Antinomianism (from Wikipedia.org)

In Christianity, an antinomian is one who takes the principle of salvation by faith and divine grace to the point of asserting that the saved are not bound to follow the Law of Moses.

The distinction between antinomian and other Christian views on moral law is that antinomians believe that obedience to the law is motivated by an internal principle flowing from belief rather than from any external compulsion.

The term antinomianism emerged soon after the Protestant Reformation (c.1517) and has historically been used as a pejorative against Christian thinkers or sects who carried their belief in justification by faith further than was customary. Antinomianism in modern times is commonly seen as the theological opposite to Legalism or Works righteousness, the notion that obedience to religious law earns salvation. This makes antinomianism an exaggeration ofjustification by faith alone.

Examples are Martin Luther’s critique of antinomianism and the Antinomian Controversy of the 17th century Massachusetts Bay Colony. The term originated in the 16th century, but the topic has its roots in Christian views on the old covenant extending back to the 1st century. It can also be extended to any individual who rejects a socially established morality. Few groups explicitly call themselves antinomian, other than Christian anarchists.

Etymology

The term antinomianism is derived from the Greek ἀντί (anti “against”) + νόμος (nomos “law”).

Christianity

Antinomianism has been a point of doctrinal contention in the history of Christianity, especially in Protestantism, given the Protestant belief in justification through faith alone versus justification on the basis of merit or good works or works of mercy. Most Protestants consider themselves saved without having to keep the commandments of the Mosaic Law as a whole; that is, their salvation does not depend upon keeping the Mosaic Law. However, salvific faith is generally seen as one that produces obedience, consistent with the Reformed formula, “We are justified by faith alone but not by a faith that is alone,” in contrast to rejecting moral constraint.

The term “antinomianism” was coined by Martin Luther during the Reformation to criticize extreme interpretations of the new Lutheran soteriology. In the 18th century, antinomianism was also severely attacked by John Wesley.

A general consensus has been historically reached as to which laws of the Old Testament Christians are still enjoined to keep. These moral laws, as opposed to civil or ceremonial laws, are derivative of what St. Paul refers to as the natural law (Rom. 2.14-15). Mosaic law has authority only insofar as it reflects the commands of Christ and the natural law. Christian sects and theologians who believe that they are freed from more moral constraint than is customary are often called “antinomian” by their critics. Thus, classic Methodist commentator Adam Clarke held, “The Gospel proclaims liberty from the ceremonial law, but binds you still faster under the moral law. To be freed from the ceremonial law is the Gospel liberty; to pretend freedom from the moral law is Antinomianism.” Contemporary Evangelical theologian J. I. Packer states that Antinomianism, “which means being anti-law, is a name for several views.”

Gnosticism

The term antinomian came into use in the sixteenth century, but the doctrine itself can be traced in the teaching of earlier beliefs. Early Gnostic sects were accused of failure to follow the Mosaic Law in a manner that suggests the modern term “antinomian”. Most Gnostic sects did not accept the Old Testament moral law. For example, the Manichaeans held that their spiritual being was unaffected by the action of matter and regarded carnal sins as being, at worst, forms of bodily disease.

The Old Testament was absolutely rejected by most of the Gnostics. Even the so-called Judaeo-Christian Gnostics (Cerinthus), the Ebionites (Essenian) sect of the Pseudo-Clementine writings (the Elcesaites), take up an inconsistent attitude towards Jewish antiquity and the Old Testament. In this respect the opposition to Gnosticism led to a reactionary movement. If the growing Christian Church, in quite a different fashion from Paul, laid stress on the literal authority of the Old Testament, interpreted, it is true, allegorically; if it took up a much more friendly and definite attitude towards the Old Testament, and gave wider scope to the legal conception of religion, this must be in part ascribed to the involuntary reaction upon it of Gnosticism.

Marcion of Sinope was the founder of Marcionism which rejected the Hebrew Bible in its entirety. Marcion considered the God portrayed in the Bible to be a lesser deity, a demiurge, and he claimed that the law of Moses was contrived. Such deviations from the moral law were criticized by proto-orthodox rivals of the Gnostics, who ascribed various aberrant and licentious acts to them. A biblical example of such criticism can be found in Revelation 2:6–15, which criticizes the Nicolaitans, possibly an early Gnostic sect.

More at:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antinomianism

Colin Pitchfork: The first use of DNA

colinpitchfork

Colin Pitchfork (born 23 March 1961) is a British convicted murderer and rapist. He is the first person convicted of a crime based on DNA fingerprinting evidence, and the first to be caught as a result of mass DNA screening. Pitchfork raped and murdered two girls in Leicestershire, the first inNarborough, in November 1983, and the second in Enderby, in July 1986. He was arrested on 19 September 1987 and sentenced to life imprisonment on 22 January 1988, after admitting both murders.

Life

Pitchfork lived in Newbold Verdon, attending school in Market Bosworth and Desford, until his marriage in 1981 to a social worker,[1] after which he lived in Littlethorpe. The Pitchforks had two sons.

Before his marriage Pitchfork had been convicted of indecent exposure and had been referred for therapy at Carlton Hayes Hospital, Narborough.

Pitchfork had obtained work in Hampshires Bakery in 1976 as an apprentice. He continued to work there until his arrest for the murders. He became particularly skilled as a sculptor of cake decorations and had hoped eventually to start his own cake decorating business. According to his supervisor he was “a good worker and time-keeper, but he was moody…and he couldn’t leave women employees alone. He was always chatting them up.”

Crimes

On 21 November 1983, a 15-year-old girl named Lynda Mann left her home to visit a friend’s house. She did not return. The next morning, she was found raped and strangled on a deserted footpath known locally as the Black Pad. Using forensic science techniques available at the time, police linked a semen sample taken from her body to a person with type A blood and an enzyme profile that matched only 10 percent of males. With no other leads or evidence, the case was left open.

On 31 July 1986, another 15-year-old girl, Dawn Ashworth, took a shortcut instead of taking her normal route home. Two days later, her body was found in a wooded area near a footpath called Ten Pound Lane. She had been beaten, savagely raped and strangled to death. The modus operandi matched that of the first attack, and semen samples revealed the same blood type.

DNA profiling

The prime suspect was Richard Buckland, a local 17-year-old youth with learning difficulties, who revealed knowledge of Ashworth’s body, and admitted the crime under questioning, but denied the first murder. Alec Jeffreys, of the University of Leicester, had recently developed DNA profilingalong with Peter Gill and Dave Werrett of the Forensic Science Service (FSS) and detailed the technique in a 1985 paper.

Gill commented:

I was responsible for developing all of the DNA extraction techniques and demonstrating that it was possible after all to obtain DNA profiles from old stains. The biggest achievement was developing the preferential extraction method to separate sperm from vaginalcells – without this method it would have been difficult to use DNA in rape cases.

Using this technique, Jeffreys compared semen samples from both murders against a blood sample from Buckland which conclusively proved that both girls were killed by the same man, but not Buckland. The police then contacted the FSS to verify Jeffreys’ results and decide which direction to take the investigation. Buckland became the first person to have his innocence established by DNA fingerprinting.

Jeffreys later said:

I have no doubt whatsoever that he would have been found guilty had it not been for DNA evidence. That was a remarkable occurrence.

Leicestershire Constabulary and the FSS then undertook an investigation in which 5,000 local men were asked to volunteer blood or saliva samples. This took six months, and no matches were found.

Arrest and conviction

On 1 August 1987, one of Pitchfork’s colleagues at the bakery, Ian Kelly, revealed to fellow workers in a Leicester pub that he had obtained £200 for giving a sample while masquerading as Pitchfork. Pitchfork told Kelly that he could not give blood under his own name because he had already given blood while pretending to be a friend of his who had wanted to avoid being harassed by police because of a youthful conviction for burglary. A woman who overheard the conversation reported it to police.  On 19 September 1987 Pitchfork was arrested at his home in Haybarn Close, in the neighbouring village of Littlethorpe and a sample was found to match that of the killer. During subsequent questioning, Pitchfork admitted to flashing females over 1,000 times, a compulsion that he had started in his early teens. Flashing led to sexual assault and then to strangling his victims in order to protect his identity. He pleaded guilty to the two rape/murders in addition to another incident of sexual assault that he had committed. Pitchfork was preparing to move to Littlethorpe at the time of the murder of Lynda Mann, and lived at Haybarn Close, Littlethorpe at the time of the murder of Dawn Ashworth. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and concurrent terms for rape and murder. The Secretary of State set the tariff or minimum term before consideration could be given to his possible release at 30 years, which was reduced on appeal by 2 years, to 28 years.

Artwork

In April 2009, a sculpture that Pitchfork had produced in prison was exhibited at the Royal Festival Hall. The artwork, entitled Bringing the Music to Life, depicted an orchestra and choir, made “in meticulous miniature detail by folding, cutting and tearing the score of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony”. The sculpture was exhibited as part of a venture by the Koestler Trust, having been purchased by the Festival Hall for £600. Following outrage in the Daily Mail, it was removed from display. Pitchfork had made the work while in Frankland Prison, Brasside, County Durham. He exhibited it with a caption bearing the words, “Without this opportunity to show our art, many of us would have no incentive, we would stay locked in ourselves as much as the walls that hold us.”

Appeal

On 14 May 2009, after an initial adjournment on 30 April 2009, Pitchfork’s legal appeal was heard at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. He won a two-year reduction in his original sentence of a minimum 30 years’ imprisonment. As a consequence, Pitchfork was eligible to apply for release in September 2015 due to the time he spent on remand prior to conviction. The Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge stated, however, that “he cannot be released unless and until the safety of the public is assured.” The court heard that Pitchfork is now educated to degree level and had become expert at the transcription of printed music into Braille, hoping one day to be able to help the blind. This evidence was presented by his legal representatives as evidence of the development of his character while incarcerated.

The parole board began considering evidence in April 2015, in preparation for a hearing in September 2015.

Parole was subsequently refused in April 2016, however with a recommendation that Pitchfork be moved to an open prison.

Drama

In 2014, a two-part television drama entitled Code of a Killer, based on Pitchfork’s crimes and the creation of DNA profiling, was commissioned. It stars John Simm as Professor Jeffreys and David Threlfall as David Baker, the lead detective. Pitchfork was played by Nathan Wright. The drama was first broadcast in two 90-minute episodes, on 6 and 13 April 2015.

(Wikipedia.org)

The Bellamy Salute

bellanysalute

The Bellamy salute is the salute described by Francis Bellamy (1855–1931), Christian socialist minister and author, to accompany the American Pledge of Allegiance, which he had authored in 1892. During the period when it was used with the Pledge of Allegiance, it was sometimes known as the “flag salute”. Later, during the 1920s and 1930s, Italian fascists and Nazis adopted a salute which had a similar form. This resulted in controversy over the use of the Bellamy salute in the United States. It was officially replaced by the hand-over-heart salute when Congress amended the Flag Code on December 22, 1942.

History

The inventor of the Bellamy salute was James B. Upham, junior partner and editor of The Youth’s Companion. Bellamy recalled Upham, upon reading the pledge, came into the posture of the salute, snapped his heels together, and said “Now up there is the flag; I come to salute; as I say ‘I pledge allegiance to my flag,’ I stretch out my right hand and keep it raised while I say the stirring words that follow.”

The Bellamy salute was first demonstrated on October 12, 1892 according to Bellamy’s published instructions for the “National School Celebration of Columbus Day“:

At a signal from the Principal the pupils, in ordered ranks, hands to the side, face the Flag. Another signal is given; every pupil gives the flag the military salute — right hand lifted, palm downward, to align with the forehead and close to it. Standing thus, all repeat together, slowly, “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands; one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.” At the words, “to my Flag,” the right hand is extended gracefully, palm upward, toward the Flag, and remains in this gesture till the end of the affirmation; whereupon all hands immediately drop to the side.

— From The Youth’s Companion, 65 (1892): 446–447.

The initial civilian salute was replaced with a hand-on-heart gesture, followed by the extension of the arm as described by Bellamy. Though the instruction called for the palm to be up, many found this awkward, and performed it with the palm down (see pictures above).

By the 1920s, Italian fascists adopted what has been called the Roman salute to symbolize their claim to have revitalized Italy on the model of ancient Rome. A similar ritual was adopted by the German Nazis, creating the Nazi salute. The similarity to the Bellamy salute led to confusion, especially during World War II. From 1939 until the attack on Pearl Harbor, detractors of Americans who argued against intervention in World War II produced propaganda using the salute to lessen those Americans’ reputations. Among the anti-interventionist Americans was aviation pioneerCharles Lindbergh. Supporters of Lindbergh’s views would claim that Lindbergh did not support Adolf Hitler, and that pictures of him appearing to do the Nazi salute were actually pictures of him using the Bellamy salute. In his Pulitzer Prize winning biography Lindbergh (1998), author A. Scott Berg explains that interventionist propagandists would photograph Lindbergh and other isolationists using this salute from an angle that left out theAmerican flag, so it would be indistinguishable from the Hitler salute to observers.

In order to prevent further confusion or controversy, the United States Congress instituted the hand-over-the-heart gesture as the salute to be rendered by civilians during the Pledge of Allegiance in the United States, instead of the Bellamy salute. This was done when Congress amended the Flag Code on December 22, 1942.

There was initially some resistance to dropping the Bellamy salute, for example from the Daughters of the American Revolution, but this opposition died down quickly following Nazi Germany’s declaration of war against the United States on December 11, 1941.

(Wikipedia.org)

Musk plans Mars fuel station (Associated Press)

SpaceX founder Elon Musk speaks during the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico. Musk elaborated on his plans to colonize Mars in a Reddit session Sunday. (AP Photo/Refugio Ruiz, File) REFUGIO RUIZ , REFUGIO RUIZ AP

October 24, 2016

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has given more details about his plan to colonize Mars.

Musk answered questions on Reddit on Sunday. The session was a follow up to Musk’s comments at a space conference in Mexico last month during which he unveiled his plan to send up to 1 million people to Mars within the next 40 to 100 years.

Musk envisions 1,000 passenger ships flying en masse to the red planet “Battlestar Galactica” style.

He elaborated on that plan Sunday, saying an unmanned ship will be sent to Mars with equipment to build a plant to create refueling propellant for return trips to Earth. He says the first manned crew would have the job of constructing the plant.

Musk said last month SpaceX is already working on equipment for the project.

Biography: H.L. Mencken

hlmencken

Henry Louis Mencken (September 12, 1880 – January 29, 1956) was an American journalist, satirist, cultural critic and scholar of American English.  Known as the “Sage of Baltimore”, he is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the twentieth century. He commented widely on the social scene, literature, music, prominent politicians and contemporary movements. His satirical reporting on the Scopes trial, which he dubbed the “Monkey Trial”, also gained him attention.

As a scholar, Mencken is known for The American Language, a multi-volume study of how the English language is spoken in the United States. As an admirer of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, he was a detractor of religion, populism and representative democracy, which he believed was a system in which inferior men dominated their superiors. Mencken was a supporter of scientific progress, skeptical of economic theories and critical of osteopathic and chiropractic medicine.

Mencken opposed American entry into World War I and World War II. His diary indicates that he privately used coarse language and slurs to describe various ethnic and racial groups, a practice which was not uncommon for his era. Mencken also at times seemed to show a genuine enthusiasm for militarism, though never in its American form. “War is a good thing,” he once wrote, “because it is honest, it admits the central fact of human nature…. A nation too long at peace becomes a sort of gigantic old maid.”

Mencken’s longtime home in the Union Square neighborhood of West Baltimore was turned into a city museum, the H. L. Mencken House. His papers were distributed among various city and university libraries, with the largest collection held in the Mencken Room at the central branch of Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library.

Early life

Mencken was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 12, 1880. He was the son of Anna Margaret (Abhau) and August Mencken, Sr., a cigar factory owner. He was of German ancestry. When Henry was three, his family moved into a new home at 1524 Hollins Street facing Union Square park in the Union Square neighborhood of old West Baltimore. Apart from five years of married life, Mencken was to live in that house for the rest of his life.

In his best-selling memoir Happy Days, he described his childhood in Baltimore as “placid, secure, uneventful and happy.”

When he was nine years old, he read Mark Twain‘s Huckleberry Finn, which he later described as “the most stupendous event in my life”.  He became determined to become a writer and read voraciously. In one winter while in high school he read Thackeray and then “proceeded backward to Addison, Steele, Pope, Swift, Johnson and the other magnificos of the Eighteenth century”. He read the entire canon of Shakespeare and became an ardent fan of Kipling and Thomas Huxley. As a boy, Mencken also had practical interests, photography and chemistry in particular, and eventually had a home chemistry laboratory in which he performed experiments of his own devising, some of them inadvertently dangerous.

He began his primary education in the mid-1880s at Professor Knapp’s School, located on the east side of Holliday Street between East Lexington and Fayette Streets, next to the Holliday Street Theatre and across from the newly constructed Baltimore City Hall. The site today is the War Memorial and City Hall Plaza laid out in 1926 in memory of World War I dead. At fifteen, in June 1896, he graduated as valedictorian from theBaltimore Polytechnic Institute. BPI was a mathematics, technical and science-oriented public high school, founded in 1883, which was then located on old Courtland Street just north of East Saratoga Street. This location is today the east side of St. Paul Street in St. Paul Place and east of Preston Gardens.

He worked for three years in his father’s cigar factory. He disliked the work, especially the sales aspect of it, and resolved to leave, with or without his father’s blessing. In early 1898 he took a class in writing at one of the country’s first correspondence schools, the Cosmopolitan University. This was to be the entirety of Mencken’s formal education in journalism, or in any other subject. Upon his father’s death a few days after Christmas in the same year, the business reverted to his uncle, and Mencken was free to pursue his career in journalism. He had applied in February 1899 to the Morning Herald newspaper (which became the Baltimore Morning Herald in 1900) and had been hired as a part-timer there, but still kept his position at the factory for a few months. In June he was hired as a full-time reporter.

Career

Mencken served as a reporter at the Herald for six years. Less than two and a half years after the Great Baltimore Fire, the paper was purchased in June 1906 by Charles H. Grasty, the owner and editor of The News since 1892, and competing owner and publisher Gen. Felix Agnus, of the town’s oldest (since 1773) and largest daily, The Baltimore American. They proceeded to divide the staff, assets and resources of The Heraldbetween them. Mencken then moved to The Baltimore Sun, where he worked for Charles H. Grasty. He continued to contribute to The Sun, The Evening Sun (founded 1910) and The Sunday Sun full-time until 1948, when he stopped writing after suffering a stroke.

Mencken began writing the editorials and opinion pieces that made his name at The Sun. On the side, he wrote short stories, a novel, and even poetry, which he later revealed. In 1908, he became a literary critic for The Smart Set magazine, and in 1924 he and George Jean Nathan founded and edited The American Mercury, published by Alfred A. Knopf. It soon developed a national circulation and became highly influential on college campuses across America. In 1933, Mencken resigned as editor.

Personal life

Marriage

In 1930, Mencken married Sara Haardt, a German American professor of English at Goucher College in Baltimore and an author eighteen years his junior. Haardt had led efforts in Alabama to ratify the 19th Amendment.  The two met in 1923, after Mencken delivered a lecture at Goucher; a seven-year courtship ensued. The marriage made national headlines, and many were surprised that Mencken, who once called marriage “the end of hope” and who was well known for mocking relations between the sexes, had gone to the altar. “The Holy Spirit informed and inspired me,” Mencken said. “Like all other infidels, I am superstitious and always follow hunches: this one seemed to be a superb one.”  Even more startling, he was marrying an Alabama native, despite his having written scathing essays about the American South. Haardt was in poor health fromtuberculosis throughout their marriage and died in 1935 of meningitis, leaving Mencken grief-stricken. He had always championed her writing and, after her death, had a collection of her short stories published under the title Southern Album.

Great Depression, war and after

Mencken photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1932

During the Great Depression, Mencken did not support the New Deal. This cost him popularity, as did his strong reservations regarding US participation in World War II, and his overt contempt for PresidentFranklin D. Roosevelt. He ceased writing for the Baltimore Sun for several years, focusing on his memoirs and other projects as editor, while serving as an adviser for the paper that had been his home for nearly his entire career. In 1948, he briefly returned to the political scene, covering the presidential election in which President Harry S. Truman faced Republican Thomas Dewey and Henry A. Wallace of theProgressive Party. His later work consisted of humorous, anecdotal, and nostalgic essays, first published in The New Yorker, then collected in the books Happy Days, Newspaper Days, and Heathen Days.

Last days

On November 23, 1948, Mencken suffered a stroke, which left him aware and fully conscious but nearly unable to read or write and able to speak only with difficulty. After his stroke, Mencken enjoyed listening to European classical music and, after some recovery of his ability to speak, talking with friends, but he sometimes referred to himself in the past tense, as if he were already dead. During the last year of his life, his friend and biographer William Manchester read to him daily.

Legacy

Preoccupied as Mencken was with his legacy, he organized his papers, letters, newspaper clippings and columns, even grade school report cards. After his death, these materials were made available to scholars in stages in 1971, 1981, and 1991, and include hundreds of thousands of letters sent and received; the only omissions were strictly personal letters received from women.

Death

Mencken died in his sleep on January 29, 1956.  He was interred in Baltimore’s Loudon Park Cemetery.

Though it does not appear on his tombstone, during his Smart Set days Mencken wrote a joking epitaph for himself:

If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.

The man of ideas

In his capacity as editor and man of ideas, Mencken became close friends with the leading literary figures of his time, including Theodore DreiserF. Scott Fitzgerald, Joseph Hergesheimer, Anita Loos, Ben Hecht, Sinclair Lewis, James Branch Cabell, and Alfred Knopf, as well as a mentor to several young reporters, including Alistair Cooke. He also championed artists whose works he considered worthy. For example, he asserted that books such as Caught Short! A Saga of Wailing Wall Street (1929), by Eddie Cantor (ghost-written by David Freedman) did more to pull America out of the Great Depression than all government measures combined. He also mentored John Fante. Thomas Hart Benton illustrated an edition of Mencken’s book Europe After 8:15.

Mencken also published many works under various pseudonyms, including Owen Hatteras, John H Brownell, William Drayham, WLD Bell, and Charles Angoff. As a ghost-writer for the physician Leonard K Hirshberg, he wrote a series of articles and (in 1910) most of a book about the care of babies.

Continue reading Biography: H.L. Mencken

Picasso on art

picasso

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
— Pablo Picasso

Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, also known as Pablo Picasso (October 25, 1881 – April 8, 1973), was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright who spent most of his adult life in France. Wikipedia

Theodore Roosevelt on “the man in the arena”

theodoreroosevelt

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic” delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910

(BeyondChron.org)

Biography: Charles Fillmore

charlesfillmore

Charles Sherlock Fillmore (August 22, 1854 – July 5, 1948) founded Unity, a church within the New Thought movement, with his wife, Myrtle Page Fillmore, in 1889. He became known as an Americanmystic for his contributions to spiritualist interpretations of biblical Scripture.

Biography

He was born in St. Cloud, Minnesota on August 22, 1854.

An ice skating accident when he was ten broke Fillmore’s hip and left him with lifelong disabilities. In his early years, despite little formal education, he studied Shakespeare, Tennyson, Emerson andLowell as well as works on spiritualism, Eastern religions, and metaphysics.

He met his future wife, Mary Caroline Page, known as Myrtle, in Denison, Texas in the mid-1870s. After losing his job there, he moved to Gunnison, Colorado where he worked at mining and real estate.

He married Myrtle in Clinton, Missouri on March 29, 1881 and the newlyweds moved to Pueblo, Colorado, where Charles established a real estate business with the brother-in-law of Nona Lovell Brooks, who was later to found the Church of Divine Science.

Introduction to New Thought

After the births of their first two sons, Lowell Page Fillmore and Waldo Rickert Fillmore, the family moved to Kansas City, Missouri. Two years later, in 1886, Charles and Myrtle attended New Thoughtclasses held by Dr. E. B. Weeks. Myrtle subsequently recovered from chronic tuberculosis and attributed her recovery to her use of prayer and other methods learned in Weeks’s classes. Subsequently Charles began to heal from his childhood accident, a development which he too attributed to following this philosophy. Charles Fillmore became a devoted student of philosophy andreligion.

In 1889, Charles and Myrtle began publication of a new periodical, ‘Modern Thought’, notable among other things as the first publication to accept for publication the writings of the then 27-year-old New Thought pioneer William Walker Atkinson. In 1890 they announced a prayer group that would later be called ‘Silent Unity’. In 1891, Fillmore’s ‘Unity’ magazine was first published. Dr. H. Emilie Cady published ‘Lessons in Truth’ in the new magazine. This material later was compiled and published in a book by the same name, which served as a seminal work of the Unity Church. Although Charles had no intention of making Unity into a denomination, his students wanted a more organized group. He and his wife were among the first ordained Unity ministers in 1906. Charles and Myrtle Fillmore operated the Unity organizations from a campus near downtown Kansas City.

Death

Myrtle Fillmore died in 1931. Charles remarried in 1933 to Cora G. Dedrick who was a collaborator on his later writings. Charles Fillmore died in 1948. Unity continued, growing into a worldwide movement; Unity World Headquarters at Unity Village and Unity Worldwide Ministries are the organizations of the movement.

Tenets and Beliefs

In a pamphlet called “Answers to Your Questions About Unity” , poet James Dillet Freeman says that Charles and Myrtle both had health problems and turned to some new ideas which they believed helped to improve these problems. Their beliefs are centered on two basic propositions: (1) God is good. (2) God is available; in fact, God is in you. The pamphlet goes on to say that:

About a year after the Fillmores started the magazine Modern Thought, they had the inspiration that if God is what they thought – the principle of love and intelligence, the source of all good – God is wherever needed. It was not necessary for people to be in the same room with them in order for them to unite in thought and prayer.

In his later years, Fillmore felt so young that he thought that he might be physically immortal, as well as believing that he might be the reincarnation of Paul of Tarsus. Charles and Myrtle Fillmore were vegetarians.

(Wikipedia.org)

Consciousness, sexuality, androgyny, futurism, space, art, music, physics, astrology, democracy, photography, humor, books, movies and more