Insight on the News
Disturbing Echoes of the Past
● Considerable furor may result from a recently published book entitled “Aftermath.” It recounts post-World War II efforts to find and prosecute fugitive Nazi criminals (many of whom fled to South America). Why the possible furor? Book reviewer Howard M. Kaplan (Sunday Denver “Post”) says it will be mainly due to the “damning evidence of an escape route for many upper-echelon Nazis through Rome and the Vatican,” with the Church furnishing new identity papers, false passports and, at times, even “clerical protection” for the Nazi fugitives. One source cited, the diary of Luftwaffe ace Colonel Hans Rudel, says, “The Church helped many of us to go overseas.”
Hard to believe? Not so much so when we remember a lecture given during World War II in Washington, D.C., by priest Edmund A. Walsh. Reporting on it, the New York “Times” of February 17, 1940, stated: “The German war aims were outlined tonight as a re-establishment of the Holy Roman Empire by Dr. Edmund A. Walsh . . . of [Catholic] Georgetown University.” Dr. Walsh said he had personally heard Nazi dictator Hitler present this very aim.
Far from engaging in political intrigue, Jesus Christ said that his true followers would maintain separateness from this world. (John 15:17-19; 17:14) Religious organizations failing to live by such Bible standards have only themselves to blame when past actions boomerang on them and bring reproach.
Religious Books Flourish
● “While church membership is dropping, the demand for books that appeal to religious needs is soaring,” says “The Christian Century” magazine. A few years back, a religious best seller had an annual sale of ten thousand copies. “Now even the number ten title on the cloth[bound] list sells better than 75,000 copies.”
Yet, the article says, it is no “secret that church attendance among all age groups has been dropping for a decade and that membership plummets each month.” What accounts, then, for the interest shown in religious books? One editor says that “while institutions as such are all in disarray, that doesn’t change people’s need for definition, direction and guidance.” “In fact,” she says, “it intensifies it.”
Yes, though having little trust in Christendom’s religions, millions do feel a need for divine direction. Jehovah’s witnesses seek to help people to fill this need. Just one of their clothbound publications, “The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life,” has a distribution of—not 75,000—but over 70,000,000 copies in 91 languages. And the Witnesses go beyond mere distribution of literature, as they conduct over 1,350,000 free Bible studies weekly in the homes of people in all parts of the earth.
Unnatural Sexual Relations
● Over two years ago this magazine warned against perverted sex practices such as oral and anal copulation, pointing out that, like homosexuality, these were “contrary to nature.” The Christian apostle Paul says that those practicing unnatural sexual acts ‘receive in themselves the full recompense due for their error.’—Rom. 1:21-27.
Supporting this, the July 15, 1974, “Watchtower” quoted a warning from Dr. Elmar G. Lutz that “herpes-virus,” which ranks next to gonorrhea as a leading venereal disease, could be transmitted through oral-genital sex acts.
Now, from the London “Medical News” comes yet further evidence of the rightness of the apostle Paul’s inspired statement. At the Praed Street Clinic of St. Mary’s Hospital, authorities are quoted as saying that, while male gonorrhea acquired from the rectum (as in homosexual acts) has been relatively “commonplace,” evidence now records increased rectal contamination with gonorrhea among women. Of 105 females referred to the Clinic, doctors found that almost half had “indulged in either oral or rectal coitus.” The report adds that “such figures co-relate closely with those previously obtained from overseas sources.”