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Archive for November, 2009

Asking hypothetical questions of dead presidents helps understand where our current one is taking us

Niels C. Nielsen believes it is time to revisit one of the most controversial issues of the recent presidential campaign – Obama’s religious beliefs and background – and how they influence his day-to-day decisions.  God in the Obama Era (Morgan James Publishing) begins and ends with chapters on Obama for relevance and interest, but the integral part of the book is actually a history of successive presidencies.  Nielsen’s book is non-sectarian, positive and critical, and leaves the subject of Obama’s possible accomplishments and success open since it is too early yet for definitive judgments.

Understanding that nations which  ignore their past live in a narrow time period, discounting the fact that what has gone before tells us much about what is going on now and what will happen in the future.  Historically, religion – as both a positive and negative force – has influenced economics, international statecraft, as  well as individual and social ethics.  This brings up the question of where Barack Obama is taking this country – politically, religiously, economically and ethically.  Comparing our current president with past presidents, from Washington through Bush, Nielsen wonders what they would say to each other as contemporaries.  Since the election of 2008 turned out to be a watershed contest, looking to crucial decisions of policy change on the war in Iraq, the international economy, global warming, social security and immigration, it is the main intention of the author to help bring objectivity and perspective to the much-debated issues. 

This brilliantly enlightening book offers guidance to evaluate what an ambitious new leader has done, and may do, in the longer setting of the history of his office.  At the beginning of each chapter the author uses a narrative and chronological approach to show both the similarities and the differences between our current president and one of his predecessors, then asks a number of hypothetical “what if” questions of many past great leaders in an attempt to see how history could have been dramatically changed by their answers.  Visit his informative website at: www.presidentsreligionandethics.com.

Niels C. Nielsen, Jr. is the J. Newton Rayzor Professor of Philosophy and Religious Thought emeritus at Rice University in Houston, Texas.  He is well-recognized for his earlier book, The Religion of Jimmy Carter, also translated into German. The author’s daughter  is the only non-native faculty member of her department at the University of Vienna, where she is intensely involved in explaining the Obama phenomenon to her students who have a varied interest in the transition from Bush II to a very different sort of presidency.  Nielsen’s Religions of the World is a widely used college and university textbook.

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TIP SHEET:

Ron Highfield, Professor of Religion, Pepperdine University: “…this erudite, lucid, enlightening book brilliantly illuminates the central icon of American culture … In the aftermath of the election, in which religion played a greater role than in any election since 1960, we are fortunate to receive this book…rich in insight, lively in style and wide-ranging in scope…penetrating analyses of 20 presidents … a “must read” for anyone interested in the presidency, the place of religion in American history and culture, or religion in the Obama campaign and presidency.”

Rev. George M. Atkinson, Director emeritus, Perkins School of Theology, TX: “Nielsen has written an unusually fine examination of the role of religion in the life and work of our presidents… comprehensive, balanced, puts into shadow any comparable books on the subject…students of American history will especially appreciate his careful treatment of this understudied topic, since it reveals ethical issues and nuances not examined in conventional studies … students of religion will appreciate the connections between the personal piety and the social justice efforts of each president studied…heartily recommend this book!”

Bishop Andy Doyle, Houston Diocese, Episcopal Church: “…very much enjoyed the book…captured the virtue of American presidents and their particular and faithful understanding of our country’s civil religion.  While no one president…Nielsen wrote about reflects each citizen’s faith or lack thereof…it represents them well as faithful men who have believed in a providential God.  As for President Obama, I was intrigued and challenged by …(the) comment that “the responsibility of his presidency reaches out beyond the external history to the internal history of the soul, spirit, intention and vision” …words will stay with me for some time as I think about the topic of virtuous leadership both secular and religious.

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The ancient Maya accurately predicted the end of their civilisation….. Is their prediction about the end of our world about to come true too?

When archaeologist, Dr Shepherd finds a crystal skull in the hands of a dead colleague, the fragile world she has rebuilt with her husband begins to fall apart.   When she seeks answers to the suicide note left by her colleague that says ‘I have seen the future…..’ she begins a quest with momentous implications.  It leads her to an ancient tomb, deep in the rainforests of Central America, surrounded by armed guards.

Morton & Thomas’s new novel is an archaeological detective story. A pacy read, the story contains fascinating information about the ancient Mayan civilisation and their predictions for the year 2012.

The novel, dubbed the ‘new Celestine prophecy’ is set to challenge both the way we look at reality and our future….

About the authors:

Since a life-changing encounter with Mayan shamans in the jungles of Guatemala, Chris Morton and Ceri Louise Thomas have dedicated themselves to promoting the ‘message of the Maya about 2012’. The screenwriters and authors whose  original factual bestseller ‘The Mystery of the Crystal Skulls’, has sold over 100,000 copies and has been translated into 15 languages, and recently inspired the Indiana Jones movies on the subject.  Their new novel began life as the screenplay that helped to inspire Roland Emmerich’s new blockbuster ‘2012’. As well as being experts on the Mayan calendar, the couple are active environmentalists, helping to raise awareness of the plight of the natural world.  They have appeared on Discovery’s Travel Channel,  NBC’s Sci-Fi Channel and The History Channel.  Their work has been published in the Daily Mail and Sunday Express in Great Britain, and they have contributed to numerous radio programmes both in the UK and around the world.

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Dinner and a Play take on a Whole New Meaning when Theatergoers get to be Part of the Show

Written and directed by David Sebastian Bach, who has over half a century of experience in show business, Pageants Can Be Murder provides a unique forum for audiences and cast to mingle. Taking place (Tuesday through Saturday) at the Alexis Park Resort, 375 E. Harmon in Las Vegas, NV, Pageants Can Be Murder stuns us with a bevy of gorgeous women, a world-class international cast and a four-course gourmet meal, all to overwhelm the senses of theatergoers in a lethally hilarious and family-friendly production.

Pageants Can Be Murder takes the audience on the ride of their life with non-stop, side-splitting laughter, delicious food, beautiful women, and an unsolved mystery that tantalizes the imagination the minute the theater lights are dimmed.

The antics of this unbelievably talented and sexy cast of outrageously funny characters thrill audiences and leave them in stitches.  According to Bach, there are a number of elements that set this production apart from anything else that has ever been staged in Vegas. Jeffrey has appeared on numerous radio shows across the nation including Lorri Allen on Family Net Atlanta, Joey Reynolds on WOR New York, Bulldog and the Dude in Ocean City, Rhett Palmer on WZTA Vero Beach, Ray Read on KCMO Kansas City, Phyllis Hall on KXLO Lewistown, Larry Steele on WPUL Daytona Beach, John Cohn on WSBC Chicago, Frankie Boyer on WXBR Boston, Reverend Hudson on WJSS Baltimore, Harry Douglas on the Horne Radio Network and Jason Spiess on KFGO Fargo.

Jeffrey Taylor is the founder of Jeffrey Taylor Group, a holding company for Jeffrey’s various operating businesses. For more information please visit: http://jeffreytaylorpressroom.com

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