COMMUNION ON THE MOON
Landing on the moon would have been impossible and incredible for the people in the 1850’s. Yet, just a little over a hundred years later, man went from riding in a stagecoach to landing on the moon, 235,000 miles from earth! The amount of knowledge increase that occurred in that short amount of time is truly remarkable, and continues to this day. The evolution of many innovations have resulted, like the iPad, smart phones, wireless communication, more sophisticated rockets, DNA research, medical advances, etc.
It was Christmas Eve, 1968, when astronauts William Anders, James Lovell and the commander of the mission, Colonel Frank Borman, became the first astronauts to circle the moon. As they did so, each man broadcast back to earth portions from the first book of the Bible, Genesis 1:1-10.
William Anders: “We are 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. (Genesis 1:1-4 KJV).
“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. (Genesis 1:5-8 KJV).”
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 the Seas; and God saw it was good. (Genesis 1:9-10 KJV).”
Commander Borman added:
"We close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you -- all of you on the good Earth."
Atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair was outraged by this broadcast. She filed suit against the United States government, alleging violations of the first amendment. The next year on July 20, 1969, Apollo astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. Before stepping onto the moon’s surface, Buzz asked to broadcast the astronauts’ celebration of communion. He was told by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) that was not possible because of the pending lawsuit by O’Hair. The two astronauts shared the communion together anyway in the lunar lander and then exited to the moon’s surface.
O’Hair's lawsuit was later dismissed by the Supreme Court. Subsequently, Buzz Aldrin wrote about the communion event in the October, 1970, monthly publication of Guideposts. The lunar landing was re-enacted in the 1998 Emmy winning HBO mini-series, From the Earth to the Moon, starring Tom Hanks. It was co-produced by Tom Hanks, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, and Michael Bostick.
Madalyn Murray O’Hair wanted to put a stop to any religious activity or references in space. She was denied that attempt. The publicity that has been generated by music, writings and movies of this and other space achievements has far exceeded any suppression of religion that she tried to make happen.
Isaiah 55:11 states: “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
God’s word won that battle!
Adding to the irony is that Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s own son, William Murray, became a devout Christian. He founded a Christian ministry, The Religious Freedom Coalition. More information can be found on his website: www.religiousfreedomcoalition.org/.