Three icons who died on Nov. 22, 1963

> By Don Hinkle
> Pathway Editor
>
> Fifty years ago today (Nov. 22) is largely being remembered as the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Texas. It is interesting to note that two other important lives ended that same day with much less fanfare. Author and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis along with gnostic philosopher and author Aldous Huxley both drew their last breaths in this world on this day. Lewis doing so, no doubt trusting in his Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and Huxley, per his instructions, injected with a 100-micogram dose of LSD by his wife, Laura, who encouraged him to follow the light into the beyond.
> Lewis, along with his dear friend J.R.R. Tolkien, continues to inspire, encourage and entertain while always pointing people to the great and mighty God of the Bible. Two of Lewis’ works, The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity remain Christian classics, not to mention his Chronicles of Narnia that have become a huge success on the big screen. So on this day marking the 50th anniversary of Lewis’ death, I am reminded of one of his most famous quotes on the subject of heaven:

“If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next … . It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’; aim at earth and you will get neither.”
> Huxley, like Lewis was an English writer, but spiritually he stands in great contrast to Lewis. Known for his frightenly prophetic novel, A Brave New World, Huxley was of a generation of philosophers who were repulsed by the violence of modernity and, for a time, embraced the idea that life was meaningless. He ultimately embraced mysticism, rejecting the God of the Bible. Still, his influence is not to be underestimated.
> Huxley biographer Don Lattin, writing for “Spirituality & Health.com,” noted Huxley’s impact on society: “Aldous Huxley helped inspire the spiritual revolution of 1960s and 1970s—a revolution that changed the way millions of Americans practice their faith and live their lives, forging a new American spirituality that is experiential, anti-authoritarian, eclectic, utilitarian, and therapeutic. It is less about believing in God and more about experiencing divine power and grace. This new American spirituality shows a deep distrust of religious hierarchies. It draws wisdom from all of the world’s religions. It’s practical, not pious. It’s about finding new connections between body, mind, and spirit.”
> As we witness the rebellion against denominational life, growing syncretism and spirituality more pragmatic than the holiness called for in Scripture, we realize that perhaps Huxley’s ideas maintain substantial power in contemporary society. The good news is that God’s truth triumphs in many ways as demonstrated by the extraordinary apologetics of a Lewis and that lingers with us as well. Kennedy got the headlines on Nov. 22, 1963, but the deaths of Lewis and Huxley that same day should not be overlooked. It is hard to imagine, three people, who died the same day, having as much impact on politics, art, theology, philosophy and history as these three men.

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World Baseball classic

If you are not watching the World Baseball Classic, then you are missing some high drama….after six innings in the second round … USA 3, Puerto Rico 0 …winner plays Dominican Republic in the winners bracket Wednesday. The second round is double elimination.

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Great election video “Test of Fire” featuring Mike Huckabee

I recommend you watch this powerful election video featuring Mike Huckabee. Please share it.

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Latest polls in Mizzou; Romney up big, Akin likely ahead

Mason-Dixon released its latest poll of Missouri voters Saturday, Oct. 27. Mason-Dixon is a Democrat poll. It has a margin of error of 4%.

I personally endorse Romney, Akin, Martin, Schoeller and McNary.

Romney 53%, Obama 40%

McCaskill 45%, Akin 43% (the latest GOP poll has Akin up, 47%-43%)

Nixon 48%, Spence 42%

Kinder 46%, Montee 41%

Koster 51%, Martin 37%

Schoeller 43%, Kander 40%

Zweifel 42%, McNary 39%

 

 

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View the new Pathway commercial

This is the new video commercial about The Pathway. It is being debuted at the MBC annual meeting during the Tuesday morning session Oct. 30, but you can see it here https://vimeo.com/52343118 right now. It’s only 2 minutes, 46 seconds long.

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A tremendous video tribute to NFL Films’ Steve Sabol

If you have not seen this and it not stir something inside you, then you ain’t no footbaw fan.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-videos/0ap2000000063286/Steve-Sabol-s-last-film?module=HP11_hot_topics

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Assessing the Akin candidacy

George Soros’ Obama SuperPAC is behind the contrived and fading uproar over Missouri Congressman Todd Akin and his bid to unseat Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill. Karl Rove, the former Bush administration deputy chief of staff was alerted to Akin’s now famous gaffe by the Obama SuperPAC and used it to try and get Akin out of a race many believe Akin is once again winning.

Rove enlisted the help of other Missouri Republicans like Sen. Roy Blunt, who is believed to be behind the effort to get the Missouri Farm Bureau to pull its endorsement of Akin. The bureau is being bombarded with emails and phone calls by Akin supporters. Blunt’s pressure has put the bureau in the tough position of either pleasing the senior senator that it depends on for favorable legislation versus its dues and premium-paying constiuents who like Akin’s stellar conservative voting record and abhor McCaskill’s liberal peformance. If Blunt is not careful, he most surely will have primary opposition when he runs for re-election. Names are already being floated among conservatives and Tea Party activists.

Why are Rove and Blunt doing this? There are multiple theories:

1. Some believe it is payback because Akin refused to support President Bush’s excessive spending on a prescription drug benefit, the unpopular “No Child Left Behind” initiative for America’s public schools and the bailout of Wall Street. Akin, true to his conservative principles, felt all of those issues were something that should not have had government involvement.

2. Others suspect Rove and the GOP establishment are believed to be tired of candidates, like the former Nevada senatorial candidate Sharon Angle who lost to Harry Reid, whom they perceive to be unelectable. Such candidates win primaries, then lose the general election. For whatever reason, Rove pegged Akin as such a candidate and Blunt apparently agreed, despite early polling showing Akin jumping out to a 51-40 percent lead.

3. Another possible reason for the unprecedented attacks by the GOP establishment is they realize Akin, well-versed on the Constitution, cannot be easily persuaded to support just any bill, particularly those that expand federal power and increase spending. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is believed to have approved Blunt’s involvement in trying to get Akin out of the race. Why? They know they cannot control Akin, who has proven he will vote according to whatever the Constitution — and Bible — says. It is worth noting that the GOP establishment attacks (except for Rove’s murder comment, for which he later called Akin and apologized) on Akin have not been personal. They know him to be a Christian gentleman.

4. Another issue is that there are murmurs of a growing anti-evangelical bias burning among more moderate establishment Republicans. Some evangelicals in the party think this can be seen in both Mitt Romney’s and Paul Ryan’s repeated redaction of the oft-used line, “Our rights are derived from nature’s God.” Both Romney and Ryan have subtlely changed it to, “Our rights are derived from nature AND God.” This has alarmed conservative evangelicals in the party. The difference appears slight, but to Christians in particular, it is very important. The Romney/Ryan version separates nature from its Creator, most likely to assuage mildly leftist voters and moderate Republican sensibilities, particularly those with an intellectual bent toward evolution. Akin does not agree with evolution.

Another person whom Rove enlisted to execute the attack on Akin was Rob Jesmer, executive director of the National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC). Jesmer was the key person in promoting then Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to be the NRSC-approved candidate for U.S. Senator in 2010, rather than then State Rep. Marco Rubio, a conservative, Christian candidate. Crist, a liberal and agnostic, was recently a speaker at the Democratic National Convention and MSNBC personality Joe Scarborough, who has been clamoring for Akin to exit the race, suggested on his “Morning Joe” program that Crist would make a good Democrat candidate to challenge current Republican Gov. Rick Scott. The irony surrounding Jesmer holding such a powerful position is obvious and makes the GOP establishment look unprincipled.

The relationship between the GOP establishment in Missouri and evangelicals has often been strained and the Akin candidacy is aggravating the situation. Wealthy Jewish businessman Sam Fox, part of the more moderate St. Louis GOP establishment, is a major supporter of cloning (he’s also supporting Democrat Chris Koster in his bid to win re-election as Missouri attorney general). When Southern Baptists joined other conservatives in fiercely opposing legislation that would allow cloning in the state, a frustrated Fox publicly referred to Southern Baptists in Missouri as “zealots.” Conservative nationally syndicated columnist George Will, who is not a Christian, but is firmly in the GOP establishment’s hip pocket, used his column to lecture the Missouri Baptist Convention’s newspaper, The Pathway, about its strong rebuke of cloning and Republican involvement in trying to establish it in Missouri.

Whatever the reason for the growing rift in the GOP, Akin finds himself at the epicenter of a battle between the GOP establishment and conservative Missouri Republicans and Tea Partiers. Despite the barrage of criticism leveled at Akin by the Rove posse, polls now have Akin back in front of McCaskill. Meanwhile the Rove/Blunt/establishment wing of the party does not appear to be backing off of their demands. There is also a sense they have miscalculated the mood in Missouri, where conservative, pro-life Catholics and Southern Baptists, the two largest denominations in the state, make up a large enough chunk of the electorate to make this a nightmare for the Rove/Blunt establishment, much less McCaskill. Blunt, ironically, claims membership at First Baptist Church, Branson and once served as president of Southwest Baptist University (affiliated with the Missouri Baptist Convention) and as a trustee for Midwestern Bapitst Theological Seminary in Kansas City ( an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention). Akin was recently endorsed by about 100 Missouri Southern Baptist pastors, including eight former presidents of the Missouri Baptist Convention.

Akin is not getting out of the race. He is raising money (more than $400,000 on the internet alone in the past 10 days) and at least two, major fundraising events are scheduled. Republican operatives who are Christians, are working hard to find large donors whom Rove and Blunt cannot touch to form a superPAC to run attack ads against McCaskill because Akin will not — even if he gets more money. Rumors are circulating that at least one, conservative super PAC, which does not want McCaskill to win under any circumstances, will soon jump into the fray. Conservative, pro-life, pro-family groups along with Missouri Tea Partiers are getting more aggressive in behalf of Akin. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins is said to be bringing his organization’s bus to Missouri later this month and plans to campaign — with Akin aboard — across the state. More GOP leaders like former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Eagle Forum President Phyllis Schafley and former Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts have offered support to Akin. The Akin campaign team has been beefed-up with the addition of long-time Gingrich aid Rick Tyler, a highly respected operative in Republican circles. Rex Elsass, the award-winning media consultant who has worked with Akin on all of his campaigns, is also onboard. Do not be surprised to see Elsass-produced TV ads featuring Huckabee sometime during the campaign. Elsass and Huckaee teamed up to produce a very effective commercial for Akin during the primary. Huckabee is popular in Missouri, particularly among evangelicals. Dick Bott, the founder of the Bott Radio Network, is blanketing the state with pro-Akin programming every day in 30-minute pops. Bott recently hosted a fundraiser for Akin that consisted largely of out-of-state conservatives.

Conversely, Rove is starting to look, well, un-Rove-like. His incredibly inrresponsible statement about a murder attempt on Akin — at a time when the FBI is investigating threats against Akin, his family and campaign staff — has turned the stomach of Missourians. Gingrich pounced on David Gregory, the host of NBC’s Meet the Press program last Sunday when Gregory pointed out that Rove was just “joking” about murdering Akin. This is no time to be joking about such a thing given the recent shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, Gingrich fired back. While some Missourians thought Akin’s rape comment was wrong, polls suggest they have accepted his apology and honored his request for forgiveness, which was broadcast in ads statewide. Suddenly, Akin is looking like the victim. Meanwhile Rove looks thugish, while Blunt, Kit Bond, John Danforth — and most shocking to Missouri conservatives — John Ashcroft, look like a pack of bullies with their demands that Akin exit the race. They seem oblivious to a groundswell of negative reaction by Missourians who feel they are disrespecting their votes.

Akin is not leaving the race. Rove/Blunt and the others look like they will continue their behavior until at least Sept. 25, the deadline for Akin to take his name off the ballot. To say this is putting pressure on members of the state Republican Party is an understatement. Civil War has broken out and as of this writing, the outcome is uncertain. Romney, meanwhile has pulled into a double-digit lead over President Obama in Missouri, raising the prospects of a coattail effect down the GOP ticket — including — Todd Akin.

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