From Our Readers
Scientific Illiteracy I was curious about the claim that only 6 percent of Americans are scientifically literate. (“Watching the World,” June 8, 1989) So I conducted my own minisurvey of 12 middle-class-income adults. All but three thought that the sun revolved around the earth! When asked how long “it” takes to revolve, I got answers like “every 18 hours,” “24 hours,” “48 hours,” “365 years,” and “many light-years.” The topper was one who told me: “The earth doesn’t revolve anymore . . . It’s fixed in orbit.”
J. W. H., United States
Fighting Crime As a protection from muggers, your readers were advised to lock all car doors when driving. (April 22, 1989) This can be dangerous. If an accident occurs or the car goes into the water, the rescuers will find it difficult to reach the victims.
C. M., Netherlands
Auto Club of America told “Awake!” that only one tenth of 1 percent of auto accidents in the United States involve water submersion. Therefore, in high crime areas, the dangers of driving with an unlocked door greatly outweigh the risk of being trapped in an automobile. Even at that, rescuers are usually able to free trapped victims by smashing the car windows.—ED.
Homosexuality I must express my thankfulness for the instruction and encouragement in the article “Homosexuality—Why Not?” (July 8, 1989) It was not an attack on the person but on the person’s way of acting. I am inclined to homosexuality. I used to think, ‘You are either like that or you are not.’ But about five years ago, I began studying the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses. At first I kept my problem secret. But finally I spoke with two Christian elders, and they helped me qualify for baptism.
I recognize the need for a marriage mate, but first I will have to cultivate self-control. With Jehovah’s help and the upbuilding instruction of his organization, I will be able to persevere.
R. T., Netherlands
Verbal Abuse Thank you for your article on verbal abuse. (June 8, 1989) My parents never praised me or showed me that they loved me, except for providing material things like food, clothing, or money. I realise now that holding my tongue could have improved the situation. The article was really timely.
S. M., Australia
I was disappointed by the article. No matter how hard a day a parent has, he has no right to take it out on the child. Instead of an article saying that the victims must change, please give us an article that gets to the root of the problem: the parents.
M. W., United States
Your comments are well-taken. However, the article was not intended to get ‘to the root of the problem’ but was written to help youths cope with a difficult situation. The article further said: “There is no excuse whatsoever for abusive speech.” Victims of parental abuse therefore need not feel that they are responsible. Nevertheless, by acting prudently, young victims may be able to make the best of this bad situation.—ED.
The article was truly encouraging, and I wish I had had it when I was growing up. My stepfather verbally abused us in many ways. He’d yell at me and say things that would really hurt. I’d go to sleep crying. Jehovah has helped me to forget the past, cool off my resentment, and live my life for Him.
Y. M., United States