Lunar Bibles at sad center of financial dispute
Author claims Bibles were given to sell at auction, state disputes claim.
Tiny Bibles, printed on microfilm and flown to the moon, are now at the center of a dispute between the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) and an Oklahoma Christian author who is trying to sell one at auction.
Few of the Lunar Bibles have been put out for public display.
The Bibles were produced by the Apollo Prayer League, a group of Christian NASA employees who prayed for the astronauts. The microfilm Bibles are of the King James version and contain 1,245 pages of scripture. They are about the size of a postage stamp and can only be read with microfilm equipment.
Following the return of Apollo 14, some of the Bibles were cut up and distributed in pieces to members of the Apollo Prayer League. The remainder were kept by the leader of the League, John Stout, who was a scientists and chaplain for NASA.
These events were recounted by Christian Author Carol Mersch in her book, "The Apostles of Apollo." Mersch claims she was given some of the Bibles to sell for Stout and his wife, who are both now in a nursing facility in Dayton, Texas.
The couple were placed in the nursing home by order of the state after investigators determined their living conditions to be "deplorable." They became wards of the state in 2010, around the same time Mersch claims she received the Bibles to sell.
The issue is money. The state is asking Mersch to return the Bibles so they can be sold to help cover the living expenses for the elderly couple. Mersch however says she is trying to help the Stouts. She claims that as she researched the story for her book, she grew close to the couple who eventually gave some of the Bibles to her to sell.
However, the Stout's son, Johnathan Stout, disagrees, saying Mersch is acting in her own self interest. He would like the Bibles returned to the state. "The state is helping them," he told the Houston Chronicle, "the other people are not."
Recently lawyers obtained a restraining order to stop a Dallas auction house from selling one of the Bibles, just moments before it was to go on the block.
Although a court has already said Mersch has the right to sell the Bibles in her possession, the state is appealing. Until then, they cannot be sold.
It's unfortunate that the parties involved see these artifacts of religious and historical significance as financial assets rather than as relics of reverence and awe, as they should be.
© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Lunar Bibles, dispute, auction, Stout, Carol Mersch, Christian, Apollo
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More U.S. News
- SHOCKING: Senator says IRS set to pay out $70 million in employee bonuses
- Agents think they'll find out what happened to Jimmy Hoffa - after 40 years
- Did Pocahontas save explorer John Smith here? Native American site of Werowocomoco fascinating regardless
- Poorly prepared teachers steering nation's classrooms
- Cheers Star: We Didn't Need Surveillance When We Were Kids - 'We Had God'
- IN SEARCH OF SUNKEN TREASURE: Divers plunge into Lake Michigan to search for 17th Century ship
- No-one Can Change the Truth About Fatherhood. Love Your Father. Be a Good Father
- Archbishop Chaput Cuts Through the Double Talk About Religious Liberty
- Courageous Cardinal George of Chicago Defends Marriage, Calls for Public Conversion
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?