Entries for January, 2009

Congratulations Life Prizes Award Winner Jill Stanek!

For your dedication and efforts in the defense of life. From the moderators, proofreaders and regulars at JillStanek.com.

Stanek: 1 month vacation announcement

UPDATE, 1/17, 8:30a: I’ve posted my

BornAliveTruth.org hosts world premiere of “22Weeks”!

New poll/Old poll

Bill O’Reilly asked a great poll question this week, and I thought I’d ask it here: Are you rooting for Barack Obama to succeed? Congratulations to Sarah Palin for polling as the 2008 Pro-lifer of the Year in last week’s poll, and congrats as well to 2nd place winner, David Bereit! Here was the vote […]

New poll/Old poll

The new poll question is up: Who do you think should be named the 2008 Pro-Lifer of the Year? Thanks for reader suggestions for nominees. Here were responses to the previous poll question…

Sunday funnies

No political cartoons on our issue this week. This one by Chuck Asay…

Long weekend question

Two questions: What stands out in your mind as the biggest pro-life story of 2008? Who would you nominate as Pro-Lifer of the Year for 2008? I’ll run a poll after getting suggestions. [Graphic courtesy of

  
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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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