Monthly Archives: March 2016

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 105 A look at the BEATLES as featured in 7th episode of Francis Schaeffer film HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? Part C “Materialism, the philosophic base for Marxist-Leninism, gives no basis for the dignity or rights of man!” (Artist featured today is Peter Findley )

Communism is based on materialism but it captures the youth by talking a lot of the  rights of the individual but when it comes to power the rights of the individual disappears and it rules by force. Many followers of the Beatles got caught up by the NEW LEFT in the 1960’s.

Paul McCartney — Back In The USSR (Live in Kiev 2008)

Back In the U.S.S.R.
Oh, flew in from Miami Beach B.O.A.C.
Didn’t get to bed last night
On the way the paper bag was on my knee
Man I had a dreadful flight
I’m back in the U.S.S.R.
You don’t know how lucky you are boy
Back in the U.S.S.R. (Yeah)
Been away so long I hardly knew the place
Gee it’s good to be back home
Leave it till tomorrow to unpack my case
Honey disconnect the phone
I’m back in the U.S.S.R.
You don’t know how lucky you are boy
Back in the U.S.
Back in the U.S.
Back in the U.S.S.R.
Well the Ukraine girls really knock me out
They leave the West behind
And Moscow girls make me sing and shout
That Georgia’s always on my mind
Aw come on!
Ho yeah!
Ho yeah!
Ho ho yeah!
Yeah yeah!
Yeah I’m back in the U.S.S.R.
You don’t know how lucky you are boys
Back in the U.S.S.R.
Well the… Full lyrics on Goo

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small

The drug culture and the mentality that went with it had it’s own vehicle that crossed the frontiers of the world which were otherwise almost impassible by other means of communication. This record,  Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings. Later came psychedelic rock an attempt to find this experience without drugs. The younger people and the older ones tried drug taking but then turned to the eastern religions. Both drugs and the eastern religions seek truth inside one’s own head, a negation of reason. The central reason of the popularity of eastern religions in the west is a hope for a non-rational meaning to life and values. 

Francis Schaeffer below is holding the album Beatles’ album SGT PEP in the film series HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” in which he discusses the Beatles’ 1960’s generation and their search for meanings and values and that search included the leap into non-reason which included COMMUNISM for many young people. It was a leap into non-reason because even though there was much talk of individual rights the fact is that everywhere communism has been put in the freedoms of the individual were destroyed!!!!!

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The Beatles were good friends of Allen Ginsberg and Terry Southern and many others who were involved in the FREE SPEECH MOVEMENT in Berkeley in the 1960’s. The movement started off just being about FREE SPEECH, but then it turned quickly to the New Left and the Marxist-Leninist point of view. It was in this atmosphere in the mid-sixties that caused KARL MARX to be a logical choice to be on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s.

BED PEACE starring John Lennon & Yoko Ono

WHY WAS KARL MARX ON THE COVER? The answer is very simple. Back in Berkeley in 1964 there were the riots that broke out and the Free Speech Movement and this movement was encouraged later by John Lennon and Yoko as they spoke with the protesters by phone in the above video. Also Allen Ginsberg and Terry Southern were good friends with Paul McCartney and they were involved in the Free Speech Movement.  The movement started off just being about FREE SPEECH, but then it turned quickly to the New Left and the Marxist-Leninist point of view. It was in this atmosphere in the mid-sixties that caused Karl Marx to be a logical choice to be on the cover of SGT PEP.

1064 University of California, Berkeley

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

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Free Speech Movement leader Mario Savio, left, with folk singer Joan Baez on the University of California at Berkeley campus in 1964.

 

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Jean Genet, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Terry Southern Chicago, 1968

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Below Mario Savio, leader of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, speaks to assembled students

 

Allen Ginsberg and Paul McCartney playing “A Ballad of American Skeletons”

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On September 30, 1964, the first large-scale antiwar demonstration in the United States is staged at the University of California at Berkeley, by students and faculty opposed to the war. Nevertheless, polls showed that a majority of Americans supported President Lyndon Johnson’s policy on the war.  As I researched to find images to go with the story, I find that it was not just about the war but was about freedom of speech and civil rights.

In the fall of 1964 student activists at UC Berkeley, some of whom had traveled with the Freedom Riders and worked to register African American voters in Mississippi in the Freedom Summer project, had set up information tables on campus and were soliciting donations for civil rights causes.

In the fall of 1964 student activists at UC Berkeley, some of whom had traveled with the Freedom Riders and worked to register African American voters in Mississippi in the Freedom Summer project, had set up information tables on campus and were soliciting donations for civil rights causes.

On September 30 Mario Savio, Arthur Goldberg and Sandor Fuchs lead more than 500 students in protest outside the Presidents Office in Sproul Hall, demanding that they be able to exercise their constitutional rights to free speech. It was on this day that Savio would deliver his famous speech on the Multiversity

On September 30 Mario Savio, Arthur Goldberg and Sandor Fuchs lead more than 500 students in protest outside the Presidents Office in Sproul Hall, demanding that they be able to exercise their constitutional rights to free speech. It was on this day that Savio would deliver his famous speech on the Multiversity

Over 500 students would eventually occupy the Sproul building, before being met by anti-protests from numerous fraternities and other student groups. The conflict between FSM members and other students would nearly descend into a riot. Eventually, campus administrators would engage in further negotiations with the students, as they realized that continuing conflict could rip the campus apart.

Over 500 students would eventually occupy the Sproul building, before being met by anti-protests from numerous fraternities and other student groups. The conflict between FSM members and other students would nearly descend into a riot. Eventually, campus administrators would engage in further negotiations with the students, as they realized that continuing conflict could rip the campus apart.

Joan Baez at Berkeley sit in.

Joan Baez at Berkeley sit in.

Berkeley, Baez, 1964: Times have changed.

Berkeley, Baez, 1964: Times have changed.

The administration of the University of California of Berkeley, at the behest of Senator William Knowland, forbade students from organizing on campus for off-campus political activity, such as the daily picket lines sponsored by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) that were then occurring in front of restaurants in Oakland’s Jack London Square that refused to hire men & women of color. The students felt that this ban was clearly an unconstitutional abridgement of the rights of the freedom of speech & assembly and determined to challenge it with a test case. One student, Jack Weinberg, set up a card table at the Bancroft Way entrance to Sproul Plaza and was promptly taken into custody by the campus police who deposited him into a Berkeley police car for a quick trip down to the station.

The administration of the University of California of Berkeley, at the behest of Senator William Knowland, forbade students from organizing on campus for off-campus political activity, such as the daily picket lines sponsored by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) that were then occurring in front of restaurants in Oakland’s Jack London Square that refused to hire men & women of color. The students felt that this ban was clearly an unconstitutional abridgement of the rights of the freedom of speech & assembly and determined to challenge it with a test case. One student, Jack Weinberg, set up a card table at the Bancroft Way entrance to Sproul Plaza and was promptly taken into custody by the campus police who deposited him into a Berkeley police car for a quick trip down to the station.

How Should We Then Live – Episode 9 – The Age of Personal Peace & Affluence

 

Francis Schaeffer asserted:

In some places the Marxist-Leninist line or the Maoist line took over…But the Marxist-Leninism is another leap into the area of nonreason-as idealistic as drug-taking was in the early days. The young followed Marxism in spite of clear evidence that oppression was not an excess of Stalin, but was and is an integral part of the system of communism. 

William Lane Craig’s book THE ABSURDITY OF LIFE WITHOUT GOD.   Without God there is no meaning in life.

William Lane Craig notes:

First, the area of meaning. We saw that without God, life has no meaning. Yet philosophers continue to live as though life does have meaning. For example, Sartre argued that one may create meaning for his life by freely choosing to follow a certain course of action. Sartre himself chose Marxism.

Now this is utterly inconsistent. It is inconsistent to say that life is objectively absurd and then to say that one may create meaning for his life. If life is really absurd, then man is trapped in the lower story. To try to create meaning in life represents a leap to the upper story. But Sartre has no basis for this leap. Without God, there can be no objective meaning in life. Sartre’s program is actually an exercise in self-delusion. For the universe does not really acquire meaning just because I happen to give it one. This is easy to see: for suppose I give the universe one meaning, and you give it another. Who is right? The answer, of course, is neither one. For the universe without God remains objectively meaningless, no matter how we regard it. Sartre is really saying, “Let’s pretend the universe has meaning.” And this is just fooling ourselves.

The point is this: if God does not exist, then life is objectively meaningless; but man cannot live consistently and happily knowing that life is meaningless; so in order to be happy he pretends that life has meaning. But this is, of course, entirely inconsistent—for without God, man and the universe are without any real significance.

Sartre’s worldview is discussed in the film series “How should we then live?” by Francis Schaeffer below.

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

Transcript from “How Should we then live?”:

Humanist man beginning only from himself has concluded that he is only a machine. Humanist man has no place for a personal God, but there is also no place for man’s significance as man and no place for love, no place for freedom.

Man is only a machine, but the men who hold this position could not and can not live like machines. If they could then modern man would not have his tensions either in his intellectual position or in his life, but he can’t. So they leap away from reason to try to find something that gives meaning to their lives, to life itself, even though to do so they deny their reason.

Once this is done any type of thing could be put there. Because in the area of nonreason, reason gives no basis for a choice. This is the hallmark of modern man. How did it happen? It happened because proud humanist man, though he was finite, insisted in beginning only from himself and only from what he could learn and not from other knowledge, he did not succeed. Perhaps the best known of existentialist philosophers was Jean Paul Sartre. He used to spend much of his time here in Paris at the Les Deux Magots.

Sartre’s position is in the area of reason everything is absurd, but one can authenticate himself, that is give validity to his existence by an act of the willIn Sartre’s position one could equally help an old woman across the street or run her down.

Reason was not involved, and there was nothing to show the direction this authentication by an act of the will should take. But Sartre himself could live consistantly with his own position. At a certain point he signed the Algerian Manifesto which declared that the Algerian war was a dirty war. This action meant that man could use his reason to decide that some things were right and some things were wrong and so he destroyed his own system.

Berkeley’s Campus Free Speech Movement at 50

The Free Speech Movement: civil disobedience in Berkeley 1964

Billy Joel – Back In the USSR

How Should We Then Live – Episode 9 – The Age of Personal Peace & Affluence

Mario Savio, leader of the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley (1964) – from THE EDUCATION ARCHIVE

Schaeffer compares communism with French Revolution and Napoleon.

1. Lenin took charge in Russia much as Napoleon took charge in France – when people get desperate enough, they’ll take a dictator.

Other examples: Hitler, Julius Caesar. It could happen again.

2. Communism is very repressive, stifling political and artistic freedom. Even allies have to be coerced. (Poland).

Communists say repression is temporary until utopia can be reached – yet there is no evidence of progress in that direction. Dictatorship appears to be permanent.

3. No ultimate basis for morality (right and wrong) – materialist base of communism is just as humanistic as French. Only have “arbitrary absolutes” no final basis for right and wrong.

How is Christianity different from both French Revolution and Communism?

Contrast N.T. Christianity – very positive government reform and great strides against injustice. (especially under Wesleyan revival).

Bible gives absolutes – standards of right and wrong. It shows the problems and why they exist (man’s fall and rebellion against God).

 

WHY DOES THE IDEA OF COMMUNISM CATCH THE ATTENTION OF SO MANY IDEALISTIC YOUNG PEOPLE? The reason is very simple. 

In HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture, the late Francis A. Schaeffer wrote:

Materialism, the philosophic base for Marxist-Leninism, gives no basis for the dignity or rights of man.  Where Marxist-Leninism is not in power it attracts and converts by talking much of dignity and rights, but its materialistic base gives no basis for the dignity or rights of man.  Yet is attracts by its constant talk of idealism.

To understand this phenomenon we must understand that Marx reached over to that for which Christianity does give a base–the dignity of man–and took the words as words of his own.  The only understanding of idealistic sounding Marxist-Leninism is that it is (in this sense) a Christian heresy.  Not having the Christian base, until it comes to power it uses the words for which Christianity does give a base.  But wherever Marxist-Leninism has had power, it has at no place in history shown where it has not brought forth oppression.  As soon as they have had the power, the desire of the majority has become a concept without meaning.

1970 bombing took away righteous standing of Anti-War movement.

Francis Schaeffer mentioned the 1970 bombing in his film series “How should we then live?” and I wanted to give some more history on it. Schaeffer noted:

In the United States the New Left also slowly ground down,losing favor because of the excesses of the bombings, especially in the bombing of the University of Wisconsin lab in 1970, where a graduate student was killed. This was not the last bomb that was or will be planted in the United States. Hard-core groups of redicals still remain and are active, and could become more active, but the violence which the New Left produced as its natural heritage (as it also had in Europe) caused the majority of young people in the United States no longer to see it as a hope. So some young people began in 1964 to challenge the false values of personal peace and affluence, and we must admire them for this. Humanism, man beginning only from himself, had destroyed the old basis of values, and could find no way to generate with certainty any new values.  In the resulting vacuum the impoverished values of personal peace and affluence had comes to stand supreme. And now, for the majority of the young people, after the passing of the false hopes of drugs as an ideology and the fading of the New Left, what remained? Only apathy was left. In the United States by the beginning of the seventies, apathy was almost complete. In contrast to the political activists of the sixties, not many of the young even went to the polls to vote, even though the national voting age was lowered to eighteen. Hope was gone.

Sterling Hall bombing

After the turmoil of the sixties, many people thought that it was so much the better when the universities quieted down in the early seventies. I could have wept. The young people had been right in their analysis, though wrong in their solutions. How much worse when many gave up hope and simply accepted the same values as their parents–personal peace and affluence. (How Should We Then Live, pp. 209-210)

How Should We Then Live – Episode 9 – The Age of Personal Peace & Affluence

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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Sunday, August 28th, 2011, 11:11pm

Aug. 24 marked the 41st anniversary of the Sterling Hall bombing on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

Four men planned the bomb at the height of the student protests over the Vietnam War. Back then, current Madison Mayor Paul Soglin was one of the leaders of those student protests in the capitol city. This weekend, Soglin recalled the unrest felt by UW-Madison students.

“The anti-war movement adopted a lot of its tactics and strategies from the civil rights movement which was about ten years older,” said Soglin. “It was one of picketing, demonstration, and passive resistance.”

The four men who planned the bombing focused on the Army Mathematics Research Center housed in Sterling Hall because it was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and therefore, worked on weapons technology. Karl Armstrong was one of the four men and he recently spoke with CBS News in his first television interview detailing the moments right before the bomb was set off.

“He asked me, he says, ‘Should we go ahead? Are we gonna do this?’ I think I made a comment to him about something like, ‘Now, I know what war is about,'” remembered Armstrong. “And I told him to light it.”

The bomb killed one researcher and father of three, 33-year-old Robert Fassnacht, although Armstrong maintains they planned the attack thinking no one would get hurt. The four men heard about the death as they were in their getaway car after the bomb went off.

“I felt good about doing the bombing, the bombing per se, but not taking someone’s life,” recalled Armstrong.

The researcher’s wife told CBS News that she harbors no ill will toward Armstrong and the other bombers. Three of the four men were captured and served time in prison. Armstrong served eight years of a 23-year sentence.

The fourth man, Leo Burt, was last seen in the fall of 1970 in Ontario and is to this day, still wanted by the FBI, with a $150,000 reward for his capture.

E P I S O D E 9

T h e Age of Personal Peace and Affluence 

I. By the Early 1960s People Were Bombarded From Every Side by Modern Man’s Humanistic Thought

II. Modern Form of Humanistic Thought Leads to Pessimism

Regarding a Meaning for Life and for Fixed Values

A. General acceptance of selfish values (personal peace and affluence) accompanied rejection of Christian consensus.

1. Personal peace means: I want to be left alone, and I don’t care what happens to the man across the street or across the world. I want my own life-style to be undisturbed regardless of what it will mean — even to my own children and grandchildren.

2. Affluence means things, things, things, always more things — and success is seen as an abundance of things.

B. Students wish to escape meaninglessness of much of adult society.

1. Watershed was Berkeley in 1964.

2. Drug Taking as an ideology: “turning on” the world.

3. Free Speech Movement on Sproul Plaza.

a) At first neither Left nor Right.

b) Soon became the New Left.

(1) Followed Marcuse.

(2) Paris riots.

4. Student analysis of problem was right, but solution wrong.

5. Woodstock, Altamont, and the end of innocence.

6. Drug taking survives the death of ideology but as an escape.

7. Demise of New Left: radical bombings.

8. Apathy supreme. The young accept values of the older generation: their own idea of personal peace and affluence, even though adopting a different life-style.

C. Marxism and Maoism as pseudo-ideals.

1. Vogue for idealistic communism which is another form of leap into the area of non-reason.

2. Solzhenitsyn: violence and expediency as norms of communism.

3. Communist repression in Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

4. Communism has neither philosophic nor historic base for freedom. There is no base for “Communism with a human face.”

5. Utopian Marxism steals its talk of human dignity from Christianity.

6. But when it comes to power, the desire of majority has no meaning.

7. Two streams of communism.

a) Those who hold it as an idealistic leap.

b) Old-line communists who hold orthodox communist ideology and bureaucratic structure as it exists in Russia.

8. Many in West might accept communism if it seemed to give peace and affluence.

III. Legal and Political Results of Attempted Human Autonomy

A. Relativistic law.

1. Base for nonarbitrary law gone; only inertia allows a few principles to survive.

2. Holmes and sociological (variable) law.

3. Sociological law comes from failure of natural law (see evolution of existential from rationalistic theology).

4. Courts are now generating law.

5. Medical, legal, and historical arbitrariness of Supreme Court ruling on abortion and current abortion practice.

B. Sociological law opens door to racism, abrogation of freedoms,  euthanasia, and so on.

IV. Social Alternatives After Death of Christian Consensus

A. Hedonism? But might is right when pleasures conflict.

B. Without external absolute, majority vote is absolute. But this justifies a Hitler.

V. Conclusion

A. If there is no absolute by which to judge society, then society is absolute.

B. Humanist thinking—making the individual and mankind the center of all things (autonomous) — has led to death in our culture and in our political life.

Note: Social alternatives after the death of Christian consensus are continued in Episode Ten.

Questions

1. What was the basic cause of campus unrest in the sixties? What has happened to the campus scene since, and why?

2. What elements — in the life and thought of the communist and noncommunist world alike — suggest a possible base for world agreement?

3. “To prophesy doom about Western society is premature. We are, like all others who have lived in times of great change, too close to the details to see the broader picture. One thing we do know:

Society has always gone on, and the most wonderful epochs have followed the greatest depressions. To suggest that our day is the exception says more about our headache than it does about our head.” Debate.

4. As Dr. Schaeffer shows, many apparently isolated events and options gain new meaning when seen in the context of the whole. How far does your own involvement in business, law, financing, and so on reveal an acquiescence to current values?

Key Events and Persons

Oliver Wendell Holmes: 1841-1935

Herbert Marcuse: 1898-1979

Alexander Solzhenitsyn: 1917-

Hungarian Revolution: 1956

Free Speech Movement: 1964

Czechoslovakian repression: 1968

Woodstock and Altamont: 1969

Radical bombings: 1970

Supreme Court abortion ruling: 1973

Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago: 1973-74

Further Study

Keeping one’s eyes and ears open is the most useful study project: the prevalence of pornographic films and books, more and more suggestive advertising and TV shows, and signs of arbitrary absolutes.

The following books will repay careful reading, and Solzhenitsyn, though long and horrifying, should not be skipped.

Os Guinness, The Dust of Death (1973).

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago: Parts I-II (1973), Parts III-IV (1974).

How Should We Then Live – Episode 9 – The Age of Personal Peace & Affluence

Berkeley’s Campus Free Speech Movement at 50

BERKELEY’S FREE SPEECH MOVEMENT MARKS 50 YEARS

Friday, September 26, 2014

From Friday night through next week, UC Berkeley will celebrate 50 years since the birth of the Free Speech Movement.

On Oct. 1, 1964, students sat down at Sproul Plaza demanding the university lift its ban on political activism.

Students attending UC Berkeley today know they are being raised in the cradle of the free speech movement. For most though, the details are sketchy.

It was October 1, 1964, when Jack Weinberg, a student activist was trying to push for racial equality. He did so on the steps of Sproul Hall, knowing he could be arrested.

“I had the good fortune of being the one they selected and when I wouldn’t cooperate, they called in a police care to haul me away,” said Weinberg.

Students who had gathered at the plaza, quickly surrounded the police car.

“When the police car was brought on campus and people sat down on it somebody yelled ‘sit down’ and everybody sat down because we were used to sitting in. We had action at the Sheraton Plaza and other places,” said Lynn Hollander former student activist.

The car became the speaker’s podium and no one delivered the message more effectively than Mario Savio.

Weinberg was held in the police car for 32 hours. During that time he gave an interview to a reporter from the San Francisco Examiner.

“He was trying really, I felt, to get out of me that some older somebody or other was pulling our strings and I got mad and said, you know, here we have a saying in the movement we don’t trust anybody over 30. It was mainly a putdown,” said Weinberg.

It became one of the most memorable expressions of the 60s.

The university eventually gave in lifting the ban on all political activity and fundraising on campus.

“All over the country, universities did not want to have the same fight Berkeley had, so the rights of students to express themselves on campus was established,” said Weinberg.

Richard Muller was a student at the time. He took pictures of students inside Sproul Hall being arrested. Fifty years later and today a professor at Cal, he feels the movement on campus is not what it once was.

“Now you can’t even have a Republican come on campus and give a talk without being shouted down. Condoleezza Rice can’t come here because the right of freedom of speech today is interpreted as the right to shout someone down and that’s a really tragic,” said Muller.

Today these steps are named after Mario Savio. Those who go by here are reminded that any student can spark change anytime.

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Star to Steer By – Revised!

The beautiful Portland Head Lighthouse on the Maine coast.

It was the flash from this lighthouse I could see from the

balcony of my hotel in Ogunquit, far to the south.

No finite point has meaning without an infinite reference point.

                    Jean-Paul Sartre

I am the light of the world.

                    Jesus Christ  (Matthew 5:14)

I stood outside on the deck of my hotel listening to the surf quietly lap the beach. It was a beautiful Maine evening, with stars blazing overhead and a gentle breeze blowing warm for early October. Out in the darkness my eyes traced a dim line of lights running along the shore of the peninsula that jutted far out to sea. Where the lights ended, I assumed, was lands end and where the open sea began. I was curious then, when I saw a light flash much farther out to sea. It didn’t take long to realize that the flash was from a lighthouse, which marked the true end of land. It was plain to me then how a lighthouse could make the difference between life and death to a ship sailing off the coast.

My friends and I had to laugh when
we saw this sign in Beijing, China,
north of the Forbidden City. It reminded
us all about the perilous journey of life.

A Point of Reference
As I thought about a ship sailing along the coast in rough waters without a reference point to warn it where it could run aground, it occurred to me how similar this is to navigating through life. Who could argue that life is not perilous? And how many lives have been shattered on the rocks of despair, meaninglessness, alcohol and drug addiction, bitterness, anxiety, etc.

How helpful it would be to have a point of reference to warn us of the dangers in life.

Even John-Paul Sartre (quoted above), a famous atheist existentialist, recognized that we finite human beings need an infinite reference point in order to have meaning. However, because Sartre didn’t believe there was an infinite reference point (God), he concluded that life is meaningless. “Man is absurd”, he said, “but he must grimly act as if he were not”. Sartre had worked through the implications of life without God, and his conclusion perfectly illustrates the hopelessness of the atheistic and secularist worldview.

The flash of the lighthouse interrupted my thoughts. Each time I saw it, I was amazed at how far out the shore really ran.

Worldview
All of us have worldviews that, consciously or unconsciously, guide us through life and affect our daily decisions…decisions that could move us closer to or farther away from dangers that could destroy our lives. Francis Schaeffer noted that our worldviews are based on “presuppositions” (1). For example, the presupposition that is championed at the secular university (and widely in our culture) today is the “uniformity of natural causes in a closed system”. Because, it is believed, the system is closed, then there can be nothing outside the system (i.e., God) and therefore, intervention from the outside (miracles or revelation from God) is impossible. With this presupposition, as Oxford mathematician John Lennox so eloquently stated, “we can’t even answer the simple questions of a child: Why am I here? What’s the meaning of life? And so on” (2). This is why Sartre, who believed in the closed system model, concluded that man is absurd.

If, on the other hand, you believe in the “uniformity of natural causes in an open system”, into which God can act, then revelation and miracles are entirely possible. We can receive answers to the simple questions of a child because there is a God who can speak into our system (such as through the Bible). He is our lighthouse.Then the statement by Jesus Christ that he is the light of the world (quoted above) makes sense.

View from my hotel balcony on the coast of Ogunquit, Maine.
At night I could see the Portland Head Lighthouse flashing in
the distance at the far right.

A North Star
Francis Schaeffer went on to say that the Bible gives us an adequate reference point, a North Star for our lives in the infinite-personal God. God is infinite (and thus, provides us a needed infinite reference point), and at the same time personal. How was he personal? The apostle John wrote that God came into the world as a human, a person, whose name was Jesus Christ (3). Jesus reached out and touched the lepers (4), which everyone else was afraid to do because they didn’t want to catch leprosy! He restored the lame (5) and even brought the dead back to life (6). Its hard to imagine getting more personal than that. In fact, read the New Testament and you will learn of many broken lives that, when touched by him, were healed and restored. Truly his mission had profound implications for those whose lives had been shattered on the jagged rocks of life.

Amazingly, the good news for us is that Jesus is still at work, healing and restoring life to all who accept him!  (7)

The lighthouse flashed again. Its no accident that Jesus described himself as the light of the world, or that John called him “the true light that gives light to everyone” (8).

It was getting late and I was growing tired. But I went back into my hotel room with a supernatural assurance that God was with me. As John wrote about Jesus: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (9)

Footnotes:

(1) He is There He is not Silent, by Francis Schaeffer
(2) An interview with John Lennox, Professor Lennox discusses Christianity, atheism, and science
(3) John 1:1,14,17.
(4) Matthew 8:1-3.
(5) Mark 3:1-6.
(6) Mark 5:21-43; John 11:1-44.
(7) Romans 8:10-11.
(8) John 1:9.
(9) John 1:5.

Photo taken in 1944 after a reading of Picasso’s play El deseo pillado por la cola: Standing from left to right: Jacques Lacan, Cécile  Éluard, Pierre Reverdy, Louise Leiris, Pablo Picasso, Zanie de Campan, Valentine Hugo, Simone de Beauvoir, Brassaï. Sitting, from left to right: Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Michel Leiris, Jean Aubier. Photo by Brassaï. –

The Beatles – Back In The U.S.S.R (Demo)

Today’s featured artist is Peter Findley

Artist Peter Findlay recalls the day he painted The Beatles’ portraits in Adelaide

 

Flagstaff Hill artist Peter Finlay with his paintings of the Beatles Picture: Tom Huntley

Flagstaff Hill artist Peter Finlay with his paintings of the Beatles Picture: Tom Huntley

AS a budding young artist in the swinging sixties, Peter Findlay found he could make a few quid — and impress a fair few girls — by drawing pictures of the Beatles.

Little did he think he would actually get to meet the superstars.

Now an established international artist, the then 20-year-old gave Bob Francis and Ron Tremain, the men responsible for bringing the Beatles to Adelaide, free paintings of themselves.

They were so impressed they commissioned him to paint John, Paul, George and Ringo.

On Friday June 12, 1964, as Findlay waited nervously in the South Australian Hotel to meet the Beatles, calamity struck.

The Beatles in Australia 1964 – Adelaide

“The picture of John Lennon was lying on the floor when some clumsy fool stood on it,” Mr Findlay said. “The glass smashed, leaving a scar on John’s face.”

Mr Findlay rang a framer he knew in Adelaide and explained that it was an emergency, but he wasn’t interested.

“I told him: ‘You’ll be a lot more interested when I tell you the client is John Lennon’,” Mr Findlay recalled.

Within minutes, the framer, protecting a pane of glass, was desperately pushing his way through the crowd of around 15,000 screaming fans outside the hotel.

Adelaide artist Peter Findlay (right) with John Lennon (centre), Ernie Sigley (left) and

Adelaide artist Peter Findlay (right) with John Lennon (centre), Ernie Sigley (left) and his painting of Paul McCartney.

Findlay had braved the crowds himself half an hour earlier when the former Police cadet was spotted by some of his Fort Largs academy colleagues.

“I was feeling pretty special when I stepped out of Tony Bowden’s white Porsche when I heard someone yell ‘Findlay what the hell are you doing here?’,” the artist said.

“I said ‘I’ve just come to see me mates — The Beatles.

“They gave me heaps about my long hair but I had the last laugh when I showed my press pass and was waved in.”

Findlay caught up with Bob Francis and the pair had a bit of frivolity with a plastic wig of the Beatles haircut that got them both in the bad books with the Australian promoter, Kenn Brodziak.

“This wig was a terrible fake thing but I put it on and along with Bob we popped our heads out of a window,” he said.

“The crowd outside went ballistic screaming and yelling.

“Just then Kenn Brodziak came in and was giving Bob heaps saying ‘Francis, you think you own this effing city.’

“The thing, is Bob did own the city that day — and he thinks he’s owned it ever since.”

Adelaide artist Peter Findlay (left) with the Beatles (including Jimmy Nichol) and an int

Adelaide artist Peter Findlay (left) with the Beatles (including Jimmy Nichol) and an interviewer looking at the portrait of John Lennon

When he finally met up with John, Paul and George, Ringo was too ill to travel to Adelaide, he was thrilled with their excited response to his paintings.

“I told John (Lennon) the story of what had happened to his painting and he said ‘I rather like the idea of getting a footprint on my cheek’, Findlay says in a perfect Liverpool accent.

Not that speaking ‘scouse’ helped him in a conversation with Paul McCartney.

“I asked Paul how did he like the paintings and he replied ‘Ponies? We didn’t get any Ponies?”, he remembered.

“I emphasised the word “paintings” to which he replied “Ooh … the PAINTINGS! … Best paintings we’ve ever ‘ad…..We ain’t ‘ad any uthers though.”

Findlay recalls feeling sad for Jimmy Nichol, Ringo’s stand-in who looked ‘more like Frankenstein without the bolt’ because of his weird haircut.

John Lennon scribbled a lengthy thank you note, that every Beatle signed including Nichol, but regretfully — Findlay’s lost it.

Those autographs were definitely the real deal, but there is someone with an autograph from the day who may not like what she reads next.

Adelaide artist Peter Findlay (right) with John Lennon looking at his portrait of John Le

Adelaide artist Peter Findlay (right) with John Lennon looking at his portrait of John Lennon.

On his way out of the South Australian Hotel Findlay was approached by an insistent young lady convinced he was famous.

“I didn’t want to disillusion her so I said I was George Harrison’s brother,” Findlay laughs.

“She walked away on cloud nine with the signature of ‘Peter Harrison’.”

He doesn’t know where any of his paintings of the Beatles are today, they were all taken back to England, but photos of them have appeared in several books on the Fab Four.

Findlay effectively became a professional artist that momentous day in 1964 and would later paint portraits of The Bee Gees, Mick Jagger, John Farnham, Billy Thorpe among many other rock and roll stars.

He also became an expert in diagrammatical paintings of horses and was a regular visitor at the stables of Colin Hayes and Bart Cummings in the 60s and 70s to record their champions on canvas.

Along with three daughters and two grandchildren, he regards his greatest triumph as helping SA artists produce over 45,000 paintings as Director of the Panorama Art Group that he established in 1969.

“Hanging out with the Beatles only lasted a few minutes but that achievement has been a long lasting satisfaction,” he added.

The Flagstaff Hill resident caught up with an original set of his Beatles paintings last week at the home of owner Steve Gates, who couldn’t believe the quality when offered them by a friend of friend.

Adelaide artist Peter Findlay with Ernie Sigley and his paintings of the Beatles

Adelaide artist Peter Findlay with Ernie Sigley and his paintings of the Beatles

“I did a couple of versions to make sure the Beatles got the best ones and I’m pretty sure these

are the first ones I did,” Mr Findlay said admiring his work of half a century ago.

He contacted The Advertiser in response to our search to find the ‘Ringo Lookalike’, now identified as Adele Minns, as he remembered the teenager being at the South Australian Hotel when he handed over the portraits to John, Paul and George.

“I was a little over awed being in the same room with the Beatles, but after speaking to them, they were just like anyone else,” Findlay said.

“They loved the paintings and John in particular was making a big deal and clowning around.”

The same day Mr Findlay got in touch with The Advertiser, avid memorabilia collector Steve Gates contacted The Advertiser saying he had four paintings of the Beatles — all with the signature ‘Findlay’.

Mr Gates, who is reliving his youth with 70s pop idol Andy Upton and TV and Radio star Barry Ion in a local rock band, Platinum +, couldn’t believe his luck when offered the paintings by a friend of a friend.

“The quality was just superb and the guy who framed them reckoned they would be worth a small fortune,” Mr Gates said.

Mr Findlay has seen photographs of his paintings in books on the Beatles and once got exciting confirmation that at least one ‘Mop Top’ kept his work and rated it highly.

Adelaide artist Peter Findlay (centre), with Beatle George Harrison (left) and media pers

Adelaide artist Peter Findlay (centre), with Beatle George Harrison (left) and media personality Ernie Sigley (right).

His former fiancee, Christine Howard, Miss South Australia 1970, who left for a ‘celebrity’ life in England soon after they split up, rang him unexpectedly from Los Angeles.

“Christine rang me all excited saying she was at George Harrison’s house and my painting was up on his wall,” Findlay said.

“I said ‘You’re not in the toilet are you? — I really expected the lads to hang the paintings in the dunny.”

On the contrary, the painting had pride of place above the mantelpiece in Harrison’s large living room.

Mr Findlay has shared his Beatles experiences with his three daughters and two grand children.

“I thought they would be bored to death but they’re not,” he added.

“It seems every new generation loves the Beatles — that’s how special they really were.”

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According to ECCLESIASTES without God in the picture our lives UNDER THE SUN will accomplish nothing that lasts. King Solomon the author Ecclesiastes asked, “What does man gain by all the toil  at which he toils UNDER THE SUN?” and Solomon answered his own question with the answer in 2:17, “So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind.”  Woody Allen and Mark Twain have said this very same thing.

 

.

HEMINGWAY:You like Mark Twain?

SCOTT FITZGERALD: I’m going to find Zelda.I don’t like the thought of her with that Spaniard.

GIL PENDER:May I?

HEMINGWAY:Yeah,

GIL PENDER:I’m actually a huge Mark Twain fan.I think you can even make the case that all modern American literature comes from Huckleberry Finn.-

 

 

A Depressingly “Ecclesiastical” Perspective by Mark Twain

Mark Twain

As I was drawn into the Autobiography of Mark Twain, the following paragraph nearly drove me to despair…then I remembered the Gospel…

A myriad of men are born; they labor and sweat and struggle for bread; they squabble and scold and fight; they scramble for little mean advantages over each other; age creeps upon them; infirmities follow; shames and humiliations bring down their prides and their vanities; those they love are taken from them, and the joy of life is turned to aching grief.  The burden of pain, care, misery, grows heavier year by year; at length, ambition is dead, pride is dead; vanity is dead; longing for release is in their place.  It comes at last–the only unpoisoned gift earth ever had for them–and they vanish from a world where they were a mistake and a failure and a foolishness; there they have left no sign that they have existed–a world which will lament them a day and forget them forever.  Then another myriad takes their place, and copies all they did, and goes along the same profitless road, and vanishes as they vanished–follow the same arid path through the same desert, and accomplish what the first myriad, and all the myriads that came after it, accomplished–nothing!

Autobiography of Mark Twain (US: Seven Treasures, 2010), 25.

If I didn’t know better, I’d claim plagiarism…but perhaps the writer of Ecclesiastes, and Twain himself, would celebrate the irony that these words are nothing new, but a repetition of the Teacher’s words in the OT.  Sadly, Twain does not come to the same conclusion that the writer of Ecclesiastes does:

The end of the matter; all has been heard:

Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Jimmy Young of GRACE EVANGELICAL CHURCH Memphis, TN paints a very similar picture in his sermon on Ecclesiastes: 

T.S.Eliot once said we humans can’t bear much reality of which this world is full.

(Actor David Lowe played poet T.S. Eliot in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS)

Life is meaningless according to 1:2 and then he says in verse 3 “What does man gain by all the toil  at which he toils under the sun?” Then Solomon sighs in 1:8 “All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.” That is the sentiment that is woven all through the Book of Ecclesiastes. 1:2 “Vanity[b] of vanities, says the Preacher,     vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” He uses the word VANITY 35 times in the Book of Ecclesiastes. 

Why is Ecclesiastes in the Bible? This is a tale of searching, experimenting, grasping for meaning and purpose.

Ecclesiastes 1:12-14, 17: 12 I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I applied my heart[f] to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 14 I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity[g] and a striving after wind.[h17 And I applied my heart to know wisdom…

Solomon is saying that he is going to conduct a series of experiments in several areas of his life and try to find meaning in life. So in Ecclesiastes you have a report of that.

[At this point Dr. Young goes through the Book of Ecclesiastes and points out that nothing in life gives true satisfaction without God including knowledge (1:16-18), ladies and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and great building projects (2:4-6, 18-20).]

Ecclesiastes 1:1-3 English Standard Version (ESV)

All Is Vanity

The words of the Preacher,[a] the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

Vanity[b] of vanities, says the Preacher,
    vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What does man gain by all the toil
    at which he toils under the sun? 

Ecclesiastes 2:1-25 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Vanity of Self-Indulgence

I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity.[a] I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life. I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines,[b] the delight of the sons of man.

So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. 10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil.11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.

The Vanity of Living Wisely

12 So I turned to consider wisdom and madness and folly. For what can the man do who comes after the king? Only what has already been done. 13 Then I saw that there is more gain in wisdom than in folly, as there is more gain in light than in darkness. 14 The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them. 15 Then I said in my heart, “What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity. 16 For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool! 17 So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind.

The Vanity of Toil

18 I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, 19 and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity. 20 So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors under the sun, 21 because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil.22 What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? 23 For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.

24 There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment[c] in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, 25 for apart from him[d] who can eat or who can have enjoyment?26 For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

__

Four summary statements concerning the Book of Ecclesiastes:

  1. If there is nothing but vanity UNDER THE SUN (or under heaven) then our only hope must be ABOVE HEAVEN. 

One commentary said, “To make any sense of the world you have to go outside of it.” That treadmill you are on that is by design. The restlessness of life that can be traced back to the will of God so you might have the same despair that Solomon had. Therefore, you will keep on looking until you find the meaning ABOVE THE SUN. God is demolishing so he can rebuild. God is removing all those things that you thought were going to give you meaning so you will come to the same conclusion that Solomon came to.

2. If a man who had everything and investigated everything Visible  and then the one thing that we must need is something that is invisible, peace, contentment and meaning, can only be found in a real relationship with Jesus Christ. 

3. When you remove Jesus from the center of an intellectual pursuit  or a pursuit of pleasure, or meaning or whatever, you will end up in vanity. 

(Pictured below Mariel Hemingway and Woody Allen in the movie MANHATTAN)

Woody Allen is a brilliant filmmaker but he wrote this speech and it is a fictional parady  on speeches to graduates:

My Speech to the Graduates  

                                     by Woody Allen

                               First published in the New York Times in 1979

More than at any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.

I speak, by the way, not with any sense of futility, but with a panicky conviction of the absolute meaninglessness of existence which could easily be misinterpreted as pessimism.


It is not. It is merely a healthy concern for the predicament of modern man. (Modern man is here defined as any person born after Nietzsche’s edict that “God is dead,” but before the hit recording “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.”) This “predicament” can be stated one of two ways, though certain linguistic philosophers prefer to reduce it to a mathematical equation where it can be easily solved and even carried around in the wallet.

Put in its simplest form, the problem is: How is it possible to find meaning in a finite world given my waist and shirt size?

This is a very difficult question when we realize that science has failed us. True, it has conquered many diseases, broken the genetic code, and even placed human beings on the Moon, and yet when a man of eighty is in a room with two eighteen-year-old cocktail waitresses nothing happens. Because the real problems never change.

After all, can the human soul be glimpsed through a microscope? Maybe–but you’d definitely need one of those very good ones with two eyepieces. We know that the most advanced computer in the world does not have a brain as sophisticated as that of an ant. True, we could say that of any of our relatives but we only have to put up with them at weddings or special occasions.

True, science has taught us how to pasteurize cheese. And true, this can be fun in mixed company--but what of the H-bomb? Have you ever seen what happens when one of those things falls off a desk accidentally?

And where is science when one ponders the eternal riddles? How did the cosmos originate? How long has it been around? Did matter begin with an explosion or by the word of God?

My good friend Jacques Monod spoke often of the randomness of the cosmos. He believed everything in existence occurred by pure chance with the possible exception of his breakfast, which he felt certain was made by his housekeeper.

Instead of facing these challenges we turn instead to distractions like drugs and sex. We live in far too permissive a society. Never before has pornography been this rampant. And those films are lit so badly!

We are a people who lack defined goals. We have never leaned to love. We lack leaders and coherent programs. We have no spiritual center. We are adrift alone in the cosmos wreaking monstrous violence on one another out of frustration and pain. Fortunately, we have not lost our sense of proportion.

Summing up, it is clear the future holds great opportunities. It also holds pitfalls. The trick will be to avoid the pitfalls, seize the opportunities, and get back home by six o’clock.

__

When you remove Jesus from the center of an intellectual pursuit  or a pursuit of pleasure, or meaning or whatever, you will end up in vanity.

Mark 8:34-38 English Standard Version (ESV)

34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?3For what can a man give in return for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

 4. Once sin entered the world all pursuits became vanity. 

John Steinbeck wrote in 1959, “{There is} a creeping, all pervading nerve-gas of immorality which starts in the nursery and does not stop before it reaches the highest offices both corporate and governmental.”

Recently I was on a plane and had a chance to read the article, “Probing the Heart of French Malaise,” APRIL 13, 2015 and here is a portion of the article:

PARIS — France is in the throes of a unique cultural moment — one that stretches way beyond the soul-searching debates over Islamist violence and Muslim integration, or arguments over its economic travails, fractious labor politics and troubling brain drain. This collective angst has crystallized as two of the country’s most prominent and controversial authors — Eric Zemmour and Michel Houellebecq — published blockbuster books warning of the creeping Islamization of France just as the Charlie Hebdo attacks shook the nation. Though both men foresee a France falling prey to militant Islam, there is more to their vision of the country’s past, and future, than meets the eye. Both offer a unique window into the French mind….

(Above picture is Charlie Hebdo office in Paris after shooting)

Below are four pictures.

  1. Target: After halting their car, the terrorists fire assault rifles at a policeman who tried to stop them, following the massacre at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris

2. Helpless: The gunmen move in on the officer as Ahmed Merabet – who is believed to have been a Muslim – lies wounded on the pavement. Pleading: Mr Merabet, 42, who was married, raises his hand in an appeal for mercy as the terrorists approach him with their weapons
3. Callous: One of the terrorists fires at the officer at point-blank range. The attack took place on Wednesday and killed 12 people.
4. Killing: Leaving the 42-year-old married officer to die, they run off, sparking a massive manhunt which was continuing last night

Mr. Houellebecq is a finer psychologist than Mr. Zemmour. It is hard to read tales of everyday Western youth dropping everything to join ISIS and not conclude that there is something to the idea that postmodern anomie and libertinism leave a secret part of us craving an all-embracing, confident, life-shaping creed.

In the end, what Mr. Zemmour and Mr. Houellebecq have in common is not a critique of Islam or immigration, which is really secondary to their concerns. Instead, what they have in common is that they point to real wounds in the French soul, wounds that too often go unmentioned — wounds for which they freely admit they have no cure.

____

Sadly Hemingway and Twain never looked ABOVE THE SUN for the answer and they were left with the impossibility of finding solutions UNDER THE SUN and that is what King Solomon demonstrates in the Book of Ecclesiastes.

 

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born . . . and the day you find out why.    — Mark Twain”

__

 

 

Hadley and Ernest Hemingway

Hadley and Ernest Hemingway in Chamby, Switzerland, 1922. Photograph: Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston. Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston./PR

 

Midnight in Paris OST – 13 – Barcarolle from ‘The Tales of Hoffman’

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This series deals with the Book of Ecclesiastes and Woody Allen films.  The first post  dealt with MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT and it dealt with the fact that in the Book of Ecclesiastes Solomon does contend like Hobbes  and Stanley that life is “nasty, brutish and short” and as a result has no meaning UNDER THE SUN.

The movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS offers many of the same themes we see in Ecclesiastes. The second post looked at the question: WAS THERE EVER AGOLDEN AGE AND DID THE MOST TALENTED UNIVERSAL MEN OF THAT TIME FIND TRUE SATISFACTION DURING IT?

In the third post in this series we discover in Ecclesiastes that man UNDER THE SUN finds himself caught in the never ending cycle of birth and death. The SURREALISTS make a leap into the area of nonreason in order to get out of this cycle and that is why the scene in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS with Salvador Dali, Man Ray, and Luis Bunuel works so well!!!! These surrealists look to the area of their dreams to find a meaning for their lives and their break with reality is  only because they know that they can’t find a rational meaning in life without God in the picture.

The fourth post looks at the solution of WINE, WOMEN AND SONG and the fifth and sixth posts look at the solution T.S.Eliot found in the Christian Faith and how he left his fragmented message of pessimism behind. In the seventh post the SURREALISTS say that time and chance is all we have but how can that explain love or art and the hunger for God? The eighth  post looks at the subject of DEATH both in Ecclesiastes and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. In the ninth post we look at the nihilistic worldview of Woody Allen and why he keeps putting suicides into his films.

In the tenth post I show how Woody Allen pokes fun at the brilliant thinkers of this world and how King Solomon did the same thing 3000 years ago. In the eleventh post I point out how many of Woody Allen’s liberal political views come a lack of understanding of the sinful nature of man and where it originated. In the twelfth post I look at the mannishness of man and vacuum in his heart that can only be satisfied by a relationship with God.

In the thirteenth post we look at the life of Ernest Hemingway as pictured in MIDNIGHT AND PARIS and relate it to the change of outlook he had on life as the years passed. In the fourteenth post we look at Hemingway’s idea of Paris being a movable  feast. The fifteenth and sixteenth posts both compare Hemingway’s statement, “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know…”  with Ecclesiastes 2:18 “For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.” The seventeenth post looks at these words Woody Allen put into Hemingway’s mouth,  “We fear death because we feel that we haven’t loved well enough or loved at all.”

In MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Hemingway and Gil Pender talk about their literary idol Mark Twain and the eighteenth post is summed up nicely by Kris Hemphill‘s words, “Both Twain and [King Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes] voice questions our souls long to have answered: Where does one find enduring meaning, life purpose, and sustainable joy, and why do so few seem to find it? The nineteenth post looks at the tension felt both in the life of Gil Pender (written by Woody Allen) in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS and in Mark Twain’s life and that is when an atheist says he wants to scoff at the idea THAT WE WERE PUT HERE FOR A PURPOSE but he must stay face the reality of  Ecclesiastes 3:11 that says “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” and  THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING! Therefore, the secular view that there is no such thing as love or purpose looks implausible. The twentieth post examines how Mark Twain discovered just like King Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes that there is no explanation  for the suffering and injustice that occurs in life UNDER THE SUN. Solomon actually brought God back into the picture in the last chapter and he looked  ABOVE THE SUN for the books to be balanced and for the tears to be wiped away.

The twenty-first post looks at the words of King Solomon, Woody Allen and Mark Twain that without God in the picture our lives UNDER THE SUN will accomplish nothing that lasts.

Woody Allen talks ‘Midnight in Paris’

AT THE 27 MIN MARK Woody Allen says:

I have never gotten to the point where I can give an optimistic view of anything. I have these ideas for stories that I hope are entertaining and I am always criticized for being pessimistic or nihilistic. To me this is just a realistic appraisal of life. There are these little Oasis’s these little distractions you get. Last night I was caught up in the Bulls and Heat basketball game on television and for the time being I was thinking about who was going to win. I wasn’t thinking about my mortality or the fact that I am finite and aging. That was not on my mind. Labron James was on my mind and the game. That is the best you can do is get a little  detraction. What I have learned over the years is that there is no other solution to it. There is no satisfying answer. There is no optimistic answer I can give anybody.

The outcome of that basketball game is no less meaningful or no more meaningful than human life if you take the long view of it. You could look at the earth and say who cares about those creatures running around there and just brush it. Ernest Hemingway in one of his stories ( A FAREWELL TO ARMS) is looking at a burning log with ants running on it. This is the kind of thinking that has over powered me over the years and slips into my stories.

I have always been an odd mixture, completely accidentally, I was a nightclub comic joke writer whose two biggest influences were Groucho Marx, who I have always adored and he still makes me laugh  and Igmar Bergman. I have always had a morbid streak in my work and I when I do something that works , it works to my advantage because it gives some substance and depth to the story, but I when I fail the thing could be too grim or too moralizing or not interesting enough. Then someone will say we only like you when you are funny.

Related posts:

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 15, Luis Bunuel)
The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 9, Georges Braque)
The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 5 Juan Belmonte)
The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 23,Adriana, fictional mistress of Picasso)
The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 11, Rodin)The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 29, Pablo Picasso)The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 13, Amedeo Modigliani)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 14, Henri Matisse)
Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 35, Recap of historical figures, Notre Dame Cathedral and Cult of Reason)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 3 Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald)
The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 10 Salvador Dali)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 12, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel)

 

I love the movie “Midnight in Paris” by Woody Allen and I have done over 30 posts on the historical characters mentioned in the film. Take a look below:

“Midnight in Paris” one of Woody Allen’s biggest movie hits in recent years, July 18, 2011 – 6:00 am

(Part 32, Jean-Paul Sartre)July 10, 2011 – 5:53 am

 (Part 29, Pablo Picasso) July 7, 2011 – 4:33 am

(Part 28,Van Gogh) July 6, 2011 – 4:03 am

(Part 27, Man Ray) July 5, 2011 – 4:49 am

(Part 26,James Joyce) July 4, 2011 – 5:55 am

(Part 25, T.S.Elliot) July 3, 2011 – 4:46 am

(Part 24, Djuna Barnes) July 2, 2011 – 7:28 am

(Part 23,Adriana, fictional mistress of Picasso) July 1, 2011 – 12:28 am

(Part 22, Silvia Beach and the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore) June 30, 2011 – 12:58 am

(Part 21,Versailles and the French Revolution) June 29, 2011 – 5:34 am

(Part 16, Josephine Baker) June 24, 2011 – 5:18 am

(Part 15, Luis Bunuel) June 23, 2011 – 5:37 am

Related posts:

A list of the most viewed posts on the historical characters mentioned in the movie “Midnight in Paris”

 

Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 38,Alcoholism and great writers and artists)

 

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 36, Alice B. Toklas, Woody Allen on the meaning of life)

 

Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 35, Recap of historical figures, Notre Dame Cathedral and Cult of Reason)

 

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 34, Simone de Beauvoir)

 

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 33,Cezanne)

 

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 32, Jean-Paul Sartre)

 

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 31, Jean Cocteau)

 

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 30, Albert Camus)

 

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 29, Pablo Picasso)

 

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 8, Henri Toulouse Lautrec)

 

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 7 Paul Gauguin)

 

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 6 Gertrude Stein)

 

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 5 Juan Belmonte)

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 71 Richard Friend, Physics Dept, Cambridge, “If you believe that the truth lies in strange scrolls dug up from somewhere or another written by someone then there is no logical counter to that”

 

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

_________________

Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:

______________

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

Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Patricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart EhrmanIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldAlan Guth, Jonathan HaidtHermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman JonesShelly KaganStuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, Elizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaDouglas Osheroff,   Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Robert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver SacksMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

____________________________

Richard Friend

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Richard Friend
Richard Friend.jpg

Friend in Finland in 2010
Born Richard Henry Friend
18 January 1953 (age 61)[1]
London[2]
Fields
Institutions
Alma mater
Thesis Transport properties and lattice instabilities in one and two dimensional metals (1979)
Doctoral advisor
  • Abraham David “Abe” Yoffe[3]
  • Denis Jérome[2]
Known for
Notable awards
Spouse Carol Anne Maxwell (née Beales)[1]
Website

Sir Richard Henry Friend (born 18 January 1953) FRS FREng[5] is Cavendish Professor of Physics at the University of Cambridge and Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Professor at the National University of Singapore. Friend’s research concerns the physics and engineering of carbon-based semiconductors.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21]

Education[edit]

Friend was educated at Rugby School and Trinity College, Cambridge,[1] gaining a PhD in 1979.[22]

Research[edit]

Friend’s research has been applied to development of polymer field effect transistors, light-emitting diodes, photovoltaic diodes, optically pumped lasing and directly printed polymer transistors. He pioneered the study of organic polymers and the electronic properties of molecular semiconductors. He is also one of the principal investigators in the new Cambridge-based Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration (IRC) onnanotechnology and co-founder of Cambridge Display Technology (CDT) and Plastic Logic. Friend has over 600 publications[6][18] and more than 20 patents.[citation needed] Friend’s research has been used to develop flat panel displays and future screens that can be rolled and transported.

Awards and honours[edit]

In March 2003 Friend won the IEE’s Faraday Medal. He was knighted for “services to physics” in the 2003 Birthday Honours.

In 2010, Friend was elected as one of the three laureates of Millennium Technology Prize for the development of plastic electronics.[23]

In 2011 he was awarded the Harvey Prize of the Technion in Israel.[24] He is a fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge. He was elected a Fellow[25] of the Royal Academy of Engineering[26] in 2002.

In  the second video below in the 59th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

Quote from Dr. Friend:

Science and superstition, you can never reconcile them. If you believe that the truth lies in strange scrolls dug up from somewhere or another written by someone then there is no logical counter to that. 

Below is this letter I respond to the quote above.

April 3, 2015

Sir Richard Friend, c/o Cavendish Laboratory,  Cambridge, United Kingdom

Dear Dr. Friend,

Let me start off by saying that this is not the first time that I have written you. Earlier I shared several letters of correspondence I had with Carl Sagan, and Antony Flew. Both men were strong believers in evolution as you are today. Instead of talking to you about their views today I wanted to discuss the views of you and Charles Darwin.

As an secular academic your studies tells you that there is no afterlife and we all evolved through time and chance. Then why do people like John Lennon search their whole lives for a lasting meaning and purpose for their lives? I read this week the words of Cynthia Lennon who passed away this week and she said John was on a constant search. Francis Schaeffer talked about the views of the Beatles and Charles Darwin a lot and since you  have taken an interest in music and science I thought you would be interested in these thoughts of Schaeffer. I NOTICED IN YOUR INTERVIEW WITH ALAN MACFARLANE THAT YOU ARE A FOLLOWER OF JAZZ. My good friend Sean Michel (who appeared on American Idol in 2007) told me about his uncle who passed away in 1985, Joseph T. “Pee Wee” Spitelera  who played with Al Hirt’s band in New Orleans for about 40 years. If you do a You Tube search for “Dinah Shore Al Hirt” then it will bring up a 24 minute video entitled “Al Hirt on the Dinah Shore Chevy Show 1960,” and at the 4 1/2 minute mark Pee Wee Spirtelera takes off on a Clarinet solo that is out of this world. Also if you type in “Al Hirt Johnny Cash Show” then you will see a 4 min and 21 sec video entitled “Al Hirt on the Johnny Cash Show,” and at the 1 min mark Pee Wee goes crazy there in the  Clarinet on the Dec 16, 1970 Johnny Cash Show.

_______-

Below is a picture of Pee Wee and he has several other fine songs on You Tube too such as “Blue Clarinet” which would be perfect for a Woody Allen Movie.

_____________

NOT MANY PEOPLE HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THE FACT THAT THE PICTURE ON THE COVER OF SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND IS THE BEATLES’ GRAVE SITE.  In the article Philosophy and its Effect on Society Robert A. Sungenis (who was a personal friend of Schaeffer) tells us:

On the front cover are all the famous “Lonely Hearts” of the world who also could not find answers to life with reason and rationality, resorting to the existential leap into the dark…They are all viewing the burial scene of the Beatles, which, in the framework we are using here, represents the passing of idealistic innocence and the failure to find a rational answer and meaning to life, an answer to love, purpose, significance and morals. They instead were leaping into the irrational, whether it was by drugs, the occult, suicide, or the bizarre.

William Lane Craig observed that BERTRAND RUSSELL wrote that we must build our lives upon “the firm foundation of unyielding despair.” and also that Francis Schaeffer noted:

Modern man resides in a two-story universe. In the lower story is the finite world without God; here life is absurd, as we have seen. In the upper story are meaning, value, and purpose. Now modern man lives in the lower story because he believes there is no God. But he cannot live happily in such an absurd world; therefore, he continually makes leaps of faith into the upper story to affirm meaning, value, and purpose, even though he has no right to, since he does not believe in God. Modern man is totally inconsistent when he makes this leap, because these values cannot exist without God, and man in his lower story does not have God.

Charles Darwin had a very interesting reaction late in his life to the possibility that we live in an absurd universe and that was he blamed science for causing him to lose his aesthetic tastes and I read that in his biography ( Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters.). I am going to quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words. I have also enclosed a CD with two messages from Adrian Rogers and Bill Elliff concerning Darwinism.

RECENTLY I READ THIS QUOTE ATTRIBUTED TO YOU: 

Science and superstition, you can never reconcile them. If you believe that the truth lies in strange scrolls dug up from somewhere or another written by someone then there is no logical counter to that. 

What kind of evidence would it take today to convince you that God exists and the Bible is true? I submit to you that Biblical Archaeology is a field that has advanced tremendously in the last few decades and I propose you look in that area. Did you know that Charles Darwin was looking for evidence that confirmed the Bible’s accuracy back in the 19th century and this is one of the exact areas that he mentioned.

Darwin wrote in his Autobiography in 1876:

“But I was very unwilling to give up my belief; I feel sure of this, for I can well remember often and often inventing day-dreams of old letters between distinguished Romans, and manuscripts being discovered at Pompeii or elsewhere, which confirmed in the most striking manner all that was written in the Gospels.

Francis Schaeffer commented:

This is very sad. He lies on his bunk and the Beagle tosses and turns and he makes daydreams, and his dreams and hopes are that someone would find in Pompeii or some place like this, an old manuscript by a distinguished Roman that would put his stamp of authority on it, which would be able to show that Christ existed. This is undoubtedly what he is talking about. Darwin gave up this hope with great difficulty. I think he didn’t want to come to the position where his accepted presuppositions were driving him. He didn’t want to give it up, just as an older man he understood where it would lead and “man can do his duty.” Instinctively this of brains understood where this whole thing was going to eventually go…

SINCE CHARLES DARWIN’S DEATH WE NOW HAVE LOTS OF HISTORICAL RECORDS AND MUCH EVIDENCE FROM THE FIELD OF ARCHAEOLOGY THAT SHOW THE BIBLE IS HISTORICALLY ACCURATE.

Just like Darwin you need to ask yourself this same question but you will be doing it almost a century and a half later: Is the Bible historically accurate and have I taken the time to examine the evidence? Obviously Darwin was hoping that archaeology would provide some hope for the accuracy of the Bible. Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject and if you like you could just google these subjects: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.,

 CHARLES DARWIN’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY. Addendum. Written May 1st, 1881 [the year before his death].

“I have said that in one respect my mind has changed during the last twenty or thirty years. Up to the age of thirty, or beyond it, poetry of many kinds, such as the works of Milton, Gray, Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Shelley, gave me great pleasure, I have also said that formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me. I have also almost lost my taste for pictures or music. Music generally sets me thinking too energetically on what I have been at work on, instead of giving me pleasure. I retain some taste for fine scenery, but it does not cause me the exquisite delight which it formerly did….My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive….The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.”

Francis Schaeffer commented:

This is the old man Darwin writing at the end of his life. What he is saying here is the further he has gone on with his studies the more he has seen himself reduced to a machine as far as aesthetic things are concerned. I think this is crucial because as we go through this we find that his struggles and my sincere conviction is that he never came to the logical conclusion of his own position, but he nevertheless in the death of the higher qualities as he calls them, art, music, poetry, and so on, what he had happen to him was his own theory was producing this in his own self just as his theories a hundred years later have produced this in our culture. 

Unlike Darwin many people today still hang on to their love of music and the arts. Schaeffer points in his book The God Who Is There, pages 68-69, “The very ‘mannishness’ of man refuses to live in the logic of the position  to which his humanism and rationalism have brought him.  To say that I am only a machine is one thing; to live consistently  as if this were true is quite another…Every truly modern man is forced to accept some sort of leap in theory or practice, because the pressure of his own humanity demands it.  He can say what he will concerning what he himself is; but no matter what he says he is, he is still a man.”

Francis A. Schaeffer later asserted, “We cannot deal with people like human beings, we cannot deal with them on the high level of true humanity, unless we really know their origin-who they are. God tells man who he is. God tells us that He created man in His image. So man is something wonderful.” ( Escape from Reason: A Penetrating Analysis of Trends in Modern Thought )

The Beatles tried to escape from reason by turning to drugs. In the book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?, Schaeffer observed, “This emphasis on hallucinogenic drugs brought with it many rock groups–for example, Cream, Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Incredible String Band, Pink Floyd, and Jimi Hendrix. Most of their work was from 1965-1968. The Beatles’  SERGEANT PEPPER’S LONELY HEART S CLUB BAND (1967) also fits here. This disc is a total unity, not just an isolated series of individual songs, and for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. As a whole, this music was the vehicle to carry the drug culture and the mentality which went with it across frontiers which were almost impassible by other means of communication.”

SERGEANT PEPPER’S LONELY HEART S CLUB BAND not only dealt with drugs but also with death. In the TELEGRAPH in Nicky Browne’s obit it was noted that “Paul McCartney told interviewers that he took LSD for the first time with Tara Browne.” Wikipedia records, “The Honourable Tara Browne (4 March 1945 – 18 December 1966) was a young London socialite and heir to the Guinness fortune and was the son of Dominick Browne, 4th Baron Oranmore and Browne, a member of the House of Lords since 1927 who later became famous for having served in that house longer than any other peer…According to some sources, Tara was the inspiration for the Beatles song “A Day in the Life“.  He sat in on the making of the Beatles record ‘Revolver’.

On 17 January 1967 John Lennon, a friend of Browne’s, was composing music at his piano whilst idly reading London’s Daily Mail and happened upon the news of the coroner’s verdict into Browne’s death. He worked the story into the song “A Day in the Life“, later released on the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The second verse features the following lines:

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

According to Lennon, in his 1980 interview with Playboy magazine, “I was reading the paper one day and I noticed two stories. One was the Guinness heir who killed himself in a car. That was the main headline story. He died in London in a car crash.”

A side note about Tara Browne is that in  Paris his social circle was the likes of Samuel Beckett, Salvador Dali, and Jean Cocteau. Samuel Beckett had a lot to say on this issue of man’s significance as William Lane Craig has noted, “If each individual person passes out of existence when he dies, then what ultimate meaning can be given to his life? Does it really matter whether he ever existed at all? It might be said that his life was important because it influenced others or affected the course of history. Twentieth-century man came to understand this. Read Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. During this entire play two men carry on trivial conversation while waiting for a third man to arrive, who never does. Our lives are like that, Beckett is saying; we just kill time waiting—for what, we don’t know. In a tragic portrayal of man, Beckett wrote another play in which the curtain opens revealing a stage littered with junk. For thirty long seconds, the audience sits and stares in silence at that junk. Then the curtain closes. That’s all.”

DESPITE THE FACT THAT YOU BELIEVE THERE IS NO LASTING PURPOSE TO OUR LIVES THAT TRANSCENDS THIS LIFE WHY DO YOU THINK PEOPLE KEEP LOOKING FOR IT? I wonder if you were interested in the Beatles back the 1960’s? I  heard on the CBS radio news on 4-1-15 at 11 am that Cynthia Lennon had died at age 75 and an audio clip from the below interview given on the program “60 Minutes” was played and this is what was said between Cynthia and Mike Wallace:

MW: He said that he changed, and you didn’t. And that that is what eventually led to the breakup.

CL: [Nods] I think we both changed. But I did not want to go down the road that John was going.

MW: Which road?

CL: WHICH WAS THE ROAD OF “ENLIGHTENMENT” AS FAR AS DRUGS WAS CONCERNED.  John was in a more trapped situation than I was.

Later in this interview:

MW: And LSD was his road to self-discovery?

CL: That was the beginning. HE WAS ALWAYS SEARCHING. JOHN ALWAYS LOOKING FOR THE TRUTH, AN IDEAL, A DREAM. And I suppose once he’d got hooked on that situation and the mental state, he thought he’d found something new in life that nobody else had.

____________

No truer words were ever spoken. John in 1967 when the album  Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was about to come out was in the middle of some big changes in his life.  He was searching for meaning in life in what I call the 6 big L words just like King Solomon did in the Book of Ecclesiastes. He looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).

ECCLESIASTES 1:16-18  LEARNING

16 I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to knowmadness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.

18 For in much wisdom is much vexation,
    and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

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

v. 1 I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity.[i] 2 I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life.

v. 8  I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines,[j] the delight of the sons of man. v 10-11 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.

ECCLESIASTES 2:4-6, 18-20 LABOR

4 I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. 18 I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, 19 and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity. 20 So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors under the sun,

YOU CAN SEE JOHN LENNON’S EFFORTS IN THESE SAME AREAS OF HIS LIFE TOO. In the first part of his career he put almost all of his time into his music (his labor), and when he achieved fame and fortune (luxuries) he turned to laughter (the movie Hard Days Night demonstrated this well), and then to drugs (Solomon only had liquor to turn to since LSD had not been invented yet). Next when he was unsatisfied with his first marriage he married another woman and then in 1974 actually left Yoko and lived in LA getting drunk continually and having sex with many woman (ladies).

Finally Cynthia and Yoko noted something else about John’s journey:

CL: HE BECAME LESS INTERESTED IN THE ORIGINAL DREAM OF BECOMING FAMOUS AND BECOMING WEALTHY,  and that didn’t matter to him anymore. He had that, he had it all….

MW: He seemed to be always searching, whether it was drugs — a lot of them — or vegetarianism, or the Maharishi.

YO: I know, HE WAS ALWAYS SEARCHING. WE WERE ALWAYS SEARCHING. Together we went through macrobiotic, we went through vegetarian. And, um…we went…we went into all sorts, actually. Primal therapy.

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John also tried searching into learning about religions and other things that may bring him a meaning in life, but he never found it. (Actually I found Steve Turner’s article “John Lennon’s Born-Again Phase,” very enlightening.  Turner noted that Lennon “enjoyed watching some of America’s best-known evangelists—Pat Robertson, Billy Graham, Jim Bakker, and Oral Roberts. In 1972 he had written a desperate letter to Roberts confessing his dependence on drugs and his fear of facing up to ‘the problems of life.’ ” Sadly, after a short period of investigating Christianity Lennon turned back into a strong critic of Christianity.) NONE OF THESE 6 “L” WORDS CAN BRING SATISFACTION IN LIFE IF GOD IS NOT IN THE PICTURE.

Francis Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias 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.” 

If you are an atheist then you have a naturalistic materialistic worldview, and this short book of Ecclesiastes should interest you because the wisest man who ever lived in the position of King of Israel came to THREE CONCLUSIONS that will affect you.

FIRST, chance and time have determined the past, and they will determine the future.  (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13)

These two verses below  take the 3 elements mentioned in a naturalistic materialistic worldview (time, chance and matter) and so that is all the unbeliever can find “under the sun” without God in the picture. You will notice that these are the three elements that evolutionists point to also.

Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 is following: I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.

SECOND, Death is the great equalizer (Eccl 3:20, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”)

THIRD, Power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced(Eccl 4:1, 8:15)

Ecclesiastes 4:1-2: “Next I turned my attention to all the outrageous violence that takes place on this planet—the tears of the victims, no one to comfort them; the iron grip of oppressors, no one to rescue the victims from them.” Ecclesiastes 8:14; “ Here’s something that happens all the time and makes no sense at all: Good people get what’s coming to the wicked, and bad people get what’s coming to the good. I tell you, this makes no sense. It’s smoke.”

Solomon had all the resources in the world and he found himself searching for meaning in life and trying to come up with answers concerning the afterlife. However, it seems every door he tries to open is locked. Today men try to find satisfaction in learning, liquor, ladies, luxuries, laughter, and labor and that is exactly what Solomon tried to do too.  None of those were able to “fill the God-sized vacuum in his heart” (quote from famous mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal). You have to wait to the last chapter in Ecclesiastes to find what Solomon’s final conclusion is.

In 1978 I heard the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas when it rose to #6 on the charts. That song told me that Kerry Livgren the writer of that song and a member of Kansas had come to the same conclusion that Solomon had. I remember mentioning to my friends at church that we may soon see some members of Kansas become Christians because their search for the meaning of life had obviously come up empty even though they had risen from being an unknown band to the top of the music business and had all the wealth and fame that came with that. Furthermore, Solomon realized death comes to everyone and there must be something more.

Livgren wrote:

All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Take a minute and compare Kerry Livgren’s words to that of the late British humanist H.J. Blackham:

On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).

Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player DAVE HOPE of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and DAVE HOPE had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on youtube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible Church. DAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

Those who reject God must accept three realities of their life UNDER THE SUN.  FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life.  FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. In contrast, Dave Hope and Kerry Livgren believe death is not the end and the Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

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

Thank you again for your time and I know how busy you are.

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

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You can hear DAVE HOPE and Kerry Livgren’s stories from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust in the Wind (Official Video)

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

Pre-Order Miracles Out of Nowhere now at http://www.miraclesoutofnowhere.com

About the film:
In 1973, six guys in a local band from America’s heartland began a journey that surpassed even their own wildest expectations, by achieving worldwide superstardom… watch the story unfold as the incredible story of the band KANSAS is told for the first time in the DVD Miracles Out of Nowhere.

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Interview of Sir Richard Friend, part 1

Uploaded on Oct 31, 2008

An interview on the life and work of Sir Richard Friend, Cavendish Professor of Physics at the University of Cambridge. For a higher quality, downloadable, version, please see http://www.alanmacfarlane.com

All revenues go to the World Oral Literature Project

All revenues go to the World Oral Literature Project

Interview of Sir Richard Friend, part 2

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

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

I posted a lot in the past about my favorite Christian musicians such as Keith Green (I enjoyed reading Green’s monthly publications too), and 2nd Chapter of Acts and others. Today I wanted to talk about one of Larry Norman’s songs. David Rogers introduced me to Larry Norman’s music in the 1970’s and his album IN ANOTHER LAND came out in 1976 and sold an enormous amount of copies for a Christian record back then.

 

1. Only Visiting This Planet – Larry Norman

ONLY VISITING THIS PLANET

Larry Norman

Prophet…scoundrel…poet…thief…comedian…clown…rock star…fallen star…

A living, breathing contradiction in terms, Larry Norman passed away on February 24th, 2008 at the age of 60. I attended the funeral, arriving late and “listening” to it from outside the doors of a Church near Salem, Or.

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Also included on this album would be the first version of the song that would define both him and the Jesus Movement for all time, “I Wish We’d All Been Ready.” The song would be covered an inordinate number of time, not only by other artists but by Norman himself, appearing on more than just a handful of albums that would follow.

The Jesus Movement had a focal point of its ministry the idea of the soon coming secret Rapture of the Church. Theologians CI Scofield and Louis Sperry Chafer were primary influences as well as the Latter Rain Movement, a Pentecostal movement that emerge after World War ll that taught that the return of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Charismatic “gift” experiences would be a sign of the end times. Evangelist and “hippie prophet” Lonnie Frisbee would also play a major in the burgeoning musical genre.

The above coupled with the growing popularity of the unique “Dispensational” position on eschatology, the “Secret Rapture” was a major component of the Jesus Music and his rapture-ready song became the movements anthem. The song would even play a major role in the popular evangelical movie, “A Thief In the Night.”

Normans’ music and appearance would not play well in mainstream Christian circles that still argued that drums were inherently evil and the use of modern musical styles violated God’s ordinance. there is no doubt there was also a racial component to this issue as well. Norman’s music was heavily influenced not only by modern folk and rock of the time, but by Black Gospel music as well.

It would be the last nationally distributed album for Norman until the release of “Only Visiting This Planet” in 1972. In the years in between he would record and release two independent projects called “Street Level” and “Bootleg.” Both would feature grainy, underground looking black and white artwork. Both would also be “double albums” mixing live concert recording, studio demos of previously unreleased songs and future classics.

These albums would also reveal the smart and piercing humor Norman would always be noted for. Norman concerts were part rock and roll show, part revival meeting and part stand up comedy. This facet of his life and ministry would be introduced on these two albums. One section from “Bootleg” in particular really shines as he addressed the National Youth Workers of America Conference introducing “Sweet Sweet Song of Salvation.”

Larry Norman- Sweet Sweet Song of Salvation

Several songs from the two “independent” releases would find their way on to what is known as the “The Trilogy.” The Trilogy of albums include Only Visiting This Planet, So Long Ago the Garden and In Another Land. Though recognized as a trilogy of records Norman only stated that they were informally created to deal with the present, past and future (respectively) with each album focusing on one of those topics.

Norman had left Capitol after “Upon This Rock” and singed with MGM to release “Only Visiting This Planet” as well as the following album, 1973’s “So Long Ago the Garden.” On both albums he received production help from George Martin, the famed producer of the The Beatles.  Norman stated that he had previously met Paul McCartney and that Paul had tracked him down to talk about his music. This is interesting as we will discuss when we talk about “Only Visiting This Planet.”

The album was decidedly more “secular” in content than any of Norman’s other releases. But much of the controversy in Christian circles came from the original cover (pictured above) because many argued the picture of the lion in the field superimposed onto Norman’s body was an attempt to cover the fact that Norman is naked in the cover as his navel is clearly visible. The later cover (below) would be cropped at a much higher point.

But it is true that the content was not as blatantly spiritual as other Norman releases. This may have caused him to not perform those songs as often in concert, which in turn may have impacted the general longevity of many of the songs. Mus9ically the album was very “current” for the time and flawlessly produced. Martin brought in the same “mellotron” keyboard used on the Beatles, “Strawberry Fields Forever” to use on the song, “Lonely By Myself.” There is a story that while recording the album in one studio Paul McCartney was in the adjoining studio recording “Live and Let Die.”

The album combined Norman’s penchant for 60’s blues, 50’s pop vocals and current social commentary to create a true classic worthy of more attention than it ever really received. Highlights include Fly, Fly, Fly, Be Careful What You Sing, Baroquen Spirits, Nightmare #71 and the haunting beautiful, “She’s a Dancer.” One interesting note is the “cover” of “Christmastime.” The song originally appeared on Randy Stonehill’s “Born Twice” album and is credited as being written by Stonehill. On this album the songwriting credit is given to Norman.

In response to many critics that he had “sold out” his Gospel message on the previous album, Norman followed up with “In Another Land.” It would take nearly three years to record and release this album that ranks a VERY close second in the list of great Larry Norman albums. This album would be released on Norman’s Solid Rock label and receive distribution by Word records in 1975.

“In Another Land” would mark the first nationally distributed “Christian” album for Norman and would also mark the on again, off again love/hate relationship Norman would have with the Christian music industry and, in turn, the industry would have with him. Consider that despite his in arguable multiple contributions to the industry he was not inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame until 2001.

The album was not free of controversy despite its very evangelical content. The first and most obvious issue was the unseemly longhair he sported, which in 1975 was simply unacceptable at the time. The cover also received complaints because Norman’s thumbs are supposedly switched with the right thumb on the left hand and vice versa, and that, it is claimed, is some sort of Satanic imagery.

SERIOUSLY!

“In Another Land” would contain many of Norman’s classics that would remain favorites for all time. The production is stellar and the use of limited spacing between songs keeps the record moving in non-stop fashion. Highlights would literally include the entire album! But I will note some interesting points.

The cover of Stonehill’s “I Love You” in a little odd since the only line from Stonehill’s original from “Born Twice” is the first line of the song. “The Rock That Doesn’t Roll” continues the theme of “Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music” and would inspire countless musical defenses of Christian Rock. But rather than being a song about Christian Rock it is simply a play on words to describe Jesus. It is also the song that contains the lyric the album titles is based on.

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larry norman – the rock that doesnt roll

 

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Francis Schaeffer Whatever Happened to the Human Race (Episode 1) ABORTION _____________________________________ 1978 Prolife Pamphlet from Keith Green’s ministry has saved the lives of many babies!!!! Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?) Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical […]

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SCHAEFFER SUNDAY Katha Pollitt versus Scott Klusendorf on abortion rights!!!

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Katha Pollitt gives it her best try to portray abortion in a positive light while  Scott Klusendorf has pointed that “…when the pro-life debate has faltered, it’s because the focus has been shifted from the real issue: What is the unborn?”

Katha Pollitt “Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights”

Published on Nov 4, 2014

http://www.politics-prose.com/event/b…

Forty years after Roe v. Wade, even its supporters often feel a need to qualify their position on abortion. In her impassioned and eminently reasonable defense of a woman’s right to choose, Pollitt, The Nation’s award-winning “Subject to Debate” columnist, shows how this moral right is also a force for social good. (Picador)

Founded by Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade in 1984, Politics & Prose Bookstore is Washington, D.C.’s premier independent bookstore and cultural hub, a gathering place for people interested in reading and discussing books. Politics & Prose offers superior service, unusual book choices, and a haven for book lovers in the store and online. Visit them on the web at http://www.politics-prose.com/

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Scott Klusendorf on Pro-life Apologetics

Published on Feb 13, 2014

Scott Klusendorf, the acclaimed author of The Case for Life and Stand for Life and founder of the Life Training Institute, taught the principles of pro-life apologetics at Redefine. To view the video mentioned in this speech, visit http://www.prolifetraining.com/aborti…

See more of Redefine in this photo album: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s…

Pro-Life Arguments and the Vanishing Pro-Life Apologist

Article ID: DA021

By: Scott Klusendorf

Pro-Life Arguments- SYNOPSIS

The past few years have witnessed a stunning development in the pro-life movement. Many pro-life leaders now think we can make abortion rare by downplaying the moral question, “Does abortion take the life of a defenseless human being?” They favor a new strategy that appeals to the self-interests of women rather than moral truth. One leader asserts that an emphasis on unborn babies will only drive women of childbearing age away from the pro-life movement. But this new strategy is dangerous because it leaves the pro-abortion culture largely unchallenged. At the same time, it unilaterally strips the pro-life movement of its most powerful tools of persuasion. If pro-life advocates are to make abortion unthinkable, they must speak frankly about the nature of abortion.

For the past 26 years, pro-life apologists have argued that elective abortion unjustly takes the life of a defenseless human being. The rationale for their argument is clear-cut and can be expressed in the following syllogism:

1. Intentionally killing an innocent person is a moral wrong.

2. Elective abortion is the intentional killing of an innocent human person.

3. Hence, elective abortion is a moral wrong.

Despite the clarity and soundness of this argument, some pro-life leaders now question its ability to persuade. They contend that although abortion is an objective moral evil, pro-life advocates should reconsider their arguments or risk alienating women of childbearing age.

Pro-Life Arguments- THE CHANGING PRO-LIFE FOCUS

Paul Swope, for example, calls it a “failure to communicate” when pro-lifers focus primarily on the fetus rather than the felt needs of women. “The pro-life movement,” he writes, “must show that abortion is not in a woman’s own self-interest, and that the choice of life offers hope and a positive, expanded sense of self.”1

Swope believes pro-life advocates have won the moral and philosophical debate over the status of the fetus, but have failed to address the needs of women. He cites research indicating that even “pro-choice” women agree that abortion is killing. “The women believe that abortion is wrong, an evil, and that God will punish a woman who makes that choice.” Yet, the choice of abortion becomes one of self-preservation (at least socially), and since the woman did not intend to get pregnant, she reasons that “God will ultimately forgive her.”2

Until recently, the pro-life response was to point out that hardship did not justify homicide, but Swope thinks that a focus on babies only makes matters worse. He writes, “The pro-life movement’s own self-chosen slogans and educational presentations have tended to exacerbate the problem, as they focus almost exclusively on the unborn child, not the mother.”3

Pro-life feminist Frederica Matthews-Green agrees, “Pro-Lifers will not be able to break through this deadlock by stressing the humanity of the unborn. [T]hat is a question nobody is asking. But there is a question they are asking. It is, ‘How can we live without it?’ The problem is not moral, but practical.”4

There is merit to what both say. Pro-lifers must do more than stress the humanity of the unborn, especially with those facing the terror of unplanned pregnancy. This is why crisis pregnancy centers are so important. It is also true that for some abortion-minded women, appeals to self-interest may dissuade them from killing their babies.

But Swope and Matthews-Green are not saying we should reframe the debate in the narrow context of crisis counseling. Rather, they are telling the pro-life movement in general to speak less of the fetus and more to the self- interested needs of women. Although both have made important contributions to our cause, I think they are mistaken for the following reasons.

1. It is simply not true that the pro-life movement has won the debate over the status of the fetus. Both authors rightly point out that a majority of Americans support legal abortion even though most say that it is morally wrong. They interpret these contradictory findings to mean that while pro-lifers have won the moral debate over the humanity of the fetus, practical considerations keep many Americans committed to abortion.

Swope and Matthews-Green are confusing what the public says with what it truly believes. People hold contradictory and incoherent views on abortion precisely because they don’t really believe that the unborn are filly human, despite their rhetoric to the contrary. As philosopher Francis Beckwith points out, why do women only kill their fetuses when confronted with practical difficulties, rather than their already born children, if they truly believe their fetuses are fully human?5

Put differently; is there any reasonable person in America today who would argue that while he personally opposed the enslavement of blacks, he wouldn’t oppose the legal right of his neighbor to won one if he so chose? In fact, when people tell me they personally oppose abortion but think it should be legal anyway, I ask a simple question to audit their core beliefs about the unborn. I ask why they personally oppose abortion. Nearly always, the response is, “I oppose it because it kills a baby,” at which point I merely repeat their own words. “Let me see if I’ve got this straight: You say you oppose abortion because it kills a baby, but you think it should be legal to kill babies?” Those who are intellectually honest respond with stunned silence before conceding, “Gee, I never thought of it like that.” But many others reply glibly, “Well, its not the same thing.”

People who talk like this cannot possibly have thought much about the status of the fetus, let alone have resolved the issue in our favor. When it comes to first trimester abortion, polling data suggests the public has indeed resolved the issue, but it hardly agrees with us. A whopping 62 percent support the practice precisely because they don’t think the unborn at that stage of development are human persons.6 This is not a practical problem, but a deeply moral and intellectual one.

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Francis Schaeffer below pictured on cover of World Magazine:

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2. A strategy centered primarily on the self-interest of the woman sets a dangerous precedent for the pro-life movement. As Dr. Beckwith points out, even if appeals to self-interest temporarily reduce the number of abortions, it does not follow that our culture is becoming pro-life.

Say, for example, that Planned Parenthood releases a study demonstrating that women who abort live on average 10 years longer than those who don’t. Or, take an exact case from Boston where the National Abortion Access Project is running ads (soon to be released nationally) depicting abortion as “the responsible choice” for women who don’t want to “pay the price and have the baby.”

What principled argument against abortion can Swope or Matthews-Green make in either case? Beckwith writes, “Nurturing an unprincipled, self-interested culture may have the unfortunate con­sequence of increasing the number of people who think that unless their needs are pacified they are perfectly justified in performing homicide on the most vulnerable of our population.”7

Swope replies that moral persuasion simply does not work with many women. Consequently, he produces pro-life television ads that speak to the self-interest of women rather than the morality of abortion. He claims to have data proving the ads not only save babies, but change public opinion as well. “A 30 second ad with the objective of reaching women of childbearing age is simply not the place to teach about abstract moral obligations,” he writes.8

Perhaps so, but we shouldn’t then claim that these ads genuinely convert people to the pro-life view. True conversion on any ethical issue requires moral and intellectual assent. How can there be moral and intellectual assent if nothing in the ads speaks to moral or intellectual issues? What you get in this case are not true converts to the pro-life position, but self-interested converts who may readily abandon their newly found pro-life views. As one abortion rights leader put it, “The overwhelming majority of Americans are against abortion except in cases of rape, incest, and their own personal circumstances.” That is the heart of the issue.

Data from the pregnancy care profession seems to confirm this. Pro-life crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) outnumber abortion clinics nearly two to one, but there are still 1.3 million abortions annually. In fact Care Net, the nation’s largest affiliate of CPCs, reports that 80 percent of clients seen by its centers are not abortion minded.10 That means the vast majority of women considering abortion blow right by the local CPC on their way to Planned Parenthood. This is true despite Care Net’s laudable 1993 goal of making pregnancy care centers “so accessible and so effective in serving women that we put abortionists virtually out of business by the end of the decade.”11

Four years ago, I visited a well-funded midwestern CPC whose staff took me through comfortably furnished residential quarters that can house 40 pregnant women, most in their own private rooms. Residents enjoy impressive meals and round-the-clock medical care. The CPC also has a large, well-stocked library, classrooms in which clients pursue various courses of study, and an impressive list of services offered to women not in need of residency. The facility has the capacity to care for hundreds of nonresident clients as well. It’s hard to imagine a crisis pregnancy center that is more caring and more in tune with the self-interested needs of its clients.

Despite this CPC’s effective management and comprehensive services, it saved 80 babies that year in a metro area in which some ten thousand were killed! At times, the facility was less than half full. When pregnant women reject help from one of the best-run CPCs in the country, we don’t have practical problems; we have moral and philosophical problems. We struggle in the practical realm precisely because the culture does not agree with us that abortion is a serious moral wrong. But this center is hardly alone.

According to research presented by the Family Research Council (FRC) at a 1998 Focus on the Family conference for crisis pregnancy center staff the number of abortion-minded clients visiting CPCs is declining nationwide. For example, 10 CPCs, noted for their size and strong leadership, were asked to report their statistics for 1994 to 1996. The number of abortion-minded clients increased in four centers, but decreased in six. The number of “service on1y” clients (those coming in for diapers, clothing, etc., but not at risk for abortion) increased in seven, remained unchanged in one, and decreased in two. The FRC report warns that if these trends continue throughout the CPC movement, it could “threaten the primary mission of centers — to reach women at risk for abortion.”12

It’s not that women at risk are unaware that CPCs can help. According to a 1997 survey by the Wirthlin Group, 66 percent of American women were aware of crisis pregnancy centers and the services they provide, while 49 percent knew of their local center. Most important, 87 percent of those aware of CPCs believed they have a positive impact on the women they serve.13 Despite excellent services and high approval ratings, these centers are failing to reach the women most at risk.

Crisis pregnancy centers are vital to the pro-life movement, but even if there were one on every street corner in America, it would never “put abortionists virtually out of business,” much less by the end of the decade. “I’m glad that some women can be loved into loving their babies,” writes Gregg Cunningham of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform. “But I won’t let that fact blind me to the reality that there are many others who will kill their babies if they are not made more horrified of abortion than they are terrified of their own crisis pregnancies.”14

3. Downplaying the truth about abortion patronizes the very women we are trying to help. Speaking of pro-choice women facing a crisis pregnancy, Swope writes, an “emphasis on babies, whether dismembered fetuses or happy newborns, will tend to deepen the woman’s sense of denial, isolation, and despair, the very emotions that will lead her to choose abortion.”15

Swope is right that pro-lifers must address the woman’s emotional concerns but wrong to say that we must downplay the truth about abortion in order to do this. Are we to conclude that women can’t look at abortion objectively? As feminist author and abortion advocate, Naomi Wolf, points out, this view is condescending to women:

The pro-choice movement often treats with contempt the pro-lifers’ practice of holding up to our faces their disturbing graphics….[But] how can we charge that it is vile and repulsive for pro-lifers to brandish vile and repulsive images if the images are real? To insist that truth is in poor taste is the very height of hypocrisy. Besides, if these images are often the facts of the matter, and if we then claim that it is offensive for pro-choice women to be confronted by them, then we are making a judgment that women are too inherently weak to face a truth about which they have to make a grave decision. This view is unworthy offeminism.16

Some (though thankfully not all) CPCs have a policy forbidding the use of abortion pictures in counseling sessions, even when the client may consent to viewing them. As unpleasant as it seems, breaking people’s hearts over abortion is often an indispensable predicate to changing their minds. Pictures change the way they feel, and facts change the way they think. Both are vital. “I wish it weren’t so, but whatever might be a CPCs reasons for categorically rejecting the use of graphic depictions of abortion, those reasons had better be more important than the lives of the babies who will die because of that policy,” writes Cunningham.17

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

__________________________

4. Downplaying the truth about abortion is totally unnecessary and strips the pro-life movement of its most powerful tools of persuasion. We can win if we force abortion advocates to defend killing babies. The national debate over partial-birth abortion (PBA) is a case in point. Though President Clinton has twice vetoed legislation banning the procedure, the debate has helped pro-lifers in at least five ways.

First, public opinion has shifted modestly in our favor. Although Swope disputes that this has anything to do with PBA, the evidence is compelling.18 Since the partial-birth issue was first raised in 1995, the percentage of those who think abortion should be legal under any circumstances has dropped on average from 33 percent to 22 percent.19 The trend among women 18 and over is also encouraging. According to a 1999 study by The Center for Gender Equity, more women oppose abortion than support it. Fifty-three percent now say abortion should be illegal altogether or allowed only in cases of rape, incest, or endangerment of the mother’s life.20 That’s an eight-percent shift away from abortion rights compared to a poll taken two years prior.

Why the shift? For the first time in 25 years, the debate is about the abortion act itself and how it affects the unborn.21 “When someone holds up a model of a six-month-old fetus and a pair of surgical scissors, we say ‘choice’ and we lose,” writes Naomi Wolf.22

At a National Abortion Federation meeting in 1996, Kathryn Kohlbert cautioned delegates that if the debate over partial-birth abortion focuses on what happens to the unborn, their side will get “creamed.” She urged focusing exclusively on the woman:

If the debate is whether or not the fetus feels pain, we lose. If the debate in the public arena is what’s the effect of anesthesia. [on the fetus], we’ll lose. If the debate is on whether or not women ought to be entitled to late abortion, we will probably lose. But if the debate is on the circumstances of individual women, and [how] the government shouldn’t be making those decisions, then I think we can win these fights.23

We have yet to convince many of the inhumanity of abortion in the first trimester. But graphic depictions of abortion have put our opponents on the defensive.

Second, the shift in public opinion has led to legislative progress. Despite recent setbacks in the states of Washington and Colorado, where ballot initiatives banning PBA suffered narrow defeats, the trend has been remarkably positive for the pro-life movement. For instance, New Jersey legislators — including many liberal Democrats — are supporting limits on abortion. According to The New York Times, the New Jersey experience is typical of the national trend where 31 states have now passed measures restricting access to abortion. Pro-lifers are forcing liberals to defend the abortion act itself. In New Jersey; lawmakers were actually shown videos of abortion procedures prior to a committee vote on PBA.24

Mary Balch, director of the National Right to Life State Legislative Department, explains her success with liberal lawmakers: “All we had done was to say to them, ‘Pro-abortionists support removing a large, living unborn baby almost entirely from her mother’s womb, stabbing her in the head with scissors, and sucking out her brains. Are you willing to support that?”25

Swope replies that his strategy does not necessarily apply to legislative or political change, but only to reaching the general public. This misses the point entirely. Politicians will restrict abortion precisely because public opinion demands it. Most legislators, especially those who are pro-abortion, are not going to support pro-life legislation in the absence of intense pressure from constituents. What changed the minds of constituents in this case was not concern for the self-interest of women, but the brutal reality of abortion.

Third, both the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology have issued reports condemning partial-birth abortion.26 The AMA has gone even further, stating that late-term abortions are rarely, if ever, needed to save the mother’s life or physical health.27 Though abortion advocates within the AMA have protested that the reports were politically motivated, they’ve presented no evidence to challenge the fact that partial-birth abortion procedures are nearly always performed on healthy women carrying healthy babies. Both organizations have a history of supporting abortion-on-demand, yet the debate over PBA forced each to issue statements questioning the morality of some abortions.

Fourth, PBA legislation has raised the issue of fetal pain, further calling into question the morality of abortion. An editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association states, “It is beyond ironic that the pain management practiced for an intact D&X on a human fetus would not meet the federal standards for the humane care of animals used in medical research.”28 Other medical journals have raised similar concerns.29

Fifth, the PBA debate has undermined the credibility of abortion advocates in general. Simply put they were caught lying, and even their staunchest supporters in the media felt cheated. Pro-abortion columnist Richard Cohen writes, “I was led to believe that these late-term abortions were extremely rare and performed only when the life of the mother was in danger or the fetus irreparably deformed. I was wrong.”30 A short time later, Ron Fitzimmons, executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, admitted that he and others intentionally lied to the public when they said only four-hundred of these grisly procedures were done each year. He confessed that thousands of these procedures are performed annually on perfectly healthy mothers carrying perfectly healthy babies.31

The partial birth debate damaged the pro-abortion side because it focused on what abortion does to the unborn. Pro-lifers did two things right. First, we forced abortion advocates to defend the indefensible. Second, we marshaled factual evidence to show that our opponents were lying. That’s the essence of effective pro-life apologetics as we approach the twenty-first century.

Pro-Life Arguments- CHANGING OUR BEHAVIOR, NOT OUR MESSAGE

The primary challenge confronting the pro-life movement is not persuading the public that our position is practical, but that our position is true. Public revulsion over partial-birth abortion has given us a rare opportunity to frame the debate in moral terms. But we are doing precious little to press our advantage.

This past January, I conducted a state-by-state survey of major pro-life events around the country. State pro-life groups were eager to send me their list of activities, as January is their most active month due to the anniversary of Roe. v. Wade. Listed were numerous banquets, rallies, Christian rock concerts, potluck suppers, golf tournaments, marches, candlelight vigils, prayer services, and religious events. Shocking was the fact that not one of the events I surveyed remotely related to impacting the culture at the idea level or equipping our people to think and defend their views persuasively.32

The American public is confused and holds contradictory positions on abortion because people think the issue is morally complex. This confusion can be cleared up if pro-life apologists frame the debate around one question, as Gregory Koukl, president of Stand to Reason, explains: “Imagine that your child walks up when your back is turned and asks, ‘Daddy, can I kill this? What is the first thing you must find out before you can answer him? You can never answer the question “Can I kill this?” unless you’ve answered a prior question: What is it?”33

The answer to the question “What is the unborn?” trumps all other considerations. It is key to answering virtually every objection to the pro-life view. The following dialogue illustrates why there is only one issue to resolve, not many:

Abortion Advocate: Abortion is a private choice between a woman and her doctor.

Pro-Lifer: Do we allow parents to mistreat their children if done in private?

Abortion Advocate: Of course not. Those children are human beings.

Pro-Lifer: Then the issue isn’t privacy. It’s “What is the unborn?”

Abortion Advocate: But many poor women cannot afford to raise another child.

Pro-Lifer: When human beings get expensive, may we kill them?

Abortion Advocate: Well, no, but aborting a fetus is not the same as killing a person.

Pro-Lifer: So, once again, the issue is “What is the unborn? Is the fetus a human person?”

Abortion Advocate: But you’re being too simplistic. This is a very complex issue involving women who must make agonizing decisions.

Pro-Lifer: The decision may be psychologically complex for the mother, but morally it is not complex at all. When blacks are mistreated in a certain society; do we spin a tale about com­plex, agonizing decisions for the whites in power or do we condemn the evil of racism?

Abortion Advocate: Aborting a fetus that is not a person is one thing, discriminating against black persons is quite another.

Pro-Lifer: So we’re agreed: If abortion kills a defenseless human being, then the issue wouldn’t be complex at all. The question is, “What is the unborn?”

Abortion Advocate: Enough with your abstract philosophy. Let’s talk about real life. Do you really think a woman should be forced to bring an unwanted child into the world?

Pro-Lifer: The homeless are unwanted, may we kill them?

Abortion Advocate: But it’s not the same.

Pro-Lifer: That’s the issue, isn’t it? Are they the same? If the unborn are human like the homeless, then we can’t kill them to get them out of the way. We’re back to my first question, “What is the unborn?”

Abortion Advocate: But you still shouldn’t force your morality on women.

Pro-Lifer: You don’t really believe what you just said. You’d feel very comfortable forcing your morality on a mother who was physically abusing her two-year-old, wouldn’t you?

Abortion Advocate: But the two cases are not the same.

Pro-Lifer: Oh? Why is that?

Abortion Advocate: Because you’re assuming the unborn are human, like the two-year-old.

Pro-Lifer: And you’re assuming they’re not. So the issue is quite simple, isn’t it? It’s not forcing morality; it’s not privacy; it’s not economic hardship; it’s not unwantedness; it’s “What is the unborn?”

What we must change is not our message, but our behavior. Babies are dying whose lives could be saved if pro-life advocates were equipped to argue their case persuasively. We can win if we force abortion advocates to defend killing babies. The battle over partial-birth abortion indicates this.

When the pro-life debate has faltered, it’s because the focus has been shifted from the real issue: What is the unborn? The reluctance of some pro-lifers to advance moral arguments is a tacit admission they either don’t have a moral case to offer or lack the courage to proclaim it. Either way, these pro-lifers have not merely failed to communicate, they’ve abandoned the fight altogether. This we cannot do.

notes

1. Paul Swope, “Abortion: A Failure to Communicate,” First Things, April 1998.

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Frederica Matthews-Green, Real Choices (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 1994), 32.

5. Francis J. Beckwith, letter to the editor, First Things (October, 1998).

6. Susan Yoachum, “California Pro-Choice — Early-on Poll Says Late-Term Abortions Opposed,” The San Francisco Chronicle, 10 March 1997, and The New York Times/CBS poll (January 1998).

7. Francis J. Beckwith, “Taking Abortion Seriously,” unpublished paper, 1999. This paper will be presented at the 51st Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Danvers, Massachusetts, 17-19 November 1999.

8. Reply to Francis J. Beckwith’s letter to the editor, First Things, October1998.

9. David Shaw, “Abortion Bias Seeps into News,” The Los Angeles Times, 1-4 July 1990.

10. Care Net Volunteer Training Manual, 1995, 24.

11. “Action Line” (the former newsletter of the Christian Action Council, the group now known as Care Net), January 1993; see also Kim Lawton, “20 Years after Roe, Christianity Today, 11 January 1993, 38.

12. Kurt Young, “Assessing Center Impact Increasing Center Effectiveness,” Family Outreach Council, February 1998. This paper was presented at a Focus on the Family conference specifically to address the decline in abortion-minded clients.

13. Poll cited in National Rights to Life News, 7 May 1998.

14. 12 April 1993 letter from Gregg Cunningham to Scott Klusendorf.

15. Swope.

16. Naomi Wolf, “Our Bodies, Our Souls,” The New Republic, 16 October 1996.

17. 12 April 1993 letter from Cunningham to Klusendorf. I have letters on file from CPCs that have responsibly used graphic visual aids to deter women from abortion.

18. Swope credits his ads (in states where they run) rather than PBA for the shift, but this flies in the face of nearly every opinion poll taken since 1997. Pollsters consistently cite PBA for the change in public attitudes. See also n. 21.

19. USA Today/CNN poll, 1997; cited in Ruth Padawer, “Partial Birth Battle Changing Public Views,” USA Today, 17 November 1997.

20. Study conducted by the Center for Gender Equality, January 1999. Cited in John Leo, “The Joy of Sexual Values,” U.S. News and World Report, 1 March 1999. Another sign of slippage in support for legal abortion is UCLA’s annual survey of college freshman, where in 1998 only 50.9 percent favored the practice, down front 65 percent in 1990.

21. Even pro-abortion feminists concede this. Faye Wattleton, Executive Director of the Center for Gender Equity said the debate over PBA has affected women’s overall views on abortion. “We’ve been seeing an erosion of support [for abortion], and that probably grows out of the late-term abortion debate.” (Cited in The Boston Herald, 4 February 1999.)

22. Naomi Wolf, “Pro-Choice and Pro-Life,” The New York Time’s, 3 April 1997.

23. Diane Gianelli, “Abortion Rights Leader Urges End to Half-Truths.” American Medical News, 3 March 1997.

24. Abby Goodnough, “Trenton Turning from Its longtime Support of Abortion Rights,” The New York Times, 22 February 1998.

25. “The Untold Story of Partial-Birth Abortion,” National Right to Life News, 15 March 1999.

26. On the AMA, see M. L. Sprang and M. G. Neerhof, “Rationale for Banning Abortions Late in Pregnancy,” Journal of the American Medical Association, 26 August 1998. On the ACOG, see Diane Gianelli, “AMA Report: Third Trimester Abortions Rarely Necessary” American Medical News, 26 May 1997.

27. Gianelli, “AMA Report.”

28. Sprang and Neerhof.

29. Xenophon Giannakoulopoulos, et al, “Fetal Plasma Cortisol and B-Endorphin Response to Intrauterine Needling,” The Lancet (July 9, 1994): See also Diane Gianelli, “Anesthesiologists Question Claims in Abortion Debate,” American Medical News, 1 January 1996.

30. Richard Cohen, “Late Abortions Can Transcend the Issue of Choice,” The New York Times, 26 September 1996.

31. David Stout, “An Abortion Advocate Says He Lied about Procedure,” The New York Times, 26 February 1997. See also Gianelli, “Abortion Rights Leader Urges End to Half-Truths.”

32. I am speaking here only of major events as advertised by pro-life groups. I do not mean to imply that local pro-life groups or individuals did nothing to persuade the public.

33. Gregory P. Koukl, Precious Human Unborn Persons (San Pedro, CA: Stand to Reason, 1997), 4-5.

___________________

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro)

Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of Truth & History (part 2)

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Milton Friedman on the future of capitalism

 

Which Way for Capitalism

from the May 1978 issue

WHAT IS THE FUTURE of capitalism?—by which I mean the future of competitive capitalism—free enterprise capitalism. In a certain sense, every major society is capitalist. Russia has a great deal of capital, but it is under the control of governmental officials who are supposedly acting as agents of the State. That turns capitalism (state capitalism) into a wholly different system from a system under which capital is controlled by individuals in their private capacity as owners and operators of industry. What I want to take up here is the future of private enterprise—of competitive capitalism.
The future of private enterprise capitalism is also the future of a free society. There is no possibility of having a politically free society unless the major part of its economic resources are operated under a capitalistic private enterprise system.

TOWARD COLLECTIVISM

The real question, therefore, is the future of human freedom. The question that I want to consider is whether or not we are going to complete the movement that has been going on for the past 40 or 50 years, away from a free society and toward a collectivist society. Are we going to continue down that path until we have followed Chile by losing our political freedom and coming under the thumb of an all powerful government? Or are we going to be able to halt that trend, perhaps even reverse it, and establish a greater degree of freedom? One thing is clear—we cannot continue along the lines that we have been moving. In 1928, less than 50 years ago, government at all levels—federal, state, and local—spent less than 10 percent of the national income. Two-thirds of that was at the state and local level. Federal spending amounted to less than 3 percent of thenational income. Today, total government spending at all levels amounts to 40 percent of the national income, and two-thirds of that is a t the federal level. So federal government spending has moved in less than 50 years from 3 percent to over 25 percent—total government spending from 10 percent to 40 percent. Now, I guarantee you one thing. In the next 50 years government spending cannot move from 40 percent of the national income to 160 percent. Legislatures cannot repeal the laws of arithmetic. In judging whether we will keep trying to continue on this path until we have lost our freedom, it’s worth considering where we are and how we got there.

Let me say at the outset that, with all the problems I am going to talk about, this still remains a predominantly free society. There is no great country in the world (there are some small enclaves,but no great country) that offers as much freedom to the individual as the United States does. But having said that, we ought also to recognize how far we have gone away from the ideal of freedom and the extent to which our lives are restricted by governmental enactments. In talking about freedom, it is important to distinguish two different meanings, on the economic level, of the concept of free enterprise, for there is no which is more misused or more misunderstood. The one meaning that is often attached to free enterprise is that enterprises shall be free to do what they want. That is not the meaning that has historically been attached to free enterprise. What we really mean is the freedom of individuals to set up enterprises. It is the freedom of an individual to to engage in an activity so long as he uses only voluntary methods of getting other individuals to cooperate with him. If you want to see how far we have moved from the basic concept of free enterprise, you can consider how free anyone is to set up an enterprise. You are not free to establish a bank or to go into the taxicab business unless you can get a certificate of convenience and necessity from the local, state, or federal authorities. You cannot become a lawyer or a physician or a plumber or a mortician (and you can name many other cases) unless you can get a license from the government to engage in that activity. You cannot go into the business of delivering the mail or providing electricity or providing telephone service unless you get a permit from the government to do so. You cannot raise funds on the capital market and get other people to lend you money unless you go through the SEC and fill out the 400 pages of forms that they require. To take the latest restriction on freedom, you cannot any longer engage in voluntary deals with others or make bets with other people on an organized exchange about the future prices of commodities unless you get the approval of the government.

RISING TAXATION

Another example of the extent to which we have moved away from a free society is the 40 percent of our earnings, on the average, which is coopted by the government. Each and every one of us works from the first of January to late in April or May, in order to pay governmental expenses, before we can start to work for our own expenses. If you want to look at it still another way, the government owns 48 percent of every corporation in the United States. We talk about ourselves as a free enterprise society. Yet in terms of the fundamental question of who owns the means of production in the corporate sector we are 48 percent socialistic because the corporate tax is 48 percent. Once when I was in Yugoslavia some years ago I calculated that the difference in the degree of socialism in the United States and in Communist Yugoslavia was exactly 18 percentage points, because the US government took 48 percent and the Yugoslav government took 66 percent of the profits of every corporation. And of course, those numbers grossly understate the role of the government because of its effect in regulating business in areas other than taxation.

Let me give you another example of the extent to which we have lost freedom. About a year or so ago, I had a debate in Washington with that great saint of the US consumer, Ralph Nader. I posed the question of state laws requiring people who ride motorcycles to wear helmets. Now I believe that in many ways that law is the best litmus paper to distinguish true believers in individualism from people who do not believe in individualism, because the person riding the motorcycle is risking only his own life. He may be a fool to drive that motorcycle without a helmet, but part of freedom and liberty is the freedom to be a fool! So I expressed the view that the state laws which make it compulsory for people who are riding motorcycles to wear helmets are against individual freedom and against the principles of a free society. I asked Ralph Nader for his opinion, and he gave the answer I expected. He said, ‘Well,that’s all very well for a different society. But you must realize that today, if the motorcyclist driving down the road without a helmet splashes himself on the pavement, a government-subsidized ambulance will come to pick him up, they will take him to a government-subsidized hospital, he will be buried in a government-subsidized cemetery, and his wife and children will be supported by government-subsidized welfare. Therefore we can’t let him!” What he was saying was that every single one of us bears on our back a stamp that says, “Property of the US government. Do not fold, bend, or mutilate.” That is essentially the fundamental principle that animates the Ralph Naders of our time—the people who want the power to be in government. You see it everywhere. You see it in a law passed a few years ago which requires the Treasury Department to report to the Congress a category called Tax Expenditures—taxes which are not collected from you because of various deductions permitted by the law (such as interest or excess depreciation). The principle is that you are, after all, the property of the US government. You work for the government, and the government lets you keep a little of what you earn in order to be sure that you’ll keep working hard for them. But the rest of it is the property of the US government. And if the government allows you to deduct something from your taxes, it’s a government expenditure. You have no right to keep it. It’s theirs!

FREE SPEECH

We have gone very far indeed along the road to losing freedom. But you may say that I am talking only about economic matters, about whether you can enter a profession or an occupation. What about political freedom? What about the freedom of speech? How many businessmen have you heard in the past 10 years who have been willing to stand up on some public rostrum and take issue with governmental policies? Many a businessman gets up and expresses general sentiments in favor of free enterprise and of competition, but very few get up and criticize particular measures taken by government. And I don’t blame them. They would be fools to do it! Because any businessman who has the nerve to do that has to look over one shoulder and see what the IRS is going to do to his books the next day. And he has to look over the other shoulder to see whether the Justice Department is going to launch an antitrust suit. And then he has to find two or three more shoulders to see what the FTC is going to do. You can take any other three letters of the alphabet and you have to ask what they are going to do to you. In fact, a businessman today does not have effective freedom of speech. But you may say that businessmen don’t matter. What about the intellectuals? Suppose I take a professor from a medical school whose research and training is largely being financed by the National Institutes of Health. Do you suppose he wouldn’t think three times before he gives a speech against socialized medicine? Suppose I take one of my colleagues in economics who has been supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation. I personally happen to think there is no justification for the National Science Foundation. (As it happens, I have never received a grant from them, though I might have. It isn’t that they have turned me down; I haven’t asked them!) But nonetheless, do you suppose my colleagues would not be inhibited in speaking out? In fact, I have often said that about the only people who have any real freedom of speech left are people who are In the fortunate position of myself—tenured professors at major private universities on the verge of retirement! An even more chilling story about freedom of the press comes from Britain. The London Times was prevented from publishing for one day by the pressmen’s unions because the issue would have carried a story that was critical of the policies of the unions.So there is no way of separating economic freedom from political freedom. The only way you can have the one is to have the other.

FREEDOM IN THE PAST

So much for the present. What about the past? The closest approach to free enterprise we have ever had in the United States was in the 19th century. Yet your children will hear over and over again in their schools and in their classes the myth that that was a terrible period when the robber barons were grinding the poor miserable people under their heels. That’s a myth constructed out of whole cloth. The plain fact is that at no other time in human history has the ordinary man improved his condition and benefited his life as much as he did during that period of the 19th century when we were the closest to free enterprise. Many of us, I venture to say, are beneficiaries of that period. I speak of myself. My parents came to this country in the 1890’s. Like millions of others, they came with empty hands. They were able to find a place in this country, to build a life for themselves and to provide a basis on which their children and their children’s children could have a better life. There is no saga in history remotely comparable to the saga of the United States during that era, welcoming millions of people from all over the world and enabling them to find a place for themselves and to improve their lives. And it was possible only because there was an essentially free society. If the laws and regulations that today hamstring industry and commerce had been in effect in the 19th century, our standard of living today would be. below that of the 19th century. It would have been impossible to have absorbed the millions of people who came to this country. What produced the shift? Why did we move from a situation in which we had an essentially free society to a situation of increasing regimentation by government? In my opinion, the fundamental cause of most government intervention is an unholy coalition between, on the one hand, well-meaning people seeking to do good and, on the other, special interests (meaning you and me) seeking advantage from government. The great movement toward government has not come about as a result of people with evil intentions trying to do evil. No, it has come about because of good people trying to do good. But they have tried to do good with other people’s money, and doing good with other people’s money has two basic flaws. In the first place, you never spend anybody else’s money as carefully as you spend your own. So a large fraction of that money is inevitably wasted. In the second place, and equally important, you cannot do good with other people’s money unless you first get the money away from them, so that force—sending a policeman to take the money from somebody’s pocket is fundamental to the philosophy of the welfare state. That is why the attempt by good people to do good has led to disastrous results. It was this movement toward welfare statism that produced the phenomenon in Chile which ended with the Allende regime. It is this tendency to try to do good with other people’s money that has brought Great Britain once the greatest nation of the earth, the nation which is the source of our traditions and our values and our beliefs in a free society—to the edge of catastrophe.

When you start on the road to do good with other people’s money, it is easy at first. You’ve got a lot of people to pay taxes and a small number of people for whom you are trying to do good. But the later stages become harder and harder. As the number of people on the receiving end grows, you end up taxing 50 percent of the people to help 50 percent of the people—or really, 100 percent of the people to distribute benefits to 100 percent!

THE FUTURE

Where do we go from here? People may say. “You can’t turn the clock back. How can you go back?” But the thing that always amuses me about that argument is that the people who make it, and who accuse me or my colleagues of trying to turn the clock back to the 19th century, are themselves busily at work trying to turn it back to the 18th century. Adam Smith, in 1776, wrote The Wealth of Nations. It was an attack on the government controls of his time—on mercantilism, on tariffs, on restrictions, on governmental monopoly. But those are exactly the results which the present-day reformers are seeking to achieve In any event, that’s a foolish question. The real question is not whether you are turning the clock back or forward but whether you are doing the right thing. Some people argue that technological changes require big government and you can no longer talk in the terms of the 19th century when the federal government only absorbed three percent of the national income. That’s nonsense from beginning to end. Some technological changes no doubt require the government to engage in activities different from those in which it engaged before. But other technological changes reduce the need for government. The improvements in communication and transportation have greatly reduced the possibility of local monopoly which requires government intervention to protect the consumers. Moreover, if you look at the record, the great growth of government has not been in the areas dictated by technological change.

The great growth of government has been to take money from some people and to give it to others. The only way technology has entered into that is by providing the computers which make it possible to do so. Other people will say, “How can you talk about stopping this trend? What about big business? Does it really make any difference whether automobiles are made by General Motors, which is an enormous bureaucratic enterprise employing thousands of people, or by an agency of the United States Government, which is another bureaucratic enterprise?” The answer to that is very simple. It does make all the difference in the world, because there is a fundamental difference between the two. There is no way in which General Motors can get a dollar from you unless you agree to give it to them. They can only get money from you by providing you with something you value more than the money you give them. If they try to force something on you that you don’t want—ask Mr. Henry Ford what happened when they tried to introduce the Edsel. On the other hand, the government can get money from you without your consent. They can send policemen to take it out of your pocket. General Motors doesn’t have that power. And that is all the difference in the world. It is the difference between a society in which exchange is voluntary and a society in which exchange is not voluntary. It’s the reason why the government, when it is in the saddle, produces poor quality at high cost, while industry, when it’s in the saddle, produces high quality at low cost. The one has to satisfy its customers and the other does not.

Where shall we go from here? There are two possible scenarios. The one is that we shall continue in the direction in which we have been going,with gradual increases in the scope of government and government control. If we do continue in that direction, two results are inevitable. One is financial crisis and the other is loss of freedom. Great Britain is a frightening example to contemplate. It moved in this direction earlier than we and has gone much farther. The effects are patent and clear. But at least when Britain moved in this direction and thus lost its power politically and internationally, the United States was there to take over the defense of the free world. But I ask you, if the United States follows the same course, who is going to take over from us? That’s one scenario, and I very much fear it’s the more likely one. The other scenario is that we shall, in fact, halt this trend that we shall call a halt to the apparently increasing growth of government, set a limit, and hold it back. There are many favorable signs from this point of view. I may say that the greatest reason for hope, in my opinion, is the inefficiency of government. Many people complain about government waste, but I welcome it. I welcome it for two reasons. In the first place, efficiency is not a disirable thing if somebody is doing a bad thing. A great teacher of mine, Harold Hotelling, a mathematical economist, once wrote an article on the teaching of statistics. He said, “Pedagogical ability is a vice rather than a virtue if it is devoted to teaching error.” That’s a fundamental principle. Government is doing things that we don’t want it to do; so the more money it wastes, the better. In the second place, waste brings home to the public at large the fact that government is not an efficient and effective instrument for achieving its objectives.

One of the great causes for hope is a growing disillusionment around the country with the idea that government is the all-wise, all-powerful big brother who can solve every problem that comes along, that if only you throw enough money at a problem it will be resolved. Several years ago John Kenneth Galbraith wrote an article in which he said that New York City had no problem that could not be solved by an increase in government spending in New York. Well, since that time, the budget in the city of New York has more than doubled and so have the problems of New York. The one is cause and the other effect. The government has spent more, but that meant that the people have less to spend. Since the government spends money less efficiently than individuals spend their own money, as government spending has gone up,the problems have gotten worse. My main point is that this inefficiency, this waste, brings home to the public at large the undesirability of governmental intervention. There are also many unfavorable signs. It’s far easier to enact laws than to repeal them. Every special interest, including you and me, has great resistance to giving up its special privileges. I remember when Gerald Ford became president and called a summit conference to do something about the problems of inflation. I sat at that summit conference and heard representatives of one group after another go to the podium—a representative of business, a representative of the farmers, a representative of labor, you name the group—they all went to the podium and they all said the same things: “Of course, we recognize that in order to stop inflation we must cut down government spending. And I tell you, the way to cut down government spending is to spend more on me.” That was the universal refrain.

Many people say that one of the causes or hope is the rising recognition by the business community that the growth of government is a threat to the free enterprise system. I wish I could believe that, but I do not. You must recognize the facts. Business corporations in general are not defenders of free enterprise. On the contrary, they are one of the chief sources of danger. The two greatest enemies of free enterprise in the United States, in my opinion, have been, on the one hand, my fellow intellectuals and, on the other hand, the business corporations of this country. They are enemies for opposite reasons. Every one of my fellow intellectuals believes in freedom for himself. He wants free speech. He wants free research. I ask him, “Isn’t it a terrible waste that a dozen people are studying the same problem? Oughtn’t we to have a central planning committee to decide what research projects various individuals undertake?” He’ll look at me as if I’m crazy, and he’ll say, “What do you mean? Don’t you understand about the value of academic freedom and freedom of research? ” But when it comes to business he says,“Oh, that’s wasteful competition. That’s duplication over there! We must have a central planning board to make those things intelligent, sensible!”So every intellectual is in favor of freedom for himself and against freedom for anybody else. The businessman and the business enterprises are very different. Every businessman and every business enterprise is in favor of freedom for everybody else, but when it comes to himself, that’s a different question. We have to have that tariff to protect us against competition from abroad. We have to have that subsidy. Businessmen are in favor of freedom for everybody else but not themselves. There are many notable exceptions. There are many business leaders who have been extremely farsighted in their understanding of the problem and will come to the defense of a free enterprise system. But for the business community in general, the tendency is typified by U.S. Steel Company, which takes ads to extol the virtues of free enterprise but then pleads before Congress for an important quota on steel from Japan. The only result of that is for everybody who is fair-minded to say, “What a bunch of hypocrites!”

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 104 A look at the BEATLES as featured in 7th episode of Francis Schaeffer film HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? Part B “The church with its liberal theology has left a vacuum.” The Fab Four were victims of religious liberalism and as a result were constantly searching for values!! (Artist featured today is Richard Hamilton)

 

Sadly the Beatles were involved in a liberal church that had left historic Biblical truth behind and as a result they were left searching for  meaning and values and this can be seen clearly throughout their lives and music.

(John Lennon as a child below)

Wikipedia asserts, “Lennon attended St. Peter’s Anglican church. He sang in the choir, attended Sunday School and joined the Bible Class. He was confirmed at the age of fifteen of his own free will.[3]

(In the picture below Paul McCartney (top left) pictured in 1952 auditioning to become a choir boy)

On ST PETER’S ANGLICAN CHURCH’S website you will find this picture and words:

Beatles meeting

The Beatles Connection

“Almost certainly the most important meeting in popular music history” is how the first meeting of John Lennon and Paul McCartney has recently been described…
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Wikipedia notes, On 6 July 1957, John Lennon first met Paul McCartney in the church hall of ST PETER’S ANGLICAN CHURCH in Liverpool when Lennon was playing with his group, The Quarrymen. Later McCartney joined the group, which later became The Beatles. In the churchyard of St Peter’s is the grave of Eleanor Rigby, who became the subject for one of The Beatles’ songs. Also in the churchyard is the grave of Lennon’s uncle, George Toogood Smith, with whom he lived as a child.[4]

ST PETER’S ANGLICAN CHURCH’S Churchyard pictured below with the famous ELEANOR RIGBY gravestone:

 

Eleanor Rigby-The Beatles

 

The Quarrymen performing in Rosebery Street, Liverpool on 22 June 1957. [1] (Left to right: Hanton, Griffiths, Lennon, Garry, Shotton, and Davis)

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

 

Francis Schaeffer noted, “The church is to blame because the church with its liberal theology has left a vacuum.” In other words, many churches such as  ST PETER’S ANGLICAN CHURCH in Liverpool left their previous belief that the Bible is historical correct and is trustworthy and they no longer looked at the Bible as their ultimate authority in all of life. HOWEVER, NOT ALL ANGLICAN CHURCHS HAVE EMBRACED HUMANISM AND RELIGIOUS LIBERALISM.  Back in the 1970’s I read the book “Basic Christianity” by John Stott, longtime rector (pastor) of All Souls Church, Langham Place, in London. While in London in 1979 I had the opportunity to attend a Tuesday evening prayer meeting where there were about 40 people and I got to hear John Stott speak. I was so thrilled to get to hear him speak in person.

John Stott attended his local church, All Souls, Langham Place (www.allsouls.org) in London’s West End, since he was a small boy. Indeed one of his earliest memories is of sitting in the gallery and dropping paper pellets onto the fashionable hats of the ladies below! Following his ordination in 1945 John Stott became assistant curate at All Souls and then, unusually, was appointed rector in 1950. He became rector emeritus in 1975, a position he held to the end of his life.

“Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings…” Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984). We take a look today at how the Beatles were featured in Schaeffer’s film.

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small

The drug culture and the mentality that went with it had it’s own vehicle that crossed the frontiers of the world which were otherwise almost impassible by other means of communication. This record,  Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings. Later came psychedelic rock an attempt to find this experience without drugs. The younger people and the older ones tried drug taking but then turned to the eastern religions. Both drugs and the eastern religions seek truth inside one’s own head, a negation of reason. The central reason of the popularity of eastern religions in the west is a hope for a non-rational meaning to life and values. 

Francis Schaeffer below is holding the album Beatles’ album SGT PEP in the film series HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” in which he discusses the Beatles’ 1960’s generation and their search for meanings and values!

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One must feel as a Christian a real sorry for these people but as far as the blame is concerned we must understand that these people who have turned to this are not to  blame, they must bear their kind of blame of individual choices but basically they are not to blame. The church is to blame because the church with its liberal theology has left a vacuum. Man beginning from himself alone was not expressed and taught in theology and in theological language. In the Renaissance men had attempted to mix Aristotle and Plato with Christianity. This attempt to combine the rationalism of the Enlightenment with Christianity is often called religious liberalism. It was embarrassed by the supernatural and often denied it entirely, for example, the resurrection of Christ from the dead. But it tried to hold on to a historical Jesus by sifting out from the New Testament all those supernatural elements which the New Testament taught about Jesus. 

(TIME Magazine Cover: Albert Schweitzer — July 11, 1949)

This attempt came to a climax with Albert Schweitzer’s famous book THE QUEST OF THE HISTORICAL JESUS. It failed. It failed to rid the New Testament account of the supernatural and still keep a historic Christ. The historic Jesus could not be separated from the supernatural events connected with him in New Testament. History and the supernatural are too interwoven in the New Testament. If one kept any of the historical Jesus, One had to keep some of the supernatural. If one got rid of all of the supernatural, one had no historical Jesus. 

We should remember Schweitzer’s humanitarianism in Africa, his genius as an organist and his expertise concerning Bach, but unhappily we must remember his place in the theological stream as well.

(Karl Barth pictured below)

After the failure of the older theological liberalism  Karl Barth stepped into the vacuum. He held the higher  critical views concerning the Bible, that is that the Bible has many mistakes but he taught that a religious word could break through from it. This was the theological form of existentialism after existentialism had been accepted in its secular form. One more thing was added in the area of non-reason along with all the other things that had been put there. In another way we must have admiration for the Swiss Karl Barth because when he was teaching in Germany he spoke out clearly against Nazism in his Barmen Declaration of 1934 . 

(TIME Magazine Cover: Karl Barth — Apr. 20, 1962)

The teaching of Barth led to those theologians who  said that the Bible isn’t true in the areas of science and history but they nevertheless looked for a religious experience from it, and for adherents of this theology the Bible does not give absolutes in regard to what is right or wrong either.

Before you even come to the Bible and begin to read it one must realize there are 2 ways to read the Bible. One is just one more religious thing among thousands of other religious is nothing more than another form of a trip, not very, very different actually from a drug trip. The other way is to understand that the Bible is truth and as such what we are listening to is something that is completely contrary to what here about us on every side namely merely statistical averages, relativistic things. Now having said this then I would have to guard myself for the simple reason that it doesn’t mean a person has to believe all of this before he can begin to read the Bible and find truth in the Bible.

I would just say in just passing I was not raised in a Christian family and I was reading much philosophy when I was a young man and I didn’t read the Bible because I believed it was true. I read it simply out of an intellectual honesty, but I did do one thing. I read it exactly as it was written beginning with Genesis 1:1 and going right on, I read it just as I would read another book expecting what was being given was a straight forward statement of what was meant and it wasn’t supposed to be read on a different level than that I would read in another kind of book. As I read it, it answered the questions already at that time I realized that humanistic philosophy couldn’t answer and over a six month period I came to conclude it was truth. Nevertheless, we must keep in the back of our mind how are we reading the Bible, just as another religious trip or am I really wrestling with the question of what is given in all the areas in which it speaks. Is it truth in comparison to merely relativism?

All Souls Church, Langham Place

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
All Souls Church, Langham Place

All Souls’ Church
Country United Kingdom
Denomination Church of England
Churchmanship Evangelical
Website www.allsouls.org
Architecture
Architect(s) John Nash
Administration
Diocese Diocese of London
Clergy
Rector Hugh Palmer
Laity
Churchwarden(s) Martin Mills
Louise Gibson

All Souls Church is an Anglican Evangelical church in central London, situated in Langham Place in Marylebone, at the north end of Regent Street. It was designed by John Nash and consecrated in 1824.

As it is very near BBC Broadcasting House, the BBC often broadcasts from the church. As well as the core church membership, many hundreds of visitors come to All Souls, bringing the average number of those coming through the doors for services on Sundays to around 2,500 every week. All Souls has an international congregation, with all ages represented.

History[edit]

The church was designed by John Nash, favourite architect of King George IV. Its prominent circular spired vestibule was designed to provide an eye-catching monument at the point where Regent Street, newly-laid out as part of Nash’s scheme to link Piccadilly with the new Regent’s Park, takes an awkward abrupt bend westward to align with the pre-existing Portland Place.[1]

All Souls was a Commissioners’ church, a grant of £12,819 (£1,010,000 in 2016)[2] being given by the Church Building Commission towards the cost of its construction.[3] The commission had been set up under an act of 1818, and Nash, as one of the three architects employed by the Board of Works, had been asked to supply specimen designs as soon as the act was passed.[4] It was, however, one of only two Commissioners’ churches to be built to his designs, the other being the Gothic Revival St Mary, Haggerston.[5] All Souls is the last surviving church by John Nash.

The building was completed in December 1823 at a final cost of £18,323 10s 5d. and was consecrated the following year by the Bishop of London.

Photo:Interior Bomb Damage to All Souls Dec 8, 1940

Crown Appointment[edit]

The Rector of All Souls Church is still appointed by the Crown Appointments Commission at 10 Downing Street. The links with the Crown date back to the time of George IV when the Crown acquired the land around the church. The Coat of Arms adorns the West Gallery.

Mid-1970s building project[edit]

In the early 1970s excavations were carried out at All Souls and when it was discovered that the foundations to the church were some 13 feet deep, the church undertook a massive building project under the supervision of then rector, Michael Baughen (who later became Bishop of Chester, before returning to the London diocese to become an honorary assistant bishop). The decision was taken to embark on this work, to facilitate having a hall area underneath the church for the congregation and visitors to meet together after services and during the week. At the same time, the opportunity was taken to restructure the interior of the church to make it more suitable for present day forms of worship.

Organ and music[edit]

All Souls is well known for its musical tradition and part of this includes the Hunter organ installed in the west gallery in a Spanish mahogany case designed by Nash. The case was enlarged and extended in 1913. In 1940, anticipating war damage to the church, the instrument was dismantled and stored, then remodelled and rebuilt in 1951 with a new rotatable electric manual and pedal console situated in the chancel by the firm of Henry Willis (IV). The organ was again rebuilt, by Harrison & Harrison, during the building project of 1975–1976, when a four-manual was added, plus a positive division and a pronounced fanfare-trumpet en-chamade.[7]

Musical worship mixes contemporary and traditional styles, featuring either the church’s worship band, orchestra, singing group or choir at all regular Sunday services. In 1972 the All Souls Orchestra was founded by the current Director of Music, Noël Tredinnick, and has accompanied Sir Cliff Richard, Stuart Townend and many other notable Christian artists. The Orchestra and a massed choir perform annually at the Royal Albert Hall for the All Souls “Prom Praise” concert, which also tours across the UK and internationally. “Prom Praise for Schools” is sometimes held alongside Prom Praise, providing children from across the Diocese of London the chance to sing with the All Souls Orchestra. In 2012, the All Souls Orchestra celebrated its 40th anniversary, alongside special guests including Graham Kendrick, Keith and Kristyn Getty and Jonathan Veira. Tredinnick is known for his own accomplished musicianship, his engaging and inclusive style of leading and directing the regular large congregations.[citation needed]

Worship[edit]

All Souls celebrates four services each Sunday, with an early morning Holy Communion service at 8:00 am, followed by two other services at 9:30 am and 11:30 am and an evening service at 6:30 pm. There is also a midweek service on Thursdays during term time at 1:05 pm.

Sermons from Sunday services are uploaded for free streaming and download by the following Monday afternoon. The archive now contains over 3,000 sermons.

Clergy[edit]

All Souls Church interior as viewed from the balcony

The current rector is the Revd Hugh Palmer, who, as of July 2012, is also a chaplain to the queen.[8] Other clergy staff include Rico Tice, who has developed theChristianity Explored course (an introduction to Christian beliefs based on the Gospel of Mark), Roger Salisbury, Dan Wells and Mark Meynell. As a reflection of the huge diversity of the church’s congregation (over 60 nationalities represented amongst the c2500 present on Sundays), the staff team has gradually become more international (Kenya, the United States, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, Sweden, Germany, Hungary, Korea and Ireland amongst others).

The church’s most famous former cleric was John Stott CBE, who was associated with All Souls for his entire ministry and virtually all his life. The author of more than 50 Christian books, Stott was regarded as one of the most important theologians and leaders within the evangelical movement during the 20th century.[9] Stott was acurate at All Souls from 1945-1950 and rector from 1950-1975. He resigned as rector in 1975 to pursue his wider ministry, but maintained his involvement with the church and was given the title of Rector Emeritus, which he held until his death in 2011. Stott’s obituary in Christianity Today described him as “An architect of 20th-century evangelicalism [who] shaped the faith of a generation.”[10]

The Revd Richard Bewes was rector from 1983 until his retirement in 2004. He was awarded an OBE for services to the Church of England.

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Uploaded by  on Aug 6, 2011

Sermon preached in the memorial service celebrating the life of the late Rev. Dr. John R. W. Stott (April 27, 1921 – July 27, 2011) by Rev. Canon Dr. James I. Packer.

Scripture: Hebrews 13:7-8
Duration: 33:25bb

[The

Hundreds packed in to John Stott’s home church of All Souls, Langham Place for his funeral, on Monday (8 August).

John Stott Funeral (edited version)

Uploaded by  on Aug 11, 2011

John Stott died on 27 July 2011 aged 90 years. This video contains highlights of his Funeral at All Souls Langham Place in London on Monday 8 August 2011. Produced and displayed with permission from John Stott’s family.
Music clips used by permission of All Souls musicians and Jubilate Hymns (www.jubilate.co.uk)

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Al Molher interviewed John Stott several years ago and here is a portion of that interview:

The funeral for John R. W. Stott, one of the most famous evangelical preachers of the last century, will be held today in London at All Souls Church, Langham Place, where he served with distinction for so many decades of ministry. In honor of John Stott, I here republish an interview I conducted with the great preacher in 1987. The interview was first published in Preaching magazine, for which I was then Associate Editor.]

John R. W. Stott has emerged in the last half of the twentieth century as one of the leading evangelical preachers in the world. His ministry has spanned decades and continents, combining his missionary zeal with the timeless message of the Gospel.

For many years the Rector of All Souls Church, Langham Place, in London, Stott is also the founder and director of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. His preaching ministry stands as a model of the effective communication of biblical truth to secular men and women

The author of several worthy books, Stott is perhaps best known in the United States through his involvement with the URBANA conferences. His voice and pen have been among the most determinative forces in the development of the contemporary evangelical movement in the Church of England and throughout the world.

Preaching Associate Editor R. Albert Mohler interviewed Stott during one of the British preacher’s frequent visits to the United States.

Mohler: You have staked your ministry on biblical preaching and have established a world-wide reputation for the effective communication of the gospel. How do you define ‘biblical preaching’?

Stott: I believe that to preach or to expound the scripture is to open up the inspired text with such faithfulness and sensitivity that God’s voice is heard and His people obey Him. I gave that definition at the Congress on Biblical Exposition and I stand by it, but let me expand a moment.

My definition deliberately includes several implications concerning the scripture. First, it is a uniquely inspired text. Second, the scripture must be opened up. It comes to us partially closed, with problems which must be opened up.

Beyond this, we must expound it with faithfulness and sensitivity. Faithfulness relates to the scripture itself. Sensitivity relates to the modern world. The preacher must give careful attention to both.

We must always be faithful to the text, and yet ever sensitive to the modern world and its concerns and needs. When this happens the preacher can come with two expectations. First, that God’s voice is heard because He speaks through what He has spoken. Second, that His people will obey Him — that they will respond to His Word as it is preached.

Mohler: You obviously have a very high regard for preaching. In Between Two Worlds you wrote extensively of the glory of preaching, even going so far as to suggest that “preaching is indispensable to Christianity.”

We are now coming out of an era in which preaching was thought less and less relevant to the church and its world. Even in those days you were outspoken in your affirmation of the preaching event and its centrality. Has your mind changed?

Stott: To the contrary! I still believe that preaching is the key to the renewal of the church. I am an impenitent believer in the power of preaching.

I know all the arguments against it: that the television age has rendered it useless; that we are a spectator generation; that people are bored with the spoken word, disenchanted with any communication by spoken words alone. All these things are said these days.

Nevertheless, when a man of God stands before the people of God with the Word of God in his hand and the Spirit of God in his heart, you have a unique opportunity for communication.

I fully agree with Martyn Lloyd-Jones that the decadent periods in the history of the church have always been those periods marked by preaching in decline. That is a negative statement. The positive counterpart is that churches grow to maturity when the Word of God is faithfully and sensitively expounded to them.

If it is true that a human being cannot live by bread only, but by every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God, then it also is true of churches. Churches live, grow, and thrive in response to the Word of God. I have seen congregations come alive by the faithful and systematic unfolding of the Word of God.

The Beatles – Penny Lane

St Peter’s Church, Woolton

St Peter’s Church, Woolton, from the south

St Peter's Church, Woolton is located in Merseyside

St Peter's Church, Woolton
St Peter’s Church, Woolton
Location in Merseyside
Coordinates: 53.3760°N 2.8694°W
OS grid reference SJ 423 869
Location Church Road, Woolton, Liverpool,Merseyside
Country England
Denomination Anglican
Website St Peter’s, Woolton
Architecture
Status Parish church
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Grade II*
Designated 14 March 1975
Architect(s) Grayson and Ould
Architectural type Church
Style Gothic Revival (Perpendicular)
Groundbreaking 1886
Completed 1887
Specifications
Spire height 90 feet (27 m)
Materials Sandstone
Administration
Parish Much Woolton
Deanery Liverpool South Childwall
Archdeaconry Liverpool
Diocese Liverpool
Province York
Clergy
Rector Revd Canon C. J. (Kip) Crooks
Curate(s) Revd Sonya Doragh,
Revd Richard Gedge
Laity
Churchwarden(s) Helen Dennett, Norma Townley
Parish administrator
iera

St Peters Church

St Peters Church in Church Street. Liverpool one is there now. It was where the old Woolies was. it was also Liverpools cathedral for a time

Valencia

Lovely pic of St. Peter’s Church.

Do you know what that Russells building in the background was used for?

Tony Riviera

It was built as the Compton Hotel and later changed to Marks and Spencer. I’m pretty sure that only above the first floor was the hotel

Tony Riviera

Church Street 1910 with the Compton Hotel in centre. St Peters just in view on the right

Tony Riviera

St Peters church during demolition 1922. Compton Hotel in background

Tony Riviera

A nice view of St Peters church, Church Street. It was standing in as Liverpools cathedral until the Anglican was built. That’s why it was called the Pro Cathedral

Tony Riviera

_____________

“Eleanor Rigby” is a song about loneliness and depression representing a departure from the Beatles’ early pop love songs.

This is an early example of the Beatles taking risks and dabbling in other genres; in this particular its baroque pop, as made evident by the string arrangements. During the Beatles’ experimental phase, their producer George Martin experimented with studio techniques to satiate the Beatles’ artistic desires. To achieve the aggressive punchy sound of the strings, Martin had the microphones set up really close to the instruments, much to the chagrin of the session players, who were not used to such a unique set-up.

St Peters Pro cathedral, Church Street 1908.Compton Hotel in the background

Tony Riviera

Eleanor Rigby-The Beatles

Another view of St Peters

No one remembered Eleanor Rigby enough to come to her funeral.

Eleanor Rigby – PAUL McCARTNEY

The Beatles Cartoon – Eleanor Rigby.

Uploaded on Feb 21, 2012

Ah, look at all the lonely people
Ah, look at all the lonely people

Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in the church where a
wedding has been
Lives in a dream
Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps
in a jar by the door
Who is it for?

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?

Father McKenzie writing the words of a sermon that
no one will hear
No one comes near
Look at him working, darning his socks in the night
when there’s nobody there
What does he care?

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?

Ah, look at all the lonely people
Ah, look at all the lonely people

Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name
Nobody came
Father McKenzie wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave
No one was saved

All the lonely people (Ah, look at all the lonely people)
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people (Ah, look at all the lonely people)
Where do they all belong?

The last photograph of John Lennon

In this last photo of John Lennon while he was alive, he was signing an album to the person who was to assassinate him a few hours later. John obligingly signed a copy of his latest album Double Fantasy on the morning of his death for his killer. Later that same day, John returned from the recording studio and was gunned down by Mark David Chapman. Morbidly, a photographer later sneaked into the morgue containing John’s body and snapped a photo of it before it was cremated. John’s body was cremated the day after his assassination. Yoko Ono has never revealed the whereabouts of the ashes or what she did with them.

John Lennon  loved the B52’s

Lennon heard Rock Lobster by the B-52’s in 1979 while in a disco in Bermuda. He instantly recognized Cindy Wilson’s scream at the end of the song as an homage to Yoko Ono. After that moment, he and Yoko listened to the B-52’s album again and again while working on their Double Fantasy album.

Right before his death, Lennon had said that The B-52s’ debut album was his favorite album of all time.

The cover art for The B-52’s by The B-52’s.

The B-52’s – “Rock Lobster” (Official Music Video)

(Francis Schaeffer pictured below)

_

______

________________________

Today featured artist is Richard Hamilton

RICHARD HAMILTON, BRYAN FERRY.mov

Richard Hamilton: British visionary

Richard Hamilton has a new show at the Serpentine, but the Pop Art pioneer’s fame has never matched his extraordinary influence.

If anyone deserves the title of Grand Old Man of British art, it is Richard Hamilton. He may have turned 88 last week, but he is still hard at work: he recently completed three large paintings for a new solo exhibition opening at the Serpentine Gallery in London on Wednesday.

Yet, despite a distinguished career in which he has represented Britain at the 1993 Venice Biennale and enjoyed not one, but two retrospectives at the Tate Gallery, Hamilton is not known by the wider public in the same way as, say, David Hockney or Lucian Freud. As Hamilton’s artist wife Rita Donagh says, when I meet them both at the Serpentine, “Richard is the only [established] British artist who hasn’t had a book written about him.”

Whether or not this is entirely accurate, you get the gist: Hamilton is not a household name. And, given his many singular achievements (he even designed the spare sleeve for the Beatles’ 1968 White Album), this fact is both curious and a travesty.

“I have a concept of being rejected for most of my life,” Hamilton tells me, with a smile. “When I had a show at the Tate in 1992 [his last London exhibition], it was rated the worst show of the year. And I felt rather proud of that, really – I’d come out on top for something at last. But I’ve always felt the same way: I never did anything that anybody else wanted.”

This was especially true during the mid-Fifties, when Hamilton pioneered Pop art, ahead, he says, of British contemporaries such as Eduardo Paolozzi or his American counterparts Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. Indeed, Hamilton is often credited with having invented the genre. A celebrated collage from 1956, an unsurpassed analysis of the ways in which advertising can prey on unconscious desires, even features a muscleman holding a red lollipop adorned with the word “Pop”. Hamilton once famously defined modern consumer culture as “witty, sexy, gimmicky, glamorous, big business”.

Like many prophets, Hamilton feels that he was working in isolation half a century ago. “I felt alone,” he tells me. “In the late Fifties, I made three pictures: Hommage à Chrysler Corporation, Pin-up [now in the collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, which dates it 1961], and Hers is a Lush Situation. They were the three best things I’ve ever done. I was really inventing something, and it was quite a serious business. At the time, nobody was doing anything like that. I didn’t have any support from other artists. There weren’t other artists. When I was painting those pictures, I asked [the art critic] Lawrence Alloway: ‘What do you think of my paintings?’ And he said: ‘I think they’re stupid.’?”

Over the decades that followed, though, Hamilton’s work proved prescient and incredibly influential. For four years, he taught at the Royal College of Art, where he was an early supporter of David Hockney and R?B Kitaj.

“The students asked me to do what’s called a ‘crit’,” he recalls. “After I’d looked at everything, I said I’m interested in this painting, and that one – one was by Hockney, the other by Kitaj. I even asked if they were by the same artist. And there was a snigger – because, in the students’ minds, Hockney was copying what Kitaj did.

“Hockney’s work was very painterly and colourful, and rather brash. Kitaj’s was lower key. In the end, I gave the prize to Hockney – and he has never looked back. He once said that I gave him his first pat on the back, and that changed his life. And I have always felt perhaps I made the wrong decision.”

Does it bother Hamilton that Hockney has gone on to achieve greater fame than he has? “No, I like him,” Hamilton says. “But I think he’s not as good as his enthusiasts claim. I don’t complain about anything, really. I’ve had a very successful life.”

His work has not gone unacknowledged: he once declined a CBE. “Instead, about 20 years ago, I was given a card that admits me to the National Gallery at any time of the day or night,” Hamilton says. “I remember going to see a Mantegna exhibition. I sat for half an hour in front of these wonderful paintings. There were no interruptions, not even a guard walking past. Now, that’s a reward.”

  • ‘Richard Hamilton: Modern Moral Matters’ is at the Serpentine Gallery, London W2 (020 7402 6075), from Wed

Richard Hamilton (artist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Richard Hamilton
Richard Hamilton Artist.jpg

Richard Hamilton, 1992
Born 24 February 1922
Pimlico, London, England
Died 13 September 2011 (aged 89)
London, England
Nationality British
Education Royal Academy
Slade School of Art
University College, London
Known for Collage, painting, graphics
Notable work Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?
Movement Pop Art

Richard William Hamilton CH (24 February 1922 – 13 September 2011) was an English painter and collage artist. His 1955 exhibition Man, Machine and Motion (Hatton Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne) and his 1956 collage, Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?, produced for the This Is Tomorrow exhibition of the Independent Group in London, are considered by critics and historians to be among the earliest works of pop art.[1] A major retrospective of his work was at Tate Modern until May 2014.[2]

Early life[edit]

Hamilton was born in Pimlico, London.[3] Despite having left school with no formal qualifications, he managed to gain employment as an apprentice working at an electrical components firm, where he discovered an ability for draughtsmanship and began to do painting at evening classes at Saint Martin’s School of Art. This led to his entry into the Royal Academy Schools.

After spending the war working as a technical draftsman, he re-enrolled at the Royal Academy Schools but was later expelled on grounds of “not profiting from the instruction”, loss of his student status forcing Hamilton to carry out National Service. After two years at the Slade School of Art, University College, London, Hamilton began exhibiting his work at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), where he also produced posters and leaflets and teaching at the Central School of Art and Design.[citation needed]

1950s and 1960s[edit]

Hamilton’s early work was much influenced by D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson‘s 1917 text On Growth and Form. In 1952, at the first Independent Group meeting, held at the ICA, Hamilton was introduced to Eduardo Paolozzi‘s seminal presentation of collages produced in the late 1940s and early 1950s that are now considered to be the first standard bearers of Pop Art.[1][4] Also in 1952, he was introduced to the Green Box notes of Marcel Duchamp through Roland Penrose, whom Hamilton had met at the ICA. At the ICA, Hamilton was responsible for the design and installation of a number of exhibitions including one on James Joyce and The Wonder and the Horror of the Human Head that was curated by Penrose. It was also through Penrose that Hamilton met Victor Pasmore who gave him a teaching post based in Newcastle Upon Tyne which lasted until 1966. Among the students Hamilton tutored at Newcastle in this period were Rita Donagh, Mark Lancaster, Tim Head, Roxy Musicfounder Bryan Ferry and Ferry’s visual collaborator Nicholas De Ville. Hamilton’s influence can be found in the visual styling and approach of Roxy Music. He described Ferry as “his greatest creation”.[5]

Hamilton gave a 1959 lecture, “Glorious Technicolor, Breathtaking Cinemascope and Stereophonic Sound”, a phrase taken from a Cole Porter lyric in the 1957 musical Silk Stockings. In that lecture, which sported a pop soundtrack and the demonstration of an early Polaroid camera, Hamilton deconstructed the technology of cinema to explain how it helped to create Hollywood’s allure. He further developed that theme in the early 1960s with a series of paintings inspired by film stills and publicity shots.[6]

The post at the ICA also afforded Hamilton the time to further his research on Duchamp, which resulted in the 1960 publication of a typographic version of Duchamp’s Green Box, which comprised Duchamp’s original notes for the design and construction of his famous work The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even, also known as The Large Glass. Hamilton’s 1955 exhibition of paintings at the Hanover Gallery were all in some form a homage to Duchamp. In the same year Hamilton organized the exhibition Man Machine Motion at the Hatton Gallery in Newcastle. Designed to look more like an advertising display than a conventional art exhibition the show prefigured Hamilton’s contribution to the This Is Tomorrow exhibition in London, at the Whitechapel Gallery the following year. Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing? was created in 1956 for the catalogue of This Is Tomorrow, where it was reproduced in black and white and also used in posters for the exhibit.[7] The collage depicts a muscle-man provocatively holding a Tootsie Pop and a woman with large, bare breasts wearing a lampshade hat, surrounded by emblems of 1950s affluence from a vacuum cleaner to a large canned ham.[8] Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing? is widely acknowledged as one of the first pieces of Pop Art and his written definition of what “pop” is laid the ground for the whole international movement.[9] Hamilton’s definition of Pop Art from a letter to Alison and Peter Smithson dated 16 January 1957 was: “Pop Art is: popular, transient, expendable, low-cost, mass-produced, young, witty, sexy, gimmicky, glamorous, and Big Business”, stressing its everyday, commonplace values.[10] He thus created collages incorporating advertisements from mass-circulation newspapers and magazines.

The success of This Is Tomorrow secured Hamilton further teaching assignments in particular at the Royal College of Art from 1957 to 1961, where he promoted David Hockney and Peter Blake. During this period Hamilton was also very active in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and produced a work parodying the then leader of the Labour Party Hugh Gaitskell for rejecting a policy of unilateral nuclear disarmament. In the early 1960s he received a grant from the Arts Council to investigate the condition of the Kurt Schwitters Merzbau in Cumbria. The research eventually resulted in Hamilton organising the preservation of the work by relocating it to the Hatton Gallery in the Newcastle University.[11]

In 1962 his first wife Terry was killed in a car accident. In part to recover from her loss, in 1963 Hamilton travelled for the first time to the United States for a retrospective of the works of Marcel Duchamp at the Pasadena Art Museum,[12] where, as well as meeting other leading pop artists, he was befriended by Duchamp. Arising from this Hamilton curated the first British retrospective of Duchamp’s work, and his familiarity with The Green Box enabled Hamilton to make copies of The Large Glass and other glass works too fragile to travel. The exhibition was shown at the Tate Gallery in 1966.[citation needed]

In 1968, Hamilton appeared in a Brian De Palma film titled Greetings where Hamilton portrays a pop artist showing a “Blow Up” image. The film was the first film in the United States to receive a X rating and it was also Robert De Niro‘s first motion picture.

From the mid-1960s, Hamilton was represented by Robert Fraser and even produced a series of prints, Swingeing London, based on Fraser’s arrest, along with Mick Jagger, for possession of drugs. This association with the 1960s pop music scene continued as Hamilton became friends with Paul McCartney resulting in him producing the cover design and poster collage for the BeatlesWhite Album.[13]

1970s–2011[edit]

During the 1970s, Richard Hamilton enjoyed international acclaim with a number of major exhibitions being organised of his work. Hamilton had found a new companion in painter Rita Donagh. Together they set about converting North End, a farm in the Oxfordshire countryside, into a home and studios. “By 1970, always fascinated by new technology, Hamilton was redirecting advances in product design into fine art, with the backing of xartcollection, Zurich, a young company that pioneered the production of multiples with the aim of bringing art to a wider audience.”[14] Hamilton realised a series of projects that blurred the boundaries between artwork and product design including a painting that incorporated a state-of-the-art radio receiver and the casing of a Dataindustrier AB computer. During the 1980s Hamilton again voyaged into industrial design and designed two computer exteriors: OHIO computer prototype (for a Swedish firm named Isotron, 1984) and DIAB DS-101 (for Dataindustrier AB, 1986). As part of a television project, 1987 BBC series Painting with Light[15] Hamilton was introduced to the Quantel Paintbox and has since used this or similar devices to produce and modify his work.[citation needed]

From the late 1970s Hamilton’s activity was concentrated largely on investigations of printmaking processes, often in unusual and complex combinations.[10] In 1977-8 Hamilton undertook a series of collaborations with the artist Dieter Roth that also blurred the definitions of the artist as sole author of their work.

In 1992, Richard Hamilton was commissioned by the BBC to recreate his famous art piece, Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Homes So Different, So Appealing? but only this time, as to what he felt the average household would be like during the 1990s. Instead of the male body builder, he used an accountant working at a desk. Instead of the female icon, he used a world class female body builder.

In 1981 Hamilton began work on a trilogy of paintings based on the conflict in Northern Ireland after watching a television documentary about the “Blanket” protest organized by IRA prisoners in Long Kesh Prison, officially known as The Maze. The citizen (1981–83) shows IRA prisoner Hugh Rooney portrayed as Jesus, with long flowing hair and a beard. Republican prisoners had refused to wear prison uniforms, claiming that they were political prisoners. Prison officers refused to let “the blanket protesters” use the toilets unless they wore prison uniforms. The republican prisoners refused, and instead smeared the excrement on the wall of their cells. Hamilton explained (in the catalogue to his Tate Gallery exhibition, 1992), that he saw the image of “the blanket man as a public relations contrivance of enormous efficacy. It had the moral conviction of a religious icon and the persuasiveness of the advertising man’s dream soap commercial – yet it was a present reality”.[citation needed] The subject (1988–89) shows an Orangeman, a member of an order dedicated to preserve Unionism in Northern Ireland. The state (1993) shows a British soldier on a “foot” patrol on a street. The citizen was shown as part of “A Cellular Maze”, a 1983 joint exhibition with Donagh.[16]

From the late 1940s Richard Hamilton was engaged with a project to produce a suite of illustrations for James Joyce’s Ulysses.[citation needed] In 2002, the British Museum staged an exhibition of Hamilton’s illustrations of James Joyce’s Ulysses, entitled Imaging Ulysses. A book of Hamilton’s illustrations was published simultaneously, with text by Stephen Coppel. In the book, Hamilton explained that the idea of illustrating this complex, experimental novel occurred to him when he was doing his National Service in 1947.[citation needed] His first preliminary sketches were made while at the Slade School of Art, and he continued to refine and re-work the images over the next 50 years. Hamilton felt his re-working of the illustrations in many different media had produced a visual effect analogous to Joyce’s verbal techniques. The Ulysses illustrations were subsequently exhibited at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (in Dublin) and the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (inRotterdam). The British Museum exhibition coincided with both the 80th anniversary of the publication of Joyce’s novel, and Richard Hamilton’s 80th birthday.

Hamilton died on 13 September 2011, at the age of 89.[17] His work Le chef d’oeuvre inconnu – a painting in three parts, unfinished at his death, comprises a trio of large inkjet prints composed from Photoshop images to visualize the moment of crisis in Balzac’s novel The Unknown Masterpiece.[18]

Exhibitions[edit]

The first exhibition of Hamilton’s paintings was shown at the Hanover Gallery, London, in 1955. In 1993 Hamilton represented Great Britain at the Venice Biennale and was awarded the Golden Lion.[19] Major retrospective exhibitions have been organized by the Tate Gallery, London, 1970 and 1992, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1973, MACBA, Barcelona, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, 2003, and the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 1974. Some of the group exhibitions Hamilton participated in include: Documenta 4, Kassel, 1968; São Paulo Art Biennial, 1989; Documenta X, Kassel 1997; Gwangju Biennale, 2004; and Shanghai Biennale, 2006. In 2010, the Serpentine Gallery presented Hamilton’s ‘Modern Moral Matters’, an exhibition focusing on his political and protest works which were shown previously in 2008 at Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. For the season 2001/2002 in the Vienna State Opera Richard Hamilton designed the large scale picture (176 sqm) “Retard en Fer – Delay in Iron” as part of the exhibition series “Safety Curtain”, conceived by museum in progress.[20] Just the week prior to his death the artist was working with the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, to prepare a major museum retrospective of his oeuvre that had already been scheduled to open first at Tate Modern, London, on 13 February 2014, travelling later to Madrid where it will open on 24 June 2014.[21]

In 2011 Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane showed a joint retrospective exhibition of both Hamilton’s and Rita Donagh‘s work called “Civil Rights etc.” That same year, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts showcased Hamilton’s work in Richard Hamilton: Pop Art Pioneer, 1922-2011. The National Gallery’s “Richard Hamilton: The Late Works” opened in 2012.[18] A major retrospective at Tate Modern in 2014 was “the first retrospective to encompass the full scope of Hamilton’s work, from his early exhibition designs of the 1950s to his final paintings of 2011. [The] exhibition explores his relationship to design, painting, photography and television, as well as his engagement and collaborations with other artists” .[2]

Collections[edit]

The Tate Gallery has a comprehensive collection of Hamilton’s work from across his career.[citation needed] In 1996, the Kunstmuseum Winterthur received a substantial gift of Hamilton’s prints, making the museum the largest repository of the artist’s prints in the world.[12]

Recognition[edit]

Hamilton was awarded the William and Noma Copley Foundation Award, 1960; the John Moores Painting Prize, 1969; the Talens Prize International, 1970; the Leone d’Oro for his exhibition in the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, 1993; the Arnold Bode Prize at Documenta X, Kassel, 1997; and the Max Beckmann Prize for Painting of the City of Frankfurt, 2006. He was made a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour (CH) in 2000. He was presented with a special award by The Bogside Artists of Derry at the Royal College of Art in 2010.

Art market[edit]

Hamilton has been represented by The Robert Fraser Gallery. The Alan Cristea Gallery in London is the distributor of Hamilton’s prints.[22] His auction record is £440,000, set at Sotheby’s, London, in February 2006, for Fashion Plate, Cosmetic Study X (1969)[23] For a 2014 retrospective at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, the government-owned museum insured 246 works of Hamilton for 115.6 million euros ($157 million) against loss or damage, according to an order published as law by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports.[24]

_

BRITISH POP ART PIONEERS

This autumn Christie’s auction house will be showcasing the Pioneers of British Pop Art in the first UK exhibition devoted to these international innovators since a touring show from Germany visited York in 1976. We’re taking the opportunity to introduce some of the fantastic early British pop artists, whose achievements have often been overlooked.

Christie’s head of postwar and contemporary art Frances Outred has said that early British pop art is crying out for serious appraisal, “What’s really interesting here is that it’s not like the British were second – they were the first. Britain invented the term Pop Art and it is now a global phenomenon which is known principally as an American phenomenon.”

The Christie’s exhibition, titled ‘Britain Went Pop!’, will show how British artists went on to influence the big American pop artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, “As the Americans became more and more popular and strong it seems the Brits became a bit more shy and went more esoteric”, Outred explained.

Christie’s have been working with living artists such as Peter Blake and Allen Jones and the families of other artists to showcase over 70 works, many of which have not been since the 1960s, if at all. One of the earliest works will be a 1948 proto-pop art collage by Eduardo Paolozzi. Whilst the British pop artists were mostly men, the exhibition will also feature the work of two women artists, Jann Haworth and Pauline Boty, who were both innovators of the international movement.

Here’s an introduction to some of the renowned and lesser known British artists who led the way in the cutting-edge exploration of the paradoxical imagery of popular culture. Meet the forgotten women, the father, the godfather and the king of Pop Art…

RICHARD HAMILTON

Richard Hamilton is regarded by many as the father of Pop Art. His best known work was his 1956 collage ‘Just What is it That Makes Today’s Homes so Different, so Appealing?’, considered by some historians to mark the birth of the pop art movement.

Hamilton is credited with coining the phrase ‘pop art’ itself. In words dating from 1957, that are seen as prescient of the likes of Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst, he wrote, “Pop art is popular (designed for a mass audience), transient (short term solution), expandable (easily forgotten), low cost, mass produced, young (aimed at youth), witty, sexy, gimmicky, glamorous, big business.”

Hamilton hung out with the musicians of the Sixties; his silkscreen ‘Swingeing London’ shows Mick Jagger in the back of a police car and Paul McCartney asked him to design The Beatles’ ‘White Album’ sleeve. René Magritte andMarcel Duchamp were among his close friends and David Hockney and Peter Blake were among those he taught and influenced.

PETER BLAKE

During the late 1950s, Peter Blake became one of the best known pioneers of British pop art. Studying at the Royal College of Art (1953-7), he was placed in the centre of Swinging London and came into contact with the leading figures of popular culture.

He came to wider public attention when, along with Pauline Boty, Derek Boshier and Peter Philips, he featured in Ken Russell’s ‘Monitor’ film on pop art, ‘Pop Goes the Easel’ (broadcast on the BBC in 1962). Blake’s art captured the effervescent and optimistic ethos of the sixties and reflected his fascination with icons and the ephemera of popular culture.

The ‘Godfather of Pop Art’ is best known for co-creating the sleeve design for the Beatle’s ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ with fellow pop art pioneer Jan Howarth. Still creating exceptional artwork today, he continues to explore the beauty to be found in everyday objects.

GERALD LAING

Gerald Laing loomed large in the British pop art movement, helping to define the 1960s with huge canvases based on newspaper photographs of famous models, astronauts and film stars. His portrait of Brigitte Bardot is one of his most famous works.

Laing’s earliest pop art pieces presented young starlets or bikini-clad beauties bursting with sex appeal, capturing the excitement and exuberance of the 1960s. His work frequently commented on current events, such as the painting ‘Souvenir’ (1962), a response to the Cuban missile crisis which used a 3D effect allowing the viewer to see Khruschev from one side and Kennedy from the other.

At the end of his third year at St Martin’s (1963) he spent the summer in New York, having been given introductions to Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist and Robert Indiana, all of whom were still on the brink of fame. Indiana employed him as a studio assistant and Andy Warhol became a friend and lifelong influence.

ALLEN JONES

Allen Jones is one of the most renowned British pop sculptors. While living in New York (1964-5) he discovered a rich fund of imagery in the sexually motivated popular illustrations of the 1940s and 1950s. Henceforth, in paintings such as ‘Perfect Match’, he made explicit previously subdued eroticism. The full extent of his Pop sensibility emerged in sexually provocative fibreglass sculptures such as ‘Chair’ (1969), life-size images of women as furniture with fetishist and sado-masochist overtones.

In the late 1950s Jones studied at the Royal College of Art with David Hockney and R.B.Kitaj. He credits Richard Hamilton, Eduardo Paolozzi and the writer Lawrence Alloway for introducing him to new ways of thinking about representation. Living on the Kings Road in the 60s and 70s he witnessed the liberation of the body and socio-political situation that followed the austerity of the post war years. These things fed into his artwork and with the passage of time his sculptures now encapsulate the spirit of swinging London.

PAULINE BOTY

Pauline Boty was a founder of British pop art and the only female painter in the British wing of the movement. She has been described by the Independent as “the heartbreaker of the Sixties art scene.” In 1959, she entered the Royal College of Art (a year ahead of Boshier, David Hockney and Allen Jones).

Boty, who died in 1966 aged just 28, was a key player in the frenetic Swinging London social scene; she was reportedly loved by countless men including Peter Blake, she escorted Bob Dylan around London on his first visit to Britain, and was a dancer on ‘Ready Steady Go!’. Her work was, in the pop art manner, uncompromising, sensational, gaudy, and frequently explicitly sexual. Her rebellious art, combined with her free-spirited lifestyle, made her a herald of 1970s feminism.

JANN HAWORTH

Although Jann Haworth is an American born artist she spent many years living in England, moving to London in 1961 to study art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art and studio art at the Slade. She experimented with sewn and stuffed soft sculptures which often contained specific references to American culture, for examples her dummies of Mae West and Shirley Temple. Her use of soft materials was unprecedented at the time and she soon became an innovative leading figure of the British pop art movement.

Haworth married Peter Blake, with whom she created the iconic album cover design of The Beatles’ ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’. The original concept was to have The Beatles dressed in their new “Northern brass band” uniforms appearing at an official ceremony in a park. For the great crowd gathered at this imaginary event, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison, as well as Haworth and Blake all submitted a list of characters they wanted to see in attendance. Blake and Haworth then pasted life-size, black-and-white photographs of all the approved characters onto hardboard, which Haworth subsequently hand-tinted. Haworth also added several cloth dummies to the assembly, including one of her “Old Lady” figures and a Shirley Temple doll who wears a ‘Welcome The Rolling Stones’ sweater. Inspired by the municipal flower-clock in Hammersmith, West London, Haworth came up with the idea of writing out the name of the band in civic flower-bed lettering.

JOE TILSON

The Telegraph has declared Joe Tilson “the forgotten king of British pop art” He was one of the first in the group of young art stars to have a highly successful show in the Swinging Sixties (1961). “I was famous before the Beatles and Hockney,” Tilson says.

Following national service, he studied alongside Frank Auerback, Leon Kossoff and Peter Blake at the Royal College of Art. Part of the gilded circle, he made lasting friendships with Blake and David Hockney. He responded quickly to the emergence of pop art, adapting his earlier, highly formalised abstract language to the creation of objects reminiscent of children’s toys in their construction, bold colours and schematised imagery.

‘Britain Went Pop!’ will also be showcasing work by David Hockney, Patrick Caulfield, R.B. Kitaj, Colin Self, Clive Barker, Derek Boshier, Antony Donaldson, Jann Haworth, Nicholas Monro, Eduardo Paolozzi, Peter Phillips and Richard Smith.

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“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 20 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part S Ernest Hemingway 8th part, GIL PENDER: “I’m actually a huge Mark Twain fan, I think you can even make the case that all modern American literature comes from Huckleberry Finn” )

It is amazing to me that our country is so young. I was born in 1961 and at that time Mark Twain’s daughter Clara was still living. Of course, Mark Twain had come in and left with Halley’s Comet (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910). It is truly baffling to me how  such a brilliant man as Mark Twain could leave this world so bitter and depressed but the Book of Ecclesiastes explained why!

In the picture below: Corey Stoll in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS alongside the real Papa Hemingway

(Ernest Hemingway in Paris circa 1928)

Actors Corey Stoll, Rachel McAdams, director Woody Allen, actors Kathy Bates and Michael Sheen attend The Cinema Society & Thierry Mugler screening of MIDNIGHT IN PARIS

HEMINGWAY:You like Mark Twain?

GIL PENDER:I’m actually a huge Mark Twain fan.I think you can even make the case that all modern American literature comes from Huckleberry Finn.-

Hemingway wrote, “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. If you read it you must stop where the {Negro}  Jim is stolen from the boys. That is the real end. The rest is just cheating. But it’s the best book we’ve had. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.”

Just like Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain looked at the world from an UNDER THE SUN perspective. 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.”

Mark Twain as an atheist could not hope to find a lasting meaning to his life in a closed system without bringing God back into the picture. This is the same exact case with Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Three thousand years ago, Solomon took a look at life “under the sun” in his book of Ecclesiastes.

Let me show you some inescapable conclusions if you choose to live without God in the picture. Solomon came to these same conclusions when he looked at life “under the sun.”

  1. Death is the great equalizer (Eccl 3:20, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”)
  2. Chance and time have determined the past, and they will determine the future.  (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13)
  3. Power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced(Eccl 4:1)
  4. Nothing in life gives true satisfaction without God including knowledge (1:16-18), ladies and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and great building projects (2:4-6, 18-20).

Mark Twain said of his daughter Susy:

The summer seasons of Susy’s childhood were spent at Quarry Farm, on the hills east of Elmira, New York; the other seasons of the year at the home in Hartford. Like other children, she was blithe and happy, fond of play; unlike the average of children, she was at times much given to retiring within herself, and TRYING TO SEARCH OUT THE HIDDEN MEANINGS OF THE DEEP THINGS THAT MAKE THE PUZZLE AND PATHOS OF HUMAN EXISTENCE, AND IN THE AGES HAVE BAFFLED THE INQUIRER AND MOCKED HIM.

In his autobiography Twain wrote,   “Mamma, what is it all for?” asked Susy, preliminary stating the above details in her own halting language, after long brooding over them alone in the privacy of the nursery.”

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born . . . and the day you find out why.    — Mark Twain”

(Mark Twain below with his family in 1884)

In his article “The Incomparable and Unending Mark Twain,” Vincent Valentine wrote:

Olivia Susan Clemens died of spinal meningitis. She was only 24 years old. Just as he held himself guilty for his younger brother’s death, just as he had blamed himself for the loss of his 19-month old son Langdon in 1872, Clemens now blamed himself for Susy’s death. The strain of his bankruptcy and the world lecture tour that tore his family apart were his own doings, and he was sure that together they had killed his beloved daughter. Meanwhile Livy was on a boat halfway across the Atlantic still unaware of Susy’s death. It was August 19, 1896 when he poured his heart out into a stream of letters to his wife.

Dearest Livy,
Oh my heartbroken darling. No not heartbroken yet for you still do not know. But what tidings are in store for you. What a bitter world, what a shameful world it is. I love you my darling. I wish you could have been spared this unutterable sorrow.
Samuel

Dearest Livy,
I have spent the day alone thinking bitter thoughts, sometimes only sad ones, reproaching myself for laying the foundation of all our troubles. Reproaching myself for a million things whereby I have brought misfortune and sorrow to this family. It rains all day. No, it drizzles. It is somber and dark. I would not have it otherwise. I could not welcome the sun today. Be comforted my darling. We shall have our release in time. Be comforted remembering how much hardship, grief, pain she is spared and that her heart can never be broken now for the loss of a child. I seem to see her in her coffin. I do not know in which room, in the library I hope for there she, Jean, Clara and I mostly played when they were children together and happy.
She died in our own house not in another’s. She died where every little thing was familiar and beloved. She died where she had spent all her life ’til my crimes have made her a pauper and an exile. How good it is that she got home again.
Give my love to Clara and Jean. We have that much of our fortune left.
Samuel

(Picture of Mark Twain’s brother from 1958)

Henry Clemens circa 1855

1871–1872 Moves with his family to Hartford, Connecticut. Daughter Olivia Susan Clemens (Susy) born March 19, 1872. Son Langdon dies June 2, 1872.

Mark Twain’s Wife Loses Faith

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From what I can tell, Mark Twain was not a Christian, nor did he claim to be when he began courting Olivia Langdon. Back in Twain’s day, a man typically had to get permission from a woman’s parents before marrying her. Mark Twain had a problem, however. Olivia Langdon came from a professing Christian family that would not allow their daughter to marry an unbeliever. To overcome this obstacle, Twain took on the guise of a spiritual seeker who needed the support and prayers of Olivia’s family in order to clean up his life.

Twain, influenced by Olivia’s prodding, presumably converted. Twain wrote to his mother after his engagement to Olivia: “My prophecy was correct…[Livy] said she never could or would love me — but she set herself the task of making a Christian of me. I said she would succeed, but that in the meantime she would unwittingly dig a matrimonial pit and end by tumbling in — and lo! the prophecy is fulfilled.”

Olivia’s family was convinced Twain was a Christian and permitted the marriage. But was Twain’s conversion an illusion? One scholar insists that Twain “was a man in love, wooing a woman he hoped to marry. His ‘religious’ feelings at that time, expressed in love letters to Olivia, disappeared as soon as the nuptials were over” (www.yorku.ca/twainweb/filelist/skeptic.html).

After their wedding, Twain ridiculed Olivia’s beliefs and devotion. Soon Olivia’s optimism began to wane, and her fervent faith cooled. Eventually she forsook her religion altogether, and a deep sorrow deluged Olivia’s life. Mark Twain loved her and never meant to hurt her, but he had broken her spirit. He said, “Livy, if it comforts you to lean on your faith, do so.”

She replied sadly, “I cannot. I do not have any faith left.”

Twain often wished he could restore Olivia’s faith, hope, and optimism, but it was too late.

Susan K. Harris, “The Courtship of Olivia Langdon and Mark Twain,” Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture (Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp. xiii; submitted by Aaron Goerner

For 17 years Mark Twain lived in this house in Hartford, CT with his wife and children.

Mark Twain and the Problem of Evil

Over the last couple of nights, Mary and I watched a documentary on Mark Twain, directed by Ken Burns (who also brought us documentaries calledBaseball, The Civil War, and Jazz). Mark Twain has been one of my favorite authors for a while – ever since I was a teenager and read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. When I lived in Prague in 2002, I was looking around my school’s English library one fall day and found a biography of him (Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain by Justin Kaplan) and all of his essays in one volume. I read both of them that year.

What fascinates me about Mark Twain is not just that he was a fantastic writer, but he led an intriguing and eventful life. He was born in a small town in Missouri, as everyone knows, and variously worked as a printer’s assistant, a riverboat captain, a prospector, and a journalist (among other things) before he began to earn money from his books. His was also a tragic life: even though he was a brilliant writer and made a comfortable living from his books, he was obsessed with investment schemes that would make him still richer. These invariably failed, and made it necessary for him to write and lecture constantly to get out of debt.

His religious views also stand out. Whenever he was struck by tragedy (like when his younger brother died, or his son or his wife), he would blame himself, and then blame God. By the time he was nearing the end of his life, he was incredibly bitter, and wrote such caustic things that his wife insisted that he not publish them until after he died.

What makes him so tragic from my point of view is that he had such a strong sense of injustice, and of right and wrong, and he was constantly aware of the failure of societies largely made up of Christians to do the right thing. But instead of condemning, for example, slavery from a Christian point of view (as many abolitionists did), he was painfully aware that slavery was also defended by Christians and chalked it up to hypocrisy. He sniffed out hypocrisy wherever it could be found – in the antebellum South, in Gilded Age New England, in the boardrooms of corporations and in the halls of political power. All too often that hypocrisy was perpetrated by people who called themselves Christians. Instead of dividing Christian ideals from Christian practice, he made sweeping judgments about God and his fellow men and women, and ended life as a bitter, angry man.

But I don’t think that Twain ever came to an honest assessment of himself. People close to him recognized that he had a constant need to be the center of attention, and that this need could make him tiresome to be around. He went to his daughter’s wedding dressed in doctor’s robes given to him by Oxford University. He paraded up and down Manhattan streets in white suits, timing his jaunts so they would take place on Sunday just after church let out so everyone could see him. By the end of his life, I think, Twain had become so self-centered and so self-righteous that not even God measured up to his standards. He sat in judgment over everyone and everything. Little surprise, then, that Twain fully expected things to go his way at all times, and became very upset when this was not the case.

I do hope, though, that he was able to make his peace with God before he died.

 

(Below Mark Twain and his family aboard the SS Warrimoo sailing to Australia in 1895)

(Newly weds Adrian and Joyce Rogers in the early 1950’s pictured below)

I grew up in Memphis and my home church was Bellevue Baptist and our pastor Adrian Rogers once told this story:

 Joyce and I, some years ago, had a little baby boy that died. One of those unexplained crib deaths. And our hearts ached, we went through sorrow and pain but the Lord Jesus was there, so near and so real. Joyce and I learned to depend on Him so much and grew so much in that experience. Heartache and pain indeed it was. We had never known such deep sorrow. But the Lord was so real to us. And that was in J. W., Fort Pierce where you and I know so much about, where we’ve been so much. And I was back in the hospital in the Fort Pierce Hospital a few days after we had buried our little son Phillip. And I had been visiting a man who was not a Christian. And I had been witnessing to him, trying to lead him to Jesus Christ. And he somehow had learned that our son had died. And when he saw me walk in that room, he said, “What are you doing here?” I said well, I came to see you, to visit you. He said, “What? Are you still serving God after what he did to you?” Now, you think about that. Are you still after what He did to you? I said, “Oh my friend, I want you to listen to me, and I want you to get it down big and plain and straight that the author of all suffering and sorrow and pain and death is Satan, not God. God is good. God is good. And the suffering we have in this world is because we live in a world that has been cursed with sin, and if you think that I’m going to line up against God in favor of the devil, and line up with the one who has ultimately wounded me, your so wrong.”

 

On February 15, 2015 at our church service at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock, Arkansas, our teaching pastor Brandon Barnard told the story of my good friends Roger and Terrie Cheuvront  and the tragic death of their 19 year daughter Danaea on April 15, 2007 in a traffic accident. I was at the Funeral Home when the minister came in that very day, and I found the words of the pastor as a great comfort because we knew Danaea was in heaven. The sermon on 2-15-15 was about the time that Jesus wept at sight of his friend Lazarus’ tomb, and this 11th chapter of John had comforted Terrie Cheuvront because she knew that Jesus had felt the same pain that we have and he will eventually raise us too from the dead and her daughter Danaea is even now in heaven with Christ.

Rev Barnard actually read these words from Terri at our service: “God never intended us to experience sin and death, but sin brought about this consequence. I could be mad at death and all that it meant but the amazing thing was when I realized God’s plan then God took the anger and replaced it with His grace. It made me realize at a deeper level what God had truly done for me on the cross. He conquered sin and death for me. What amazing glorious hope he gives us. We live because He lives. Yes I am separated from my daughter now but there will be a glorious reunion.”

Let me make three points concerning the problem of evil and suffering. First, the problem of evil and suffering hit this world in a big way because of Adam and what happened in Genesis Chapter 3. Second, if there is no God then there is no way to distinguish good from evil and there will be no ultimate punishment for Hitler and Josef Mengele. (By the way Mengele never faced punishment and lived his long life out in peace.) Third. Christ came and suffered and will destroy all evil from this world eventually forever.

(Pictured below Josef Mengele )

CHARLES DARWIN ALSO SPENT A LOT OF TIME TALKING ABOUT THIS ISSUE OF EVIL AND SUFFERING. When I read the book  Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters, I also read  a commentary on it by Francis Schaeffer and I wanted to both  quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words to you and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words. You might want to also check out a message by  Adrian Rogers on You Tube concerning Darwinism.

Darwin, C. R. to Doedes, N. D.2 Apr 1873

“I am sure you will excuse my writing at length, when I tell you that I have long been much out of health, and am now staying away from my home for rest. It is impossible to answer your question briefly; and I am not sure that I could do so, even if I wrote at some length. But I may say that the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God; but whether this is an argument of real value, I have never been able to decide…....Nor can I overlook the difficulty from the immense amount of suffering through the world.”

Francis Schaeffer observed:

This of course is a valid problem. The only answer to the problem of evil is the biblical answer of the fall. Darwin has a problem because he never had a high view of revelation, so he doesn’t have the answer any more than the liberal theologian has the answer. If you don’t have a space-time fall then you don’t have an answer to suffering. If you have a very, very significant man at the beginning, Darwin did not have that, but if you had a very significant, wonderful man at the beginning and can change history then the fall is the possible answer that can be given to Darwin’s 2nd argument.

WITHOUT THE VIEW THAT THE GARDEN OF EDEN EXISTED OR IN THE EXISTENCE OF HEAVEN THEN there is no hope UNDER THE SUN.  FURTHERMORE,  IF WE WERE NOT CREATED BY GOD THEN WE HAVE NO HOPE FOR OUR ETERNAL FUTURES.  Remember the song  DUST IN THE WIND? It was written by Kerry Livgren of the group KANSAS which was a hit song in 1978 when it rose to #6 on the charts because so many people connected with the message of the song. It included these words, “All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Kerry Livgren himself said that he wrote the song because he saw where man was without a personal God in the picture. Happily both Kerry Livgren and the bass player Dave Hope of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and Dave Hope had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on You Tube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible ChurchDAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

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

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

You can hear DAVE HOPE and Kerry Livgren’s stories from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust in the Wind (Official Video)

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

Pre-Order Miracles Out of Nowhere now at http://www.miraclesoutofnowhere.com

About the film:
In 1973, six guys in a local band from America’s heartland began a journey that surpassed even their own wildest expectations, by achieving worldwide superstardom… watch the story unfold as the incredible story of the band KANSAS is told for the first time in the DVD Miracles Out of Nowhere.

_____________________________

Adrian Rogers on Darwinism

Chapters from my Autobiography by Mark TWAIN (FULL Audiobook)

This series deals with the Book of Ecclesiastes and Woody Allen films.  The first post  dealt with MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT and it dealt with the fact that in the Book of Ecclesiastes Solomon does contend like Hobbes  and Stanley that life is “nasty, brutish and short” and as a result has no meaning UNDER THE SUN.

The movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS offers many of the same themes we see in Ecclesiastes. The second post looked at the question: WAS THERE EVER AGOLDEN AGE AND DID THE MOST TALENTED UNIVERSAL MEN OF THAT TIME FIND TRUE SATISFACTION DURING IT?

In the third post in this series we discover in Ecclesiastes that man UNDER THE SUN finds himself caught in the never ending cycle of birth and death. The SURREALISTS make a leap into the area of nonreason in order to get out of this cycle and that is why the scene in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS with Salvador Dali, Man Ray, and Luis Bunuel works so well!!!! These surrealists look to the area of their dreams to find a meaning for their lives and their break with reality is  only because they know that they can’t find a rational meaning in life without God in the picture.

The fourth post looks at the solution of WINE, WOMEN AND SONG and the fifth and sixth posts look at the solution T.S.Eliot found in the Christian Faith and how he left his fragmented message of pessimism behind. In the seventh post the SURREALISTS say that time and chance is all we have but how can that explain love or art and the hunger for God? The eighth  post looks at the subject of DEATH both in Ecclesiastes and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. In the ninth post we look at the nihilistic worldview of Woody Allen and why he keeps putting suicides into his films.

In the tenth post I show how Woody Allen pokes fun at the brilliant thinkers of this world and how King Solomon did the same thing 3000 years ago. In the eleventh post I point out how many of Woody Allen’s liberal political views come a lack of understanding of the sinful nature of man and where it originated. In the twelfth post I look at the mannishness of man and vacuum in his heart that can only be satisfied by a relationship with God.

In the thirteenth post we look at the life of Ernest Hemingway as pictured in MIDNIGHT AND PARIS and relate it to the change of outlook he had on life as the years passed. In the fourteenth post we look at Hemingway’s idea of Paris being a movable  feast. The fifteenth and sixteenth posts both compare Hemingway’s statement, “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know…”  with Ecclesiastes 2:18 “For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.” The seventeenth post looks at these words Woody Allen put into Hemingway’s mouth,  “We fear death because we feel that we haven’t loved well enough or loved at all.”

In MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Hemingway and Gil Pender talk about their literary idol Mark Twain and the eighteenth post is summed up nicely by Kris Hemphill‘s words, “Both Twain and [King Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes] voice questions our souls long to have answered: Where does one find enduring meaning, life purpose, and sustainable joy, and why do so few seem to find it? The nineteenth post looks at the tension felt both in the life of Gil Pender (written by Woody Allen) in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS and in Mark Twain’s life and that is when an atheist says he wants to scoff at the idea THAT WE WERE PUT HERE FOR A PURPOSE but he must stay face the reality of  Ecclesiastes 3:11 that says “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” and  THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING! Therefore, the secular view that there is no such thing as love or purpose looks implausible. The twentieth post examines how Mark Twain discovered just like King Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes that there is no explanation  for the suffering and injustice that occurs in life UNDER THE SUN. Solomon actually brought God back into the picture in the last chapter and he looked  ABOVE THE SUN for the books to be balanced and for the tears to be wiped away.

Gil Pender is saying what Woody Allen wrote into the script and he demonstrates his UNDER THE SUN point of view when he noted, “And when you think that in the cold,violent, meaningless universe…” Woody Allen is correct that without God in the picture then there is no way the books will ever be balanced and he even demonstrates that best in his 1989 film CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS.

 

The Life Of Mark Twain

 

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The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 4 Ernest Hemingway)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 3 Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 2 Cole Porter)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 1 William Faulkner)

MUSIC MONDAY Cole Porter “Let’s Do it, Let’s Fall in Love” in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS

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If Milton Friedman was here he would attack Trump’s proposal for a 45 percent tax on Chinese products!

Milton Friedman – Free Trade vs. Protectionism

If Milton Friedman was here he would attack Trump’s proposal for a 45 percent tax on Chinese products!

At this stage, it’s quite likely that Donald Trump will be the Republican presidential nominee. Conventional wisdom suggests that this means Democrats will win in November. On the other hand, conventional wisdom also told us that Trump would never get this far.  So it’s unclear what will happen in the general election, particularly given the ethical cloud surrounding the presumptive Democratic nominee.

So let’s contemplate what a potential Trump Administration would mean foreconomic liberty and American prosperity. Would the United States become more like Hong Kong, with a smaller burden of government and less intervention? Or more like France, with higher taxes and spending, along with additional cronyism and red tape?

The honest answer is that I don’t know. He has put forth a giant tax cut that is reasonably well designed, so that implies more prosperity, but is he serious about the plan? And does he have a plan for the concomitant spending reforms needed to make his tax proposal viable?

He also has lots of protectionist rhetoric, including a proposal for a 45 percent tax on Chinese products, which implies harmful dislocation to the American economy. Is he actually serious about risking a global trade war, or is his saber rattling just a negotiating tool, as some of his defenders claim?

And what about entitlement programs, which arguably represent the greatest long-term threat to America’s economy? Trump certainly gives the impression that he thinksSocial Security, Medicare, andMedicaid don’t need to be reformed. Is he really serious when he makes this claim?

If we take what he says seriously, Trump is more statist than every Republican who sought the GOP nomination but less statist than both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Though I confess I’m basing that opinion solely on whether I agreed with the candidates, as measured by the I-Side-With political quiz.

So let’s see what others have to say.

My colleague David Boaz, writing for National Review, is not impressed.

Without even getting into his past support for a massive wealth tax and single-payer health care, his know-nothing protectionism, or his passionate defense of eminent domain, I think we can say that this is a Republican campaign that would have appalled Buckley, Goldwater, and Reagan.

Speaking of National Review, Kevin Williamson argues that Trump represents the worst of cronyism.

The Tea Party’s fundamental complaint, which was the same complaint put forward by Occupy Wall Street minus the Maoist daydreaming, is that there exists a corrosive and distasteful relationship between certain politically connected businesses and the politicians who are both their patrons and their clients. Donald Trump is the face of that insalubrious relationship, a lifelong crony capitalist who brags about buying political favors.

Last but not least, my former UGA economics professor Paul Rubin (now at Emory), in a column for the Wall Street Journal, explains that Trump (and Sanders) incorrectly thinks the economy is a fixed pie.

Messrs. Trump and Sanders have been led astray by zero-sum thinking, or the assumption that economic magnitudes are fixed when they are in fact variable. If the world is zero-sum, then the number of jobs is fixed, as is gross domestic product. In Mr. Trump’s mind, if there are more Mexican workers in the U.S., then American workers must lose their jobs. In the real, positive-sum world where Mr. Trump doesn’t live, Mexican workers also consume, thus increasing GDP and creating new jobs. …Similar arguments apply to Mr. Trump’s analysis of Chinese imports. In a world of fixed GDP and prices, imports of goods from China merely replace goods that otherwise would have been produced by American workers. In the real world, imports reduce prices and increase GDP, so workers, who are also consumers, benefit from imports of lower-cost goods and increase their consumption of other goods. …Zero-sum thinking persists because it is superficially appealing. Mr. Trump’s policies would in theory benefit Americans and increase jobs. …In the actual, positive-sum world we live in, their policies…would, if adopted, lead to an economic depression that would make the 1930s look prosperous.

I actually think Prof. Rubin overstates his conclusion. It took a lot of truly awful policies by Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt to produce the Great Depression.

Barack Obama didn’t come close to Hoover and Roosevelt with his bad policies and I suspect even the bad version of Donald Trump would (thankfully) fall short as well.

Free to Choose Part 2: The Tyranny of Control (Featuring Milton Friedman

Trump vs Friedman – Trade Policy Debate

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE “The Tyranny of Control” Transcript and Video (60 Minutes)

Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE “The Tyranny of Control” Transcript and Video (60 Minutes) In 1980 I read the book FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman and it really enlightened me a tremendous amount.  I suggest checking out these episodes and transcripts of Milton Friedman’s film series FREE TO CHOOSE: “The Failure of Socialism” and […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY “The Tyranny of Control” in Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 7 of 7 (Transcript and Video) “I’m not pro business, I’m pro free enterprise, which is a very different thing, and the reason I’m pro free enterprise”

In 1980 I read the book FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman and it really enlightened me a tremendous amount.  I suggest checking out these episodes and transcripts 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, […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY “The Tyranny of Control” in Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 6 of 7 (Transcript and Video) “We are the ones who promote freedom, and free enterprise, and individual initiative, And what do we do? We force puny little Hong Kong to impose limits, restrictions on its exports at tariffs, in order to protect our textile workers”

In 1980 I read the book FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman and it really enlightened me a tremendous amount.  I suggest checking out these episodes and transcripts 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, […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY “The Tyranny of Control” in Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 5 of 7 (Transcript and Video) “There is no measure whatsoever that would do more to prevent private monopoly development than complete free trade”

In 1980 I read the book FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman and it really enlightened me a tremendous amount.  I suggest checking out these episodes and transcripts 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, […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY “The Tyranny of Control” in Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 4 of 7 (Transcript and Video) ” What we need are constitutional restraints on the power of government to interfere with free markets in foreign exchange, in foreign trade, and in many other aspects of our lives.”

In 1980 I read the book FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman and it really enlightened me a tremendous amount.  I suggest checking out these episodes and transcripts 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, […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY “The Tyranny of Control” in Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 3 of 7 (Transcript and Video) “When anyone complains about unfair competition, consumers beware, That is really a cry for special privilege always at the expense of the consumer”

In 1980 I read the book FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman and it really enlightened me a tremendous amount.  I suggest checking out these episodes and transcripts 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, […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY “The Tyranny of Control” in Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 2 of 7 (Transcript and Video) “As always, economic freedom promotes human freedom”

In 1980 I read the book FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman and it really enlightened me a tremendous amount.  I suggest checking out these episodes and transcripts 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, […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY “The Tyranny of Control” Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 1 of 7 (Transcript and Video) “Adam Smith’s… key idea was that self-interest could produce an orderly society benefiting everybody, It was as though there were an invisible hand at work”

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Open letter to President Obama (Part 650) “The Tyranny of Control” in Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 6 of 7 (Transcript and Video) “We are the ones who promote freedom, and free enterprise, and individual initiative, And what do we do? We force puny little Hong Kong to impose limits, restrictions on its exports at tariffs, in order to protect our textile workers”

Open letter to President Obama (Part 650) (Emailed to White House on July 22, 2013) 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 […]

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Milton Friedman destroys Donald Trump on issue of PROTECTIONISM!!!

Milton Friedman – Free Trade vs. Protectionism

Free to Choose Part 2: The Tyranny of Control (Featuring Milton Friedman

Some economic lessons about international trade for Donald Trump from Milton Friedman and Henry George

Carpe Diem

Trump vs Friedman – Trade Policy Debate

In the video above Donald Trump’s uninformed, economically illiterate, and childlike views on international trade and trade policy are contrasted with Milton Friedman’s informed, economically sophisticated and mature views on trade. Toward the end of the video, Milton Friedman paraphrases what he considers to be the best argument he’s ever heard for free trade, from 19th century American economist and free trade advocate Henry George, who criticized protectionist trade policies in his 1886 book Protection or Free Trade at a time when President Grover Cleveland was pushing for reductions in US tariffs from an average rate of 47% (very close to the 45% rate Trump has proposed for Chinese imports) at a time when Britain had tariffs of less than 1% and France of 1.5%. Here’s a longer quote from Henry George, Friedman focused mostly on the underlined text below:

Trade is not invasion. It does not involve aggression on one side and resistance on the other, but mutual consent and gratification. There cannot be a trade unless the parties to it agree, any more than there can be a quarrel unless the parties to it differ. England, we say, forced trade with the outside world upon China, and the United States upon Japan. But, in both cases, what was done was not to force the people to trade, but to force their governments to let them. If the people had not wanted to trade, the opening of the ports would have been useless.

Civilized nations, however, do not use their armies and fleets to open one another’s ports to trade. What they use their armies and fleets for, is, when they quarrel, to close one another’s ports. And their effort then is to prevent the carrying in of things even more than the bringing out of things—importing rather than exporting. For a people can be more quickly injured by preventing them from getting things than by preventing them from sending things away. Trade does not require force. Free trade consists simply in letting people buy and sell as they want to buy and sell. It is protection that requires force, for it consists in preventing people from doing what they want to do. Protective tariffs are as much applications of force as are blockading squadrons, and their object is the same—to prevent trade.The difference between the two is that blockading squadrons are a means whereby nations seek to prevent their enemies from trading; protective tariffs are a means whereby nations attempt to prevent their own people from trading. What protection teaches us, is to do to ourselves in time of peace what enemies seek to do to us in time of war.

Can there be any greater misuse of language than to apply to commerce terms suggesting strife, and to talk of one nation invading, deluging, overwhelming or inundating another with goods? Goods! what are they but good things—things we are all glad to get? Is it not preposterous to talk of one nation forcing its good things upon another nation? Who individually would wish to be preserved from such invasion? Who would object to being inundated with all the dress goods his wife and daughters could want; deluged with a horse and buggy; overwhelmed with clothing, with groceries, with good cigars, fine pictures, or anything else that has value? And who would take it kindly if any one should assume to protect him by driving off those who wanted to bring him such things?

Bottom Line: To hear Donald Trump explain international trade in his infantile way and with his “great misuse of language,” China, Japan, and Mexico are currently “deluging, overwhelming, and inundating” Americans with cheap clothing, cars, and smartphones, and US consumers and businesses somehow need his protection from such an “overwhelming foreign invasion” of low-cost, affordable goods with his 45% tariffs/taxes?? And to use Henry George’s insight, if Donald Trump is elected president and is able to advance his protectionist agenda with tariffs and trade barriers, he would be doing to the US during a time of peace what our worst enemies would do to us in time of war, i.e. waging a war on American consumers and businesses who purchase goods produced outside the country. To further paraphrase George, Americans shouldn’t take it kindly that Trump seeks to protect us consumers by driving off, or raising prices on, the “invasion” of foreign goods that help us stretch our paychecks and significantly improve our standard of living.

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE “The Tyranny of Control” Transcript and Video (60 Minutes)

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY “The Tyranny of Control” in Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 7 of 7 (Transcript and Video) “I’m not pro business, I’m pro free enterprise, which is a very different thing, and the reason I’m pro free enterprise”

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY “The Tyranny of Control” in Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 6 of 7 (Transcript and Video) “We are the ones who promote freedom, and free enterprise, and individual initiative, And what do we do? We force puny little Hong Kong to impose limits, restrictions on its exports at tariffs, in order to protect our textile workers”

In 1980 I read the book FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman and it really enlightened me a tremendous amount.  I suggest checking out these episodes and transcripts 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, […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY “The Tyranny of Control” in Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 5 of 7 (Transcript and Video) “There is no measure whatsoever that would do more to prevent private monopoly development than complete free trade”

In 1980 I read the book FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman and it really enlightened me a tremendous amount.  I suggest checking out these episodes and transcripts 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, […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY “The Tyranny of Control” in Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 4 of 7 (Transcript and Video) ” What we need are constitutional restraints on the power of government to interfere with free markets in foreign exchange, in foreign trade, and in many other aspects of our lives.”

In 1980 I read the book FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman and it really enlightened me a tremendous amount.  I suggest checking out these episodes and transcripts 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, […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY “The Tyranny of Control” in Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 3 of 7 (Transcript and Video) “When anyone complains about unfair competition, consumers beware, That is really a cry for special privilege always at the expense of the consumer”

In 1980 I read the book FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman and it really enlightened me a tremendous amount.  I suggest checking out these episodes and transcripts 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, […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY “The Tyranny of Control” in Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 2 of 7 (Transcript and Video) “As always, economic freedom promotes human freedom”

In 1980 I read the book FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman and it really enlightened me a tremendous amount.  I suggest checking out these episodes and transcripts 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, […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY “The Tyranny of Control” Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 1 of 7 (Transcript and Video) “Adam Smith’s… key idea was that self-interest could produce an orderly society benefiting everybody, It was as though there were an invisible hand at work”

In 1980 I read the book FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman and it really enlightened me a tremendous amount.  I suggest checking out these episodes and transcripts 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, […]

Open letter to President Obama (Part 654) “The Tyranny of Control” in Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 7 of 7 (Transcript and Video) “I’m not pro business, I’m pro free enterprise, which is a very different thing, and the reason I’m pro free enterprise”

Open letter to President Obama (Part 654) (Emailed to White House on July 22, 2013) 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 […]

Open letter to President Obama (Part 650) “The Tyranny of Control” in Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 6 of 7 (Transcript and Video) “We are the ones who promote freedom, and free enterprise, and individual initiative, And what do we do? We force puny little Hong Kong to impose limits, restrictions on its exports at tariffs, in order to protect our textile workers”

Open letter to President Obama (Part 650) (Emailed to White House on July 22, 2013) 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 […]

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