George Fox and The Society of Friends – Part II

Lead: By rebelling against political and religious authority, the followers of George Fox , secured for themselves an intense level of persecution from all parts of the ideological spectrum.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: George Fox, founder of the Society of Friends or Quakerism, he did not set out to establish a new religious denomination. His movement was founded on the idea that all individuals were equal and could have communion with God’s spirit without formal creeds or intervention by religious authorities. This idea attracted many was an attractive one, particularly in the lower classes, and for it Fox and his followers were persecuted. It is estimated that 3,000 of the so-called Friends were jailed in England during the second half of the seventeenth century. One judge laughingly called Fox and his followers “Quakers” after Fox warned the judge to “tremble at the word of the Lord.” The name stuck.

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George Fox and The Society of Friends – Part I

Lead: The year 1643, England was in the second year of civil war and  nineteen year old George Fox, who believed he was directed by divine call, left home and began a spiritual quest that would lead to the birth of the Quakers.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Fox, was born the son of a weaver of puritan sympathies in Leicestershire, England, in 1624. Although he had little formal education, he read extensively and began early to question traditional religion and ways of worship. He was a shoemaker’s apprentice when he began his religious quest. At the age of 23, Fox began receiving revelations he believed were inspired by God. He shared this inspiration as an itinerant preacher, formulating the doctrine of the “inner light,” the idea that a person through communion with God’s spirit can comprehend divine ways without the church, religious authority or customs.

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U.S. Supreme Court Deals with School Prayer

Lead: In 1962, the Supreme Court of the United States ignited a firestorm of controversy when it abolished officially endorsed prayer in the public schools.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: The prayer in question was that sponsored by the New York Board of Regents. It was not mandated but made available to local school boards. Some required their teachers to use it, others did not. It read, "Almighty God, We acknowledge our dependence upon thee, and we beg thy blessing upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country." The prayer itself was rather innocuous; little more than tipping one's hat in God's direction. Any religious sentiment expressed was only of the palest variety. It was a pretty artless attempt at compromise between those who would not imagine something as important as the public schools without a reference to the Deity on one hand and those who would insisted that the presence of such a prayer was an unconstitutional establishment of religion.

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Scopes Monkey Trial III

Lead: In the hot summer of 1925 the State of Tennessee prosecuted John Thomas Scopes for teaching the theory of evolution.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: While a believer in evolution, Scopes merely made his students aware of Darwin's theory in the run-up to their end-of-the-year examinations. At stake was the constitutionality of the Butler Act, Tennessee's statute outlawing teaching anything contrary to the Bible.

Scopes Monkey Trial II

Lead: In the summer of 1925, in Dayton, Tennessee, William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow met in legal conflict during the trial of John Thomas Scopes. Their clash was as much cultural as it was legal.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Scopes agreed to be the defendant in a case testing the constitutionality of the Butler Act which was Tennessee's attempt to prevent teaching of ideas in the public schools thought to be in conflict with the Bible. The prosecution invited William Jennings Bryan to lead its team. John Scopes accepted the help of Clarence Darrow in the defense.

Scopes Monkey Trial I

Lead: In the summer of 1925, in Dayton, a small mining town in Eastern Tennessee, a teacher of high school biology was brought to trial for teaching the theory of evolution.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: On a sunny May afternoon, John Thomas Scopes, a popular twenty-five year old biology teacher, was playing tennis with some of his students. At the end of the game he noticed a small boy obviously waiting for him at courtside. The youngster had a message. His presence was requested at Fred Robinson's drugstore. There he found several of the town's leading citizens and they had a proposition. A recent issue of the Chattanooga News contained an offer by the American Civil Liberties Union to pay the expenses of anyone willing to test the constitutionality of the Butler Act. Robinson and Sue Hicks wanted to know if Scopes would let himself become the legal guinea pig in a case testing the legality of the Act.

Whitefield and Franklin II

Lead: In the middle of the Great Awakening a religious revival in 18th Century Colonial America, two men formed a strange alliance. George Whitefield needed publicity for his revival meetings, Benjamin Franklin was out for profits.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The two men at the opposite ends of the religious spectrum. Franklin was a deist, whose skepticism about matters religious was widely known. For the publisher of the Pennsylvania Gazzette and Poor Richard's Almanac, at best, religion was ethics and promoted hard work and civic morality. Whitefield was an Anglican priest caught up in the religious ferment of the 1700s, an itinerant evangelist whose preaching missions in England and America drew vast crowds to hear his message of the "new birth" in Jesus Christ and the need to go beyond mere agreement with doctrine.

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Whitefield and Franklin I

Lead: In the 1740s George Whitefield and Benjamin Franklin combined business and religion in a most unlikely alliance.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Great Awakening was a powerful religious revival in British North America between 1720 and 1750. Part of a general stirring of religious interest among Protestants and Roman Catholics in Continental Europe and under John Wesley, in England at about the same time. In America the movement was a reaction to dry, formalistic religion in the main denominations and at one point or another many Baptists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists along with some Anglicans were swept along in the tide of revival.

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