Thursday, August 11, 2022

Tim Horton

 


If a Canadian Brother ever takes you out for a cup of coffee and a doughnut, odds are he won't take you to a Starbucks, a Dunkin', a Krispy Kreme, or anywhere other than a Tim Hortons.

Founded in 1964, the Tim Hortons chain, has become a popular and iconic Canadian establishment which has expanded worldwide with nearly 5,000 restaurants in Canada, the US, the UK, Mexico, and other countries. It even has over 20 restaurants in Communist China.

In our neighbor to the north, Tim Horton is a household name, but who was he? There are at least two things most people, especially youth who only know "Timmies," as a hip place to gather, do not know about Tim Horton. First, he was one of the greatest hockey players ever. Second, he was a Freemason, raised in Kroy Lodge 676 in Toronto.

Born in Cochrane, Ontario on January 12, 1930, Brother Miles Gilbert "Tim" Horton played in various levels of youth hockey as he steadily grew into a mountain of a man.  A young standout, he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1949, where he played for most of his 22 years. At the time there were only six teams in the National Hockey League. It was more popular in Canada than in most of the US, and there were no big million dollar salaries. His first contract paid $9,000 per season – not enough to make him rich, yet enough to provide for a comfortable living. Tim Married Delores "Lori" Michalek, an Ice-Capades performer, in 1952.

Scouting reports on Horton claimed with his size and strength, he had the potential to become hockey's greatest defenseman. The reports were not wrong, as he skated his way into becoming a member of four Stanley Cup teams, an NHL all-star, and eventually a member of its Hall of Fame. In 2016, the Toronto Maple Leafs retired his #7 jersey and the following year he was named as one of the 100 greatest NHL players ever.

Horton's ability and strength became legendary in the NHL. Hockey great Bobby Orr has said Tim Horton may have been the league's strongest player ever. Tim's trademark during a fight was to wrap his arms around an opposing player in a crushing hug. One commentator remarked, "You didn't get out of that vice grip until Horton let you out."

A player Horton once punched was asked in an interview what it was like to take such a hit from the hockey superman. "I'd rather he hit me," he said, "than get me in one of his bear hugs."

Horton's fairy-tale career and even his life nearly came to an end in 1955. In a game near the end of the season, Chicago  defenseman Bill Gadsby slammed into him with a blow so hard it sent Tim to the ice where he sustained a concussion, broken jaw, and broken leg. Gadsby later said it was the hardest hit he ever gave anyone. Back then, a disabled hockey player did not get paid. Horton missed the remainder of the '55 season and half of the next year as well. In the interim, Constantine "Conn" Smythe, Maple Leafs owner, gave him a job as a truck driver. The job helped, but did not meet his family's financial needs. This gave Tim incentive to work hard to get back into the game.

In 1964, in order to supplement his hockey income, Tim opened the first of his coffee and doughnut shops in Hamilton Ontario. In 1967, he brought in Ron Joyce, an acquaintance who owned a local Dairy Queen, as a partner.  The chain, known simply as "Tim Hortons," was an immediate success and, together, Tim and Ron continued to expand the business.

For the next few years the restaurant chain and Tim's hockey career went well. Lori, alone at home, weary of Tim's absences and bored, developed problems with alcohol. At the end of the 1973 season, she asked Tim to retire. Tim had fallen into the trap of drinking to celebrate his victories and also to drown the sorrows of his losses. He had been traded to the Buffalo Sabres by then, and he agreed to end his career. However, George "Punch" Imlach, the Buffalo coach offered him $150,000 and a new Ford Pantera if he would play just one more year.

Brother Horton agreed. Near the end of the season, he was injured and taking prescribed painkillers so he could continue to play. After a late season game in Toronto, Tim had a few drinks with his teammates, then called Lori and said he was driving home. She could tell the combination of painkillers and alcohol had affected him and begged him to wait until the next day to drive. Tim insisted he was okay, and in the early morning hours of February 21, 1974, headed out in his new Pantera. In that car, his pride and joy, he only had two speeds: zero and greased lightning. Lori called the Ontario Provencal Police, and they set up roadblocks to stop him. He made it as far as St. Catherines, near the US border when he lost control of his car. It flipped several times and Tim was thrown from the vehicle and killed. He was 44.

After Tim's death, Lori said, "I went into a daze for about 15 years." She sold her shares in the restaurant and all rights to use Tim's name to Ron Joyce for one million dollars. Years later, after she stopped drinking, she realized the sale was a mistake and, in 1993, sued Joyce. She lost the lawsuit, which cost her most of her remaining savings.

Tim's life was a cocktail of stellar success and tragedy. Today, his remaining children and grandchildren have no rights to the empire he built or his name; and to them it may be of little consolation that name is so well known in his country that it has become a part of the Canadian culture.


Thursday, August 4, 2022

The Morgan Affair - The Second Body

 


Are you tired of the Morgan Affair? Do you think we've explored every nook, cranny, and crevice of the evidence and come to a dead end on a street to nowhere? Are you ready to move on? Me, too. But before we do, let's just take one more quick look at something.

For those of you who have been living on the back side of the Masonic moon and have never heard of the Morgan Affair, here's a quick summary:

In 1826, William Morgan, who had connived his way into Masonic Lodges but wasn't really a Brother, announced he was going to publish a book revealing Masonic secrets. Upset, certain Masons kidnapped Morgan and spirited him off to the border of New York and Ontario. After that, no one knows what happened. Speculation that the Masons murdered Morgan ran high. Anti-Masonic furor followed, with about a half dozen convictions for the kidnapping. Amidst the confusion, a body showed up, was determined to be Morgan, and buried. Then it was exhumed and determined to be someone else. Afterward, there were more Morgan sightings than there have been of Elvis, but none were confirmed, only adding to the mystery and confusion.

Now, that's not even the Reader's Digest version of the incident, but those are facts anyone knows if they know anything about the Morgan affair; but you never… or rarely… hear about the second body. That's right, the second body.

I refer you to the New York Times of June 23, 1881, with a headline, front page center, that screams, "WILLIAM MORGAN'S BONES." A sub-heading informs us workers found a ring with the body that had the initials "W.M," and a tobacco box that, "seems to prove the bones are those of …" Morgan. Let me read a bit of this lengthy article:

"BATAVIA, N. Y., June 21 – This little town is filled with excitement to-day over the discovery of what are believed to be the remains of William Morgan, the man who betrayed the secrets of the Freemasons in his book entitled "Morgan's Illustrations of Masonry" 55 years ago, and was abducted and made away with before his work was given to the public. The mystery surrounding the fate of William Morgan has defied human ingenuity for over half a century, and now it seems destined to be unraveled at last, when most, if not all, the actors in the tragedy, like its victim, are laid away in the grave. About 11 miles west of Batavia, in Genesee County, lies the town of Pembroke, and it is in this place that the bones were found. Some men were… opening up a stone quarry, when they suddenly came upon the remains of a human skeleton… The locality is about two miles south of the Tonawanda Indian Reservation, and the men at first thought that they had chanced upon the bones of some Indian brave. But this idea was soon dispelled by the consideration that no trinkets were found with the skeleton, and such articles are always buried with the remains of a departed Indian… it was quite evident that the persons who had deposited the body in its resting place intended that it should be well concealed… After some time… one of the party [discovered] a silver ring, which… was found to bear the monogram "W. M.," the initials of William Morgan….

The initials W.M., however, will fit a great many names, so that the discovery of the ring, taken by itself, would not be considered of such great importance. But… soon an object of much greater significance was discovered. This was a small tin box… In this box was found a manuscript, the writing of which was scarcely legible… The crumpled paper was taken to the office of Dr. Phillips, where it was placed under a microscope… the words " Masons," "Liar," "Prison," "Kill," and the full name "Henry Brown" were plainly visible… The name of "Henry Brown," too, is most significant. At the time of Morgan's disappearance Henry Brown was a lawyer in this town, and a prominent Mason. In 1829 three years after the tragedy, he published a book,,, entitled, A Narrative of the anti-Mosonick Excitement in the Western part of the State of New York… In it Henry Brown gives a very correct account of the abduction of Morgan, and admits that it was probably done by Masons, who, in their zeal for their order, lacked discretion. He strives to show that although Morgan was abducted, there is no proof that he was murdered, and indulges in long arguments to show that the anti-Masonic excitement created by the Morgan tragedy was uncalled for, and the work of political demagogues. If it shall now appear that the body found is accompanied by a threatening letter signed by Brown, the inference will be irresistible that the remains are those of William Morgan, and that Henry Brown, the great defender of the Masons of Batavia, was one of the murderers. This discovery bids fair to explode all other theories regarding the fate of Morgan."

The article goes on to give great detail about the Morgan affair. But is says nothing about what was done with the body or the artifacts found with it. Bear in mind, this is from the New York Times, not the Deadwood Dishrag. If the account is true, perhaps Henry Brown was one of the murderers, as the article suggests

Or consider that one of the myriad of Morgan theories claims he lived in that area with native Americans, and workers found this body near a reservation. So, if that manuscript was in Morgan's hand, does it prove he lived in the area until at least 1829, read the book, and was himself calling Brown a liar? In which case, the masons did not kill Morgan.

The Morgan Affair: the mysterious 19th century Masonic gift that keeps on giving.

Freemasonry's Journey West

 

 
Once the young United States became established as a country and the march of time moved us past the first third of the 19th century, wanderlust captured the hearts of adventurous pioneers who who began moving westward. In a time before instant communication and fast travel, the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon Trails became the superhighways of the day. In St. Joseph, Missouri, hundreds of covered wagons lined up waiting to take the Francis Street Ferry across the Missouri River and into Kansas Territory to begin the long and treacherous journey west.

Masonic Brothers Joseph Hull, William Daugherty and P.G. Stewart were three of those pioneers who finally settled in Oregon City. Once established in their new homes, the three placed in an ad in the newspaper asking for local Brothers interested in forming a chartered Lodge to meet and begin the process. Seven Brothers met on February 21, 1846 and drafted a letter requesting the Grand Lodge of Missouri grrant a charter for what would be called Multnomah Lodge.

They gave the letter to Brother Joel Palmer who carried it back to Platte City Lodge 56 during the summer of 1846. He gave it to Brother James Spratt, who delivered it to the Grand Lodge, which granted the charter for Multnomah Lodge 84 in October, and sent it back to Platte City. It took over a year to find an appropriate Brother, Pierre Barlow Cornwall, who began his journey back west in April of 1847.

Along the way, Cornwall met and became friends with Joseph and Orrin Kellogg, who were also traveling to Oregon. The entire party barely survived when their wagon train was captured by Indians but they somehow made it out alive and went on to Fort Hull, Idaho, where the California and Oregon trails diverged.

The California Gold Rush was just getting started but it was the talk of the town at Fort Hull. Hearing about the Gold, Brother Cornwall decided to seek his fortune. He gave the Multnomah charter to the Kelloggs and literally headed for the hills. The Kelloggs completed the journey to Oregon, delivering the charter on September 11, 1848, two years and seven months after the Brothers in Oregon had made the original request.

Joseph Hull was so excited to receive the charter that he called a meeting that very day.  The Brothers set up the Lodge and fashioned podiums with a barrel of flour in the east, whiskey in the west, and salt pork in the south, with the contents representing corn, wine, and oil. Then, in a marathon meeting that lasted sixteen hours, the members consecrated the Lodge, elected officers, and held three Entered Apprentice, three  Fellowcraft, and two Master Mason Degrees. Hull became the first Master with the Kelloggs and Joel Palmer also filling offices.

Unfortunately gold fever swept up the Brothers at Multnomah Lodge 84 and the majority left for California, which left the Lodge in disarray.

One of those Oregon Brothers, Lot Whitcomb, started a steamboat company there and hired Brother John Ainsworth to pilot his boat. Ainsworth became disenchanted with the gold rush and, having heard about Multnomah from Whitcomb, traveled to Oregon, where he not only brought the Lodge back to life but started the Oregon Scottish Rite. As a result of Ainsworth's efforts, Multnomah Lodge became the first chartered under the Grand Lodge of Oregon and remains in existence.

Today, the ability to communicate instantaneously has become second nature to us. Any one of us could take the same months-long journey Joel Palmer or the Kelloggs took in less than a day. We take it for granted so much that it's hard to imagine the time, not to mention the danger of communicating and traveling back then. Under those conditions, however, Freemasonry blossomed and thrived, extending the length and breadth of the United States. The Grand Lodge of Missouri was at the center of this expansion. All-in-all it granted 37 charters to lodges in ten new jurisdictions, far more than any other Grand Lodge, earning it the title, as coined by iconic Masonic author H.L. Haywood, "The Magna Mater of American Freemasonry."

Famous Last Words

 

Pete Maravich was one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He was so good he remains the only white player ever to be offered a contract by the famed Harlem Globe Trotters. On January 5, 1988, 40-year-old "Pistol Pete," as he was known, was playing in a pickup game in Pasadena. On a break, he walked over to a minister who was watching and told him, "I feel great;" and then dropped dead. Neither Maravich or the minister he was with were Freemasons; but this episode isn't about Pete Maravich. It's about famous last words.

There are dozens upon dozens of reports of people's famous last words. Take, for example, the Marx Brothers who gave us a couple of them. Groucho's dying quip was, "This is no way to live," while Chico told his wife, "Put in my coffin a deck of cards, a golf club, and a pretty blonde.”

Soothsayer Nostradamus' last prediction, which came true, was also the last thing he said, "Tomorrow, at sunrise, I shall no longer be here.”

As Joan Crawford lay dying her housekeeper stood in the room praying for her. Crawford became angry and yelled at her, “Damn it! Don’t you dare ask God to help me!”

Of course there are a number of Freemasons who have chimed in with some interesting last words. Nell Land, wife of Brother Frank Land, founder of DeMolay reported as he lay dying he looked at her and with his last breath said, "It is the beginning."

Brother Winston Churchill, just before slipping into a coma for the final time, whispered, "I'm bored with it all."

Sarah Franklin, daughter of Brother Benjamin Franklin, agonized as she saw him suffering and struggling to breathe on his death bed. Trying to help, she suggested he shift position so he could breathe more easily. Franklin replied, "A dying man can do nothing easy.”

As his life faded, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe asked for the window's shutters to be opened and said, "More light." A Freemason asking for more light… Imagine that.

But the one in particular I wanted to mention was a Brother you may not be familiar with, Georges Jacques Danton

Danton (1759-1794), was a member of the Lodge of the Nine Sisters at Paris. He held many public offices, most notably president of the National Convention which effectively made him the President of France in 1793. A revolutionary leader, Danton advocated the overthrow of the French monarchy in favor of a unified France and stable republican government.  In August, 1792, He led and uprising against the king. Caught up in the "Reign of Terror," Danton went to prison and the guillotine at the order of the dictator Robespierre.  As Brother Danton's cart carried him to his execution, it rolled past Robespierre's house with Danton shouting insults at the tyrant and predicting he would also be executed... which he was.  When the executioner took him up to the guillotine, Brother Danton turned to him and uttered some of history's most famous last words, "You will show my head to the crowd: It is worth seeing."

The Ever-Lengthening Cable Tow

 

Your first entry into a Masonic Lodge is a moment filled with mystery and questions. The Senior Deacon and Stewards have prepared you by dressing you in strange clothing and blindfolding you. You find yourself wearing, perhaps in some form of ominous symbolism, a rope around your neck. You enter the Lodge in darkness and from that very moment, though you are blind, some things immediately begin to come to light. The Senior Deacon explains why you are greeted in a certain way; then you begin a journey around the Lodge where more will be revealed.  Some of what you hear will become immediately clear. You will hear some things you don't retain just because you are getting too much information all at once; and some things will take a lifetime to understand. But no one says anything about that rope. Why is it there? What is it for?

Finally, after your obligation, you hear the Worshipful Master order the deacons to remove the rope. He calls it a "cable-tow." It is the first time you have heard that terminology. Its function, you gather, has been to bind you symbolically to the Lodge, but you learn your obligation now performs that function. Likewise, in the second and third degrees, there is a rope… a cable-tow. First, around your arm, then around your waist, removed as you are bound to the Lodge and, in fact, as the Lodge Brothers are bound to you, by additional ties.

Much has been said about the symbolism of the cable-tow. Its functionality, or the fact it alludes to binding and leading the candidate, is fairly straightforward. Other aspects of its significance remain subject to opinion and speculation. Some have compared it to an infant's umbilical cord, especially in the First Degree before you become a Brother, inasmuch as it symbolizes a lifeline between the candidate – a Masonic infant –  and the Lodge. Extending this analogy, although the physical cord is cut between the infant and his mother the spiritual bond between the two remains. In the same manner, when the cable-tow is removed, the spiritual bond between the Lodge and new Brother also remains.

It is likely its derivation comes from the German word of similar pronunciation, Kabeltau, which means "cable rope," and that's what it was called in many early versions of the ritual.

We hear much about the length of one's cable-tow and much symbolism is applied to that terminology. Those same old rituals often defined that length as three miles, possibly representing the distance from the Lodge within which a Brother was required to attend meetings. Other commentaries, I might add, set that length anywhere from 15 inches to 15 miles. Clearly, though, its symbolism alludes to being able to perform or accomplish our duties if within the length of our cable-tow – that is, the reasonable scope of our abilities.

It has been said to signify the initiate's belief in God and his devotion to him. In this context it represents the candidate being chained or tied to God, indicating his dependence upon the Deity, with the cable-tow itself providing a sort of leash leading the uninitiated, unknowing candidate from darkness to light – that is, from ignorance to knowledge of all powerful God Almighty.

I have been told some European lodges only use the cable-tow in the Entered Apprentice degree. That makes sense if we view the cable-tow's purpose as binding the candidate to the Lodge until he himself does so by taking his obligation. But here in the US we use it in all three degrees. The difference is that in the 1st degree, it has a physical purpose – to bind the candidate, to lead the candidate, almost in a forceful manner. In the second and third degrees it is, in Carl Claudy's words, a guide, "an aid,,, a strengthening for the Masonic life to come."

The cable-tow binds us, and leads us, and guides us; and think about this… along with the scope of our abilities, its length ever-increases as we continue through our Masonic journey.

Wisdom and Strength

 

  We are Freemasons. Wisdom and Strength are traits we learn about and are taught to apply in our degrees, When we think of Brothers having these characteristics, we usually infer their positive aspects. But on occasion, we must take painful action that wisdom tells us is the right thing to do but requires great strength to carry out, and sometimes even greater strength to live with the consequences for the rest of our lives. In 1940, Brother Winston Churchill, a member of Rosemary Lodge 2851 in London, faced such a dilemma.

It is difficult to think of Winston Churchill, considered one of World War II's great leaders, as a green and untested Prime Minister, but that is exactly what he was on May 10, 1940, the day he took office.  He didn't have to wait long for that first test, however.  On the same day, Nazi Germany invaded Belgium, Holland, and France.  Churchill immediately realized that if, more likely when, the Germans controlled France, they would also control the French navy, second only in power in Europe to Britain's.  He also knew the combined power of Hitler's navy with the French fleet would most likely spell defeat for his country.

Churchill immediately appealed to US President Franklin Roosevelt, a fellow Freemason and fellow navy man, for help.  He warned Roosevelt if the Germans controlled the French fleet they would pose a serious threat to England, and if they defeated England they would control that navy and pose an even greater threat to the US.  He asked Roosevelt for 50 of the older US destroyers to help bolster the British navy.  

In spite of what the two men had in common, President Roosevelt did not know Churchill and assumed the Nazis could roll over Britain as easily as they did France.  He also had pledged to keep the US out of war.  He flatly denied the request and subsequent requests Churchill made.

On June 22, Germany took over most of France and Hitler ordered all French vessels to sail home.  Although Fran├žois Darlan, commander of the French navy, had vowed he would scuttle every ship in the event of a takeover, Churchill did not trust him and feared the Nazis' control of the French navy was imminent.

His back against the wall, Churchill drew up a plan dubbed Operation Catapult to secure the French navy,  Churchill sent a fleet of ships to offer the French three options: They could 1) Sail all their ships into British ports 2) Sail their ships alongside British ships as part of an allied force 3) Send their entire navy to the West Indies or United States...  and what if the French did not comply?  Churchill knew he would have to make the most agonizing decision of his life: to launch a military attack on a country that was England’s ally and friend.

The British navy's main fleet sailed to a Mediterranean port near Oman, Algeria, where it intercepted the strongest part of the French fleet still moored there.  British Admiral James Somerville issued orders to mine the port to prevent escape and dispatched Captain Cedric Holland to board the French destroyer Dunkerque to deliver Churchill’s ultimatum to French Admiral Marcel-Bruno Gensoul.

Gensoul stalled, hoping for reinforcements, but Somerville contacted Churchill with a full report and asked how to proceed.


Churchill's reply was ominous and direct: He simply said, "Settle matters."

The French were sitting ducks.  On July 3, 1940, at 5:54PM, Admiral Somerville ordered a broadside attack on the French fleet in the harbor.  Ten minutes later, every French ship was disabled or destroyed.  The attack killed 1,297 French sailors and wounded 350, a greater toll than France suffered during any campaign against the Germans.  Two British sailors also died.

French officials were livid.  They attempted a weak retaliation on the British fleet at Gibraltar, but nothing came of it. Operation Catapult saw no additional incidents, as the British boarded French ships in other ports, or the French willingly sailed with them.  France broke off diplomatic relations with England but in a strange and awkward relationship, the countries remained allies against the Germans during the war.

Churchill was haunted by the decision he had made.  He was certain he would be ostracized for attacking a friendly country, but when he reported his actions to Parliament, he was shocked to see the news received with wild cheering.  As tragic as the incident was, he had likely saved many more British lives than the number lost by the French.

As for President Roosevelt, there is some indication he knew what Churchill planned in advance of the action.  Still, he was awestruck by Churchill's resolve and decisiveness.  He responded by sending Churchill the 50 destroyers Churchill had requested.  In the long run he came to realize the agonizing decision Churchill had to make prevented Hitler from dominating the seas.  It isn't an exaggeration to conclude Operation Catapult ultimately was a major factor in the allied victory in World War II.

Churchill's resolve to carry out Operation Catapult, sealed Franklin Roosevelt's admiration for him. Many other important leaders as well were complimentary of the action. As for Churchill himself, he wrote, "This was the most hateful decision, the most unnatural and painful in which I have ever been concerned," It was in the final analysis decision which in fact took the ultimate measure of wisdom and strength.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Heaven and Earth Will Pass Away

 

"Geometry, the first and noblest of sciences is the basis on which the superstructure of Freemasonry is erected.  By Geometry, we may curiously trace nature through her various windings to her most concealed recesses.  By it, we discover the wisdom, power and goodness of the Grand Architect of the Universe and view with delight the proportions which connect this vast machine.  By it we discover how the planets move in their respective orbits and demonstrate their various revolutions."

We, as Freemasons, see a close and direct relationship between the functioning of the physical universe and God. After all, we do, in fact, refer to Him as "the Grand Architect of the Universe." He created it, constructed it, runs it, and that's all there is to it. In fact, you don't have to be a Freemason to hold that belief. We are so in awe of this creation that we ask, "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him?"

This belief doesn't just come out of thin air. We see so many things around us that tend to confirm there is something intelligent – perhaps divine – that is in control. In the classic "double slit" experiment, for example, we find electrons that behave one way if someone is watching and differently without an observer. Or, any scientist will tell you we know there is a "force" holding galaxies together. We have no idea about its nature and call it "dark matter."

If we draw a line in the sand, as some do, and say those paranoid electrons behaving that way indicate a form of divine intelligence, or buy into the common claim "dark matter" is in fact God holding the universe together, we set ourselves up.

There are plenty of examples where those lines have been drawn only to be erased by scientific discoveries. In the 17th century people saw the heavenly bodies moving around the earth and said they do that because God put the earth and mankind at the center of everything. Then a couple of guys named Galileo and Copernicus came along and burst that bubble. If we think those electrons and "dark matter" prove God exists, what will we do when a modern-day Copernicus finds a scientific causation? It's easy to fall into that trap.

If we keep doing that, and then back off on our definition and understanding of God with every scientific discovery, we seemingly wind up with what astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson calls "an ever-receding God."

Maybe it should be the other way around.

In other words, if we discover some phenomenon is not caused by a mysterious action of God, does that not also teach us a little more about what God is? The Second Degree lecture teaches us we should embrace the sciences. As those discoveries come to light the fact is God isn't receding. With each new discovery we learn more, not less, about the true nature of God: the spiritual, not the physical is what's important. Read our ritual carefully. It says By Geometry... science... we discover God's wisdom, power and goodness, not that we use it to discover God Himself.

Scientists have proven the universe is expanding at an ever-increasing rate. This has led to a theory about its end which says it will just keep expanding until the stars all burn out and the universe will die a dark and cold death. If you're looking for an area where science and religion… or spirituality… are in agreement, look to Matthew 24:35: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away." Don't get hung up about the physical universe. Both God and the scientists say it won't be around forever; but God's words – those spiritual lessons – will be.

Let's not worry over the fact that God didn't put the Earth at the center of the universe, or he may or may not be manifest in a bunch of shy electrons. Let's use His spiritual teachings to learn how to live our lives, improve them, and the lives of others.