September 18, 1997 |
Are we done with dying? Are the funerals over? Can we forget the obsequies? Let us now rejoice in living! Yes, it is good to be alive! And yes, eternity can wait! The preachers say there is nothing like the joys of eternity, and yet most if not all of us studiously avoid death! Who is really eager to rush into eternity? How many times have I seen dying people fend off death with all the power that remained in them. It is an instinctive revulsion at the primeval enemy.
April 27, 2003 |
Dale Drews believes that when a person dies, there is no spiritual encore. There is no coming back as someone else, no eternal home in heaven or hell. For him, life after death is about as likely as the prospect of Madalyn Murray O'Hair waiting in line for a face-to-face with St. Peter. Simply put, not a prayer. There is hope after death, he says. It's just not one that has anything to do with individual immortality. Drews, a retired professor who lives in Center City, is a "religious humanist" and an atheist.
May 14, 2007
DESPITE ALL the verbal cheerleading about this city, the reality is that it will always be in decline because of a cultural legacy of neglect of its citizenry and parochialism, both of which have left Philadelphia with low human capital. In other words, you are stuck with a disproportionate number of uneducated citizens, with much of the city's leadership included. Administratively, Philly is more like Transylvania in its vampiric thirst for sucking money from its residents via fines, fees and taxes, promising in return only an eternal life of incompetence in the delivery of basic services.
October 15, 1993
We will defend to the death your right to believe that you can buy eternal life in a bottle at the health store. We do not, however, believe that the manufacturer of the product has the right to promote the stuff as providing eternal life, whether it's made of papaya enzyme or the finest and purest desiccated elk droppings. That is the basic issue in the battle over the Hatch-Richardson legislation that has thrown the quack industry into a tizzy. People who use dietary supplements, as well as more exotic products, are told the government wants to take their goodies away.
February 5, 2004
RE THE letter from Kevin Flanagan titled "Abortion: Maybe It's God's Will": I can most assuredly tell you from reading the Bible that it is not God's will that people who call themselves doctors kill innocent human beings. God has no penchant for destruction. If anyone deserves destruction it is not innocent unborn human beings - it is Americans who have allowed abortion to continue in this nation for more than 30 years. We have innocent blood on our hands. Maybe it's the U.S. who is next to be disciplined.
April 2, 2010 |
Easter time is a reminder of our mortality - that we will die. But 70 percent of Americans believe religion can lead to eternal life, according to a study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. In the secular age we live in, spirituality seems to loom larger when we are about to die. Once we stare death square in the face, most of us will want to believe it is not a separation, but a transformation - not termination, but transcendence. As Rousseau wrote, "He who pretends to look on death without fear lies.
October 28, 1989 |
Camden County Superior Court Judge Paul A. Lowengrub yesterday appointed a medical guardian to determine whether a blood transfusion is needed for a critically ill 15-year-old girl who, like her parents, opposes the transfusion for religious reasons. Suzanne Koerner of Monroeville, Gloucester County, a Jehovah's Witness, was hit by a car as she waited for a school bus early Thursday morning, injuring her left arm and leg. After emergency surgery Thursday, the leg wound remained open and the girl continued to lose blood, according to testimony yesterday by Dr. Christine Rehm of Cooper Hospital-University Medical Center.
May 3, 1987 |
Last fall, Paul Overstreet, suddenly successful writer of two Randy Travis hits and member of the fast-rising pop-country recording trio SKO, was sitting in a Bible-study class hearing a comparison of the temporal and the eternal. It was a comparison, Overstreet says, between what will live forever and what will "burn. " "As a Christian believing in Jesus, I believe that I have eternal life after I die in this life," the Mississippi minister's son explains, "so all the things I do on this earth that bear spiritual fruit will live eternally after I die - they will be my treasures forever - and everything else will burn.
July 22, 1998 |
Hilary's last spring at the University of Vermont, she took us out on a fire escape to watch the sunset. It was her solitary communion with nature and she shared it with us. We never felt closer to my stepdaughter. A month later, Hilary disappeared. A single terse letter followed. Hilary assured us she was well. She had found peace and we should not worry about her. What did we do? We worried. A month later, Hilary's backpack was found by Burlington, Vt., police, and returned to us. We feared the worst - that Hilary was the victim of foul play.
November 16, 1996
NEAR-DEATH MUSINGS When we live as if we are going to live forever, it becomes easy to postpone what we know we must do. Denial of death is partially for people living empty, purposeless lives who avoid thinking about it and treat it as if it didn't exist. Death is our final, most meaningful act. In spite of its timing, death is certain and comes in doses in our lives. Death of a loved one, the changing seasons, a painful disappointment, loneliness, sickness, a lost friendship, are all previews of death.