WHAT HAPPENED?

When I was a teenager, I had a dream of being an astronaut. I studied science, and to feed my dreams, I read science fiction. To a small extent, I realized those dreams. For awhile I worked at NASA. Unfortunately, I made a depressing discovery. Whatever the engineers might design, politics would leave undone.

So it is I read this post and mourned what might have been.

July 20 1969 Neil Armstrong walks on moon

Neil Armstrong

On July 20th 1969, at 10:56 p.m. American EDT, American astronaut Neil Armstrong, 240,000 miles from Earth, spoke these words to more than a billion people listening at home: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Stepping off the lunar landing module Eagle, Armstrong became the first human to walk on the surface of the moon.

The American effort to send astronauts to the moon has its origins in a famous appeal President John F. Kennedy made to a special joint session of Congress on May 25, 1961: “I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth.” At the time, the United States was still trailing the Soviet Union in space developments, and Cold War-era America welcomed Kennedy’s bold proposal. (continued here)

Reblogged from Craig Hill (from the other side of our little planet)

When we put a man on the moon, that should have been a monumental event in our history, the beginning of our exploration of this solar system. Instead, what had begun with so much promise, fizzled. Suddenly. Inexplicably. We stopped.

What happened? In the decades since our parents and grandparents began a program to put a man on the moon, what have we lost? As my last post suggests (DO YOU BELIEVE MAN CAN PERFECT HIMSELF?), in our pride I think we have lost sight of God. Instead of thanking God for His divine providence — for guiding our footsteps — too often we now pat ourselves on the back.

What was the Apollo program? What began as missile race with the USSR became a race to put a man upon the moon. Somehow a military contest had become an exciting race to distant goal.

With an ease that surprised us, we won that race. Unfortunately, too few gave God the glory. So now it is that one-by-one our victories vanish, and our troubles increase.

How can we thank God? We can pray.

Psalm 138 Good News Translation (GNT)

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

I thank you, Lord, with all my heart;
I sing praise to you before the gods.
2 I face your holy Temple,
bow down, and praise your name
because of your constant love and faithfulness,
because you have shown that your name and your commands are supreme.
3 You answered me when I called to you;
with your strength you strengthened me.

4 All the kings in the world will praise you, Lord,
because they have heard your promises.
5 They will sing about what you have done
and about your great glory.
6 Even though you are so high above,
you care for the lowly,
and the proud cannot hide from you.

7 When I am surrounded by troubles,
you keep me safe.
You oppose my angry enemies
and save me by your power.
8 You will do everything you have promised;
Lord, your love is eternal.
Complete the work that you have begun.

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About Citizen Tom

I am just an average citizen interested in promoting informed participation in the political process.
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7 Responses to WHAT HAPPENED?

  1. Will there ever be another moonlanding in our lifetime? The Cold War had it’s upsides :).

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  2. Biltrix says:

    “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

    You are right. I never thought about it, but this bold statement leaves God out of the picture. Now mankind has named a particle after him (Higgs-Boson: the “god” particle), ironically, boasting it flippant disregard in the name of rational religion: i.e., science. Where do we get the audacity?

    There’s still time to recognize and thank God for gifts of technology, reason, and science.

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    • Citizen Tom says:

      I doubt Armstrong thought that religious expression would have been appropriate. Even then our government had become too thoroughly secular. What the First Amendment requires is that our government not establish a religion. Unfortunately, some take that to mean that we must practice secularism in our public lives. Such an extreme denies God. When we leave out God, our tendency is to praise and glorify mankind, and that is what Armstrong did.

      It is interesting to consider the etymology of the word “secular.”

      secular (adj.) late 13c., “living in the world, not belonging to a religious order,” also “belonging to the state,” from O.Fr. seculer, from L.L. saecularis “worldly, secular,” from L. saecularis “of an age, occurring once in an age,” from saeculum “age, span of time, generation,” probably originally cognate with words for “seed,” from PIE root *se(i)- “to sow” (cf. Goth. mana-seþs “mankind, world,” lit. “seed of men”). Used in ecclesiastical writing like Gk. aion “of this world” (see cosmos). It is source of Fr. siècle. Ancient Roman ludi saeculares was a three-day, day-and-night celebration coming once in an “age” (120 years).

      The ancient Roman ludi saeculares was a religious celebration devoted to pagan gods (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_Games). Ironic, don’t you think? I wonder if we have come full circle. In return for worldly things — such as a long life — will we worship idols?

      As the Book of John attests in chapters 15 and 17, those devoted to this world will persecute Christians. When Christians elect leaders who are devoted to this world, we are just begging for trouble.

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  3. Citizen Tom says:

    Biltrix — “et in saecula saeculorum”? I guess you would speak Latin. Here is a link for those like myself who do not. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_saecula_saeculorum

    It is an odd thought, but the Bible was first written in languages spoken mainly by pagans. I guess we leave God no choice. If He is to save us, He must turn all things to good.

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  4. Pingback: Neil Armstrong Recovering From Heart Surgery | David Reneke | Space and Astronomy News

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