Watching the World
Destructive “New Morality”
◆ The widespread “new morality” of recent years really signifies a surge of immorality, particularly in sexual matters. However, what have been the results? Ten years as attending physician at Syracuse University’s health center has led Dr. Robert J. Collins to one conclusion: The “new morality” is destructive. He said: “It ignores history, it denies the physical and mental composition of human beings, it is intolerant, exploitative and is oriented toward intercourse, not love.” He spoke of the emptiness and disappointment experienced by promiscuous young people. As one said: “I have learned that this did not bring me happiness.” The fact is that any practice that violates God’s laws cannot result in happiness for humans.
◆ The head of the Egyptian Suez Canal Authority says that the intensive operations needed to reopen the Suez Canal for traffic make it the world’s cleanest waterway. The year-long cleaning operation removed the rubble resulting from the 1967 and 1973 Arab-Israeli wars. So thorough was the operation that, in addition to thousands of explosives and hulks of ships and vehicles, even such small items as links of anchor chains and metal pipes were located and taken out. Work is continuing to widen the canal to accommodate supertankers up to 250,000 tons.
◆ A Swedish study shows that the cost of the energy (from oil and other sources) needed to recycle basic materials is usually far less than the cost of the energy required to process them from raw materials in the first place. For example, the study said that with the same amount of energy one could recycle 50 percent more paper, twice as much steel, three times as much aluminum, and up to five times as much of some plastics. An American study confirmed the conclusions.
◆ In England, the worst outbreaks of violence by spectators at soccer matches have taken place in London and Nottingham. In London, a policeman and veteran of the Korean War who was crushed by rival supporters of soccer teams called the experience “the most terrifying day of my life.” Fighting broke out before the kickoff, and when police were dispatched to quell the rioting, they were set upon by supporters of both teams who chanted, “Get the coppers.” The Daily Mail of London says: “The frenzied fans ripped and clawed at the officers’ clothes, kicked them in the face, back and legs and repeatedly punched them” before they could be rescued by other club-wielding police. One veteran police officer declared: “It was sheer madness.” And his wife said: “Every time he goes to work at these football [soccer] games I am terrified.”
First Mile in Place
◆ After a year of preliminary work, the actual laying of the first mile of the Alaska pipeline was completed during the spring of 1975. In another two years, the petroleum-carrying pipeline is scheduled to be 798 miles in length, from Prudhoe Bay on the north slope of Alaska to the terminus at Valdez on the south coast. The first of 34 major river crossings was also completed. The eventual cost of the pipeline is an estimated six to seven billion dollars.
Feeding Earth’s Billions
◆ Some authorities say that world famine is inevitable because of earth’s exploding population. Others insist that the planet Earth has the potential to feed many times the present world population. “I don’t think there is as much contradiction in all this as would appear,” stated C. W. Cook, an official of General Foods Corporation, to a panel on the World Food Conference in Texas. The problem is a lack of cooperation among nations and the lack of massive investments in food production instead of such huge spending on armaments and other nonessential goods. That is why even in lands with food surpluses, such as the United States, there is widespread malnutrition.
How Lasting Are Democracies?
◆ As the United States approaches its 200th anniversary as a nation in 1976, a statement made more than 200 years ago by British historian Alexander Tyler has been brought to mind. He stated: “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess [gifts] from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”
Selling Test-Tube Baby
◆ A Mormon Sunday-school teacher advertised in the San Francisco Chronicle offering up to $10,000 to any woman who would bear his child by artificial insemination and then turn the child over to him. He and his wife are childless. The newspaper said that it had received a number of calls from interested women.
◆ For well over a century now, scientists who reject the Bible’s explanation that God directly created the basic kinds of life forms on earth have been frustrated in their attempts to back up their belief in evolution by facts. They still are. In the May issue of Harpers magazine, a contributing editor concedes that, after all this time, “crucial first appearances of major invertebrate groups are missing from the fossil record.” It is also observed that what the current idea of evolution “seriously lacks, however, is a precise description of the actual mechanism” that would account for it. It is constantly found that living things multiply only ‘after their kind,’ as the Bible said they would. The article admitted that the theory “also lacks, for many, sheer plausibility. . . . Many things are unexplained, many discrepancies unaccounted for.”
Worry over Next Inflation
◆ In many countries, the very high rates of price increases have somewhat subsided. But some economists are already suggesting that, unless inflation is reduced far more, the next round of inflation will come quickly and be even worse. Researcher David Tuerck of Pepperdine College in Los Angeles noted: “the greatest danger that the world economy faces now is that we will not be patient enough to let the inflation which is decreasing . . . get down to ‘acceptable’ levels before we yield to the temptation to shift to strong, expansionist policies. . . . there is a genuine danger of collapse if the industrial world does not kill this inflation before it goes on to create the next one.” But even now some governments are planning huge deficits to pump more money into lagging economies. The United States plans a gigantic deficit of about $70 billion in the fiscal year starting July 1.
◆ Because 0£ inflation and recession, many elderly people, especially those on fixed incomes, are having increasing difficulty in buying life’s necessities. This has resulted in a marked rise in shoplifting. Miami Beach store owners report that shoplifting arrests have more than doubled over the past year. Police there note that the great majority of people arrested were over the age of fifty-five.
Tragic Life for Child
◆ A palace’ in Katmandu, Nepal, houses a living child “goddess.” Called Kumari, she is only seven years old and has been kept inside this Hindu temple for worship since she was three. A Hindu scholar explained that a Kumari is chosen because her horoscope shows “an exceptionally strong fate line.” She spends her days. performing temple rituals and giving blessings to those who come from remote Himalayan villages to worship her, mostly barren, women who want a child. The Kumari’s parents may visit, but are not permitted to touch their child or receive any special recognition. At puberty, she is released and another young Kumari takes her place. However, the scholar noted, “when she is released, it is unlikely she will ever find a husband—men here are superstitious about women with strong fate lines.” He added: “Several of the most recent Kumaris are now walking the streets of Katmandu as prostitutes.”
Not All Were Atheists
◆ For centuries members of Christendom’s churches have joined armies of opposing nations and killed their fellow church members in war. Was it different in the recent Vietnam war? Daniel De Luce of the Associated Press notes that in South Vietnam there are about two million Catholics, many of whom fought in the South Vietnamese army. But from Hanoi, North Vietnam, he reports that there are about one million Catholics living there. He noted that about one third of the Catholic churches established by the French in colonial times are still in use. Thus, the North Vietnamese armed forces were not all atheistic, but included practicing Catholics who fought against Catholics on the South Vietnamese side.
Stripper in Church
◆ Many churches resort to raffles, bazaars, bingo and other forms of entertainment to bolster waning attendance. The First Unitarian Church of Richardson, Texas, went a step farther, using a striptease dancer. A newspaper account states: “When she was through there was nothing left but her G-string.” The clergyman in charge noted that she had performed the same dance that she does in a Dallas nightclub, adding: “I haven’t had one complaint. . . . It fit very well into our service.” The practically nude dancer was watched by about 200 adults and their children.
Western Theology Sick
◆ A group of religious thinkers say that the theology of the churches of Christendom requires radical transformation if it is to survive. One of the group noted that the Western world’s religion has been linked directly to its culture, which is in a state of moral decline. Gordon Kaufman of Harvard Divinity School noted: “Theology apparently had no integrity or standards of its own. Its symbols could be used as a kind of decoration for and legitimation of almost any partisan position found in the culture.” If theology is to revive, he stated, ‘it must again take up the symbols of God and Christ, and theologians must cease leaping onto every cultural bandwagon that comes along.’ But God’s prophetic Word shows that it is far too late for any such revival.
◆ The Netherlands is facing a critical shortage of Roman Catholic priests. The Catholic Social Ecclesiastical Institute there forecasts that half of Holland’s 1,839 parishes could be without a resident cleric before long. The institute also points out that 55 to 60 percent of the present parish priests are over fifty years old. On January 1, 1974, the country had 11,200 priests, which was 20 percent fewer than in 1965. In 1973, only 35 priests were ordained, to compare with the 156 who quit.
◆ A few years ago demand for oil was rising swiftly everywhere. Owning oil tankers was very profitable. Thus, more and larger tankers poured out of shipyards. But the fourfold oil price rise in the last year and a half has caused a lessening of demand for oil. Now there is a huge glut of oil tankers, and many of them are idle. Many owners are unable to pay back the money that they borrowed to finance the ships. One tanker owner said: “It’s a world crisis.” They hope for an upsurge in the world economy so more oil will be used and more tankers needed.