John Knox – I

Lead: John Knox, the Scottish reformer, helped bring Scotland into the Protestant fold in the 1550s and lived his life on the fault line between religion and politics.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: Knox was born in the village of Giffordgate in Haddington, southeastern Scotland sometime around 1514. He studied at St. Andrews and entered the priesthood in the 1530s. A decade later Knox was making a living as a notary and tutor to the children of prominent nobility. He was drawn to Protestantism through the preaching and eventual execution of Scottish preacher George Wishart. Knox’s support for Wishart made him a marked man. Knox’s outspoken preaching and vigorous espousal of the protestant faith earned him increasing visibility, leadership among his peers and after a setback for reform and his subsequent arrest, more than a year of service on the galleys of the French navy.   

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Anti-Saloon League

Lead: Of the groups that coalesced to inaugurate America’s experiment with national Prohibition, none was more effective than was Anti-Saloon league.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: Prohibition had puttered around the fringes of the national conversation since the early 1800s, never really commanding the support of a majority, but animating religious people and some businessmen. After the civil war, more and more localities and some states tinkered with laws restricting the sale and consumption of alcohol, but they were mostly southern and western states, where religion was strong and the population was thin and easily manipulated.

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Abolition – III

Lead: The end of slavery required almost a century in America following the Declaration of Independence.  It came from a powerful political movement but ultimately a great war.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: By 1800 Europeans were moving slowly but surely to abolish slavery at home and in their colonies.  In Latin America, slavery progressively to an end on a nation by nation basis.  Chile came first in 1811, Brazil last in 1888.  In the United States evolution was a much more agonizing process.

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Abolition II

Lead: For almost 3 centuries after 1500, the growing and lucrative trade and practice of slavery went unchallenged. Then an unlikely alliance of enlightened thinkers and Evangelicals began to chip away at that cruel institution. 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: As the leaders of the American Revolution began to formulate their Declaration of Independence in 1776, it was clear to most of them gathered in Philadelphia that there was in colonial society a massive violation of the sentiments of that document: millions of African slaves.  Most of the founders were schooled in Enlightenment thinking which sought to advance the cause of human rights. Throughout the years of revolution and the great effort to develop an effective federal government, the demands of the economically lucrative system of slavery and the sentiments of enlightenment were engaged in a titanic struggle for the future of America.

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Science Matters: Fritz Haber and the Nitrogen Cycle- I

Lead: By 1900 world population was beginning to outstrip agricultural capacity. Farmers could not grow enough to feed the people. Then Fritz Haber solved the nitrogen problem.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The three main nutrients required for successfully growing plants are potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen. Good top soil contains them in sufficient amounts to grow crops, but after long use, soil becomes depleted of these ingredients and must be renewed. Potassium and phosphorus are economically available in sufficient quantities to be put back easily, but nitrogen is not. Nitrogen is in the air. It is a gas that is a large part of the atmosphere. Getting it into the soil for plant synthesis is very difficult. Traditional farmers added plant clippings and animal waste, rotated crops or planted legumes such as beans or lintels, so-called green manure, to restore the soil and increase yields. Traditional agriculture could not keep up with an exploding world’s population. Farmers were losing the battle.

 

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Abolition I

Lead: Of all the questions left unresolved by the founders of the United States none had more long-term and ultimately fatal consequences than that of human bondage, slavery.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: Slavery has been found in both primitive and modern societies. Even in Western civilization, the institution was accepted by both ancient Greeks and Romans.  Even early Christianity did not directly oppose slavery although that religion helped broker economic changes the transformed the agricultural slave culture into that of medieval serfdom in the years following the fall of the Roman Empire.

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Christianity and Islam – III

Lead: For many Muslims, jihad represents an internal spiritual struggle. For others it is a fight against evil, with the mouth, the pen, the hand and the sword. Over the centuries, this created unavoidable conflict with Christianity.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: Theologian Charles Kimball points out that one of the tragic misplaced tendencies in religion today is to compare the ideal of one's religion with the worst behavior of other faiths. Yet, much of the conflict in today's world arises out of the conviction of certain proponents of Islam that violent, even terrorist activity against unbelievers is justified.  It is defended as being taught in the Qur’an and permitted by the Prophet Mohammed. This arises in part from the Islamic world view and a complex seemingly contradictory presentation of jihad in the Qur’an.

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Christianity and Islam – II

Lead: The founder of Islam saw a world in which all people and all parts of life would be in submission to God. This brought Muhammad and his followers into frequent and often violent confrontation with Christianity.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: Muhammad, first prophet of Islam, was a member of the Hashim, a prominent commercial clan in Mecca, a city in the Arabian heartland. His spiritual journey came to crisis on the 17th day of the Arabic month of Ramadan in 610. According to Islamic tradition he was taken in a mystic journey by the angel Jabril, Gabriel, to Jerusalem where he conversed with Jesus, Moses, and Abraham, was taken to heaven and received the divinely inspired message that eventually was recorded in the Qur’an.

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