Today, Fox News aired an interview with Eugene Cernan, the last human to walk on the moon. His Apollo 17 mission was the final one in the successful culmination to President Kennedy’s challenge to the nation just eleven years earlier. The undeniable pride which we Americans had was a result of amazing determination and advancing science.
But there was a much more important lesson learned by those who left the relative safety of our Earth and ventured into the unknown. As Mr. Cernan expressed, “The lasting memory for me is not just stepping on the moon, because a lot of people had done it before I did it. But just, just to BE there…. You look at the beauty of the Earth surrounded by infinite blackness, the endlessness of space and time. You just can’t come back and not be somewhat changed in your beliefs… The Earth doesn’t tumble through space. It moves with a purpose and with dignity and with beauty beyond, beyond your imagination… I knew we were an extension of science and technology, but I wanted to know what it meant to us, to humanity; to us then and to generations in the future. And I wasn’t sure, but all I knew is that the world, the Earth and the small part of the universe that I was privileged to see was not an accident. That there is a Creator of this universe and I had the opportunity, few others have, to sit on God’s porch and see a small part of it. And THAT’S what I came home with.”
True, few have had the opportunity to really step back, to leave the Earth far enough so that the magnitude and order of the universe can be seen and appreciated firsthand. But the rest of us can still know the intelligence behind creation. We have the ability to know the presence of God through the order shown in His Natural Law. This same law has been with humans since before written history, before standardized speech. It has existed before our earliest generations and will continue to exist until He decides “enough is enough.”
Little did we know in that December of 1972, that it wasn’t just the end of the Apollo program we were witnessing. It was the end of an era. In the next month, the Supreme Court’s very fallible Roe v. Wade decision replaced a God-centered path with a Me-centered track. As a society, we quickly forgot the privileged perspective given to us by the space program. This perspective should have dispelled atheistic notions all the more. Instead, we digressed and have continued to tumble through time as evidenced by our voting priorities.
January, 1973……. one giant leap backward for mankind.