from: The New York Times, nytimes.com, February 12, 2005, OP-ED COLUMNIST
'GOD AND EVOLUTION
By Nicholas D. Kristof
An "analysis" of Democrats and Republicans from the Ladies' Home Journal in 1962 concluded: "Republicans sleep in twin beds - some even in separate rooms. That is why there are more Democrats."
That biological analysis turns out - surprise! - to have been superficial. Instead, modern science is turning up a possible reason why the religious right is flourishing
and secular liberals aren't: instinct. It turns out that our DNA may predispose humans toward religious faith.
Granted, that's not very encouraging news for the secular left. Imagine if many of us are hardwired to be religious. Imagine if, as a cosmic joke, humans have gradually evolved to leave many of us doubting evolution.
The notion of a genetic inclination toward religion is not new. Edward Wilson [see Article #7, 196-197; Addition 37, 2073-2074; Addition 42, 2330-2333], the founder of the field of sociobiology, argued in the 1970's that a predisposition to religion may have had evolutionary advantages. [see Addition 42, 2334-2336 (Law)]
In recent years evidence has mounted that there may be something to this, and the evidence is explored in "The God Gene," [see 2848] a fascinating book published recently by Dean Hamer, a prominent American geneticist. Dr. Hamer even identifies a particular gene, VMAT2, that he says may be involved. People with one variant of that gene tend to be more spiritual, he found, and those with another variant be less so.
There's still plenty of reason to be skeptical because Dr. Hamer's work hasn't been replicated, and much of his analysis is speculative. Moreover, any genetic predisposition isn't for becoming an evangelical, but for an openness to spirituality at a much broader level. In Alabama, it may express itself in Pentecostalism; in California, in astrology or pyramids.
Still, it's striking how faith is almost irrepressible. While I was living in China in the early 1990's, after religion had been suppressed for decades, drivers suddenly began dangling pictures of Chairman Mao from their rear-view mirrors. The word had spread that Mao's spirit could protect them from car crashes or even bring them sons and wealth. It was a miracle: ordinary Chinese had transformed the great atheist into a god [Euhemerism—at work!].
One bit of evidence supporting a genetic basis for spirituality is that twins separated at birth tend to have similar levels of spirituality, despite their different upbringings. And identical twins, who have the same DNA, are about twice as likely to share similar levels of spirituality as fraternal twins.
It's not surprising that nature would favor genes that promote an inclination to faith. Many recent studies suggest that religious people may live longer than the less religious. A study of nearly 4,000 people in North Carolina, for example, found that frequent churchgoers had a 46 percent lower risk of dying in a six-year period than those who attended less often. Another study involving nearly 126,000 participants suggested that a 20-year-old churchgoer might live seven years longer than a similar person who does not attend religious services.
Partly that's because the religious seem to adopt healthier lifestyles - they are less likely to smoke, for example. And faith may give people strength to overcome illness - after all, if faith in placebo sugar pills works, why not faith in God?
Another possibility involves brain chemistry. Genes that promote spirituality may do so in part by stimulating chemical messengers in the brain like dopamine, which can make people optimistic and sociable - and perhaps more likely to have children. (Dopamine is very complex, but it appears linked to both spirituality and promiscuity, possibly explaining some church scandals [and attendance].)
Evolutionary biologists have also suggested that an inclination to spirituality may have made ancient humans more willing to follow witch doctors or other leaders who claimed divine support. The result would have been more cohesive bands of cave men, better able to survive - and to kill of rival cave men.
Of course, none of that answers the question of whether God exists. The faithful can believe that God wired us to appreciate divinity. And atheists can argue that God may simply be a figment of our VMAT2 gene.
But what the research does suggest is that postindustrial society will not easily leave religion behind. Faith may be quiescent in many circles these days, or directed toward meditation or yoga, but it is not something that humans can easily cast off.
A propensity to faith in some form appears to be embedded within us as a profound part of human existence, as inextricable and perhaps inexplicable as the way we love
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org' [I thank my friend D. A., for e-mailing this article].
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'Front Page [Asian Times]
WHY EUROPE CHOOSES EXTINCTION
Demographics is destiny. Never in recorded history have prosperous and peaceful nations chosen to disappear from the face of the earth. Yet that is what the Europeans have chosen to do. Back in 1348 Europe suffered the Black Death, a combination of bubonic plague and likely a form of mad cow disease, observes American Enterprise Institute scholar Ben Wattenberg. "The plague reduced the estimated European population by about a third. In the next 50 years, Europe's population will relive - in slow motion - that plague demography, losing about a fifth of its population by 2050 and more as the decades roll on."
In 200 years, French and German will be spoken exclusively in hell [(laughing!) Heaven?]. What has brought about this collective suicide, which mocks all we thought we knew about the instinct for self-preservation? The chattering classes have nothing to say about the most unique and significant change in our times. Yet the great political and economic shifts of modern times are demographic in origin....'
'Have the Europeans taken to heart existentialism's complaint that man is alone in a chaotic universe in which life has no ultimate meaning, and that man responds to the anxiety about death by embracing death?
Detest as I might the whole existentialist tribe, there is a grain of truth here, and it bears on a parallel development, that is, the death of European Christianity. Fifty-three  percent of Americans say that religion is very important in their lives, compared with 16 percent, 14 percent and 13 percent respectively of the British, French and Germans, according to a 1997 University of Michigan survey. Here I draw on the German-Jewish theologian Franz Rosenzweig (1886-1929), an existentialist of sorts. Few Asians (including Jews) can make sense of Christianity's core doctrine, namely, original sin, handed down to all humans from Adam and Eve. Original sin motivates God's self-sacrifice on the cross to remove this stain from mankind; without it, Jesus was just an itinerant preacher with a knack for anecdotes.
All religion, Rosenzweig argued, responds to man's anxiety in the face of death (against which philosophy is like a child stuffing his fingers in his ears and shouting, "I can't hear you!"). The pagans of old faced death with the confidence that their race would continue. But tribes and nations anticipate their own extinction just as individuals anticipate their own death, he added: "The love of the nations for their own nationhood is sweet and pregnant with the presentiment of death." Each nation, he wrote, knows that some day other peoples will occupy their lands, and their language and culture will be interred in dusty books.' [2 of 5]. [Compare: behavior of President George W. Bush].
'In one respect, Christianity was an enormous success. Its original heartland in the Near East, Asia Minor and Greece fell to Islam, but even while Arabs rode victorious over St Paul's missionary trail, the Church converted the barbarians of Europe. Christianity made possible the assimilation of thousands of doomed tribes into what became European nations. Something similar is at work in Africa, the only place in the world where Christianity enjoys rapid growth. Yet Christianity's weakness, Rosenzweig added, lay in the devil's bargain it made with the old paganism. Christianity's salvation lay beyond the grave, in the wispy ether of heavenly reward. Humans require something to hang on to this side of the grave. By providing the pagans with a humanized God (and a humanized mother of God and a host of saints), Christianity allowed the pagans to continue to worship their own image. Germans worship a blond Jesus, Spaniards worship a dark-haired Jesus, Mexicans worship the dark Virgin of Guadalupe, and so forth. The result, wrote Rosenzweig, is that Christians "are forever torn between Jesus and [the medieval pagan hero] Siegfried".' [3 of 5].
"For today's Europeans, there is no consolation, neither the old pagan continuity of national culture, nor the Christian continuity into the hereafter. The French know that Victor Hugo, Gauloise cigarettes, Chateau Lafitte and Impressionist painters one day will become a matter of antiquarian curiosity. The Germans know that no one but bored schoolboys will read Goethe two centuries hence, like Pindar. They have no ambition but to die quietly, no concerns except for those amusements which might reduce boredom and anxiety en route to the grave. They have no passions except hatred born of envy. They hate America, a new kind of universality that succeeded where the old Christian empire failed. They hate Israel [see 2860-2862], which makes the Jewish people appear all the more eternal in stark contrast to Europe's morbid temporality. They will pass out of history unmourned even by themselves." [4 of 5].
[This!, should trump the famous pessimism of Arthur Schopenhauer 1788 - 1860].
_____ _____ _____
'Asia Times - Asia's most trusted news source
[photo, with caption: "Spengler 1880–1936"]
WHAT THE JEWS WON'T TELL YOU [listed under the author "Spengler"] [research to corroborate, etc.]
Why is it that the subject of Jews enflames so many passions? I stand by my contention that paranoia suffused outgoing Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed's Islamic Conference speech on October 16 in last week's column Mahathir is Right: The Jews Do Run the World. But paranoia is only part of the story; after all, Dr. Mahathir does not imagine that Gypsies or Americans are out to get him.
There is something more to say about this, which the Jews will not admit to you, if indeed they admit it to themselves. It is what Protestant theologians once called "THE SCANDAL OF ELECTION". More on this below.
"Where there is smoke, there also must be fire," many Asians think to themselves when they hear too much hatred the Jews seem to elicit. There must be more too it than a territorial dispute in the Eastern Mediterranean. It is not just Muslims who hate and fear the Jews. In Europe, according to a November 1 report in the Spanish newspaper El Pais, a new opinion poll by the European Commission shows that Europeans think Israel is more dangerous than North Korea or Iran.
Is it possible that so may people hate the Jews for no reason whatever? How can a people that comprise just three-hundredths of a percent of the world population provoke so much rancor?
There is something more to it, and it is not the delusion that a Jewish conspiracy controls the United States. American Jews require no conspiracy to exercise influence, as they do so in the full light of day in the rough-and-tumble of democracy. Arab-American organizations do precisely the same thing, albeit with poorer results. So does Saudi Arabia. It is entirely possible to believe that American policy, too, heavily favors Israel, as do Howard Dean and Patrick Buchanan, without going over the deep end.
Jews protest that they are no different from any other minority, and that anti-Semitism amounts to a mental disease. Of these organizations, the most authoritative on matters of anti-Semitism is the Simon Wiesenthal Center of Los Angeles, whose website offers the following gem:
"The philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre...emphasized that it is not the anti-Semite's personal experience with Jews that evokes his hatred toward them, but rather his
tendency to see the source of his own personal failings in his abstract perception of Jews. Psychologists explain this type of antipathy in times of stress as a projection of the frustration of the modern anonymous masses and the consequences of this frustration on an object outside their circle. The Jew is the available scapegoat and meets these basically paranoid needs. In periods of crisis, or in the face of failure or public outbursts of anger, an accusing finger was pointed at the Jews."
In effect, says the Wiesenthal Center, anti-Semitism is a simple paranoid delusion, like the madman's belief that martians have planted a radio transmitter inn his brain. It is a chemical imbalance in the brain. If there were no Jews, paranoids would talk of a Parsi or Mongolian world conspiracy.
Most Jews, from what I can tell, appear to believe this rubbish I do not think the Wiesenthal Center dissimulates here, but rather that it has psychological problems of its own. The Jews do not wish to admit to themselves that Jew-hatred has profound roots which will not respond to psychiatric treatment.
The Jews are hated for many reasons, to be sure, not least of which is the fact that as the oldest of the Abrahamic religions, they have a claim to legitimacy which represents a stumbling block to Christians as well as Muslims. The two newer and larger Abrahamic religions would feel rather more comfortable if the Jews were perceived to suffer for rejecting Christ or Mohammed respectively.
Something else about the Jews, however, gnaws at the soul of Europeans as well as Muslims. The heart of the problem is THE WORLD'S PERCEPTION THAT THE JEWS TRULY ARE AN ETERNAL PEOPLE, NOT SUBJECT TO THE CURSE OF MORTALITY THAT HANGS OVER THE HEADS OF THE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD [possibly why many Jews cling to orthodox Judaism—or variants; "IMMORTALITY PROJECT"]. Writing of Europe's population crisis on April 8 (Why Europe chooses extinction) I cited the theologian Franz Rosenzweig: "ALL RELIGION, Rosenzweig argued, RESPONDS TO MAN'S ANXIETY IN THE FACE OF DEATH [against which philosophy is like a child stuffing his fingers in his ears and shouting, 'I can't hear you!']. The pagans of old faced death with the confidence that their race would continue. But tribes and nations anticipate their own extinction just as individuals anticipate their own death, he added: 'The love of the nations for their own nationhood is sweet and pregnant with the presentiment of death'. Each nation, he wrote knows that some day other peoples will occupy their lands, and their language and culture will be interred in dusty books."
Under globalization, the world faces a great extinction of the peoples, the worst since the collapse of the Roman Empire, I have argued on numerous occasions. Every week two languages of the 6,000 spoken on the planet become extinct forever. Most of these are tribal tongues from New Guinea, with only a few hundred speakers. At present birth rates, several European languages will be at risk some time in the next century.
Apart from China and India, of how many cultures can we say that they are not at risk? Despite its high rate of population growth, the Muslim world feels fragile. Few
Muslim countries have adapted well to globalization, and the Muslim world feels besieged by the encroaching culture of the West. Jewish theology states that God elected the Jews as his people, and that the covenant between God and the descendants of Abraham never would perish as long as the Jews remained true to it. Most modern Jews are profoundly uncomfortable with this notion ("God of Mercy, choose a different people!" goes the joke).
Yet the Jews have existed for well over 3,000 years, and Hebrew is the only language West of the Indus that is spoken today more or less as it was spoken 3,000 years ago. How improbable is it that a nation of former slaves, a race of shepherds rather than city builders who had to hire outside contractors to build a temple to their God, is the sole survivor of the civilizations of the time?
Every people wishes to be eternal, to be, as it were, God's chosen. Adolf Hitler's notion of the Master Race, some commentators aver, is an adaptation of the Jewish notion of election. Hitler's determination to destroy the Jews stemmed from his belief that Germany could not really be the Chosen People as long as the Jews remained in existence. The more vulnerable become the fading peoples of Western Europe, the hotter burns their wrath against the Eternal People. Americans, of course, are not a people but a concept. America is where individuals go to abandon their culture, language, customs and history, to be recast in the melting-pot and emerge as Americans.
As I have argued previously in this space, America comes closer than has any other political entity towards fulfilling the Christian idea of an ecclesia, of an assembly of souls called out of the nations. That is why Americans have no fundamental issue with the Jews. Americans enjoy the newborn's sense of immortality, because they have exchanged cultural memory for the promise of a new beginning.
Indians and Chinese, for that matter, rarely take an interest in anti-Semitism, because their cultures are both ancient and robust. It is the peoples whose love for their own culture is sweet and pregnant with the presentiment of death that have deep cause[?] to detest the Jews.'
[1-3 of 3] [end of article]. [See: Addition 15, 958-1005].
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from: Freethinkers, A History of American Secularism, Susan Jacoby, Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company, 2004.
'In the absence of the Christian faith in immortality, there was no question of greater importance to agnostics than the matter in which they proposed to face suffering and death. Freethinkers could find no evidence in nature of a God who took any active interest in human affairs, nor could they believe in the miraculous resurrection of the body that lay at the heart of Christian faith. For those who accepted Darwinian evolution by means of natural selection, the philosophical problem was particularly acute. It was impossible to reconcile natural selection—which involved competition, suffering, death, and the extinction of entire species—with the concept of an intelligent, omnipotent, and benevolent deity. Why would a kind God choose such a cruel way of determining who would live and who would die? Moreover, the Victorians confronted the harshest exigencies of natural selection, in the form of deaths in infancy and childhood, far more frequently than their twentieth-century descendants. Science might one day provide an antidote to the common diseases that, in 1870, took the lives of half of all urban infants before their first birthday, but that time had not yet come. The agnostic must bear his losses, and find a way to carry on, without the faith and hope that sustained his Christian neighbor— "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then I shall know, even as also I am known." Yet many freethinkers, not surprisingly, found themselves unable to face those losses without the hope that some form of consciousness might continue after death. Some believers in a nonhierarchical, personal religion, among them William Lloyd Garrison [1805 - 1879], turned to spiritualism—strongly opposed by conventional churches—after the death of a beloved family member. Even the tough-minded Anthony [Susan B. Anthony 1820 - 1906], who considered herself an agnostic, mused that "if it be true that we die like the flower, leaving behind only the fragrance...what a delusion has the race ever been in—what a dream is the life of man."26 There is a special place in the pantheon of rationalist heroes for the short list of freethinkers, including Ingersoll [Robert G. Ingersoll 1833 - 1899] and Ernestine Rose [born Ernestine Louise Polowsky 1810 - 1892], who unflinchingly and unfailingly rejected the idea that it was possible to communicate with the spirits of the dead. Stalwarts of the freethought press and lecture circuit like B.F. Underwood turned to spiritualism in their later years even as they continued to reject the miracles of the Bible as pure superstition. To George E. Macdonald, a staff member of the Truth Seeker, America's best-known freethought newspaper, beginning in 1875, and its editor from 1909 to his death in 1937, there was no mystery about why so many aging warriors were swept up in the spiritualist enthusiasms of post-Civil War America. In a charming memoir published in 1932, Macdonald spoke of numerous friends who had turned to spiritualism or some other form of mysticism in their old age. "I have known men, once Freethinkers, to lean toward Christian Science, even Bahaism," he recalled. "And I have ceased to wonder thereat ["at the occurrence or event" (Webster's Third)], not because I can explain their action, but because I have seen so many of them and they are no longer novelties—not even an individualist turning authoritarian. Doubtless their state of reaction may be called a spiritual second childhood, matching that of the body and mind. Like children, the aged must play it safe."27 Any agnostic who did not play it
safe faced the stringent task of constructing an ethical system that dealt with suffering and extinction—one's own as well as that of the human species—as a part of nature rather than as a cog in the machinery of divine justice. Nature could be modified not through the supernatural intervention of one God or many spirits but only through greater medical and scientific understanding.
When Huxley's beloved three-year-old son died unexpectedly in 1860, a close friend, the pious but open-minded Episcopal clergyman and author Charles Kingsley, suggested that the grieving father would derive spiritual comfort if he could only bring himself to believe in some form of life beyond the grave. Huxley's reply is a poignant classic of uncompromising secular humanism:
[Thomas Huxley 1825 - 1895] As I stood behind the coffin of my little son the other day, with my mind bent on anything but disputation, the officiating minister read, as part of his duty, the words, "If the dead rise not again, let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die." I cannot tell you how inexpressibly they shocked me....I could have laughed with scorn. What! Because I am face to face with death and irreparable loss, because I have given back to the same source from whence it came, the cause of a great happiness...I am to renounce my manhood, and howling, grovel in bestiality? Why, the very apes know better, and if you shoot their young, the poor brutes grief [sic] out and do not immediately seek distraction in a gorge....
If at this moment I am not a worn-out, debauched, useless carcass of a man, if it has been or will be my fate to advance the cause of science, if I feel that I have a shadow of a claim on the love of those around me, if in the supreme moment when I looked down into my boy's grave my sorrow was full of submission and without bitterness, it is...not because I have ever cared whether my poor personality shall remain distinct for ever from the All from whence it came and wither it goes....
I know right well that 99 out of 100 of my fellows would call me atheist, infidel, and all the other usual hard names. As our laws stand, if the lowest thief steals my coat, my evidence (my opinions being known) would not be received against him.* ['*England, like many American states (but unlike the U.S. government, with its constitutional provision banning religious tests for any "public trust"), prohibited those who refused to take an oath on the Bible from testifying in court.']
But I cannot help it. One thing people shall not call me with justice and that is—a liar. As you say of yourself, I too feel that I lack courage; but if ever the occasion arises when I am bound to speak, I will not shame my boy."28
Huxley's surviving son considered this intimate letter, in an era when respectable men and women did not broadcast their private sorrows to the world, important enough to be included in a volume of selected letters published in 1900, just five years after his father's death.
Because the deaths of small children were so common—and because they produced a special agony for those who had no hope of reunion with winged holy innocents in heaven—the secular sermons delivered at funeral services for the children of freethinkers provide a moving insight into the way agnostics attempted to bear the unbearable.
At an 1882 burial service for a friend's child, Ingersoll delivered what became one of his most widely reprinted speeches. "Every cradle asks us 'Whence?'" he told the grieving parents, "and every coffin 'Wither?' The poor barbarian, weeping above his dead, can answer these questions just as well as the robed priest of the most authentic creed. The tearful ignorance of the one, is as consoling as the learned and unmeaning words of the other....If those we press and strain within our arms could never die, perhaps that love would wither from the earth. May be this common fate treads from out the paths between our hearts the weeds of selfishness and hate....They who stand with breaking hearts around this little grave, need have no fear. The larger and nobler the faith in all that is, and is to be, tells us that death, even at its worst, is only the perfect rest."29' [145-148].
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from: npr (National Public Radio):
'Profile: Legendary musician Bob Wills [1905 - 1975] would have turned 100 today
March 6, 2005
SHEILAH KAST, host: Today marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Bob Wills. In the 1930s and '40s, Wills experimented with a mix of country string-band music and big-band jazz to help create an entirely original music form. It came to be called western swing. His signature tunes, "San Antonio Rose" and "Faded Love," have become American standards. His records could outsell Louis Armstrong and Gene Autry. His dances often outdrew Glenn Miller and Harry James. Yet Wills struggled with personal demons most of his life. NPR's John Burnett reports....
BURNETT: "New San Antonio Rose" was the biggest of many hits for Wills, but his superstar fame masked his insecurities over his lack of education--he only made it to the seventh grade--and his lack of musical training. Herb Remington remembers Bob Wills was also painfully lonesome when he was on the road, which was most of the time. Remington recalls the band meetings that Wills would call when he'd been drinking.
Mr. HERB REMINGTON (Musician): He [Bob Wills] said, 'Now you all sit down on the floor.' We'd all sit down. He said, 'Now, Eldon, stand up.' Eldon stand [stood?] up. He said, 'Yes, sir, Bob.' And he said, 'OK,' he says, 'Do you love me?' 'Yes, sir, Bob.' 'Now don't give me any of your stuff now. Do you love me or don't you?' 'Yes, sir, Bob.' 'All right, sit down.' OK, so nobody laughs, you know, because this is serious stuff. He was around the whole group, you know. 'Herbie.' 'Yes, Bob.' He said, 'You haven't been here long enough to fall in love with me yet, have you?' I said, 'No, sir.' 'But do you like me?' And I said, 'Yeah, I sure do, Bob.' 'You're gonna love me.' And I, 'Yes, sir, I sure will.' 'Sit down, Herb.'
[reminds me (LS): I have been in the dental business for many years (prior: Deputy Coroner, etc.). 1974, I was working for a dentist, when he "discovered" his nitrous oxide ("laughing gas"). He would pull the unit into his office, and some days, inhale, sporadically, from 8-5. His patients would have to be reappointed. I would go in to his office (I was "pissed") to tell him: "Dr.! You have a patient." He would inhale and then say: "Lino! Take notes! Take notes!" "O.K. Doc!" "No self! There's no self!" Back to constant inhalations. During a "straight" period, I said: "Doc! Here's your notes!" "That's O.K. Lino!" He survived that "discovery" of nitrous oxide, and thirty years later, is still practicing.
I met two dentists, who later overdosed on nitrous oxide, and died. I heard of a prominent pedodontist, who did the same. My best friend through dental school, was found, 2 a.m., by wife and brother-in-law, New Year's night, in one of his dental chairs, under his nitrous oxide, nearly dead. Rushed to the hospital where he was born, survived; addicted to prescription ("legal") drugs (plus, some alcohol). Relationship to horror vacui, etc.? Yes! I have known whiskey, and, nitrous oxide. Only chronic addictions: chocolate—ice cream—pastry]. [See: 2866-2868].
BURNETT: Wills battled alcoholism all of his adult life, says biographer Charles Townsend.
Prof. TOWNSEND: If he took a drink, then he got drunk and he got sick, deathly sick, and he would have to go to bed for two weeks. And Eldon Shamblin told me that Bob would get drunk and they'd just take him on to the next spot, and the people would be mad. And Tommy Duncan--that's one of the reasons Tommy had to leave. He had to answer, 'Where's Bob?' They paid to come and see the man.
BURNETT: For their part, the Playboys, despite their respect and affection for their bandleader, came to hate his drinking, says Herb Remington.
Mr. REMINGTON: You can cut this, as far as I'm concerned. I hated to talk about this stuff. Bob would be somebody else completely, somebody you never saw before, a brand-new person. Frightening. He wouldn't hurt you. It's not that. He just would become loud and abusive.
BURNETT: When Wills sobered up, he always regretted his drinking, regretted the missed dates, regretted the harm he did to himself, to his family and to the band. Some of his side men quit because of it. Again, Johnny Gimble.
Mr. GIMBLE: Nobody could understand why he'd want to do that, and he couldn't understand it either, but I think that he had A NEW MASTER, OLD JIM BEAM [popular brand of whiskey].
BURNETT: His drunkenness caused him guilt, says Charles Townsend, in part because of an old-fashioned belief that alcohol and dance halls were bad. Wills had preached briefly as a young man, and for the rest of his life, he felt that somehow he should return to the ministry.
Prof. TOWNSEND: He said, 'Now, Eldon, call Billy Graham and tell him I want to quit this. And I can draw a crowd and I want to play with Billy Graham and then he preach.' They would tell Bob, 'We tried to get ahold of him but we couldn't get ahold of him.' And, yes, he was serious.
BURNETT: Bob Wills died in 1975 in Ft. Worth at the age of 70 of complications from a massive stroke. A hundred years after his birth, the music he helped create is very much alive. According to Western Swing Monthly, there are more than 100 western swing bands working throughout the country and more overseas.'
[Motivations for becoming drunk (guilt is stated)? Mental horror vacui? Fear of Death? Etc.?]. [See: 2866-2868].
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'DRUGS OR JESUS (Country-Western song)
In my home town
For anyone who sticks around
You're either lost or you're found
There's not much in between
In my home town
Everything's still black and white
It's a long, long way from wrong to right
From Sunday morning to Saturday night
Everybody just wants to get high
Sit and watch a perfect world go by
We're all looking for love and meaning in our lives
We follow the roads that lead us
TO DRUGS OR JESUS
My whole life
I've tried to run, I've tried to hide
From the stained glass windows in my mind
Refusing to let God's light shine
Down on me
Down on me
Everybody just wants to get high
Sit and watch a perfect world go by
We're all looking for love and meaning in our lives
There's not much space between us
DRUGS OR JESUS
Everybody wants acceptance
We all just want some proof
Everyone's just looking for the truth
Everybody just wants to get high
Sit and watch a perfect world go by
We're all looking for love and meaning in our lives
We follow the roads that lead us
TO DRUGS OR JESUS'