Entries for June, 2005

NY Times asks “independent” experts

New York Times, June 15 [see page two for full article, which is no longer available on the Internet without paying for it]: Studies Rebut Earlier Report on Pledges of Virginity Challenging earlier findings, two studies from the Heritage Foundation reported yesterday that young people who took virginity pledges had lower rates of acquiring sexually […]

Truth be told

From yesterday’s Herald-Mail Online in Maryland: When Hagerstown mom Angelique Bowman first spotted the posters of bloody aborted fetuses Monday afternoon as she strolled down West Washington Street holding the hands of her sons Dushion, 2, and Thavies, 5, she was shocked. “I got a little annoyed because they are so graphic,” said Bowman, 28. […]

Don’t buy cells: Investment adviser says to let taxpayers shoulder risk

Yesterday, The Motley Fool reported: … But when it comes to [private] investing, it’s best to view the subject [of embryonic stem cell research] with as much detachment as possible…. Sure, federal support may increase the chances that embryonic stem cells will yield novel treatments. But the path to success is still likely to be […]

The man who would beat King

PalmBeachPost.com reports today: Randall Terry, the anti-abortion activist who was a prominent voice in the losing battle to keep Terri Schiavo alive, said Tuesday he’s going ahead with a Republican primary challenge of state Sen. Jim King in northeast Florida. King drew the ire of social conservatives this year when he and eight other Republican […]

Anti-“choice” AMA

KaiserNetwork.org reports today that the pro-abortion American Medical Association passed a resolution yesterday at its annual meeting “saying pharmacists should be required to fill all valid prescriptions or refer patients to another pharmacy or pharmacist immediately.” So much for choice. LifeSiteNews.com says the AMA action is “target[ing] Catholic and pro-life pharmacists for extinction.” Reuters reported, […]

Profitable stem cells sell

Stem cells are the future of medicine, so private investers will indeed sink money into stem cell research they believe will pay off. Witness a report in the June 27 issue of Business Week : Doctors, patients, and quite a few investors are counting on ViaCell to unlock the therapeutic promise of umbilical cord stem […]

The embryonic fountain of youth

From today’s Electric New Paper, Singapore: Australian movie stars, sportsmen and entrepreneurs alike are shelling out A$40,000 ($52,000) a pop for stem-cell treatment in China. The controversial process is illegal Down Under, so they are queuing up for this ‘fountain-of-youth’ treatment overseas…. The radical procedure that uses fertilised eggs harvested from genetically-perfect female Chinese donors […]

The President on judges and Life at today’s Southern Baptist Convention…

11:55 A.M. EDT THE PRESIDENT: … And for the good of our legal system, I will also continue to nominate federal judges who faithfully interpret the law and do not legislate from the bench. Every judicial nominee deserves an up or down vote on the floor of the United States Senate, and I thank you […]

Animal killers vs. baby killers

The photo, left, is of a reporter holding a dead puppy and was posted in the June 18 Roanoke-Chowan News Herald, accompanying an expose that two PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) workers who were caught killing dogs and cats and throwing them in dumpsters. Why do you think the newspaper posted a […]

The new most oft-quoted verse in the Bible (and it ain’t John 3:16)

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Carol Marin began her June 17 screed against pro-lifers by quoting from Jesus’ “judge not lest ye be judged” speech in Matthew 7:1-5. Marin was ticked that the American Life League publicly called Catholic Church leadership into account for handing pseudo-Catholic US Sen. Dick Durbin his communion wafer on Sunday after he […]

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Who Is Jill Stanek?

Jill Stanek is a nurse turned speaker, columnist and blogger, a national figure in the effort to protect both preborn and postborn innocent human life.

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Here’s the third in the repeat of my Sunday series during the month of December of the fascinating abolitionist history behind some of our most beloved Christmas hymns. Pro-lifers identify closely with those 150 years ago who fought to free another oppressed class of people. Last week I posted the story behind “O Holy Night,” and the week before, “Go Tell It on the Mountain.” This week…

“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”

In December 1863 poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was still grieving the death by fire of his wife Francis 2 years before when receiving word their oldest son Charles had been seriously injured as a Union soldier in the Civil War.

A fierce abolitionist, Longfellow awakened in despair that Christmas morning, unsure of both the fate of his son and his country. It was against this backdrop Longfellow wrote the melancholy poem “Christmas Bells” when hearing church bells peel throughout Boston proclaiming the birth of Christ. Two of the middle verses were later dropped to adapt the poem into a Christmas carol, which composer John Caulkin set to music. Those 2 verses give the current verse 3 (the last verse below) much more context:

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said:
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Read more on the history of “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” here and here.

I’ve also posted two memorable but very different renditions of this classic.

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