In 11 days…


Nov. 22, 2013


is a special “marker” for the 50th anniversary of the assassination





    3 more events that happened on that day.

[To hear about all 4 use our DOOR.]


The following is from the back of philosopher Peter Kreeft’s book, Between Heaven and Hell¹:

On November 22, 1963, three great men died within hours of each other:

C. S. Lewis,

John F. Kennedy   and

Aldous Huxley.

All three believed, in different ways, that death is not the end of human life. Suppose they were right, and suppose they met after death. How might the conversation go?

Peter Kreeft imagines their discourse as a modern Socratic dialog–a part of the Great Conversation that has been going on for centuries. Does human life have meaning? Is it possible to know about life after death? What if one could prove that Jesus was God?

Combining logical argument and literary imagination, Kreeft portrays Lewis as a Christian theist, Kennedy as a modern humanist, and Huxley as an Eastern pantheist. Their interaction involves not only good thinking but good drama.

This book has been on my shelf since it was published in 1982. It is a worthy read for Christians interested in taking beginning steps² into philosophy to see how their faith measures up to other religious choices.

Now, about the day itself years ago…

The tragic loss of the popular American President obviously overshadowed the loss of Lewis and Huxley, who died in relative obscurity. On that day I was one-fourth the way around the world in Africa receiving garbled news reports. Our first news said both the President and Vice President had been killed, and that left several of us (Peace Corps Volunteers) wondering just who was in charge. Liberians loved President Kennedy, and many had pictures of him in their homes. (This was the ’60′s, remember.) People in a dozen or so dialects, men and women, would approach us on the street, some in tears, to express their regrets. And it was a defining moment for many of us.

Now, the 4th event of this day:

My cousin Ken, a student at Penn. State, heard the news yelled down from a dorm window. He raced up to his room and threw some clothes in a pack. He had another obligation: He had to hitchhike to Endicott, New York, and get there fast and without hang-ups. We had a close family.

It was our grandparents’ 50th anniversary, and my father had organized a gathering. Ken made it, and it was good he was there, though, he said, “It was really a very strange day.”

It was strange in many places.

This Nov. 22 would have been my grandparents’ 100th anniversary, a bright spot for my family on this somber day.


¹ The book Between Heaven and Hell: A Dialog Somewhere Beyond Death with John F. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis & Aldous Huxley (Inter-Varsity Press, 1982) is still available at Amazon and elsewhere. Peter Kreeft, PhD at Fordham, is Professor of philosophy at Boston College. [Get and read this ahead of time in memory of that tragic day.]

² This brief account leans toward Christianity as presented by Lewis. This is not the place to get a detailed introduction to the “two alternatives.” It does show, however, basic differences in world views. Also, it does not necessarily point by point represent Kennedy’s actual thought process as he was certainly not a theologian.