The Apollo 8 Message That Could Never Happen Today

1024px-nasa-apollo8-dec24-earthrise
From Apollo 8 | Dec. 24, 1968

The other day I was listening to a discussion on the radio about the exciting new ‘space race’ of sorts to Mars among private organizations like SpaceX and Boeing. During which it was discussed how 1968’s Apollo 8 carried the first humans to orbit the moon. There was an aside about the message astronauts Bill Anders (Catholic), Jim Lovell, and Frank Borman sent back to Earth as they approached the lunar sunrise on Christmas Eve. The astronauts used what they knew would be the most listened to event in history to quote the Bible and wish the planet a Merry Christmas. Think of this happening today in our perpetually offended PC culture–comical. It’s pretty epic…and moving.

Bill Anders
“We are now approaching lunar sunrise, and for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.”

“‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
‘And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
‘And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
‘And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.'”
Jim Lovell 
“‘And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
‘And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
‘And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
‘And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.’”
Frank Borman 
“‘And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. ‘And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.'”

“And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas – and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth.”

In truth, I suppose the message offended some. Madalyn Murray O’Hair, founder of American Atheists, ended up suing the United States alleging violations of the 1st Amendment but the judge threw out her complaint due to lack of jurisdiction!

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