Apollo 8’s Christmas message to the world

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1968 was a terrible year.

America was politically divided: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy had been assassinated; more US troops were dying than ever in the Vietnam War; people were questioning authority and demonstrating in the streets.

Launched on December 21, 1968, Apollo 8 was the second manned U.S. spaceflight mission and the first manned spacecraft to leave low Earth orbit, reach the Moon, orbit it, and return.

On Christmas Eve, NASA instructed the astronauts Frank Borman, Bill Anders and Jim Lovell to say something appropriate during the broadcast, but few knew what they would say. Some 1 billion people in 64 countries were tuning in.

Commander Borman activated a small hand-held TV camera and announced: “This is Apollo 8 coming to you live from the moon.” Viewers were shown what the moon looked like from about 70 miles above the surface.

Borman continued: “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.”

This is the message.


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8 responses to “Apollo 8’s Christmas message to the world

  1. Beautiful…….Thank you, Dr. Eowyn. Christmas blessings to our FOTM family.

  2. Beautiful! Such a moving expression of faith in our God.

  3. Breathtaking!

  4. Dr Eowyn . . . . that was a wonderful thought to bring to us this Christmas day. The message they sent out to all the world is as pertinent today, as it was back then.

  5. Borman, Anders and Lovell made history in being the first human beings to go to the Moon. Make no mistake: They went to the Moon—they just didn’t walk on it. And in their Christmas message to the World, they roused real hope in millions of people. They redeemed what had turned out to be a miserable year. (Broadcast on Dec. 24, 1968, monk-writer Thomas Merton had died just two weeks before. This matters to me, for it has just been released this year that Fr. Merton was assassinated with a machete or cleaver to the back of the skull. Fr. Merton had become an increasingly vocal opponent of the Viet Nam War).

    This matters for an extremely important reason. Philosophically and ideologically, modernism had been in vogue and running its course for over 60 years at that time, and the advances in technology, communications and travel were, historically, new, and these advances made an enormous amount of commerce and trade possible. This new activity had not been done decades previously. And NASA (which some have nicknamed “Never A Straight Answer!”) had done the previously impossible: With Apollo VIII, they had “slipped the surly bonds of Earth and touched the Face of God.”

    This matters. Because now we are living in the age of post-modernism, a new nadir of nihilism whose bedrock theorem is that truth, in and of itself, cannot be known. This intellectual and ideological virus has begun to run its poisoned course, and, ultimately, threatens the very survival of the human race. For now a chorus of doubt and doom has reared its ugly head, pronouncing its demented dogma of deceit and doom that we never went to the Moon!


    In 2016, Japan sent an unmanned satellite to orbit and map the Moon’s surface, and that satellite did, in fact, photograph the landing site of at least one Apollo landing site. (Memory tells me it was that of Apollo XV). But it matters for more than a technological feat: It matters because we must know what we know, and we must know what we can know, and we must know why we know it.
    Given the dangers of post-modernism, the very foundations of empiricism and history themselves have been endangered. Yes, the Space Program yielded new forms of technology that did not exist three years previously, and these technologies, such as silicon chips, nanotechnologies and all the rest, have enabled new industries to arise. The computers and the internet we have now would not be here without this Space Program (and this was prompted by President Kennedy’s call that we go to the Moon). But now we have the sprouting seeds of a new cynicism that proclaims that truth is not knowable, that history can be challenged with the most false of claims and that technology has rendered our inalienable rights, including that of privacy, relics of a bygone age.
    Technology yielded freedom and trade in a previous era; Technology now threatens the very existence of man in an age of Satanism rising. We stand at the edge where one era is ending, or has ended, and another is about to begin. When Pandorra opened her box, the evils escaped into the world; The one thing left in the box was hope. We could be at the beginning of a Thousand Years of Darkness, or, we could be at the start of a new age of hope. To survive we must admit to ourselves the truth about our past accomplishments, and this begins with our admission that, Yes, we have penetrated the Van Allen belts and gone to the Moon. We have sent satellites to beyond the Solar System.

    It is a pleasure to know that Apollo Commander Frank Borman is still alive, and the atheistic woman who sued NASA for the Bible reading from a public conveyance, Madeleine Murray O’Hare, is not. Borman, Anders and Lovell did more for peace than Mrs. O’Hare ever dreamed. (I understand it did not end well for her).

  6. I will never forget that broadcast in 1968. It was stunning. And coming as America’s greatest scientific triumph to date, it was jarring to hear the astronauts read the creation account from the book of Genesis. I was still in public school, and had been subjected to years of science teachers bashing my Christian faith, declaring the Bible, especially the creation account in Genesis, to be proven wrong. Happily, since that time, many studies have left Charles Darwin’s theory and those of his later apologists debunked and shredded.
    “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.”

    • Yes, yes and yes again. God Almighty has already announced, in the Bible, “My Word shall not go forth from My Lips and come back to Me void.” Evolution is the so-called “theory” (in true science it does not even rate as a hypothesis) that the world came from nowhere, means nothing and is going nowhere.
      Science and true religious faith ARE NOT at war with each other: Real religious faith begins with sound reasoning, and allows the real scientific method to be discovered. It seems to me that Darwin, Marx, Freud and Nietzsche had it exactly backwards: They did not “ask to believe” so that “they could know,” but, rather, demanded to know first so they could believe—the exact opposite of what St. Augustine prayed for.

  7. Yeah, sure.
    (Dream on…)

    ~ D-FensDogG @ Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends


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