Apollo 11: 50 Years Later

Those of us around my age no doubt remember what happened fifty years ago today. For me, I was a ten-year-old boy enjoying a lazy, Sunday afternoon with several members of my extended family. I’ve written about this before and there are many other sites you can go to in order to reminisce about this momentous anniversary.

Today I want to write about Apollo however, not the moon mission but the Greek god. And Dionysius, another Greek god.

Apollo, of course, was the name given to the NASA mission that would take men to the moon. The first mission into space (for America) was Mercury, then there was Gemini.

Why “Apollo”? In ancient Greek religion, Apollo was the god of light and prophecy. (Helios was the god of the sun.) He represented all that was good and beatific. Unlike the other gods, there wasn’t anything negative about him. All of the gods –Zeus included–had something of a darker side about them. But not Apollo.

Thus, when the Greeks tired of the capriciousness of the older religion and sought more personal enlightenment, they came up with the Apollonian mystery-cults. The cult at Delphi was dedicated to Apollo for instance and it was there that people from all over the Hellenic world went to when they sought counsel.

Dionysios, on the other hand, was the inventor of wine. Merriment was the order of the day in his cults. And wherever they were practiced, orgies inevitably transpired, mostly of the homosexual variety. Indeed, they got so raucous and violent that the Roman Senate had to ban them in 186 BC.

1969 was not a good year for America. It was the capstone of three horrific political assassinations, countless anti-Vietnam War spectacles, and about one hundred race riots. Sections of entire cities such as Detroit, Los Angeles and Gary, Indiana had been reduced to smoldering ruins. The sexual revolution had taken hold and moral confusion reigned.

On the ground, Dionysios ruled. In the skies though, Apollo reigned supreme.

Today though, our space program is moribund. We have to rely on a newly revitalized Orthodox Christian nation to boost us into space. And Dionysios still rules. Indeed, his cult has grown stronger. His priests and story-tellers abound in our public libraries, reading bed-time stories to our children, dressed appropriately en travestie while the single mothers of the terrified children look upon approvingly. And presidential candidates of a major political party are fighting for the right of men to have abortions.

However, I’m hopeful (believe it or not). I believe that the Greek god of wine and merriment is gasping his last. At least, that’s what I get out of this pathetic attempt to marginalize mankind’s greatest achievement: https://www.breitbart.com/radio/2019/07/19/robert-charles-woke-media-moon-landing-sexism/

These are the musings –one can hardly call them reasons–of a deluded academic, one who has lost all contact with truth, beauty and reality. Such rationales are painful to read and they do point to a depressing fact, that evil and ugliness has long carried the day. But here’s the thing: such delusions can only be sustained by the police power of an equally deluded government. Uglification is not the wont of man. Left to his own devices, the average person desires beauty and goodness, even if they realize that they can never attain it themselves.

The Greeks proved that with their worship of Apollo. Some went further and posited an agnostos Theos (“Unknown God”), a god that (unlike Zeus) was not only good but just. St Paul, a Jew, came to reveal that God to these sympathetic Greeks. At first, he was laughed out of town but in the end, he won.

It is my contention that the present cult of political correctness and all its attendant ugliness and irrationality cannot long survive. The coercive police power that is needed to enforce the idiocy that women are equivalent to men and that two men can constitute a family is too much for the majority to bear. Like the old Soviet Union, which was likewise built on a tissue of lies, the present crapulent ideology that is modern liberalism will collapse on the ash heap of history as well.

For a brilliant encapsulation of that momentous day fifty years ago when man first set foot upon the moon, please take the time to watch the short video below. A little bit of the back-story: upon landing, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin took out a vial of Communion and carefully prepared it. He later described how the wine and water eerily crept up along the sides of the mini-chalice because of the moon’s gravitational effect (it is one-sixth that of the earth’s). Aldrin was an elder in his Presbyterian Church in Houston but Mission Control didn’t really want him to do it because they were scared of Madelyn Murray O’Hare, the despicable high priestess of atheism. They’d received a lot of pushback from her and other “civil libertarians” because of the reading from Genesis that the Apollo 8 astronauts had done earlier and they didn’t want a replay of that hubbub.

Regardless, on this day, Apollo won. And in the fullness of time, Christ will as well. In the meantime, let us remember what it is that man can achieve when he sets his sights on the higher things.


  1. George C Michalopulos says
  2. George C Michalopulos says
  3. Ad Astra says

    While I understand it was an aside to broader commentary, your musing on contemporary spaceflight is rather wide of the mark. To wit, it would miss the moon and sail off into deep space.
    At this current point in time, American spaceflight is rather the opposite of moribund. One consequence of this is, for several reasons, added pressure and challenges on a Russian spaceflight sector which is already grappling with several internal crisis of its own making, plus the usual funding problems.
    In 2012 you could probably have made this case. Not in 2019.
    When the US manned spaceflight capability gap began in 2011 with the retirement of the shuttle, that gap existed not because of any loss of technical ability, but rather was entirely due to politics.
    As America often tends to do, things swing around, and from next year, the US will go from zero manned space vehicles to three. Furthermore, only one of these is a ‘traditional’ government pork vehicle, the other two are privately owned, and can offer commercial services to customers other than the US government.
    Russia kind of got used to the effective subsidy of selling Soyuz seats to NASA astronauts. That is going away. Funding pressure is one reason why the typical Russian complement of ISS crew has fallen from three to two in recent years.
    On top of that, after the Cold War, the US government out of pragmatism didn’t want the former Soviet core rocket expertise not getting paychecks and doing things like selling their services to the likes of Iran or North Korea so they could feed their families. This led to things like the Atlas V rocket being developed in the 1990s to use the RD-180 engine purchased from Russia.
    This was already getting politically unpalatable by the early 2010s, but the annexation of Crimea happened and that kind of sealed the fate of the Atlas V: it will soon be retired and replace by the Vulcan, which has a domestically designed and built engine (Vulcan also replaces the Delta 4, which was always entirely American, the DOD/NRO was never going to allow all the eggs in one basket). So that’s another loss of income for a key part of the Russian space sector.
    As if that weren’t enough Russia has also lost a lot of market share in the commercial launch market in recent years, its cost advantage eroded and a series of high profiles Soyuz and Proton launch failures didn’t help matters any either. Both Russia and Europe have lost a lot of business to the American SpaceX.
    Now, I don’t really care if you want to characterize Russia as a ‘resurgent Orthodox Christian nation’ whatever that means, but resurgent is really not an appropriate or accurate term to describe the present state of Russia’s space sector. And don’t even get me started on Vostochny or Nauka!
    As a matter of national pride, Russia was always going to cling to manned spaceflight capability as a symbol, even if it isn’t terribly useful for anything. And due to lack of money for new toys, is performed with rockets and spacecraft that are still of 1960s design, just with some modernized avionics. No bucks, no Buck Rogers is universal to all nations.

  4. Gail Sheppard says

    At the end of the mission, when Aldrin was headed back to earth, he read aloud a verse, from the Old Testament, he scrawled on notecard, Psalm 8: 3-4: “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou has ordained; What is man that thou art mindful of him? And the Son of Man, that thou visitest Him?” https://www.foxnews.com/science/moon-landing-bible-apollo-11-buzz-aldrin-communion

    • George Michalopulos says

      I got chills reading both Scriptural passages and then watching the short clip of Brian Cranston, playing Buzz Aldrin taking out the Communion kit.

  5. In complaining about sexism and not sending women into space, the N.Y. Times and Wa. Post have forgotten that Ralph Kramden of the Honeymooners was always telling his wife Alice that he was going to send her to the moon. And that was 14 years before NASA got men there.

  6. We didn’t go to the moon. It was one of many psyops that provided the basis for the nihilistic cosmology that is ubiquitous today. The earth is the center of the universe. It is reaffirmed in the Psalms daily. I don’t fault the boomers for being deceived. I would have been had I been one as well. They do however, have a responsibility to wake up. It is becoming increasingly harder to research the many false flags and hoaxes of the past 100 years. The electronic shredder is on overload. Very soon all that will be left online is false opposition and inverted narrative. I write this to convince no one. We do Satan’s work by promulgating his lies – even in our ignorance. Lord have mercy.

  7. Marty Marlikas says

    The Judeo-Christian ethic is responsible for the glorious advancement of science. Environmentalism is  misanthropic paganism. In a 1967 Science article, Lynn White wrote: “Christianity, in absolute contrast to ancient paganism and Asia’s religions, not only established a dualism of man and nature but also insisted that it is God’s will that man exploit nature for his proper ends…Christianity made it possible to exploit nature in a mood of indifference to the feelings of natural objects.” Joel Schwartz, writing for The Public Interest : “Unless humans treat the environment more cautiously and less violently, the environment will take revenge on us, and bring about the unpleasantly premature death of the human species.  Now in Japan, Shintoism is making a comeback over Buddhism exactly because of environment and climate. 

    • Michael Bauman says

      Marty, Lynn White’s thesis is wrong and only applies to those who call themselves Christians while rejecting a sacramental life and the connectedness of all things in Jesus Christ. But Lynn White was a Christophobe and would never consider that actual evidence that contradicted his thesis. His anti-Christian bias was what generated his thesis. Only nihilism comes to the conclusion to which he came, or rather the assumption with which he began.

      The Biblical command is to “Dress and keep the earth”. The Bible also proclaims our dominion over the earth so that it can be fruitful.

      Dominion is not merely autocratic, selfish control, indeed it is not that at all. Dominion is reflective of God’s caretaking of us and His love for all of His creation. That love creates in us the need to always render to God the increase of what He has given us while being good stewards at the same time. Biblical dominion actually precludes despoiling the creation for our own greed and comfort. The parable of the vineyard caretakers who do not render the proper gifts in due season is indicative of what we are supposed to do and the consequences if we do not.

      Thanksgiving, asceticism and repentance are the natural response to God’s commands, not excess. At the heart of the Biblical commands lies the natural and blessed fecundity of male and female becoming one flesh in God. A fecundity that extends far beyond the central “be fruitful and multiply”. Thus true environmentalists ought to opposed same sex marriage for the disaster that it is.

      The attitude Lynn White thinks he sees as common to Christianity only comes from the heretical Calvinist doctrines which among other things deny the goodness of creation, while rejecting the Incarnation, God’s mercy, beneficence and providential care. Here is yet another specific instance in which the devastating effects of heretical ideas are writ large.

      Even so Christian influenced countries have a far better environmental record than communist/socialist countries. Dualism or secular philosophical materialism are the real culprits in the ravaging of the “environment” as if that is somehow different and separate from our own existence and our own soul. Biblically we are at the center of creation and as St. Paul declares about marriage that if we abuse our wife, we abuse ourselves and our own body, thus it is with our interrelationship with the rest of creation.

      The typical definition of ecology for instance posits that there is simply a relationship between an organism and its environment. My father preached and practiced a radically different approach: the interrelationship between an organism and its environment. No thing is separate from any other thing. No being is separate from any other being. There is no action, or inaction that does not have consequences. If we are able to heal one thing, that healing redounds through out the rest of creation. His understanding was revealed to him during his time as a pioneer on the high plains of eastern New Mexico in the early 20th century. Although my father did not understand it as such, what he preached and practiced is a sacramental/incarnational reality. God with us.

      Along with our true dominion we are also given the privilege of being able to explore the creation of which we are a part, to view its wonders in deep ways and use the knowledge in ways that benefit others and creation herself. Unfortunately, that gift has often been abused to produce instruments of destruction and death while making despoliation more efficient and on a wider scale.

      As a side point, all of the “sustainable” energy folk are touting the need for more and bigger batteries. Guess what, most current battery production is now done in China and the environmental pollution that streams forth from their battery plants poisoning the land and air around the plants and negatively impacting the health of the workers and their families is horrific. Never here about that on NRP though.

      Current environmental ideology is not even pagan. In fact such a charge is an insult to pagans who tended to look with reverence upon the natural world. Current environmental ideology is geared to the denigration of the human species and in the extreme forms calls for the annihilation of the human species. Although the typical annihilator in an excess of hypocrisy wants to start the annihilation somewhere else than with themselves. Such a view is really the Satanic Black Mass in action. It is the loss of any sense of the sacred in us and in the rest of creation.

      Christian environmentalism on the other hand recognizes the profound damage our sins cause beyond our own souls and points in the direction of asceticism and repentance. That follows the words in 2 Chronicles “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

      Such a call is a specific element of Christ’s call to us all: “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”. Saving the environment will not lead to our salvation in and of itself, rather it is a consequence of beginning to realize our salvation through the Church which allows for God’s order to become more and more evident, for His Kingdom to be made known “on earth as it is in heaven.”

      Lord have mercy on us all.