Watching the World
◆ The Anglican Church in Montreal, Canada, is planning to condense the work of five downtown churches into possibly one church. The reason given was plummeting membership, the same problem that is confronting almost every denomination.
Teaching by TV
◆ In Brazil 80,000 people in the northeastern region are being educated by television. There are almost a thousand centers for receiving televised programs of high-school instruction for the benefit of persons who failed to finish their schooling. The classes last for forty minutes, five days a week. Only one out of every thousand students who enter high school in the region actually completes his schooling and graduates.
Priests Oppose Celibacy
◆ At a conference held in the Netherlands, the European Priests Assembly, consisting of Roman Catholic priests, voted overwhelmingly on October 3 in favor of ending compulsory celibacy. Of course, their vote does not govern the church. The week-long congress was attended by 200 participants from 32 countries.
◆ For a growing number of asthma victims the pressurized drug sprays they use for relief of their symptoms have proved to be death sprays because of the aerosol propellants in the containers. These propellants are potentially toxic to the heart. When they enter the air passages along with the drugs for asthma they can be picked up by the blood and carried to the heart. These propellants have induced abnormal heart conditions when used on rats and mice. An increase in the deaths of asthma victims is being attributed to them by two doctors at the University of Illinois Hospital.
Detergent Safety Questioned
◆ Great cleaning power is claimed for enzyme detergents, but their safety is questioned by three New York physicians at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. In experiments with forty-six hamsters they found that eight died when the enzymes were either inhaled or injected. They died from massive lung hemorrhage, and a number of those that recovered suffered weight loss, bloody nasal discharge, coughing and difficult breathing. Though the enzymes were used in concentrations much heavier than found in detergents, the fact that they can cause these reactions is reason enough, these scientists think, to question their safety.
Priest Condones Stealing
◆ A Roman Catholic priest, David Shanahan, stated in South Africa that he had told his parishioners that they could steal without moral guilt if it was impossible under an unjust system to get a job paying enough money to feed their families. He also was reported by the Daily Mail of August 22, 1970, a Johannesburg newspaper, as saying: “I told my parishioners that in the eyes of the church they were not morally bound to obey unjust laws, and that they were not morally wrong if they told a lie to avoid any penalty under an unjust law.”
Ruining the Environment
◆ Man’s pollution of his environment is ruining the oceans. The well-known underwater explorer Jacques Yves Cousteau observed: “The oceans are in danger of dying. The pollution is general.” This is also true in the Baltic Sea. The polluting of it by the nations bordering it is disrupting marine life. Chemicals from farmlands, detergents and organic wastes from sewers pour into it and accumulate in the deeper reaches of the Sea, poisoning the fish.
Brain Surgery Without Blood
◆ A California girl of 17 was critically injured when she was thrown from a horse. Her head was impaled on a five-inch spike sticking out of a pole lying on the ground. It penetrated three and a half inches into the brain. A number of neurosurgeons were contacted, but they refused to operate unless given permission to give the girl a blood transfusion. Since this was against the religious beliefs of the girl and her parents, they could not consent to the transfusions. Finally they located a surgeon who was willing to do the operation without requiring blood. Two operations were performed successfully under these conditions. The first removed hair and pieces of bone that were within the brain tissues. The second removed contaminated bone around the injury and covered it with a metal plate. Though some surgeons were willing to let the girl die rather than make an effort to operate on her while respecting her religious conscience, this surgeon was willing to try, and he succeeded.
Plants Killed by Rock Music
◆ In a series of carefully controlled experiments at Temple Buell College in Denver, it was found that plants exposed to long sessions of rock music leaned away from the loudspeaker, collapsed and died. In an experiment that lasted one month, semiclassical music was played through one speaker at a group of plants and rock music through another speaker at another group of plants. Volume of the sound and the growing conditions were the same. The only difference was the type of music. Those subjected to semiclassical music leaned toward the loudspeaker and flourished. Those subjected to rock music leaned away and died. If this is the effect of rock music on plants, what is it on people?
This Violent Age
◆ Violence seems to have become the way of life for this modern generation. Commenting on it, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram of August 30, 1970, said: “Are violence and terror becoming a way of life in much of the world? There has been something akin to an epidemic of bombing, political kidnaping and murder, urban and rural guerrilla warfare, torture killing, organized terror, sabotage, killing and maiming of innocents. Added to this are street wars, looting, rioting, near anarchy, senseless cruelty and general noise and confusion. . . . A Japanese housewife perhaps brought it all into focus. She bemoaned the fact that most people don’t care a whit about the violence unless it happens to them personally, and commented: ‘People are no longer shocked by violence. Human life seems to be worthless. People don’t think twice if a man dies violently, even in his own town.’”
Salt Water for Cholera
◆ When a person contracts cholera he suffers a rapid loss of body fluid, more than a quart an hour. This can kill him in a short while. An effective and simple treatment, doctors have found, is to replace the lost fluid by drinking large quantities of a salty water solution made of common table salt with some dextrose added. When this treatment was used on 300 patients in India, some with severe cholera, their condition of dehydration was corrected within six hours.
Ban on Astrologers Urged
◆ Professor Gilles Beaudet, an astrophysicist in the University of Montreal, has prepared a legal brief, with the support of the science faculty at the university, demanding that astrologers not be allowed to broadcast over Canadian radio and television. According to the Toronto Daily Star, the brief contends that “‘psychological harm’ can come from astrological predictions and that studies throughout the world indicate that predictions based on astrology are false as often as not.”
Dieting Can Be Harmful
◆ Dieting by a woman to limit her weight gain to only ten to fourteen pounds during pregnancy can be harmful to the developing baby. This is the view of the National Research Council’s special Committee on Maternal Nutrition. This American committee recommends an average weight gain of twenty-four pounds for the good of the child. Dr. Robert E. Shank, one of the physicians on the committee, observed: “The current obstetric practice in the U.S. that tends to restrict normal weight gains is not justified. Weight reduction programs and severe calorie restrictions should not be undertaken during pregnancy not even for obese women because of the possibility of adverse effects on the fetus’ weight and neurological development.” This practice is especially harmful for underweight women and for teenage mothers who are still growing.
◆ From the time that the abortion reform law went into effect in New York state on July 1 until September 4, eight women died as a result of having an abortion, and almost one hundred more incurred serious complications such as perforated uteri, hemorrhages and infections. An incomplete tally showed that death certificates for 13,471 fetuses were filed by abortion-performing physicians. If that many death certificates were filed in one state for children one year older than these, would not people be horrified?
Warning Against Aspirin
◆ In a report appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, two doctors warned that aspirin should not be taken by pregnant women who are approaching the time of birth. Babies born of women who have taken aspirin at this time are more likely, they said, to develop bleeding problems than those born of women who do not take it.
Forbidding to Marry
◆ In Turin, Italy, a Roman Catholic priest decided to get married and persuaded another priest to perform the marriage ceremony for him. For getting married the priest was excommunicated by Cardinal Michele Pellegrino and the priest who performed the wedding was dismissed. The Bible foretold that persons who would “depart from the faith” would be the ones “forbidding to marry.”—1 Tim. 4:1, 3, Catholic Douay Version.
Antibiotics Spur Diseases
◆ Heavy reliance on antibiotics has caused a slackening in personal hygiene in many hospitals and thus spurred diseases. Dr. Thomas Nealson, director of surgery at New York’s St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center, said: “When antibiotics came out, nearly every surgical patient was given the new drugs to help combat infection. Yet we found we still had problems with patients developing postoperative illness.” This was due to staff members not being as careful as they should in washing their hands when handling patients. Their reliance on antibiotics is hardly a wise substitute for cleanliness.
Women Church Leaders
◆ On October 12, the sixty-third triennial convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States agreed to allow women to become fully accredited members of the convention’s House of Deputies. The general convention of this church is a body that consists of the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops. The passing of church legislation requires the approval of both houses. Thus the Episcopal Church has given women part in the policy-making process of the church at the national level. How different this is from the Scriptural instruction that a woman is not to exercise authority over a man in the congregation.—1 Tim. 2:11, 12.
Sugar and Heart Trouble
◆ According to Dr. Harding LeRiche of the University of Toronto, there is evidence that cane sugar is a contributing cause of heart ailments. He observed that Canadians eat 1000 pounds of sugar per person a year, ten times as much as people ate 160 years ago. He believes this is a contributing cause in the rise of heart disease in North America. It is his view that cane sugar is involved with the cause of diabetes, and there is, he says, “evidence that there is a relationship between the early development of heart disease and diabetes.”