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Great article.

Special Message on Abortion from Pastor Steven J Cole

Editor’s Note: Please visit our home page for a full listing of abortion facts.

January 25, 2004
Special Message

Thirty-one years ago this past Thursday, on January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in the infamous Roe v. Wade decision. As Christians, we need to remember that what is legal is not necessarily moral in God’s sight. Morality is not determined by popular or judicial opinion, but by what the Bible says. So I want us to look at what the Bible says about abortion. I could (and have, in a public school classroom) argue against abortion without reference to the Bible. It is a human atrocity. But since most of you accept the Bible as God’s inspired Word, I want to explain what it says on this important subject.

Some who call themselves “evangelicals” argue that since the New Testament does not directly address the matter, we should not be dogmatic about it. They say that it is a “difficult moral issue,” where we need to allow room to differ and not impose our personal views on others. Many evangelical pastors refrain from speaking on the subject because it is controversial and potentially divisive. And many pastors dodge it because they have drifted from the Bible as the source of absolute moral truth.

Christian pollster George Barna recently reported that only half of the country’s Protestant pastors have a biblical worldview, which he defined as believing that absolute moral truth exists, that it is based upon the Bible, and having a biblical view on six core beliefs (the accuracy of biblical teaching, the sinless nature of Jesus, the literal existence of Satan, the omnipotence and omniscience of God, salvation by grace alone, and the personal responsibility to evangelize). Southern Baptist pastors ranked highest, with 71 percent holding to a biblical worldview. Among other Baptist pastors, it fell to only 57 percent. Other denominations ranked much lower.

I believe that the Bible gives us God’s absolute moral standards that apply to every culture and every age. Furthermore, the Bible warns that God will judge every person based on His righteous standards (Acts 17:31; Rev. 20:11-15). We cannot plead ignorance as an excuse for disobedience or apathy (Prov. 24:11-12). God holds us accountable to the standards of His Word, whether we know those standards or not. We dare not be uninformed!

Also, our consciences need to be informed by Scripture, not by popular opinion or slogans. I have found professing Christians who have been influenced by the popular pro-abortion rhetoric. For example, the slogan, “Pro-family, Pro-child, Pro-choice” makes perfect sense to some, or it wouldn’t be plastered on bumper stickers. But stop and think, “What is the choice that they are advocating?” The answer is, the choice to kill your baby! So that bumper sticker is about as logical as saying, “I’m pro-women, pro-rape”! It is utter nonsense!

Another bumper sticker reads, “Against abortion? Don’t have one.” That assumes that abortion is a personal preference, not a moral issue. Imagine a bumper sticker, “Against rape? Don’t commit one”! That’s fine if rape is just a preference, but if it is a heinous crime, that’s ludicrous! Another slogan says, “Keep your laws off my body!” In other words, “We can’t legislate morality.” But we do have laws against rape, incest, child abuse, theft, and murder. Those are moral issues, all of which stem directly from the Bible! One of the main purposes for law is to protect the innocent and the weak. Laws about abortion relate directly to these matters.

Before we look at what the Bible says about abortion, let me briefly comment on what abortion is and on what the Supreme Court decision was all about. Abortion is the extraction or expulsion of the immature human fetus from the mother’s womb with the intent to end the life of that fetus prior to natural birth. Fetus is a perfectly good medical term, as long as you remember that it refers to a developing human baby. But you will never hear abortion advocates speak of it as a baby or child. Sometimes they even call it the “product of conception,” or a piece of tissue! Have you noticed how often the news refers to anti-abortion activists (not pro-life activists), and refers to those advocating baby-killing as pro-choice or defenders of abortion rights? How did we ever come to think that we have an inherent right to kill our children?

Of course many abortion advocates argue that it is not a human baby that they are killing, but science is against them. Before conception, there is not a new human life. But at the moment of conception, there is a new life, possessing 46 chromosomes, distinct from both the mother and the father. Genetically, the baby is not the mother’s body! By 21 days, the first heartbeats have begun. At 45 days, brain waves can be detected. By the ninth and tenth weeks, the thyroid and adrenal glands are functioning. By 12 or 13 weeks, he has fingernails, sucks his thumb, recoils from pain, and has his own unique fingerprints. The only things that developing life needs to become what we are, are time and nurture.

What was Roe v. Wade all about? By a vote of 7-2, the U.S. Supreme Court held that until a child in the womb is viable (capable of sustaining life outside the womb) or “capable of meaningful life” (the court reckoned this to be six or usually seven months), the mother’s desire for an abortion should take precedence over the baby’s right to life. For the last two or three months, the court said that the state may protect the unborn, but that it must allow an abortion if the life or health of the mother is threatened. The court defined her “life or health” to mean her physical, emotional, or psychological health, her age, her marital status, or the infant’s prospects of a distressful life and/or future. In other words, a woman can kill her child in the womb legally for any reason right up to the moment of birth!

According to former Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Koop, the most common reason for abortion is convenience. Only three to five percent of all abortions performed are for reasons of rape, incest, the possibility of a deformed child, or severe threat to the life of the mother. In the U.S., one out of every six women who have an abortion describes herself as an evangelical Christian (Newsweek [5/1/89], p. 31). In other countries, such as China and India, where male babies are favored over female babies, the abortion and infanticide of girls has led to a severe shortage of brides for young men.

Now let’s consider what the Bible says about abortion:

Since God is the creator and sustainer of human life, we should value and protect the lives of all innocent humans.

By saying “innocent humans,” I am allowing for the authority of the state to exercise capital punishment and to wage war for national defense. Being pro-life does not require us to be against capital punishment or to be pacifists. For sake of time, I cannot deal with those topics in this message. I want to present five lines of biblical evidence for valuing and protecting unborn children.

1. Human life is unique in that God created us in His image.

In Genesis 1:26, God distinguished humans from the rest of the animal creation. Only of man did God say, “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” He appointed man to rule over the other creatures on earth. By the way, apparently before the Flood, man was vegetarian, but after the Flood, God ordained the eating of meat (Gen. 9:3-4). The animal rights movement erroneously puts animal life on the same plane as human life. That concept stems from Hinduism, not from the Bible.

The Bible clearly affirms that human life is not the product of impersonal chance plus time. Man did not evolve from lower forms of life. God directly created man in His image, which means that we have the capability of rational thought, personality, and moral responsibility. Someone may argue that this is simply a matter of faith. I would say that it is a matter of reasonable faith. The view that something as complex as human life is the product of pure chance is a matter of unreasonable faith, because there is simply no evidence or other example of such complexity arising from random chance.

Also, even the most ardent evolutionist behaviorally affirms that human life is distinct from animal life. Imagine Mr. Evolutionist driving along when he encounters a squirrel in the road, still writhing from being hit by a car. He slams on his brakes, jumps out of his car, and frantically dials 911 on his cell phone. “I’d like to report an injured squirrel! If the paramedics get here quickly, they may be able to save him!” But, alas, they are too late! The man sits by the squirrel corpse, sobbing, until the mortuary arrives. He will never forget this tragic scene.

Ludicrous? Yes, but change the squirrel to a human baby and that scene would be truly horrific. Why? Because we all recognize that people are distinct from animals. The reason, according to the Bible, is that people are created in God’s image; animals are not.

2. The Bible forbids us from shedding innocent blood.

The Bible clearly commands, “You shall not murder” (Exod. 20:13). As already mentioned, the Bible does not forbid all killing, such as in capital punishment by the government, national defense, or personal defense. But murder is forbidden. The Bible uses the phrase “innocent blood” about 20 times, and always condemns shedding innocent blood. God chastised the Jews for shedding innocent blood when they sacrificed their children to the idols of Canaan (Ps. 106:38). As John Piper argues, “Surely the blood of the unborn is as innocent as any blood that flows in the world” (Brothers, We are Not Professionals [Broadman & Holman], p;. 222).

3. Pre-natal human life is fully human and thus precious to God.

Consider a few of the many biblical passages:

A. God superintends life in the womb (Ps. 139:13-16).

David is affirming in poetic language that God superintended his formation in the womb (also, Job 10:8-12). The Bible repeatedly affirms that God’s providence governs everything from the weather (Ps. 148:8; Job 37:6-13), to animals’ food and behavior (Ps. 104:27-29; Job 38:39-41; Jonah 1:17; 2:10), to seemingly random events, such as the rolling of dice (Prov. 16:33). Surely if God governs these relatively minor things, then He also governs the formation of people in the womb. The Lord tells Moses, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” (Exod. 4:11). So even birth defects, which science attributes to freak occurrences in nature, are under God’s direct superintendence for His sovereign purposes!

There are so-called bio-ethicists that are consistent in applying their evolutionary bias to human life, but their conclusions are horrifying! For example, James Watson, one of the discoverers of the double helix structure of DNA, suggested in 1973, “If a child were not declared alive until three days after birth, then all parents could be allowed the choice only a few are given under the present system. The doctor could allow the child to die if the parents so choose and save a lot of misery and suffering. I believe this view is the only rational, compassionate attitude to have” (cited by Francis Schaeffer & C. Everett Koop, Whatever Happened to the Human Race [Revell], p. 73).

In 1978, Watson’s partner, Francis Crick, said, “… no newborn infant should be declared human until it has passed certain tests regarding its genetic endowment and that if it fails these tests it forfeits its right to live” (ibid.). Peter Singer, who incongruously is professor of bio-ethics at Princeton, argues that if a child is born with hemophilia, to allow the parents to kill him so that they could replace him with a normally healthy child may be morally right (cited by Piper, ibid., p. 217, note 3)!

B. The Bible ordains the penalty of life for life when the life of an unborn child is taken (Exod. 21:22-25).

The earlier edition of the NASB had an unfortunate translation that slanted the reader toward one of two possible interpretations, but not to the best one. The updated edition has corrected the problem. The earlier edition read, “And if men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she has a miscarriage, yet there is no further injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him….” The translators added the word “further” and they interpreted the Hebrew, “her children come out,” as, “she has a miscarriage.” The implication would be that to kill the fetus is only punishable by a fine, nothing more.

The updated edition reads, “… so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury….” As the following verses (23-25) make clear, if there is an injury, then the offender must be penalized, life for life, eye for eye, etc. These are the same penalties as in offenses against adults (Lev. 24:20). The Hebrew verb translated “to depart” or “come out” (Exod. 21:22) refers to a live birth in 11 separate Old Testament passages. It never refers to a miscarriage, although in one text (Num. 12:12), it refers to a stillborn. There is another Hebrew verb that is used for miscarriage. So the most likely meaning of Exodus 21:22-25, based upon verb usage, as well as the Old Testament high regard for pre-natal life, is that the baby in the womb has as much value as an already-born person.

C. The Bible affirms the distinctiveness of individuals in the womb, thus showing that they are fully human.

We won’t take the time to look up each reference, but consider the following examples:

*Jacob and Esau were distinct individuals in the womb (Gen. 25:23; Rom. 9:11-12).

*Samson’s mother was not to drink wine, because her son was to be a Nazirite, who would abstain from alcohol (Judges 13:3-5).

*Jeremiah and Paul both acknowledged that God formed them in the womb and knew them by name (Jer. 1:5; Gal. 1:15). Isaiah 49:1, 5 affirms the same thing about Messiah.

*John the Baptist recognized Jesus while both were still in the womb (Luke 1:35-36, 39-44)! This is an amazing text! Elizabeth was in her sixth month of pregnancy when Mary conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit. Mary went to visit Elizabeth before John was born. Thus Elizabeth would have been in her last trimester, while Mary was in her first trimester. Yet John recognized Jesus in those early months of Mary’s pregnancy! I think that this is the strongest passage that a baby in the womb in the first trimester is a person created in God’s image. We are not free to take the life of such a child just because it is not convenient to have a baby!

We have seen that human life is unique in that God created us in His image. The Bible forbids us from shedding innocent blood. Pre-natal human life is fully human and thus precious to God.

4. To view babies as inconvenient to the point of killing them is to violate Jesus’ view of children.

As I mentioned, about 95 percent of all abortions are done for convenience. A girl gets pregnant through out-of-wedlock sex. Neither she nor her boyfriend are ready for the responsibility of being parents. It would be an economic hardship, or it may require interrupting her education. An abortion is a convenient way to dispose of the whole problem.

In Luke 18:15-17, people were bringing their babies to Jesus so that He could touch them. The disciples rebuked the parents. Jesus had better things to do than to bless babies! It was a great inconvenience! But Jesus rebuked the disciples and welcomed the children. The Greek word for infant in Luke 18:15 is the same word Luke uses for the infant in Elizabeth’s womb (1:41, 44). God shows His great love for us by calling us His children (1 John 3:1). Surely, we should have the same attitude as Jesus towards our children from the time of conception onwards!

But what about an “unwanted” child, whose birth would be an extreme hardship? What about a baby conceived by rape or incest? What about a deformed baby, who will suffer all his life and never be normal? Wouldn’t it be the lesser evil to abort these babies and spare them and the parents a life of hardship and pain?

5. To kill babies in the womb in an attempt to avoid suffering is to try to dodge God’s purposes for suffering.

The Bible is clear that in this fallen world, God ordains suffering for His wise and good purposes (Rom. 8:28). Sometimes we suffer as the consequences for our own sin (Heb. 12:3-11), which can include the hardships associated with having a baby out of wedlock. (Sometimes it may be wise for an unwed mother to give up her baby for adoption, but even that is a painful consequence of sin.) Sometimes we suffer on account of other people’s sins (Gen. 50:20). This would include the hardship of having a baby conceived through rape or incest. Sometimes we don’t know the reason that God permits suffering, except that He wants to display His grace and power through our weakness (2 Cor. 12:7-10).

To abort because having a child would cause emotional or economic duress is always wrong. To argue that it is better to kill a deformed child in the womb than to allow him to live is an affront to the thousands of people born with severe handicaps, but who live meaningful and productive lives. It is an affront to the many families that love and care for such children. On rare occasions, there may be the difficult dilemma of performing an abortion to spare the mother’s life. But even then, the goal should be to preserve the lives of both the mother and the child, if possible.

“Sanctity of Life Saturday” Abortion debating with Ark Times Bloggers Part 8 “Dr. John Russell:Treatment of preborn compared to slaves’ treatment” (includes the film THE BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY and editorial cartoon)

I have debated with Ark Times Bloggers many times in the past on many different subjects. Abortion is probably the most often debated subject and I have noticed that many pro-life individuals are now surfacing on the Arkansas Times Blog.  Here are some examples. Arhogfan501 asserted: This is the beginning of the end for recreational abortion in Arkansas. Songbird777 noted: Babies have a right to live and not be chopped up for someone else’s convenience. The person using the username “baker” commented: Planned Parenthood (PPA) does not nor cannot provide mammograms, indeed no affiliate has the necessary license. PPA is an abortion provider and at some 900 plus killings a day rather prolific.

Here is another debate I got into recently on the Arkansas Times Blog and I go by the username “Saline Republican”:

The person using the username “Bluesyoucanuse” asserted:

First protest I’ve been involved in in probably 30 years. Glad to say I was there. Glad to see the huge range of ages. Loved the family with the t-shirts — Mom by Choice, Dad by Choice, Born by Choice. Personal favorite sign — “If you don’t want an abortion, don’t have one.”

I responded:

Bluesyoucanuse says “Born by Choice.”

This follows the statements “Dad by choice and Mom by choice.”

I can only wish that unborn babies could be born if they chose to be. Unfortunately their parents choose selfishly to end their hopes of being born way too often.

Bluesyoucanuse was born not by her choice. It was not possible, but I am glad her parents made the prolife choice!!!!!!!!!

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Bluesyoucanuse says, “If you don’t want an abortion, don’t have one.”

Deanna Gandler responded to this question with this reasoned response:

What if Abraham Lincoln had told the North – ‘Don’t like Slavery? Don’t own slaves.’?”

Slavery was the defining issue of the day during that time period, and there were many citizens in America who truly believed that an African American was not a person, but a belonging, a piece of property to be disposed of as their owners saw fit. The Supreme Court of the United States had even ruled in the Dred Scott case that they were property and not citizens. The Supreme Court chose to uphold slavery, and claimed Constitutional authority in their decision.

Much like the Dred Scott ruling was overturned by the refusal of brave men and women in our country to merely turn a blind eye to the injustice going on all around them- the unconstitutional Roe v Wade can be overturned one day as well. But we must not give up on this fight. We must follow the example of Lincoln, and continue to fight for the rights of our fellow man.

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
Abraham Lincoln, in The Gettysburg Address

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I truly believe that many of the problems we have today in the USA are due to the advancement of humanism in the last few decades in our society. Ronald Reagan appointed the evangelical Dr. C. Everett Koop to the position of Surgeon General in his administration. He partnered with Dr. Francis Schaeffer in making the video below. It is very valuable information for Christians to have.  Actually I have included a video below that includes comments from him on this subject.

In the film series “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?” the arguments are presented  against abortion (Episode 1),  infanticide (Episode 2),   euthenasia (Episode 3), and then there is a discussion of the Christian versus Humanist worldview concerning the issue of “the basis for human dignity” in Episode 4 and then in the last episode a close look at the truth claims of the Bible.

Many liberals actually truly do argue for abortion rights over human rights. Prochoice advocate Elizabeth Williams came out and said that on 1-23-13 in her article on Salon. We hear reasons for abortion such as poverty,and  child abuse,  but why not consider adoption? Instead, the political left will stop at nothing to push the pro-abortion agenda. Why not stop and take an honest look at when life begins for the unborn child and when she begins to feel pain?

Francis Schaeffer Whatever Happened to the Human Race (Episode 1) ABORTION

Francis Schaeffer: What Ever Happened to the Human Race? (Full-Length Documentary)


Part 1 on abortion runs from 00:00 to 39:50, Part 2 on Infanticide runs from 39:50 to 1:21:30, Part 3 on Youth Euthanasia runs from 1:21:30 to 1:45:40, Part 4 on the basis of human dignity runs from 1:45:40 to 2:24:45 and Part 5 on the basis of truth runs from 2:24:45 to 3:00:04

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Dr. John Russell:

The Devaluing of Life in America

Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and Christian apologist Francis A. Schaeffer issue a stern warning concerning the devaluing of life in America. They quote Psychiatrist Leo Alexander, who served with the office of Chief of Counsel for War Crimes in Nuremberg:

It started with the acceptance of the attitude basic in the euthanasia movement, that there is such a thing as life not worthy to be lived….   …. The first direct order for euthanasia was issued by Hitler on Sept. 1, 1939…. All state institutions were required to report on patients who had been ill for five years or more or who were unable to work, by filling out questionnaires giving name, race, marital status, nationality, next of kin, whether regularly visited and by whom, who bore the financial responsibility and so forth. The decision regarding which patients should be killed was made entirely on the basis of this brief information by expert consultants, most of whom were professors of psychiatry in the key universities. These consultants never saw the patients themselves.

The Nazis set up an organization specifically for the killing of children, which they called, “Realm’s Committee for Scientific Approach to Severe Illness Due to Heredity and Constitution.” Children were transported to the killing centers by “The Charitable Transport Company for the Sick.” “The Charitable Foundation for Institutional Care” collected the cost of killing the children from the relatives, who did not know that they were paying to kill their own kinfolk. The cause of death was falsified on the death certificates. [Francis A. Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop, M.D., Whatever Happened to the Human Race? (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1979), pp. 103-107].

It hasn’t been too far back in the history of the United States, that black people were sold like cattle in our slave markets. For economic reasons, white society had classified them as “nonhuman.” The U S Supreme Court upheld this lie in its infamous Dred Scott Decision.

Jesse L. Jackson, in 1977, tied the prior treatment of blacks with our present treatment of the preborn:

You could not protest the existence or treatment of slaves on the plantation because that was private and therefore outside your right to be concerned…. The Constitution called us three-fifths human and the whites further dehumanized us by calling us `niggers.’ It was part of the dehumanizing process…. These advocates taking life prior to birth do not call it killing or murder, they call it abortion. They further never talk about aborting a baby because that would imply something human…. Fetus sounds less than human and therefore can be justified…. What happens to the mind of a person, and the moral fabric of a nation, that accepts the aborting of the life of a baby without a pang of conscience? What kind of a person and what kind of a society will we have twenty years hence if life can be taken so casually? It is that question, the question of our attitude, our value system, and our mind set with regard to the nature and the worth of life itself that is the central question confronting mankind. Failure to answer that question affirmatively may leave us with a hell right here on earth. [Francis A. Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop, M.D., Whatever Happened to the Human Race? (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1979), p. 209.]

Twenty-five years after Rev. Jackson’s prediction, we have seen 45,000,000 preborn children killed for convenience and money. There is no telling how many newborns have been sedated and deliberately left to die of starvation.

For a former “insider” expose of the brutal and woman-exploiting abortion industry, read Carol Everett’s book, Blood Money (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Press Books, 1992). Her book tore at my heart. It spoke of how degenerate a part of the medical community had become. Carol Everett later found Christ and now ministers hope and healing.

The infamous pathologist Jack Kevorkian has grabbed headlines by murdering sick people. But, secretly in the hospitals, how many old and sick people have been “put to sleep” by other physicians simply by administering an overdose of medication, or by withholding needed medication?

I was touched, influenced and inspired by the ideas of Bill Bennett. See William J. Bennett, The De-Valuing of America—The Fight for Our Culture and Our Children (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992).

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It is a sad fact that so many unborn babies have been aborted in the last 40 years and this editorial cartoon touches on that fact:

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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 could conquer anything,the current day artist Paul McCarthy doesn’t think he can cure himself let alone anyone else.

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Francis Schaeffer pictured below

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Francis Schaeffer with his son Franky pictured below. Francis and Edith (who passed away in 2013) opened L’ Abri in 1955 in Switzerland.

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Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000 years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age” episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” ,  episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” . My favorite episodes are number 7 and 8 since they deal with modern art and culture primarily.(Joe Carter rightly noted, “Schaefferwho always claimed to be an evangelist and not a philosopher—was often criticized for the way his work oversimplified intellectual history and philosophy.” To those critics I say take a chill pill because Schaeffer was introducing millions into the fields of art and culture!!!! !!! More people need to read his works and blog about them because they show how people’s worldviews affect their lives!

J.I.PACKER WROTE OF SCHAEFFER, “His communicative style was not thaof a cautious academiwho labors foexhaustive coverage and dispassionate objectivity. It was rather that of an impassioned thinker who paints his vision of eternal truth in bold strokes and stark contrasts.Yet it is a fact that MANY YOUNG THINKERS AND ARTISTS…HAVE FOUND SCHAEFFER’S ANALYSES A LIFELINE TO SANITY WITHOUT WHICH THEY COULD NOT HAVE GONE ON LIVING.”

Francis Schaeffer’s works  are the basis for a large portion of my blog posts and they have stood the test of time. In fact, many people would say that many of the things he wrote in the 1960’s  were right on  in the sense he saw where our western society was heading and he knew that abortion, infanticide and youth enthansia were  moral boundaries we would be crossing  in the coming decades because of humanism and these are the discussions we are having now!)

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

Francis Schaeffer in Art and the Bible noted, “Many modern artists, it seems to me, have forgotten the value that art has in itself. Much modern art is far too intellectual to be great art. Many modern artists seem not to see the distinction between man and non-man, and it is a part of the lostness of modern man that they no longer see value in the work of art as a work of art.” 

Many modern artists are left in this point of desperation that Schaeffer points out and it reminds me of the despair that Solomon speaks of in Ecclesiastes.  Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.” THIS IS EXACT POINT SCHAEFFER SAYS SECULAR ARTISTS ARE PAINTING FROM TODAY BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED ARE A RESULT OF MINDLESS CHANCE.

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Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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Francis and Edith Schaeffer

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프란시스 쉐퍼 – 그러면 우리는 어떻게 살 것인가 introduction (Episode 1)

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

#02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer

The clip above is from episode 9 THE AGE OF PERSONAL PEACE AND AFFLUENCE

10 Worldview and Truth

In above clip Schaeffer quotes Paul’s speech in Greece from Romans 1 (from Episode FINAL CHOICES)

Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100

A Christian Manifesto Francis Schaeffer

In the film series HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?  Francis Schaeffer teaches that although the Renaissance revived the realization that man and nature are important, it went overboard by making man the measure of all things-and by that destroyed the importance of man. Michelangelo started down that road with his sculpture of David. Schaeffer noted, “Hope springs eternal,” says the poet. And in the David is a “statement of what the humanistic man saw himself as being tomorrow!” Two examples of this below starting with Michelangelo’s “Awakening Slave.”

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David Leeds wrote:

On the left as you walk in is the “Awakening Slave.”

This piece is one of the most powerful and expressive works of art I’ve ever seen. The figure feels like it is writhing and straining, and going to imminently explode out of the marble block that holds it. The latent power one feels is extraordinary. Is this a Herculean effort to be born physically from the imprisoning stone, or a titanic struggle to escape the bounds of physical reality and move onto some other plane? I certainly don’t know for sure, but it feels like the business at hand here is cosmic.
Michelangelo is famous for saying that he worked to liberate the forms imprisoned in the marble. He saw his job as simply removing what was extraneous. The endless struggle of man to free himself from his physical constraints and liberate the more enlightened spirit within, was part of the Neo-Platonic philosophy that was in vogue in Florence at this time. The burden of the flesh constrains the soul. This is by far the most dynamic and expressive battleground of these forces I’ver ever encountered. The metaphor is inescapable.

Michelangelo%20AP%20Photo%20Fabrizio%20Giovannozzi

From Tony Bartolucci’s  website:

These were in the Academy at Florence where on each side were statues of men tearing themselves out of the rock. Man will free himself and make himself great.
In the same place is his statue of David. Not the biblical David, as many think. This statue is not circumcised! Michelangelo used a piece of marble so flawed that no one thought he could do anything with it. David was representative of what man will one day be. This is also seen in his oversize hands. Later, Michelangelo may have softened his views (he later was in close touch with Vittoria Colonna who was herself influenced by Reformation thought). His two Pietas (Mary holding Jesus in her arms) were his last works.

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How Should We Then Live (Dr. Francis Schaeffer) Excerpt from Part 3

Eric Holmberg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTa9BE2LNZM

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Michelangelo, Schaeffer, and the Kingdom of Washington

By Rick Pearcey • March 7, 2009, 01:01 PM

The great Renaissance painter and sculptor Michelangelo was born March 6, 1475, 534 years ago yesterday. He began work on his famed statue the David in 1501 and completed it in 1504. Michelangelo was 29 years old.

Let’s consider this man and his art and its relevance for our day, interacting with comments from Francis Schaeffer in his work How Should We Then Live? (Crossway: Complete Works of Francis Schaeffer, Vol. 5, pp. 114-115).

Schaeffer begins inside the Accademia in Florence, where the David is located:

Here we see on either side Michelangelo’s statues of men “tearing themselves out of the rock.” These were sculpted between 1519 and 1536. They make a real humanistic statement: Man will make himself great. Man as Man is tearing himself out of the rock. Man by himself will tear himself out of nature and free himself from it. Man will be victorious. . . .”

I saw and touched (winning the polite attention of security) one of these statues during my first and only (thus far!) visit to Florence. I had hitched a ride from L’Abri in Switzerland and carried with me a copy of Irving Stone’s The Agony and the Ecstasy. Having that book in your mind was a tremendous way to see Florence.

“At the focal point of the room,” Schaeffer continues, is the “magnificent statue of David (1504).”

As a work of art it has few equals in the world. Michelangelo took a piece of marble so flawed that no one thought it could be used, and out of it he carved this overwhelming statue. But let us notice that the David was not the Jewish David of the Bible. David was simply a title. Michelangelo knew his Judaism, and in the statue the figure is not circumcised. We are not to think of this as the biblical David but as the humanistic ideal. Man is great!

Man, human beings — you and me, our neighbors, all of us red and yellow, black and white — in fact are great. But not, as the unfinished statues of Michelangelo may suggest, because we have to tear ourselves out of nature.

Rather, consistent with what the Declaration of Independence avows (which is the “Vision Statement” or “Mission Statement” of the United States), what makes humanity great is that we are the magnificent work of a Divine Sculptor, who happens to be the Creator by virtue of whom every single human being is endowed with “certain unalienable rights.” And, by the way, Nature is also great and not a meaningless piece of particulate junk, because she too is a gift from the Creator and therefore ought to be cared for and respected, just like Genesis 1:28 liberates humanity to do.

As Schaeffer describes it, the political situation of Michelangelo’s day bears some resemblance to our our own:

The statue was originally planned to stand forty feet above the street on one of the buttresses of the cathedral, but was placed outside the city hall in Florence, where a copy now stands. The Medicis, the great banking family which had dominated Florence since 1434, had run the city by manipulating its republican constitution. A few years before David was made, the Medicis had been thrown down by the people and a more genuine republic restored (1494). Thus, as the statue was raised outside the city hall, though Michelangelo himself had been a friend of the Medicis, his David was seen as the slayer of tyrants. Florence was looking with confidence toward a great future. (Emphasis added.)

We see in our own day a manipulating of a “republican constitution” (think: “living” Constitution). Central to the truly living Mission Statement of United States (in the Declaration of Independence) is that a republic under the Creator would respect unalienable rights from that Creator, resulting in a balance of “form and freedom” (a phrase often used by Schaeffer). This amazing and unique balance maximized individual liberty among the people and states but without chaos, and it also established a unity of purpose nationally but without overweening control out of Washington.

To put this in contemporary parlance, it wasn’t “unity is our strength” or “diversity is our strength,” but rather “unity and diversity under God is our strength.” All the difference in world.

To the degree that secular elites have imposed an alien agenda that casts away the founding Mission Statement of the United States (or keeps the form but denies the meaning), to that degree we have seen a corresponding loss of individual freedom, including direct attacks on the unalienable rights hardwired into humanity by the verifiable and knowable Creator. Not unrelated to this, the economic crisis we see today emerges in no small degree from a secularist, power-minded Washington-centrism and is the natural outworking of uprooting the American experiment in liberty from what the Founders knew is the soil of liberty as gifted to humanity by the Creator.

“Hope springs eternal,” says the poet. And in the David is a “statement of what the humanistic man saw himself as being tomorrow!,” says Schaeffer.

In this statue we have man waiting with confidence in his own strength for the future. Even the disproportionate size of the hands says that man is powerful. This statue is idealistic and romantic. There was and is no man like the David. If a girl fell in love with the statue and waited until she found such a man, she would never marry. Humanism was standing in its proud self and the David stood as a representation of that.

The challenge for humanism is not its ideals per se, but that it lacks an adequate intellectual basis to sustain those ideals, so that when crisis comes, we see breakdown instead of recovery. And we do see the breakdown, despite the concerted efforts of political, PR, and marketing types working overtime to simultaneously distract (e.g., attack Rush Limbaugh) and overlay a comfortable but Orwellian spin upon the breakdown (e.g., the president not concerned about market “gyrations”).

However, in the world beyond the teleprompter, the press release, and the attack dog, what we are witnessing today is not just the loss of economic power and freedom, but also assaults on freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of religious exercise, and so on. Man is great, but man is not God. You could put all the smartest people in the world in Washington and still the federal government is not God, as the original Vision Statement of the United States clearly understands. Secularist Washington-centrism must decrease if a humane American liberty is to increase. Read the directions.

Our Founders understood this, but many of today’s elites seem to reject it. It’s not that the secularists are too smart for their own good, but that they are operating out of an inadequate philosophic framework. We’ll recover as a nation if we return to the original Mission Statement and mark progress from that point forward.

Perhaps the later Michelangelo can help lead the way forward:

[T]here are signs that by the end of his life Michelangelo saw the humanism was not enough. Michelangelo in his later years was in close touch with Vittoria Colonna (1490-1547), a woman who had been influenced by Reformation thought. Some people feel they see some of that influence in Michelangelo’s life and work. However that may be, it is true that his later work did change. Many of his early works show his humanism, as does his David. In contrast stand his later Pietas (statues of Mary holding the dead Christ in her arms) in the cathedral in Florence and in the castle in Milan, which was probably his last. In the Pieta in the cathedral in Florence, Michelangelo put his own face on Nicodemus (or Joseph of Arimathea — whichever the man is), and in both of the Pietas humanistic pride seems lessened, if not absent.

Michelangelo’s Florence Pietà

I began this post this morning simply as an effort to show an appreciation for one of my favorite artists, a person that I and a host of others would surely have liked to have known. He, like all of us, had his struggles. But even the Great Michelangelo of the Pietas was willing to place himself at the feet of a flesh and blood rebel condemned as a common criminal who happened to be the Savior and Son of God. That’s right: A resurrected guy from the Middle East outback whose love and truth challenged and overturns the hopeful but inadequate humanism of then and now.

The Founders understood the centrality and necessity of the Creator, and they rejected the idolatry of the federal state and the Kingdom of Washington. Many of us today get it. Hope and freedom never die. They are unalienable. They are hardwired into humane and human existence. Yes, we get it. Let’s hope Washington hears before it’s too late.

File:Michelangelo’s Pieta 5450 cropncleaned edit.jpg

File:Michelangelo's Pieta 5450 cropncleaned edit.jpg

Size of this preview: 572 × 599 pixels. Other resolutions: 229 × 240 
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Today’s feature is on the artist Paul McCarthy:

Paul McCarthy pictured below:
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In contrast to Michelangelo’s DAVID when humanist man thought he could conquer anything, Paul McCarthy doesn’t think he can cure himself let alone anyone else.

Conversations | Premiere | Artist Talk | Paul McCarthy

Published on Dec 12, 2012

Paul McCarthy, Artist, Los Angeles
In conversation with Massimiliano Gioni, Artistic Director, Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan; Director of Special Exhibitions, New Museum, New York

Date | Wednesday, June 16, 2010

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In this video above at the 55:00 mark we have these words from McCarthy:

In Los Angeles I never felt I cured anything and I never saw myself where I think the AAA and some of Otto Muehl’s ideas that somehow we could change society and I think that is a European village idea where you are in a place where you can affect society...and I never thought of myself as any healer of anything…Art for me is not therapy in the sense that I am not getting well. I am still [messed up].…I was quite influenced by the iconic imagery of Disney Land or television world and then the facade of Hollywood and how the facade of Hollywood and how it appears that everything is okay. That Disney Land is a dream world and you enter Disney Land and you are in a dream where in my case it is a dream that is just covering something up. INTERVIEWER: “You are more of the sympton than the cure?” I am part of the disease…(laughter).

Paul McCarthy

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For other people named Paul McCarthy, see Paul McCarthy (disambiguation).
Paul McCarthy
Born August 4, 1945 (age 68)
Salt Lake City, UtahU.S.
Nationality American
Field Performance art
Sculpture
Training San Francisco Art Institute
University of Southern California
Works Sailor’s Meat from 1975, The Garden from 1991, Bossy Burger from 1991

Paul McCarthy (born August 4, 1945), is a contemporary artist who lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

Life

McCarthy was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and studied art at the University of Utah and Weber State University in 1969. He went on to study at the San Francisco Art Institute receiving a BFA in painting. In 1972 he studied film, video, and art at the University of Southern California receiving an MFA. From 1982 to 2002 he taught performance, video, installation, and performance art history at the University of California, Los Angeles. McCarthy currently works mainly in video and sculpture.

Originally formally trained as a painter, McCarthy’s main interest lies in everyday activities and the mess created by them.[1] Much of his work in the late 1960s, such as Mountain Bowling (1969) and Hold an Apple in Your Armpit (1970) are similar to the work of Happenings founder Allan Kaprow, with whom McCarthy had a professional relationship.[1]

Work

Sweet Brown Snail by Jason Rhoades and Paul McCarthy at the Bavariapark and the Verkehrszentrum of the Deutsches Museum in Munich.

“Boxhead” (2001), Collection of the Centro de Arte Contemporânea Inhotim in Brumadinho/Brazil

McCarthy’s works include performance, installation, film and “painting as action”. His points of reference are rooted, on the one hand, in things typically American, such as Disneyland, B-Movies, Soap Operas and Comics – he is a critical analyst of the mass media and consumer-driven American society and its hypocrisy, double standards and repression. On the other hand, it is European avant-garde art that has had the most influence on his artistic form language. Such influences include the Lost Art Movement, Joseph Beuys, Sigmund Freud and Samuel Beckett and particularly the Viennese Actionism.[2] Although by his own statement the happenings of the Viennese Actionists were known to him in the 1970s, he sees a clear difference between the actions of the Viennese and his own performances: “Vienna is not Los Angeles. My work came out of kids’ television in Los Angeles. I didn’t go through Catholicism and World War II as a teenager, I didn’t live in a European environment. People make references to Viennese art without really questioning the fact that there is a big difference between ketchup and blood. I never thought of my work as shamanistic. My work is more about being a clown than a shaman.”[3] In his early works, McCarthy sought to break the limitations of painting by using the body as a paintbrush or even canvas; later, he incorporated bodily fluids or food as substitutes into his works. In a 1974 video, Painting, Wall Whip, he painted with his head and face, “smearing his body with paint and then with ketchup, mayonnaise or raw meat and, in one case, feces.” This clearly resembled the work of Vienna actionist Günter Brus.[4] Similarly, his work evolved from painting to transgressive performance art, psychosexual events intended to fly in the face of social convention, testing the emotional limits of both artist and viewer. An example of this is his 1976 piece Class Fool, where McCarthy threw himself around a ketchup spattered classroom at the University of California, San Diego until dazed and self-injured. He then vomited several times and inserted a Barbie doll into his rectum.[1] The piece ended when the audience could no longer stand to watch his performance.[1] Concerned that the University’s custodians would have to clean up the mess, graduate students Virginia Maksymowicz and Blaise Tobia, along with art historian Moira Roth, spent several hours cleaning up the ketchup and vomit. Maksymowicz can be seen in the rear left of a documentary photo of the event.[5]

McCarthy’s work in the 1990s, such as Painter (1995), often seeks to undermine the idea of “the myth of artistic greatness” and attacks the perception of the heroic male artist.[1]

McCarthy’s transfixion with Johanna Spyri’s novel Heidi led to his 1992 video and installation, Heidi: Midlife Crisis Trauma Center and Negative Media-Engram Abreaction Release Zone, which he collaborated on with Mike Kelley.

During the summer of 2008, Paul McCarthy’s inflatable “Complex Shit”, installed on the grounds of the Paul Klee Centre in Bern, Switzerland, took off in a wind bringing down a power line, breaking a greenhouse window, and broke a window at a children’s home.[6] This incident was widely reported internationally via news outlets in several languages with headlines like “Huge turd catastrophe for museum”[7] and “Up in the sky: is it a turd or a plane?”[8]

McCarthy has created several Christmas-themed works. Through them, he combines the dismal aesthetic and the real meaning of Christmas.[9] In 2001 he created ‘Santa Claus’ for the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Originally it intended to be placed next to the concerthall at the locally famous square ‘Schouwburgplein’, but it never was. This was due to controversies around the statue (the work is seen by many citizens to have a sexual connotations, and therefore it also is colloquially referred to as ‘Butt Plug Gnome’[10]), and besides the original location it was also rejected by (citizens and retailers of) several other proposed locations. On the 28th of November 2008 did it, however, receive a permanent destination: the square Eendrachtsplein, within a walkway of statues project.[11]

In November 2009, an exhibition called “White Snow” was held at Hauser & Wirth New York, featuring McCarthy’s mixed-media works centered on the character Snow White from Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

Exhibitions (selection)

  • 2013 Park Avenue ArmoryWS, New York
  • 2009 De Uithof, Paul McCarthy – Air Pressure, City of Utrecht
  • 2009 Hauser & WirthWhite Snow, New York
  • 2009 Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Paul McCarthy & Benjamin Weissman – Quilting Sessions, Warsaw
  • 2008 Whitney Museum of American ArtCentral Symmetrical Rotation Movement – Three Installations, Two Films, New York
  • 2007 S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Paul McCarthy – Head Shop / Shop Head, Ghent
  • 2007 Middelheim Sculpture Museum, Paul McCarthy – Air Born / Air Borne / Air Pressure, Antwerp
  • 2006 Moderna Museet, Paul McCarthy – Head Shop / Shop Head, Stockholm
  • 2005 Haus der Kunst, Paul McCarthy – LaLa land parodie paradies, Munich
  • 2004 Van Abbemuseum, Paul McCarthy. Brain Box – Dream Box, Eindhoven
  • 2003 Hauser & WirthPaul McCarthy. Piccadilly Circus, London
  • 2003 Tate ModernPaul McCarthy at Tate Modern, London
  • 2001 New MuseumPaul McCarthy, New York

Bibliography

  • Blazwick, Iwona. Paul McCarthy: Head Shop. Shop Head. Stockholm: Steidl/Moderna Museet, 2006.
  • Bronfen, Elisabeth. Paul McCarthy: Lala Land. Ostfildern, Germany: Hatje Cantz Publishers, 2005.
  • Glennie, Sarah. Paul McCarthy at Tate Modern: Block Head and Daddies Big Head. London: Tate, 2003.
  • Monk, Philip. Mike Kelley and Paul McCarthy: Collaborative Works. Toronto: Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at Harbourfront Centre, 2000.
  • Phillips, Lisa. Paul McCarthy. Ostfildern, Germany: Hatje Cantz Publishers, 2001.
  • Rugoff, Ralph, Kristine Stiles, Giacinto Di Pietrantonio. Paul McCarthy. London: Phaidon Press, 1996.
  • Sauerlander, Kathrin. Paul McCarthy: Videos 1970-1997. Cologne: Walther König, 2004.
  • Sherer, Daniel. “Heidi on the Loos. Ornament and Crime in Mike Kelley and Paul McCarthy’s Heidi.” PIN-UP 3 (2008), 59-62.
  • Zebracki, Martin. Engaging geographies of public art: indwellers, the ‘Butt Plug Gnome’ and their locale. Social & Cultural Geography 13(7), 735–758

References

  1. Jump up to: a b c d e Klein, Jennie (May 2001). “Paul McCarthy: Rites of Masculinity”. PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art 23 (2): 10–17. doi:10.2307/3246503JSTOR 3246503.
  2. Jump up ^ Paul McCarthy’s Low Life Slow Life. Edited by Stacen Berg, Jens Hoffmann, texts by Jens Hoffmann, Paul McCarthy, interview with Paul McCarthy by Stacen Berg. Ostfildern (Hatje Cantz Verlag). 2010. ISBN 978-3-7757-2573-6
  3. Jump up ^ Petersen, Magnus af:„Paul McCarthy’s 40 years of hard work-an attempt at a summary”, in: “Head Shop/Shop Head”, Steidl Verlag, Göttingen, 2006, p.20
  4. Jump up ^ Roberta Smith (May 15, 1998). “Art Review: Work on the Wild Side, Raw, Rank and Morbid”The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-05-26.
  5. Jump up ^ page 73, Live Art in LA: Performance in Southern California, 1970 – 1983; ed. Peggy Phelan, Routledge Press, ©2012
  6. Jump up ^ (August 12, 2008). Complex Shit causes museum chaosThe Australian. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
  7. Jump up ^ (August 12, 2008). Huge turd catastrophe for museumMetro (London, UK). Retrieved July 25, 2010.
  8. Jump up ^ (August 13, 2008). Up in the sky: is it a turd? Is it a plane? The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
  9. Jump up ^ Nielson, Emma (2007). “The World as Pirate’s Lair – Paul McCarthy’s LaLa Land, Parody Paradise”Pulse Berlin (Relation). Retrieved 2007-09-01. “McCarthy has a predilection for American myths and icons. In most of his works, he takes the models and role models of that world and skewers them. Santa Claus, Pinocchio and the cowboy play just as important a role in the imagery as Bush or the Queen of England” Review of McCarthy’s 2007 LaLa Land exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, London , and Haus der Kunst, Munich.
  10. Jump up ^ Zebracki, Martin (2012). Engaging geographies of public art: indwellers, the ‘Butt Plug Gnome’ and their localeSocial & Cultural Geography 13(7), 735–758
  11. Jump up ^ (November 28, 2008). Santa Claus Finds A Permanent New Home In RotterdamTAXI. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Paul McCarthy.

External links

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode IV – The Reformation 27 min I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer makes three key points concerning the Reformation: “1. Erasmian Christian humanism rejected by Farel. 2. Bible gives needed answers not only as to […]

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Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 3 “The Renaissance” Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 3) THE RENAISSANCE I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer really shows why we have so […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 2 “The Middle Ages” (Schaeffer Sundays)

  Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 2) THE MIDDLE AGES I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer points out that during this time period unfortunately we have the “Church’s deviation from early church’s teaching in regard […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 1 “The Roman Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 1) THE ROMAN AGE   Today I am starting a series that really had a big impact on my life back in the 1970′s when I first saw it. There are ten parts and today is the first. Francis Schaeffer takes a look at Rome and why […]

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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)

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 […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 17 Francis Schaeffer discusses quotes of Andy Warhol from “The Observer June 12, 1966″ Part C (Feature on artist David Hockney plus many pictures of Warhol with famous friends)

________________ Francis Schaeffer: How Should We Then Live? (Full-Length Documentary)   ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________ Miles Davis and Andy below: ______________________ Dali and Warhol below: ________- __________________ Francis Schaeffer with his son Franky pictured below. Francis and Edith (who passed away in 2013) opened L’ Abri in 1955 in Switzerland. Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000 years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 16 Francis Schaeffer discusses quotes of Andy Warhol from “The Observer June 12, 1966″ Part B (Feature on artist James Rosenquist plus many pictures of Warhol with famous friends)

_________ John, Yoko and Warhol pictured below: ________________________ The Clash meets Warhol: ______________________ ________________ ________ Andy Warhol and members of The Factory: Gerard Malanga, poet; Viva, actress; Paul Morrissey, director; Taylor Mead, actor; Brigid Polk, actress; Joe Dallesandro, actor; Andy Warhol, artist, New York, October 9, 1969 (picture below)   _____________________ Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 15 Francis Schaeffer discusses quotes of Andy Warhol from “The Observer June 12, 1966″ Part A (Feature on artist Robert Indiana plus many pictures of Warhol with famous friends)

    Recently I got to see this piece of art by Andy Warhol of Dolly Parton at Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas:   Andy Warhol, Dolly Parton (1985) Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas 42 x 42 in. (106.7 x 106.7 cm) ___________ Susan Anton, Sylvester Stallone and Andy Warhol pictured […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 14 David Friedrich Strauss (Feature on artist Roni Horn )

Francis Schaeffer: How Should We Then Live? (Full-Length Documentary) Francis Schaeffer pictured below: ___________ Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000 years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” , episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”, episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”, episode 7 “The Age of […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 13 Jacob Bronowski and Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era (Feature on artist Ellen Gallagher )

  Francis Schaeffer: How Should We Then Live? (Full-Length Documentary) ________ Today I am looking at Jacob Bronowski and his contribution to spreading the thought of Charles Darwin to a modern generation.  The artist Ellen Gallagher is one of those in today’s modern generation that talks about how evolution is pictured in his art works. What […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 12 H.J.Blackham and Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era (Feature on artist Arturo Herrera)

  Today I am going to look at H.J. Blackham and the artist featured today is  Arturo Herrera. Herrera’s art interests me because it is based on the idea that accidental chance can bring about something beautiful and that is the same place that materialistic modern men like Blackham have turned to when they have concluded […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 11 Thomas Aquinas and his Effect on Art and HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? Episode 2: THE MIDDLES AGES (Feature on artist Tony Oursler )

___________________________________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: _______________- _________ _______________________ Size of this preview: 560 × 599 pixels. Other resolutions: 224 × 240 pixels | 449 × 480 pixels | 561 × 600 pixels | 718 × 768 pixels | 957 × 1,024 pixels | 2,024 × 2,165 pixels. Original file ‎(2,024 × 2,165 pixels, file size: 392 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons. Information from its description page […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 10 David Douglas Duncan (Feature on artist Georges Rouault )

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Francis Schaeffer: How Should We Then Live? (Full-Length Documentary) Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000 years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” , episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”, episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”, episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” , episode 6 “The Scientific […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 9 Jasper Johns (Feature on artist Cai Guo-Qiang )

____________________________________ Episode 8: The Age Of Fragmentation Published on Jul 24, 2012 Dr. Schaeffer’s sweeping epic on the rise and decline of Western thought and Culture ___________________ In ART AND THE BIBLE  Francis Schaeffer observed, “Modern art often flattens man out and speaks in great abstractions; But as Christians, we see things otherwise. Because God […]

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Was Antony Flew the most prominent atheist of the 20th century?

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Antony Flew on God and Atheism

Published on Feb 11, 2013

Lee Strobel interviews philosopher and scholar Antony Flew on his conversion from atheism to deism. Much of it has to do with intelligent design. Flew was considered one of the most influential and important thinker for atheism during his time before his death (he’s a much better thinker than Richard Dawkins too – even when he was an atheist). His conversion to God-belief has caused an uproar among atheists. They have done all they can to lessen the impact of his famous conversion by shamelessly suggesting he’s too old, senile and mentally deranged to understand logic and science anymore.

News on Antony Flew’s conversion:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1e4FU…

Interview and discussion with Antony Flew:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53REH…

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Does Belief in God Make Sense in Light of Tsunamis? William Lane Craig vs. A.C. Grayling

Published on Aug 14, 2013

Date: 2005
Location: Oxford Union, University of Oxford (audio replayed July 5, 2011 on Unbelievable? Premier Christian Radio)

Christian debater: William Lane Craig
[New] Atheist debater: A.C. Grayling

For William Lane Craig: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/
For A.C. Grayling: http://www.acgrayling.com/
To purchase this debate: http://apps.biola.edu/apologetics-sto…

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The Kalam Cosmological Argument (Scientific Evidence) (Henry Schaefer, PhD)

Published on Jun 11, 2012

Scientist Dr. Henry “Fritz” Schaefer gives a lecture on the cosmological argument and shows how contemporary science backs it up.

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It was my view in 1994 when I started corresponding with Antony Flew that he was the most well known and respected atheist scholar of the 20th century.

Roy Abraham Varghese has stated:

It is not too much to say that within the last hundred years, no mainstream philosopher has developed the kind of systematic, comprehensive, original, and influential exposition of atheism that is to be found in Antony Flew’s fifty years of antitheological writings. (ix)

Part One: Antony Flew sought to make the best case for atheism

01/01/08

by Denyse O’Leary
ARN correspondentAntony Flew, 84, is the author of over 30 professional philosophical works. His Theology and Falsification, first read in 1950 to the Oxford University Socratic Club chaired by CS Lewis, was very widely circulated. Flew, throughout his long life, sought the best reasons for atheism that he could find, and then, in his 80s, decided that it all wasn’t really working – but mainly because of the evidence from science.Roy Abraham Varghese, who had organized philosophical symposia since 1985, at most of which Flew made the case for atheism, describes the significance of his 2004 change of mind thus:

It is not too much to say that within the last hundred years, no mainstream philosopher has developed the kind of systematic, comprehensive, original, and influential exposition of atheism that is to be found in Antony Flew’s fifty years of antitheological writings. (ix)

One needs to look back to such 18th and 19th century figures as David Hume or Friedrich Nietzsche for anything like the depth of Flew’s work.

There were, of course, many other 20th century atheist thinkers. But Varghese argues that thinkers like Ayer, Sartre, Camus, Heidegger, Rorty, and Derrida differed from Flew in that they offered systems of thought, one of whose byproducts was atheism.

Essentially, they were saying, my system is right – oh, and by the way, there’s no God. But that means that you must buy into the system to get the atheism. And if you come to doubt the system, why believe the atheism?

Flew’s God & Philosophy and The Presumption of Atheism took a different tack. They provide arguments against theism (belief in God) that do not depend on buying into a system but follow from logical assumptions. For example, in God and Philosophy, Flew argued that God is an incoherent concept and in The Presumption of Atheism, he argued that the burden of proof lies on theism, and that atheism should be the default position meanwhile. These are much stronger arguments and harder to counter because they do not depend on the task of undermining a system (which, in the case of Nietzsche and Derrida, for example, may be quite easy to do). Flew’s arguments and assumptions forced theists to grapple seriously with why they believe as they do. Varghese believes that the challenge that Flew provided had the unintended effect of revitalizing philosophical theism.

Varghese is, by contrast, sharply dismissive of the “new atheists,” Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Lewis Wolpert, Victor Stenger, and Sam Harris (xvi-xvii), of whom he writes,

The authors, for the most part, sound like hellfire-and-brimstone preachers warning us of dire retribution, even of apocalypse, if we do not repent of our wayward beliefs and associated practices. There is no room for ambiguity or subtlety. It’s black and white. Either you are with us all the way or one with the enemy. Even eminent thinkers who express some sympathy for the other side are denounced as traitors. The evangelists themselves are courageous souls preaching their message in the face of imminent martyrdom.

But when it comes to seriously engaging the intellectual arguments for the existence of God, the new atheists are AWOL in his view.

In The Spiritual Brain, Mario Beauregard and I similarly noted a general decline in the quality of thought in atheism in recent years, which – it seems to me – curiously parallels the decline in Christian thought noted by Mark Noll in The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. Often the best that the new atheists can do is to come up with some harebrained theory of how religion might have been passed on from our ancient ancestors in our selfish genes. Now that the human genome has been mapped, it might be a good idea to declare a moratorium on all such theorizing unless the theorist can point to the specific genes about which the claim is made, and demonstrate the effect unambiguously.

Too much certainty is bad for us, apparently. Life should be an adventure.

Varghese is particularly hard on Richard Dawkins, accusing him of being “patently dishonest” in his description of Albert Einstein’s views. More on that later, from Flew.

He also writes,

Dawkins, in fact, belongs to the same peculiar club of popular science writers as Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov from a previous generation. These popularizers saw themselves not simply as scribes, but as high priests. Like Dawkins, they took on themselves the task not just of educating the public on the findings of science, but also of deciding what it is permissible for the scientific faithful to believe on matters metaphysical. But let us be clear here. Many of the greatest scientists saw a direct connection between their scientific work and their affirmation of a “superior mind,” the Mind of God. Explain it how you will, but this is a plain fact that the popularizers with their own agendas cannot be allowed to hide. (xxiii-xxiv)

Flew is far and away atheism’s best and most consistent shot. A serious intellectual theist might merely dismiss Dawkins as a shrill hatemonger but he must grapple with Flew.

That is, until the day Flew turned around and said, there Is a God . Now let us look at how he came to say that.

Next: Part Two: Following the argument wherever it leads

Toronto-based Canadian journalist Denyse O’Leary (www.designorchance.com) is the author of the multiple award-winning By Design or by Chance? (Augsburg Fortress 2004), an overview of the intelligent design controversy. She was named CBA Canada’s Recommended Author of the Year in 2005 and is co-author, with Montreal neuroscientist Mario Beauregard, of the The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul  (Harper 2007).

Send mail to GButner@gmail.com with questions or comments about this web site.
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Last modif ed: January 01, 2014

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY “The Power of the Market” episode of Free to Choose in 1990 by Milton Friedman (Part 3)

Milton Friedman The Power of the Market 3-5

How can we have personal freedom without economic freedom? That is why I don’t understand why socialists who value individual freedoms want to take away our economic freedoms.  I wanted to share this info below with you from Milton Friedman who has influenced me greatly over the last 30 plus years. Here is part three.

Two hundred years ago in Scotland, Adam Smith taught at the University of Glasgow. His brilliant book, The Wealth Of Nations, was based on the lectures he gave here.The basic principles underlying the free market, as Adam Smith taught them to his students in this University, are really very simple. Look at this lead pencil, there is not a single person in the world who could make this pencil. Remarkable statement? Not at all. The wood from which it’s made, for all I know, comes from a tree that was cut down in the State of Washington. To cut down that tree, it took a saw. To make the saw, it took steel. To make the steel, it took iron ore. This black center, we call it lead but it’s really compressed graphite, I am not sure where it comes from but I think it comes from some mines in South America. This red top up here, the eraser, a bit of rubber, probably comes from Malaya, where the rubber tree isn’t even native. It was imported from South America by some businessman with the help of the British government. This brass feral __ I haven’t the slightest idea where it came from or the yellow paint or the paint that made the black lines __ or the glue that holds it together. Literally thousands of people cooperated to make this pencil. People who don’t speak the same language; who practice different religions; who might hate one another if they ever met. When you go down to the store and buy this pencil, you are, in effect, trading a few minutes of your time for a few seconds of the time of all of those thousands of people. What brought them together and induced them to cooperate to make this pencil? There was no Commissar sending out orders from some central office. It was the magic of the price system __ the impersonal operation of prices that brought them together and got them to cooperate to make this pencil so that you could have it for a trifling sum.That is why the operation of the free market is so essential. Not only to promote productive efficiency, but even more, to foster harmony and peace among the peoples of the world.These people are crossing between two very different societies. This is Lo Wool, the official border crossing point between China and Hong Kong. Nowadays there’s a considerable amount of traffic at this border. People cross a little more freely than they use to. Many people from Hong Kong trade in China and the market has helped bring the two countries closer together, but the barriers between them are still very real. On this side of the border, people are free not only in the marketplace, but in all their lives. They are free to say what they want, to write what they want, to do pretty much as they please. Not so over there.That is why people in China who cannot get permission to leave go to desperate lengths to escape. They risk their lives in the process. Many lose their lives, but that doesn’t keep others from following. Some are attracted by the higher material standard of life in Hong Kong, but more by the natural human desire to be free.

The people who get official permission to leave China are fortunate. They are going to be able to enjoy the benefits of the economic freedom they will find in Hong Kong. More important, that will give them a much wider freedom.

Human and political freedom has never existed and cannot exist without a large measure of economic freedom. Those of us who have been so fortunate as to have been born in a free society tend to take freedom for granted __ to regard it as the natural state of mankind __ it is not. It is a rare and precious thing. Most people throughout history, most people today have lived in conditions of tyranny and misery, not of freedom and prosperity. The clearest demonstration of how much people value freedom is the way they vote with their feet when they have no other way to vote.

Of course, many of the people who pour into Hong Kong will end up in conditions that most of us in the West would find appalling. Hong Kong is very far from utopia. It has its slums, its crime, its desperately poor people. But the people are free. That’s after all, why so many of them have come here, despite having to live in leaky house boats in one of Hong Kong’s many small harbors. Here they have the freedom and the opportunity to better themselves, to improve their lot, and many succeed. There’s appalling poverty in Hong Kong, it’s true, but the conditions of the people have been getting better over time. They’re far better off now than they were when they first came across the border from China. And that poverty, appalling to us, because we’re accustomed to much higher standards of life, is not poverty as viewed by most of the people in the world. It’s the poverty to which they would aspire. A state of affairs they would like to achieve.

There is an enormous amount of poverty in the world everywhere. There is no system that’s perfect. There is no system that’s going to eliminate completely poverty in whatever sense. The question is, which system has the greatest chance? Which is the best arrangement for enabling poor people to improve their life? On that, the evidence of history speaks with a single voice. I do not know any exception to the proposition that if you compare like with like, the freer the system, the better off the ordinary poor people have been.

Ask yourself what it is that assures these garment workers in Hong Kong a good wage; not high by Western standards; but high enough to enable them to live far better than most people in the world. It is not government or trade union, these workers do well because there is competition for their labor and skills.

When a businessman faces trouble, a market threatens to disappear, or a new competitor arises, there are two things he can do. He can turn to the government for a tariff or quota or some other restriction on competition, or he can adjust and adapt. In Hong Kong the first option is closed. Hong Kong is too dependent on foreign trade so that the government has simply had to adopt a policy of complete noninterference. That’s tough on some individuals, but it is extremely healthy for the society as a whole. Only the businessmen who can adapt, who are flexible and adjustable survive and they create good employment opportunities for the rest.

The complete absence of tariffs or any other restrictions on trade is one of the main reasons why Hong Kong has been able to provide such rapidly rising standard of life for its people. Even Communist China recognizes Hong Kong’s success, it set up shop here and now excepts the universal symbol of capitalism. The Bank of China, the official bank of Communist China is the largest bank in Hong Kong. There’s no doubt that Communist China recognizes the power of the market.

In all this, the government of Hong Kong has played an important part, not only by what it has done, but as much by what it has refrained from doing. It has made sure that laws are enforced and contracts honored. It has provided the conditions in which a free market can work. Most importantly, it has not tried to direct the economic activities of the colony.

No government official is telling these people what to do. They are free to buy from whom they want, to sell to whom they want, to work for whom they want. Sometimes it looks like chaos and so it is, but underneath it’s highly organized by the impersonal forces of a free marketplace. The impersonal forces of a free marketplace at work back here in the United States, prices are the key. The prices that people are willing to pay for products determines what’s produced. The prices that have to be paid for raw materials, for the wages of labor, and so on, determine the cheapest way to produce these things.

In addition, these self same prices, the wages of labor, the interest on capital, and so on, determine how much each person has to spend on the market. It’s tempting to try to separate this final function of prices from the other two. To think that some how or other you can use prices to transmit the information about what should be produced and how it should be produced, without using those prices to determine how much each person gets. Indeed, government activity over the past few decades has been devoted to little else. But that’s a very serious mistake. If what people get is not going to be determined on what they produce, how they produce it, on how successfully they work, what incentive is there for them to act in accordance with the information that is transmitted. There is only one alternative: force __ some people telling other people what to do.

The fundamental principal of the free society is voluntary cooperation. The economic market, buying and selling, is one example. But it’s only one example. Voluntary cooperation is far broader than that.

Open letter to President Obama (Part 569) People will move when you raise the taxes too much!!!!

Open letter to President Obama (Part 569)

(Emailed to White House on 7-29-13.)

President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here.

The federal government debt is growing so much that it is endangering us because if things keep going like they are now we will not have any money left for the national defense because we are so far in debt as a nation. We have been spending so much on our welfare state through food stamps and other programs that I am worrying that many of our citizens are becoming more dependent on government and in many cases they are losing their incentive to work hard because of the welfare trap the government has put in place. Other nations in Europe have gone down this road and we see what mess this has gotten them in. People really are losing their faith in big government and they want more liberty back. It seems to me we have to get back to the founding  principles that made our country great.  We also need to realize that a big government will encourage waste and corruptionThe recent scandals in our government have proved my point. In fact, the jokes you made at Ohio State about possibly auditing them are not so funny now that reality shows how the IRS was acting more like a monster out of control. Also raising taxes on the job creators is a very bad idea too. The Laffer Curve clearly demonstrates that when the tax rates are raised many individuals will move their investments to places where they will not get taxed as much.

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People will move when you raise the taxes too much!!!!

I feel sorry for the people of California.  They’re in a state that faces a very bleak future.

And why does the Golden State have a not-so-golden outlook?

Because interest groups have effective control of state and local political systems and they use their power to engage in massive rip-offs of taxpayers. One of the main problems is that there’s a bloated government workforce that gets wildly overcompensated. Here are some staggering examples.

A state nurse getting $331,000 of annual compensation.

A county administrator getting $423,000 pensions.

A state psychiatrist getting $822,000 of annual compensation.

Cops that get $188,000 of annual compensation.

A city manager getting $800,000 of annual compensation.

But overpaid bureaucrats are not the only problem. California politicians are experts at wasting money in other ways, such as the supposedly high-speed rail boondoggle that was supposed to cost $33 billion and now has a price tag of $100 billion.

You may be thinking that I’ve merely provided a handful of anecdotes, so let’s recycle some numbers that I first shared back in 2010.

California state spending has outgrown the state’s tax base by 1.3 percentage points annually for 25 years. Simple arithmetic dictates that in lieu of constant tax increases, this perpetuates a deficit. From 1985 to 2009 state GDP in California grew by 5.5 percent per year, on average (not adjusted for inflation). Annual growth in state spending was 6.8 percent, on average.

In other words, California politicians have routinely violated my Golden Rule for good fiscal policy. And when government grows faster than the productive sector of the economy for an extended period of time, bad things are going to happen.

And those bad things can happen even faster when upper-income taxpayers can leave the state.

Walter Williams sarcastically suggested last year that California barricade the state to prevent emigration, reminiscent of the actions of totalitarian regimes such as East Germany.

But since state politicians fortunately don’t have that power, successful taxpayers can escape, and hundred of thousands of them have “voted with their feet” to flee to states such as Texas.

One recent example is NBA superstar, Dwight Howard, who left the Los Angeles Lakers for the Houston Rockets. There are probably several reasons that he decided to make the switch, but the Wall Street Journal opines on a very big reason why he’ll be happier in Texas. The WSJ starts by looking at Mr. Howard’s two options.

NBA labor agreement…allows the Lakers to offer Mr. Howard $117 million over five years, compared to a maximum of $88 million over four years in Houston.

That looks about even when you look at annual pay, with the Lakers offering $23.4 million per year and the Rockets offering $22 million per year, but there’s another very important factor.

…this picture looks a lot different once the tax man cometh: “Howard would pay nearly $12 million in California tax over the four years if he signs with the Lakers, but only $600,000 in state tax should he sign with Houston. This means that a four-year deal with Houston would actually yield an additional $8 million in after-tax income.” California has the highest top rate for personal income in the nation, while Texas has no state income tax.

Some of you may be thinking this is no big deal. After all, the Lakers will sign somebody to take Dwight Howard’s place and that person will also get a huge salary.

That’s true, though Lakers fans probably aren’t happy that they’re destined to be a middle-of-the-pack team. The bigger point, though, is that there are tens of thousands of other high-paid people who can leave the state and there’s no automatic replacement. And many of them already have escaped.

Including very well-paid Chevron workers.

Ramirez California Promised LandNow that California’s moochers and looters have imposed an even higher top tax rate of 13.3 percent, expect that exodus to continue. Other pro athletes are looking to escape, andeven famous leftists are thinking about fleeing.

In other words, Governor Jerry Brown can impose high tax rates, but he can’t force people to earn income in California. I don’t know whether to call this “the revenge of the Laffer Curve” or “a real life example of Atlas Shrugs,” but I know that California will be a very bleak place in 20 years.

P.S. Here’s the famous joke about California, Texas, and a coyote. And here’s an amusing picture of the California bureaucracy in (in)action.

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Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733, lowcostsqueegees@yahoo.com

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The primary reason Antony Flew has become a theist is that scientific evidence has convinced him that the origin of life required intelligent design!

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Robert Jastrow on God and the Big Bang

Published on Jun 26, 2012

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Discussion (3 of 3): Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas

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William Lane Craig vs Peter Atkins: “Does God Exist?”, University of Manchester, October 2011

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Making Sense of Faith and Science

Uploaded on May 16, 2008

Dr. H. Fritz Schaefer confronts the assertion that one cannot believe in God and be a credible scientist. He explains that the theistic world view of Bacon, Kepler, Pascal, Boyle, Newton, Faraday and Maxwell was instrumental in the rise of modern science itself. Presented as part of the Let There be Light series. Series: Let There Be Light [5/2003] [Humanities] [Show ID: 7338]

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The primary reason Antony Flew has become a theist is that scientific evidence has convinced him that the origin of life required intelligent design!

handsonheadscreaming

A Change of Mind for Antony Flew

Peter S. Williams

Professor Antony Flew, 81 years old, is: “a legendary British philosopher and atheist and has been an icon and champion for unbelievers for decades.”[1] In his most famous book, God and Philosophy, Flew concluded:

Though as always subject to correction by further evidence and further argument, that the universe itself is ultimate; and, hence, that whatever science may from time to time hold to be the most fundamental laws of nature, must, equally provisionally, be taken as the last words in any series of answers to questions as to why things are as they are.[2]

In other words, nature (probably) explains everything about itself that is explicable, and so there is no need to believe in any sort of Creator. One can read several debates in which Flew argues for atheism against Christian philosophers such as William Lane Craig, Gary R. Habermas and Terry L. Miethe.[3] In recent years, Flew has been called: ‘the world’s most influential philosophical atheist.’[4] Writing on the Secular Web, Richard Carrier acknowledges Flew as, ‘one of the most renowned atheists of the 20th Century, even making the shortlist of “Contemporary Atheists” at About.com.’[5]

The shortlist needs to be updated.[6] Flew has changed his mind, and has let it be known that he is now a theist (at least in the broad sense of the term) because, ‘the case for an Aristotelian God who has the characteristics of power and also intelligence, is now much stronger than it ever was before.’[7]

Flew says that he simply, ‘had to go where the evidence leads.’[8] His atheism truly was provisional and ‘subject to correction by further evidence and further argument …’[9] ‘It speaks very well of Professor Flew’s honesty,’ observes America’s pre-eminent philosopher of religion, Alvin Plantinga. ‘After all these years of opposing the idea of a Creator, he reverses his position on the basis of the evidence.’[10]

Flew’s change of mind is big news, ‘not only about his personal journey, but also about the persuasive power of the arguments modern theists have been using to challenge atheistic naturalism’[11], says philosopher Craig J. Hazen. Flew’s acknowledgement of theism was greeted with not a little scepticism by some of his former atheistic comrades.[12] In part, this scepticism has been fuelled by the fact that a rumour about Flew converting to Christianity hit the internet in 2001 and surfaced again in 2003. On each occasion, ‘Flew refuted the claim personally …’[13]This time, however, Flew has personally confirmed that he is a convert to theism (not Christian theism), and the story has been covered by major news organizations such as ABC News[14] and the BBC. If his new-found belief upsets people, well, ‘that’s too bad,’ says Flew. ‘My whole life has been guided by the principle of Plato’s Socrates: Follow the evidence, wherever it leads.’[15] As Jonathan Witt says, ‘Those who admired [Flew’s] intellect when he was an atheist should listen carefully to his reasoning now – for if a man suddenly becomes persona non grata for changing his mind, then the possibility of reasoned civil discourse withers.’[16]

Tracing the News

I first heard about Flew’s change of mind in June 2004, whilst attending the European Leadership Forum in Hungary. A number of well-placed sources said that Flew had recently come to believe in the existence of some kind of God, and that this shift in thinking was due in no small part to the kinds of arguments advanced by the Intelligent Design movement. Flew has since confirmed to The Associated Press that: ‘his current ideas have some similarity with American “intelligent design” theorists, who see evidence for a guiding force in the construction of the universe. He accepts Darwinian evolution but doubts it can explain the ultimate origins of life.’[17]

Then, in a letter to Philosophy Now magazine (Issue 47, August / September 2004, p. 22, cf. http://www.philosophynow.org), Flew pointed out, ‘the limits of the negative theological implications of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection.’[18]Quoting from Darwin, Flew noted that the theory of evolution by natural selection does not account for the origin of life, and observed that: ‘Probably Darwin himself believed that life was miraculously breathed into that primordial form of not always consistently reproducing life by God …’[19] Flew also said that:

The evidential situation of natural (as opposed to revealed) theology has been transformed in the more than fifty years since Watson and Crick won the Nobel Prize for their discovery of the double helix structure of DNA. It has become inordinately difficult even to begin to think about constructing a naturalistic theory of the evolution of that first reproducing organism.[20]

Flew recommended two books that tackle this issue from a theistic perspective. The first book was Roy Abraham Varghese’s The Wonderful World: A Journey from Modern Science to the Mind of God (Fountain Hills, Arizona: Tyr Publishing, 2003) [10f. http://www.thewonderoftheworld.com/%5D. The second book was Gerald L Schroeder’sThe Hidden Face of God: Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth (Touchstone, New York 2001).

Flew ended with what the editor of Philosophy Now called his ‘tantalising comments’ by writing:

Anyone who should happen to want to know what I myself now believe will have to wait until the publication, promised for early 2005, by Prometheus of Amherst, NY, of the final edition of my God and Philosophy with a new introduction of it as ‘an historical relic’. That book was a study of the arguments for Christian theism, first published in 1966 … My own commitment then as a philosopher who was also a religious unbeliever was and remains that of Plato’s Socrates: ‘We must follow the argument wherever it leads.’

Yours, Antony Flew.

If Flew’s letter didn’t actually say he had come to believe in God, it was a very heavy hint.

On 9 October 2004, American philosopher J P Moreland noted Flew’s conversion to belief in God on national television, whilst arguing for theism in an episode of Faith Under Fire, hosted by journalist and Christian apologist Lee Strobel.[21]

Following up the Varghese connection threw more light on Flew’s thinking. In his review of Varghese’s book, Flew refers to a point ‘made in an Introduction for a possible new and final edition of my God and Philosophy‘:

First, a substantial case of agreement. Richard Dawkins has famously asserted that ‘Natural selection … the blind automatic process which Darwin has discovered … we now know is the explanation for the existence and apparently purposeful form of all life.’ Against that claim I pointed out, after quoting a significant sentence from the fourteenth and final chapter of The Origin of Species, that one place where, until a satisfactory naturalistic explanation has been developed, there would appear to be room for an Argument to Design is at the first emergence of living from non-living matter. And, unless that first living matter already possessed the capacity to reproduce itself genetically, there will still be room for a second argument to Design until a satisfactory explanation is found for its acquisition of that capacity. You have in your book deployed abundant evidence indicating that it is likely to be a very long time before such naturalistic explanations are developed, if indeed there ever could be.

Our disagreements begin with any shift from the God of natural theology to the God of a Revelation. For the writings of Aristotle, which ultimately supplied Aquinas with most of his arguments for the existence of his God, contain no definition of the word ‘God’ and no concept of an omniscient and omnipotent personal Being unceasingly observing human thought and human conduct, much less a concept of a Being demanding our obedience and threatening us with an eternity of extreme torture for what He insists on perceiving as our unnecessitated and unforgiven disobedience. So the five Aristotelian arguments which Aquinas famously offered as proofs of the existence of the Christian God are surely today more appropriately to be seen as arguments for the existence of a Spinozistic or Deistic ‘God of Nature’ who or which leaves Nature and its creatures (including its human creatures) entirely to their own devices. The nearest which Aristotle ever came to the God or Gods of Christianity or Islam was when in the Nicomachean Ethics (X, viii, 8) he argued that ‘if as is generally believed, [not God but] the gods exercise some superintendence over human affairs, it is reasonable to suppose that they take pleasure in that part of man which is best and most akin to themselves, namely the intellect, and that they recompense with their favours those who esteem and honour this most because these care for the things dear to themselves and act rightly and nobly. Now it is clear that all these attributes belong most of all to the wise man. He therefore is most beloved by the gods, and, if so, he is naturally most happy.’ Antony Flew.[22]

While Flew restricts the design argument to situations where no ‘satisfactory naturalistic explanation has been developed’ (something that not all design argument advocates, let alone all theists, would agree with), it is significant to find Flew arguing against Dawkins that natural selection does not explain the existence of life, affirming that there is today no satisfactory naturalistic explanation for the first emergence of living from non-living matter, or for the capacity of life to reproduce itself genetically, and observing that there isn’t even any sign of such an explanation on the horizon ‘if indeed there ever could be.’

In a recording of the 2004 symposium ‘Has Science Discovered God’, organised byThe Institute for Metascientific Research, Professor Flew says: ‘What I think the DNA material has done is show that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinarily diverse elements together … The enormous complexity by which the results were achieved look to me like the work of intelligence.’[23]

Together with an increasing number of scholars, Flew believes that the prospects of a satisfactory naturalistic explanation for certain facets of biological reality are dim (‘It has become inordinately difficult even to begin to think about constructing a naturalistic theory of the evolution of that first reproducing organism’).[24] He also thinks that the best explanation of the evidence is to posit some form of intelligent design, even ‘the God of natural theology’ (Flew only parts company from Varghese, ‘with any shift from the God of natural theology to the God of a Revelation’).

However, while it was clear from Flew’s review of Varghese that he now believes in a God, it was still unclear exactly what sort of God Flew has in mind. One source reported that Flew had described himself to a mutual contact as a ‘minimal deist’ (a deist is usually defined as someone who believes in a God who created the universe but then left creation to its own devices).

Pilgrimage from Atheism to Theism

Clarity on the question of the nature of Flew’s theism is provided by an exclusive and wide ranging interview Flew has given to Philosophia Christi, one of the top-circulating philosophy of religion journals in the world.[25] The interviewer was Christian philosopher and historian Dr. Gary R. Habermas, a Professor of Philosophy and Theology who is on the editorial board of Philosophia Christi, and a long standing personal friend of Flew: ‘despite their years of disagreement on the existence of God.’[26]

Philosophia Christi reveals that ‘certain philosophical and scientific considerations were causing [Flew] to do some serious rethinking’[27] on the God question as long ago as January 2003: ‘He characterised his position as that of atheism standing in tension with several huge question marks.’[28] Then, ‘in January 2004, Flew informed Habermas that he had indeed become a theist. While still rejecting the concept of special revelation, whether Christian, Jewish or Islamic, nonetheless he had concluded that theism was true.’[29]

The title of the article presenting Flew’s interview with Habermas is: ‘My Pilgrimage from Atheism to Theism: An Exclusive Interview with Former British Atheist Professor Antony Flew.’ So what of ‘minimal deism’? Asked whether his view might be called deism Flew replies:

Yes, absolutely right. What Deists, such as the Mr. Jefferson who drafted the American Declaration of Independence, believed was that, while reason, mainly in the form of arguments to design, assures us that there is a God, there is no room either for any supernatural revelation of that God or for any transactions between that God and individual human beings.[30]

It seems that Flew is prepared to accept the label ‘Deist’ on the grounds that deists believe in God but neither revelation nor relational transactions between God and individuals concerning salvation or any afterlife. Indeed, Flew says: ‘I am open to … but not enthusiastic about potential revelation from God.’[31]

Flew also clarifies his comments about Spinoza’s God made in his review of Varghese: ‘for me the most important thing about Spinoza is not what he says but what he does not say. He does not say that God has any preferences either about or any intentions concerning human behaviour or about the eternal destinies of human beings.’[32] Hence Flew is not implying, with some interpreters of Spinoza, that God is pantheistic (i.e. that everything is God).

The ‘minimal’ part of Flew’s deism may stem from the fact that Flew is not committed to the goodness of God, being unconvinced by the moral argument for God,[33] and noting that ‘what Aristotle had to say about justice … was very much a human idea’[34] that had nothing to do with God. Regarding J P Moreland’s use of Flew’s change of mind in support of belief in the supernatural, Flew has said: ‘my God is not his … Mine is emphatically not good (or evil) or interested in human conduct.’[35] Flew reports how, ‘as a schoolboy of fifteen years, it first appeared to me that the thesis that the universe was created and is sustained by a Being of infinite power and goodness is flatly incompatible with the occurrence of massive undeniable and undenied evil in that universe …’[36] Flew’s belief in a God who is not defined as being infinitely good is compatible with his belief that the logical problem of evil is a sound argument because that argument only claims to rule out the existence of a God who has infinite power and goodness (and knowledge).[37]

However, Flew’s position is not deistic if one defines deism in terms of rejecting the belief that God has acted as a primary cause (as opposed to acting via secondary causes) within creation. This is because Flew now posits God as the best explanation for the origin of evolvable life. He does not accept the view of theistic evolutionists that nature has the capacity to produce evolvable life-forms using only its God-given resources. Flew says that naturalistic efforts have never succeeded in producing ‘a plausible conjecture as to how any of these complex molecules might have evolved from simple entities.’[38] Flew observes: ‘I think that the most impressive arguments for God’s existence are those that are supported by recent scientific discoveries … I think the argument to Intelligent Design is enormously stronger than it was when I first met it.’[39] Flew returns to his critique of Richard Dawkins:

It seems to me that Richard Dawkins constantly overlooks the fact that Darwin himself, in the fourteenth chapter of The Origin of Species, pointed out that his whole argument began with a being which already possessed reproductive powers. This is the creature the evolution of which a truly comprehensive theory of evolution must give some account. Darwin himself was well aware that he had not produced such an account. It now seems to me that the finding of more than fifty years of DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design.[40]

Flew also tentatively mentions that: ‘There does seem to be a reason for a First Cause’,[41] which implies ‘creation “in the beginning”‘[42], although he is ‘not at all sure how much we have to explain here.’[43]

Conclusion

It is now clear that Flew has become a philosophical theist – someone who believes in the existence of a God (a transcendent intelligence of perhaps infinite power but not infinite goodness) who created the cosmos and has acted within it, although not to produce any supernatural revelation, or to interact with humans on an individual basis concerning any scheme of salvation or any sort of life after death. The primary reason Flew has become a theist is that scientific evidence has convinced him that the origin of life required intelligent design. In Flew’s assessment, the scientific data indicates that one cannot argue, as he once argued, that ‘it does not seem … that there is any good evidence [to] postulate anything behind or beyond this natural universe’[44] and that ‘the most fundamental laws of nature, must … be taken as the last words in any series of answers to questions as to why things are as they are.’[45] Instead, Flew now argues that there is good reason to ‘postulate something behind or beyond the natural universe’ precisely because the ‘fundamental laws of nature’ cannot ‘be taken as the last word in all series of answers to questions about why things are as they are’. Specifically, this can not be done with regard to the origin of life.

On the one hand, says Flew, naturalistic efforts have failed to provide ‘a plausible conjecture as to how any of these complex molecules might have evolved from simple entities’,[46] and, ‘It has become inordinately difficult even to begin to think about constructing a naturalistic theory of the evolution of that first reproducing organism.’[47] On the other hand, ‘The enormous complexity by which the results were achieved looks to me like the work of intelligence.’[48] As Jonathan Witt comments:

Such evidence has drawn Flew from atheism to a non-specific theism. He isn’t ready to accept the God of a particular religion, nor does he believe in an afterlife. The change is, nevertheless, significant. He no longer inhabits a worldview where the miraculous and the irrational are synonymous.

The amazing complexity of even the simplest cell; the information-bearing properties of DNA; the exquisite fine-tuning of the laws and constants of physics that make organic life possible … these signs of intelligence do not compel our belief in a God who thundered from Mount Sinai, lay in a manger or hung from a cross. But the evidence does have metaphysical implications, drawing us to a still place of wonder where such notions can be reasonably entertained.[49]

Recommended Reading

Greg Bahnsen, ‘The Problem of Evil

Joe Carter, ‘Antony Flew and the Flight from Atheism: Part I

Joe Carter, ‘Antony Flew and the Flight from Atheism: Part II

Catholic World News, ‘Famed Atheist Concedes: Evidence Points to God

Kelly James Clark, ‘I Believe in God, the Father, Almighty

William Lane Craig, ‘The Indispensability of Theological Meta-Ethical Foundations for Morality

Antony Flew, ‘Letter From Antony Flew on Darwinism and Theology’, Philosophy Now, (Issue 47, August/September 2004, p. 22)

Craig J. Hazen, Gary R. Habermas & Antony Flew, ‘My Pilgrimage from Atheism to Theism: An Exclusive Interview with Former British Atheist Professor Antony Flew

Stephen C. Meyer, ‘DNA and Other Designs

Roy Abraham Varghese, The Wonder of the World

Peter S. Williams, ‘Intelligent Design Theory – An Overview

Michael J. Behe, William A. Dembski & Stephen C. Meyer, Science and Evidence for Design in the Universe, (Proceedings of the Wethersfield Institute, 2000)

Antony Flew, God and Philosophy, (Prometheus, 2005)

R. Douglas Geivett & Gary R. Habermas (ed.’s), In Defence of Miracles, (Apollos, 1997) (Includes a chapter by Antony Flew arguing against miracles and a response by Norman L. Geisler)

Gary R. Habermas & Antony Flew, Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?: The Resurrection Debate, (Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2003)

Roy Abraham Varghese, The Wonder of the World: A Journey from Modern Science to the Mind of God, (Fountain Hills, Arizona: Tyr Publishing, 2003)

Stan W. Wallace (ed.), Does God Exist? The Craig-Flew Debate, (Ashgate, 2003)

Footnotes

[1] Craig J. Hazen, Preface to the pre-publication release of ‘My Pilgrimage from Atheism to Theism: An Exclusive Interview with Former British Atheist Professor Antony Flew

[2] Antony Flew, God and Philosophy, second edition, (Hutchinson of London, 1966), p. 194.

[3] cf. Stan W. Wallace (ed.), Does God ExistThe Craig-Flew Debate, (Ashgate, 2003); Gary R. Habermas & Antony Flew, Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?: The Resurrection Debate, (Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2003); Terry L. Miethe & Antony Flew, Does God Exist?, (New York: Harper Collins, 1991)

[4] Comment quoted by Gary R. Habermas, ‘My Pilgrimage from Atheism to Theism: An Exclusive Interview with Former British Atheist Professor Antony Flew’, op cit.

[5] Richard Carrier, ‘Antony Flew Considers God… Sort Of

[6] cf. ‘Contemporary Atheists

[7] Antony Flew, ‘My Pilgrimage from Atheism to Theism: An Exclusive Interview with Former British Atheist Professor Antony Flew’ , op cit.

[8] ibid.

[9] Antony Flew, God and Philosophy, second edition, (Hutchinson of London, 1966), p. 194.

[10] Alvin Plantinga, ‘World’s Most Famous Atheist Accepts Existence of God, Cites Modern Science!

[11] Hazen, op cit.

[12] cf. Austin Cline, ‘Antony Flew leaving Atheism

[13] Carrier, op cit. cf. ‘Sorry to Disappoint, but I’m Still an Atheist!‘ (2001)

[14] cf. ABC News, ‘Famous Atheist Now Believes in God & abcnews.go.com

[15] ABC News, ‘Famous Atheist Now Believes In God

[16] Jonathan Witt, ‘Entertaining the notion of a place of wonder

[17] ABC News, op cit.

[18] ‘Letter From Antony Flew on Darwinism and Theology’, Philosophy Now

[19] ibid.

[20] ibid.

[21] cf. www.faithunderfire.com

[22] www.thewonderoftheworld.com

[23] ‘World’s Most Famous Atheist Accepts Existence of God, Cites Modern Science’, op cit.

[24] cf. www.discovery.orgwww.arn.org/docs2/news/100scientists0929.htm

[25] cf. www.biola.edu/philchristi

[26] Hazen, Preface to the pre-publication release of ‘My Pilgrimage from Atheism to Theism: An Exclusive Interview with Former British Atheist Professor Antony Flew’, op cit.

[27] ‘My Pilgrimage from Atheism to Theism: An Exclusive Interview with Former British Atheist Professor Antony Flew.’

[28] ‘My Pilgrimage from Atheism to Theism: An Exclusive Interview with Former British Atheist Professor Antony Flew’, op cit.

[29] ibid.

[30] Flew, ibid.

[31] ibid.

[32] ibid.

[33] cf. William Lane Craig, ‘The Indispensability of Theological Meta-Ethical Foundations for Morality

[34] Flew, op cit.

[35] Carrier, op cit.

[36] Flew, op cit.

[37] On the problem of evil, cf. Greg Bahnsen, ‘The Problem of Evil‘; Kelly James Clark, ‘I Believe in God, the Father, Almighty‘; Gregory Koukl, ‘Evil as Evidence for God‘ (free registration necessary); Peter Kreeft, The Problem of Evil; Daniel Howard-Snyder (ed.), The Evidential Argument from Evil, (Bloomington: Indiana University, 1996); John Perry, Dialogue on Good, Evil, and the Existence of God, (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1999)

[38] Antony Flew, ‘God and the Big Bang’, (Lecture, 2000).

[39] Flew, ‘My Pilgrimage from Atheism to Theism: An Exclusive Interview with Former British Atheist Professor Antony Flew’, op cit.

[40] ibid.

[41] ibid.

[42] ibid.

[43] ibid.

[44] Antony Flew, in debate, quoted by ‘World’s Most Famous Atheist Accepts Existence of God, Cites Modern Science’, op cit.

[45] Antony Flew, God and Philosophy, second edition, (Hutchinson of London, 1966), p. 194.

[46] Flew, ‘My Pilgrimage from Atheism to Theism: An Exclusive Interview with Former British Atheist Professor Antony Flew’ , op cit.

[47] Antony Flew, Philosophy Now, Issue 47, August/September 2004, p. 22.

[48] Antony Flew, quoted by ‘World’s Most Famous Atheist Accepts Existence of God, Cites Modern Science’, op cit.

[49] Witt, op cit.

© 2005 Peter S. Williams
This article was written in March 2005, before Professor Flew’s death in April 2010

__________

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Dear Senator Pryor, here are some spending cut suggestions (“Thirsty Thursday”, Open letter to Senator Pryor)

Dear Senator Pryor, here are some spending cut suggestions (“Thirsty Thursday”, Open letter to Senator Pryor)

Senator Pryor pictured below:

Why do I keep writing and email Senator Pryor suggestions on how to cut our budget? I gave him hundreds of ideas about how to cut spending and as far as I can tell he has taken none of my suggestions. You can find some of my suggestions herehereherehere, hereherehereherehere, herehereherehereherehereherehereherehere,  here, and  here, and they all were emailed to him. In fact, I have written 13 posts pointing out reasons why I believe Senator Pryor’s re-election attempt will be unsuccessful. HERE I GO AGAIN WITH ANOTHER EMAIL I JUST SENT TO SENATOR PRYOR!!!

Dear Senator Pryor,

Why not pass the Balanced  Budget amendment? As you know that federal deficit is at all time high (1.6 trillion deficit with revenues of 2.2 trillion and spending at 3.8 trillion).

On my blog www.thedailyhatch.org . I took you at your word and sent you over 100 emails with specific spending cut ideas. (Actually there were over 160 emails with specific spending cut suggestions.) However, I did not see any of them in the recent debt deal that Congress adopted although you did respond to me several times. Now I am trying another approach. Every week from now on I will send you an email explaining different reasons why we need the Balanced Budget Amendment. It will appear on my blog on “Thirsty Thursday” because the government is always thirsty for more money to spend. Today I actually have included a great article below from the Heritage Foundation concerning an area of our federal budget that needs to be cut down to size. The funny thing about the Sequester and the 2.4% of cuts in future increases is that President Obama set these up and then he acted like the sky was falling in as the cartoons indicate in the newspapers.

IF YOU TRULY WANT TO CUT THE BUDGET AND BALANCE THE BUDGET THEN SUBMIT THESE POTENTIAL BUDGET CUTS PRESENTED BELOW!!

___________

The Founding Fathers did not want the federal government to grab power from local governments!!!!

July 22, 2013 at 10:05 am

Chris Kleponis/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom

Chris Kleponis/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom

The House of Representatives Appropriations Committee marked up the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2014 last week. While the bill still allocates too much funding for activities that are duplicative or inappropriate for the federal government to undertake, the committee did get something right: It eliminated funding for the failed Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS).

Created in the middle of President Bill Clinton’s first term, COPS promised to add 100,000 new state and local law enforcement officers on the streets by 2000. Research by The Heritage Foundation has demonstrated that COPS not only failed to add 100,000 additional officers to America’s streets but was ineffective at reducing crime.

State and local officials, not the federal government, are responsible for funding the staffing levels of police departments. By paying for the salaries of police officers, COPS funds the routine, day-to-day functions of police and fire departments. In Federalist No. 45, James Madison wrote:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.

When Congress subsidizes local police departments in this manner, it effectively reassigns to the federal government the powers and responsibilities that fall squarely within the expertise, historical control, and constitutional authority of state and local governments. The responsibility to combat ordinary crime at the local level belongs wholly and exclusively to state and local governments.

The COPS program has an extensive track record of poor performance and should be eliminated. These grants also unnecessarily perform functions that are the responsibility of state and local governments. For this particular program, the House Appropriations Committee made a fiscally wise decision that follows the wisdom of our founders and core principles of our government. When the bill is considered by the entire House, hopefully the majority of Representatives will exercise the same fiscal discipline.

Posted in Entitlements, Taxes & Spending [slideshow_deploy]
_______________The Balanced Budget Amendment is the only thing I can think of that would force Washington to cut spending. We have only a handful of balanced budgets in the last 60 years, so obviously what we are doing is not working. We are passing along this debt to the next generation. YOUR APPROACH HAS BEEN TO REJECT THE BALANCED BUDGET “BECAUSE WE SHOULD CUT THE BUDGET OURSELF,” WELL THEN HERE IS YOUR CHANCE!!!! SUBMIT THESE CUTS!!!!

Thank you for this opportunity to share my ideas with you.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, lowcostsqueegees@yahoo.com www.thedailyhatch.org, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733

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Open letter to President Obama (Part 568) Margaret Thatcher was an amazing leader

Open letter to President Obama (Part 568)

(Emailed to White House on 6-10-13.)

President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here. Milton Friedman and Margaret Thatcher were two of my heroes and I know that you can learn a great deal from their lives and their economic philosophies. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were both were influenced by Milton Friedman. I suggest checking out these episodes of Milton Friedman’s film series FREE TO CHOOSE: “The Failure of Socialism” and “What is wrong with our schools?”  and “Created Equal”  and  From Cradle to Grave, and – Power of the Market.

______________________

Margaret Thatcher was right about socialism when she said, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” That is exactly what we are seeing in Europe now and it will happen to the USA too if we don’t cut back on excessive government spending.

April 8, 2013 12:32PM

Thatcher: Anecdotes From a Biographer

Her greatness as a political leader aside, and her penetrating moral critique of socialism and communism (so closely intertwined with that greatness) also aside, Margaret Thatcher was almost infinitely quotable.  On the economic folly she fought so tenaciously: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”  On popularity: “If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.” On productiveness and the charitable instinct: “No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions; he had money as well.” On the hostile press: “If my critics saw me walking over the Thames they would say it was because I couldn’t swim.” And many others, some of the best collected at the U.K. Spectator.

If you have time to read only one longer Thatcher article today, you could do worse than this terrific, anecdote-filled 2011 Vanity Fair piece by her biographer Charles Moore. Like so many others, Moore is fascinated by Thatcher’s force of personality, which so often drew adjectives like “steely” and “indomitable.” Thatcher, like Ronald Reagan, was entirely willing to reinvent herself on a personal level more than once, in the “self-made” manner that is often seen as particularly American. Thus as she approached the world stage, she studied how to dress and speak the part, taking lessons (at the suggestion of Sir Laurence Olivier) from the speech coach at the National Theater.

Pro-intellectual, Thatcher was one of the first to spot the potential of think tanks:

Her greatest political mentor, Sir Keith Joseph, was almost perfect in her eyes, being intellectual, good-looking, Jewish, and upper-class [four categories she approved of]. … He diagnosed — and blamed himself for — a British postwar disease of socialism, state intervention, debauched currency, weakened incentives, and overly powerful trade unions. The Tories, he declared, had been complicit in all of this… They must devise a new strategy, he said, and he set up a think tank, called the Centre for Policy Studies, to do so. Margaret Thatcher became its vice chairman and his disciple.

Thatcher made many mistakes, but often learned from them and eventually revised her views, as when she concluded that she had been too enthusiastic about the project of European integration: “We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain only to see them re-imposed at a European level, with a European super-state exercising a new dominance from Brussels.”

“I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end,” Thatcher memorably remarked. And mostly she did, to the benefit of Britain and the world.

 

_________________

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733, lowcostsqueegees@yahoo.com

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Margaret Thatcher is one of my heroes and I have a three part series on her I am posting. “What We Can Learn from Margaret Thatcher,”By Sir Rhodes Boyson and Antonio Martino, Heritage Foundation, November 24, 1999, is an excellent article and here is a portion of it below: The Role of Ideas 6 The […]

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By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (1)